Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Design Along! Inspired!

A talented knitter, knitting designer, and the owner of the wonderful blog, Alyoops, has organized a design along!

She organized mood boards on and called for original designs inspired by the photos. I can never get my act together to actually sit and design and be creative, I thought this was a wonderful opportunity.

There was a photo of a maze that seemed to call my name. Then last night at the weavers meeting, I saw a lady working on mitered squares. Finally this morning somewhere between the snooze button and the coffee pot, this idea came to me:
Yes I've been scribbling around in Photoshop for few weeks now. Sorry professors! I sketched in photoshop. What a disgrace. But it helps to get my idea solidified. Now I'm going to cut some paper and fabric and see if that's a reasonable idea before I start knitting....after I find that 30 yards of red.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Have your thumbs crossed please!

Once upon a time in my brain, there was a great idea about using leftover yarn to make some mittens for an auction for my favorite group ever.

Fast forward 2.5 years to June 2011. The knitter finally got her act together and started knitting the mittens. She was confident that she had enough yarn for this because:

A: The yarn has been around for a long time (since 2007!) and didn't seem to go away
B: Ravelry said there were 2.6 skeins in my stash

But there were few things she didn't put into consideration:

A: Since 2007, she has knit two projects using the very same yarn
B: Ravelry lists yardage stashed in the project page, not how much yarn is left.

So in reality, I only had 1.3 skeins of the red yarn. Although I positively suffer from hypo-yarnophobia (phobia of running out of yarn), I bravely knit the first mitten. Hmm, I thought. This mitten used about 30g of the main color. I'm not going to have enough for the second mitten. Hey, I know! I'll reverse the colors for the second one to balance out the amount of yarn used!

Tonight after finishing second mitten: The yarn left is photographed above the mittens:

So glad I was alone when this happened. Where are the thumbs?

Must say tho, the bugs are looking good!

specs for my thumbless mittens:
Pattern: Entomology Mittens by Adrian Bizilia
Yarn: Knit Picks Telemark Garnet Heather and Cream
Needles: 1 for cuffs and 3 for body. Both dpns.
CO: June 5. (yes I had lots of free time this past weekend)

There is one bit of hope. Ravelry says there is another 0.3 skeins of the red somewhere in my stash. Should I go stash-diving for that 30 yards of yarn? I should, right? Red yarn, I will find you. >)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Spinning Camp!-Day1

I'm back in Greensboro, NC for a week of Master Spinning classes! I took Level 2 last year, and am taking level 3. So far it's been so fun spinning with lovely spinners from the area. The teacher is very talented and lots of fun.

Left to right, Lincoln @ 1.5TPI, Colored top @ 4TPI and 6TPI (in theory)

On the first day, our teacher handed us bits of red top and yellow top and asked us to spin to a specific tpi (twists per inch). The first one was a 6tpi yarn, and I seemed to get everywhere between 5.5-7.5 tpi except in one little inch.

The second yarn spun out of Lincoln (rough!) was a fat yarn with 1.5 tpi. That one came out better than the first, but I still need practice being consistent with my drafting.

The third yarn was spun at 4tpi, and that felt like the best yarn to date. There are definitely parts in that yarn that is not 4tpi, but it's close.

Then we did some math and confused every single neuron in our brains. It's simple algebra really, but with all the dimensional analysis for changing from metric to English and working backwards to get the proper tpi for singles, it got more confusing. Of course, there is an English system that has some arbitrary numbers (I'm sure it'll mean a lot later, but now, they don't mean anything) for different kinds of fibers and styles of spinning wool.

For example, a worsted wool yarn needs to be divided by 540 to get the number of skeins produced from a pound of prepped fiber. For woollen yarns it is 300 yards per skein. For silk and cotton it's 800. Right. What? Why? Why can't we do yards per pound to show how thick the yarn is? We can count up to 1000, right?

Anyway, the point of the lesson was to not only spin evenly and precisely, it was also to have a visual of the kind of yarn you want to spin in your mind. Thicker the yarn, less twist it needs, and less TPI there will be.

It was so exhausting thinking so hard about spinning, I took a long nap after class!