Summer Spin 2015

Along with the Summer Sock Knitalong (which I am insanely excited for now that we’ve had a special IG sneak peak of the yarn being dyed), my other summer goal is spin a little every day. In winter I’m usually cold enough that nine times out of ten I’d rather be wrapped up burrito style in a at least two blankets than sitting at my wheel, but in summer I just love to spin. I finally managed to eek out a small space in our living room where I can keep my wheel. It’s such a huge difference to have a spot where I can literally just sit down and spin any time rather than always pulling my wheel and all its accoutrements out of storage every time I want to make yarn. I also just adore spinning on my back porch — fresh air, the kids playing, the birds singing, and my wheel just spinning away enclosed in the lush green that is a summery backyard is pretty close to bliss in my book.

I was going to wait a bit to get started, but I was anxious to see the yarn I would get from the Spun Right Round batts I was blending together.

I started with these 3 batts…

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From left to right, 3oz of Boom Bam, 4.5oz of Tiger Brats, and 2.5oz of Pip. After a little trial and error, I started to marl the colors together by blending two strips of different colored fiber together — like these pairs…

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I just spun these multi-colored sets right together. Since there is a wide range of colors in these batts, I thought this marling would be the best recipe for success in getting it to work as a whole.

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The singles looked promising and the finished yarn…

IMG_9347Just. So. Fun. It reminds me of an Indian sari and it’s going to make a pretty gorgeous shawl one of these days. This skeins is just shy of 600yards, probably a sport/DK weight although I haven’t checked yet. I’m too ecstatic with how it looks to get into the technical stuff just yet. I will definitely be playing with batts more often though!

It just so happened that this weekend I was doing a bit of spring cleaning and since my wheel was empty I decided to pull out four braids of fiber so they’d be visible & easily accessible. With the wheel right there, I figured fiber where I could see it would help a lot as I try to keep up with my spinning everyday goal. These are the four braids I chose…

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As you can see, I have some pretty gorgeous braids in at my fingertips. My fiber stash is pretty deep at this point and my goal is really to spin a fair bit of it up over the coming months. These braids seemed like a pretty solid place to start — they are excellent motivation, no doubt about that!

From here, I simply had to start another spinning project, so I grabbed my braid of Dyeabolical BFL/Silk blend in the Gasoline Rainbow colorway.

IMG_8656-0One thing led to another and…

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Those singles were finished. I broke this braid into a standard fractal spin and will make a simple 2-ply out of it. I blame the beautiful colors and the pure delight that is spinning this BFL/silk base for how quickly I spun these bobbins.

Since I figured I should let these singles rest before plying, I thought I’d go ahead and start my next project.

IMG_7579I picked up this braid of Sweet Georgia polwarth + silk in the Stormchaser colorway for my birthday at the end of last year from Yarns by Design. I wanted a to see what a really blended yarn would look like with this, so I divided the braid into fourths lengthwise and then divided these fourths into about 12″ pieces. Much like the batts, I’m spinning together 2pieces at a time for maximum blending.

IMG_9352I’m very excited to see how this one turns out, too!

It may not technically be summer yet, but my Summer Spin 2015 is off to a great start. Of course, I’ll be sharing my spinning adventures here in my ‘Today on my wheel’ segments as well as regular FO posts, but you can also get the latest via Instagram where I’ll be tagging my spins with the hashtag #summerspin2015. Fellow spinners, feel free to spin along and tag away, too! I’d love to see what you’re up to, too! Remember the Tour de Fleece starts in just over a month… it’s probably time to start training, right?!

It Never Hurts to Dream

Last week I shared my Bootstrap Socks that I knit in Spun Right Round Superwash Sock.

SRRThe colors… they were pretty crazy fun.

I posted a couple photos on Instagram to share the blog post with followers there which led to a short discussion about how amazing Spun Right Round fiber is. Of course, I’d not yet made it to my fiber stash from this awesome shop, but the seed was planted and I simply had to spin up one of the braids of fiber I got for Christmas. After my last spinning project which was a lightweight polwarth + silk, I knew I needed just a light, airy, heavier weight spin for a change of pace. This merino seemed to fit the bill perfectly.

Merino Wool Roving - Hand Painted - Hand Dyed for Spinning or Felting - 4oz - Color PLay #47
Photo courtesy of Spun Right Round Yarn & Fiber Co

The colorway is called Color Play #47 — like the sock yarn I used in the socks I just knit, this series is made up of one-of-a-kind colorways. It was such a fab mix of colors and it was just beyond squishy. I went for a standard 2-ply and wound up with about 120yards of the squishiest…

srr merino3Dreamiest…

srr merino2Brightest…

srr merinoAnd most fun aran weight yarn ever spun on my wheel.

As always, I will say that spinning this heavy of a yarn does not come very easily to me. I’m much more comfortable in the silk blends that I can spin into nice and lightweight shawl yarns. This merino, however, was like a dream to spin — I absolutely did not mind that I’m dreadfully slow with it. In fact, I could probably spin myself right into spring if I had enough of this particular fiber. When I saw the merino update notice on the Spun Right Round Instagram feed the other day I half-joked that it should just all be sent to my house. Suffice to say, I feel a serious greed for this fiber — it doesn’t even matter what the colorway is. I will spin it.

I haven’t yet decided what to do with this yarn. I’m not sure why, but I got to thinking about Susan B Anderson’s A Pair and a Spare from last fall. I don’t think I’d have enough for a pair from one skein, but I got this idea in my head that it’d be fun just to knit a whole bunch of random bright mittens. I could to spin a whole bunch of this merino roughly the same weight and just knit up a whole truckload of mittens. We are always in need of dry mittens at our house — no matter how many I knit, there are never enough. This is probably because I tend to double-mitten my daughter when she goes to play outside — this not only keeps her hands warmer and dryer for longer, but also means she can easily wear my adult sized mittens without them falling off or fitting too poorly. I don’t have enough of this merino (yet) to make this crazy, bright, mismatched mitten dream a reality. At least not for this winter. But perhaps for next…

In any case, I do have at least one more braid of this lovely merino in my stash, but I can’t help but drool a bit over this one…

Merino Wool Roving - Hand Painted - Hand Dyed for Spinning or Felting - 4oz - Color Play # 90
Photo courtesy of Spun Right Round Yarn & Fiber Co

Called Color Play #90

Or this one…

Merino Wool Roving - Hand Painted - Hand Dyed for Spinning or Felting - 4oz - Color Play # 86
Photo courtesy of Spun Right Round Yarn & Fiber Co

Called Color Play #86

Or…

Merino Wool Roving - Hand Painted - Hand Dyed for Spinning or Felting - 4oz - Gigi
Photo courtesy of Spun Right Round Yarn & Fiber Co

The gorgeous Gigi.

It never hurts to look & dream, right?

Coming Soon, to Needles Near Me

As I wait for my trio of hats from my Craftsy class to dry so I can tell you all about them and the wonderful class, I’ve found myself winding ALL THE YARN. OK, not all the yarn, but quite a bit. Of the next 9 days, the weather service tells me that 6 of those may include snow. Nothing says knit like the wind to a knitter like 6 days of snow. So how about I share what I’m thinking?

First, my Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber Quick’s Point has started shaping up to be a gorgeous incarnation of Clare Devine‘s Tarsi-Grande.

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I had originally started these as vanilla stockinette socks, but decided a couple inches in that I really wanted more texture — this pattern is proving to be exactly what I was looking for. You’ll remember that Clare of Yarn & Pointy Sticks is a sponsor of Socks with Sarah and authored a fabulous eBook Sock Anatomy which teaches sock techniques on baby socks. Tarsi-Grand is an adult sized version of one of the baby socks and I’m so happy to be knitting it. Oh, and don’t forget that we can take advantage of the 15% off discount with Cloudlover Yarn & Fiber through the end of the year by using the coupon code  SOCKSWITHSARAH  when you checkout. This beautiful yarn & fiber makes excellent gifts for you and your fiber artist friends!

Then, I got my hands on this lovely skein of Merino Twist DK from Sweet Fiber.

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I think the olive colorway will go great with my favorite muskox neckerchief & I’m looking to knit it into Shannon Cook’s Schwimmen

schwimmenA pretty lace hat from Shannon Cook & Jane Richmond’s new mini collection, Seasonless, I can barely wait to cast-on. I have to give a shout-out to Shannon for a little assist yesterday. I am not the most computer savvy lady on Earth, unfortunately, and I was having some issues with printing my patterns from the eBook version that came with my print copy (which I’m told is on its way!). I emailed Shannon and she got back to me right away and got those patterns delivered in a manner that I could print — I printed them immediately, of course. Thanks so much, Shannon, for your time and extra effort!

Then, I was also looking at Laylow — the lovely shawl pattern in the same booklet. So I did some stash diving and came up with a couple skeins that might work…

laylowI can’t tell yet if this color combination will work. The blue doesn’t have quite the coppery tones I had remembered, but I think I’m going to knit the main body in blue and then see how I feel about the other skein once I get to the color change. I could go a couple different routes based on my stash, but I think this might be stunning if that copper tone in the blue comes through coppery enough. We’ll see when we get there.

And… since I’ve been wearing shawls and scarves non-stop these days, I wound my super special Bijou Basin Ranch  limited edition Autumn colorway from Miss Babs.

bbrThis is a yak down/nylon blend is gorgeous and I am pretty sure I am going to knit up a shawl with this — the yak is so darn soft I simply must have it around my neck. I’m thinking something simple like Lisa Mutch’s Zilver might fit the bill perfectly — knit up on a US size 8 needle, this will go quickly and the less dense fabric will work great with the yak once it blooms.

And last, but certainly not least, I’m going to be joining in Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky Hats KAL which runs from November 15 – December 15. It’s such a quick & easy KAL that I just couldn’t refuse. All you have to do is knit up one (or as many as you like — these would be quick and easy gifts!) of the hats from the Bulky Hats for Kids & Adults collection in the lovely 50% alpaca/50% wool blend of Blue Sky Alpacas Bulky, a super bulky yarn. Seriously, there aren’t many quicker knits that super bulky hats!

I’m going to be making my little girl a Bear Hat in the Azalea colorway.

bsa kalI’m pretty sure she’s going to see it as a hot pink kitty cat hat, but I’m ok with that. A super warm hat was on my to-do list for my girl, so this fits the bill perfectly and I’ll have a chance to win a fantastic prize, too…

Photo courtesy of Blue Sky Alpacas.

I’ve been ogling the Cane Bay Wrap since I knit up the Fractal Cowl in Blue Sky Alpacas Extra in June and the prize is in blue, so seriously this could not be stronger incentive for me.

This is probably enough to keep me busy for a couple days. Just joking! That’s at least a week or two of knitting for me, but of course I’m also hoping that if we’re going to have some snowy weather that maybe I’ll squeeze in some time with my spinning wheel. I have my Quick’s Point fiber from Cloudlover that I’m working toward finishing and this recent addition to the stash from Spun Right Round

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It’s 4oz of Rambouillet in the Wacky colorway. I’m pretty sure it was made for me. And just to veer off-course here, don’t even get me started on this beauty from the same shop…

IMG_6997But that skein will have to wait its turn. Two shawls, two hats, and a pair of socks are in front of this beauty in line. Have no fear though, they’ll all be coming to needles near me soon enough. Well, maybe not soon enough, but as soon as possible.