Friday, July 19, 2013

This Week

This week was focused mostly on school. We worked on a re-do/organizing of the school room, I ordered most of our books for the year and have been spending free time setting up our schedule for the next several months. I had to tell the boys to keep their paws off all the new books for just a little bit longer until we start school

On the Needles...

My Doctor Who Kernel (which hopefully will make it beyond cast on this weekend) and Ellie's Stripey Cardigan. I won't be knitting a lot this weekend, because of finishing up with Tour de Fleece, but maybe a little bit of progress.

I read...

Ready Player One and working my way through the Spinners book of Yarn Designs

Just Keep Spinning…

I'm working in little bits on plying all my singles. It really stresses my left elbow for some reason, so I can only ply for short time periods before I lose feeling in my fingers. I'm trying to use my right hand a lot more, but it's still awkward, so plying is slow moving right now.

Learning all the time…

This month we are *off* from school so that I can get organized and we can start again in August. I'm about half way ready, and hopefully come August 5th I'll be all the way ready.


It looks like we will soon have a few jalepenos to pick and some pickling cucumbers also. We have never made pickles before much less grown our own, so we're all pretty excited about how great they are looking. Tomatoes are popping up, but none ready to pick quite yet.

I didn't get to...

Sadly, Kids Clothes Week. I have 2 patterns cut out, but have only made it to the machine once this week and didn't accomplish much while I was there. This week just turned out to be a LOT busier than I had anticipated. I haven't even had my usual knitting time available, so sneaking sewing time in this week just hasn't happened.

This weekend...

Family will be in town, so we're planning on a lot of fun with cousins!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Yarn Along

{Yarning Along with Ginny}

I'm still mostly spinning this week since this is the last week of the tour and I'd *love* to finish plying all my singles before the tour is over, but I did work on finishing the body of Ellie's cardigan this week too. I'm ready to start the garter border and then move on to the sleeves.

I decided against striping the whole body. I used Excel to try out different striping patterns visually to see what I'd like and this is the pattern I settled on, knowing that if it didn't look so great in the actual knitting I'd just rip back. I'm pleased with how it has turned out, but now I have to decide whether to leave the sleeves plain or to add striping of some kind there.

I did cast on for the Kernel with the yarn I shared last week, but that is literally all I've done- not even one row has been knit. I don't remember what came up, but I know it was a child of mine and I just haven't gotten back to Kernel to move on. I decided to go ahead and knit the upper edging first then leave it on scrap yarn to start the lower edging so that I can knit to the end of the yarn (or nearly) without having to worry about saving enough yarn for the other edging.

I'm reading The Spinner's Book of Yarn Designs by Sarah Anderson in little bits at night and learning so much with every reading. I already know I'm going to have to read it again- there is so much information for a newbie like myself to take in!

Monday, July 15, 2013


Over the weekend I finished spinning all the singles for the dark cranberry colored wool I've been spinning throughout the tour. I wound plying balls on Saturday and that was a learning experience in itself. The oldest single was in the worst shape so it was kind of awesome to see the progress forward from that original single. The last single I spun wasn't perfect by any means, but had much smoother joins and was far more consistent over all. It also didn't take nearly as much time as that first single. If Tour de Fleece has only done one thing for me it is that it has sped up my spinning.

That being said, my plying certainly leaves something to be desired. It's okay, but gets funky in places and I think I under-plied on this first skein. It looked like I over-plied while it was on the spindle, but once I set the twist and it dried it settled to be under-plied. I've only had the opportunity to ply a handful of times before this, and the last time was in March or April. It's like when I first learned to knit and I had to cast on for a new project. The last one had taken so long to finish that I'd forgotten how to cast on and had to look it up again. I'm hoping I catch on to plying a little more this time around and that, like the singles, each yard of yarn looks a little better than the last yard.

I ended up with something between a fingering weight and sport weight and when I figure out how much yardage I have after I set the twist we'll see what this yarn becomes. I'm reading more about decisions you can make about your fiber and how you spin to get different results, but I don't know that I'm ready to do much of that yet or if I should just keep spinning as I am for more singles experience. For now I'm plying up the singles I have and I'll decide what/how to spin next in a few days when all this plying is done.

I do know that I need to be sure to divide my fiber next time before I spin. When I started spinning this fiber, I just pulled a chunk off and started spinning. When the spindle felt "full enough" I wound the single onto something else and started spinning with more fiber. I realized about half way through that I had no idea how much was going into any of those cops because I didn't plan ahead.

Next time = planning ahead a little better.

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