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Pat's Knitting and Quilting

November 28, 2009
TTL Mystery Socks and Delightful New Sock Yarn

TTL Mystery Socks

TTL Mystery Socks

Pattern: TTL Mystery sock '09 beautifully designed by Kirsten Kapur
Size : Medium - 64 stitches
Yarn: 73 grams Araucania Ranco in color 125
Needles: 2 socks on one 40" 2.25 mm circular needle.
Modifications: None - I followed the pattern exactly as written for a perfect pair of socks!

First of all, I promise I won't do this every time I spin yarn, I've gone a little overboard with pictures - I think I've taken more pictures of this yarn than I took of my children when they were born :-)

But before I show you the photos, I want to say a very heartfelt "thank you" to Laurie who gave up her Sunday afternoon to pass on some of her spinning knowledge to me. There is NOTHING like a real hand's on spinning lesson from a master - THANK YOU Laurie!!!!

When I got my wheel, my friend Aimee sent me an email that just said "go here" - so I went. I immediately joined the Fat Cat Mixed Blessings Fiber Club for 3 months. Each month has a different type of wool in 2 colors that compliment each other. Seemed like a great way to learn about spinning different fibers and play with color at the same time. Here is the roving for November...

Fat Cats roving

Would they really go together? I had no idea, so went on pure faith and spun a separate bobbin of each one with the plan to simply ply them together and hope for the best.

Fat Cat Singles
Fat Cat Plying
Fat Cat Skein

140 grams of merino = 550 yards of 2 ply fingering weight yarn 17-18 WPI

Fat Cat Closeup

Fat Cat Close Up

Fat Cat Yarn

Fat Cat Yarn

I'm in love and have started socks!

Fat Cat Cuff

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November 19, 2009
Coming Up for Air

In the moments I haven't been playing on my new spinning wheel, I finished these beautiful lace edged fingerless gloves. My 2nd attempt at spinning on a spindle created the yarn for these.

reading mitts reading mitts

Pattern: Susie's Reading Mitts
Size: Women's small (with adjustments noted below )
Yarn: 56 grams (133 yards) spindle spun Ashland Bay Merino 12 WPI - approx. DK wt.
Needles: 2 mitts together on 1 40" US5 (3.75mm) circular needle
Modifications: Knit size small, but increased the thumb gusset to 13 stitches and picked up 3 stitches in gap when starting thumb - also had 36 stitches around instead of 35 so lace pattern would work evenly.
reading mitts

Carol (Mad For Knit) ran the Boston half marathon in October, supporting Dana Farber Institute - she raised $1600.00 !! I won this beautiful Stitchy Mushroom project bag in her prize drawing. A beautiful and very well made bag that is perfect for a small sock/mitten project. Thank you Carol and Stitchy Mushroom :-)

stitchy mushroom bag

I've been completely absorbed in my new world of spinning - making yarn sure is fun! I think Gayle said it best in her last comment..." I like the same thing about fiber - the potential. Watching it become yarn is so fascinating. And then knitting with it. So much more entertainment for your fiber dollar!"

This is the very first yarn I've made with the new wheel. Sara said, in a recent blog post, that this pin drafted fiber is VERY easy to draft - seemed like a good pick for my first try at the wheel. I didn't love the colors, so decided to use it, figuring if it was awful, I could just dump it.

Well I didn't dump it, BUT I did dunk it in the dye pot and now it is this skein of beautiful red yarn that I'll use for a hat or mittens.

dye handspun

I have learned so much in the past week - It is exciting and scary to be such a beginner in this new adventure. Half the time, I have absolutely no idea what I'm doing and then every once in awhile it all seems to click and go smoothly.

spinning

fat cat merino

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November 13, 2009
Snowy Woods

Still waiting for my wheel - it was in MA and "out for delivery" this morning, so should be here soon. In the meantime, I'm finishing projects....

I love these beautiful wintry socks - perfect in blues/white!

Snowy Woods

Pattern: Snowy Woods by Robyn Gallimore of Red Bird Knits
Yarn: Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock 35 gms Natural and 62 grams Tahoe
Needles: 2 socks on 1 circular 40" 2.25mm
Size: 72 stitches - size 7
Modifications: I added an extra stitch on each side before starting the heel flap -(total of 27 stitches on the flap) so I would have a stitch outside the colorwork to pick up for the gusset (the pattern has you pick up directly from the colorwork pattern on the flap which is a little messy). The only other change I made was to make little diamonds instead of partial trees just before the toes.

Love Them!

Snowy Woods Snowy Woods

I have been spinning on my spindle all week - just getting more familiar with fiber. All of a sudden I am studying the yarn I have taken for granted and knit with all these years - how many plies? How tightly twisted? Worsted or woolen spun? and so on - I have SO much to learn! And this new world of fiber buying has opened up, which is even more fun than yarn buying - fiber is full of so much potential!

ashlandbaymerino
136 yards dk handspun
handspun mitt cuff

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November 6, 2009
Oooops - Changed my Mind

Please disregard the final sentence on my previous post - it said something like....
I don't see spinning becoming a new obsession anytime soon, but it sure was fun to give it a try.

Ashland Bay Merino

I have fallen, head first, down the slippery slope of the spinning world and there are many people I should thank for enabling me, but most of all..Thank you Kathy!

My new spinning wheel is on it's way - I'm following the tracking number everyday and watching it cross the country (estimated delivery 11/13). In the meantime I'm busy spindling so I can get a little more familiar with fiber - this is going to be fun :-)

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November 3, 2009
Roving to Mittens

While at Rhinebeck, I just had to buy this tiny 2 oz. braid of Hand Painted Roving - knowing full well that I had no idea how to spin. It is 80% Leicester Long Wool Lamb and 20% Kidd Mohair from Lakeview Farm where they raise endangered English Leicester Long Wool Sheep.

Roving

Without having a clue about what I was doing, the very next day I started trying to spin it with a spindle I had bought several years ago - I used this book and just dove in. Here is what I ended up with after 2 days of spinning - lace wt. to bulky wt. and everything in between - you can laugh :-)

1st handspun

I knew 2 oz wouldn't be enough for anything, but was driven to make something with my new yarn, so I decided to pair it up with some stash yarn and make some mittens.

salt and pepper mittens

Pattern: Salt and Pepper Mittens by Robin Hansen from Favorite Mittens.
Yarn: 2 oz. Handspun Leicester Long Wool/ Mohair and 50 grams Elann Highland Chunky color 201. I used every little bit of the handspun to make these - I've never come so close to running out of yarn - actually had to cut off a cast on tail to finish the last thumb round!
Needles: 2 at a time on 1 40" US 8 circular needle
Size: Adapted for my bigger yarn by using the directions for child size 2-3, but knitting the length of women's medium making a perfect WM mittens. Cast on 39 stitches.
Modifications: Adjusted thumb so it was symmetrical - mittens are interchangeable.

This is the absolute simplest form of colorwork - just a one/one alteration of color that never stops. Because of the uneven number of stitches, the pattern wraps perfectly around the hand with no visible join.. Robin's special way of increasing for the thumb gore keeps the pattern smooth there too.

salt and pepper mittens

I am so glad I decided to knit with my funny little skein of yarn - I LOVE these beautiful and thick warm mittens with their soft airy mohair halo and lovely muted colors -My hands will NOT be cold this winter!

I don't see spinning becoming a new obsession anytime soon, but it sure was fun to give it a try.

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