Saturday, November 03, 2007

a little bit of a ta da!

just quietly, the beginings of a ta da, because (drum roll please?), I'm in the process of casting off on Fannigan! Yes, I'm this close (holds hands about 1.2 m apart (not that I have gorilla length arms - but thats because thats how long the cast of edge is) to finishing. So today is a lot of detail about that, and a spinning update. Andean Knitting is on hold, thanks for so many nice comments! I'm doubly flattered, I didn't design it, but I did dye the colours and put them together. I needed Andean's needles to finish Fannigan.

See? That little 1 cm section that is not attached to the needles because it has been cast off?
The beginings of the end! The longer 2mm needles I ordered have arrived, all 1m each of them, meaning I was able to continue with picking up stitches for the facings to cover the steeks. I still needed all the 2mm circs I had in house, all 4 to complete the double side facings. Fannigans facing measure 134 cm or 52.5". Double sided facings mean a whole-lot-a 2mm circular needle is required.

So the Andean knitting (also on 2mm circs) was temporarily housed on some soare dpns and put aside. I did make use of the little hooked needles from Lacis, and they were effective, very effective. I'm using exactly the same edging as I used to finish the baby blanket.

Here is the facing side, it all worked out pretty neatly, and isn't to bulky. I picked up on 2mm needles, Fannigan was knit on 2.5mm. After I knit the two sides together to sandwich the cut steek edge, I decreased 10%, just to make sure the edge didn't flare. I'm not exactly sure where the 10% came from, a little bit Zimmernesque, although she suggested that for hem facings not cardigan edges.

I just need to cast of, oh, several hundred stitches, using an i-cord bind off, block, and sew on the fastenings, I ordered two, smallish clasps, both pewter, and am thinking the smaller yet heavier of the two - what do you think?

So here is the big picture, almost ready to wear.

Spinning, a few days ago, I took some time out and stopped spinning the singles, and decided to test my theory that I'd get a more even yarn if I made it 3 ply. The lower 4 yarns are 2 ply tester, and the top 3 are 3 ply. Unfortunately I used totally different levels of twist in each one so its not really a fair comparison. The three ply is much more even, but I put far to much twist in the 3ply tester, way to much twist. This week I've been posting a few 'how to' questions on KR, first about how to best use the bobin and flyer whorls on the Ashford traveler as a double drive, and 2nd about using different ratios to introduce lower twist when plying. As you can see, some lovely spinners took time out to answer my beginner questions in a fair amount of detail, and KathyR also left a nice comment about how even my yarn looks. I've printed out the KR answers and added them to the back of the Ashford book, and Noramcd left me this link. And from that I found this, I love the yarns she spins, so aim to follow in Abby's footsteps, one day, not today.

So encouraged by the feedback, and advice, I spun on, and produced this more thought through tester, 10m of 3 ply, same feeding rate, same treading rate (as much as you can remember those things), and the larger bobbin/smaller flyer whorl. When I released the skein, at first it twisted and I was sure I had got something wrong, but as soon as it hit the warm water, it relaxed (don't we all?) and went all smooth and limp - just like a good yarn should. I am to ply the 3 bobbins of singles this coming week. btw - this tester came in at 14wpi - a little bulky for sock yarn, but pretty good for a newbie!

And next weekend, I'm off to a knitting weekend, so hope to post mid week, but will miss next weekends. I'll tell you more about that next post.


Sarah said...

One of these days I have to try spinning! Do you use a wheel or a spindle? Is it difficult to find wool to spin? I've never seen it for sale at my yarn shops...

Knitting Linguist said...

Fannigan looks amazing! I can't wait to see it completed. I think I'd vote for the smaller of the two clasps (the one on the bottom in the photo), but they're both lovely. Did you really just start spinning? Your yarn is looking so even! Can't wait to hear about your knitting weekend :)

Desiknitter said...

Fannigan looks lovely, and the clasps will really add beautiful detail. I like the larger, flowery one, but you're right to go with the smaller, heavier one - it will not obscure the pattern.

Good luck finishing, I cannot wait to see it fully done.

KathyR said...

Fannigan certainly is looking good! I, too, prefer the heavier looking clasp for it, though. And your spinning is excellent! A skein to be proud of - well done!