Tuesday, December 11, 2007

FO alert, and spinning ....

Today: a FO, yes the Ccatta Andean colour work hat is finished, so photos, I've been spinning, so an update of what worked and what didn't (mostly what didn't), and not much else. I'm still plodding and knitting along on the garter ribbed cardigan for Bear, and trying to decide what socks to knit next.

So the hat - here it is, finished last night, ear flap boarders all sewn on and then the hat gently steamed. First the outside. Please ignore the little one stitch out alignment issue in this ear flap - I did spot it, much to late, and no I'm not going back to reknit the flap. I might work a little duplicate stitch miracle on it some time before I put all the left over yarn away.

... and the inside, with all the stranding on show. I was planning to mattress stitch the ear flap boarder, but .... those little teeny tiny stitches, together with the tight bind off. The pattern instructed that a tight bind off be used - to shorten the edging and help it fit the curve better. That made it difficult to sew the bind off loops neatly. I ended up whip stitching the boarder on from the right side. Stitching one ear flap loop to 2 bind of stitches seemed to be the right ratio to ease it all together.

Now here is the embarrassing part, spinning, you all know how last week I was so confident about the spinning, the green and brown fiber? How I went googling and reading about plying fine yarns on the internet, then decided to add more twist to the singles? What was I thinking? That was a very bad idea. I ruined the yarn, well the result is more string than yarn, so I either ruined the yarn or I made string. Hard, over-twisted, and kinky merino string. Here is a little sample or two, some of many. Oh I tried to save it, I discovered it is impossible to un-ply, that setting is not a panacea, and over-twisted singles are not pleasant.
The good news is that the fiber was free so I haven't lost any thing, my spinning lesson didn't cost anything other than time or pride. The other good news is that I rang Ashfords to seek more, and found out it was called green-bean and was in fact not merino, but a 50/50 merino alpaca blend. Assuming we were both talking about the same fiber (they said they only had one olive and brown mix so we probably are) it appears I really have been spinning luxury fiber. The really disappointing thing is that I had some lovely working softly twisted testing samples done before I over worked it and added more twist to the singles. I now know to sample or do the spinning equivalent of a swatch just to make sure I know what I'm doing. And to trust the swatch (or what ever spinners call small sections of test yarns).

To cheer myself up I've got more of the same, perhaps a little more than the last time, 300g of merino alpaca green-bean ordered, which should be here soon.

So after that - I needed a re-affirming spinning moment. I dithered over what to do, return to the grey corridale roving or try some merino? Working on the premise that the first trials of the green and chocolate did actually look promising and work, and that the merino felt so good compared to the corridale I went with the Merino. The last two nights I spun a little merino, and then plied it. And it worked, see? It is soft, and fine, and bouncy. This is about sock weight. Confidence is restored.

Socks - I want to cast on some socks tomorrow night, and I need easy socks, to knit at knit night. We chatter, we talk, we show and tell, and I get easily distracted so need simple stuff to knit there. I'm toying with either Chalet socks from Nancy Bush's Folk Socks, or
Undulating Rib Socks by Anne Budd, Embossed Leaves Socks by Mona Schmidt, or Merino Lace Socks by Anne Woodbury the last three all from Interweave Favorite socks. Any suggestions? I'm just not ready to take on a new sock architecture - I'm saving those for my holiday in 10 days - then 5 weeks off work.

Take care


Desiknitter said...

The hat is absolutely gorgeous! Both on the outside and the inside. I couldn't spot the off-stitch.

As for the spinning, somehow I always imagine that it will be a breeze, the wheel turning merrily while yarn issues from my fingers. Are you saying it's not that simple, then? :-)
The white sock yarn is very pretty.

KathyR said...

The hat is definitely gorgeous! Well worth the effort. I guess you now know firsthand that a bad experience is a fine teacher. Sorry about how the spinning turned out but I'm sure that your next skein will be much more pleasing.

Sarah said...

The hat is fabulous. I knew it would be:) As for socks, how about Scroll Lace Socks by Rebekkah Kerner? They're so frilly but elegant...plus then I can live vicariously through you!

KathyR said...

If you are interested, there are two spinning books by Anne Field listed on Trade Me at the moment - http://www.trademe.co.nz/Crafts/Spinning/auction-131586698.htm
and http://www.trademe.co.nz/Crafts/Spinning/auction-131143785.htm
I would probably recommend the Beyond the Basics one for you above the older Book of Spinning. BTW, I am not the seller! (but I do own both books).

kasiaiscarly said...

Love the hat! And thanks for liking my socks :)

Nikki (Mother of the Devil Child) said...

Woweeee at the hat. Super cool and colourful.

And sad about the spinning... but string is way useful!! Luxury string at that... one should only be so lucky to be able to use luxury string ;)

And good work on the new spinning... it looks good enough to rub on my face!


Knitting Linguist said...

Wow, that hat is just gorgeous. I can't tell whether I'd wear it inside-out or rightside-out, they're both so pretty.

I'm sorry about the spinning. It's so frustrating to know that something was good, and then to take it just that one step too far. But now you know where to stop! And the sock yarn is absolutely yummy-looking. I'd vote for the Embossed Leaves socks, but only because I had so much fun knitting them (I'm wearing them right now!); I'm leaning towards the waves ones for my next pair for me. But first, I must get through the size-13s I'm knitting for Rick for Christmas!!

Diantee said...

I think you hat looks really great. I'm tempted to get my Andean Knits out and have a try myself. Lots of help on your blog. Thanks