Saturday, February 23, 2008

more knitting, and licenced to spin

so ... licensed to spin, or at least a fresh newbie graduate of a learn to spin and ply class, but this post it is back to the knitting. Poppys modified GFS grows, and I've got a tour of my class work. First up the shrug

.. what can I say, there has been frogging. Mostly because I didn't quite think thru the shaping as clearly as I should have. The size I am making requires 78 stitchs around the upper arm, and usually the shrug continues across the shoulder section with those 78 stitches worked flat. Because I am trying to conserve yarn, I decided to knit the shoulder section narrower and use raglan shaping to increase to get the 78 stitches. Some where in the muddle, I only increased to 60 stitches, not 78, then I used the length of that increase to work the length of 'straight' required for the shoulder. So a false start, and a bit of frogging and back on track. I'm knitting both sleeves at the same time, so I can see if the yarn will stretch far enough.

This is the full lazy kate I trotted off to class with yesterday, 3 bobbins full of sinlges spun from the raw fleece we had, and in my bag two more spun with corridale top, and a part bobbin of white. In class we worked on plying and then advanced to Navaho plying, which I failed at. Oh I can do it, but the yarn I made is not pretty, its over-twisted and no you can't see it. Once i am more co-ordinated I suspect my yarn will be nicer, but when I get flustered I 'peddle faster' not slower, and then its all down hill from there.

And Yarn, new yarn, home spun yarn, on the far left is 2 ply corridale combed top, spun for home work and plied in class, this puffed up nicely, and I've got just on 90 meters and I think this will become a baby hat. I work with a design lecturer who is most firmly in the post modern camp, and I am in the arts and crafts camp. We laugh at the differences in design works made with the two philosophies, during the first years lectures. She is about to have baby number 3, I'm wondering if a beginners hand spun and knit baby hat would be an appropriate tongue in cheek gift, given arts and crafts is all about mastery of craft and design but is more often interpreted by those ill-informed as 'home made'. A point I'm careful to make clear in my lectures. This was the first spun totally on the 1970's Wing spinning wheel, and it was very nice to work on. On there left is two skeins of 2 ply wool, spun from the raw fleece. I'm not so proud of those skeins, but I have much much more fleece to spin, and I don't want the fiber to go all dry and stiff, besides my hands have never been softer after working with the lanolin fleece. While harder to spin, I have a new appreciated for those who can spin fine even yarn from raw fleece, and realise that learning to do so will improve my technique with other fibers.

And this is a little prezzie from KathyR, who passed by delivering family members and on her way to and from the Milton Mill. I told her about the secret stash of combed Perridale top they store 'out the back', and on the return trip Kathy had some very nice lambs-wool-hemp in her possession that is prompting me to visit the mill yet again, and I want to check out if they have more red merino possum silk. Thanks Kathy, new exotic fiber to try, I took it to class on Saturday to ask advice, seems because I am a beginner and the llama is shorter than what I am used to I should blend it with 75% merino and 25% llama, and that means getting my drum carder back together and dressed in its carding cloth. I spent some time today giving it a coat of linseed oil, and after a quick trip thru Dunedins mega hardware store I now have the nails and washers need to complete the assembly. fyi - drum carder washers can be found in packets of 2 in the garden hose section of the store.

2nd week of teaching this week, so things should be settling, back to the regular time table,

1 comment:

Knitting Linguist said...

The shrug is looking good -- I really do love that bright color of blue; it's so cheerful! Congratulations on your spinning licensure -- I'll be behind you just as soon as I can. Meanwhile, I love seeing how professional your yarn looks.

I love your comments on Arts and Crafts. Rick and I are both huge Arts and Crafts fans (in fact, recently, we went to visit the Gamble House in Pasadena, and spent the whole visit in awe of the thought that goes into the handcrafting in a place like that). And when one of the girls recently told me that my alpaca sweater looked handmade, I told them that was fine as as long as it didn't look homemade, and then explained to them the difference. Stick with handmade my friend -- it is the ultimate craft! :)