More handspun socks, yarn, and an almost FO :)

posted Tuesday, March 10th, 2009 by Sarah

From last week, I never quite got around to blogging them, but they came out super cute.. knit from the Fern Gully yarn I made last fall, which was shaded from Blue to brown, and then to green:

Two of a kind :)

I have a little bit leftover that is the rest of the brown to blue transition.

I also finished some more yarn last week… this is sort of sport-ish weight, and I’m not sure what I’ll do with it quite yet since it’s too heavy to go through the sock machine.

Morph
I Navajo-plied some scraps I had hanging out on bobbins
Morph
Swirl
Then I Navajo-plied an entire bobbin I had spun some time back… it’s hand combed marsh romney and I’m rather happy with this batch compared to the rest of this wool I had carded and spun into a 2-ply yarn.  No idea what I’m doing with this yet, but it will likely become part of a weaving project in the not too distant future 🙂
Shy

And I’m nearly done with my  Kelso Cardigan!  All I really have left to do is graft the unerarms and weave in all the ends.

Kelso

Handspun Socks!

posted Monday, March 2nd, 2009 by Sarah

Just a quick update, I finally made the yarn I spun in December while I was tweaking my Hitchhiker into a pair of socks 🙂

Handspun Socks

Handspun Socks

Time just gets away from me…

posted Wednesday, February 25th, 2009 by Sarah

I can hardly believe it’s almost MARCH! I was supposed to celebrate my blogaversary in January, but it seems I’ve completely missed it! Oh well.. I had all these plans in my head for something cool to do, but then just got too busy to do much about it. Oops.. maybe I’ll make up for it next year 🙂

However, in the past week, I managed to go from this

Secret Garden

to this!
FLS KAL Finished

Angelina of Zen String suggested in her group on Ravelry that we should all do a KAL with her yarn in February.. and chose the very popular February Lady Sweater (if anyone recalls, I’ve knit a couple of the baby versions, including one from handspun yarn for my daughter, and another for my neice that I don’t seem to have blogged about) and since she offered a generous 20% off on yarn for the KAL, how could anyone resist?  I chose to make mine from Verde Worsted (and OMG do I *love* this yarn!!) in Secret Garden, which quickly became a favorite colorway of mine when I made a pair of socks from it during the Ravelympics last year. I got a very late start on my sweater, not even winding my yarn until the 19th, but just 5 days later I had my new super cute sweater finished.  It’s surprisingly warm despite being rather short.   I had hoped it would block out a little longer, but it didn’t really seem to… it’s okay though, because I’m still totally thrilled with it!

A bit behind on the updates again…

posted Wednesday, December 31st, 2008 by Sarah

But I’ve at least been busy!

In the past month I knit myself a sweater (Rogue from The Girl from Auntie)

Rogue Finished

I was a bit overwhelmed looking at the pattern, since it is 19 pages, but it’s all very clearly written out and detailed – which is wonderful when you’re knitting complex cables (especially for the first time – I’ve done cables before but nothing like these).  The charts look confusing at first, but if you follow along it all just makes sense when it needs to.  I thoroughly enjoyed knitting every bit of the sweater (well, except for maybe the last half of the second sleeve – I was ready to be finished by then!) and I can’t wait to get started on Eris, another pattern she has written.  I actually bought the Eris pattern back in June, and was promptly discouraged as I flipped through all 40 pages of the pattern… but now I realize that it’s not really that the pattern is that difficult, it’s just that Jenna is so great at making each step exceptionally clear.

I finished what may be the last pair of longies I ever knit for my kids.. since we’re not cloth diapering anymore and they’re pretty much only for the “cute” factor, I think I will be saving the rest of my “longies” stash for sweaters, hats, and other cool weather woolens.  The yarn is my own, dyed in the Red Mountain colorway – I absolutely love how they colorway knit up, and I have more than enough yarn left for a hat to match… or maybe just for a hat for me 🙂

Red Mountain Longies

I made my daughter a simple dress to wear on Christmas (and have plans to make many more with my fabric stash), it’s really simple, sort of an adaptation of my twirly skirt with a pheasant top bodice (similar to this tutorial but I cut my peices only about 7″ long to match the 6″ teirs of the skirt)

20081225-SEP_6170

I’ve been working a lot on my sock machine too, I made about a dozen pairs of socks in December alone for gifts and as some custom orders, which for the most part went fairly well.  I didn’t photograph all of them since I was usually in a rush to get them sent off.  I have even set up the 1923 Gearhart I added to my collection in August up and have it knitting finally (I needed needles for it), and I even tracked down a 50 slot dial to match my 100 slot cylinder (which is not shown, that’s the 40 slot in the image with the 100 slot cylinder in the machine).  It’s in remarkable condition considering it was an ebay bargain, and while it has a few quirks, mechanically it’s in very good shape as well.  It makes the weirest sound while knitting though – a solid clicking due to the way the uplift cams are spring loaded, which is mildly amusing.

1923 Gearhart

So far I’m still working out some kinks with the ribber timing and I’d like to find a solution to keeping count of my rows more easily, but I hope to soon be able to make some really fine gauge socks on it.

My two year blogaversary is coming up soon – I might just give away a pair of custom socks and possibly some yarn, so watch for that in the next week or two 🙂

A quiet success

posted Monday, November 24th, 2008 by Sarah

Well, eventually oiling the plastic bearings on my Hitchhiker and spinning caused enough fiber/gunk to build up in the top/noisier bearing to cause it to stop turning entirely.  Not quite what I intended, but ultimately it did stop the noise over the weekend.. the shaft would just rotate inside the plastic bearing without the bearing moving, and was for the most part, quiet.  HOWEVER, my new sealed bearings arrived today (yay!), and initial testing shows they will work quite well, but they are a little bit thicker than the old plastic ones, so I’m either going to have to try to drill out my mother of all a little bit, or just build a new one to accommodate the new bearings so I can get the clips back on the shaft to hold it in place (spinning with just the top clip in place seems to be working “okay” for now though.. but I wouldn’t trust it long-term and it means the entire shaft can just be pulled off the wheel with very little effort).  I’m leaning towards just making a new one to avoid destroying the old one… as that seems like a safer plan.

Here are the old bearings next to the new ones… the new ones are so pretty 🙂

Old/New Bearings

I’m quite happy at the moment…. with my now quiet Hitchhiker.  I was able to track down a replacement spring hinge and get that installed Friday, which did solve the whorl against the wheel issue, but at a cost – the wheel now has a bit more resistance while treadling the smaller whorl (and I imagine that would only increase with the smallest whorl, which I don’t have), but it’s really not too bad.  I’m willing to live with that bit of extra resistance, if it means a quieter wheel.

My little renovation project will still continue with repainting some parts of my wheel that have withstood some wear over the past 2 1/2 years, but it’s spinning better now than it ever has.