Tag Archives: BFL

Something Finished, Something New

As promised, I’ve finished some things. First, there are things I finished for my shop:

This is the last 3 ounces of my first Happy Hooves shipment, and I couldn’t be happier with how it turned out. I was still feeling pretty impressed with myself a week  after I finished it.

I split the batt in half and spun those halves end-to-end on one bobbin, then strung one half with beads, and plied from two ends of a center-pull ball. The colors wound up aligned almost perfectly with very little assistance on my part, and the result is soft, squishy, and bouncy with just the right amount of sparkle. 218 yards, worsted to aran weight.

Next up in shop stock is the October Happy Hooves batt, “Leaf Peeps,” on polwarth.

It showed up looking roughly like this:

And it went on doing so for a few days.

Just look at those sparkly bits. So sparkly!

But then I suddenly found that I’d finished that first bobbin of Qarth, and in the span of just over 24 hours it stopped looking like that, and suddenly looked like this instead:

I was consciously working on treadling more slowly and drafting more quickly so I didn’t accidentally let them get too thin or overspun.

For the most part, it worked pretty well, and after a soak and some violence against the side of the bathtub, these are some pretty well-behaved fingering weight singles.

538 yards here, soft and sparkly as can be…

…and looking pretty adorable snuggled up with our tiny pumpkin.

I also finally finished plying my ITW “Tuscadero” and baby camel spin, and after lots of time spent skeining and reskeining and counting, there are pictures to prove it!

It’s very feminine, but also nicely subdued.

I love it, but I’m also unbelievably happy to be done with it.

1,480 yards of fingering weight 3-ply can really cramp a person’s hand. I had some awful Plying Claw by the time I got through it all.

Seems Trillian likes this yarn too; she nuzzled at one skein several times, then curled up and used it as a pillow for a while.

On the 6th, I got to go to Lambtown, the lamb festival in Dixon. I got to fuss on 3 different bunnies (they were all wonderful soft adorable sweeties), saw some of the sheepdog competition, and bought a little bit of yarn, for a future brand-new person in my extended family, and a little bit of fiber for an instant gratification spin.

The little bit of fiber was 2 ounces of mixed BFL in “Aegean” from Sincere Sheep, and so instant was the gratification that I did not manage to get pictures of the fiber before it was yarn.

206 yards of thick and thin singles, all spun up in one day.

I had originally intended to list this one in my shop too, but it ended up a little fuzzier than I’d have liked after its bath, so I’ve changed my plans somewhat. I’ll hold onto it for a while, and then when my big new purchase and I have gotten to know each other a little, it’ll be paired with some graphite Border Leicester and find its way into the shop in a new form.

So, what’s the big new purchase, then? A 32″ Kromski Harp rigid heddle loom. It’s supposed to arrive on Thursday, and I’m so excited I can barely sleep for thinking about weaving. Once I’ve figured out what I’m supposed to do, I’ll start spinning the aforementioned Border Leicester for a 2-ply warp yarn, and use those thick and thin singles as weft. I’ve also got some 8/2 tencel on the way, which I may play with on the loom a little bit, but my primary intent is to use it as plying thread for another try at spinning coils. Perhaps I’ll find myself with a couple of bobbins ready for some melodrama by the time the loom arrives.

Catching Up

I’ve been sitting on a few finished things. You know, that pile of yarn from my very first post? I was going to give each yarn a separate entry, which is why I’ve been putting it off–because that sounds more and more tedious every time I think about it.

So here’s what I’m going to do instead: All the yarns that will be staying here until I’ve transformed them from Finished Yarn Objects to Finished Wearable Objects, in chronological order, in one big mess of a post. This is going to be photo-heavy, so strap in your internets. When I finish what’s currently on my wheel and take some glamor shots, sometime next week, there will be a post for the things that won’t be staying with me.

First up is the February 2013 ITW Classic Club offering “Take it to the Bridge” on superwash merino. I started spinning it just before April began (I remember the time frame because my mom, aunt, cousin, and grandma were visiting San Francisco and the wheel, the husband person, and I all went down to see them), and I was dreading it. The last time I’d spun merino was a nightmare, and superwash is even slipperier. Worse, I am fairly certain that the fiber that came with my Stella was superwash merino, and that was a terrible thing to try in my first 6 ounces of spinning ever.

Imagine my shock when it was an absolute delight to spin every last bit of it. Just a few breaks in the singles when the wheel needed oil. Not too bad at all.

I started with 8 ounces, or two braids. I stripped each braid vertically in thirds, then spun each ply with a third from each braid, trying to make the joins between them blend together.

I found the contrast in the light and dark sections of the fiber a little too jarring for my tastes, so I wanted a lot of marling in the finished yarn.

I’m thrilled with the color play I got. I wound off two skeins of 510 yards each with a pretty even color mix between them, and 49 yards left over.

Look at that cute little thing! All a pretty solid fingering weight, overplied (this took about five days and I don’t want to talk about how my knees and ankles felt afterward) for bouncy, hard-wearing socks. Eventually. More photos on the corresponding Spinning Project page (new Ravelry feature, GREAT Ravelry feature, and there’s a Fiber Stash now too, so I’ll even start taking pictures of fiber before I start spinning!) because I got a little carried away.

Next up, Wensleydale. I’ve been wanting to try it almost since I first started spinning. I’m just drawn to the intense luster of those long, long locks. Shortly after the Hitchhiker arrived, I spotted this Wensleydale in “Catskill Pines” in the ITW shop and then a couple of days later it was in my hands and a couple of days after that it was yarn.

I’m not sure what happened, it’s all sort of a blur.

It’s about as tricky as everyone says. Too much twist and you’ve got a cheese wire on your hands. Too little and it falls apart. Of course, you can keep running it back and forth through the wheel until it’s just right, but then you might gouge out your eyes from sheer boredom, incur repetitive stress injuries in your hands and ankles, or accidentally make it go all fuzzy.

I don’t know why the camera registered that as blue, it’s more of a dark sprucey green. Anyway, it’s a lot finer than I intended, and a bit fuzzier, and it broke more than once, but I have 602 yards of laceweight…

…which I’m fairly sure will disintegrate if I try to knit with it. Not to worry, I have other plans for this. Secret plans. Manly plans.

Best not to dwell on half-failures, even kind of pretty and totally salvageable half-failures. Especially not when there are successes to discuss!

Take, for example, the January 2013 ITW Luxe Club “Sterrennacht.” First off, I’m not in the Luxe club because if I think too hard about how silk is produced I get really creeped out and have insect nightmares. So although it is very beautiful, and although I find it gives me an absurd yardage boost, I tend to avoid it. But it seems somehow right for a colorway based on Van Gogh’s The Starry Night to be silky and radiant, like, say, 50/30/20 alpaca/merino/silk.

I picked up the Luxe coordinate “Godric” in the February shop update (I got a classic coordinate too, “Call Box,” and if you aren’t detecting a reference you need to sit down and think about your life choices, especially the one where you’re living under a rock for some inexplicable reason), and then I sat around mooning over the club colorway on the same base until someone put it up for destash a couple months later and my dear friend Cory scooped it up for me while I gibbered about not really being able to justify the purchase. We have a system in which we casually enable each other interspersed with occasional active contributions to a beautiful wooly downfall.

I spun “Godric” onto one bobbin (less the little tuft that Trillian tried to eat, Trillian who is not the resident wool-eater), “Sterrennacht” onto another, and plied them together for 1,172 yards of heavy lace to light fingering weight yarn.

I’m going to turn it into a Celestarium, a beaded chart of the constellations visible in the Northern Hemisphere. Seems fitting. There’s a sister pattern for the Southern Hemisphere, but schemes for that are still nebulous at this time.

Last in today’s finished yarn parade is the April 2013 installment of the ITW Classic Club, “Sansa” on BFL. I love the choice of fiber on a literary level–BFL is soft and lustrous, with a very manageable staple length and strong enough to be hard-wearing, characteristics I also associate with Sansa Stark, who is beautiful, graceful, and courteous to a fault–and every bit a tough ol’ Stark for all of that.

Again, I’ve got 8 ounces. I was aiming for worsted weight, but it came out closer to DK. I have a chronic spinning-too-fine condition.

No preparation on this, I just spun each braid as it was and plied (and plied and plied and plied, it took a while), letting the colors fall where they would.

678 yards here, destined for a Herringbone Cowl.