Tag Archives: finished object

Operation Buttcover 2k14: Part 1

I know, I know. I’ve got a million finished things I should definitely show off, like all of my Tour de Fleece spins and the shawl I just blocked a couple of days ago, not to mention some months-old sewing projects…

but…

BUTTTTTTTTT

I’m way more excited about these Real Pants Shorts I made with the fabric left over from Vogue 1172. This is going to be an unflattering butt-and-tum-heavy post.

I’ll begin Operation Buttcover 2k14 with some essentail details. Item the first: most of my wardrobe is about the same age, which is to say, falling apart. Item the second: there is very little I won’t do to avoid shopping for jeans. Thus, item the third: McCall’s 6610.

I selected my size based on finished garment measurements, not McCall’s chart of body measurements, on account of The Big 4 and the Case of Excessive Design and Wearing Ease, and ended up tracing a 6. Then I folded an entire two inches out of the rise so it didn’t sit at my ribs and retraced, cropping the pattern at mid-thigh and redrawing the legs for a bit of a flare to get away from my ill-fitting cut-off jeans roots–the point of the exercise was a wearable muslin–emphasis on wearable. Then I cut the main pattern pieces and basted everything together with standard 5/8″ seam allowances. It was a tiny bit too tight, so I disassembled and basted again with 3/8″ allowances at all vertical seams. That was just about right, with a little excess ease at the back yoke, which I took in during final assembly.

At this point I basted in the pattern waistband–a long, folded rectangle. It’s meant to be slightly shorter than the top of the pants, using the cross-grain stretch to prevent gaping at the lower back. Without buttons, it looks like this:

Waistband Fitting: Before

Waistband Fitting: Before

Waistband Fitting: Before

For comparison, two pairs of RTW jeans–one with a straight waistband as in M6610, and one with a curved waistband:

Waistband Fitting Comparison: Straight

Waistband Fitting Comparison: Straight

These jeans, with their straight waistband, are the most comfortable I own–for about 30 minutes. Then the stretch denim relaxes and they start to slouch. If you look closely, you can see that the top of the waistband doesn’t quite touch my hips all the way around. With wear, that gets worse, and I’m constantly pulling them up.

Waistband Fitting Comparison: Curved

Waistband Fitting Comparison: Curved

These ones have a curved waistband, and while they’re a little tight fresh out of the wash, they’re very comfortable after an hour or so of wear–and stay that way! I don’t have to pull them up every time I stand up, and they don’t gape at the back.

So! I pinned out the ease in the waistband of my shorts.

Waistband Fitting: Pinning Out Ease

Waistband Fitting: Pinning Out Ease

Waistband Fitting: Pinning Out Ease

Whoops. Maybe I should have basted more carefully, but check out that totally adequate fly front! My first ever! My presser foot doesn’t actually go up high enough to really deal with all those layers of fabric though, and denim will be worse.

Plan A was to use this to trace new waistband pieces, but when I did that the curve was insane and messed up the fit all over. Plan B involved tracing pieces from a skirt pattern and extending the lines so it would fit at my hips instead of my waist. Plan B was successful, but could still use some tweaking.

Operation Buttcover Part 1 SUCCESS

Operation Buttcover Part 1 SUCCESS

Operation Buttcover Part 1 SUCCESS

Operation Buttcover Part 1 SUCCESS

The result is a surprisingly successful (and comfortable) wearable muslin. The yoke, crotch, and inseam are all flat-felled–no mock-flat-fell here–complicated by minimizing the seam allowances, the outseams are serged and edgestitched to the bottom of the back pockets (those need to sit a little higher, don’t they? also, next time, more prominent topstitching), and each leg has a 1.5″ handstitched hem.

Topstitching, Rivets, Bar Tacks

Still a little questionable at the front, things were slipping around all over as the presser foot and feed dogs tried to manage all those layers.

Oh, and that feathery tee? I made that too–Skinny Bitch*Curvy Chick’s Tonic Tee, in a cotton/poly print jersey from Girl Charlee and neck binding from some unknown purple knit I got at Fabric Outlet in San Francisco.

Operation Buttcover Part 1 SUCCESS

Operation Buttcover Part 1 SUCCESS

Operation Buttcover Part 1 SUCCESS

I have to say, I am pretty pleased with myself. I hardly swore at my sewing machine at all! But if anyone has a machine with a little more power than my poor Singer Tradition, or a lead on the type of needles a vintage Mammylock 623A serger takes or what size needles are 1 and 5/16″ in length (hint: it is not BLx1 but if you need BLx1 needles please let me know because I have 10 each sharp and ballpoint, size 80, I think?), well, I would not say no to that!

I Don’t Have the Skills to do THAT

Friends, I am so so tired of hearing this. I am so tired of hearing “oh, that’s so nice, I wish I were that talented.” Didn’t your Bob Ross lessons sink in? You know, the one about how “Talent is pursued interest” and if you’re willing to practice, you’ll get all awesome at it because you develop the skills you need? That one?

As Oona’s just pointed out, we don’t need to put ourselves down to lift other people up. The amount of skill and talent and beauty and general awesomeness in the world is not finite.

Oh, wow, I could’ve done a better job of pressing the back there, huh?

So I get a little frustrated when people claim that the thing they want to do, they just aren’t good enough for it.

If the worst that can happen from trying is having to rework a lot of times, and no one’s safety or security is threatened, then you should totally shoot for that ambitious goal.

So here is a thing I made that I really do not have the skills to make. (And some really strange, awkward selfies. For which I am not at all sorry.)

Vogue 1172. Out of the envelope, it is mid-calf length, with princess seams, extended shoulders,  wide v-neck, godets, side zip, lingerie straps, waist stay, and facings.

My version is knee-length, fully lined, with in-seam pockets, horsehair braid at the hem, and the (handpicked) zip moved to center back. Both skirts have a combination of French seams and bias binding. I drafted pockets myself, and added three seams to the skirt to make them work.

Until I made this dress, I had none of the experience needed to make this thing happen. I had 3 weeks to figure it out and make a ton of stupid mistakes, like assembling the bodice and lining completely, then stitching them together at the neckline and the armscyes, then clipping and grading seams AND ONLY THEN trying to turn the thing right-side out. After which I took a guess at which seam I’d have to unpick and then handsew to make it work. And guessed incorrectly. And ended up handstitching the lining and shell together at both armscyes and the neckline.

And when THAT was all done, I still had to catch stitch a full 10 yards of hem, insert the zipper (then grit my teeth because the zipper was so close to the right color that it looked like a mistake), wash it, press it, get on a plane and fly across the country with it (almost miss the plane), arrive on the other coast and rip out the zipper to replace it with a contrasting one that matched my belt, and insert the waist stay.

And let me tell you. I’m still not sure I have all those skills, not really. I’m not really good at modifying patterns yet, or sewing princess seams, and I don’t quite understand the trick to clean finishing a sleeveless bodice. But I did make the thing, so I know I can muddle through, and the next time I muddle through will be a little easier, a little less dramatic, a little tidier. And when I muck it up, it won’t be the end of the world.

This dress isn’t perfect, but it is nice (it makes me feel like a very ferocious sort of princess), and it taught me a lot of things.

Having done it once has made me braver, which means that once Tour de Fleece is over, I have something else to show off. In fanciness, it’s got nothing on this baby, but I’m still awfully pleased.

And if I can come out excited after a battle with my old nemesis “sewing,” well, friends, you can definitely do that thing you think you’re not good enough yet to try.

Wanna hear a secret?

I already know you can do the thing.

This Little Piggy Cried WHEEEEEEEEEE All the Way Home

I hate traveling.

Being away from home, visiting, exploring, seeing people I rarely see? I love all that. But traveling. I loathe it. I miss my cats, I miss my bed, I miss my food and my coffee, I miss my cats. I want to be out and about for the day and back home to fuss on my cats before bedtime.

My kingdom for a sophisticated and ubiquitous transporter system!

In spite of a good deal of stress and some very sore fingers, I made it over to the other coast to see my dad marry the lady he loves and to welcome her officially into the family. And so did my dress and its many handstitched finishing touches. Unfortunately the 75F temperatures I expected were a good 20 degrees on the optimistic side. There was much freezing all around.

Photos and details on the dress will have to wait until it’s clean and pressed; at present it smells of smoke and looks so rumpled it’s as if it had been worn and then stuffed into a suitcase. Can’t fathom why that might be.

In the meantime, how about some photos of the scarves from my last post (now both in their new homes) in their off-the-loom, fringe-twisted, wet-finished glory?

Whoops!

Where does the time go?

So, when last I posted, I alluded to a new member joining my fiber tools family. Meet Hulkling:

Hulkling is a 44″ 4-shaft/6-treadle jack loom with a weighted beater and welded steel frame.

I am a little bit in love. So you’ll forgive my lengthy silence, I hope.

So far, Hulkling and I have made: some waffle weave hot pads (no finished object photos: it’s winter, there’s no light, I’m lazy, pick your excuse) which have gone to live with my mom, a point twill scarf, and a rainbow crackle scarf–and I’ve just finished threading and sleying a warp for two snowflake twill scarves. After I weave that off, I’ve got plans for some curtains to let light into my weaving space and vague ideas about towels and an already-measured scarf warp.

Here’s the point twill scarf, using Berroco Ultra Alpaca Fine sett at 16 ends per inch for the warp and handspun Wensleydale singles for weft (that’s ITW “Catskill Pines” from my very first post).

Here you can see the detail of the point twill a bit better. I wish I’d taken some photos when the weft yarn was brown to really show the pattern in the cloth. Or finished object photos. This scarf came out to a bit over 6 feet, plus fringes. I gave it to my dad for Christmas.

The green stuff on the bottom of the reed is acrylic paint. This loom came to me needing a little work, mostly cleaning, but that reed was pretty badly rusted. Mom ordered me a lovely new stainless steel reed as a Christmas gift; the paint was a temporary solution so I could weave while I waited for the new equipment.

Next on the loom was this:

The draft reminds me of snowflakes, although it’s not actually snowflake twill.

I’m told this structure can probably be considered a crackle weave. I wouldn’t call it something I “designed” as it appeared while I was playing with the settings in Fiberworks. I liked what the program had drawn in and just tweaked it for symmetry.

The warp is Cascade Heritage sock yarn sett at 14 ends per inch, and the weft is handspun superwash merino in Into The Whirled’s September 2013 club colorway “Wibbly-Wobbly Timey-Wimey.”

This one’s mine. I was preparing to visit my family in NY for a week at the beginning of January and didn’t have a scarf to my name. Of course, once I got there it was in the 40s and 50s nearly the whole time, and I was stuck inside with the worst cold I’ve had in many years. What an absurd winter.

Maybe I’ll get some photos of it all finished. It washed up beautifully, and it is unbelievably soft and absolutely stunning with my nice blue coat.

Sometime in the next few days, once I get into the weaving of the snowflake twill scarves on the loom now, I’ll make a post just about that project. I also have a couple of near-finished knits–ends to sew in, blocking to do–that need to be shown off, and a big skein of handspun awaiting rewinding and glamor shots.

In Which A New Obsession Looms

My Kromski Harp arrived on October 25th, a day later and a part brokener than expected. One of the ratchets had been cracked in half when it was attached to its beam, making it entirely impossible to assemble,  let alone use.

I called the Woolery the next day (Saturday), and they told me to email them a picture. On Monday, they emailed back saying they would pass it along to the Kromski distributor, who would send a replacement.

I was antsy about it all week. On Thursday (Halloween), the new piece arrived, and within two hours the loom was assembled and within three I was winding a warp. On Friday, it looked like this:

A critical observer may note that the edges are a bit rough and a bit strange. Fear not, critical observer!

They got a little better when I was weaving without paying much attention.

Above, you can see just how wobbly the selvedges were at the beginning, and below, the slightly improved end. They look best around the middle, really, but I’ll show that when I unveil the washed and pressed results (it’s already done, I just need to take pictures).

The whole set-up, there. Note the very wide heddle and the very long stick shuttle on the right side. The upshot here is that I can definitely weave yardage on this baby. Downside? I am short, that stick shuttle is very long, and because I’m dragging it through the shed instead of throwing, it contributes to the strangeness of my selvedges.

No matter, the Husband Creature has offered to make me a fringe twister and some boat shuttles. We shall see how that goes. Might be good to have a model on hand to replicate, though.

From warping to cutting it off the loom, this whole thing took just 4 days.

Straight off the loom, the texture is odd: rough and stiff, in spite of the very soft warp (Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Aurora Heather). The weft is handspun New Zealand Merino in the colorway “Fangorn” from Lanitium ex Machina, which at 23 microns is on the coarse end of the merino spectrum (but still at the fine end of the wool spectrum).

Since I don’t yet have a fringe twister, I used a binder clip attached to the leader on my Stella to twist my fringe. Here’s that set-up:

I’m already scheming about my next project. And, I don’t want to say too much yet because then I can’t do a dramatic reveal later, but tomorrow, I’m off to Chico to look at (and probably bring home) a potential new addition to my odd little fibery family.

Aside from the weaving, I’ve finished a couple other things. The singles for my “Qarth” gradient are done and rewound for plying. I finished my Rock Island shawl, and it is big and lovely.

The edges aren’t as pointy as I’d have liked, but I expected that, using bamboo instead of wool.

It’s soft and cozy and I adore it.

(Not trying to look “artistic” or anything like the model for the pattern, I swear! Trillian was headed out onto the balcony and I was greeting her.)

I also finished some yarn for my shop!

Just a quick peek for now, I’ll talk more about it in a later post. I have another bobbin already filled for a coordinating yarn, and at least one more to go. Once I’ve wrapped that up, I’ll talk about successes (and sad, disastrous failures) in making coils!

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.

Operation Get This Yarn OUT of my Apartment

The stash is beginning to overflow the bins. This is not a drill, I repeat: the stash is beginning to overflow the bins.

Sometimes club colorways are not quite the sort of thing I want to keep. Sometimes I want to make yarn that I don’t want to use. Sometimes these things pile up because I don’t want to try to write what is essentially ad copy for them.

Sometimes I have to suck it up and write.

Now I don’t really want to write more about the yarn. Let’s skip most of that.

I don’t know if anyone heard, but I kind of won August. I got to upsize my CSA box, yeah, but that’s just the start of it. I also inquired about being added to the waitlist for the Enchanted Knoll Farm Happy Hooves Batt Club, and LO! more memberships had just opened up. Then on the 30th I managed to snag a Jenkins Delight, which is just unspeakably adorable. I’ll show it off soon.

 

Last August I managed to get into the Into The Whirled fiber club–shortly after that, people were getting waitlisted. I am Pretty Good at August, it seems.

And Pretty Bad at September. Wow. Where’d all that September even go? I still haven’t finished the “Tuscadero”/baby camel spin from Tour de Fleece!

But I did finally get my shop up and running. Just in case you know anyone who might want to take some of this yarn off my hands.

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.

FO: Extremely Belated Christmas 2012 Gifts

My holiday knitting got away from me last year. Something about ten thousand miles of garter stitch just takes an unimaginably long time.

This was my break from Garter Stitch Hell. A cabled hat for my dad in Knit Picks Biggo, cut down to four chart repeats to account for the larger yarn and needles. It worked up in under 24 hours, and I learned to cable without a cable needle. Biggo is nice, very soft, but it does split quite a lot, even with fairly dull needles.

Good stitch definition though, and the cables were so welcome to break up the monotony of the original Tom Baker scarf I was making for my father-in-law and the lace-edged garter stitch shawl for my sister-in-law.

What all this means though, is that this hat? It was done well before Christmas. So why so late?

Well, that’ll be because I didn’t have anything done for my dad’s girlfriend. I had an idea. And I started it. Then I restarted it with the yarn held double for better stitch definition and warmth (winters are pretty brutal in upstate New York, after all). Then I realized that there was no way I was going to finish that thing before August and went to my LYS for a backup plan. The backup plan ended up being two skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino in Zarzamora, which took a couple of months to become a Honey Cowl.

Generally I dislike the bias that singles create in stockinette, but the slipped and purled stitches are much more prominent features in the fabric. I was utterly charmed, and oh! the drape!

I might be just a little bit in love.

There were only a couple of yards of yarn left after the bind-off. Pretty perfect, in spite of being sent at the end of June when it is spectacularly useless (and in spite of how utterly sick of it I was by the time I finished).

Tour de Fleece: A Recap

So here it is, five days out from the end. I have a pound of yarn, a bobbin full of pretty singles waiting for some friends (oh, scratch that, it sounds like a trashy phone sex chat line ad) merino and silk waiting for its match, a partial bobbin of baby camel to keep them company, and–at long last–some numbers.

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But first, there was plying.

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A lot of plying, really.

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Almost too much plying.

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But then there was yarn from all that plying–the small skein to the left is for seaming. Yes, seaming. No, I’m not ill. I have not been replaced by some kind of terrifying alien who looks, sounds, and acts exactly like me but doesn’t hate seaming. I’ve just been coerced by stripes.

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Then there was a brief kitten interlude while I finished up the grey singles, in which I found WordPress’ iOS app to be virtually identical to its web interface. Then there was even more plying, though it didn’t go on quite so much as before.

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Then there was soaking–the water turned black–and snapping and beating skeins against the shower wall. This to calm some of the twist in my deliberately overplied skeins. The result is a slight loss of yardage, a nice bloom in the singles, and a very bouncy finished yarn. That’s 1,292 yards there, right on target at sport-DK weight. Major benefits of being five feet tall and living in northern California–that’s plenty of yarn for a sweater.

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Then, as planned, my Into The Whirled March 2013 classic club hopped onto the wheel. That’s “Tuscadero” on 80/20 merino/silk.

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The plan involves 8 ounces of that and 4 ounces of the baby camel previously seen on the supported spindle, obviously on a bobbin now. I expected it to be more difficult than it is, having had such trouble with merino on the Stella a few months ago, but the combination of baby camel cloud, Hitchhiker, and months more experience behind my hands is making it a pleasure.

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Of course, challenge day (July 18) demanded a little bit of a deviation from my big plans. That’s 28 feet of 2-ply cotton on my supported spindle. The last time I tried spinning cotton, I had no experience at all with supported spinning or cotton spinning. I was also working with sliver. It was extremely slippery and frustrating and I gave up quickly. For the challenge day, I got out my hand cards and put little bits of cotton on the teeth at the very edge, just to hold it while I rolled up a puni with a DPN. Much more successful than the last time, but from preparing the puni to plying, it was hours and hours of work.

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Tuscadero, on the other hand, moved fairly quickly, especially considering how very fine singles for 3-ply fingering weight yarns are.

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Unfortunately, fairly quickly is not quite quickly enough. Le Tour 2013 ended here, with about ¾ ounce left to spin on the first bobbin.

With Tour de Fleece over, the collections of bobbin shots will now stop, though the excitement will not. Look forward to beer-tastings, shiny pretty things, the backlog of finished objects, and more finished objects to add to the backlog in the coming weeks.