Tag Archives: Wensleydale

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.

Advertisements

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.