Monday, April 24, 2006


I've always been curious about spinning and have been wanting to learn it for a while now. And especially from seeing all the masters do it from time to time. The process of how fibers are spun into yarn has always been a mystery to me. I know it's done using wheels or drop spindles but just never saw it actually happening.

So on Friday, I was just browsing the internet looking at yarns when I realized it's been a while since my last visit to The Yarn Tree, a lovely store in Brooklyn. Knowing that they carry all the materials needed for spinning, I decided to go there that evening. I couldn't even wait until the next day Saturday, I just suddenly had an urge to buy fiber and learn to spin and couldn't bear to wait overnight. Actually, it's funny, that's exactly how I got started with knitting, I just suddenly wanted to.

The owner Linda who's really nice, and very cheerful, helped me pick out what I wanted. I bought some Ashland Bay merino in a maroon color, a drop spindle, and a book to teach me how it's done. I could've just signed up for a spinning class but I wanted to try it out on my own first.

While I was there, I also bought some Tencel yarn in this beautiful rich mauve shade. Interesting stuff, it's made from wood pulp. It has a wonderful luster and is very soft. I want to use it as a laceweight yarn, I think it'll work out nicely, we'll see.

Tencel yarn - 4 oz.

Speaking of laceweight yarn, I placed an order for some JaggerSpun Zephyr in Aegean Blue and Cassis, 4 ounces each, and also some Knit Picks' Alpaca Cloud.

I do have projects in mind for all of them. The Alpaca Cloud will become the "Trellis Scarf" by Evelyn A. Clark in the Spring 2006 issue of Interweave Knits. The Aegean Blue Zephyr is for a shawl in the book "Folk Shawls" that's also coming in the mail this week. And I plan to use the Cassis Zephyr for the beautiful "Orenburg Lace Shawl" by Galina Khmeleva in the Summer 2000 issue of Interweave Knits!

This out-of-print back issue of IK is pretty hard to find. I've looked around a few times and no one seemed to have it until somebody finally decided to sell her copy on Ebay. I was so excited when I saw it, I was very lucky to have searched at the right time. I hardly ever buy used items, I turned to Ebay as a last resort. So since it was the one and only copy at the moment (who knows when another one will appear), I watched it constantly for three days and placed a bid three minutes before the auction ended and luckily, I was not outbid in the last few seconds. And the price I paid plus shipping was still under my maximum bid. All of the people who placed bids for it seemed to have wanted it pretty badly too.

Anyway, back to the spinning. So far, here's some slubby thick and thin singles, very sloppy as you can see. I kept letting the twist travel up to the fiber supply. And I need a lot of practice on my drafting.

First handspun

Thursday, April 20, 2006


Remember this project from this post? I picked it up again this week. It's nice to be in a lace knitting mood again, I almost forgot how much fun lace can be. Yesterday I kept making mistakes and losing count of the stitches and had to rip back three times. It's better now, so here's 22 rows so far, still not much. I'm having fun making it and watching it grow.

Last week, I finished reading Stephanie's third book "Knitting Rules!". It's wonderful, she's hilarious! I kept laughing out loud! The chapter on socks is one of my favorite. The entire book is brilliant. It's very funny.

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Socks and a New Project

Friday Harbor Sock
I made another Friday Harbor sock using Patons Kroy Socks in a light grey. I'm not sure if I still like the color of the Koigu I was originally using when I first knitted this pattern a few months ago, I probably won't get back to that one, oh well. Hope I won't let this grey one stay single forever, we'll see.

I've been in a mood to knit socks lately, especially after seeing Wendy's beautiful feather and fan socks using this,

Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock "gold hill"

I really like this "gold hill" colorway. I'll probably choose a simple pattern or even just stockinette and a rib cuff for this yarn. Those colorful stripes alone are beautiful enough to stand out, in my opinion. I tend to favor simpler patterns for socks when using self-striping yarns. If a pattern is interesting enough with intricate or elaborate designs, I lean towards solid or semi-solid colors so the designs would get to stand out more, like the Friday Harbor socks. The wonderful Jaywalker socks by Grumperina are beautiful either way, with stripes or a solid color.

Look how beautiful this is!

Felicia's hand-dyed superwash 100% merino wool in "vintage cherry".

I was very lucky to be one of the first to see this and quickly placed an order for it before anyone else did because her stuff goes really fast. I'm so silly, I'm such a hoard, I don't care, it's really soft, I love it!

So the Cascade 220 in the lovely pink/coral I bought recently will become Hourglass instead of a cable sweater that I originally planned on knitting the yarn with. The swatch I made felt soft enough for Hourglass so I cast on and made this much so far.