FO: Print o’ the wave stole

FINALLY.. I thought I’d never finish this stole.. hahaha no srsly πŸ˜›
FO: Print o' the wave stole
ahhh isn’t it pretty?

startdate: april 5th, 2009
finish date: april 24th, 2010
Yarn: hipknits.co.uk laceweight
pattern: print o the wave by Eunny Jang

I made a little oopsie by thinkint to be smart, instead of grafting the two parts together I continued from the cast-on part so the shawl pattern is mirrored, but I actually really like the effect, it looks like little hearts πŸ™‚ This was my first ever laceweight project I started and I’ve had a very difficult time with this, since I always tend to bite off more than I can chew..

I’m still very pleased with the way it turned out, even tho the edges are a bit overstretched (so it’ll need a reblocking at some point). This shawl is presented to my mom (3 days after her actual birthday as I wouldn’t be able to finish it in time without carpel tunnel), and I think it looks great on her πŸ™‚

FO: Print o' the wave stole

I don’t have much to say about it anymore, this project has been blogged about a whole lot and I believe this is a nice way to end this chapter of my bloggingbook πŸ™‚

FO: Print o' the wave stole

I can’t seem to be able to catch the airy-ness of the stole on camera but it’s become a very light shawl πŸ™‚

dye testing

I’m sure I don’t really have to mention this but I’m really new when it comes to dye jobs, and though I’ve read a lot about it, there’s not much that will teach you more than a good ol’ trial and error πŸ™‚Β I last blogged about my saffron dyed roving and realized this is a very crappy way of dyeing as saffron is quite expensive and the color wasn’t exactly what I was hoping for (though it was very pretty).Β So after my mom saw my post she told me about ‘fake saffron’ or Safflower and gave me a whole package πŸ™‚ So obviously it was time for a nice dye job πŸ™‚
foodcoloring dye

My mom and I didn’t have Β any roving left to try it on so we tried it on some naturel colored yarn we had lying around πŸ™‚ My mom wanted something flaming and we tried something with yellow and red, but I forgot that it was yarn we were working on and not roving. When spun the colors in the roving would mix together but the yarn version would end up with different colored blocks..

Tho we were very happy with the colors we decided to try it again πŸ™‚

foodcoloring dye

Another reason for the re-dye was the amount of white left in the yarn.. so the above dye job turned into this:

foodcoloring dye

how’s this for yarn dye p0rn? πŸ˜€ Gone are the whites and the different blocks have become something that’s a bit more resembling to fire πŸ˜€ w00t πŸ™‚

foodcoloring dye

Saffron roving dye

roving dye

tadaaa! All done πŸ™‚ 100g of superfine merino fromΒ wol-uniek has been dyed with saffron πŸ™‚ So how did it happen?

roving dye

Here’s my mix of light and dark saffron dye. The dark with two teaspoons of ground saffron and the lighter one with 3/4 of a tsp. Mixed with hot water.

roving dye

Yeahhh all rolled up and microwaved πŸ™‚

roving dye

hanging in the sun to dry out πŸ™‚

roving dye

the pictures don’t do the yellowness of it all justice.. it’s a bit late but it’s easter yellow… if that’s even a color πŸ˜› I must say I’m actually a bit bummed out about the color.. I was hoping the redness of the saffron would stick.. but I’m still happy because it’s my first roving dye after all πŸ™‚ now I’m just hoping I did it right and the color won’t come off…….. πŸ˜›

roving dye

I think for now I only want to use natural stuff or food dyes.. I don’t know where to buy alum yet so I just tried this out with vinegar.. maybe I should’ve added vinegar to the saffron mix too? πŸ˜› ahh well πŸ™‚

Kiwi and Noodles approve of my kitty friendly dyeing πŸ™‚

kiwi close-up

FO: first handspun knits

handspun knits

It was just a very little bit of yarn and the FO’s have been knit in less time than it took spinning (lol) but I think, since this is the first time, it’s worth blogging about excessively :P.

This pattern is the Easy Cable Headband (Rav link) and is nice and stretchy but mostly very easy to knit and a very nice headband.

handspun knits

It’s funny beacuse of the uneven yarn the left side is not as wide as the right side. It has not been blocked because of the weird yarn, when it’s stretched the weird unevenness is very obvious, but now it’s kinda cute πŸ™‚ Another reason for not blocking is that it might get too wide or too long.. πŸ˜›

handspun knits

So I was done knitting this and realized I still had a lot of yarn left.. what to do what to do…. so I knit the who –Β ipod cozy. Very cute but I don’t intend to use it for my ipod. The thing is, my cars steering wheel vibrates when the motor runs stationary. This is incredibly annoying as my keys make a lot of noise everytime I’m standing still for a red light for example.. so I made a keychain cozy πŸ™‚

handspun knits

it’s very small and a bit irregular so the owl shape is not superclear but I think it’s cute and it serves its purpose πŸ™‚ hoot

handspun knits

uplanned happy dying

I swear the yarn made me do it… I wanted to leave it alone and think about my options but the yarn wouldn’t let me… dyyyeee meeeeeee it said… boohoooo I said… the yarn won… the dying happened… the happiness of color spread through the house… my cat ate a fly.. πŸ™‚

Enough with the excuses… I’m an impatient woman. I want things done and I want it yesterday. And so after some research I decided to just go for it.. the trick would be not to spend any money on it.. I want to dye with natural plants and spices I have at home. I have to cats and I don’t want to stress about what happens to anybody. So the first thing I bumped into was my huge jar of curcuma. I’m persian.. I have a lot of curcuma πŸ˜› sooooo this is how it happened:

spinning first yarn :D

my first handspun 48 (lol yea) grams of alpaca fleece turned into yarn

first handspun dye

the curcuma, water and yarn went into the pot

first handspun dye

after an hour or so of simmering this is what came out

first handspun dye

its shiny and yello πŸ™‚ mustard yello πŸ˜€

first handspun dye

So this got me thinking right…I still have a 100gram of superfine merino lying around and I’d like to try some other colors. So I decided to try something out. I three cups with different spices and filled them with hot water. Tomorow I’m going to see if they will add color to a bit of fluff or not.

first handspun dye

from left to right: sumac, cayenne pepper and cinnamon. I stirred it once and let it soak. I might add some ground saffron to the mix just to see what happens πŸ™‚ I can’t wait to see if they work or not πŸ™‚

hooked..

Today I picked up my spinning wheel, which, as it turns out, actually has a name: “Rotterdam” isn’t it awesome? I looks like a louet s10 but has three holes instead of one. All it needed was some oil since it hadn’t been used for a while.. I’m not sure how old it is but it looks like 70’s or maybe early 80’s (the booklet.. and font… and language.. it’s not from the past three decades at least… πŸ˜› Tho it does look very modern.. I LOVE IT πŸ˜€ my cute little spinning wheel πŸ™‚

spinning first yarn :D

I practiced on some leftover eskimo I had lying around and plied it just to see how that would go. By now I can make it go clockwise or counterclockwise and stop it without using my hands so I’m happy. After doing the excersises I just had to try out a very small bit of the alpaca roving… and then I never stopped.. I couldn’t stop.. I didn’t want to stop… 😐

spinning first yarn :D

the weather was great and the alpaca was so soft, and the kitties (see the little green ropes?) were so interested in the spinning wheel and the weird shaped alpaca (they had only seen it as yarn..)… ahh it was great.

spinning first yarn :D

In my mind I had planned that the first set of rovings would be sacrificed to the spinning gods so that I may learn the secrets of yarn. But the spinning gods had other plans for me… for my leftover 40 grams of alpaca roving actually became 46 meters of navajo plied yarn… 😐 who wouldn’ve thought…

spinning first yarn :D

I’m usually highly critical of myself but in this case I can’t find anything wrong with this first ever handspun yarn… I don’t want to see them. Sure it’s 3ply.. it’s also laceweight and bulky at the same time… but a friend at rav told me it could be ‘art yarn’ so yeaahhhh πŸ˜€ no but seriously, I’m so happy to have my own handspun yarn I want to tell everybody.. I already asked The Man a 100 times what he thought of my yarn… MY yarn.. I made yarn… (ok sorry I’m geeking over something people have done for thousands of years and I’m acting like I just invented this stuff.. :P)

spinning first yarn :D

I do think that even this first yarn could’ve been done much better. The thing is I started with a little tuft of roving just to see how it was.. and then I continued.. so there was no preperation whatsoever.. and besides, I already told myself I just wanted to try the wheel and see what it would do to me.. I wasn’t even dreaming of actually spinning yarn.. I was thinking a whole lot of things but not ‘wow I’m making yarn’…

For the merino roving I have great plans.. (lol), I liked the brainless way I spun yarn today, but next time I’d like to spend more time actually concentrating on the yarnproces and not on my foot and what my left hand does and the right hand and feeding and blerg.. I want to dye my roving first and then spin the yarn. I don’t know what I’ll make of this 46m yarnheap but I do know I want to dye it with something natural.. like onion stuff.. yellow or orangish.. hmm… I feel like nice warm summer colors to reflect my mood πŸ™‚

spinning first yarn :D

Ooohh.. look how artsy my balcony gets in combination with the sunset and some brand new ex-roving πŸ˜€

spinning first yarn :D

I promise next time I’ll be normal again πŸ˜› I’m on a spinning high ^____^

personal growth

The thing I love about knitting is that, even though I haven’t really been knitting all that long, everytime I see my onerva shawl, or evertime I wear my shipwreck shawl it reminds me of how I felt when I was knitting it. Even in the dead of winter I felt the hot august sun on my skin when I hid my face (from the snow) in the beaded and a little felted malabrigo lace. Even though I haven’t worn some things that often (lelah… with the scratchy yarn) or the things I’ve worn everyday (starburst πŸ˜€ ), I still feel like every knit stitch helps me grow as a person. It teaches me to be that much more apreciative of my surroundings and of the people around me. I remember funny conversations or nice things that happened while I was knitting this particular piece.

One of the most wonderful compliments I ever got was when i was walking towards the busstation and this woman passes me by and asks me where I bought that pretty hat I was wearing. I don’t usually blush but I did feel my cheeks go rosy while I explained how I had not bought my Starburst hat, but had knitted it myself πŸ™‚ She was actually happy and bummed, since she couldn’t buy one.. and I was bummed because if it hadn’t been so darmn cold I wouldn’ve given her the hat as a thank you πŸ™‚

The more I progress with my knitting the more I realize the importance of good yarn. I’m a poor student so I knit with the cheapest yarn I can find (the 1 euro 100g balls from the wibra), but that’s only because I can’t afford expensive yarns… or that’s what I thought. The magic word here is ‘spinning’. Let’s be honest here.. spinning yarn takes some time, and it takes a lot of practice to gain enough experience to spin consistent yarn. So in that way some would say it would be more expensive to spin your own yarn than if you would just buy yarn. But I disagree. The point is that I’m a student and I have to do a lot of reading, much of the books and articles are available on the internet or are scanned as pdf. So most of the reading happens on the computer. Unfortunately for me, as it turns out, I can’t really seem to focus when reading. I mean this is not some light reading we’re talking about here.. it’s quite some heavy stuff that needs to be run over in my head before it really sinks in. So I found out a way that works perfect for me. I let macs text-to-speach Alex read my text while I knit πŸ˜€

So I figured, if I can knit lace patterns while ‘reading’ an analytic book on space structures and mathematical formulas, I must also be able to spin yarn while ‘reading’ :). So with this in mind I started googling. I’ve actually always wanted to spin yarn ever since I first started knitting. The whole spinning wheel thing seemed like such a magical thing.. like it came right out of a fairy tale. So about a year ago I wanted to buy a cheap second hand spinning wheel to try it out and already did some research on it, but after a while I decided I wouldn’t buy one since I know myself.. I super super super like something for a while, and then I forget about it. And as expected I did actually forget about it for Β a while.. but it came back.. and this time it wouldn’t leave. By this time I had discovered ravelry and I had browsed through the handspun collections some people had and I was so awed by the spinning magic that was going on. It felt like a whole world was opening up to me.

So I did some more research on where I could get fleece.. surely it had to be expensive.. there had to be something really really sucky about spinning because otherwise more people would be doing it.. I was sure of it…So this is what I found…when buying fleece.. 100g of merino roving costs 3 euros…. 100g of 3ply sockyarn (by malabrigo) costs 16,50 euro………… AND IT’S NOT EVEN IN THE COLOR I WANT….d’oh…

Sooo…….tl;dr.. I’m getting me a spinning wheel.. I bought some nice rovings from wol-uniek and I actually spun me a very small bit of alpaca on a ghetto drop-spindle. It was such fun πŸ˜€

girasole wipThe moment I started working on the edging there was 16 grams of yarn left. Maybe I should’ve calculated before I started knitting the edging..

girasole wip

Every project has the little mistakes you know about but nobody else will ever see.. girasole is a marked shawl for me.. I think I will never forget how bummed I was when the yarn ran out on me for the second time… πŸ˜›

print o the wave wip edging

Print o’ the wave is nearly done. I did half the edging with two separate dpn’s and a loose end before I realized Jared Flood’s method with one dpn and the working needle was so much more efficient. At least it’s going much faster now than first so this one shouldn’t take long.

print o the wave wip edging

I really love how this is turning out. I promised to give this one to my mom as a thank you for all the things she knit for me (which I didn’t appreciate when I was a little kid), as a birthday present. This means I need to start hurrying up since her birthday is the 21st of april……. πŸ˜› another deadline project.. I’m pretty sure my yarn won’t run out again tho πŸ™‚ I have quite a lot left :).

corona wip

And speaking of cheap wibra yarn… here’s my corona πŸ™‚ I’ve loved the pattern since the first time I saw it but for some reason I never got to actually knitting it. Please don’t feel sad for me for having to buy cheap yarn.. the yarns from wibra are, though they are 100% acrylic, very nice and soft. I’m actually quite happy to knit them and I’ve stashed a whole lot of them for the bigger projects πŸ™‚ I’ve been sick for the past week and before that I had some uni deadlines so I hadn’t really come round to post some pictures yet.. but I think it’s turning out to be quite nice πŸ™‚

corona wip

a little close-up on the cable pattern. I’m doing the cables without a cable needle and I’m not knitting or purling the first stitch of each row. I hope the cable band won’t curl much by slipping the first stitch since I really don’t like that about this sweater.

corona wip

I noticed some of wibra’s yarns are slightly thicker than others.. for instance the white saskia yarn is thinner than the brown one.. though this might be because I bought the white balls in the summer and I’ve heard they have summer and winter yarns, but I can’t be sure about that. Since I wanted to knit this sweater with larger needles (5,5mm) I doubled the yarn on my ball winder. It’s a nice, thick fabric now so I can use it as a nice sweater for the colder days in the Dutch climate.

camden wip

I started on camden as well. This is how far I’ve gotten with the 2,5mm needles. I’m doing this one top-down and in one piece since I really hate seams. It’s not much yet but I’m really diggin the way the fabric’s turning out πŸ™‚

rovings and spinnings

so if you haven’t skipped the text part you’ll probably know what this is… no I haven’t got my spinning wheel yet so this is just a halfhearted attempt at spinning yarn and the main focus was on drafting. This is my first ever piece of ‘yarn’ I ever.. if you can even call it that… I just knit it up with a 5mm needle and it’s about 1 square inch… and very inconsistent as the picture shows… but that’s okay.. I had a LOT of fun doing this since it was my first ever handspun yarn on my DIY drop spindle (pictured below).

rovings and spinningsThe fibre is alpaca and it comes from the wonderfull site: wol-uniek. I will most definately be ordering more once I get my wheel. But I’m getting ahead of myself… So here be my ghetto drop-spindle. I made it with a pencil and three layers of thick cardboard-paper. I just pushed the pencil through and carved a rim in the pencil where I looped the yarn….. tadaaaaa.. free drop-spindle. Obviously my first attempt would suck but I’m quite pleased with myself…. πŸ˜› πŸ˜€

rovings and spinnings

Here’s my au naturel rovings. Merino 100g and Alpaca 50g. I don’t know if it’s best to try to spin it natural first before coloring it or not.. I’m not sure.. I’ll need to do some more research before I jump in…. but I’ll keep you posted πŸ˜‰