Posted in crochet, spinning, yarn

What Am I Doing?

Excuses waste time and I’ve wasted enough so let’s get down to brass tacks.  What am I doing?

I’ve finished full single ply from an entire batch of fiber.

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It’s made from the cotton candy colored mystery fiber I picked up at Upcycle Trading Company, sadly now closed.  I really enjoyed spinning it up though it took me a while and I’m looking forward to plying it.  Because it’s all a continuous single ply I’ll be plying it back on itself, which will be an adventure because I’ve never done that before.  >.>  I have done a little plying, but it was on a wheel and with very different yarn.  I’m thinking I might actually film myself plying for the first time on a drop spindle for laughs because I’m sure there will be plenty of that as well as cursing.
I also completed a headband, basically the sister to the one I made my sister.  Yes that one from forever ago.  I misplaced the yarn for a while, then I moved (remember when I bitched about it endlessly?) so it was really misplaced, not that they were large balls to begin with.  Anyhoo I found the yarn again, the lovely cria, $10 per 90 yd skeins and finally made my own headband.

I rather like the way it turned out using the Harlequin Check pattern.

If you’ve followed my other blog you’d know about my love for You Are Umasou and Umasou specifically.  I’ve been working on a crochet pattern for him (unique shaping challenges there) that I think is coming along nicely. As it progresses I plan to post updates to twitter and tumblr (BTW, I know my tumblr theme is a hot mess, I’ll sort it out soon).  Anyone who follows me on tumblr probably knows it’s been pretty scarce on the DIY/crafty and geeky side lately and I’m going to work on fixing that.

In other news I’m going to be casting on my first pair of socks this month.  I know basic casting on and how to knit and purl a stitch so I figure I might as well jump into the deep end!  You’ll definitely see video of that attempt as well.

 

 

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Posted in crochet, yarn

Crochet: the county-line dancing craft

One step forward, one step back.  Two steps forward, two steps back and then a big step to the left.

In many ways that’s crochet in a nutshell, you crochet up a row of chains just to realize a row or two later you somehow don’t have enough/have too many so you have to rip back (or if you’re lazy like me, add or subtract stitches through inc/dec).  And as it turns out the pretty alpaca I post about last time is basically crochet on hard mode.  It’s not proud mode because I’m not working with glorified dental floss, but it was definitely a headache at the beginning.  All those pretty, cushy chain plys that make up the yarn work up to a very confusing looking snarl.

What am I even looking at?!

That aside the colors are lovely together and it does work up to a very elastic fabric that has a nice textured look.  This is the finished headband using the Peace Leaf Headband pattern from Tawana’s Cute Crochet blog using HiKoo Yarn’s SimpliCria in red and sky.


I think it turned out lovely.  Do you know what it wasn’t?  The right size.  Because of the elasticity of the yarn and the fact that I was worried about making it too small I ended up making it too large!  Sure it’ll fit, but it’ll be loose and probably kind of annoying or uncomfortable.  So in the end, as I have so many time before, I find myself back at this stage.


I’m kind of grateful that I was able to frog the entire project though, on my foundation row it was looking like the stitches didn’t want to come apart and while I wouldn’t have lost much yarn, it’s really not a cheap yarn at $10/95 yrds per skein.  On the plus side once I figured out how to do the Spike Cluster Stitch it went very smoothly and was pretty darn fun, I really like the result too so I’ll keep it in mind for future embellishment, like maybe around a sock cuff or something.

I was also digging through my yarn yesterday and found this!


Looks like the perfect color to continue my tetris blanket.  Yeah, you thought I’d just stopped making that, didn’t you?  Well I haven’t.  I periodically add new squares to it using the yarns I’ve got hanging around, though I’m hoping I end up with enough to actually finish the blanket soon.  >.> I still need to find cyan yarn.

I’m also hoping to start that amigurumi a week project as well, or at least a crochet project a week.  We’ll see.

Posted in babbling, crochet, LYS, review, spinning, yarn

Brushes off the dust

Ok, I’m back!  I request a pass for missing out on posting pretty much anything last month, it was insanity.  If you’d like full details please see sqpegroundhole because I’m not going to whine about it here too.  Here is a place for happy things like the new friend I’ve made!

As a library worker you get to know hypothetical people through their holds and when people get a lot you get a decent idea of what the person is like.  I’d noticed a particular library patron getting a lot of yarn related materials and one day I lucked out in that our self check-out machine wasn’t working and she came up with a stack of books on spinning yarn.  I had to ask her about it and then we got into a lively discussion about spinning and she mentioned that she had a drop spindle, but was focusing on her wheel at the moment.  Then she suggested we meet up to spin together sometime!

So Tuesday night we met up to hang out at Felicitous, a delightful coffee shop near both of us that I highly recommend (it’s a bit pricey, but super cute, quirky and hilariously hipster).  She not only brought along her drop spindles, but her wheel as well!


It was beautiful and adorable, an Ashford Kiwi that qualifies as “inexpensive” which means it’s less than $400 dollars.  Ugh.   -_- Definitely not getting a spinning wheel anytime soon, I can tell you that.  What I will say is that those who spin tend to really love the Ashford wheels so if you’re going to get into spinning seriously an Ashford seems like a great investment.  In my, at the time, nonexistent experience it was pretty easy to work with.

I brought along some generic brown wool of indeterminate origin, but a nice staple length to practice on and she showed me what to do.  Over the course of a couple hours I spun my first single ply “yarn” on a wheel!  I’ve made “yarn” on my drop spindle and I have to admit this didn’t look too different, but it was lots of fun!  Then she let me use some old yarn she’d made as practice that was still hanging around on a bobbin to try plying on my drop spindle!


I’m ridiculously proud of the result because even though I know it’s not very good yarn, I still made it!  It’s not much and I have no idea what I’m going to do with it, but I’m going to figure out something and I’ll post the result here.

I also picked up some beautiful baby alpaca last Friday from Criativity, a yarn store in Largo.  It’s luscious and springy and now I finally know what chain plying is because I’ve been seeing a bunch of yarn lately that looks like it’s a length of single crochet very tiny and that is chain plying, a yarn spinning technique. I’m going to work up two headbands (I hope I have enough, it was $10 a skein and the skeins are only 95 yards, ngh) for my sister and me.  She’ll be getting a teal headband with red accents, I’ll be getting a red headband with teal accents!


Aren’t the colors pretty?  I don’t even think the picture comes close to showing the loveliness.

The store was huge and lovely and sometime I’m going to go around to a bunch of yarn stores with structured rating criteria and I’m going to do a series of reviews of the stores in the larger Tampa Bay area, and yes this will include Sarasota and the St. Pete area because goodness knows there aren’t really any yarn stores in the Tampa area proper.

So despite some serious suck last month and continuing on, things aren’t all bad.  Also Felicitous makes a killer Chai Latte that I’ll definitely be having again.