Friday, December 16, 2011

More spinning!

I've been feeling sorry for myself for not having the time to spend on quilting, spinning and knitting.  But apparently I do have som time.  I am having results...

Mixed wool singles

Mixed wool homespun singles

Mixed race wool: Swedish fine wool/rya
57 grams
232 meters
Carded and spun in the grease with lots and lots of lanoline
Spun on ratio 1:5,5 on my Ashford Traveller with a short backdraw
Lightly felted.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

UFO recussitation

My daughter reminded me of a sweater I had promised her last year... It's always embarassing to admit that a promised gift has turned into a UFO!

(= UnFinished Object)

So I got it out again and have recussitated it , it seems to be alive and breathing at least for the moment.

Tone on tone sweater in shadow knitting
The pattern comes from "Shadow Knitting" by Vivian Hoxbro and uses a really neat technique.  Working with knitted and purled stitches you make a pattern that only shows when looking at it from the side.  So, vertical stripes turn into horizontal stripes depending on your advantage point.

Please excuse the poor picture quality, but I wanted you to see how it works!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Gotland wool

I went to a small wool fair a couple weeks ago.  I found a basket of this wool and could not resist them..

Gotland wool locks
I tried to spin them combed, but they were sooo slippery!  I manages a couple feet, then my patience gave in.. So I carded them and spun them fairly loosely, plied them 3 fold and this is what I got:

Gotland locks and singles

Gotland 3-ply yarn
Gotland wool yarn

Sunday, December 11, 2011

More brainless socks

I'm sorry it's been so long.  Time is just not on my side right now!  With work, school and family there is just not time to sew, spin or knit...

But, I have finished a pair of socks

Brainless socks
The pattern is from Ravelry and is called Brainless.  The yarn is handspun rya wool.  Handcarded and spun woolen.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Spinning spring birch

I bought a couple batts of mixed wool from limmo, she called them birches in the spring (or something similar) which is exactly what comes to mind with these colors!

I got to practice my long draw.  At times it worked great... but with a mixed wool bat the changes in texture was... challenging!

What they will become when they grow up?  I have no idea, they haven't told me yet!

Friday, November 11, 2011

More wool!

I've been splurging on wool, wool and more wool!

First I got more of the swedish rya wool I was spinning earlier, spun woolen it turns out fairly course but nice for socks.  Spun worsted it's shiny and smooth, I've got a 50 gr skien that is going to become a beaded shawl.

Rya yarn

From the same breeder I got some mixed breed (rya and swedish fine wool) wool that is sooo very soft, 10 cm long fibers, and absolutely full of grease...  I spun a small amount in the grease with very good results, easily spun, very soft.  Unfortunately all that grease really messes up my wheel... I have washed a couple locks, we'll see how that spins up.

Mixedbreed rya/fine wool

Then I found some GORGEOUS Gotland wool.  I just couldn't resist it..

Gotland wool

Gotland wool locks

See what I mean?  Impossible to resist.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Spinning merino

Just wanted you to see my next project.

The wool is from Limmo design.
Spun straight from the top and 3 plied.
Very soft, and kuddly, I can't walk past it without feeling it!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Actually quilting!

I don't know why I've been spending so much time spinning and knitting lately... I walk past my sewing room and sigh... wishing for time in there...

Finally I've got myself a couple hours with my beautiful sewing machine, and I had a great time!  I've been working on a BOM from Florida Cabin Fever and it's been hanging on my design wall.

Now I've got most of the top finished, working on the pieced border.  The pictures are not great, but I think you get the idea?

There are more borders coming, hopefully I will able to show you the finished quilt soon!

A cowl for coming winter

I found this wonderful merino yarn and just could not resist it!  Check it out:  link  I ended up making a cowl!

The pattern is very simple, I found it on Intrepid Fiber Wizard's website.  I did change it a little and used a full 100 gr skein of yarn which made the cowl long enough to become headgear as well.  The springiness of the yarn makes a very elastic fabric, which is great for this project.

Wonderful yarn.
Great pattern.
Simple knitting.
Quick project.

Can it get better?

Monday, October 17, 2011

A skein of lace yarn

The lace yarn is now plied and washed.  It is 185 meters and 50 grams of swedish rya wool, combed and spun worsted.

I have no idea what is to become of it... yet.  It might get dyed, it might "grow" beads.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Spinning lace

I've been exploring my spinning, wih the help of a book I bought the other day.  The book is Spinning wool, beyond the basics by Anne Field.

The book is... dry, fact filled, somehow boring, and completely enthralling.  It takes you through the physiology of sheeps wool, the anatomy of a spinning wheel and makes you want to spin the perfect yarn for your wool.

I am by no means making the perfect yarn for my wool.  But I am spinning a controlled lace.  The wool is a swedish rya, staple length about 15 cm, combed and spun on my Ashford Traveller.  I'm spinning it with 23 twists to 2 inches, and plan to make a equalized 2 ply.

Which ever way you turn it, this is fun!

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ullared progress

The Ullared sweater is slowly coming along, I'm slowly making my way to the armpit where I will be adding a arm gusset.  More on this later.

You want to see?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

In the red

I've been spinning some red wool locks I had in my stash.  The first time I spun this wool I carded it, and it resulted in theese mittens.

Here is a picture of the yarn.  Not ugly, but somehow... bland.

I like them, but the colors didn't really pop like they do in the locks..

So, this time I combed the locks (with a dog comb from the pet shop..) and spun it with short patches of each color.  I haven't knitted anything out of it yet, but I like the results better.

I know, the white doesn't show in the locks, that's because  the dye didn't completely saturate the locks and the middle parts are undyed.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


Today my heart and my thoughts go out to everyone affected by terrorism around the world.

Steeks... (or the Ullared sweater part 3)

I'm knitting and knitting om my Ullared sweater, realizing that I am getting closer to the point of no return, when I reach the beginning of the armhole and have to decide to start knitting back and forth or continue in the round and make a steek.

Steeking is a technique used to be able to knit a entire sweater in the round, and when done cut (yes, cut!  EEEK!  Ahaa!  that's why it's called a steek - the knitter screams EEK!  when thinking about it..) the knitting to fit sleeves in and shape the neck.

Knitting a steek is a new challenge for me, I haven't quite gotten there yet but I'm researching it, and here is a great instruction for steeking.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

A first try at dyeing

I've been trying my hand at dyeing my homespun.  It was a blast, and turned out pretty good.  Here are my first two tries:

The first skien, just blue:

The second skein is a mix of blue and brown:

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Alpaca progress

I've been spending some time with my Traveller wheel spinning the Alpaca wool.  This is the first time I've spun anything other than sheeps wool (there are so very many different types of sheeps wool), and I am finding it challenging, fun and educating, but challenging.

I have been working on my long draw, which is hard with this wool, but I imagine it's good practice!  The rest of this fleece will better my long draw.

A couple weeks ago we went to the local fair and found a woman selling sheep rugs, luckily she also had some wool and I bought some just to check it out.  Once I got it home, washed it and tried some on my spindle I found it wonderful!


The Ullared sweater's pattern (writing as we go..)

I'm goint to start writing the pattern for the Ullared sweater, and update it as I knit.

Grunnebo garns Scotlandsull.  It's a combed wool yarn 100gr = 400 m.
I used their dark gray, light gray (they also have a medium gray) and unbleached white.  I'll let you know how much yarn I used.

Needles: 2,5 mm round stitches 80 cm long for the body.  2,5 mm round needles 40 cm long for the sleeves and 2,5 mm double pointed needles for the sleeves.
The yarn manufacturer calls for 3 mm needles, but I want a tighter, denser sweater.  I would have used 2 mm needles, but that seemed just completely crazy so I compromised with myself and used 2,5 mm.  Just try different sizes until you find the ones that make your sweater!

This is a personal pattern made for me, but I'll take you through the steps to make your own pattern:
Start by measuring how big you want the body of the sweater, I chose to measure my hips at their widest = 100 cm (actually it was a couple cm off, but 100 is a good number to do the math with..)

Then I made a swatch in stranded knitting, since the sweater is knitted on the round you should also do the swatch on the round.  I used needles nr 2,5 mm and got a swatch with 36 stitches to 10 cm (= 4 inches).

36 stitches = 10 cm =
3,6 stitches = 1 cm =
360 stitches = 100cm =
since chart nr 1 has a repeat of 4 stitches you want your stitch count to be divisible by 4 or the pattern will mess upp in the join.

So I casted on 360 stitches in the dark gray yarn, joined on the round and knitted according to chart nr 1.  The dark grey (black in the chart) stitches are knitted, the white or light gray stitches are purls

Ullared sweater chart nr 1

When this is done we need to do some more math:
You want to add about 5-10% of the stitches AND you want your stitches to match up with the pattern.

So: I have 360 stitches on my needles.
5% of 360 = 72
360 + 72 = 432

The pattern har a repeat of 6.  BUT the beginning of the front and back has a 12 stich pattern and the end of the front and back has a 11 stitch pattern.  My father would make a mathematical formula out of this, I'm too tired to try.  So this is how I did it:

432/2= 216 (number of stitches on each side after adding 5% more stitches)
216 - 11-12= 193 (number of stitches after subtracting the "side pattern" stitches) this needs to be divisible by 6.  Is it?
No, but 198/6=33
So, I'll add another 5 stitches to each side:
432 +5+5=442 stitches total.  In other words:  after knitting chart nr 1, I added 82 stitches evenly over the work.

Then knit chart nr 2:  I used dark gray yarn and unbleached white.  (Oh no!, I forgot about this chart when doing all that math... you do it, it's divisible by 6 and repeats all the way around...sorry)

The Ullared sweater chart 2

 Now we start working on the pattern you will know in your sleep, because you will repeat it soooo very many times:
Using dark gray and light gray start knitting chart nr 3, this does not repeat just knit it once:

The Ullared sweater chart nr 3

Then knit chart nr 4 using dark gray and light gray:

The Ullared sweater chart nr 4
This repeats until you have 11 stitches left on this side ,remember you have two sides (front and back).  Then knit chart nr 3 mirrored. Knit the flower first then the bands, then start on the back side with chart nr 3 and chart nr 4 just like the front:

My hand is just to the left of the mirroring of chart 3.  
Chart 3 will turn out on the side of the sweater, see this drawing:

This keeps on until we get to the armpit.  I'll get back to you when I find myself in the armpit..  :-)

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A new start (or the Ullared sweater part 2)

I've finally started my Ullared sweater (see part one here).  In making the rib edging I realized the dark gray and the light gray looks really nice together, so I changed the color scheme.  The first border is dark gray and white, the rest of the sweater will be light and dark gray.

It's a monumental project, but this is a start! 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Spinning along

For christmas my sweet mother gave me a whole bunch of alpacka wool.  The wool got washed and neatly put away, but the other day I found it and couldn't help myself from getting out the wheel. 

Friday, August 12, 2011

The Farmer's Wife Sampler Quilt

I've bought a new book, which in itself is not astonishing news..  But I wanted to share this one with you, since I'm a little in love with it.

It's Laurie Aaron Hird's The Farmer's Wife sampler Quilt.  It is full of wonderful letters from farmer's wives about why they would want their own daughter's to marry a farmer.  For a scrappy quilt lover like myself, the quilt blocks and the quilt is just.... sigh.... wonderful...

I couldn't help myself, so I made some of the blocks just for fun.  I haven't worked much with templates so this was a new adventure, the accompanying CD has all the templates.

Of course I had to hand sew since Laurie hand pieced her quilt, and I just love the look of hand piecing.  There is something very sweet about the not-quite-perfect in (at least my) hand piecing.

Here is block nr 7

Thursday, August 11, 2011