Monday, September 14, 2009

Chain Gang

I've been keeping the new spinning wheel busy.

This is 8 oz of merino/silk/bamboo, the August/September Spin-a-long from All Spun Up.

And so is this.

And this.

I decided to try chain plying, also sometimes called Navaho plying. It's a method that helps keep the colours separate rather than the barberpole effect you get with a regular two or three ply. I love the result. I ended up with 404 yards, 10-12 wpi. The came out soft and shiny. I found it a bit hard to draft because of the silk and bamboo, but it was totally worth the extra effort.

This is BFL in a colourway called Eclipse, the third installment of the Fat Cat Knits Mixed Blessings club.

I decided to chain ply this one too.

I divided the brown/purple/green plait into short, thick sections, so that it would give longer runs of solid colour. The other one was divided into long, thin sections, for shorter runs with more mixing of the colour.

The overall effect is mostly brown/burgundy, with little blips of other colours coming through in between. It came out at 164 yards for 5 oz., 9 wpi.

I kinda like this chain plying stuff, and it's nice to be able to do something other than the regular barberpole.

In the knitting front, I'd like to thank everyone who offered advice on the sock in progress in the last post. Opinions were fairly divided between keeping it plain and letting the yarn do its stripey thing as opposed to mixing it up with the cable pattern. In the end, I decided to try to get the best of both worlds. Four cables, two up each side, with a plain section in between.

I like it! And bonus, it's faster to knit. Or, it would be if I could get off the wheel and back onto the needles.

Sunday, September 06, 2009

Falling into Fall

I'm starting to feel a bit more comfortable with the spinning wheel. Or at least I don't think it's running away on me most of the time, which is a start.

This is 4.3 oz of merino from Freckle Face Fibers in the Aquazone colourway, an unusual combination of aqua, forest green, mint and purple. I asked it what it wanted to be, and it responded that a three-ply sock weight might be a good idea.

I think it was right. It ended up at 503 yards, 15 wpi. Still a bit under-plied, but I think it will knit up okay. When I'm spindling, I always over-ply, because I like it like that, so I'll have to try to remember to give an extra treadle or two when plying on the wheel.

I think it will make some good socks, though. Whenever I get around to knitting it, that is.

Knitting is progressing too, although slowly. I've started on my September socks. One of the problems with taking all your UFOs and throwing them into a personal sock club is that they were probably UFOs for a reason, and that reason was likely a problem of some sort or other, and when their turn comes up, you have to solve that problem.

In this case, I think it was just that the yarn was knitting up into the usual spiraling stripe that you often get with handpaints, and I wanted to mix it up a bit. I decided to try it with a slip stitch cable.

But now I can't decide if it looks delightfully muddled, or just muddy. The other side looks like the spiraling stripe is coming back despite my attempts to thwart it. Sigh.

Any opinions?