Archives

Opening A Little Internet Yarn Shop!

Good morning!  It’s TRUE.  I’ve finally decided (and worked my way through most of the steps involved) to sell my extra handspun yarn via webstore.

ok, well, I had decided but then discovered it is acceptable to sell handmade items via wordpress and so have, instead, set up a sister site – Handspunyarn.wordpress.com

My little shop is called ‘HandspunYarn’ and will offer a variety of hand spun yarns from laceweight to bulky.  Since I love a good fiber, there will be lots of unique blends and all offerings are one of a kind.

All my my wool is prepared in an environmentally friendly way using safe Dawn dish soap in most cases, sometimes purex naturals, vinegar and occasional hair conditioner in the rinse.  All dyes are food safe unless noted (for example my superwash merino is predyed)

I prepare my fiber by hand, carding/combing and blending with other fibers.  A favorite of mine is silk – sari and bombyx at the moment – and I also blend with camel, alpaca, llama, mohair, angora, yak and even cashmere and cotton, on occasion.

For a great selection of unique, knittable yarns, please visit my shop.

Have an excellent day!

Lisa

The Beautiful Birthday Wool And Other Fun Stuff

Good Morning!

Yes, again, it’s been a long time since I’ve posted 🙂 It feels like spring – a beautiful beautiful day in Ontario. Time to sort, clean and catch up…

A couple of weeks ago I had another birthday and wanted to treat myself to something special. I decided to make some pretty yarn inspired by amethyst…a little bit of sparkle (silk from india), a little bit of shine and bold bright colour (handdyed longwool) and a fair share of beautiful, bouncy softness (gorgeous handdyed cormo/merino cross recently purchased from mmfwool on ebay – I *highly* recommend it).

In the dye pot – the wools and some wilton’s violet icing colour….

046

I blended the fibres with hand cards and, voila!

052

054

The plan is to knit ‘Sabbatical’ by Connie Chang Chinchio…it should be awesome!

018

The wool from mmfwool is absolutely wonderful to work with…nice crimp, beautiful feel, lovely length….

014

042

The kids have been enjoying march break!

057

I’ve been working on some other wools as well…

black/brown suffolk mix – this is a three ply worsted/dk weight which will eventually become a sweater…
003

012

020

022

Finished pictures coming soon for this and some lovely wool/silk mix yarn which I’m just in the middle of finishing up! Have a fantastic day 🙂

Spinning Again!

Now that I’m finished the lovely knee socks, I felt like working on my spinning for a couple of days…it’s a nice break and I’ve been dying to get to it since I got all that beautiful (superwash merino) fibre at The Black Lamb for Christmas!

100_2188

I’m mixing these two colours (shell pink and a pink blend) by plying them together. I’m purposefully making the shell ply a little thinner than the blend – a little experiment.

100_2187

100_2191

My finished product – the first skein – is approximately fingering to dk (by looks) and is about 14 wpi – probably 12 wpi in the thicker sections. I’m going to spin it all in a row to help ensure that the yarn is pretty much well matched. I know, I know….yes, I SHOULD just spin all the singles, wind them onto toilet paper rolls and then mix them to make the weights similar later.

Pfffffft…I don’t swatch either, ever. Don’t tell the knitting police!

I have a project in mind as I spin but it’s definitely a little into the future!! I’m thinking of designing an open knit sweater – done on larger than suitable needles – that is bottom up, as one piece as possible, with a simple seam finish and a v or some such neckline. It’ll be perfect for over a camisole. With this in mind, I chose the pinks because they are as delicate as the intended project.

I’m pretty excited about all of it 🙂

The New Rovings!

superwash merino

Aren’t they beautiful? 🙂

I ended up with over 7 pounds of beautiful fluff this time 🙂 I went with a lot of smaller bits because I liked the bright, spring-like colours. Loved the oranges, pinks, yellows especially! I think I want to make a three ply sock yarn out of some of those…

Yosemite in the silk is going so-so. I think I misjudged the size and I’m seriously considering pulling it back out and casting on again in another size. The pattern itself is beautiful and the silk looks really nice.

I’m starting the sweater for my son in the handspun…cast on last night after much figuring of the math! So far (and I’m only done the waistband section) it looks great 🙂

Spinning To Order…

Yes, I’m working on the yarn for my son…the black and grey superwash.

100_1264

A light worsted/dk weight is my goal though I’m never sure what I’m getting exactly with the hand spinning. I don’t know if you get to the point where you know for sure that the singles are ‘perfect’ in size or if it’s always a bit of a guessing game. I kind of go for a sock weight single so the two will end up as a worsted when plied. And then there’s the thick/thin factor. I don’t know if other spinners get past this but there are definitely ALWAYS thick/thin places in my singles. Not a lot of them, but they’re there.

100_1266

I’m also working on a knitted top for myself. Yosemite worked in Shire Silk that I’ve been saving since I bought it last year. It has GOT to be the most expensive yarn I’ve ever ordered. Not because the yarn wasn’t on sale but because of the method of shipping to Canada from Webs. I’ve learned different sellers ship different ways and there are some that I will buy from now and some I will not. I do my best to stay away from the USPS! Unless I love having a whole lot of ‘surprise’ charges to pay COD at the post office on pick up, LOL, it seems the way to go. So this is the one and only thing I will ever/have ever bought at Webs, did I mention EVER? On the other hand, I had previously bough some beautiful yarn, including some Shire Silk, at fabulousyarn.com and they shipped the civilised way and there were NO surprises at the post office on that order. With the discounts, the yarn prices were quite similar anyways. Live and learn!

My goal this year is to knit the stash. I will excuse myself this rule when it comes to buying rovings, of course! 🙂 Must. Feed. The. Spinning. Habit. Other than handspun though, I hope to use the yarn I’ve been hoarding — there is a LOT of it too, LOL.

Since I’m a SAHM, I like to find ways to contribute – read ‘save money’ – so I’m planting a patio garden this year. I have beans, three kinds of peas (two with edible pods, one without), three different kinds of tomato plants (heirloom, cherry and normal), red, green and heirloom peppers, green onions. Right now the babies are growing in little pots on all my window sills and eventually they will be repotted for the decks. We have gardens around the house as well but I’m not too interested in feeding the local bunny population. Bunnies are adorable and all but this is OUR food! 🙂 I’m planting at least six of each plant and I really hope I get enough food to help out and make a difference.

I’ve also been baking our bread every day and it makes a difference I’m sure. Bread here now is about three dollars a loaf for the CRAP. Very expensive! I make two loaves at a time, sometimes every day, sometimes every other. It only takes me about half an hour to make, save rising time. The kids love it and when I bake, they eat far better, way more. A store bought loaf of CRAP lasts us about three days…two home made loaves last us a day or a a day and a half. I like it when they enjoy the food!!! Makes me feel like a million when I know I’m contributing to that.

I’ve started getting really creative with our leftovers and with recipes in general. I’m getting better at going by the rough outline of a recipe and using all the things we like instead of the things they call for that I don’t have! The kids are even enjoying the results!

The Handspun Ribby Shrug…

is all done!

100_1255

100_1254

It turned out nicely, I think, though it’s much bigger than I expected from looking at the way it fit on the model in the magazine. Now, of course – LOL – I’m not a gauge-checker generally and didn’t check to see what the finished measurements were compared to the specs in the pattern. My original gauge was a little off, I do know. I think the yarn was just a tad too thick to match the pattern’s yarn and that’s where the difference came in.

I guess beginner-spinner-luck can only last so long! 🙂

So…though I love it, I know it’s a little different than it was meant to be 🙂

It’s quite impossible, really, to NOT love this blend…the seacell/silk is awesome on the skin and it makes me crave enough to make a real sweater. Definitely something I’m going to think about next time I’m fiber shopping!

Look how nice it is up close…

100_1253

Working On The Ribby Shrug!

100_1250

It’s pouring rain today…and snowing in some places!! Not here though, I’m happy to say 🙂

I worked on the Ribby Shrug yesterday and I’m almost halfway done. I don’t think I’m going to have enough yarn to make the matching tank but I’m thinking a tank in another of the colours I have…it’ll be superwash merino instead of the seacell/silk if I do it that way. I think either the wine red shade or the mossy green would work with the natural beige. It’s a bummer but I’ll make it work.

100_1247

So today it’s taxes (yeah, fun) and knitting. Cleaning too if I get energetic, lol. Thankfully my taxes are very basic and I’ve already done a rough copy, months ago. If I had been smart I would have just finished them up then. Fortunately I don’t owe money this year (unless we count the back owed from last year) so the deadline isn’t cast in stone for me – BUT I plan to have them mailed by tomorrow evening, at the latest.