Thursday, October 20, 2005

I have to admit something...

I can procrastinate endlessly. I know what I need to do, but I get sidetracked by interesting projects, get distracted by shiny things, need diversions...

What do you mean, you knew that?!

I am drowning in work this week. But what I really want to do today is finally start my first sock for the Socktoberfest. I am near desperate to start knitting with that soft, lovely yarn that I bought from ebay, and I am planning on using the magic loop technique, so I'm quite excited about that as well. All day yesterday I was thinking about how wonderful it will be to knit socks without DPNs, and getting cramps in my fingers, but the rickety little skein winder that I bought off ebay hasn't arrived yet. I've tried to get a skein winder for a while now, but they are selling faster than hot breadrolls (that's not really something that is a saying in English, is it?!) and the only thing I managed to get is a very old little winder that, as far as I can see, isn't adjustable... We'll see how useful it will end up being, but as long as it can help me wind those skeins of sock yarn into neat little balls I will be happy.

So, waiting for this event of a lifetime, the arrival of my skein winder, I tackled another project yesterday, which had been in the pipeline for quite some time: D's hat made from handspun. Made from THE handspun, in fact, the first yarn that we spun on drop spindles during our honeymoon in New England. We plied it when we got the spinning wheel, and D picked the KoolAid colours to dye it. It ended up green and orange, which, because of the muted colours that the grey roving produced, looks rather pretty.

D has been asking for that hat for ages, and a few days ago, he helped me wind the yarn - he's becoming quite good at playing skein holder, if I can get him to sit still for long enough. ;-) The resulting ball looked like this:

Cute, isn't it? It's very noticeable that this was our first attempt at spinning - the beginning is very thick and thin, with huge slubs, but the yarn evens out quite a bit towards the end (which is the bit on the outside of the ball). I grabbed a free beanie pattern I found through Google, and my trusty circs, and started knitting. Two hours later, I had completed the hat. It's VERY rustic looking, due to the unevenness of the yarn, but I kind of like it that way. I also think it could have been a bit bigger / longer, but D thinks it's perfect, which is most important. He was wearing it all evening:

And lying flat, so you can see it better:

Can you see how uneven the knitting is at the hem? That's where the really fat bits of yarn were.

Yesterday evening, while watching the new series of
River Cottage and Jamie's Great Escape on tv I started spinning up the Alpaca. It's strange to work with - the fibres are really long and smooth, and spinning it brings out the 'human hair' feel even more. I decided not to pre-draft and spun mainly from the fold, which worked OK. The resulting yarn isn't 100% even, but not actually too bad at all:

I have also decided what to do with the orange roving my secret pal sent me - I will try to spin it very thinly so it goes a long way. Maybe there will be enough for a hat and mittens, or maybe a lace shrug?

Carolyn's alpaca, when I finally get the carding equipment sorted, is also going to be spun very thinly, so the practice will be good for me. :)

Talking about carding - do any of you avid spinners know where I can get carding cloth for a drum carder? I wanted to order it from
Wingham Wool Works, but apparently they don't have it anymore... Or else, do you think that it is possible to cover a drum carder with pieces of carding cloth for hand carders? How would you fix the cloth? Is it just glued on!?


  1. Procrastinate? I would never do that - honest! That hat looks fab and the orange is an amazing colour. It would really brighten up a winters day if you made it into a hat and mittens.

  2. Anonymous8:57 am

    Je, je... I am a knitting procrastinator too. I love the hat, the colours are really great and so autumn.