Thursday, March 27, 2008

March socks

I have been sick for the last week or so with what was just a little cold. But I just couldn't seem to get out of bed all last week. I have never had a cold that made me so tired. Needless to say I really didn't get a whole lot of knitting done. I have been working on a pair of sock all month, which for me is really rare that it takes that long to get a pair done. I wanted to make a pair of green socks for spring. I spun this merino a few months back. I got the roving from Spunky fibers. It was one of the roving of the month ones. I'm not sure when I got it but I really loved the way it spun up. I found the perfect spring pattern. Its comes from the current issue of Piecework (March/April 2008). This Nancy Bush pattern was inspired by Leili Reimann's Pitsilised Koekirjad ( knitted Lace) book. The pattern is called Wishbone and it was so much fun to knit up and I think it works just great with my handspun

Monday, March 17, 2008

Must have cardigan

I have also been knitting as I have been working through the spinning for the gansey. I have been working on the Must have cardigan that the Yarn Harlot talked about a couple of weeks ago. I have the fronts and the back done. I did change the pattern a bit by three needles binding off instead of just binding them off and then sewing them together. So now I on to the sleeves. I always knit them at that same time that way if there is a mistake on the increasing it will be at the same place on each of the sleeves. I am hoping to have it all done by the end of this week, but we will see. I am also working on the sock pattern by Nancy Bush that is in the current issue of Pieceworks. If you have not seen these socks then its worth checking out. I am using some of my hand spun from Spunky fibers. Speaking of Spunky fibers I also spun up 2 ounces of a merino tencil roving that she calls Aspen. I ended up with 128 yards of a fingering 2ply. I have no idea what I am going to knit with it but if has such a wonderful feel to it. I'm thinking a narrow scarf with a lace leaf pattern would work up just wonderfully.

My big spinning project for 2008

My husband and I were talking earlier today about my spinning and knitting. I think I am becoming a spinner who knits instead of a knitter who spins. In other words I am now more likely to buy roving instead of yarn. I still like knitting and am always working on something. But I do think about spinning projects more. For the past few years I pick a big project to work on. It has been something that I would spin for then knit. Last year I dyed some roving and made a top down sweater. A couple of years ago I washed, carded then spun for a sweater. Well this year I wanted to kick it up a bit. This year I am working on spinning for a gansey. I bought 3 pounds of roving from a friend of mine. Its from Kramer yarns and the colorway is spice. I plan to knit the White gansey from Beth Brown-Reinsel's book Knitting Ganseys. Well for my size I need 2100 yards of a sport weight yarn. Which seems like a huge amount, but I was confident that I could spin that much with the three pounds. So I looked up what I needed for WPI. I found a web site online that said I needed 14 wpi. So I started out on my first three balls of roving. Well once I got all of it spun and then plied I ended up with only 388 yards. Oh boy was I way off. It was 14 wpi but there was no way I would have enought roving to spin the sweater. So after lots and lots of thought. I decided to do some more research and found that I really needed to get 18 wpi for a sport. I really wanted to spin a 3 ply as I really like the look of the yarn better. So I went and got a 4 ounce ball of the same type of roving. I really need to at some point buy a spinners control card. So I looked around the web and found one for 15 with shipping. Well I am a bit of a cheap skate so I decided to find a 3 ply sport yarn and use that as a guide. I found a ball of Bernat sport at the local Micheals. while I was there I was caught buying crappy yarn by a student of mine so I had to explain why I was buying the yarn.
Oh well. When I got home I got to work. I divided my roving into thirds and got to spinning. When I got the spinning and plying all done I ended up with a 18 wpi sport weight with the feel that I like but it only came out with 197 yards. So I am still about 40 yards short of what I should have for 4 ounces. So with what I have left of the spice roving (9 4 oz. balls) I will be about 327 yards short. So what I think I will do now is get started again on the spice roving and try to make the singles a bit thinner and see what I end up with. If I have to add in some of the stuff I first spun I will. Think I will add the thicker stuff at the cuffs and the bottom ribbing and the neck edge. So my question for you all is, have you knit the white gansey? Did it take as much yarn as the pattern calls for and how did it turn out for you? Have you spun a 3 ply sport and what was the yardage that you came up with?