January 11, 2006

Shine your light on me

Well, I found a couple minutes to snap a photo of my knit handspun. There's a big old window near a couple of empty work stations, in my area, and since I get to work so early, there was no one to ask, "Marnie, why are you taking pictures of a band-aid sized piece of knitting, at the office?"

Here is a picture that shows how textural the stitch is.

And this shows, fairly nicely, what the stitch really looks like.

The handspun has proven to knit up much better than I could hope. There's a gradual transition from one dominant color to the next and a subtle second color that acts like a highlight.

Here's my knitting enjoying the view. If you were able to look right, up a steep hill and into the "nice" part of town, you could also see where Leo works.

Many of you have asked about the stitch. It's the same stitch used in this cardi from Vogue Knitting

I've found a couple variations in my Harmony Guides. They refer to this one as "Star Stitch II"

I really like this stitch because of its versatility. Worked on larger needles and blocked out, it produces a lovely flower like lace stitch. Worked tightly on smaller needles, you get a great textural stitch that doesn't curl and is just unusual enough to catch peoples' attention.

The stitch is worked as follows.

With a multiple of 4+1
Star: P3 tog, but leave old stitch on left needle, yo, P same 3 stitches together, removing the old stitch from the left needle.
Rows 1 and 3: Knit
Row 2: *k1, star stitch* repeat to last stitch, k1
Row 4: k1, p1, *k1, star stitch* repeat to last 3 stitches, k1, p1, k1

Actually, I knit it slightly differently, because I knit in the Combined method, which means my knit stitches sit differently. I essentially reverse the pattern. I Purl the odd rows and I work purls between the stars and work the stars with k3togs, only, because of the way my stitches sit, it's like I've done an SSSK. I'm not sure that's actually of any interest to anyone, but there you go.

Under Category: Multi Colored Soy Silk , Under Category: knitting , Under Category: spinning

Watching sausage being made

I really want to show you images of the handspun I've been knitting. What is my problem? Lighting. I get up at 4:30 am to blog, and I've spent an hour trying to get a decent picture. It's not light out when I'm home, this time of year. While I've certainly offered my fair share of crappy photos, I genuinely do strive to have something decent to show you.

There are some bloggers who just never seem to have bad pictures up. They tend to photograph their pictures in natural light to ensure that everything looks beautiful.
I am not these bloggers, nor any of the others, who, ifI weren't so sleepy, I'd remember. Nope, I take pictures when I am ready to blog and light be damned! But it doesn't mean I don't lament my crappy photos. This morning, I took my soy silk yarn on a field trip around the house in hopes of finding a decent shot.

Go on the adventure, after the bump.

Continue reading "Watching sausage being made" »

Under Category: Multi Colored Soy Silk , Under Category: knitting , Under Category: spinning

January 09, 2006

It's not just Panda and Politics around here

I've been doing my crafty thing as well. Here is some left over wool/soy silk roving I've had a little sample of. Since there was such a small amount, I spun it as finely as possible. I used my 0.6 oz Golding spindle which helped me achieve a true lace weight yarn. I knit a little swatch of it last night and got 9 stitches to the inch on a US #1 needle and I certainly could have gone down a needle size without a problem. This stuff spun beautifully. I assume it's the soy that gives it its smooth drafting ability since I still find myself struggling a bit with pure wool.

It's taken me a little while to adapt to my 0.6 oz spindle. I learned on a 1.3 oz, have been using my 0.9 oz for almost everything but I'm now really starting to appreciate this lighter one. I know there are people who can spin spider web thin yarn on a 3 oz spindle and I tip my hat to those folks. I just can't get enough spin into the fiber soon enough to ever be successful. My spindle will have proven its dropping ability long before I get a yard spun. But a light spindle holds its own challenges. I realize it's all simple physics, but it's hard to know exactly how it will feel if you aren't well versed on those sorts of sciences. In my case, I face two big hurdles with a lighter spindle.

  1. I have to spin the spindle harder to get a long enough spin to be productive. Or, I have to spin the spindle more than once to spin the same length of yarn.

  2. The spindle tends to be less stable in its spin. I suspect this is partially technique on my part, but, while drafting, I sometimes maneuver in such a way as to send my spindle into a planetary like rotation, where the poles no longer sit at a true north/south*. While this works splendidly for our fine earth, it's less effective for a spinner.

* Ok, ok, I know that North and South are relative to our own planet and not the least bit relevant once you step off the planet or out of our solar system. Let's think "grade school diorama," for this analogy, ok?

More spindly fun, after the bump.

Continue reading "It's not just Panda and Politics around here" »

Under Category: Multi Colored Soy Silk , Under Category: Purple Merino/Silk , Under Category: knitting , Under Category: spinning , Under Category: stealth knit


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