Wherein I Actually Do Some Spinning and Knitting

It’s been, erm, a while since I posted. I owe a few people comment replies, and I was having this weird social anxiety argh talking to people is hard moment — okay, that’s me all the time and not just a moment, but anyway. I wasn’t posting because I was having non-replying-rude-blogger guilt, and I need to get over the whole thing and just, you know, answer my email. So there was that.

(Side note: Flickr took for-freaking-ever to upload the photos, so now I’m rushing to get finished and get back to work. I promise I will proofread later and make sure I replaced all the placeholders with actual photos.)

In the meantime I’ve been pretty busy with sewing and knitting and spinning. Well, not spinning per se, but I finished plying this yarn here:

Shetland handspun

It felt like it was taking forever to ply, and now that I’ve finished it I can see why. It’s 3-ply, 390.5 yards and 94.3g, which if I did the math right works out to 1875 yards per pound. 18 WPI (wraps per inch) though I did it fairly loosely — I could have packed quite a few more wraps on there. I’m never sure how you’re supposed to do it, so I’m trying to just be consistent so that over time I’ll know how many WPI is what weight for my yarn even if it doesn’t correspond to anyone else’s.

For that matter, the two charts I found last night were wildly different from one another. The Ravelry yarn weight chart doesn’t go higher than 14 WPI, which they say is fingering weight, so on that chart this would be light fingering or lace weight, which is crazy talk. It’s definitely not lace weight. And the one from Spinderella’s Fiber Mill (PDF) says that 18-24 WPI is sport weight, and this yarn definitely isn’t as thick as sport weight. It does list fingering weight as 1800-2400 yards per pound, though, and this falls solidly into that category. It looks like fingering weight to me, so good enough.

I have no idea yet what I want to knit with it. I’m so happy that it’s done. I got all caught up in sewing for a while and slowed down a lot on spinning. It was a little tough to spin — I was trying to learn to spin thinner than I usually do, and I definitely managed that, but the process was harder than I expected. It took a fair amount of concentration not to default to a thicker yarn. The spindle hit the floor quite a bit more than usual, which gave me lots of somewhat frustrating practice making joins in thin singles. I’m still not especially good at joins. The yarn has a few pigtails here and there where things went a little crazy while I wound the plying ball, but overall not bad.

I can’t remember if I even posted this shirt when I finished making it, but even if I did, it’s more finished than before, so here’s a new photo. I hemmed it up a couple inches and embroidered owls across the front. This was the first time I embroidered a t-shirt, and things shifted a bit when I dissolved the stabilizer, so the tension must have been a bit uneven. But wobbly or no, I love this shirt so much. It’s incredibly comfortable, and the owls make me very happy.

Embroidered Kirsten Kimono Tee

Pattern is the Kirsten Kimono Tee from MariaDenmark. It’s free, and it’s a great pattern. I’m calling my first foray into sewing knits a success.

Not long after I finished that, I saw the Violet doll pattern on Shiny Happy World, and naturally I was killed dead by the cute and decided I definitely needed to make one for my niece for her third birthday this fall. I started cutting fabric and felt and, well, things got a little out of hand. (Also, wool felt is pretty awesome stuff.)

Rag doll factory

See, once I started cutting out the doll parts, I started thinking how I could adapt the pattern to make a monster doll. And what girl doesn’t need a purple monster buddy, right? So I sketched out a monster face and monster hair using the Violet doll pattern as a template. I’m still working on the monster doll (need to re-do the eyes, which aren’t quite right), but the girl doll is finished, along with two outfits.

A shirt and shorts, which helped me get over my fear of applying trim:

Violet doll - finished

(Pardon the cat hair. Vladimir keeps finding her and laying on her. I feel slightly mean putting her in a drawer, but I’m going to have to.)

And a dress. There will be more clothes — the monster is the same size, so they clearly need an entire wardrobe to share, right?

Violet doll - finished

Hide and seek! Or an excuse to show the embroidered curls on the back of her head, take your pick.

Violet doll - finished

Oh, and I claimed I’d been doing some knitting, didn’t I? I hadn’t worked on the cowl for quite a while. It was just too hot to feel like knitting much. But it’s been surprisingly cool for August, and I’ve been knitting away on this. The stitch pattern is old shale (or feather and fan, I have no idea which is which) that I modified by changing all the purl rows to knit to make it more reversible.

Cowl WIP

About halfway done — when I’m almost out of yarn I’ll run some waste yarn through the live loops, wash and block it to make it all nice and lacy instead of the crumpled mess it currently is, and then undo the provisional cast-on, give it a half twist, and graft the ends together to make one of those nifty moebius cowls without the pain and suffering of learning the moebius cast-on.

To end the parade o’ photos, I’ve been working a little bit here and there on a hexagon flower quilt. I love piecing hexagons, and it’s nice to have a portable sewing project I keep in my bag.

Almost two down, 109 to go! And thus endeth the longest blog post ever.

Hexagon flowers

1 Comment

  1. Wendi Gratz
    August 19, 2013

    Your Violet doll turned out so cute! I love the red hair! I’ve got a couple of monster dolls in the works with plans to release the patterns in time for Halloween crafting. I’ve been obsessed with the idea of a furry monster doll in comfy flannel jammies for a couple of months now. . . :-)

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