Whee, washed and dried — properly finished — yarn to show off! I’m happy with my Spinzilla results.

The purple is an unknown I pulled from Mr. MmmYarn’s fiber stash. It’s from Carolina Homespun and feels like it might be BFL. Here it is in its pre-spun streaky glory:

2017-09-24_Spinning_Purple-maybe-BFL_B4

I found it easy to spin thinly and got a gorgeous 3-ply out of it. I’m a little disappointed that I had 66 yards of 2-ply because it means I didn’t do even work in 2 of the plies. Granted, I did the bulk of those plies on the bus and it’s harder to draft evenly when you and your spindle are lurching all over creation as the bus stops and starts, spindle banging on your knees or the seat in front of you, and you have to keep your elbows glued to your sides. You’re supposed to set yourself a challenge during Spinzilla; I didn’t, but in retrospect, I say this counted.

2017-10-09_Spinning_4-ounces-purple-maybe-BFL-during-Spinzilla

Fiber: 4 ounces of unknown purple streaky, feels like BFL, from Carolina Homespun
Spun 9/19-10/8/2017 (2 of the plies from 10/2-10/8 during Spinzilla) on Cascade Bay spindle
Plied 10/9/2017 at 12:1 on Lendrum wheel
Finished yarn is 237 yards of 3-ply and 66 yards of 2-ply

I meant for the 10 ounces of Jacob to end up about the thickness of Cascade 220, but it had so many slubby bits that it wasn’t possible. I left the slubs in as a feature and got a beautiful, squashy, and heavier-than-worsted yarn out of my 4 bobbins:

2017-10-10_Spinning_10-ounces-of-Jacob-during-Spinzilla

Fiber: 10 ounces Jacob from Meridian Jacobs
Color: natural, a blend of dark and light wools
Spun 10/3-10/08/2017 at 15:1 on a Lendrum wheel
Finished yarn is 267 yards of 4-ply (plied at 9:1), 2.4 yards of 3-ply (at 9:1), 56 yards of 2-ply (at 15:1)

As usual, all finished yarn goes into my large sack of handspun, waiting for the day a project speaks to me.

And because you read to the end, you get to see a green-and-purple crab waving its claws in an attempt to ward off being immortalized in a portrait. I had to hang upside down over the edge of a rocky tidepool to get this shot.

2017-08-26_f_MontanaDeOro_crab-portrait

 

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This will be boring for anyone who didn’t participate in Spinzilla, but I have to record it for posterity. My total yards spun for the week is 1639.29. It’s more than I thought, but when I estimate how many hours I spent on it, the number seems small.

I spun 2 plies of the purple and 4 plies of the gray Jacob during Spinzilla and plied after the event was over (soooo much easier to count yardage once it’s plied than wrestling with singles) so I can’t count the yards of plying. Here’s the non-glamour photo of the plied yarn, resting on bobbins:

2017-10-10_Spinzilla-singles-plied

Math time!

66.05 yards of 2-ply purple –> 132.1
237.25 yards of 3-ply purple, of which I can count only 2 plies, so 158.16*2 –> 316.32
56.38 yards of 2-ply Jacob –> 112.76
2.41 yards of 3-ply Jacob –> 7.23
267.72 yards of 4-ply Jacob –> 1070.88

See those rather long stretches of 2-ply? Apparently, I spin more evenly when I space it out over weeks and months instead of cramming it into a week. Or perhaps I didn’t split the fiber evenly at the outset.

Spinzilla ends tonight and, to my surprise, I spun up all the fiber I planned to for this event. I finished the 4th Jacob bobbin before heading to the farmers’ market this morning and spent the rest of the day working on the spindle off and on, with a solid 1.75 hours at the Golden Gate Park Band’s final concert of the season.

2017-10-08_Spinzilla-progress

Spinzilla is not over yet: ninety minutes remain, but I am not going to tackle plying tonight. The team captain wants yardage counts by Friday. I dislike messing about with singles on the swift or niddy-noddy so I’ll ply these, then calculate yardage for the 6 singles I spun this week. 1100 yards, maybe?

Clemes & Clemes kindly had a Spinzilla spinning area in their booth at Lambtown today. After I looked at sheep and sheepdogs, wandered the booths, observed Sheep to Shawl (in which my guild’s team placed third, a big hooray for them!) and admired the critters in the petting zoo, it was time to buckle down at the wheel. I finished one of the singles on my spindle while walking around and filled a bobbin at the booth. Not bad for a day’s production, and I half-filled the 4th and final bobbin after I got home. The purple ball in the lower right corner is the finished ply I took off the spindle today.

2017-10-07_Spinzilla-progress

I should be able to finish the wheel spinning in the morning; speaking realistically, I do not think I will finish the next ply on the spindle or that I’ll ply either project before 11:59pm tomorrow.

Gosh, I feel like such a Spinzilla slacker. Other spinners on the Ravelry board have posts such as “two bobbins today” or are already plying. I have merely 2 bobbins full with the third barely started on the wheel and not even half the purple fiber on the spindle. I even skipped vacuuming and ironing this week, spinning instead.

2017-10-06_Spinzilla-progress

Tomorrow, Lambtown!!

A large-ish small spinner in the park made an impression on me over the weekend:

2018-10-01_Urban-spider-blowing-in-the-wind

My first reaction was: seriously? Since when do we have spiders with white legs and black knees and rotund red bodies in an urban park? I mean, I sit on the lawns there! It also had the audacity to spin its web on a pole with a 4-hour parking sign, and it was not ticketed 4 hours later. Talk about parking enforcement having a lax day.

At the end of day 3, I have a half-full spindle of the purple fiber and a full bobbin (1/4 of the gray Jacob) done:

2017-10-04_Spinzilla-progress

bad cell phone photo at night does not show the colors to their advantage

Not bad considering I only spun on the wheel 10 minutes on Monday night due to work obligations and have only spun on the spindle on the bus. Twirling on in the morning…

Well, day 1 went nothing like I had planned. I drop-spindled on the bus both commutes today and got a nice cop going, but only had 10 minutes on the wheel at home (because I am still working… at 9:30pm; am able to post here while a server restarts), long enough to discover the Jacob fiber is slubby so I’ll be producing, eventually, a 4-ply art yarn with that. Progress is hardly worth documenting so I took no photo. Onward into day 2!

I suppose a proper title for this post should be “What I did on my summer vacation” because that’s what the Mmm…  Yarn hiatus in summer 2015 was supposed to be — a summer vacation — but I obviously let it go on more than a bit longer. I was a good yarn student in the meantime, churning out projects and yarn. An event seems like a fun way to try to find my voice here again, and the event is Spinzilla.

Spinzilla is a week-long spinning event sponsored by TNNA that starts one minute after midnight tonight, so October 2. I don’t plan to be awake for the kickoff (whirloff?), but if the nightmares that plagued me last week come to visit tonight, and it’s officially Monday, I might just scoot over to the wheel instead of attempting to read to settle my nerves.

This is what I dug up and got ready today:

2017-10-01_Preparing-for-Spinzilla

The gray is 10 ounces of Jacob from Meridian Jacobs, split into fourths, that I want to spin into a 4-ply about the same thickness as Cascade 220 on my Lendrum wheel. The purple is 2/3 of 4 ounces of unknown wool (possibly BFL) that I want to spin into a 3-ply on my Cascade Bay spindle, which I will carry around with me all this week. The first 1/3 of the purple is currently parked on the spindle, fresh singles I just finished this afternoon; that yardage obviously does not count for the Spinzilla total although I will get to count the other 2 plies and the plying if I get all that done this week (which is about as likely as a Mothra attack). I will get that singles off the spindle tonight so it’s bare for the morning.

Pluses are: I took the time to split up my fiber today, and I’ve been practicing spinning on the bus the last 2 weeks and have figured out arm placement so I’m not poking my seatmate. It’s harder when I’m wearing a skirt, no gap to drop the spindle down into, so I did laundry today to ensure a supply of trousers the next 5 days.

Time challenges are: I have to work late tomorrow night on a major software system upgrade, lunch in a restaurant Wednesday (the other days I can spin over lunch in the break room), Scrabble night also on Wednesday (although I can set the iPad on the stool next to me while I spin at the well-oiled wheel between turns), and Lambtown this weekend (I will bring the spindle so I can work while walking around, but I’ll lose on driving time and lose efficiency while being distracted by wool on the hoof and sheepdogs and shopping).

Wish me luck!

I think we’ve all heard of the Rhinebeck sweater — the event gets lots of attention out there in blog-land, with many knitters writing of their attempts to finish a new sweater in time to wear it for the first time there in New York, plus now there’s a book all about it. I haven’t heard of the Stitches West (or any Stitches) sweater but it might be out there. Me, I try to wear something I’ve made since the last SW and possibly including yarn I bought at the last SW so I can show it to the vendor and shopping buddies. This year’s super-warm weather (knitting at the tables outside in the afternoon after shopping! In years past, there has been snow on the distant hillsides.) limited the wardrobe choices, so I wore a light scarf that showed off Damsel.

Endless Rainbow was such fun to knit that I made it twice in succession. I wore the blue and green version, which I dubbed “Limited Rainbow,” to SW:

2014-06-07_Scarf_Endless-Rainbow_navy-green-2

Pattern: Endless Rainbow by Martina Behm (Strickmich)
Yarn: 2.2 skeins Dale of Norway Baby Ull, 100% superwash wool, color 5755 (navy) and .35 skeins Dragonfly Fibers Damsel, 100% superwash merino wool, color Villainess (green)
Needles: US size 3
Size: 63″ across top, 13″ tall at triangle’s point
Started 5/23 and finished 6/7/2014

The pattern is wonderfully easy, all garter stitch with some simple short rows at the one edge. I had the short rows part memorized after 2 repeats, and I love the way the designer has you carry the contrast color up on the wrong side with a chain stitch — it means if you have big enough skeins, you only need to weave in 4 tails when you’re done!

I called the second one “Yellow Brick Road at the Emerald City,” and it’s in the big box of finished items.

2014-06-08_EndlessRainbow_Scarf_a_yellow-and-green

Pattern: Endless Rainbow by Martina Behm (Strickmich)
Yarn: 1.9 skeins Dale of Norway Baby Ull, 100% superwash wool, color 2317 (yellow) and .34 skeins Dragonfly Fibers Damsel, 100% superwash merino wool, color Villainess (green)
Needles: US size 3
Size: 61″ across top, 12″ tall at triangle’s point
Started 6/8 and finished 7/8/2014

No idea why the yellow one ended up slightly smaller. Size is easily adjustable, just keep repeating the pattern until you’re about to run out of yarn. Here are both of them together so you can see how very different the green appears against the two different main colors:

2014-06-08_EndlessRainbow_Scarves_together

I think the designer became known primarily for her Hitchhiker scarf. I saw quite a few of those on the market masses at SW and a bunch of Lefties, with lots of Lefties as samples in booths. I only saw one other Endless Rainbow.

Speaking of rainbows, June was also the month Afghans for Afghans had their baby shower event, in which they requested hats and socks for babies. I made a rainbow of socks and 3 hats in addition to my two scarves:

Hats-Socks_2014-07-01-Afghans-for-Afghans

I made the hats from yarn I unraveled from a vest that someone had donated to A4A at the last event, but couldn’t be used because it didn’t contain enough animal fiber. All are rice stitch on size 5 needles, 64 stitches around. The socks are all Brown Sheep Nature Spun Sport, 15g (55 yards) per sock, made on size 3 needles, 28 stitches around. Colors are Red Fox, Orange You Glad, Impasse Yellow, Elf Green, Navy Nite, and Amethyst. Baby socks are zippy little projects!

Post title from Mr. Burns, of course!

I had such a good time at the Stitches West market yesterday! Here’s exactly how much fun I had:

2014-02-20_StitchesWest-loot

Top row:
Octopus Mitten kit from Dragonfly Fibers (yarn is Traveller); book “The Rhinebeck Sweater”; Hardtwist yarn in Glory (yellow) from Lisa Souza Knitwear and Dyeworks; 10 ounces Polwarth & silk fiber in Seawater from Wonderland Dyeworks; 3 skeins Oink Pigments DK in Watermelon Rind from Oink Pigments

Bottom row:
4 skeins Traveller in African Daisy from Dragonfly Fibers; 3 skeins Cascade Kid Seta in 3 shades of blues; 2 skeins Rothko (Polwarth/silk blend) in Cayenne (red-orange) from Abstract Fibers; BLF/nylon sock yarn in Plum Majesty from 2 Guys Yarn Company; Diaphanous laceweight in blue from Sincere Sheep

The market has been a one-day event for me the past few years so I have to make it count!

2 Guys Yarn Company is new this year. I had to take a couple of minutes to allow my eyes to adjust when I got to their booth, because most of the yarn I had just seen was brilliantly saturated with color and theirs are lovely muted colors. Well worth the couple of minutes! I decided pretty quickly I wanted a skein of BFL sock yarn, because that’s harder to find as a base, and took my time to finally choose a gorgeous purple. I recommend you stop by!

Wonderland Dyeworks is new to me but not new to the market. I don’t know how I could have overlooked them last year; I was drawn in 4 times yesterday, just loving the colors, and finally decided on the Seawater braids.

I went to Dragonfly Fibers early on, scoping out what they had because I found them so late in the day last year I hadn’t much money left; this time around I wanted a sweater quantity and enough cash on hand to get it!

All in all, added 6575 yards (3.74 miles) and 10 ounces of fiber to the stash.

Noteworthy-to-me absences: there were four booths I planned to go to and they weren’t there: Cephalopod Yarns, Kollage Yarns (need another set of square needles; only one vendor had them but not the size I need), Nordic Mart (I talked to someone who has the inside scoop and they are planning to go in even-numbered years), and Village Spinning & Weaving. I also ended up not attempting to cram myself into Miss Babs’ or The Verdant Gryphon’s booths, both too full every time I happened by.

After all the shopping I met up for dinner from my friends who drove up from where I used to live and spent a few hours catching up with them. Today I spent the day resting my tired legs, getting stuff done around the apartment, and admiring my pile of lovelies that I haven’t put away yet. It’s too bad it’s only once a year (all that eye candy) but, speaking honestly, best for the budget and yarn storage areas if it’s only once a year. 🙂

 

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