The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home


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Reality bites – I’ll spin to that

Honest truth – I nearly made my baby gift deadline.  As my Mother loves to say, “Close but no cigar.”  Friends, this is how the saga unfolded…  By Friday night, I was almost finished knitting on a garter border.  It was a beast of a job but I’d have more than enough time on Saturday to finish her up.  I went to my bed, and had sweet dreams.

At some point of some sweet dream my thoughts got real with me.  I woke up just knowing that the border was a spoiler.  It had to go.  Why?  Three reasons:

  • The garter stitch was boxing in the rest of the blanket, in a bad way;
  • My short colour changes were way too busy for the vision in white main body; and
  • I had botched the upper left corner with misplaced colour changes.

So, I ran downstairs, put the coffee on, and had at it.  Furious, furious knitting.  Does border no. 2 look better?  Sure does!   Did I have a prayer for finishing?  Nope.

At around say 1:30 p.m., I knew this would be wrapped on the needles.   It was seriously humbling.  She is quite possibly the most urban non-knitter friend that I have.  There was enough time to unfurl half the stitches onto waste yarn but it probably looked v. strange to her.  Especially since she was looking at the wrong side.  Good grief!

On the bright side, my friends at the Wool Bin have all assured me the design is a win.  The knitters hath spake!  Also on the bright side, the baby should be en ventre sa mere until early May 🙂

Leaving the sad story with bright sides, I have my 1st wheel-spun yarn to show you!  It is 4-ply Coopworth that is in a DK-weight range before finishing:

It is springy, and very yarn-like!  And I have another full bobbin here:

There’s yet more waiting for room to be plied as well!

On Monday, I found this tiny nest while walking Toby.  It was up-side down by my neighbour’s tree:

The white fluff is from fine, silky seeds.  It forms the base of the nest:

How I think us humans caught onto the idea of spinning in the first place:  nature.


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Spin, knit, spin

With my friend’s baby shower looming, I’ve had to tear myself away from the Wee Peggy wheel, and back into knitting mode.  It was a wrench.  Only accomplished by shunting the wheel & all of her paraphernalia into another room.

Still hush-hush on this gift but I can let the working title slip, right?  Blankie Love.  I wet blocked the last piece of the body – 3 0f 3 –  last night, and have a morning to post to my heart’s content.  Then there will be seaming, a lot of stitches to pick up, and a border to be made.  By Saturday… it’s tight but doable.

This is my friend’s first pregnancy after a long period of trying.  I wanted this blanket to just be a real celebration.  It’s my idea of how a baby should be welcomed into the world.  There are notes, and charts that I’ll be writing into a pattern.

About the wheel.  It was genius to go for an Ashford maintenance kit out at Spun.  For while I was there, I picked up this Louet medium Coopworth wool roving:

Heart not included

This is the now-refreshed Wee Peggy.  Polished, oiled, and scotch tensioned.

She may not look terribly different but trust me, she sure feels different.  From clunking along to purring different.  The Coopworth turned out to be great for getting the hang of this wheel.  Having ½ pound to play with has been fun!  Believe it or not, I am on my 3rd bobbin of singles!

If you’ve noticed, I only have 2 bobbins to play with.  The wheel’s owner doubted that I would get this far on my own!  Just as I do for spindle plying, the 2 cops became 1:

Do you see the size of that ball?  It’s just an outer-feed ball of 2 singles.  DH is in awe at this output – he just sat there, staring at me spin!

For all of this excitement, my spindles are not languishing.  This is my Bluefaced Leicester (BFL) that I am spinning with the Knitter’s Book of Wool Ravelry group for a March woolalong:

The spindle is my Grafton tulipwood Mala.  Please forgive the heavy shadow in this pic – we are having a gloriously sunny March morning over here!

What’s up next in knitting?  I want to use my handspun, of course!


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Guild shout-out

It’s been a slow Monday morning & I’m late for a knitting meet-up but just want to quickly point over here.  It’s a post on my Handweaving & Spinning Guild’s blog about member Stella Tang’s wonderful presentation on her handwoven necklaces last Friday.

Stella explained her technique to the Guild, and as you can see from the pictures,  she also brought beautiful examples of her work at various stages of completion.  She prepares a hand-held loom with galvanized pins, and warp threads.  Once the design and loom are in place, Stella then weaves with a tapestry needle and stunning threads, incorporating beads.  Joining the beads within the body of the necklace is the main complicating factor.

She has experimented with many interesting materials, and her compositions range from (relatively) simple to complex.  So interesting!

And if I don’t get a move on, I’ll be really late for this meet-up!