The Knit Knack's Blog

my handspinning, knitting, natural dye, weaving fibre home


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Six years and counting

We have just blown past the 6-year mark since I first registered this blog!  The ever-creative “First post:)” was on March 3, 2009.

Handspinning Abby Batt on Tabachek holly drop spindle

We’ve come a long way, Baby!

Happy 6th blogiversary!

The traditional year 6 gift is candy.  To celebrate, we decided to clear the decks of random ads.  It’s one of the changes that I have talked about behind the scenes for quite some time.

A clean format guarantee for you the readers is important to me.  It is clean on the back-end because we don’t book ads of any kind.  Any ads shown were never going to match your interest or ours.

This space is simply about information, and hopefully is a source of interaction as well.  Now what you see is in step with this intention.  Our site hits are growing, and this is in part thanks to 200+ followers to the @irieknit Twitter feed.

Not your average give away but here’s to ad-free posting!  Hope you like the virtual candy for our 6th!

Handspun alpaca yarn with Andean pushka and Melvin the cat

The boss of my yarn

Under Melvin’s supervision this Alpaca spin on my carved Andean pushka went on to become approx. 379 yds of 2-ply yarn.

Just a slice of the busy month of knits, spins and even a weave that I want to process for sharing… ad-free!


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A Tour de Fleece with results

The mountain stages were where I dove into my 15 oz of Horned Dorset roving.  The goal was to keep practicing longdraw on my newly refurbished Watson Martha wheel.

Soon every saved toilet paper roll had been pressed into service.  In spinning all of the singles first, I did get a more consistent long-draw action going.  I also learned just how physically draining even a supported long-draw is over time.  It was a push but I finished in time for 7 skeins of squoosh plied before the end of Le Tour.

It was an extra push after my Dumb Mistake.  Which is to say, I managed to ply 78 yards of oops! before I saw it was 5 and not 4 bobbins on the darn lazy kate.  That hurt.

It’s what happens when you are me & try to start plying after 10 pm.  So we have some potholder yarn, and also 308 yds of my 1st proper 4-ply woolen yarn!

Beth Smith deserves big props.  She gave me respect for sampling and a new drafting method.  Beth is a wonderful instructor and hilarious besides!

To wit, these Mystery Fleece samples are curious.  The carded 3-ply (top) has the better hand.

 

But wait – what is this?  The 2-ply combed number knits a pretty sweet swatch!  The Shetland lace does have crunch but is still a keeper, I think.

Not that I am biased  or anything.

On a whim, I also made friends with 3 bolls of cotton that I picked up at the Ontario Handspinning Seminar last month.

Using the shell as a ground for the tahkli helps me to feel the spin better than ceramic or glass bowls.  Straight from the boll this cotton had so much crimp!  I got the knack of fluffing the staple crimp a little, and also not spinning to the short linters.

Easily my fastest work of any cotton to date, and very encouraging.  The cream singles on the tahkli is from organic Peruvian top that I have been carding into punis on my Schacht cotton cards.

The Tour was filled with inspiration, fun and best of all, real leaps forward in my spinning.  I just love the fiber community.  Yesterday, I built on this and got a little farther along by watching “Spinning Gossamer Threads” with Galina Khmeleva.

Sitting and spinning just feels so zen.  Also new but on the needles,

About 2 of 5″ of ribbing to start a handspun Redhook by Jared Flood!  The yarn is my Corriedale Christmas 2-ply.  It’s so exciting to see Diane’s colourway pop!  I’d love to wear this vest when I am at the Spinning Loft for Deb Robson’s classes in September.

Lastly, love & thanks to Deb.  You made my day with your thoughtful, so generous gift.  I hope you have many hours of fun on your new wheel – it’s a slippery slope!