Monday, September 17, 2018

Opposing Ply Yarn and Bags

A couple of weeks ago I dyed some fibre to spin for socks.

This is my favourite 80/20 Merino/Nylon sock blend. I decided to spin opposing ply yarn for the first time, since it is supposed to make hard wearing socks.
Normally singles (the individual ply) are all spun with the twist in one direction and then plied in the opposite direction. With opposing ply yarn one of the singles is spun in the same direction as the final plying direction. This tightens up that one single during plying (more twist creates a tougher yarn). I spun a 3-ply yarn, so two of the singles were spun with a Z-twist and the third was with a S-twist, then all three were plied with a S-twist.

This is how the yarn looked fresh off the wheel. The top yarn is the opposing ply, 3-ply yarn - that one ply added a lot of extra twist to the yarn. The small skein at the bottom is a 2-ply with the leftover Z-twist singles, and made a nice balanced yarn.

The yarn relaxed after washing .

You can see in the above photo that one of the plies is tighter.

I started knitting a pair of two-at-a-time, toe-up socks with the yarn. I am finding that the yarn is a bit 'rougher' than regular 3-ply yarn I have made with the same fibre (just a bit hard on my hands). I am surprised how even the knitting looks considering how un-even the yarn looks.

I also have another pair of socks on the go made with the same fibre - cuff-down this time (this is my favourite way to knit socks, but I wasn't sure of the yardage for the red/orange ones, so it was safer to knit them toe-up). They are all 64 stitches on 2.5mm needles. It will be interesting to the effect of the different yarns.

I made a Bendy Bag from Lazy Girl Designs this week. This is the second one I have made. They are a great size - perfect as a project bag for a pair of socks and wonderful for chargers, earbuds and cables for electronics when I travel - so of course I needed two. I have the pattern as part of a Craftsy Class that is no longer available. With the bit of the fabric that is cut out of the bag I made Bendy Bits bag.

I bought the fabric when I went to Japan last year, and I happened to have bought a little rabbit charm that matched perfectly - I love rabbits and came home with a few rabbit items, the avatar for my blog is a rabbit too.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, September 10, 2018

Block Head Blocks

This week the only quilt along blocks I made were two Moda Block Head 2 blocks, both are 6" blocks.

This first one is Fidget Spinner. I have never made a block like this, and was so impressed with how well it went together.

This one is called Corner Pocket. I've always been tempted to make a whole quilt with this type of block.

I also started knitting a short sleeve, raglan pullover with the yarn I spun the week before.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, September 3, 2018

Weekly Round-Up

Four quilt along blocks made this week. It has been fun just sewing the blocks I feel like with no specific plan.

The first one is from Antebellum Album from the Civil War Quilts Blog, a 12" block called Southern Cross.

These two are the 4" blocks from the Temecula Quilt Company 1880 Sampler Sew Along.

This is from the Moda Blockhead 2 quilt along, block #12, a 6" block.

Last week I dyed this Polwarth fibre,

and now it is yarn for a little sweater - it might be really little since there is just over 200g!

All the best!♥︎

Monday, August 27, 2018

New Flimsy

This past week I finished sewing together some clamshells I had cut with the GO! cutter two years ago! Every now and then I have been sewing them together.

Trimmed it up (this way it looks like dragon scales). It is about 37"x45". I made the clamshells for the centre of a medallion quilt using blocks from two years ago - 365 Challenge blocks from 2016. I knew that I would only be making some of the 3" blocks - 81 at the time,

and I needed to piece 15 more to have enough to go around the centre (I just chose easy blocks to piece).

Pieced borders ready for sewing,

after adding strips of fabric to make up the difference between the centre and border (the magic of medallion quilts).

I also added a little border around the outside. I was going to add more borders, but then decided I didn't need another big quilt and this one is a really nice size - about 60"x70". Now I need to get some backing.

I also finished a couple of knitting projects, both gifts.

This first one is a Midge Shawl by Odessa Riechel.

I used hand spun yarn,

natural coloured silk and merino that I blended with sari silk threads and gold Angelina.

Also finished a pair of socks from commercial Cashmerino sock yarn that I dyed. I was surprised how different the socks are considering they are from the same skein.

Today I dyed some more fibre. I am so pleased with the top one - definitely my colours! Dyeing for me is always a fun surprise.

Our little furry visitor seems to have found a favourite spot in our basement - he has slept here a few times this past week.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, August 20, 2018

Weekly Quilt Blocks

This past week's quilt along blocks.

This first one is block #11, Direction, from Moda Blockheads 2, a 6" block.

This one is from the 1880 Sampler Sew Along quilt along from the Temecula Quilt Company blog, a 4" block.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, August 13, 2018

Finished Shawl

This week's quilt along blocks - 

I can see this one needs to be pressed better -

It is the Sampler 1880 Sew Along block from the Temecula Quilt Company blog, a 4" block.

This one is the Moda Blockhead 2, block #10 'Ducks and Ducklings', a 12" block.

This week I finished knitting a shawl with some of my first handspun yarn.

The pattern is Campside by Alicia Plummer, a free pattern from Pom Pom Magazine.

Not only is the yarn from 2013 when I first started spinning, but it is also one of my first hand dyed yarns. It is a soft merino alpaca blend (one ply of each). I had started a couple other projects with this yarn, but they never seemed right. I am really happy with this.

I also finished weaving this little sample project using leftover handspun from the Granny Stripe blanket. I'll probably make a pillow with it.

All the best!♥︎

Monday, August 6, 2018

Quilt Blocks, Knitting and Sewing

This past week I caught up on some quilt along blocks.

This first on is the Antebellum Album block from the Civil War Quilts Blog - a 12" block.

This one is the Moda Blockhead block #7 (I decided I didn't want to make blocks 8 and 9) - this is a 6" block.

These ones are the 1880 Sampler Sew Along blocks from the Temecula Quilt Company for the past few weeks - 4"blocks (one is a smaller version of the Moda Blockhead block).

For knitting I finished this tiny bag - the Weightless Produce Bag (a free pattern from Simply Notable).

It was designed to reduce the use of single use plastic bags. I used #10 crochet cotton and it weighs just 9 grams. It was a quick knit, and amazing how much it stretches.

I also made a couple more Blackwood Cardigans (I have made 4 so far). This is such a simple pattern, that is so well drafted. The grey one is the second one I made with a slinky rayon (the first one went to my Mother), and the cream one is made from very stretchy 100% cotton (actually from a fitted sheet, when 't-shirt sheets' were popular, but I didn't like it - I was cleaning out the linen closet and was going to get rid of it, it is perfect for a light weight cardigan).

All the best!♥︎

Monday, July 30, 2018

Tour de Fleece 2018

Tour de Fleece finished on Sunday (a three week spinning event held during Tour de France).

This year I spun over a kilo of yarn! All from raw fleeces that I was given, and prepared myself.
All 2 ply, about fingering weight yarn.

710g, 2441m of yarn with high twist. I plan on dyeing this for a weaving project.

This was part of a brown fleece that was lighter. 161g, 361m that I spun in the reverse direction than normal for a twined knitting project.

After cleaning and combing the fleece, I drum carded some white fleece with a small amount of brown fleece. 92g, 265m.

80g, 210m. I have no plans for these last two skeins.

I really enjoyed working with different coloured, natural fibre this year.

All the best!♥︎