That Batt Pt. 1

Do you remember that batt? The one from FatCatKnits (made up of BFL, Polwarth, Superwash Merino, Silk, Tencel, and Firestar) that I was prepared to spin for TdF on a Turkish spindle? Well I finally finished it up a month later. What wasn’t already on the spindle was spun on my Haldane wheel instead. The wheel spun yarn is purposely chunkier than the spindle spun singles I was initially working on (thicker singles = quicker finish!), though it was not easy trying to spin thick after a long time of spinning thin singles!

Spinning a Batt

This is how I chose to prep the batt before spinning. I opened up the batt (step 1) and tore a narrow strip lengthwise (step 2). Then I ended up drafting the strip very lightly by pulling on the strip horizontally (steps 4-5) before going back and drafting it again (step 7) until I got it down to a more manageable size for me to spin it. Notice how much length I got predrafting again in step 8 versus step 6!  I created a stack of these bundles (step 8) before finally beginning to spin. Though the batt was quite smooth and fun to work with versus the first art batt I tried, I still had to keep a lint roller nearby to pick up the sparkle and fluff that clung to my pants. I ended up plying these singles using the medium whorl on my Roadbug because I like the end result of using a low twist to spin the singles and a higher twist for plying versus the same amount of twist for both spinning and plying the singles.

Photo of FatCatKnits Batt

The final yardage was 100 metres of heavy sport weight yarn (14 – 16 WPI overall, though there are thicker and thinner spots) from 83 grams of fibre. This was a traditional 3 ply skein (meaning I spun 3 separate singles and plied it together versus chain plied), and I am happy with how it turned out. I definitely would have liked more yardage but as someone who is still new to spinning I am just happy when my handspun turns out to be useable!

As you noticed I did not do a weekly loadout this week because I ended up not working on the fibre I had posted (the Pigeon Roof Studios Hallows). Instead, I am focusing on finishing up my spinning WIPs! I have 3 days before school starts so I hope to fit as much spinning and knitting as I can during this long weekend and I also need to take photos of what I have finished so far so I can share it with all of you :). This means skeining handspun yarn, washing, and waiting for it to dry while also hoping for good weather so the sun will help speed up the drying process!

Any volunteers to wind off handspun yarn from a bobbin onto a niddy noddy for me? It’ll be a great arm workout…

Pepto-Bismol Giraffe

rollie_01

2014 has become the year of the stuffed toys for me. This pink giraffe (who is so much brighter in person) was knit for my 6 year old cousin, and was well received. The pink yarn is one of the oldest in my stash! It is Red Heart Soft Touch worsted weight that I had bought years ago when I first learned to crochet (I was a crocheter long before a knitter) and working with it brought back memories. The sweater is Patons UK Fab which is a DK weight (pattern called for worsted weight yarn) but worked fine with the US 2 needles I used throughout thed project (loose knitter = smaller needles for stuffed toys!). I have an addiction for Susan Claudino’s patterns (this one is Rollie) especially since she makes it so easy to knit a stuffed toy without having to sew the limbs on afterwards. Instead, she uses a technique that has you knit the arms and legs separately and knit them into the body afterwards as you go. Anything that saves me time from sewing is a plus!

rollie_02

And here is a reason why you should remember to duplicate stitch before stuffing your animal! Because it is hard to get even tension on your stitches while trying not to pull stuffing out with your sewing needle!

Being part of a family with many little cousins (I have 7!), I have already started queuing future stuffed toys to knit since I really enjoy making these for birthdays.

Weekly Loadout #2: You’re a spinner Harry

Mondays, I look forward to Mondays because that means more chances for my online purchases to come in (no mail service on the weekends here in Canada) but after finding out my fall semester starts on September 2nd, I am not liking how fast my summer break is ending. Despite the lack of posts last week I was finished quite a bit! But those are for later posts this week, for now lets look at what I’ll be working for the next 7 days (and more).

I casted on Merlot this past Sunday (as seen on the right), and decided to do a follow modifications someone else had done by knitting the shawl in garter stitch and adding more stripes in the shawl. I am only 10 rows in, but it has been so long since I worked on a shawl that I am loving using larger needles! This pattern calls for US 7 needles which are larger than the typical US 6 standard used for fingering weight shawls that I have knit before. This is where it might be helpful to do a gauge swatch however life is too short for that. I’ll let you know if I come to regret this decision…

The rest is all spinning related! I finished plying my FatCatKnits batt singles on the Roadbug and it is now resting before I wind it off on the niddy noddy and give it a good soak. The accompanying plying ball (contained thinner singles of the same batt I spun on a Turkish spindle and then abandoned) I showed last week is still being spun on my drop spindle. I think I may end up winding the spindle plied yarn into a center pull ball and plying it again on itself to get a thicker weight of yarn. I have never done this before and so am interested to see if this actually works.

That summer appropriate 4 ounce braid at the bottom is from SpunRightRound and is the Yes,Maybe,No colourway in merino. It is such a fun colour and while it would be fun to do it as a 3 ply, I think I will try spinning it for a 2 ply instead. I am planning on splitting the fibre in half and then grouping by colour. The end result will be two gradient singles plied from opposite colours, to get maximum barber poling at the ends.

And finally, on the left from Pigeonroof Studios I specifically bought this BFL braid because of its name, Hallows. In my mind it referenced to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows so there was no way I could not pass up on this colourway. Plus having speckles of orange won me over. This will be a long term project since I am planning on spinning it on my support spindles. This Spanish Peacock Mini Tibetan spindle is only one of the spindles I’ll be using over the next few months.