Sunday, July 5, 2015

DenKnits 3.13 Tour de F... Fleece!

Finished Objects - FOs

Works in Progress - WIPs
  • It's Tour de Fleece!  Somehow related to a bike race that I don't know anything about, I decided to join Team Phoenix Rising 2015 because she created a Facebook group and I like her fibers :-)  My goal is to spin all of my two Spin This Box fibers and I started with prepping some of the braids on Friday.  I'll mostly wheel spin but since I have some days I won't be able to use my wheel, I will also be using my TurtleMade spindle.
Christmas in July / Birthday Month
  • Like my Facebook page and / or follow my business Instagram account to see the daily highlights.  Patterns that are free will be highlighted as well as paid patterns that will be discounted.  I'll also have specials on finished knits for sale for non-knitters and maybe even some handspun or other items knitters would like!

Saturday, June 20, 2015

DenKnits 3.12 A little bit too colorful?

Finished Objects

Works in Progress
Did you knit in public on WWKIP???

Acquisition - Spin this box

Designing - in the works, a worsted weight item with Agrestal Yarn; test knitter for Cafe Poncho

Saturday, June 6, 2015

DenKnits 3.11 Spinning Bug

Not sure why, but iMovie is not working for me... I've been trying to upload to YouTube for a week now and the app keeps crashing.  My file is too large to do a direct upload to YouTube without compressing and I haven't figured out how to do that and keep it unzipped.  At this point, the only way I have found to get the video up it using Picasa from Google.  You can watch following this link: DenKnits 3.11  If I can ever get iMovie to stop crashing I'll get this up to YouTube then.  Hopefully I can figure something better out by next recording!

Finished Objects - FOs

  • Baby Sophisticate
  • Baby Newsie Hat
  • DGY Chevron design
Works in Progress - WIPs
  • Lotus Flower Blanket
  • Socks
  • Steel city shawl
  • Age of Brass & Steam ?
  • Blue Barn Fiber
    • 2 sets of rolags spun individually as singles, then 2-ply together using cake method
  • Highland Handmades
    • 4 oz Shetland braid from Stitches East
      • Split the braid in half lengthwise and then each into thirds widthwise
  • April Spin this Box
    • Phoenix Fiber Co 1.6 oz rolags of merino, silk, faux cashmere, viscose, tussah silk, firestar, and angelina
      • Spun singles, then felted/fulled them
    • Topeka Twister 2 oz braid of merino and bamboo
      • 2-ply using cake method, did not split braid
    • Snerb 1.5 oz 4 mini batts of merino, alpaca, sari silk and angelina
      • Spun singles long draw then 2-ply with mulberry silk
    • Six Fingered Kitty Fiber Arts 1/2 oz teeswater locks
      • Tail spun and 2-ply with mulberry silk
    • Fiber J 1 oz mulberry silk gradient dyed
      • Spun singles
        • 2-ply from the darkest end first with the locks
        • 2-ply from darkest end left with the mini batts
        • Leftovers left as single, mostly white
Out and About
  • Holland Fiber Friends
    • small group meet up over Memorial weekend
    • June 13th next meet up for World Wide Knit in Public Day
      • Look for a local meet up near you!
      • If you can't find one, go knit in public anyway!
Shared Projects Drawing
  • Since I apparently forgot all of April and so far this month I drew 2 names to win a $5 or less Ravelry downloadable pattern.  PM me on Rav or email me.
  • Currently swatching with new Darn Good Yarn called Fuzzy Acrylic
  • The kits sold by Fiber Addiction that I contributed a pattern to, which also had fiber by Fiber Addiction, a spinning bag by Chasing Acorns and a spindle by TurtleMade, were picked up by StephenBe to be sold at his awesome shop!

Sunday, May 17, 2015

DenKnits 3.10 Weights that trip me up

Finished Objects - FOs

  • Citron Shawl in my Darn Good Yarn silk handspun
  • Eye of the Storm Nursing cover up revision out of Cascade acrylic
  • Blanket design for Darn Good Yarn with their Velvet viscose yarn
Works in Progress - WIPs
  • Haven't been able to do much lately, plan to get to it later today
Out & About
  • Looking for test knitters to join my DenKnits team!  While I can't compensate now beyond undying gratitude and a free pattern, if we grow together there will be more to come!
Side note

Sunday, May 3, 2015

DenKnits 3.9 - Almost Monogamous

Finished Objects

  • Chevron Cowl out of Desert Vista Dyeworks Worsted It!
  • Shawl design for Darn Good Yarn with their beaded silk lace weight
  • Weaving experiment
Works in Progress
  • Design for Darn Good Yarn with their Velvet Viscose yarn
  • I've been busy the past two weeks mostly working on designs, new and old.  I had a lace shawl pattern released through Darn Good Yarn that was found to have an error.  I talk about the process of reading your knitting and fixing designs.

Sunday, April 19, 2015

DenKnits 3.8 - Sample all the things

Finished Objects - FOs

Works in Progress - WIPs
Chikwithyarn has opened her Etsy shop and offered us a coupon code for 10% off, you have to listen to the video to find out what the code is!

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Spin to knit kit for Fiber Addiction

I was recently lucky enough to collaborate with Fiber Addiction, TurtleMade and Chasing Acorns for kits that Fiber Addiction will introduce at Yarn Con in Chicago this April.  My contribution was to spin Fiber Addiction's dyed Polwarth and create a pattern that would work well with the thick 'n' thin handspun yarn that many new spinners create.  I loved this idea so much that I put together a little tutorial on the spinning process as well as creating the pattern!  So, let's get started!

First prepare your fiber
Approx 4oz of fiber in a braid

Unbraid it and wrap it into a ball

Start working from one end

Spread it out without splitting

Find a halfway point and begin to split

Continue pulling it apart into two strips 

Wrapping each strip around your hands as you pull

Now you have two fairly even balls

Take those two balls and begin the splitting process again with each one

Now you have four, do the splitting process one more time with each of these balls 

You should end up with 8 balls approx 0.5-0.6oz each, that are about as thick as shown above

Now you prepare the spindle!

Make a slip knot with a 9-12in scrap yarn, leaving a loop.  Get the end from one of your balls of fiber.
Put the loop around the shaft at the bottom of your whirl (the same for top and bottom whirls)

You're ready to join the fiber and leader
Roll the end of fiber on your leg to 'spin' it into yarn
You made yarn!
Line up the scrap yarn with the handspun yarn with the ends being opposite as above.

Take your handspun yarn underneath the scrap yarn and then back up and over both the scrap yarn and the handspun  yarn.
Finally go back under the handspun yarn and up through the middle of the loop you've created.  Pull it tight into a knot.

Begin to spin!
If you have a hook on the shaft at the top side of the whirl - bring the scrap yarn up from the bottom of the whirl, wrap it around the base of the shaft and then swirl it around the shaft towards the hook at the end of the shaft.
Hold the spindle upright.  Make sure your leader and/or handspun is under the hook.  Begin twisting the spindle clockwise or counter-clockwise.  Be sure to remember which you choose!  If you forget between spins you will unspin your fiber.  If you forget when it's time to ply you will overspin your yarn.  Create at last 6 inches of yarn

Draft your fiber, letting the twist get into the thickness a bit to help create the thick sections.

As you did to begin with, hold the spindle upright.  Begin twisting the spindle clockwise or counter-clockwise and gently let it drop this time!  As long as it continues to spin you can continue to draft the fiber and let the twist into it.  Watch for it to stop so you can grab the spindle before it twists in the other direction.  

When you reach the point where the length of yarn is at the max of your comfort you will wind it onto the shaft of the spindle.  This creates the cop.  
If the length of yarn is about your arm span white seat or standing you may need to wrap the yarn temporarily.  This is the method I use.  You hold the end of the yarn with fiber towards the outside of your hand.  Then wrap the yarn around your thumb and pinky finger in a figure 8 motion.  You can then wind onto your cop as before.

You may choose to pre-draft your yarn to make spinning it go a bit more smoothly.  Even if you pre-draft, you can draft while you spin as well.
Don't worry if the yarn appears a bit overspun!  It can be compensated for when you ply.  (This only applies to yarn you are making from multiple strands)  
Photographic examples
This is some yarn with thick and thin sections
Another example of thick and thin sections
Drafting while spinning
Drafting a thin spot
A cop of about 0.5oz
To join the fiber together if it breaks or when attaching a new ball of fiber, leave the fiber unspun...
...and lay each end on top of one another.  Hold your fingers over a section that is in the middle of the overlap.  Spin as before, letting twist get into the overlap before you let go and move on to the next section.
The cop with about an ounce of yarn spun.
You will want to unwind the cop at some point.  The spindle can't get too heavy or spinning becomes difficult.  Your yarn will break easier under the extra weight or you will only be able to spin thick yarn.  I would suggest at either 0.5oz or 1oz.  You can use a toilet paper or paper towel roll to unwind onto.  Hold the recently spun end securely on the roll.
Wrap the yarn around the roll and overlap it onto the beginning.
Find something to hold your spindle so it can spin the yarn off of it.  
When you get to the first spun yarn end you'll want to secure it.  You can either tuck it under a strand of yarn or you can split a notch in the edge of the cardboard  and slip it in.
1oz of fiber single handspun

Go back to the Begin to Spin section and follow the same directions but hold two strands of your handspun together and twist your spindle in the opposite direction that you originally spun.

Wind your 2-ply yarn off the spindle and on to a Niddy Noddy or around your arm.

 Tie a figure 8 around the yarn in at least 2 sections and soak the yarn.

  After it has dried you can knit up the cowl I designed!  It is available on Ravelry as a FREE pattern!