Big Love

So how are you feeling today? Are you feeling the love? 

Over in the Playful Group, we've been sharing some gorgeous stories about selfish knitting, unselfish knitting, knitting memories, crochet dreams and spinning to die for. Why? Because we're all about the Big Love Along I'm currently hosting. There's even prizes just for entering!

Rules are simple:

  1. Kick off when the Ravellenics end
  2. WIPS and double dipping allowed.
  3. You have to be a group member
  4. You have to tell us your BIG LOVE story.

So what will it be? A skein you’ve loved for a long time? A technique you adore? Fibre you’ve lovingly spun for a friend? Something loving for YOURSELF?

Tell us!

We have some gorgeous skeins donated from Whimzy yarns who collaborated with our sponsor this month, Inspiration Knits, to bring fabulous kits to Unravel. You can read all about the patterns Louise recommends Whimzy for here

On the left is Sokkusu O, (O for Original), a 100% Superwash Merino base in the 'Summer Storm' colourway. On the right is 'Johanna' on Silkie Merino, another 

fingering weight yarn but this time 50% Superwash Merino, 50% Silk. To lucky winners will get a skein each, drawn at random from the FO thread. 

Another Way (c) Inspiration Knits

Then whether you have a hankering for 'Another Way' or a different design of Louise's, you can choose a pattern if you're the 3rd lucky winner in this solidarity along! 

The along has already started and I think I'll close the FO thread at the end of March so come on over and join in the chatter!

Handspun Heaven

Right before Christmas, I received a package that can only be described as an early Christmas present. Nestled amongst samples of Lo-Lo hand balms, David's teas and some pretty yummy chocolates were these two fabulous skeins. Let me tell you, pictures in the current monsoon weather we're enjoying, do NOT do them justice.

This has left me with two dilemmas. First, what on earth should I knit with them? I adore handspun but thus far it's all gone into the 'Golden Stash', the collection of skeins too precious to pick the perfect project for. I do not want this to happen but yet.... they're perfection itself. Any ideas?

The second problem is the issue of how does one reciprocate? I want something so amazingly mind blowing that the person knows how much I understand the value of handspun.

I wonder how much Benedict Cumberbatch is going for these days?

Take 2

I have been meaning to show my second attempt at handspun for a while and now my friend has finally got her birthday package, I can.

This skein was a Shetland braid that another crafter gifted me to play with and I'd been told Shetland was pretty easy to spin so I pulled it out with the intention of spinning it into a birthday gift. I wasn't wild about the colours as I'm just not a pastel girl but there were some bright pops of pink and yellow in there that I decided was a challenge. Could I get them to pop in the skein too? I wanted to spin as consistently as I could for my friend so I commited to the Shetland to help with that and away I went.

This time I worked the braid differently. For the first half of the braid, I spun it as it came to me and filled the first bobbin. For the second half, I tore the braid in half again to muddy the colours and make shorter colour repeats to fill the second bobbin. 

I feel I had some success although I really need to learn how to join the fibre back in once it's broken as I just end up with big fluffy parts. I found it harder to get the Shetland as even as the BFL which could either be due to using a single treadle wheel this time or the fibre itself. It felt a little lumpy rather than fluid like the BFL I first spun. I don't have enough experience to know if that's the case with all Shetland though. 

I'm pretty pleased though and I love spinning. I just need a magic fairy to bring me a wheel now...

Spinning Progress

Well it's official..... I made yarn

I have to say I loved playing with fibre and I completely and utterly understand the addiction to spinning. It is soothing and xen and you just feel so clever! I have so much to learn and my main issue was that I swapped for a second bobbin and put it on..... the wrong way round. So the second bobbin was less than smooth which is a shame as I was starting to spin really consistently. 

I am pleased though and while some spots are a little funky, I think I like what I produced. I couldn't stop laughing at the yarn before I'd given it a good soak and thwack. Talk about energised! I love the way though that you can calm it down. 

I see more spinning in my future. Of course the issue is now, what do you knit with an unknown yardage.... with an inconsistent weight? Anyone?

Spinning Update

I thought I would update you on how things have been going with the spinning. There was a small attempt at using the spindle that resulted in a lot of swearing and frustration. Most people on Twitter advised me to try different methods to help me slow down but the problem was I couldn't get started! I just didn't seem to be able to get the fibre to spin. A little investigation with my friend who can use the spindle taught me that BFL it is a downside easier to spin and Falkland Merino. Lesson learned.

The same friend also brought round a beautiful spinning wheel, The Ladybug and I have been delighting in learning how to spin on a wheel. It is completely hypnotic and I might be addicted already. I can't wait to get to the point where I can ply my efforts so far.

What do you think?