So, I am a little more than half way through with my blue sky shrug. I really do love this pattern. It is so simple to follow but it is taking more time than I would like to finish it. I thought I had less yarn than I do and I’m already wondering what to do with the leftover homespun. Of course, I’m not as thin as the model below, but I’m looking forward to wearing this. Here in Florida, alpaca is used sparingly. Today is cold and my cats are continually sitting on my work in progress.
This weekend has been especially lazy. I have zero motivation. I’m even having trouble getting enough energy to surf through pinterest. I did manage to finish my chocolate homespun yarn. I bought the batt at the Florida Fiber In back in September but haven’t really had time to sit and spin it until recently. I tried to create a thicker yarn this time and it worked. I used the navajo plying technique to create a three ply and I can’t wait to use it. I’m not sure for what yet, since I don’t have that much.
Finally, I started a bobbin of what will become my cotton candy yarn. I also bought this at the Florida Fiber In back in September. I’m going to pair it with a gorgeous hot pink. I’m thinking socks for this two ply yarn.
I have been chock full of ideas in this last week. I’ve ignored the housework and have been focusing on fiber related projects. I spun up a skein of white alpaca and yellow wool plied together. This came out perfect and I’m really happy. However, I had some left over potluck wool on one of my spools so I decided to try navajo plying, which is spinning one ply into a three ply by creating loops with one hand and controlling the twist with the other. It took a little bit but I caught on and can’t wait to try it again.
I have some wool/mohair mix that friend gave me and I decided I would try a few new things that I’m looking forward to. It spins up real easily. I started this yesterday and then the hubby and I went to a neighbor’s party. I don’t know if anyone else has this problem, but if I have more than one drink, I can’t sleep! So, I wake up repeatedly this morning and finally around 6 am I give up. With a glass of water and a cup of coffee, I sit in front of the spinning wheel.The rest of the wool/mohair mix spins up quickly and I go to navajo ply it. I try and try and try but I can’t get the flyer to pick it up. The yarn keeps breaking. I was really looking forward to navajo plying and then dyeing it with food coloring. Uh well. I finally give up and pick up my socks that I’m making with my homespun.
Filled with frustration, I rip out what I’ve already done. I’m using Judy’s magic cast on for toe up socks. I love the book, Socks from the Toe Up. I think toe up socks are easier to do and better for someone like me who tends to drift from the pattern and think, “I know how to do this.” You can try it on as you go along and can fix problems as they come up. The problem I have with the Judy’s Magic Cast-on is that it is easy to create a whole in the toe area if your cast on/knitting is not tight enough. I had tried this twice before and decided to switch to smaller needles. I am a simple sock maker and wanted to try something a little nicer. I try different patterns on the top of the sock and can’t seem to get anything to look right. The yarn is variegated (or closer to muddled) so it should be a simple pattern. I’m now on my fifth attempt trying a seed stitch pattern. Oh, and I don’t like how it looks. Sigh.
I have decided to become more creative in finding fibers to spin. While I may not have a lot of time to devote to my crafts, I still want to work on learning more. One way to do this is to post an ad on Craigslist (without personal information!!!!) asking for fiber. My post in the free category, requesting Wool/Alpaca/Misc Fibers to Spin has already gotten many responses despite the fact that I live in Southern Florida where sheep don’t thrive. So far I’ve received an offer for Llama fibers. I did some research and found that it is very similar to alpaca. There are not the same natural oils as in Sheep’s wool, which makes it cleaner to spin but not necessarily easier. I haven’t tried it yet so I will have to let you know. I also received an offer for trade. I would provide spinning lessons for Alpaca fibers. This I am especially excited about. It will be nice to work with someone although in the interest of full disclosure I did let her know that I was still inexperienced. Craigslist is a great way to get in touch with people from your area for supplies and lessons. However, remember to be careful in who you give your information to. I just wish I lived somewhere colder where there were more sources of fibers!