Ambitious Plans

Spinning:At the Guild on Saturday, I picked up 200g of Bendigo Woollen Mills‘ sliver for handspinning, in Russet. I just wanted to see what it was like, and if it was worth ordering 1kg of the stuff.

I haven’t done a whole lot of it yet (10g?) but it’s enough to know that yes, I like it. I have a decided preference for combed top over batts, and while the stuff you see on – for example – etsy or ebay comes in breathtakingly beautiful colours…it’s almost always in batt form. I can understand that, because I’m sure that it’s faster to run stuff through a drumcarder than comb it all by hand. It’s possible that I need more practice at spinning from batts, but the problem is that I don’t like spinning from batts, therefore I don’t spin from batts, therefore I don’t get the practice at spinning from batts to like it more. I have 600g of Corriedale/merino blend (IIRC) that I got from SACOS [South Australian Coloured sheep Owners’ Society – who seem to have no website] at the show this year, which is in batt form. I’ll get to it eventually.

That will probably be after I order 1kg of combed top from BWM. I’ll get the natural cream colour so that I can dye it myself.

I am considering a Woolee Winder for the Kiwi. I’ve more or less decided that I have to have one, it’s just a matter of working up the courage to spend that much money on a spinning accessory. No, I don’t have a drum carder. See above.


When I dyed my handspun in lovely greens, the third one didn’t turn out like the first two. But that was okay, I was experimenting. (And it was last thing Sunday night, and I was slack.) It’s mostly Fern green, with very little Daintree. And it has a few large bits that are plain ol’ grey. It is – frankly – unimpressive. Seeing as I have plenty from the first two skeins to finish off my pair of Lake Park gloves, I think I’ve worked out what to do with the third skein.

I have a friend who knits. Who has known how to knit for some time, but who has only taken it up again this year. In the space of a few weeks she went from ‘practicing her stitches’ and an unintentionally increasing YO rib to some of the most beautiful, even knitting I’ve seen in a while. When she made what I was planning to knit for her for Christmas, I knew I had to reconsider my gift strategy. Therefore, I will overdye the unimpressive skein with more Daintree to balance out the Fern and cover the grey. If it works like it *should* work, I will give it to the knitting friend for Christmas. Nothing says “I care” like giving someone a piece of your soul that took you hours and hours to make. And I have enough confidence in her knitting skillz to know that she will do it justice.

Not so much dyeing news as a dyeing thought…1 kg of cream-coloured sliver from Bendigo. So many dyeing options! I’d like to experiment with a couple of different ways of dyeing. I would like to try dyeing the fibre before spinning it, in order to get some of those lovely multicoloured barber-pole effects. And I’d like to try painting some yarn, as well as two different methods of creating a ball-long colour change. Chances of getting around to doing any of this before Christmas? Approximately zero.


The Lake Park gloves progress well. I have finished the body and only have the fingers to go. After ripping back the pinky twice, I worked out that I need to do the fingers without distractions. I have set them aside waiting for knitting time without distractions. (Possibly the weekend.)

While I’m not knitting the Lake Park gloves, I’ve started on the Fake Isle hat. This was to be a gift for my Poppa, but it’s turning out kind of…small. This is even though I used the whopping thick Patons Inca instead of Brown Sheep Lamb’s Pride Worsted (which is more or less not available here).

My hideous shapeless shrug has had its gauge checked. (I think it is possibly the biggest tension square ever.) It teeters on the brink of being converted into balls of yarn, at which point it will be reanimated into the not-so hideous shaped shrug (with bell sleeves). It will look as it was always meant to look. I have no doubts. It waits only for me to measure my wingspan and the distance from neck to armhole. Considering that Zoom is so huge, it should knit up almost instantly.

While I’m doing a lot of knitting for Christmas, I’m dreaming about knitting myself a Yoke sweater, with a HP Lovecraft theme. The main colour will be black, but I’ll dye the contrast colours myself. I have Handknitting with Meg Swansen and Barbara Walker’s Knitting from the Top en route from Amazon, and I need to order the yarn from Bendigo. (Because their prices are so damn good and I like knitting with their yarn.) I’ve finally managed to work out that I can’t write the pattern without knowing the gauge, and I can’t know what gauge is until I’ve knitted a tension square, and I can’t knit a tension square until I get the yarn. The problem is also a habit of thinking that I can’t get the yarn until I know how much to order, and I can’t know how much to order until I’ve worked out the pattern. It’s a vicious circle, and it has to be broken at some point. So I think I’ll order ‘enough to be safe’ and be happy that the certain surplus can go into the stash for something later on.

Hmmm. I wonder what my chances are of getting a Woollee Winder for Christmas?


~ by dreadlordvellan on November 7, 2007.

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