My Life According to Me

This blog is about the happenings in my world.

When one project ends, another begins June 13, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 5:50 PM

As my title indicates I finished a project this past week. I completed a triangle shawl. The yarn is Regia Hand-effect sock yarn. The pattern is a simple pattern I came up with on my own, though I am sure one could search on the net and find others just like it. I knit it up on size 7 needles.

A nice little shoulder shawl. With the end of this shawl, I decided to start a laceĀ  stole. The pattern is from the Vogue Knitting Early Fall 2010 magazine. I’m using some knitpicks lace from my lace stash.

I’m also making progress on my Rick sock from Sock Innovation.

We did some grilling this weekend. Yummy lemon garlic chicken!


Respect the Spindle June 10, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 8:12 PM

I am now the proud owner of the most wonderful DVD. Respect the Spindle the Video is a treasure trove of spindle spinning information. The DVD compliments the Respect the Spindle book by Abby Franquemont. This instructional DVD is extremely well done.

Abby does a wonderful job explaining all aspects of spinning. Starting with the technical side of spinning and the fiber. She talks about making a spindle out of anything. She also demonstrates many techniques to help you get the most out of your spindle. After watching the DVD once all the way through, I feel more confident that I will be able to actually spin yarn.

What I learned, is that when I was first starting to spin my approach was wrong. I was drafting the fiber and then spinning the spindle. Resulting in the following:

Fairly lumpy inconsistent yarn. The way Abby explains spinning and watching her spin is so helpful. The way she explained the park and draft method of spinning made everything click for me. She described it as collecting twists and then parking the spindle and letting the twist travel up the fiber while drafting it. It made so much more sense the way she explained it, I had to go and apply what I learned.

I was able to get a little more consistency and a thinner single. The DVD was worth every penny! I am so glad that I bought Respect the Spindle. Another thing about the DVD that I like is that Abby talks a little bit about the history of spinning and drop spindles. Abby says that if you practice a little each day, about 30 mins or so, after a few weeks you will get to where you can do the drafting as the spindle is spinning.

I am now more excited about spinning. At first I was feeling like I was never going to be able to spin. After watching the DVD I have more spinning confidence, and am ready to really take on the challenge!


Spindle on my mind June 2, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Jessie @ 7:34 PM

My first attempt at the drop spindle was not as successful as I had hoped it would be. The yarn was very inconsistent and I experienced difficulties with the spindle. My very first instinct was to blame the spindle. I resisted the temptation to blame my first spindle. I figured everyone’s first yarn was this lumpy and pitiful looking.

I decided to consult my fellow knitters and ravelry addicts. I joined a couple spinning groups, one group specifically for drop spindles and a group for beginning spinners. Both groups said the same thing, it’s probably the spindle. The problem was that I was having to physically twist the spindle with one hand and then park it between my knees to draft more fiber and then pick it back up. The whole process was extremely awkward. The spindle was a cheaper one that could easily be recreated with parts from walmart, and it was very light.

The solution…….buy a better quality spindle. And that is exactly what I did. I went to Etsy and found a wonderful spindle. Hand crafted with love and tested for spinning quality. If you are on Etsy stop by Dragoncraft’s shop, she creates some of the most beautiful spindles! I had to have this one!

It is absolutely beautiful, and sparkly, and pink!

It has a very nice weight on it. And let me tell you, it spins wonderfully. I could give it a nice little spin and work the fiber with both hands. This makes for a much less awkward time. I still experienced some inconsistency issues, but they were not near as dramatic as my first spindle was.

Dragoncraft also sends some fiber with your spindle purchase ready for spinning right out of the box. She also sent along a wonderful pamphlet from Interweave on getting started with the drop spindle. It was very helpful!

So apparently Etsy is a wonderful place where you can buy handcrafted items. The knitting and fiber related stuff is just so fun to browse. I could spend hours browsing this site. (personal experience)

I also found a lot of fiber artist selling hand dyed and hand painted wool rovings ready for spinning. Beautiful stuff! I found this one shop that offered 20 different colors of wool roving, a total of 5oz all together. I saw this and instantly thought this would be great for learning to spin on! The price was great! This would also prevent me from getting bored with one color of fiber. Plus I will be able to try plying with all this fiber as well.

In knitting news, I’m working on another sock from the Sock Innovation book.

The pattern is Rick and the yarn is Stroll Handpainted sock yarn from KnitPicks in the Cartoon colorway. It’s a little hard on the eyes close up, but the pattern is going to turn out so good once the socks are completed. I love this particular yarn and all the colors in it!

Now that the summer time is here, our schedules are starting to get busy. This weekend we are heading down to Texas for my 10 year high school reunion. I can’t believe it’s actually been 10 years already. It just does not feel like I have been gone that long. I’ll have more to write on this particular topic and pictures (I got a new camera this week just in time for the occasion) next week. We are also planning a vacation in Colorado with hubby’s family in August. I expect to take a ton of pictures there!

Hopefully next week I will have some more progress pictures of my knitting. Until then…..Happy Knitting!