Games Day 3

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 30, 2012

A conversation with my son:

Scene: The living room. I’m knitting the rainbow sweater, sitting next to Th and lending an occasional hand while he makes Duplo towers.

Th, pointing to knitting: Eh?
Me: I’m knitting a sweater for when it’s cold outside. It’s going to look like a rainbow.
Th: ‘Ainbow.
Me: Yeah, a rainbow. This is the front of the sweater. Do you like it?
Th, nodding vigorously: Mmm!
Me: That’s great! Because it’s a sweater for you.
Me: Yes, for you! When it’s all done, will you wear it?
Th, nodding: Yah!

So my greatest fear on this sweater, that he wouldn’t like it and would refuse to wear it in a mercurial toddler way, may be unfounded.

(Finished the first sweater front, started #2. My calculations on the sweater fronts overestimated the yarn amounts by a little bit, but I was able to compensate without much trouble.)

Games Day 2

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 29, 2012

Olympics Day 2


Got about half of one cardigan front done so far–not much progress for a weekend day but this was an Accomplish Everything Sunday kind of day, so there wasn’t much sitting around. Some minor fudging will be needed on the cardigan fronts but it’s going fine.

Games, Day 1

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, Ravellenic Games, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 28, 2012

If you’re a person who suffers from their trips to Sleeve Island, I have a solution:

Knit the sleeves first.

I can’t guarantee that this will work for the whole sweater, as I’ve only done the sleeves so far. But check this: It’s the first day of the Olympics and I’ve already knit two sleeves.

(Still no pictures until I get a hold of my husband’s phone, but the short version: It’s working! It’s working! OMG it’s working! *happy dance*)

I’ve also decided to do a simple one-color inkle-woven band for the cardigan edging, so I will probably get started on that soon, because it will be much less portable than the sweater itself so I’ll only be working on it in little bits of time at home. So far I’m off to a great start.

Preparing for the Games

Posted in knitting, Knitting Olympics, made with handspun, planning, Ravellenic Games by tchemgrrl on July 25, 2012

(still no camera)
Off of one boundary-stretching craft game and right into another.

My primary goal, as it was for the Tour, is to minimize my computer time. I have one main project and a few WIPs that I’d also like to make progress on, but if I don’t finish any of them but continue to avoid frittering time, I’ll have succeeded.

The project I’d like to make from start to finish is the Toddler’s rainbow hooded cardigan. You can see the rainbow yarn in the middle of my last entry. Here’s what the original fiber looked like.


Bright. Just a little. I did some fancy footwork in the spinning with the goal of having the stripes all line up nicely, so part of my challenge may lie in gently fudging the yarns to make that work out. It’ll be striped with some dark blue yarn of the same weight as the handspun. Based on yardages, I think I’m going to alternate 2 rows of handspun with 4 rows of machine-spun. I’m swatching to confirm that right now, and I’ll knit a sweater sleeve first so that if my numbers are way off, I won’t have as much to unravel.

Other projects in the pipeline which may show up during the Games: I have a mostly-complete baby vest that needs completion before the baby I’m knitting it for arrives (sometime in August). I have a sweater for myself that is at a very awkward stage, and I need to sit down with it and confirm that I’ve got everything sorted for the next step. I have some very small holiday presents planned which will require some stash diving, but which would be good bus knitting when the other projects get large and/or complicated to cart around.

TdF Finish Line!

Posted in made with handspun, planning, spinning, Sweater for JJ, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 22, 2012

The Tour is over, and a whole lot of spinners are stretching their fingers and legs, looking around their house and saying “Okay, time to clean the house this week before the Games start.”

Here’s my finish line:

Final TdF Tally

Clockwise from upper right side:
-Two skeins of 3-ply Ashland Bay oatmeal-colored BFL, 8.4 ounces and 400 yards total.
-Small skein of 2-ply wool (Falkland maybe) in colorway Mahogany from Susan’s Spinning Bunny: 45 yards and 0.8 ounces.
-Small skein of 2-ply brown mystery wool, no idea where it came from but it was sitting in a nice plying ball in my stash for a good long time and now it can be turned into something. 0.7 ounces, 40 yards.
-One 3-ply skein of superwash merino in the Grateful Dyed colorway from Wild Hare Fiberworks. 4.3 ounces, 300 yards, and I will have lots more to say about this yarn later. (Short version: Love.)
-One 4-ply skein of various lightweight singles that I had laying around from other projects. I didn’t think that a skein of randomly-striping laceweight would ever appeal to me, so I just kept adding singles to it until I ran out. 180 yds, 2.2 ounces, so it’s still fairly lightweight, but it looks like a real yarn that will knit up beautifully. (Mostly, it’s two plies of various oranges and pinks, one ply of light natural-colored fiber, and one ply of dark natural-colored fiber. Not entirely sure where most of them are from, but the end result’s real purty.)
-Small 2-ply skein of leftover singles. I’m pretty sure this is the remains of some Shetland wool that I spun up a while ago but still haven’t knit with; I may put it in that bag with a warning note about potential lot variation, because I know I ply with a lot more twist than I used to. 1 ounce, 50 yards.
-Not shown: nearly 1 ounce of fine silk singles. Maybe 500 yards? I’ll find out after I ply it but I still have 1+ ounce to go.

Final tally:

About 2900 yards of singles. About 1200 yards of plying. Just over a pound of singles spun. Over 21 ounces of yarn plied. Total fiber that passed through my hands to be turned into either singles or yarn: About 2 1/3 miles.

My main goal for the Tour, as I mentioned in the beginning, was to spend more time doing useful things at night and less time goofing off online. I’ve definitely cut down my time but I’m amazed at how much I got done because before I started crunching the numbers I wasn’t feeling like I’d done the most amazing job on that front. There was so much beautiful stuff showing up on the Ravelry Tour threads that I spent more time than I’d planned just ogling. And I can’t really spin while surfing the way I can with knitting, so that was all time spent not doing anything. I’d say I cut my online time at home by 50%, maybe even a little less than that, and I wanted to do better than that.

Nevertheless, the results really speak for themselves. Holy Hell that’s a lot of yarn. For comparison, I’ve spun a comparable yardage to this for the ENTIRE YEAR SO FAR. Without trying that hard and being slightly disappointed in the lack of time I spent on spinning. While doing gardening (which doesn’t happen for most of the year in this climate). While solo parenting for almost a week. It really tells me a whole lot about what I can get done when I have a goal.

I looked at my yardage tallies and the first thing I said to myself was “That’s it, I’m spinning a sweater next year.” You heard it here first.

TdF Day 20

Posted in Knitting Olympics, spinning, Tour de Fleece, WIP by tchemgrrl on July 20, 2012

I only have one section of the rainbow fiber left to spin the singles of. It’s the bright pink fiber in this picture:

TdF Day 10

That last piece will compose the yoke of the Toddler Rainbow sweater. If I get it done tonight, then the next two days will be nothing but plying. And then I’ll be all ready knit the toddler’s sweater for the Games with yarn spun up in the Tour! Huzzah!

A quick look at my Tour plans shows that I’m on track to finish everything I was hoping to finish, and I’ve also done some plying of old singles and a significant yardage of ~100wpi silk singles, even if their total weight is still less than an ounce. I didn’t get to my slightly-more ambitious plan of working that Jacob that’s still taking up space in the fiber closet, but if I had picked that instead of the silk to work on, I probably would have gotten a good chunk of it done. But gosh I love that silk. It’s going to be stunning when it’s all done.

TdF Day 17-19

Posted in spinning, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 19, 2012

Okay, it wasn’t as bad as all that. I did do some spinning on the bus to pick up the dude, and even a little bit after he went to bed, but I really didn’t have time for both blogging and spinning and keeping our life in order. For two of those days, it also happened to be too hot to do much thinking, either. But the toddler also busted the (admittedly already-in-bad-shape) camera, so pictures, if they do show up, will be of the borrowed-husband’s-iPhone variety. None today, anyhow.

The spindled silk continues apace. I won’t finish the first spindle-full by the end of the Tour but it’s kept my hands busy during many interstitial moments. I’ve also done some more of the rainbow fiber spinning–enough that I know I’ll be able to keep up with myself if I make the toddler sweater my Games pattern. My plan with the rainbow yarn is to start plying on the last day no matter where I am with the singles. I think I can finish all of it if I give an extra push this evening (Challenge Day today!).

TdF Day 16

Posted in Uncategorized by tchemgrrl on July 16, 2012

lol I thought I would have time to spin and blog while J was away on business lololol

TdF Day 15

Posted in spinning, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 14, 2012

(no picture, again)

Another little ball of rainbow yarn, and then some more singles after that, spun as one batch with the intention of chain-plying because I forgot to bring my scale to the guild meeting. And then I did a bunch of the silk while chasing the little dude around–I think I’m about 1/4 of the way through the singles, no way is that getting done before the Tour’s over but maybe I’ll finish off the first half.

TdF Day 14

Posted in Black Sheep Handspinners Guild, spinning, Tour de Fleece by tchemgrrl on July 13, 2012

No picture today *gasp!*, family will be here and I’ll be socializing during my usual blogging time. I did another little bit of the rainbow yarn of the same size as the two balls in yesterday’s picture; getting one of those done per day, winding off, and prepping the next day’s fiber seems to be a perfect evening-filler. There are 7 of those units, all together, so I expect to be able to finish all the singles and ply before the Tour is over.

I have a guild meeting tomorrow and am hoping to get a bit more done, but we’ll see. About half the time at guild I get amazing amounts done, about half the time I get absolutely nothing done because I’m too busy seeing what everyone else is doing.