Sunday, 14 July 2013

Wish me luck - I'm going in!

..... And it's not going to be pretty!

This weekend sees an epic deep clean in my house. The dirty work on the kitchen is finished so I will start on the dusting. Also I need to sort out Ben's bedroom. As it stands you can't see the floor. While this isn't unusual for a 10 year old's room, we do need to have a major clear out so we can fit in another child. Not mine! Don't panic! We're borrowing one for a week soon and he'll need somewhere to put his stuff! Ben and I have had a chat and he knows there will be bin bags involved. I hope we can give some to charity, there are some toys in there which have lots of life in them yet.

Also this week I've been slowly cooking at work. The weather has been glorious, in the high twenties every day. The heat has been building in the pharmacy all week. Despite buying an air conditioning unit it still reached 30.2 degrees! I've been surprised by how tiring it is working in such heat.

Feeling the love this week -

Knitting has pretty much taken second place this week. I've only really worked on the rejected socks because I really wanted to get them finished.
Ta Da!

 I want to take some time to talk about single ply yarn. There seems to be a lot of it around at the moment, and while I do like it, there are drawbacks to it.
As a spinner I know that you put twist into fibre to create a strong single. You ply singles together in the opposite direction to that which you spun the individual singles. This takes out some of the twist and energy from the singles; creates a strong round yarn, and balances the yarn. This is what I mean -

The silver grey yarn is the waste yarn from the afterthought heel around the back of the sock. Now, as you can see, as I've knitted past that point the waste yarn has crept around to the front of the sock by a few stitches. My stitch count on each needle has remained the same, and I've not increased or decreased at all. I've just knitted in the round. This twisting is caused by the nature of the single

You can see the 2 colours barber pole as the colours change - this twist causes the problems
If you notice the direction of the twist, it's the same as the twist in the fabric. In a larger, more open piece, this will be exaggerated meaning a cardie or jumper won't hang straight. In these socks. I'm hoping that it won't make much difference. Knitting with the yarn has its challenges too.

The stitches are very flat on the needles, this makes it easily split and I've found myself catching just a few of the fibres when I'm making a new stitch. On the wholes this singles malarkey has pros can cons. I do like the fabric they generate, the feel and look of the yarn is lovely, but it's a faff to knit with. I definitely did the right thing rejecting this sock for my midnight walk! You need to watch what you're doing. Maybe lace might be better for it? You're going to block the project which might help with the twisting and you need to watch what you're doing. I'll try it out with my other ball.

Spinning has been my main focus. Week 2 of the Tour de Fleece is finished and I've finally finished the cornfield polwarth.

I got 1226yds of 2-ply laceweight. I'm delighted with that as its the first time I've managed to break the 1000yds barrier. I'm a little disappointed though too. I also got 184yds of N-ply heavy laceweight. I thought I'd spun consistently but it's obvious now that I'd spun the first single significantly thinner than the second. If I'd managed to spin evenly I could have spun enough for an Evenstar! But still it is what it is.

 On the wheel now is merino. I've 2 colours I'm going to ply together. I'm trying to spin thicker. I'd like to get a worsted/Aran weight. I've spun about half an ounce and realised I've still got my lace flyer on the wheel so I think it's going to be rather over spun. I'll swap it over and hopefully it'll even itself out

On the horizon -
Next week I'll be battling the settling dust so my house doesn't revert back to being a midden! I've got guests visiting at the weekend so I'm not sure how the blogging will pan out.
On the fibre front I'll still be spinning my heart out, I'd like to finish up Joan's bag and crack on with her scarf. If I'm really good I'll treat myself to casting on new things!

Have a great week guys.
Ellen x