Friday, December 02, 2005

Thought it'd never happen

I finally finished writing the pattern for Deciduous and it's off to be edited.

I'm really excited to offer this pattern and look forward to the feedback I'll be getting from my testers. I've actually modified the pattern slightly from that shown here. There are now a couple rows of garter at the top of the garment and the recommended fit is a bit tighter, but it's otherwise basically the same.

My plan is to offer the pattern for $7.99. $2 of every pattern sold will be given to Habitat For Humanity until my birthday, February 18th 2006.

For those of you who didn't read Janice's response to my spindle problem, yesterday, I'll post her excellent suggestions here:
For reattaching fiber after you've dropped your spindle: Sometimes fraying the end of your yarn and overlapping a little will work if you support the spindle till you get the twist established back into your roving. IOW, fray your yarn end, hold the yarn below the fray, give the spindle a good twist to get some spin in the yarn. Stop and hold the spindle between your knees or under your arm or wherever. Overlap your fiber supply over your frayed end and let the twist start running into your fiber. You can tug and coax your yarn into shape as your twist goes into the fiber. The main thing is not to make the yarn have to support the weight of the spindle until the twist is established in the fiber supply again. (We all know it's the twist that makes the yarn hold together.)

If this doesn't work (and sometimes it doesn't, depending on the yarn and the fiber), unwind your spun yarn a bit so you have 6 or 7 inches of yarn above your spindle hook. Overlap a *thin* bit of your fiber much further down your yarn than you normally would, like 3 or 4 inches down. What you're going to be doing is using those few inches of spun yarn as a core to spin over. You may still need to support the spindle for a bit till your twist gets established.

I do this thing with my yarn hand where my hand is positioned so that my thumb and index finger are just above the point of twist insertion, and my little finger and ring finger are just below it. I mostly hold the yarn with thumb and index fingers, but when I need to let twist pass up into fiber, I close my ring/little fingers over the yarn below the twist, where it's still yarn. This lets me hang on to the spindle when the join back to the fiber is a little tenuous.
Thanks! She's been really invaluable with my learning to spin, so I just have to give her some big public kudos here.

And on the topic of spinning, get your butts on over to Spindlicty. And see a couple of free patterns designed by yours truly. You'll also want to read the start of Julia's adventures in learning to spin. There's a bunch of other great stuff in there as well, go ahead, check it out. I'll still be here.

Finally, I thought I'd show you that I machine swatched a little of my alpaca. It took a bloody eon to wind it from a skein into a ball, even with a swift and ball winder, but it's worth it. It knits up beautifully.

The swatch is plated so it's a strand of the blue and a strand of the brown worked at the same time so that you get a dominant color in the front and a dominant color in the back, both of which have tweedy flecks of the other color. I haven't decided what I want to do, but I love playing with it.


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