What’s on My Bobbin? – Bright Rainbow Singles

The first and second set of singles
The first and second set of singles

It has been a long time coming, but I have finally finished the bright rainbow singles that have taken forever and day to spin.  The bobbin is plump full of mixed wool of lovely colors that must now be put into a skein before giving them several rounds of fiber abuse so the final kinks can relax.  After torturing the skein with alternating hot and cold water, I will take out my frustrations as I whack the skein on the deck railing.

This might sound excessively cruel, but it’s how the springy singles settle down.  As long as I don’t agitate the yarn while it’s in the hot water it won’t become a felted disaster.  This skein is mixed wool and not something more delicate such as merino.

So What is the Process?

I let the singles rest on the bobbin for a few days.  Then I wound them onto the niddy noddy where I discovered, to my disappointment, that there was only 472 (3.936 oz.) yards on this skein.  The original has 590 (3.968 oz.) yards.  There is a difference of 118 yards (0.032 oz.).  The total yardage of the two skeins is 1062 yards so I shouldn’t be too unhappy.  Besides, with all the distractions and disappointments going on in my life while I was spinning this roving, I should have expected that this wasn’t going to be as consistent as the first skein.

The kinks and the curls prior to fulling the yarn
The kinks and the curls prior to fulling the yarn

**Note:  In hindsight (a few minutes later actually) the skein with more yardage weighs slightly more so the difference isn’t as bad as I originally imagined.  Whew!

Since my plan is to crochet a lacy shawl, I will alternate each skein in the rows so if there is a visible inconsistency it will be somewhat hidden.  And speaking of turning these two skeins into a lacy shawl, what pattern shall I use?  Oh the problems of being a spinning crocheter!

Now onto the Fulling Process

I found a blog post by Jobo Designs on fulling yarn.  She does a great job of explaining the reasons behind this finishing technique as well as the basic steps.

Before and after whacking
After whacking the singles on the deck railing the yarn relaxed even more and the kinks are mostly gone.

I usually full my yarn in the bathroom because it’s closest to the hot water heater.  This time I did the hot part in a large plastic container and the cold in the sink.  It works much better to keep the two temperatures as far apart as possible.  I don’t usually keep ice cubes in the freezer so adding them to the cold water wasn’t an option.

Questionable Yarn Treatment Practices

The finished yarn drying on the deck
The finished yarn drying on the deck

Now comes my favorite part; however, it also makes other people question my sanity.  I took the skein outside and after carefully making sure that the ties kept the strands separate, I began whacking the yarn on the deck railing.  Three whacks on each of the four corners of the skein and quite a bit of grunting happened during this step.  Then I gave it one more pull on each of the two ends to put the yarn into place before hanging on the shepherd’s hook to dry.

As you can see in the photo, the yarn is not 100% perfectly balanced, but it is much better than singles I have done in the past.  I’m slowly mastering spinning which makes me quite proud of myself.

Have you ever spun yarn you intended solely for singles?  How did it come out?  Did you full it?  Or did you get frustrated with what looks like a huge disaster?  Let me know in the comments below.

Have an excellent day!

Nose Bumps
Nose bumps from the Bun Sisters

WIP Tuesday – Finally Done with the Single Crochets on the Hygge CAL

Close up of my progress on the Hygge CAL
Close up of my progress on the Hygge CAL

I am finally done with the single crochets on the Hygge CAL that I am working on for the Farm Fair.  Yipee!  Job well done, me! 🙂  Now comes the “fun” part.  Okay, once I get started it won’t be as bad as my pathetic brain keeps making it.

This is just a short (I hope) post about my progress so far.  As I went along, I placed a bright colored thread in the 1st, 10th, 20th, etc. rows so I would have a guide for the cross stitches.  I then tied these threads together to keep track of each part of the CAL.

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Misc. Monday – Fine Weekend for Dyeing

It was a fine weekend for dyeing
It was a fine weekend for dyeing

The weather finally decided to get with the program so it was a fine weekend for dyeing fiber and yarn.  I have been itching to pull out the colors for weeks, maybe months.  However, it has rained more days than not so trying to get anything to dry would have been next to impossible at best.

But this weekend…  Oh, this weekend…  What a fine time to be alive if you are a skein of undyed yarn or fiber!  There is nothing like a good makeover to bring you out of the doldrums.  Okay…  Maybe not.  I don’t wear makeup and no one is allowed near my head with a pair of scissors.

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Beginner Crochet Series – The Double Crochet Stitch into the Chain

After a few weeks off, I hope you are ready to tackle the double crochet stitch into the chain.  You should have the hang of single crochet and half-double crochet stitches by now.  Your chains should be looking amazing.  Keep up the good work!

The double crochet stitch is the iconic crochet stitch.  It is used for the classic granny square.  You will see it in ripple afghans, filet crochet, the fan stitch, and so much more.  There will be more double crochet stitches on your resume than any other stitch.

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What’s on My Bobbin? – The Trials of Spinning

New braid to spin
Things have to look better soon so I can spin this lovely merino roving I recently picked up from my LYS.

Oh, the trials of spinning!  It’s always in the back of my mind.  However, things have been happening lately that have prevented me from spending an afternoon (or even five minutes) doing what I love.  Loki, my spinning wheel, has been neglected of late.  Some of this has been his own fault and some has been mine.  Relationships are a two-way street, even with a spinning wheel.

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Finding the Right Pattern for the Yarn You Have

One and a half cakes of Whirl
One and a half cakes of Whirl – lots of yarn to play with

Finding the right pattern for the one and a half cakes of Scheepjes Whirl I have just been given is going to test my resolve.  Recently, my mom bought some yarn from a website and asked if I wanted some of the Whirl since it was on sale.  Who am I to pass up an opportunity like that?  As an added bonus she threw in the remaining half of a cake she had gotten several months ago.  Double win, especially since they are the same colorway (Green Tea Tipple)!

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WIP Tuesday – Changing Strategy

It only looks like a hot mess
It only looks like a hot mess. The index card has all my important notes while the scrap yarn lets me know where each row is.

I decided that changing strategy was going to have to happen with the Hygge CAL I am working on.  I was getting such anxiety that it came to a grinding halt and I almost called it quits.  At the rate I was going, that wrap wasn’t going to be done by the end of the year much less by mid-July.  So rather than doing each part with X amount of rows of single crochets followed by that part’s cross stitch, the single crochets needed to be done all at once.

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Misc. Monday – Bunny Molt 3.5

Not a chicken
“Go ahead. Try to pluck me like a chicken. I dare you.” Or a rabbit that’s not going to take kindly to having her fur stolen right off her body.

Bunny Molt 3.5 has begun in earnest and I’m struggling to keep up with the flying fur.  It rained yesterday and into last night so everything is pretty wet this morning.  While this saves me from watering the plants in the yard, trying to keep the bunny fuzz under control is another matter. After brushing off the shelf the bun sisters like to sit on, the black cotton plant has white bits on it from somebunny’s cotton bottom.

I’m feeling an uncontrollable urge to pluck some bunnies. Yuki looks like she’s wearing a saddle with a clear line between old and new fur. “And your face!  What happened to your face?  It looks like your mask is coming off. ” I’m sure she’ll try to run off the moment I grab the bunny fur paper bag. (“Do I look like a chicken?”)

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What’s on My Bobbin? – Natural Dyeing over the Weekend

Henna, Cutch, and Madder
Henna, Cutch, and Madder – the three natural dyes we used this past weekend. (Please ignore the horrible spinning. These were my very first skeins from Loki, my spinning wheel.)

Natural dyeing was not something I thought I would have more than passing interest.  However, I failed to realized that it taps strongly into my love of foraging.  I love finding plants for the bun sisters to nibble on so they have a varied diet.  But foraging to dye fiber or yarn?  Ehh…  Not so much.

Then came last Sunday.  I spent the afternoon using plant-based dyes with my spinner’s group.  Wow!  That was incredibly fun!  Though the yarn was not as intense as what I dyed in the past using acid dyes, the colors are …well …natural. Continue reading “What’s on My Bobbin? – Natural Dyeing over the Weekend”

Minecraft Crochet Patterns – Two of My Favorite Things Meet

Minecraft crochet patterns?  Yes, please!  Whether it’s an iconic Creeper or an adorable cow, the thought of a finished Minecraft crochet project sitting on my bed makes me smile.

Minecraft’s pixilated graphics translate incredibly well into crochet stitches so it’s relatively easy to create one of your favorite characters.  You can even create one of the many blocks that make up the world around you.  Diamonds, anyone?  How about some grass blocks?  Dirt blocks?  The possibilities are as endless as the world seeds.

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