Tuesday, May 25, 2010


As I mentioned not too long ago, I recently had a sudden uncontrollable need for blue and pink stripe socks. I'm happy to say that this need has now been satisfied.

I learned two new things, and this is particularly pleasing because its been awhile since I've learned any new techniques.  That doesn't mean that I know everything, just that I've been too lazy to take on a project that requires me to learn something new.  But with these socks I learn how to do helical stripes and a short row heel.  Neither of these are really all that hard and I can see my self using them again in the future.  The stripes are a great way to stash bust the little bits of extra sock yarn I have lying around.  The short row is just a nice alternative to a flap heel.  I'm not sure which one I prefer, we'll see how well the short row heel wears.  But it is very nice looking and actually was not nearly as finky as I thought it would be.

Overall, I love them.  They're simple and cute, and make a great addition to my collection.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Something I've learned about Spinning so far...

Expert spinner I am not, but I am now on my fourth yarn and am learning more and more, mostly by trial and error and experimenting, and though I'd share my thoughts...

1. Sometimes its easier to work with a little portions.  I've found when I try to work to big a piece things get a bit more complicated.  The fiber gets caught on yarn I'm spinning or something else like that.
2. Some pre spinning prep can make life easier.  Trying to draft from a large clump of fiber can is hard, its getting easier for me, but I find that splitting up roving or doing some predrafting makes it easier for me to get the yarn I want.  At this point I'm really just trying to be consistent.
3.  Having the spindle spin at the same time you're drafting is a pretty exhilarting feeling.
4. Relaxing is key.  So this one night, this one really special night, I *might* have had some wine before I picked up my spindle.  I stopped worrying about whether my fiber would get tangled or if my spindle would drop and all the sudden I was drafting at the same time my spindle was spinning. AND IT WAS AMAZING! Seriously, it made me really happy.  Of course I ended with some funky parts that were over or under spun, but I stopped worrying about it and went with it and that made a huge difference.  Since then I've been able to practice more and gotten a lot better.  I even got myself a new spindle as a little birthday/graduation present to myself

This a Spindlewood redheart square mini.  It weighs in at only .7 oz and I was kind of amazed by how tiny it is.  I already spun up the little bit of test fiber it came with it, and it is fast.  Its so different spinning with something that is half the weight of my Kundert and I had hard time keeping up with it.  In the background you can see my other little present for me, Corriedale Cross fiber in Playful from Fiber Story.  I love the colorway and am excited to try a new kind of wool to see how I like it.

Monday, May 17, 2010

FO: Law School & the Energy Hat

Saturday marked my last law school exam ever.  It was evidence, a pretty basic law school class that I put off taking until the very end.  With law school over, I have a couple weeks where I plan to take it easy before I start my bar review course.  

I also just realized that I never posted about my finished energy law project.  This is the finished hat:

The pink is not my handspun, but my professor requested that it be made for a six year girl when I talked to him about my project and I felt the pink and the flowers made it more six year girl appropriate.  Hopefully it fits, the fabric turned out very thick, with little stretch to it.

In the end I calculated that this hat took me about 17 hours to spin and knit.  According to my math this means I burned about 1700 calories or the equivalent of 3/50 of a gallon of oil while making the hat.  This means that I used significantly less energy than a conventional piece of clothing takes.  But, in full disclosure, this does not include transportation costs or energy used in processing the wool.  Since I wasn't involved in these processes its difficult for me to say how much energy was expended it these processes.  The trip from Vermont to me would have taken about 13 to 14 gallons on the average USPS truck but since I couldn't find an average carrying weight I wasn't sure how to divide this up between my 4 ounces of wool and everything else on the truck.  As for processing I really just have no idea how much energy or time that takes, but it looks like I'm going to learn more about this process soon.

More on my impending wool processing education another time, for now I'll just enjoy not having homework to do.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Weekend Update

I have been consumed by finals recently.  But here you can see the little pile of projects that lives on my couch slowly making progress.  You can see my second stripe sock.  Turns out short row heels aren't all that bad after all.  I used the tutorial that Cosmicpluto has her on site, which you look at here.

I've also been doing a fair amount of spinning with my new Kundert Spindle.  I feel like my spinning has vastly improved since I got my spindle. I can now draft while my spindle is spinning! Sometimes, at least.  I'm almost done making singles with the 4 oz of fawn coopworths I got from Purple Fleece.  My plan is ply it, and hopefully end up with a worested-ish weight yarn.  From there I don't know what I'll do with it, but I'm really loving this spinning thing and have been looking around a lot at spindles, wheels, and (of course) more wool.