Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Blogging again!

I've been a bad blogger. I haven't updated in forever. Part of it is the fact that there are probably only 2 or so people who read it. Part of it was being busy. Part of it was laziness.

However, I've gotten a lot of knitting done, especially since I finished school at the end of May and graduated in June.

Many months ago I started a pair of mittens, having never made them before. I started off with a pattern and did my usual thing of not checking gauge, which usually works out fine but this time was going to turn out in gigantic mittens. Not wanting to take out what I had started, I thought of a better solution: thrumming!

Thrumming is when you take a tuft of wool and knit it into something. The link above is a great tutorial by the Yarn Harlot. It results in a layer of fluffy wool inside the garment, which is really soft and warm.

I used some of the leftover second cuts of alpaca that I had never spun up. It worked surprisingly well. Here are the finished mittens:

Another fun project I had was making 2 socks at the same time on the same set of double-pointed needles. I really should have taken pictures of the socks in progress, because the final picture is just a normal-looking pair of socks:

But i really did do them at the same time. I alternated the colors so that I could easily tell the socks apart. Switching colors proved to be a bit difficult in that it was all to easy to start up knitting with the wrong yarn and knit the socks together. But I figured it out. The other mistake was me not turning the socks inside out to do the 3-needle bind off. But they are baby socks for charity and I'm sure that the baby and/or charity will not mind.

Here's the tutorial from Knitty, which is what I used:

Extreme Knitting!
I now also have infinite amounts of alpaca to spin for my friend who has an alpaca farm. I'm spinning up all 7 fleeces and I get to keep half of the yarn. I'm currently spinning up the white stuff, which is really soft.

When an alpaca is sheared the fleece has 2 parts: the blanket cut which is the back and sides/all the shiny fleece, and the second cuts, which come from the legs, neck, etc. The second cuts are a lot smaller and not as soft, and are of lesser quality. However, they are still soft and spinable.

(The yarn in this post comes from second cuts.)

While I was working with the second cuts for the thrumming, I was actually wondering whether or not they really were second cuts, since they were so soft. Then I spun some of the blanket fleece. Then I spun up the rest of the second cuts that were leftover from the thrumming process, and as soon as I started spinning I could feel the difference. Blanket fleece is so much nicer! I may end up spinning more second cuts if I ever finish the infinite amounts of blanket fleece, but I might have more than enough yarn anyways and not bother and just use it for things like thrumming.

Also, I'm thinking of getting into dyeing fleeces and selling roving/batts on the internets. I might start with some of the alpaca, or playing around with cheap white yarn or something. Hopefully I'll make shiny things that I can post about.

I'll try to be better about the whole blogging thing. I have zillions of things I've made, so there's no reason not to post about them.