Saturday, August 24, 2013

Knit Notes

Update on my Gentle on my mind hat from Leethal. 
I'm adding a neck coverage part, that will close with buttons, using some skills I learned from Leethal patterns. 

~Kara

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

And the Best Husband of the Year award goes to...

My husband! Looks what he did for me! He hung the old crib rails on the ceiling so I can hang my yarn!. I can fit a heck of a lot of yarn on those things. 
The kids are big now, and the crib itself was recalled right before the last kid was out of it. I guess we were the lucky ones that didn't suffer from the defect. That crib served us for 7 years, and in a new way, will serve us for many more.

The other thing that makes my Husband worthy if this prestigious award: helping me (read as: did all the heavy lifting and took orders like a champ) move the kids bedrooms around the house so I can have the best room in the house for crafting. So much light in here, theres a really big closet with shelves, it's central to everything, I have a big window into the backyard, and all my tables will fit inside. It's not all together, but it will be soon enough.  Right now the most important table is set up and in use.


Enough rambling. Time to card wool in my new space!

~Kara

Friday, August 16, 2013

Found it Friday

Today's Found it Friday doesn't have much to do with fibre, but it absolutely has to do with spinning.  Your body is the tool that you use when you spin.  You use your hands, your arms, your shoulders, your everything. Body ergonomics is so very important, straight back, shoulders down, knees at 90ยบ, reach back no further then your hips or only as far as is comfortable,  make sure you don't twist.  I could go on.  But the one thing we don't think of is spinning as an exercise, but it is.  You are using your muscles, especially those in your hands, wrists and arms (not to mention your legs and back and shoulders and and and ;) )
At Fibre Week 2013 I took Yoga for Spinners in the mornings, and Mediation in the afternoon.  It brought to my attention what I was neglecting, my stiff, tight and sore muscles.  I found that my days were much more pleasant when I really worked out the tightness in my muscles that I built up from the day before.  Spinning was more pleasant, comfortable and almost easier.
As I was talking with one of my classmates (who is a beautiful person, whom I only met this year, and who just exudes calm.  She practices yoga everyday) who also took the morning yoga, she brought up the website YogaJournal.com.  So on occasion I've been flipping through the videos, and clicking the amount of time I have, and then I stumbled on a set of videos that is aimed at people who are at a computer everyday.  These stretches have to be great for spinners too.  They open your chest, relax your shoulders and increase the flexibility in your fingers and wrists.
Since I'm not entirely sure I can insert the video into this post legally, I'm going to give you a set of links to check out.  They all go to YogaJournal.com.
Chest Opening Wave Breath 
Wrist Roll and Shake
Finger Roll and Forearm Stretch
Seated Forward Bend

You can find more videos that you might find helpful on this page.  It's where I found the above videos.

Spin on, and don't forget to stretch!

~Kara


Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Fine spinning tip

I've been spinning cotton like a mad woman, trying to get good at it. I found that even if I have my tension set to nothing (and by nothing I mean the cord is just hanging over the bobbin, completely relaxed) my wheel pulls to hard for me to control the intake and in turn the fibre slips out of my hands before it gets enough twist into it. What is the solution to this problem? Pipe insulation. 
Putting pipe insulation over the core of the bobbin somehow makes the wheel pull less.  I'm sure there's a good solid scientific reason behind this, but at this point, I'm just happy it works!  Makes spinning cotton ( and other fine yarns) much easier.
You can find pipe insulation at most hardware stores.

~Kara

Monday, August 12, 2013

Stop. It's homework time.

Level3 Master Spinner here we go.  I decided a while ago that the only way I could see myself getting my homework done this year was to wake up at 530 every weekday morning, make a pot of coffee and spin. With all the things on my plate, this is the only way. This started, officially, today. However I didn't get actual tangible skeins of cotton spun this morning. I did manage to spin a bit of every kind of cotton I have in the house, however.
With this little exploratory diversion I did learn something, so it was worth it.  (In order of appearance on the bobbin) Sea Island cotton is forgiving because of its length, but a tad slippery. I don't mind it, but it's not my favourite. Green Cotton sucks... Okay, it doesn't suck, but it is by far the hardest on the bobbin to spin. I found myself having to treadle like a maniac to get enough twist in it to draft without drifting. Peruvian Cotton is no better.  I think this is because they both have a crazy short staple length.  They are spinnable, but very tricky to spin.  Acala Cotton doesn't mind being spun thickly (for cotton that is). It has a grip to itself that none of the other cottons have. It's a good beginners cotton, that's for sure. And lastly Pima. Pima is a beautiful mix of just enough grab to itself and just enough staple length to make drafting smooth and quick. 
Cotton spinning is different then wool spinning, but not difficult. It just takes practice. And the right kind of cotton. 

~Kara

Friday, August 9, 2013

Found it Friday

Hey! Happy friday!! My inner alarm clock woke me far to early, so I figured I'd better get out of bed and do all those things I need to get done that are much easier without interruption!

Today I saw this pattern. And being Shark Week, I thought, what better time to share it!  Go check out her other patterns as well, I mean who doesn't need a beard toque or a bunny beanie?




 Now just to buy some appropriate yarn...  Maybe these will be this years Christmas Presents!


~Kara

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Knit notes

So, I've been doing a lot of knitting lately.  Most of it has been travel knitting, because spinning in the passenger seat is difficult. This trips project, Gentle on My Mind by Leethal. She's an amazing and innovative knit wear designer, who mostly makes accessory items (hats, mitts, scarves, bracelets, cozies etc.) I love her patterns, because you can use whatever yarn, any gauge, and any needle size, and still end up with something spectacular.
I'm knitting this hat with the idea of having the sides longer then intended, and hoping it works out overall. I guess we will see in the end. I'm contemplating hanging the number of stitches between marker A and marker B, so that it still sits snug over the head but has more length. I my head this makes sense, but I've never knit this before, and the construction is interesting, so it might royally screw up the back section. I'll have to wait and see! I'm using Berroco Lodge yarn. Ball band says to use size 10 needles but I'm fairly certain these are 6's. nice tight knitting.  

Anyway, I've not forgotten about Found it Fridays. I went camping and forgot to schedule it before we left. But I will have something for you next Friday for sure!  Also, this Knit Note got a lot longer then intended... Oops!