Monday, January 18, 2016

Some spinning and a sock update

Saturday was all about spinning. 
I got up early, uploaded my car with a wheel, some wool and tasty snacks, drove almost 60km to reach my destination. I am taking a course in spinning. It is arranged by the Community College (I suppose that is what it is called) and held in the old school building in a small village.
A group of men and women gather together few times during the winter for a few hours of spinning. Some are just learning the basics and some have been spinning for some time now. I am glad I am taking part in this; it keeps me connected with my wool and wheels and even though I feel like I am not going anywhere with my spinning, I know I am learning.

 Marita's wheel

 Kielo's wheel

 Kaisa's wheel
The enthusiasm and the wool fumes there are overwhelming and every time I return home, I am so very inspired. It is interesting to see how tops and batts turn into yarns and eventually into hats and scarves and mittens. I know almost all of us are dreaming of spinning a sweater's worth of yarn... But none of us has done that yet.
At the moment I am spinning BFL in this deep violet. On Saturday I spun Shetland in similar color, 100 grams and little less than 400 meters in one ply. I am going to give the yarn the shock treatment, plunge it into hot and cold baths a few times and then leave it to dry. I will need to work on my singles more, need to find a way to make good yarn with less twist. If I increase the take on and decrease the ratio, would that be a way to go?  I hope I am using the right terms here... Sometimes going back and forth from English to Finnish to English is difficult, please fill in the correct words and feel free to correct me!
I finished crocheting my cowl, it is drying as we speak and it was done with my handspun Finnwool uneven singles. Very uneven, but nevertheless, very much loved. I need to use my handspun more; when used, the yarn will reveal many secrets and teach me good lessons. I love to crochet with singles, I have made many cowls using store bought sock yarn singles and somehow they seem to work very well with crochet. At times when there is an issue with overspun singles in knitting, there isn't one is crochet. In crochet, the yarn does all kinds of acrobatics, up and down and through loops, and thus the singles, even the overspun ones, seem to settle in. Again, I don't have any scientific proof here and my point could be proven wrong at any time. This is just how it feels to me... or this is how I want it to feel...
My January socks gave me a lot of headache during the past week. This is the probably the fourth time I cast on for the socks, but now the first one is done, the second one started. I just could not be happy with the colors together (sage? teal?), but since this is my very first sock challenge of the year, I did not dare to change the plan already, but kept knitting and ripping and finally just made four purl rows with the teal for the first sock. The second one does not have those teal rows. The color was just the first part of the problem.

The second one was the yarn, Lorna's LacesShepherd Sock. It is a lovely yarn, it is smooth, it feels strong, and I know it is going to wear well, but it is almost too smooth for me. It feels very much like cotton, it seems to lack the stretchy and bouncy quality of wool. Since it has so much wool, it does stretch a little bit, and compared to actual cotton, you can feel the difference, but compared to wooly wool, it resembles cotton somehow. I wonder if this makes sense to you. If you have sensitive skin, I would think this yarn would be a good choice.
I have made some progress with the Squircle socks, these are done with Regia Pairfect, oh, good old Regia! (I just love this colorway.) It wears well and it has not lost its wooly feel in the long process from sheep to my knitting basket. I love the construction of the Squircles and am thinking of making another pair, this time with real stripes, not with selfstriping yarn.
The third pair of socks on the needles is where they were last week. I am waiting for the right moment to continue them. They are so long that they almost seem like sleeves... and you all know the problem with the sleeves...

Buff (sorry, spelling mistake, my bad!) ... it is a headband or a hat, depending how you wear it.

This is all the crafty content I have today. 
My little kitten is growing every week, this is the latest picture (by Lotta Ovaska) of him.

Thank you for reading xx, I hope you all have a good week, and
Wool with you,


  1. Oh, you put more loops-of-increasing-size photos! They are fun and make my eyes crazy!
    The kitten looks well, how does Ruusa feel about him, now that he has arrived?

    Best wishes from New England,
    Ellen in Connecticut

  2. Anonymous19:27

    Love your kitty. I have been reading your blog for a year or more. Glad to see you are more active! Love your pictures. I'm also having the same problem with my spinning but have been unable to have support to learn why. I also liked the old cabin post. Wonderful.

  3. What a wonderful fibery weekend you had! The color, crafts, technniques, and enthusiasm that you write about certainly inspires me. That deep violet is really beautiful; it inspired me to get back to the cowl I'm knitting in a related color.

  4. kittens...all fun no work! Love that kitten

  5. You are correct. The yarn gets wound around your hook in the opposite direction to knitting so when you crochet with over spun yarn (if it is s-spun) you are removing twist from the yarn with each stitch. If a yarn has less twist, you need to use z-spun yarn for crochet so each stitch can add more twist instead of removing what little twist there is.

  6. How to make yarn with less twist on a modern treadled spinning wheel: you decrease the ratio by using a larger whorl (for example going from 10:1 to 7:1) or by treadling slower or by drafting faster.

    The first option gives you less revolutions of the flyer per one revolution of the big wheel if you keep your drafting and treadling speed constant thus putting less twist into the yarn. The second makes the wheel and the flyer go fewer revolutions if you keep your drafting speed constant with your current flyer whorl. And the third option makes the yarn feed faster (having less twist put into it) if you keep the treadling constant with your current flyer whorl.

    I can recommend the Craftsy class "Drafting from Worsted to Woolen" taught by Jacey Boggs Faulkner. She goes through a lot of how to adjust your spinning to achieve the yarn you want, and she is an excellent teacher. Craftsy has a sale once in a while, but this class is worth the full price IMO. I re-watch it once in a while and learn something every time.

  7. Love you socks. I need to be sock inspired. My son just brought me a pair I knit that now has gone to holes. He asked if they had a warranty! Guess that is a hint for a replacement pair.
    Stay warm. And I love reading your blog.
    Hi from rainy California, Deb

  8. Anonymous00:13

    Lene...what joy! I was blessed to have my friend come to my house and show me the ins and outs of spinning wool. She brought the wheel and said, go at it :0) (LOL!) I did and now two wheels later, I am enjoying it more and more. Like you, I am knitting socks for the first time ever! I pray they come out as nice as yours :D blessings, mari

  9. I've been crocheting a lot longer and it's my comfort craft...I just whipped up a quick cowl tonight with some bulky yarn because it got very cold here...and I understand what you said about crochet....and agree....I've even seen people crochet with fiber! I have not tried it though....

  10. Anonymous04:36

    Your little kitten is beautiful. How can you wait so patiently for his arrival in February? Maybe it is better he will be a bit bigger to deal with Ruusu. I think the term for "take on" is "take up" in English. It has been so much fun to see the area you live in and your adventures while on the road. Your work is always interesting and we love to see it. We are so fortunate that you post in English; however, else would we ever get to know of your part of the world, Lene? We are so grateful. It must be so hard to wait for your little kitten to arrive. Renée (backwoods of Wisconsin)

  11. Sweet, sweet kitten. I cannot wait for him to arrive at your home. Looks like you had a great class. Enjoy so much seeing the pictures from your area of the (cold/frigid) world. Stay warm!!

  12. Gorgeous knitting ! And it was so good to catch a glimpse of some quilting in the picture.
    I am following along with you - I love Regia sock yarn but my favorite is Fach s springy and warm....

  13. I love to see your pictures of the snow. They are so lovely.
    I wish I could spin. Its always looks so peaceful and calm.