Dress No. 2

Have you heard of Sonya Philip? She’s an artist/knitter/sewer here in San Francisco. ¬†http://www.sonyaphilip.com/

A couple of years ago she did a really cool project called 100 Acts of Sewing (, which definitely inspired me to sew some of my own clothes and to find myself a style that might not necessarily reflect what’s in fashion, but instead what’s comfortable for me. ¬†http://100actsofsewing.com/

I especially like her idea of having something of a “uniform,” a type of outfit you feel comfortable in and with which you stock your wardrobe. For example, maybe you like to wear dresses with cardigans, so that can be your “uniform.”

Anyway, long story short, I’ve realized I feel much more comfortable in a dress with leggings than I do in jeans and t-shirts, especially with my post-baby, 30-something body. And I also really love making my own clothes! So I’ve slowly been working on stocking my closet with things I really like to wear, and this is where Dress No. 2 comes in.

I bought the pattern a few weeks ago, but with both kids home all day with me, I haven’t been able to go fabric shopping. Finally I ordered some online, and because I want to be able to see it up ASAP, I prepped the pattern today. I’m ready for Dress No. 2!!!

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Handspun, and more handspun

The handspun I wound and washed yesterday turned out great!

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And now that some friends have convinced me to join them in a Pop blanket KAL, I’ll start spinning for that. The plan is to spin up these different yet related braids I bought at Stitches West 2013, and use the yarn for the circles.

I had thought that I’d spin it all up as singles, then ply the different colors together, but now I’m thinking that I’ll spin and ply the braids separately, so there will be more color variation and visual interest in the end. I envision clearer colors, less muddled than if I combined the two braids.

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Measuring up

My Alpengluhen sweater is almost at the point where the body isn’t knit all at once (it’s bottom-up), so I’m obsessing about length. I’m supposed to knit 13 1/2″ until separating the back from the fronts, so I’ve measured several of my much-worn hand knit sweaters. They tend to measure about 13 1/3″, hem to underarm, and although I’m just about at that length, it seems so short! I even measured the WIP against not one, not two, but three sweaters just to make sure it was long enough!

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I’m knitting a few more rows, just to make sure, but not too many, because it will grow!

In other news, I skeined up my plied handspun from A Verb for Keeping Warm (colorway Tigerlily), and it’s pretty!

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I thought it would be interesting to show you photos of before and after washing. The above photos are all pre-washing.

Now it’s drying, and it has definitely relaxed and plumped up! Before washing it looked slightly over spun in places, a bit kinky, and didn’t fall straight down when held up. Post-bath, it’s fluffy, softer, and looks less stressed and falls straight down, as I’ve read that a balanced skein will do. Photos of that tomorrow!

Handspun KAL!

A friend and I have been discussing options for using up smallish amounts of our handspun yarn. Cowls, hats, mitts, scarves… There a lot of ideas but the match between the pattern and the yarn isn’t always easy. I’d say it’s harder than with commercially spun yarn. The amount is often awkward, the supply is definitely limited, the weight may be uneven, etc!

I had settled on the Baktus scarf to use up the yarn my wee girl dyed and I spun. In the end, my friend decided to do a striped variation, using different colored balls if her handspun. I can pretty much tell how mine will turn out, but I’m definitely excited to see her striped version all knit up!

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In other spinning news, I finished plying my lovely Verb For Keeping Warm fiber- it really mellowed out in the plying, although the gradations didn’t line up quite as I thought they would. It’s still lovely. Tomorrow it will be wound and washed, and should become lovelier still.

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Spinning

Over the course if two evenings, I turned this:

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Into this!

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I’m so pleased with these singles- I think they’re among the best examples of my spinning, and I can’t wait to ply! I think I divided the roving pretty evenly, so there should be some nice color gradation.
However, as I spun, the right hand fingers that do most if the work turned from clean to this:

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I don’t think I have any oil or grease leaking out anywhere, so I wonder if the gray sections were to blame? Any insight?