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1  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Overspinning like whoa on: April 22, 2009 03:05:55 AM
This is something that has been driving me absolutely insane since I started spinning on a wheel. How on EARTH do you avoid overspinning?! I don't know what I'm doing wrong!

I would love to be able to spin fluffy airy singles, but I'm having to ply everything because it's coming out so thin and... hard, really. When I deliberately spin thinner yarn, it's pretty good because then the twist is more appropriate, but I just haven't been able to manage a nice, soft singles. This is particularly frustrating because I've had my wheel for over a year now.  Embarrassed

I will admit that I learned to spin entirely from one youtube video, so...

I suspect that part of the problem is getting my hands and feet to work at different speeds. I tend to want to treadle really quickly, and I draft at the same speed. When I consciously slow down, my drafting slows down too. When I speed up my drafting, my feet speed up as well. I'm also spinning with more of a worsted technique which I'm trying to break myself of, at least for now, since I'm really, really wanting to make something nice and squishy.

I read somewhere that if your give your yarn slack, and it twists back on itself before the orifice, then it's overspun. If that's true, then mine is... horribly overspun. It tends to twist on itself every few inches or so. I think the twist is building right in front my hand, where I pinch the fibers as I'm drafting, then the section of newly drafted fiber is good, then as I draft the next section, it builds up again, if that makes sense. I also have a problem with... lumps, spirals? forming, because of the amount of twist. This USUALLY disappears when plying, but not always. Maybe I need to be drafting more fluidly?

My wheel is a Louet Victoria, and I'm spinning on the lowest ratio. I've never needed to change it, because I'm getting so much twist. Grrrrr!

I'm really not having a lot of luck finding information on how to avoid overspinning your yarn... is this not a common problem? Has anyone dealt with this? How do you get a nice, balanced single? Also, how did you maintain an even amount of twist through the whole yarn? I wonder if my drafting is the problem.
2  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Easter / Child's woven Easter basket on: April 06, 2009 06:40:38 AM
So this wasn't actually made by me, but by my 5 year old daughter. We were both bored yesterday, so I googled "easter crafts for kids". I wasn't very hopeful since we've just moved and I have no idea where all her art supplies are. Fortunately, I found this tutorial, which was perfect.


We didn't have poster board, but I had a whole box full of cardboard to be recycled, and we didn't have egg dye or a white shirt, but I knew my husband and I both needed to clean our closets out. We found 3 pastel t-shirts and I found some thin cardboard that was the perfect size, so my daughter and I got started. After about half an hour, she had finished this:

I'm so happy that I found the link - we moved to Norway last year, and Easter is celebrated differently. Instead of a basket, children receive a cardboard egg that's filled with candy. That's just fine with my daughter, but she wanted to know what she was going to use to put her eggs in during the Easter egg hunt, which also isn't done here. My husband and I looked everywhere for an Easter basket last Saturday with no luck, so I was going to cave and buy an expensive decorative basket so she'd have something to use.
Instead, she had a lot of fun making this herself and is very, very proud. She told me that she thought the Easter bunny was going to be very impressed and wonder where she managed to buy such a nice basket.  Wink

To make the handle, I braided the hems of the three shirts we used and then tucked them down into the woven inside before hot gluing them. The strips cover the sides of the cardboard really well, but the bottom is exposed, so I cut a circle of pink fabric and glued it inside.  I also glued a yellow strip of fabric around the top to finish it after we were done weaving. I went through a lot of hot glue but it seems really stable. We'll certainly be doing this next year!
3  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Favorite technique books? on: August 01, 2008 02:53:41 PM
What books would you recommend? I'm looking specifically for stitch dictionaries and general techniques rather than patterns, though if you have any recommendations, I'd take those too!

I can't really bring myself to buy knitting books, I always chicken out because I have no clue if it will be helpful or not.
4  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Lop-sided knitting on: August 01, 2008 02:42:13 PM
I am knitting a baby sweater to stash bust - the Boy-O-Boy sweater from 101 Designer One Skein Wonders, and I just started the right front... but it's so uneven. One side is over one inch longer than the other.  Huh

I think it might be the pattern - it's reverse stockinette with a garter stitch band that is 3 stitches wide. That's the short side. I'm guessing it's because it's tighter than the stockinette edge... but how do I fix it? One inch is a big difference!

The yarn is 80% acrylic, 20% wool - James C Brett, and I dunno how well it will block. The pattern says to knit for 8.5 inches and then start the decreases... so I have 8.5 on one side, and like 7.2 on the other... I've been trying to stretch out the short side as I knit, but no luck.

Should I keep going and hope it evens out during blocking??
5  HOME SWEET HOME / Interior Decorating: Discussion and Questions / Craft room / yarn storage on: August 01, 2008 01:50:00 PM
So in about a year, I will have my very own craft room! We're moving in about 2 weeks and then remodeling for the next year.

I have a huge huge problem with organization. My main crafts are spinning, knitting, crochet, and sewing, so I need to stash yarn, fiber and fabric. The craft room is going to be big, but I want to be able to use it as a guest room for when my family comes to visit... so I want to maximize storage, while still keeping the room open enough for someone to stay in. I also have a bengal cat who is into EVERYTHING and loves to eat my yarn, so I need to keep him out of it.

What do you guys use to keep your stuff out of the way but easily accessible? I would love to see pictures of your craft areas.
6  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Knitting while sleeping? on: July 19, 2008 11:14:08 AM
So recently, I was making the Yarn Harlot's one row handspun scarf and was knitting pretty obsessively because I had a deadline, and in my infinite wisdom, I decided to knit the thing on teeny tiny needles.  Undecided

We went on a day trip to Yellowstone and I pretty much knitted the entire time. After about 10 hours of knitting, I fell asleep on the way back still knitting... and continued to knit for several rows until I was woken by my head falling forward during a turn. When we got back to the hotel I looked it over and obviously I hadn't kept with the pattern at all... but the scarf was VERY forgiving of mistakes, and I was so amazed that I had actually knitted while ASLEEP that I kept the wonky rows in there.

It was so bizarre because I was even dreaming - but nothing about knitting or even my hands moving.

Has anyone else done something that weird?  Tongue
7  HOME SWEET HOME / Pet-Related Crafts: Completed Projects / Cat Walking Jacket on: May 13, 2008 10:21:02 AM
So, we recently bought a bengal kitten. Bengals can be taught to walk on a leash, so when we were at the pet store, we bought him a leash and harness set. I tried it on him when he got home... and it not only was it ugly, but it really did not fit well. I tried to cut and adjust it, but even really just did not fit him well. It also had the tendency to twist as he walked, which rightfully annoyed him.
When I googled leash training cats, I found this:

It seemed great, but I didn't really like the plain pattern, and a lot of websites wouldn't ship here, sooo... I decided to make my own, and the end result is this:

It was EXTREMELY easy to make, and Tesla approves. Smiley I made an L shaped piece of fabric for the jacket and then used contrasting fabric to make the straps and a leash. The snaps and eyelet come from the old harness set that I cut up. It took me about an hour to make, including my dumb mistakes, but I'm very happy with the end result. It's comfortable and breathable, yet very secure and he does not mind it at all.

Here is the jacket and leash:

Mine only has two straps, because I only had enough clips for two. I left space for adding a third strap, but my husband thinks the fabric is too feminine for the cat. I also wanted to have time to test it and see what Tesla thought before I ordered some clips.

He had an absolute blast on his walk. I'm going to remake this asap with 3 straps and cooler fabric.
8  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Feeling pretty proud on: April 02, 2008 02:17:54 PM
I love yarn, so of course I've always wanted to make my own. I bought a drop spindle a few months ago, but got frustrated pretty quickly. I really wanted something faster so I would have the time to spin it AND knit it. I bought a Louet Victoria several weeks ago, and this is what I have:

This is approx. 5.5 ounces and spun out of BFL, corriedale and merino from spunkyeclectic's Almost Solid Sampler. It's plied with light pink cotton thread. I love the bright explosion of colors, but wish my plying had been better.


This is 8 ounces of corriedale. I'm not sure of the yardage but the weight varies from DK to worsted. It came out much better than I hoped, and the more I look at it, the more I like it. I have 8 more ounces I can spin but I'm not sure if I should do the purple/dark gray, or solid purple and solid gray for contrast.

I am thinking about making a shrug or cardigan for my daughter, but am not sure if the colors are too dark for a 4 year old.

I am officially addicted to spinning.  Tongue
9  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / I cannot navajo ply! on: March 12, 2008 02:37:09 PM
So I am new to spinning. I got a Louet Victoria last week which I love. It was sort of impulsive, I had been using a drop spindle for about a month and had never actually seen a wheel in person. So it was... challenging at first, but fortunately, I love it and I think that I'm really starting to get the hang of it. Except.... for navajo plying.
I've tried several times I get the IDEA of it, and how it works, but I just cannot make it work. I treadle as slow as I can, but my yarn is super twisted and tangled. I have all these loops sticking up in the middle of it and the yarn is really HARD and stiff. It seems over twisted, but I dunno how I can spin any slower. Also, it becomes REALLY hard to treadle. Like, the wheel will jam or slow abruptly, causing it to start going in the opposite direction.
I suspect my singles might be... really over twisted as the yarn is kinking up and tangling before I can chain it. Should I set the twist and try to have it balanced before plying it?
Really though, I have no clue what is causing it to be so hard to get the wheel going in the right direction. It just... jams or something. I guess it's catching on something, but I have no clue what. I only have this problem when plying.
Any suggestions or tips? I'm getting really really frustrated.
10  COOKING / Recipes and Cooking Tips / Cooking with V8? on: February 25, 2008 08:52:41 PM
I usually order my groceries online and have them delivered. The bad part is that when they're out of an item, they'll often sub with something else. So today, instead of two things of V8 and two things of fruit juice, I got 4 things of low sodium V8. No problem, I think, I love V8.

...well I don't know if my taste buds have changed or if it's because it's low sodium, but... it was really not good. I took two sips before giving up and deciding that it was just not enjoyable. I'm guessing the low sodium leaves a bland, bitter taste? Though I could swear I've had it before...

So now I have LOTS of V8 that I do not like, but I really don't want to toss it. Any ideas what to do? I'm thinking it might work as a soup base but I'm really at a loss here!
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