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1  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Working with different dyelots? (Specifically: Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece) on: September 05, 2007 08:29:56 AM
Hey everybody -

I'm puzzling over a project I'm right in the middle of and I thought you guys might be able to help me out. I bought enough Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, about 5 months ago, to knit a striped t-shirt. The colors are black and a light pink. But now that I've finally gotten around to starting it, I'm just not feeling the stripes anymore. It looks fine, but I can't get excited about it. But, of course, I don't have enough of either color to use for a solid project (I've got my eye on Rusted Root, a little late to the party. Smiley ).

So I thought I could ask the place I ordered it from to see if they still had the same dyelots and then, if so, get enough more of each color to make two solid projects. But, I see that the black is out of stock right now, so I guess not - and I can't find anywhere else in the UK that sells Cotton Fleece.

I know that if you need to work from different dyelots, you should alternate rows to blend in any differences, but I'm never had to do this myself (I've only been knitting for about 8 months). I'm not as worried about the pink blending, though I may be crazy to think that, but the black makes me nervous. A really noticeable difference would drive me crazy.

I read on one blog somewhere out there that Brown Sheep tends to have drastically different dyelots - has anyone else found that to be true? Has anyone successfully blending different dyelots - especially with this yarn?

I'd hate to buy the extra skeins, have them be too different to use together, and then end up back to the same problem doubled!

Thanks for your help, guys!!
2  KNITTING / Knitting: Discussion and Questions / Question about weight and yardage of Cascade 220 & Cotton Fleece? on: April 05, 2007 03:44:16 AM
Hey knitters -

I was wondering if any of you could help me with some questions about Cascade 220 and Brown Sheep's Cotton Fleece? I'm looking for yarn for some basic sweater projects - and I've decided to try out one or both of these yarns. But being all the way over in Europe, I've never used either before.

As for the Cotton Fleece - I've found it listed as both DK and worsted weight and I can't quite tell from the gauge/needle information which is true (I'm a new knitter and the info I've found about this yarn doesn't quite make sense to me), or maybe it's in between? It doesn't matter which it is, actually, except for deciding how much I need for what project. Also, I'm considering using it for either a t-shirt type project or a lightweight cardigan - if anyone has used it before, do you think it would work well for either of those?

And the Cascade 220 - I don't know if anyone can help with this, but just in case: I want to use it for a simple fitted top-down raglan sweater with no big embellishments - I've done loads of pattern research and come to the conclusion that about 6 skeins would be enough for a 40"-ish bust size. Does that sound right to you?

I have to order these yarns from out of the country, so I'm trying my best to get it right before I order. Smiley Thanks so much for any help in advance!
3  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Faux Cashmere - any tips or tricks? on: March 23, 2007 07:43:19 AM
Hey people - I've got some lovely Faux Cashmere all pre-drafted and ready to spin in a little basket, but I can't quite decide on the best way to spin it so it's been sitting there for a week. I've done two wee samples (plied) and knitted them up and it's very, very soft (it feels like the little silky spot behind my dog's ears! Smiley ), but it goes all fuzzy very quickly. Maybe that's just the nature of the fiber, in which case I'm totally okay with the fuzziness. But I thought maybe I should be spinning it tighter or try navajo plying or something else altogether. So, if anyone else has spun this stuff, do you have any tips that might help me decide how I should spin it?

Thanks guys!
4  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Finishing Bobbins? on: December 25, 2006 02:33:37 AM
Hey everyone - Merry Christmas!!! I just got my beautiful Ashford Traditional for Christmas and my father and I have been discussing finishing options. I did some internet research and decided to go for the oil-type finishing that most people seem to recommend (I don't remember the exact types that I noted down right now, so please ignore the lack of detail there).

So my question is: since the yarn makes direct contact with the bobbins, should I also do the same finishing on them as the rest of the wheel, or should I varnish them with  polyurethane separately, or should I just sand them a bit and leave them natural?

This may seem like an dumb question but I've never used a wheel before, or even seen one in real life, so I have no examples to help me out! Smiley I want to make sure I don't mess anything up and 8 zillion searches have given me nothing on finishing the bobbins specifically. Thanks, guys!
5  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Scarves: one from my own handspun, one from Feltstudio (caedara's) yarn! on: December 15, 2006 08:30:13 AM
Hi all - I hope you don't mind me showing off some crocheted handspun scarves. I figured they went here better than in the crochet board, since the yarn is what makes them interesting. When I first learned to crochet, I made myself a couple of scarves, of course, but that was before I bought a bright blue coat. So I needed new scarves to match my coat, obviously. Smiley

This one is from yarn from feltstudio.co.uk - before I learned to spin myself, I spent a lot of time looking over each and every yarn on there until my brother took pity on me and bought me some for my birthday. I hoarded it for a long time before I felt brave enough to risk messing it up. I decided that the yarn was beautiful enough on its own, so I just made a very simple scarf with it:

I tried to take pictures of this dang scarf four times and no matter what I did, the colors just wouldn't come out right. It's FAR prettier in real life. I tracked down the Fiber Friday when caedara first posted the yarn ("Winegum"), so you can see how gorgeous the colors are here:


Thanks for the yarn, caedara! Smiley

The second scarf was made from the first of my own handspun that I was really proud of, "Something About Watermelons", I posted it on Fiber Friday a few weeks ago.

I only just blocked this one yesterday and I am completely in love with it! There's something so nice about knowing you made the whole thing yourself from a pretty pink and green lump of wool. Smiley
6  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Completed Projects / Learning To Spin: A Story In Pictures (very img heavy) on: August 31, 2006 08:53:46 AM
Hello Spinners -

I'm SO proud of the spinning progress I've made in the last month, and I figured that only you guys would really understand why. So here's my spinning journey in photos. Thanks for checking out my 'story' and for all the help your posts gave me, I owe you all a lot. Smiley

I bought myself a learn to spin kit for my birthday (with a spindle), but it took me a few months to really get down to learning properly. These were my first attempts, before I even understand what drafting was or that it was something you're supposed to do.

Twistin' The Night Away (because of all the insane over-twisty-ness), 4.5 meters:

Twisty's Older Brother, 11.5 meters:

By then, I felt like I understood what was going on a little better, so I tried some plying action.

Ye Olde Pliede Yarne (because the colors seemed all medieval to me), 3.7 meters:

Then I felt like I should tackle the gorgeous pink (from Mary Jane's Attic) that came with my kit. I probably should've waited a little longer, because it came out ridiculously bulky, but oh well.

Strawberry Smoothie, 44 meters:

The color is closer in the second pictures, it's much prettier than it looks. It's plied with sparkly pink thread.

After that I went for some rainbow roving that I bought to go with the kit. Again, I wish I had waited until I knew a little more, but I ended up really liking the finished yarn.

Tripped Up On A Rainbow, 52 meters:

It's plied with gold thread and, like the pink, its bulkiness is almost silly, but I love it so much I just want to hug it all day long.

After all that, I thought I should probably use some small amounts that I had and just practice. Small amounts made sense to me, it made it faster to see my progress and what I could improve on the next try.

Practice Singles (in the order I spun them), 9.3 meters, 8.3 meters, 19.7 meters:

I had a terrible time trying to get a good photo of the green, but it's a massive improvement over the other two.

Plying Practice (also in order), 7.8 meters, 12 meters:

After those, I felt like I'd improved enough to I order some more wool and really get down to business. I've been drooling over wheels, but I'm holding out because my living situation is a little too impractical for a wheel right now. I don't know how long I'll stick to that, but my spindle is working out fine for me for now. I just finished my first proper skein and I can't wait to show it off tomorrow on Fiber Friday!

Thanks again for checking this out and for being such awesome spinners that I wanted to try in the first place!

7  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / A few random spinning questions... (now with 2 new ones!) ? on: August 31, 2006 08:17:10 AM
Hey everyone -

I've been spinning for about a month, semi-obsessively, and I have a few questions that I haven't been able to find anywhere else. (If these have already been asked and I missed them, I'm very sorry!) I had about 30 questions two weeks ago, but between you guys on Craftster and my own mishaps, I've managed to figure most things out. So...

1. How do you guys store your handspun yarns? I understand the guidelines to storing fiber safely, but what about what you've already spun? Would ziplock bags be a huge no-no, would it be better to just have a cardboard box, etc?

2. What do you all do with leftover singles from plying? Especially if it's just a small amount (and you don't need sample skeins since you don't sell your yarn yet)? It seems like a waste to just throw it away. Is there some way to save leftover bits and make some sort of crazy circus yarn?

3. In a very basic way (I'm not advanced enough to need the complex answer!), what's the deal with balanced yarn? I've read that a simple test is to hold the skein up (after setting the twist and drying) and, if it doesn't try to twist back around itself, it's balanced. Is that true? I ask because I just finished my first proper amount of yarn (after a lot of practice) and it doesn't twist back on itself! I can't possibly have made a balanced yarn so early in my learning, so I assume I must be missing something...

Thanks for any help you all can give me, I really appreciate it!
8  FIBER ARTS / Spinning: Discussion and Questions / Niddy-Noddy Sizes? on: August 15, 2006 06:19:48 AM
Hello all - I'm a beginner spinner (just really started last week) and I love it so far. I can't find anything suitable to wrap my yarn around, so I've decided to go ahead and order a niddy-noddy. I've already found a very affordable place to order from, but I don't understand the difference in sizes. I have to choose between 30", 48", and 72" (standard sizes, I assume?), but how do I know which size I want?! I guess my (possibly very stupid) question is: when would you use a large one over a small one, or vice versa? Does it have anything to do with the weight of the yarn you spin, or only length? I've searched everywhere and found loads of places explaining how to use them, but no one that will tell me the benefits of the different sizes!

I'm leaning toward the medium size, because medium always seems safe if you have no idea what you're doing. Does that seem like a wise choice?

9  Archive of Past Craftster Challenge Entries / CHALLENGE 13 ENTRIES / ENTER THE MONKEY. (img heavy) on: July 06, 2006 05:21:25 AM

Who's more admirable than Bruce Lee?! He was talented, smart, creative, groundbreaking, and impossibly handsome, if you ask me. He's an icon and deservedly so. So I bring you Bruce Lee Monkey, as seen in the famous final fight scene from "Enter The Dragon", ready to defeat Han who has scratched poor Bruce all up with his evil knife-hand.

     He's really angry, because Han has offended his family and offended the Shaolin Temple.

     And this is right before he kills that traitor Han with his bare hands.

     Here's some back and detail photos:

Bruce Lee Monkey is made from a pair of plain greyish-brownish socks - I could've tried to match the incredible tan Bruce Lee has in the movie, but I wanted to make sure the embroidered scratches were visible. He has twisted wire through pretty much all of his body so that he can stand freely and be posed in ass-kicking stances without having to worry about tipping over and stuff. The wire is looped at the ends so that it can't poke through his hands and feet and tail. (I had already stuffed him when my brother helped me work that out, so he had to be unstuffed and restuffed all over again.) His pants are made from some fabric I had in my cupboard even though I had NO idea how to make tiny pants and just made them up as I went. They have a tail-hole and close with a tiny snap button above the tail. His socks are from a pair of mine that I sacrificed and his shoes are felt. He has yarn hair and felt eyebrows and I watched the fight scene about a thousand times to get the exact placement and number of all the scratches.

It may not seem like it, but this guy was pretty tricky for me. I've only ever made one sock monkey before, so it's still new. I've never made anything with tiny clothes and I now have much respect for any of you guys who make doll clothes. I can't even sew human-sized clothes that well. The shoes took forever because I just couldn't figure out what I was doing and I spent all of yesterday evening / night putting in his hair and cutting it. I had no idea how involved he would be when I started, but i LOVE him, so it was totally worth it. I'm so glad I managed to finish just in the nick of time for this challenge!

I hope you all like him (and you better not offend him or anything because he could crush you with his tail. Smiley  )

10  NEEDLEWORK / Sublime Stitching Embroidery / Lookee how pretty my first Sublime Stitching projects came out! (IMG HEAVY) on: May 01, 2006 05:09:06 AM
Hello everyone - this is my first post in the embroidery section here, and my first embroidery projects in about 12 years. My mom taught me the basics when I was younger and I did it for a while, but I stopped when I was around 14. The Sublime Stitching patterns made me want to try again, because they're just so darn beautiful. I actually remembered more than I thought, so I re-picked up the basic stitches pretty quickly. I'm too scared to try anything more complicated right now, but I'm very pleased with how I'm doing so far!

This is my very first small project, from the Stitch It Kit:

And here's a set of pillowcases that I made for my friend, for a personal swap we did, using the palm trees from the Stitch It Kit and the torches from the Tiki pattern set. She and I share a love for anything tiki-related, so I did much internet research and the phrases are supposed to be the closest thing to 'Good Morning' and 'Good Night' in Hawaiian. I trusted my research, so if you know better and they actually say something really stupid or rude, please don't tell me. Smiley

I used the floss from the Stitch It Kit for both projects, but they didn't come out bright enough in the pictures, so just imagine them a bit more vibrant. There's more pictures on my Photobucket account, but I didn't want to clog up Craftster with even more, so here's the links if you want to see more detail:


Thanks for looking! My next projects will be some hankies with Mexican wrestlers for my brother and a Country Cool pillowcase for myself. I can't believe I forgot how awesome embroidery is!

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