Handspun Toasts

Posted by Nina on Sep 11, 2011

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This time last year I was knitting my thorpe in this roving that I picked just for that project.. to my dismay I found that I have an inability to spin thick yarns and thorpe was meant to be knit in a bulky yarn while my yarn was worsted at best.. so I had some left overs! 182.3yrds to be exact! I tucked it away for the perfect project.. at the time I was thinking mittens until I found a pattern called toasts.

If you have not seen toasts knit in handspun, then you must go here right now!!!! They are amazingly little simple wrist cuffs that you can pull down into fingerless mitts if you like.. I had to have a pair! I just simply cast on and knit until I was out of yarn. They stretch from thumb to elbow but I prefer them just slouched down a little. I added gentle shaping by increasing my needle size as I knit rather than adding stitches for the increased length.

I love them! I never want to take them off!

P.S. before you ask about the ring .. it was a Renaissance Fest find that my husband bought me.. I have no idea who made it or where you could find one like it, sorry. šŸ™


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Alice Rose

Posted by Nina on Jun 14, 2011

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She was a craigslist find.. Canadian Production Wheel (CPW), estimated to be a Moise Lemay from 1880-1890. She’s got his signature tension mechanism.The only thing she needs is a wheel peg replacement and a little wax. Iā€™m in love! She spins beautifully!

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Handspun Mitts For A Friend

Posted by Nina on Jan 9, 2011

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Back sometime ago I joined a swap to spin up some yarn and knit an item out of it and mail that off to my partner.. turns out my partner and I are in the same group knitting circle.. it made stalking her easy. We had very different tastes in colors but it was nice to push me out of my comfort zone of clown barf into the world of deep, rich, jewel tones.. and she had this beautiful pattern in her queue.
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After coming up empty handed, I asked Dyeabolical Yarns to post stalk and spy on my swap partner and dye up something based upon her favorite colors… and this is how I spun the beautiful roving we made! I think she liked her package.. the mitts are really stretchy and would be fantastic to wear over a pair of gloves as well! I have very small hands and they fit me nicely (see photo) and would stretch to fit man hands as well since the pattern is mostly rib.


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November in Review!

Posted by Nina on Dec 18, 2010

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When I was dating my husband he went to Minsk to visit his family.. and while he was gone I went shopping at a local yarn store and by chance I looked over and saw a magazine that said “Russian Lace” and I ran over and bought it and the yarn to make the beautiful scarf/stole..

You might remember that this scarf came up missing and I had decided to start over.. well low and behold, it is finally finished! It is breathtakingly beautiful, delicate, and so very soft! It is everything I had hoped it would be and more! It just might be the most beautiful thing I have ever knit.
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For a while now everyone was telling me that I should get a hot water bottle to keep myself warm during the winter… so I finally did! I designed this really adorable cozy for it out of some red acrylic yarn.

I love how the heart cables are off set by the cute little heart pull ties. It helps keep the water inside warm and hopefully will keep me from getting burned if left on a spot for long periods of time. I would recommend using acrylic over wool for this type of thing because if you use it while you’re ill you might find you need to toss it into the washing machine from time to time.

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I’ve been a Twinkie Chan fan for a little while now and I eagerly pre-ordered her book especially for this scarf! When it came I cast on right away and finished the scarf in just a couple days! I had 2 shades of red acrylic and this Red Heart Baby Cloud yarn on hand and decided on a whim after a few stressful days to just hook it! I love this thing to pieces! I wear it almost every day! The sprinkles are silver lined rainbow seed beads.

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Then I whipped up some mini socks for these cute little sock blocker key-chains. I used some left over sock yarn bits and some worsted rainbow yarn I had in stash. Aren’t they cute?!

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I’ve spun these 2 rovings into a regular 2ply with plans to cable ply them together… I got some amazing yardage out of the darker skein.. my best yardage to date! I really love the color from these skeins!

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However, when I cable plied them… I ended up with this yarn. It’s around worsted weight and while it’s pretty… I think I much prefer the 2 skeins alone rather than plied together. I plan to untwist and keep them as 2 separate yarns.. but I learned a lot while making it so I am happy I took the time to do it!


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Fresh From The Cauldron

Posted by Nina on Aug 25, 2010

I’ve been doing a little kettle dyeing lately.. I am testing out some different dyes and dye mixes and I am also experimenting with different ways to dye. I’ve been saying for a while now that I have an etsy shop just waiting for the big listings.. well that moment is right around the corner! I have nursing covers ready to list and I will also be listing some fibers for those of you who knit and spin!

Here’s a little sample for you to see what I am working with and what my colors are coming out like! This week I will be testing out some natural dyes.. The rovings photographed here are just plain wool combed tops.. nothing at all fancy about them except their newly found colors! I can’t wait to spin up this first one! and the first 2 skeins of yarn you see are planned to be used in a scarf while the bottom skein I am thinking to knit some simple socks.

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A Somewhat Seuss-ish Trout.. the inside and the out!

Posted by Nina on Aug 12, 2010

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Here is my most recent handspun! Freshly taken off the wheel. It’s All Spun Up’s summer spin along roving called “A Somewhat Seuss-ish Trout.. the inside and the out”. I broke down the roving into sections, some large and some small, then andean plied them together. Its 100% Polworth roving which makes the colors really pop and so soft to the touch. I ended up with 330yrds of fingering-sport weight yarn to play with and I have 2 other braids left to spin!!

I was really not loving all the barber poling while I was plying, it started to look too much like Christmas yarn but after it was skeined up I could tell that, that wasn’t so. Its a beautiful mix of aqua blue, green, cream, and red. I have no current plans for it but I am really interested to see how it knits up!

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Good Mail Day!

Posted by Nina on Aug 4, 2010

I’ve been so sick for the past two weeks! I’ve come down with some sort of a double cold (not quite getting over the first one when the second one settles in) and I have basically lived on cough drops and cough medicine.. so I was REALLY happy to wake up and see an awesome package from my friend Jess!!!!
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she wrapped everything in little red tissue paper with lion paw stickers all over them! We’re playing in the Harry Potter house cup together and shes also in Gryffindor! I was so excited to open everything and when I did… I was amazed at her talent and her thoughtfulness! Jess, you really do rock!!!!
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She hand dyed me some spinning fiber and made it all ready for color blending when I spin!, she hand made a lion orifice hook for my spinning wheels!!!, a notebook to keep track of knitting and fiber stuffs, a sorting hat bookmark, an AWESOME cup which I LOVE!, 2 stitch markers, a Harry Potter snitch sticker set, lemon drops (they were Dumbledore’s favorite you know!), and a cute tote bag to carry it all in! I got spoiled!!!

Jessica, thank you again so much for all of your wonderful goodies! I am amazed at your talent, humbled by your kindness, and blessed by you friendship! The friendships I have made in this little (or not so little!) group of ours have been amazing and I am so glad that you are one of them!!


Return to Hogwarts

Posted by Nina on Apr 28, 2010

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I’ve just signed up for my 2nd year at Hogwarts (aka. HPKCHC)! Last term I had very little time to do anything but knit… and I literally finished my OWL on the very last day of term! This time.. I am going to plan my time much better and get everything done on time! I will not be having sleepless nights this term, oh no, I will be budgeting my time much better!

This term there will be spinning, there will be weaving, and there will be lots of knitting and crocheting! What you see in the photo above is my OWL proposal.. this year I will be attempting (and succeeding!) in a Care of Magical Creatures OWL by hatching a dragon! Do you see my trusty book that I have borrowed from Professor Hagrid? I will be hatching a Siberian Ice Crest dragon.. more on this later.. but I give you my swatch!

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What? Stop laughing! It’s going to be a dragon! REALLY! IT IS!!! That is it’s head… oh dear, I am really not helping matters here any, am I? Just trust me, it’s a dragon.


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Spinning 3rd Eye from Yarn Hollow

Posted by Nina on Apr 26, 2010

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When I got 3rd eye from the spinning loft, I didn’t have any idea what I wanted to do with it, I knew that I wanted to ply it, but I didn’t think I loved the colorway enough to buy 2 braids but I loved how it felt in my hands as roving and couldn’t imagine what it would look like all spun up.

Once I started spinning, I was hooked! The white fluffy fibers on top blended into the yarn and made this beautiful sheen and it spun so smooth. I now wish I had bought the second braid because it’s pretty darn amazing! I spun up the singles to be navajo plied because I wanted to keep the colors in a stripe pattern and I took my time. This taught me 2 things.. 1.) Navajo plying is BORING. I don’t really like doing it but now if you put in a movie and sit there and just do it for 2 hours, you can make some pretty great progress without being bored to death! and 2.) Navajo plying just might be my most favorite finished yarn look ever! It’s so smooth and round and just beautiful.

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I ended up with 375 yards of approximate lace weight yarn. It’s roughly 18 WPI (wraps per inch). I don’t know what it will become but I definitely want to use it in something! The yarn has a beautiful drape.. and would be great in any project worn close to the skin.. what to do? what to do?

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S.A.B.L.E. Spin Day!

Posted by Nina on Apr 21, 2010

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Last Saturday my spinning group got together at Jenna’s from Uniquely Your’s home. It was so much fun! We had lots of laughs, great food, and a complete home tour of her craft room & nursery. I was there for 6 hours and during all of this time, these are the only photos I shot!

Somehow when I am with these ladies, I just forget to break out the camera! Sorry about that, but I hope you will enjoy the photos anyway. There is the lovely Jenna and her super adorable dog, all 160 lovable pounds of him. I would have taken him home with me — if I could carry him, or Jenna would let me!

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Forgive me, but I don’t remember who was spinning this šŸ™ I remember that it was on an Ashford wheel. That was another interesting thing.. we had a huge variety of wheels in that room and it was nice to see them all together.. I really admired the finish on Ann’s Ashford (see next photo), it almost makes me wish I had finished my own wheel.

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Ann had just gotten her wheel and was learning to spin at the meet up. I think she is doing a fabulous job so far.. it looks like yarn to me! Isn’t the color of her wheel and fiber just beautiful?

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Lisa was spinning this on her Majacraft Rose right beside me. It looked nice and bulky, soft, and squishy.. all the wonderful things that you want yarn to be! I had never seen a Majacraft in person so it was nice to watch one in motion.

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Jenna mentioned that she was thinking of selling her Kromski Harp loom and if I was interested it could be mine… that was an offer I couldn’t refuse! We couldn’t figure out what some of the parts were that came with it, but once I was home, I watched a couple of youtube videos and figured out what they were and how they fit. I was able to set up the warp and make my first weaving project! Photos to come later, I promise.

ninasbattSomeone recently turned me on to bead plying and I’d love to give it a shot! So I bought the fiber… I mentioned to Jenna that I was thinking about getting a drum carder and she was generous enough to let me card up these beautiful fibers so I could spin them..

She even let me have some angelina to make my brand new batts sparkley! LOVE LOVE LOVE!! I can’t wait to spin them. I need to finish plying the fiber that’s on my bobbins so I can get right to it! I have decided to get the full size drum carder after all. I really enjoyed making them.

These are twice blended.
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Last but not least, this is what I was plying up while at the meet. It’s Jenna’s tulip’s spin-a-long batts. You got 4 mini batts red & green, white & green, orange & green, and purple & green. I blended the orange & red batts together and plied with the white & purple. I got 179yrds. I don’t know what I want to make with it yet but I do want to use it, it’s lovely!


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