Works in Progress

I have so many works in progress-WIPs for short. Usually, I have at least 5, currently I have 8. This is not counting the projects that have been long forgotten.  I am talking about the ones that have been stashed in a yarn bag or a box for at least a year. Ravelry uses the term “hibernating” for such projects.  These are projects that I consider active projects.  I will probably write a WIP post once a month.

Knitting

I always have multiple knitting projects going on. Knitting is portable, and it’s easy to keep everything you need for a project in a “go” bag.  I don’t like to leave the house without a knitting project, because you never know when you can work a few rows into your day.

Architexture Scarf Knitting Kit by Jennifer Weissman
  1. Long Term Project – I always have one project that takes forever, like a sweater or a shawl. Currently I am knitting Architexture by Jennifer Weissman: from Craftsy for a wonderful kindred spirit. I love this pattern. It’s done in Cloudborn Highland Fingering yarn.  This yarn is absolutely gorgeous, and super tiny (so it’s gonna take a while).  Unfortunately, the kit is no longer available*(UPDATE: The kit is available again!), but you can get the pattern from Ravelry and the yarn from Craftsy. I actually have to pay attention to follow this pattern, and I take breaks by working on some instant gratification projects.

    Cloche Hat
    Lucy Hat by Carina Spencer
  2. Instant Gratification Project – Sometimes you just want to finish a project. I like a quick knit because it makes me feel like I have accomplished something. Currently I am working on Carina Spencer’s Lucy hat. This pattern is adorable, and it knits up quickly. I love the woven band, and the retro cloche flap. I am using Lion Brand Wool Ease in Cranberry and Oxford Grey.

    Susie Rogers
    Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts
  3. Fingerless Mitts – I blame the blog for this one!  I needed a photo for my post 10 Websites for Knitting and Crochet Patterns.   This is one of my favorite free patterns-Susie Rogers’ Reading Mitts.  It is a delightful knit!  I love the edging!  I wanted it to match the Lucy hat so I am knitting the mitts in the Cranberry Lion Brand Wool Ease.
  4. Socks – There are numerous socks scattered about the house in various stages of completion.  I’m  always sneaking in a few rows while I am doing housework. I hardly ever finish a pair and have diagnosed myself with SSS – Single Sock Syndrome. I’m always starting new socks, because I like to see how the pattern knits up.
  5. Baby Gifts – Occasionally, I have to stop what I am doing and knit a baby gift.  Like just now while working on this post I realized that I need to knit a baby gift before November.  I have included it in this in this list even though I haven’t started it yet.  Digging out the yarn is going to count as “in progress” for this one.

Weaving

Weaving
Pink Shawl-Lionbrand Shawl in a Ball on a Kromski Harp

6. Pink Shawl – I always like to have a weaving project going on. Currently I have a pink shawl on my Kromski Harp. The yarn is Lion Brand’s Shawl in a Ball.

Spinning

I currently have two spinning projects.  I usually like to have one traditional type of yarn and one art yarn.

Spinning Yarn
Purple Romney Wool

7. Purple Romney Wool – This Romney wool in a beautiful purple is from Catoctin Creek Farm. I am spinning it, and then plying it.  I am spinning it on a Baynes Colonial spinning wheel, and plying it on a Spinolution Pollywog.

BFL Wool
Blue Faced Leicester Thick and Thin Spun Thread Plied

8. Thick and Thin Thread Plied Yarn – I am planning on dyeing this.  I haven’t decided on which method I will be using yet. I am spinning this on a Spinolution Pollywog.  This Blue Faced Leicester wool came from Little Barn.  They have fabulous prices for unspun wool.

Projects-Knitting Weaving Spinning

 

How to Start Spinning Your Own Yarn Without Spending a Fortune – Advice for the New Spinner

Spinning Yarn

Learning to spin your own yarn should not cost a fortune. I was afraid to learn to spin yarn, because didn’t want to spend a lot of money starting another obsession. I had already accumulated a large amount of yarn, and was afraid that I would not enjoy spinning as much as I do knitting.  It turns out that I had nothing to be afraid of, because I love to spin yarn.  I am so glad I gave it a try. Spinning yarn is calming and meditative.  In today’s world of mass production, its wonderful to make something with your own hands the way our ancestors did. The good news is that you don’t need to spend a lot of money to give spinning your own yarn a try.

Make Your Own Drop Spindle

The most economic way to learn to spin yarn is on a drop spindle. I made my first drop spindle out of a dowel rod and a wagon wheel. I was never happy with the weight of the spindle. So I started a quest to find an affordable drop spindle to recommend for new spinners. You can make your own drop spindle for about $4 using this tutorial from Cindy at Jacob’s Reward Farm.  I decided to try it out to see if it was easy to make and easy to use. I am pleased to report that it is! The whole project took about 10 minutes.  I used a cup hook instead of the eye hook the tutorial calls for.  You can make a top whorl spindle or a bottom whorl spindle.  I made a bottom whorl spindle.  This spindle has a nice weight and is easy to use.

You can make your own drop spindle for spinning yarn

Spinning with Well Prepared Fiber

Start with well prepared fiber, because it is easier to draft and spin. I like to the wool roving at Laughing Lamb Fibers. They have fair prices and amazing product. Most of their wool is loose, fluffy, and spins like a dream. I also recommend pre-drafting your fiber to make it easier to spin.

Pre-Drafted Fiber for Spinning Yarn
Pre-Drafted Fiber for Spinning

Give Spinning a Try!

There are a lot of YouTube tutorials on line that will teach you how to spin. I like ones that use the park and draft method for beginners. This one from Barbara at Kitty Mine Crafts is wonderful.  There is a link to her Etsy shop.  She has some beautiful fibers for sale.  She also sells some affordable drop spindles if you don’t want to make your own.

Don’t Give Up!

Spinning takes practice! It takes a while to get the hang of spinning and drafting. Don’t give up! The rewards are worth it. Soon you will have your very own custom yarns without having to spend a fortune for supplies. That being said, spinning yarn is just as addictive as knitting and crochet. Once you learn how to do it, you will want to buy a lot of fiber, and that could get expensive. Here is my logic:

  1. When you buy the wool you get enjoyment of choosing the wool.
  2. If you are dyeing the yarn, then you get the joy of making your own colorways!
  3. Then you get the joy of spinning the wool into yarn.
  4. You get enjoyment by making something out of that yarn.
  5. When you are finished, you get a product that you can wear, or give as a gift.
  6. You get hours of enjoyment, and entertainment.

Spinning your own yarn and buying unspun wool is really a true bargain once you think about how much it costs to see a movie these days.

Happy Spinning!

How to Spin Your Own Yarn