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I do too do stuff, and oh, opinions needed

February 21, 2008


First, something unexpected…a Christmas present I’ve been waiting to share until I had something to show for it. That’s right, a WooLee Winder! This post put the idea in my head a long while ago, and thanks to some good elfing by DH, my MIL caught wind of it, and that woman can put anyone to shame when it comes to buying for her children.

I love it. There it is. My bobbins always used to be awkwardly wound, and I never fit 4 oz. plied onto one bobbin before. Even though I spun this yarn in ten minutes increments over the course of almost 3 months (I am aware how pathetic that is, and I’m ok with it), I feel like I did achieve more consistency both in the spinning and plying

(Here’s the best part of this story: being a handmade product, it takes a little time for the WooLee Winder to arrive, not long as I understand it but long enough for my MIL to forget about it. My FIL happened to be the one to open the box when it finally arrived, and he called MIL at work to ask her why she’d ordered a bunch of miniature dumbbells!!!)

this kind of even bobbin distribution has never been seen around these parts

posed – it’s a navajo worsted-ish, and by now you know me well enough to know that I don’t do coins. Never can remember, plus I’d have to break into Hampton, the resident piggy bank.

In its natural habitat. I love winding yarn by hand. I have some special plans for this yarn, I hope.


Lately I’ve been in a mood to just enjoy yarn that I have. So when I got the inkling to dye, I had some perfect candidates–leftover K’picks Wool of the Andes (yellow and tan) and Patons Merino Wool (papRRRRIka!). Combine that with a crockpot, some Kr*ger brand food coloring, and BAM! (am I allowed to say BAM!, or do I have to ask Martha now???)

soaking in the sink


The colors were chosen for a friend who loves jewel tones, purples and blues. These were all dyed with only purple, blue, and a bit of green. Quick strike leads to pink, I reckon, and yet I’m rather pleased with the result. The above are the yellow & tan, below are the paprika skeins. Which I’m keeping for myself because, as affiknitty (how are you, doll?) would say, I luff them.



Ok, studio audience! Here’s where you get a chance to participate!

Serpentine mitts: Cool or boring?*
I started these for my new SIL, and was intensely annoyed that the cables aren’t centered (I knew they wouldn’t be because of the size I made, but I kept trusting the designer. Why, why, why?). I almost ripped, but now looking at the picture, it’s really not so bad. Should I ditch ’em, or keep going? Love the color.(PS Success story- this is my first time with Louet Gems Pearl When I first pulled the yarn out in December, there were no less than six knots in the skein. Unacceptable, says me! I took the yarn back to my LYS, and just when I was beginning to lose hope, Sally took it all the way to TNNA to get a replacement for me. Hurray for the Merc!)

Dropped stitch spring scarf- Cool or boring?
Bamboo yarn leftover from my Lotus Blossom Tank (what?? Two patterns in a row that used the recommended yarn? Unfathomable!). It’s been hanging around for awhile, and I thought dropped stitches would get me more bang for my buck. Now I’m thinking it is less bang, and needs to be bucketed.
Ok, opine away! Thanks all!
*unfortunately I can only explain the options of “cool or boring” in person, but WHEN we meet, I’ll be happy to explain such a strange dichotomy, and do my best imitation of the question as originally posed.
15 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2008 6:55 pm

    Pitch it. Don’t really like the color, plus SIL deserves centered cables. (Look at me, talking the talk like I know what I’m talking about!) I’m thinking something light green that will match a nice pair of clover-leaf Wellies.

  2. February 21, 2008 7:27 pm

    Wow, sensory overload!

    I have so far been immune to the Woolie Winder wanting, but I’m intrigued. I can’t ply 4 oz. of fiber onto a bobbin, either.

    Your dye job is so fantastic! And I kind of think both of your projects are on the cool side, but if they’re not making you happy, maybe they should move along.

  3. February 21, 2008 8:08 pm

    Ack! So much gorgeousness! Congrats on getting the Woolee Winder, and for figuring out how to use it. The handspun looks great, and I love the colors you morphed the yarn into with dye.

    I actually like the mitts, but I’m ambivalent on the drop stitch scarf. Mainly because light scarves aren’t my thing. I’d frog it and save the yarn to combine with leftovers from something else. 🙂

  4. February 21, 2008 8:09 pm

    I’m not sure if I’ve commented here before or not, anyway. Your dyeing and spinning is lovely! I like the mitts, I can’t really tell that it isn’t centered and I love the color, but I just love blue.

  5. February 22, 2008 8:11 am

    Hooray for the WooLee Winder! I just got a wheel that came with one (whee!!) and I can’t believe what I giant difference it makes for spinning. Enjoy yours!

    Your dying is awesome, very inspiring!

    Mitts: The idea is kinda cool, but the off-centeredness would drive me nuts…

    Scarf: Cool! (but most scarves get very boring before they’re finished!)

  6. February 22, 2008 8:34 am

    Wow! Your yarn all looks amazing (dyed & spun)!

    I like the mitts but the cable being uncentered isn’t something I “luff”!

    The scarf is nice. Like the PP said, most scarves do get boring before they are finished so… how do you like knitting it?

  7. girlwhoknits permalink
    February 22, 2008 11:18 am

    The mitts don’t look bad in the picture at all. In person I might have a different opinion but I say you could keep going. I don’t have vision for what the scarf is supposed to look like but it is a beautiful color. My hunch is cool.

  8. February 22, 2008 1:02 pm

    I’ve always had woolie-winder envy. My big mistake was to borrow one from a friend for a short time. So now I have the taste for it but not quite the bank account. Must keep eyes on the prize… new digital camera!

    OMG! I love that dye job. People have suggested to me a number of times to try overdyeing. so much so that I’ve passed on the suggestion to others without any experience to back it up. After seeing your results, I’m definitely going to have to give it a try. Those skeins look sooo amazing. Like something I’d pay a pretty penny for at a boutique yarn shop! Great job!

    The mitts are very nice. I love the clean lines, stitch definition and rich color. I’d say see them through to the end of the first glove and if it still bugs you, don’t feel bad about bailing.

    The scarf is not quite far enough along for me to feel comfortable casting too harsh a judgment. There are so many pattern choices out there, that if your not thoroughly entertained with what you’re doing, I’d vote to try something that gives you more pleasure. Maybe you’ve seen the Montego Bay Scarf? Might not be a bad choice depending on yardage…or you can just pull out a stitch dictionary and pick a lacy pattern that calls to you. That might be fun! –Jill P.

  9. February 23, 2008 10:57 am

    Look at all your fun projects! V. cool. However, the mitts aren’t really doing it for me – maybe worth restarting? The scarf looks neat I think. I agree with Em that unfortunately most scarves become boring long before they are finished, but maybe try and stick it out?

  10. February 24, 2008 6:53 pm

    Oh wow, you are really branching out on it all! Great stuff. I’m particularly impressed with your spinning! I’m not ready to try it yet, but I know I will one day!

  11. February 24, 2008 9:01 pm

    Re: the knitting stuff

    1. I like the mitts. I love the color and the pattern is graceful and interesting (and I can’t even tell that it’s not centered).

    2. I actually really like drop stitch scarves, but just make it a lot wider than you think you’ll want it. I just finished one for me and the damn thing is so narrow (and drafty, what with the dropped stitches and all) that I never wear it.

  12. February 27, 2008 2:29 pm

    I love the dyed yarn!!! Beautiful results. I wouldn’t even think to dye red yarn but it came out great!

    I like the mitts, too – but when things aren’t centered it drives me crazy.

  13. March 8, 2008 10:12 am

    ohmigosh. That, is stunning. Stunning.

  14. March 9, 2008 12:57 pm

    just catching up on my blog reading (and i have lots of catching up to do!). thanks for thinking of me. and, btw, i luff all the yarn you dyed. gorgeous!


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