Progress Report D-SPAKAL: Meter/gram ratio improving?


Warning! This post will be a little geeky… Going into stats of grams and meters of my spinning (but who doesn’t like some fiber related stats?).

I joined the D-SPAKAL hosted by the Yarngasm Podcast in order to learn how to spinn properly while having the possibility to ask others for help, get motivated and also to work towards a goal: spinning enough yarn for an aran styled cabled cowl.

I decided to spinn using the Navajo ply-on-the-fly method with untreated Southdown wool from World of Wool. I wanted to be able to track my progress easily during spinning so I started making small labels to put on the finished mini-skeins as they come of my spindle where i record date finished, which skein it is (first, second, third etc), length and weight. At the moment I have spun up about 60 grams of fiber, some where between 100-120 meters of yarn (I have some on my spindle).

Yesterday I was looking at the skeins with the labels to see if there is a difference in thickness and evenness (is that a word?) to see if my spinning has improved. Looking at the numbers I realized that I could calculate the ratio between length and weight and get the amount of meters for every gram of fiber I spun.


The result was very interesting as the different skeins have about the same thickness but the ratios where very different. The first skein was spun at 1,5 meters/gram of fiber, the second was 2,5 meters/gram  and the third was to my surprise 1,8 meters/gram, lower than the second.

As I have become better I guess I don’t need to put as much twist in the yarn to prevent it from breaking, making it lighter, more springy and better suited for a cowl or other neck-wear. But I don’t understand what happened on the third skein, going back to 1,8.. I also think that there is a difference in how the different skeins reflect the light; the first one seem a bit darker or yellow than the second and third which are a bit lighter and have more of a halo. If I get more than the required amount (375 yards I believe) the first might become socks instead. The high twist makes it a bit scratchy to have against the neck but also more durable and suitable for socks.


Wardrobe Architect: Patterns

150129_Patterns2Archer, Linden – Grainline Studio // Wood – Madder, Sue’s Aran Sweater – Blacker Yarns // Clover, Laurel – Colette Patterns // Cascade – Grainline, Rami Blouson – A Kind of Guise

Searching for sewing patterns really makes me eager to sew! I looked for simple patterns that are easy to modify and make multiple versions of. The Archer Shirt can be made in many different kinds of fabric, with or without pockets and sleeves and with different collars. Linden and Laurel is the same. I imagine that Clover will work well in both neutral and patterned fabrics under tunics and thicker sweaters.

I also like Grainline’s new duffel coat pattern; Cascade. Though I want to change it into a bomber jacket like the one from A Kind of Guise – made in Harris Tweed! One can dream…

There two knitted sweaters there as well. Wood, that I’m knitting on at the moment and Sue’s Aran Sweater warm and with gorgeous cables. They have shapes and details I like and they will look great together with the other patterns.

I guess next step is to go though my wardrobe and fabric stash, it will feel great to continue doing things, not just planning and dreaming!

Wardrobe Architect: Proportions and Silhouettes

I’m behind already! There has been a lot in school these two last weeks and I had little time to sit down and to put together silhouettes for the forth weeks assignment of Wardrobe Architect. This week was all about proportions and silhouettes which was interesting. It is easy to just think of one piece of clothing (especially while sewing) at the time and not see it as one part of a whole as the overall shape of an outfit is more important than the individual garments. I  feel the happy in silhouettes that are looser over the torso and either tighter over the legs or if they are looser should have a slightly defined waist. The assignment was to make ten different silhouettes, which is a lot! I decided to do four (with the help of polyvore), focusing on shapes for the average temperature of about 8 degrees celsius (not looking at summer months or the coldest part of winter, though it is just a question of layering). These are the silhouettes I came up with: This is my uniform; a well fitting pair of jeans, boots (or sneakers), a loose fitting shirt and a sweater for times when I’m cold. I like this silhouette as it is comfortable and simple to dress up or down depending on the shoes, the material of the shirt or the accessories. The sweater could also be replaced by a blazer for a dressier look. This silhouette is similar to the first but more relaxed, I would love to wear this! The trousers are looser with a lower crouch and rolled up legs for a comfortable everyday outfit. On the top is a soft tee combined with a cropped crew-neck jacket. I am often cold and I love to wear cozy knitted sweaters. I don’t own an aran sweater but I would like to knit a chunky one. Then I would combine it with a straight and slightly longer pencil skirt (with a nice functional pocket!), tights and sneakers. This is also easy to dress up by adding bracelets and changing the sneakers into shoes with more heel. Last silhouette! A straight (or slightly A-line?) dress with generous sleeves and crew-neck combined with a short, collarless jacket and mens style brogues. I really like the pattern and colour of the dress and might make one if I find the right pattern as it would be an awesome everyday dress. Next I will find sewing patterns that corresponds to my silhouettes – were the sewing and the fun really comes in!

Off the needles: Sock Beanie (+pattern?)

Phew! I finally finished knitting this hat from the wonderful Hedgehog Fibres Sock in the shade Concrete this weekend. It is knitted on size 2 mm double pointed needles, all in 2×2 rib. But the yarn made it all worth it, it is super soft and it has just the amount of elasticity I was looking for as I like hats that covers the ears and keep the cold air out.

I made up the pattern as I knitted. The rib took so long that I had a lot of time to think about how to do the decreases. The shape of the crown is inspired from store bought beanies. The decreases are often asymmetrical, more flat or how I should put it, a shape that is quite uncommon in hat knitting patterns that I’ve seen on Ravelry (or maybe it is just me that have missed them).

I think I will write down the pattern for this hat and publish it on Ravelry. Fingering sock yarn is something many people have available and this simple (but refined) model would suit a lot of people, both men and women. It would look amazing in multicolored hand dyed yarn.

I just need to find the time and do it…




I have started spinning for Voolenvine’s D-SPAKAL. I will spinn about 340 meter (375 yards) of yarn on a drop spindle and then knit a cowl (or other neck warmer) from it.

Inspired by Kristen of Voolenvine, I am using the Navajo Ply-on-the-Fly technique that allows me to create a three-ply yarn instantly, saving time for washing and plying later. The tops is white, undyed Southdown from World of Wool. It is really easy to draft and lovely to work with. It smells really good and creates a soft and squishy yarn.

Dyeing: Avocado pits and peels


For a few weeks I have been keeping a glass jar of water, salt and avocado pits and peels on my window sill.

Yesterday I decided that the dye was finished and poured it into a big cooking pot and let it cook for one hour. I later added a piece of white cotton fabric and let it boil for an additional hour. Finally I pour the fabric and remaining liquid back into the glass jar to let it soak up as much dye as possible.

Fermentation is a method for getting stronger and more durable colours when dyeing with plants. I av hoping for a pink hue, but my guess is that it will be a pale beige. Den som lever får se…

The experimentation continues!

Black Lace Bra


Clothhabit has started the Watson Sew Along for her new bra pattern this week. I would love to join as the model of the bra is perfect for me – wireless with triangular shaped cups. It looks really comfy.

Mid-autumn I started sewing my first ‘real’ bra with wires, fitted cups and everything. The pattern is ‘Classic full band bra’ by Pin-up Girls and I made it with a black bra kit I from B.Wear. This project was a slow one. I probably did everything wrong twice; I cut on the wrong fabric direction, in the wrong fabric, I sewed together pieces in the wrong way, and so one. Several times I had to put it away for a few weeks to gather new focus and motivation as ripping up stitches in shiny black fabric is not easy or fun. My advice if you are new to lingerie making: don’t choose black fabric!

In order to participate in the Watson Sew Along I told myself I had to finish this one first. And so, this weekend I gathered the strength and did it! It took a couple of hours of concentration and I am really happy with the result! It fits well except for it being a bit snug as I might have pulled the elastic a bit to hard while sewing. I guess that is something you learn from experience.

I definitely want to make another one, I’m not going back to commercial bras (that almost never fit me). The pattern is easy to modify and I want to try to update the model a bit, making it a bit less covering and a bit more modern and cute. But that will be after the Watson Sew Along!