You spin me right round

With all the talk of the Tour de Fleece lately, I thought now would be a good time to share some of my spinning adventures. I wrote an entry quite a while back sharing my experience with building a DIY spindle. I couldn’t wait to give it a try, so I went to Knit Picks and grabbed a pack of their Bare Wool of the Andes roving.

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My first spinning attempts were awful. I ended up with a blobby, unusable mess that couldn’t have been salvaged even if I wanted to try. I was a little discouraged so I shoved my roving and spindle into the back of the closet. I knew I’d eventually be bitten by the bug and want to try again so I let myself forget about it for a few months. Sure enough, I saw some handspun yarn on Instagram and that was the inspiration I needed to break out the roving and spindle again. The thing that amazed me the most with this second attempt was that, despite not working on it for months, it was actually okay! I guess the months of letting the spinning knowledge stew in my brain really helped? (Does that even make sense?)

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures of my first spinning attempt. (I threw it away to run away from the failure, ha ha!) The second attempt was definitely better though! It was thicker than I wanted, sure, but it was more consistent. Once I got the hang of it, all I wanted to do was keep spinning. In fact, I spun half of what I had before I even noticed!

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Eventually, I went online and bought a new spindle. I suspect that my little DIY spindle isn’t balanced very well so I wanted to try something that was professionally made. It was a little overwhelming looking at all of the spindles available, but I finally decided on a Schacht Hi-Lo spindle. I liked that I had the option of spinning high or low whorl, and it had good ratings. I used up the last half of my roving the first day it arrived, and it was my best spin yet, though it wasn’t great by any means. But you know what, that’s fine. It was just cool to know that I’m capable of getting better at this after that terrifying first attempt.

My latest goal is to try plying my little pile of singles into a finished yarn. I’m also wanting to give dyeing a try so I’ve been doing a lot of reading on that. I think my first attempt will be dip dyeing, but I’m really excited at the prospect of handpainted yarn. It’ll be a while before I’m feeling confident enough to try that, but until then, I’m going to have a lot of fun spinning my own special yarns.

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Close up of my latest spin

I’ll definitely be back to talk about my plying and dyeing attempts, but until then feel free to leave me a comment and let me know if you’ve ever tried handspinning or dyeing your own yarn. I’d love to hear any stories you have about your first attempts.

See you next time! ❤

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Find me on Ravelry!

I’ve been using Ravelry since I started knitting back in 2014, and it’s seriously been a lifesaver. If you haven’t heard of it, Ravelry is a website for people who are into fiber arts. You can log your yarn stash, find patterns, make a list of future projects, keep track of your current or past projects, and connect with other yarny people. It’s really been so helpful for me to have a resource like that to keep track of all these things. I really recommend it. </fangirling>

So why are we talking about Ravelry? I hear you ask. Let me get straight to the point.
In the past few years since I started this blog, I haven’t publicly shared my Ravelry account. I wasn’t hiding it or anything, and several clever readers were able to find me quite easily, but I just hadn’t thought about sharing it. Until today.

So that’s it. I just wanted to share my links with fellow Ravelry users. If you want to check out my current and past projects or my library, feel free to visit my profile page and don’t be afraid to add me, if you’d like! 🙂

For those of you interested in my patterns, you can find my designer page too! I’m actually working on two new patterns right now. One of them will hopefully go up within the next few weeks so keep an eye out for that.

I’ll also be adding some links in the sidebar somewhere so anyone can find me whenever they need to.

Thanks for reading this rather pointless entry. I promise I’ll have something better to talk about next week. 😉

Storage for interchangeable needle sets?

I’d been looking for a good interchangeable needle case for ages. The plastic case that my set came in fell apart in about a minute. Unfortunately, all the ones I looked at online or in person were either too expensive, not very good quality, or too small to hold the whole set. I know what you’re thinking. “You get what you pay for!” While I agree with that to some extent, I think it’s worth it to try to save when you can AND still get a quality product. 🙂

If you’ve ever searched “interchangeable needle case” on Google, you’ll know that they can get pretty expensive. The cheapest I found was $13 or $14 on Amazon (without shipping), but they can easily reach $30 or more if you buy them from websites that specialize in knitting-related items. I’m sure that $30 doesn’t seem like much to some people, but my priorities are this: if I spend less on knitting accessories, I have more to spend on good yarn! ❤

With this in mind, I went on a search for a cheaper case that would meet my needs. I’m not picky; I just wanted something large enough to hold all my needles, cords, and maybe even some DPNs, with a sturdy, cushioned material that would protect them while in my project bag. I dropped into a few local craft stores and that’s when I found the perfect case.

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I found this baby at Hobby Lobby in the art supplies section. It’s supposed to be for pencils, but it’s just perfect for knitting needles! There’s a ton of room since it has two compartments, and it’s very sturdy. The best part is I used a coupon and paid about $15 for it. It was way cheaper than anything I found online and way better quality than the actual needle cases they sell at the local craft stores.

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In the first compartment, I have the entirety of my interchangeable needle set, and I keep some extra circulars and some DPNs in the second compartment. And there’s room to spare!

Despite how much it holds, the case itself is about 11″ x 8″ x 1.5″ so it closes and zips up to a reasonable size. It fits easily into all my bags so I’m pleased with how compact it is. Also, they carry different sizes, so I have a smaller one with my 16″ hat needle set that only cost me about $9.

I was very pleased to find a cheaper alternative so I wanted to share for others who have been looking for a good, cheap case. These cases are Global Art brand and come in several different sizes. I bought the 120 (pencil) capacity and the 48 capacity cases for my sets. Also, I’m not being paid or anything for this; I just thought it was a good idea.

So how about you? Have you found an unusual/unique way to store your needles? Leave me a comment and let me know! 🙂

FO: Cropped sweater

I’m so thrilled to say that I finally finished my first sweater! I made a WIP post about this in May, but I actually cast on this baby way back in February. I went into it knowing that it would take me a while before I could wear my finished project. Sure enough, a little under 5 months later, I found myself finally blocking it and getting ready to put it all together. To be honest, I expected it to take longer than 5 months. It was a large project, and I’m not a very fast knitter. Luckily the pattern called for worsted weight yarn on very large needles so it really flew by!

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This project was also the first time that I used mattress stitch. The pattern was worked in four pieces so some seaming was necessary. Having a little bit of experience in sewing and making clothing really helped me here. I was able to set in the sleeves with no issue, and all of edges matched up!

And have I mentioned how much I love the colors in this yarn? The green and blues are so eye-catching, but the grey really helps tone them down so they don’t overwhelm.

I used Caron Big Cakes in Pistachio Macaron. Two skeins was enough for the whole project with a large portion left over. I’m thinking about making some accessories to go with it. Maybe a hat with a faux fur pom pom? I’ve been wanting an excuse to buy some pom poms, ha ha!

All in all, I’m super happy with my new sweater. I can’t wait to wear it this fall. I was burning up just wearing it for a few minutes for pictures, but it’s going to be so cozy and comfortable when the weather is nice and cool in October. It’ll be great! ❤

IMG_3550I’m already looking forward to making another sweater. I have so many wonderful patterns in my library on Ravelry. I think the hardest part will be deciding which to try next. I definitely want to attempt knitting one in one piece. No weaving in ends!

tl;dr

Pattern: Cropped Boatneck Sweater by Vi Bui
Yarn: Caron Big Cakes in Pistachio Macaron

From Bad to Worsted evolved into Stitched Serene!

For the past several months, I’ve been considering how I could improve things over here at From Bad to Worsted. One thing that repeatedly came to mind was the need for a redesign; new layout, new content, new name. As much as I love “From Bad to Worsted”, I started to feel like the name was a little unwieldy for a blog. Too long, not easy enough to remember, and not very indicative of what my content is.
It took me weeks and weeks of brainstorming to not only come up with something that fit all of my criteria, but also wasn’t already taken. I knew as soon as I thought up “Stitched Serene” that it was the one. I also knew I wanted a clean, laid-back look to match the name.

Other than the visual changes, I have also started an Instagram account for all of my knitting and crochet adventures! If you’d like to follow me and see what I’m up to, you can find me @stitchedserene or by clicking one of the pictures in the sidebar to the right under the Instagram heading. I love following other yarnies and bloggers, so I’m keeping an eye out for others to follow as well. 😉

One last thing I want to mention is I made a minor update to my Tough Stuff socks pattern. A reader kindly pointed out some areas that needed some clarification, so I added a couple sections to make the pattern easier to understand. Hopefully it’ll help anyone who may have had issues with the pattern, and thank you again to the reader who brought this to my attention. 🙂

Well, I supposed that about wraps up this update! Thank you to everyone who’s supported me and my blog ’til now! I hope to keep seeing you around as I continue my knitting/crochet adventure. If anyone has any feedback on the new look, please leave me a comment and let me know what you think!

See you next time! xx