Love My Nostepinne

22 09 2009

Winding my yarn with a nostepinne has been quite an adventure. I’ve spent several hours on the couch in front of the TV (usually watching Aliens or Firefly), winding my yarn. My first few attempts weren’t so great, but with each finished cake, I get a little better.

These are my first three cakes. From left to right, they are my Jell-O yarn (Lion Brand Wool), Sugar n’ Creme cotton (yikes, what a mess!), and I Love This Yarn (acrylic). You’ll have to forgive the last one. I dropped it on my way to take pictures and one of my cats thought it would be fun to see how many times he could bat it around before I caught him.

These two are my latest ones. From left to right, they are Patton’s Merino Wool and Squoosh Superwas Sock Yarn.

I was especially pleased with my Squoosh yarn because the way the yarn laid down so beautifully. Unfortunately, getting it off the nostepinne was a challenge, resulting in the core falling out on me. I rolled it up by hand so it can easily be removed from the center when I use it later on. It’s still lovely outside, but the inside… oh well.

Ta-da! I am pleased. I’m still not great at it, but I’m off to a good start, I think. At least now I know I can wind my recycled yarn without a ball winder. Or perhaps I should say “until I get a ball winder.” Using a nostepinne is great and all, but boy does it take forever!

I anticipate that next week’s hobby blog will be about knitting. I’ve been knitting from my first (slightly modified) knitting pattern, so you can look forward to seeing how that goes. Or maybe I’ll blog about reading. I’m working on my reading goals on my 101 Goals  in 1001 Days. Oh well, we’ll just wait and see! I’ll be just as surprised as you are!


Winding My Own Yarn Attempt #2

15 09 2009

Last night, I tried yet again to wind my yarn up into a yarn cake. It’s not professional looking, but by golly, it’s holding up!

I like how the yarn sticks out of the top, lol. It makes it look like a little yarn bomb.

Better shot of the top… I left a lot of yarn sticking out of the top. I was afraid I’d lose it. 😉

I love how the bottom turned out when I collapsed the inside!

I guess I’m getting the hang of this nostepinne business. Like I said, it’s not perfect, but it’s holding together and it doesn’t look half bad. I can’t complain, really. Next, I will practice some more on some partial skeins of yarn that were given to me and some partials I’ve got lying around of my own. After that, I’ll move on to my recycled yarn, starting with my urban camo yarn and my ungodly amount of white acrylic yarn.

Maybe by the time I get through all this, I’ll have a winder and won’t have to worry about using this on my precious angora/silk, lol.

Winding My Own Yarn Attempt #1

14 09 2009

Well… attempt #1 was almost a success. That’s been the story of my day, it seems.

My bf’s mom has a beautiful wooden paper towel holder in our closet. How it got in there is neither here nor there (aside from the fact she knows it’s there and is okay with my using it), but the roll holder looked very much like nostepinne from the tutorial mentioned in my last blog.

It was a bit nerve wracking to work with, but once I got the hang of wrapping the yarn around, it wasn’t so bad. I was constantly aggravated by two cats and three kittens fighting for my attention and batting at my yarn, however. That contributed to my partial failure.

Here is my yarn before it fell apart.

Side view… It’s not very impressive, but I was pleased I did it at all. It took about half an hour to do 300-odd yards of yarn. The fact it was brightly colored helped greatly since the roller was so dark.

Here’s the view from the top. Can you see trouble starting? In my glee, I failed to notice the yarn slipping at the top. Note to self… figure out what a 45 degree angle is and don’t just guess.

This big gaping hole left by the roller may or may not have contributed. I’m guessing not… since a ball winder is every bit as big. Isn’t it? I wouldn’t know, I’ve never seen one in real life, lol.

Yarn cake from the bottom… “Well I smell t-r-o-u-b-l-e,” as Travis Tritt would say.

Finally, the cake and the roller! (And my messy desk)

The good news is that I learned a lot from this first attempt. I know where I screwed up (like trying to rush and work in the same room with cats), I know how to fix it, and I will do just that later this evening when I’m not so busy. At least I know I can do it and not screw up too badly. I’ll keep practicing. It seems like this is something that takes proper technique and finesse of many tries.

I’ll keep you posted!

Ball Winding

14 09 2009

So I was thinking… before there were ball winders, there had to be other ways of balling up yarn without a $20 winder from Knit Picks. It couldn’t be too complicated of a process. After all, a ball winder is a pretty simple machine. I wondered if maybe there was a way to do it myself using only materials laying around the house.

Bless you, Google and YouTube. My dreams have come true.

After finding this tutorial, I now have reason to buy more sweaters from the Salvation Army (especially what Shetland wool sweater I was drooling over last week). I can finally take apart my angora/silk sweaters without worrying about hand balling them into literal balls. I can now–in theory, at least–make my own yarn cakes while saving up for the ball winder I’ve been wanting.

Expect pictures in the coming week or so. This week will probably be too busy for yarn… probably.

Mission Accomplished

1 09 2009

I finished harvesting my yarn from the first sweater. How did it go? Let me put it this way… I wish I had a nickle for every time I became frustrated and shouted, “This thing was knitted by a crackhead!!!” I could have bought my own yarn factory.

Getting the sweater apart wasn’t too big of a deal. One snip and I was ready to take the sleeves off.

See? No big deal. I had some concerns with the seams between the arms and chest, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

I started unraveling the first sleeve. Stupid me thought, “Hey, let’s do this from the top of the sleeve!” Yeah, that worked all of like two minutes. This sleeve was done in the round–heck, all sweater sleeves might be for all I know–and this concept didn’t dawn on me for several hours. Nope, I parked my butt in front of the TV, pulling a pile of yarn carefully through a tiny loop every couple of rows.

When I got to the end of the sleeve to the cuff, it dawned on me (after about four hours of working on one sleeve) that the knitter probably started at the cuff and worked up. Boy, I felt kind of dumb…

The next sleeve was a bit easier, but let me tell you, I think the sleeves were done by different knitters. One was carefully attached to the chest part.  The other looked like my six year old niece attached it. So that was fun. At least this time, I found where the sleeve was started in the cuff and had it unraveled in mere minures. Yay!

Next came the chest. Let me show you WHY my phrase of choice was “This thing was knitted by a crackhead!!!”

Now, I don’t pretend to know much about knitting sweaters, but I’ve NEVER seen one like this. This was taken before I took the sleeves off. Who would wear a sweater with the stiff in the armpits?

Worse yet, when I was done unraveling the turtleneck and got to this part of the sweater, each strand came off in 8 yard strands. I about chucked the entire remaining sweater into the trash, but I plowed on.

See all this? That’s all 8-yard strands of yarn. Yikes. No idea what I’m going to do with this just yet. I’ll most likely offer it up on a Ravelry group, maybey Random Acts of Kindness or Yarncycle. Maybe a teacher can use it for Halloween or something.

After I got below the armpits, the yarn came easily. I harvested 522 yards from the chest alone.

Finally, I reached the corded bottom. I don’t know how on earth this thing was put together, but I finally gave up on it. It’s now two braided cat toys.

Ta-da! A total of 848 yards of yarn! Though honestly… I’m not sure if it’s cotton yarn. It kinda feels like the stuff basketball goal nets are made of… nylon, maybe? Oh well, whatever it is, it’s going to make an awesome blanket for my nephew.

One sweater down, four more to go. Boy, I wish I had a ball winder.

Yarn Recycling: Day 1

1 09 2009

I was up until nearly 4 a.m. unraveling the cotton urban camo sweater’s first sleeve. I have a few pictures, but none are uploaded yet.

Last night, I successfully removed both sleeves from the body and started unraveling Sleeve #1. It was a learning experience, to say the least. Several hours later, I realized I’d started from the wrong end. Since this is a hand-knitted sweater, I could have started from the wrist instead of the shoulder. Whoops… too bad I didn’t figure that out until about 2 a.m., huh?

Once the yarn was unknotted, I measured it. I have 114 yards of yarn from one sleeve. Unfortunately, when I took it off the board to ball it up, the yarn became tangled again. Poop… I tried untangling it, but somewhere around 3:30 a.m., I gave up and called it a night.

Hopefully, I will have pictures uploaded soon.