Spin to spin

Hi! It’s been so long since I last posted I almost feel like I have to reintroduce myself. I spend so much time in front of a computer screen at work when I get home all I want to do is watch TV or read a book rather than open my laptop. Today, however, I figured I’d do some updating. I hope you like the new look to the blog! It’s been the same theme for years and it was time for my blog to have a new outfit. It feels a bit like a breath of fresh air. Alright on to the fun stuff! :)

Although I started spindle spinning in March 2013 I didn’t really get much spinning done until I purchased my Schacht Ladybug wheel last October.

Ladybug spinning wheel

Since then I’ve spun about 24 skeins from a variety of fiber dyers such as Pigeonroof Studios, Spun Right Round, and Becoming Art.

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some unwashed skeins

My fiber stash isn’t too extensive but it has taken over a nice amount of space in some of my bookshelves. The top shelf houses the finished spun yarn on the right hand side (the left is some sweater quantities I need to get to).

fiber stash

Quite frankly, I really have been spinning to spin. Until a few days ago I hadn’t knit with any of my self-spun skeins, however, I’m hoping to get some holiday gifts made over the next few months and would really like to use some handmade yarn for a few of them.

Some favorites that were recently washed:

Spun Right Round – Falkland in “Party” 2-ply, 168 yards, Worsted weight

Spun Right Round Falkland in Party

Pigeonroof Studios – South African Merino in “Nighthawk” chain-ply, 358 yards heavy-fingering weight

Pigeonroof Studios merino in Nighthawk

Malabrigo – Nube merino in “Mostaza” chain-ply, 184 yards, DK weight

Malabrigo Nube in Mostaza

My finished skeins aren’t perfect but I really love how they’ve been coming out. Spinning has been so rewarding, I’m really happy to have gotten into another crafting endeavor that helps not only augment my yarn collection but also provides additional reasons to knit something awesome.

Cheers! ♥

FO: Bray Cap

A few weeks ago while I was binge-watching Battlestar Galactica (the newer version) I knit this beauty of a hat: Jared Flood’s Bray Cap.

Bray cap in PRS Superwash Merino Worsted - Golden Moss

Admittedly, it’s a copycat version of Pigeonroof Studios hat in that I used the same yarn and colorway she used. When she posted about her hat I had to have that green in my wardrobe. Once I finished knitting it I decided to forgo blocking just so I could wear it immediately. It’s my new favorite item to wear and this cold spell (or actual Winter) we’ve been having in Texas has allowed me to put it to use.

The yarn:

I am such a fan of Pigeonroof Studios’ yarns and fibers. Krista has an amazing eye for color. The yarn I used is her Superwash Merino Worsted base in Golden Moss. Aside from being a beautiful color, the yarn itself is scrumptious and cushy, a real pleasure to work with. The yarn comes in 200 yard skeins and for this hat I used about 60-65% of the yarn. As you can see the cables truly pop. I look forward to the day I can get a sweater quantity of this base, what a lovely sweater that would be!

The pattern:

Jared Flood continues to amaze me with his wonderful knitting patterns and this hat is no exception. It’s perfect for when you get the urge to do some cabling but don’t want to invest in a larger project. The pattern is super easy to follow. I did, however, decide not to do the tubular cast-on. I’m incredibly happy with the result. I don’t often repeat patterns but this hat is such a winner I will probably be adding a few more hats in different colors to my collection. : )

Close-up of Bray Cap

What’s with the name?

Yet again I have disappeared from the blog. I wish I could say it was just because I was busy, but ultimately it was because writing something became this THING I avoided for some reason. That and I spent the past few months watching many seasons of TV shows available on Netflix and spinning my heart out on my Schacht Ladybug wheel. I want to thank the folks who have stopped by this blog for one reason or another, found it through Pinterest and have followed me through email or Twitter. Y’all are pretty awesome and this post is dedicated to you. :)

So! Now where to go from here? I still don’t know what to write about. Should I go back and cover the topics I missed over the past year? Seeing as I only wrote 9 posts in 2013 but finished tons of projects and started spinning, there’s actually a lot to write about. But I still continue to knit and spin and um…add to my enormous stash so I hope to put some newer up-to-date content up to. Today, though, I wanted to explain the name of my blog. This is something I’ve wanted to share for a long time but simply never got around to. Why “Compositions of Wool”? Three years ago when I was entertaining the thought of starting a blog I tried to think of a name that would allow me to talk about a few different areas of fiber-love, not just knitting. Since I tend to write about yarn and fiber artists in addition to knitting I really wanted something to encompass what we do as, well, artists in our own right. My sister is a painter and her color sense heavily influenced my interest in the spectrum.  She has paint brushes and acrylic paint but for me wool is just my way to experience color and to share my craft. There’s another thing… compositions. Have you considered that your knitting or crochet pursuits can be seen as a sort of writing and knitting needles/crochet hooks are your writing instruments? It’s a way to speak and express your passions and creativity. So thus, Compositions of Wool was born and since then I tried to write about yarn, places to buy yarn, what I’ve done with yarn, and occasionally have giveaways for others to share in that yarn adoration. I hope to get back into that and will push myself to not let months at a time go by without a post. It’s nice to have an outlet and share the love of yarn with others. I appreciate your stopping to catch my posts and rambling more than I can say.

Cheers! ♥

Assorted yarn

Mini-skein giveaway winners!

What a day! It certainly has felt enchanted. My new spinning wheel arrived an hour before my sister did, whom I haven’t seen since Memorial Day. It feels like Christmas! Anyway, the wheel will be introduced soon, however, it’s time to announce the winners of the mini-skein giveaway!! I’m so excited! Okay, since this giveaway has 4 separate winners I’ll list them below in number order:

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Picture 7

Picture 5

Picture 8

Picture 2

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Congratulations *Wisher*, Irene, M, and Catherine! I will be contacting you soon to get your addresses. I’m going to my LYS tomorrow for a Yarn Crawl and have plans to get something to make each of your packages special! :D

Thank you to everyone who entered the giveaway, I’m looking forward to doing another one like this soon! ♥

Review: Gynx yarn + mini-skein giveaway!

Giveaway is closed, thank you to all who entered!!

I was looking through my previous posts and realized its been a super long time since I’ve done a yarn review! Since I’ve been on a Gynx Yarns kick for several months I figured this would be the perfect yarn company to talk about since I have several finished projects in a few of her bases. Also, some folks in the last giveaway mentioned they had not heard of Gynx Yarns so allow me to give you a better introduction! :)

I first came across Gynx Yarns at the 2011 or 2012 DFW Fiber Fest and later looked up the shop in Etsy. Laura Jinks Jimenez, the creator/owner of Gynx Yarns, is also based in Texas and offers an array of beautiful colors and squishy bases which are difficult to pass up. I first tried the organic merino sock base when making my 2nd pair of socks. I wrote a bit about them last year and still find them to be very comfortable. That base is discontinued but it looks like Laura still has several skeins available in the shop should you be interested. There are 437 yards in each skein so there’s enough to make a nice shawl too. I have a decent-sized stash of the organic merino sock since I wanted to gather my favorite colorways on the base before they sold out. I recently made these ribbed socks for my best friend using the Spirited Away #2 colorway. The yarn has a more relaxed feel but it makes a wonderfully comfortable and cool fabric.

Ribbed sock in Gynx Organic  Sock

Next I picked up a few skeins of the Merino sock base (100% Merino wool, 400 yards). It’s different from the organic version in that it’s got a bouncier feel and more energy. This yarn, to me, is absolutely perfect for socks. With it I’ve made another pair of plain toe-up slip stitch heel socks (top photo) in the Lantern Festival colorway and a pair of Jaywalkers using the Unsafe for Swimming colorway (bottom photo). I’m still wild about the gorgeous dye jobs on these yarns. Seriously, perfection.

Gynx Merino sock yarn in lantern festival

Jaywalker socks in Gynx merino sock Unsafe for Swimming color

Lastly, I’m currently working on some modified toe-up socks (basically the same recipe in Wendy Johnson’s book but added a k1,p1 row between plain knit rows) in the Strong Sock base (80% Merino/20% Nylon, 400 yards) and in the Jellal colorway. This base has much more stretch than the others have but still contains that nice energy that I like in my sock yarns. The colors practically glow on this base too, I’m looking forward to having them done.

Toe-up socks in Gynx strong sock in Jellal

So with that said I hope you take a moment to check out Gynx Yarns! I believe in supporting small businesses but I should also make clear that this post is not endorsed in any way. I hope Laura doesn’t mind me rambling on about her yarns, but I think they’re worth looking into for sure. I’ve been nothing but pleased with my experience with her yarns thus far. :) Those of you who are podcast listeners might also enjoy Laura’s podcast called The Dyer’s Notebook. She talks about dyeing as well as other topics including spinning, knitting, and running a small business.

Now on to the mini-skein mini-giveaway! Actually, this is a little bit different giveaway than I’ve done in the past. I wanted to have more than one winner this time so I divided up a skein of the Organic Merino Sock into 4 mini-skeins containing approximately 88 yards each. That way 4 people have the chance to be winners! The color is Totoro #1 I believe.

Gynx yarns organic merino mini-skein giveaway

Just leave a comment on this post between now and Thursday, October 3rd, 2013 11:59pm US Central time and I’ll announce the winners using a random number generator on October 4th. Everyone is welcome to enter no matter where in the world you are. I’m always happy to ship wherever. I plan on including a few other goodies with each package but at this moment I can’t say what it will be (probably yarn-related but maybe not!). New commenters will need to have their comment approved by me (thanks to spam, I can’t let it approve automatically) but I’ll do my best to get to them as quickly as I can so they show up. Good luck and please let me know if you have any questions!!