the yarn museum   Gallery/Spin Challenge #2 September 2007
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The challenge is over, and Liz Mitchell/Twisted Fluff was voted the winner!

Pluckyfluff issued a spinning challenge in her blog, and the submissions will appear below. Participants had 2 weeks (til 9.25.07) to complete the challenge...

OK - ready for the next challenge? This one is going to be a doozy! It's two parts: spinning AND knitting/crocheting. We have 2 weeks to complete this challenge. This challenge will require not just spinning and needle skills, but the ability to plan ahead. This will be the key to this challenge.

Challenge #2- The WUZZLEFUBBER

Plan it:
In this challenge you will imagine a knit or crochet creature. Sketch it out. Assign its colors, shapes, construction, etc. You will hand spin the yarn for this creature. All elements for the creature should be spun into the yarn in the order you plan to knit/crochet them.
You will knit/crochet this creature from start to finish without breaking the yarn. I repeat: you can't break the yarn! You cannot jump around in the skein! You start at one end of the skein and work through to the end. You must use the entire skein!

Spin it:
The way to spin this yarn is to picture the creature being knit/crochet from start to finish. If it has a fluffy white body with a black head, spin a large section of white first and then a smaller section in black. (When you knit you follow the dictate of the yarn: crochet a body in white but as soon as it turns black you have to start making the head).

Try and approximate how much yardage you need. You are trying to match the size and look that is specified in your sketch. Remember that you can't break the yarn when knitting/crocheting, so think about how to spin in the elements.Is there an arm? How will you get from the end of the arm back to the body without breaking the yarn? How far into the skein do you need to start spinning the "arm" section? These are the things you need to think about and plan for when spinning this yarn.

Knit/Crochet it:
Start from one end of the yarn and knit/crochet the creature non-stop from one end to the other. When the yarn say's "arm" knit the arm, whether the creature is turning out the way you invisioned it or not (here is where it gets funky!). Do not break the yarn. You must let the yarn dictate the knitting. If your "instructions" were spun in accurately, your creature should closely resemble your sketch. if not.....well, it's a WUZZFUBBER!

1. sketch your wuzzlefubber and state your fibers and measurements.
2. all elements of the creature must be spun into the yarn.
3. creature must be knit/crocheted continually, following the dictate of the yarn (meaning knit the arm when you get to the "Arm" section of your yarn, wether you want to or not)
4. the yarn cannot be cut.
5. the entire skein must be used.

*Winners will be picked based on how well their final wuzzlefubber matches their sketch with bonus points for character and cuteness. Good luck!!

PRIZE: once again...the "anti-prize" is Pluckyfluff's wuzzlefubber, which goes to live with the winning wuzzlefubber.

DEADLINE: Wednesday. Sept. 26th, 2007
Send all pics (ideally, 350 pixels square, or having the width as 350 pixels, but don't worry too much...they can be resized when I post all pix) and descriptions to submitATyarnmuseumDOTcom

VOTING: at Pluckyfluff's blog til Sat., 9/29/07


    Pluckyfluff"s beginning sketch + finished creature
    handspun yarn/              
    spin challenge 2/              
    Stephanie Nericcio/Stitch Ewe Yarns

I am using all wool. The head will be in a natural grey/brown with curls, the body is hand dyed merino in blue and a hand dyed dorset in yellow carded together, the legs are striped of the 2 colors individually. The eyes, mouth and flower are needle felted items that will be spun into the skein. The creauture should measure 10" high by 7" wide when finished. ( hopefully)

    spin challenge 2/              
    handspun yarn/

    handspun yarn/              
    About the creature: I knit the creature using US 10.5 needles. This is the first time I've ever knit anything like this. I was excited when the eyes, mouth and flower ended up on the same side!!! I had a plan but when I got to the end of the "dress/body" and went to do the legs I knit myself into a problem. I had to unwind the ball and thread the yarn back over to knit the legs, it's probally not the correct way to it but that's how I kept it going with out cutting. In the end my creature measured 18" h x 8.5" w. with one leg quite a bit longer than the other to use up the whole skein.

This was fun and I would have never tried a free form like this on my own.
    handspun yarn/              
My entry is a flying insect of some sort - probably a mutant dragon fly.
    handspun yarn/              
I plan to crochet the body, but to knit the wings so that they can belacy. The tail will be black wool, a red/purple merino/ingeo stripe, the main body a combination of greenish-grey merino, grey wool, and purple-silver sparklies. The wings will be blue merino spun with clear bead cord (for rigidity) with a few little purple beads (for beadiness). The head will be a mix of various pinks and purples in merino, ingeo, and nylon. The eyes will be some red beads, and the antennae will be black wool. About 7 inches in length for the body, and around 7 wingspan as well.
    handspun yarn/              
    handspun yarn/              
    handspun yarn/              
I didn't think it was going to be enough yarn, but then it actually turned out to be a little bigger than I thought in height. It was particularly difficult to knit the bead cord/wool yarn (especially with short rows)! The lace pattern didn't exactly come out, but I think the wings worked pretty well considering (unfortunately, the beads don't show well in the pictures). The head and body are not in the proportion that I had expected, and the eyes ended up on the side of his head (as if perpetually looking over his shoulder), but I still like the final result.
    handspun yarn/
    Julie/Flawful Fibers & Yarns              

spin challenge 2/


Batts/Fiber -
The Body is tweedy (it's the batt on the right) and made of superwash merino, recycled cotton neps, angora bunny neps, angora goat locks, cashmere, mohair, llama, misc wool, alpaca, recycled sari silk, firestar (nylon), and silk noil.

The Wings are sparkly white with specks of color (middle batt) and made of superwash merino, ingeo (corn fiber), firestar (nylon), angora bunny neps, recycled cotton neps, bombyx silk, seacell, angelina, and tussah silk. I also tied some strips of sheer fabric in random spots in this section.
The Head is a dark mix of browns and other colors (1st batt) and made of misc wools, llama, and mohair.
The Antenna is deep purplish mohair locks (on top of the batts).

Expected Dimensions: 7.5" tall (excluding antennas), 4.5/5" wide (wingspan)

    spin challenge/              
    handspun yarn/              

The Yarn -
TOO Much yardage for almost all the sections :( I did have an estimate before I started spinning, but got lazy and didn't pay attention. I tied in some strips of sheer fabric after I niddy nodded it, you can see it somewhat in the pic of the skein.

Working it -
Working from the bottom up, I started the body (crochet), found out that I had too much yardage (I should have made the body a bit larger :( ah well), so I ended up making a flap on the back which I knit. Then I knit a strip up the back and crocheted the wings from that strip. Again I had too much yardage so I just kept working at the wings, lol, little here little there, bullion here chain there... From there I did the head. Though I didn't cut the yarn or jump around, I moved up about a couple of inches on the yarn and crocheted the head separately (though again yarn still attached to the rest of the wuzzlefubber). And yet again I had too much yardage so I ended up deviating again and added some loopy hair.

I can't tell you how much torture this was for my hands and fingers, sheesh! I've never crocheted this type of thing before and the weave is pretty tight so I was struggling with the stitches and then the rounding off was killer. The hardest part though was crochet stitch seeming the head onto the neck. Antennas were last, not too bad, a little freeform knit/crochet mix to get them into the shape and surprisingly they stand up (well somewhat). It turned out pretty interesting though, not what I had initially planned on, but there are some similarities. I'll probably add some other stuff later -- like a face, lol, since I didn't put one in the scheme, and maybe some arms or body decorations (those things that look like arms are actually the bottom parts of the wings -- the wings BTW don't really look like the drawing, lol!!!).

End Dimensions: 8" tall (9" w/antennas) x 4" wide (wingspan) x 4" wide (side width front to back)

    spin challenge/              
    Liz Mitchell/Twisted Fluff
Voted the winner!

I am not sure what this is. A creature that didn't quite make final casting call for a Tim Burton flick. I am using wool, angelina, extra yarnbits and trim, glow in the dark thread, and hand needle felted eye balls and teeth.

I am going to be knitting using 2 size 9 1/2 double circular needles. The size should be around 8" height and 10" long. The orange stripes are going to have the glow in the dark thread running though it.

    spin challenge/              
    handspun yarn/              
    handspun yarn/
    I have never had to pre-plan yarn spinning before. And I have never knit something so shapely. Trying to figure out how to make a curved surface with the amount of yarn that was spun around the belly and head was difficult for me. When I got to the mouth my teeth weren't spun in exactly the right spots.They ended up being all over the inside of the mouth.

Finished, it ended up being larger than anticipated - 12" long and 10" high. I kept laughing as I was knitting up the creature. This challenge was great!
    spin challenge/              


When I saw the challenge I thought there was no way I could do it because I have no experience in freeforming anything. I thought carefully about how to approach the problem. I figured any creature with appendages that I could switch to as soon as a color change happened was the best bet. So I decided on an Octopus and had the middle fiber plus 8 more variations picked out before the sketch.

Sketch info: I don't have a scanner so I freehanded a sketch in a photo program. Octopus with 6 inch tall body and 6-8 in legs. Once forming the body, each leg started with a new color.

    spin challenge 2/              
    Fiber info: I had no idea how much fiber or how to crochet an octopus, so I made a prototype using Jessica Polka's pattern, and then I took it apart and weighed the yarn for the body and a leg, and then doubled that figure since it needed to be bigger. Then I weighed out each fiber color accordingly.
    spin challenge 2/              
    spin challenge 2/              
    Rainboctopus info: Final size body is 3.5" high and legs are from the shortest 3" long (red) to 8" long (blue). The eyes are from beads from an old costume bracelet. I liked them because they had black "slits" that were cool for eyes. Other names entertained were Rainbowpuss and Rastafaripus LOL! My 5-year-old couldn't resist playing with him....Me either.              
    spin challenge 2/