Friday, July 31, 2009

FO: Knitted Aran Sweater

I am FINALLY finished with this project, which has been over a year in the WIPs category on my Ravelry page. It is a Lion Brand Yarn pattern called, get this, the Knitted Aran Sweater. I just love originality in pattern naming.I promised a dear friend I would make her a sweater, and this is the pattern she chose, and although I wouldn't have chosen it myself, and grumbled a lot in the knitting of it, it turned out to be quite lovely.

It is knitted with Knit Picks Bare Superwash, which is a lovely stretchy, soft yarn, and made the cables easy to execute.
The pattern itself is difficult to read, so if for some crazy reasonn you decide to knit this sweater, I can forward you abbreviated cable directions as I translated them. (Assuming we can somehow prove you already bought the pattern, so we don't violate copyrights.)

The yarn pilled a bit and got fuzzy when I washed and machine dried it, so I would recommend laying flat to dry. I think the plies are pretty lightly spun to keep it soft, but this sacrifices durability.
I am feeling pretty confident about cables now, so I think this helped my knitting skill quite a bit, and I am pretty sure my friend will love it. And I can finally change its status to Finished!!

Sunday, July 26, 2009

FO: Milkweed Shawl

This is the Milkweed Shawl by Laura Chau of Cosmicpluto knits. I got a bit excited by lace knitting once I blocked out that Icarus Shawl, and I began to appreciate the utility of shawls, even little shawlettes that can be worn around the neck like this. I have quite a bit of sock yarn for a person who doesn't actually knit socks all that often. Although I must admit to feeling both a little left out, and a greater desire to knit them now that the Sock Summit is coming to Portland. In fact, I may have gotten a chance to take a class that someone else can't attend!
This yarn is the color Hyacinth in Liberty's Yarn. (Her blog is linked in the column to the right.)
It is a lovely smooshy soft superwash wool in a dk weight called D.Quixote yarn. You may have seen her work in the Dye for Glory competition.

The pattern is astoundingly well charted and I loved knitting a whole shawl in garter stitch, it is so lofty and textured and just all around wonderful. I think I will be knitting the Just Enough Ruffles scarf by Laura Chau with that lovely silk/wool BMFA yarn I got at Black Sheep Gathering. Don't ask me why I am knitting winter accessories in the middle of July, in a heat wave, because I don't know. (In fact I just finished that huge aran sweater, so that will be up next!)

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Handspun Laceweight Alpaca

Here is the other half of the alpaca that we bought last year at BSG. This is the stuff that was carded by Fantasy Fibers, much better than the result of handcarding. This is 475 yards of laceweight, 3.8 oz
I dyed it with Wilton's food dye in a single color, cornflower blue I think, and when I poured in into the kettle it split into this lovely mix of color.

I am quite pleased with the result, and I will be knitting it into a shawl for my MIL.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

FO: Morning Surf Scarf

I finally made something from my handspun, which I have been itching to do ever since I finished spinning this. This fiber was a roving produced by Abstract Fiber Company, and purchased at Abundant Yarn and dyeworks sometime last year in my one and only visit there. There is a Ravelry group called Aaabsolutely Abstract if you are, like me, a big fan. I spun it as finely as it wanted to be, which was pretty came out at 14 wpi, and I got about 350 yards of 2-ply out of it.
I didn't deliberately try and control the way the colors matched up in the plying, they just came out that way. Sometimes as a barber pole pink and yellow, and sometimes various semi-solid areas.

The Morning Surf Scarf is a perfect pattern for handspun, I cast on 46 stitches, and it is still just a bit wider than I would like, I am more of a longer narrower scarf girl.

We had the usual amusement that results from me modelling and my husband taking the photos.
I am very pleased with this whole experience, the spinning, the knitting, the finished object. A complete success.

Thursday, July 16, 2009

FO: Wisp

I finished this one back in June, and took a couple of pictures, but didn't manage to get the husband to photograph me in it until yesterday, so here it is, the Wisp by Cheryl Niamath from Knitty Summer 2007. I had a single ball of Rowan Kidsilk Haze in my stash that I had started and frogged several projects with.
I don't recommend frogging this yarn if you can help it, as the mohair makes this quite difficult, and I lost some of the yarn at one point because it was too tangled up to pull apart, so this scarf thing is a few repeats short of the number specified in the pattern. It still works for me, though it would be nice if I had those extra couple of inches.
The buttons I used weren't perfect, I really need the abalone shell ones that are almost paper thin. These are close, but just a bit to thick and tend to weigh the shawl down, so I only used four.

This was a really fun and satisfying project. A beautiful, lacy thing out of a single ball of yarn. Light and airy, but just a little bit warm if you need something on your shoulders on a summer evening.
The yarn is lovely, very soft, not scratchy at all.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Some green some blue.

I got some spinning and dying done recently, perhaps motivated by my fiber from Black Sheep Gathering. This is some alpaca that I bought from one of the alpaca farms that were showing last year at BSG (2008). We bought about 8 oz of fiber and tryed some hand carding. Penny, my MIL and I found carding to be difficult and we never could get all the little matted bits out. Penny eventually injured her elbow, so we sent the rest off to Fantasy Fibers to be carded for us. This is the stuff we carded, so it has a lot of little bumps in it from the little matted places. I dyed it with Wilton's moss green, and it came out very well. It kind of looks like vines with leaves here and there. It is a single and there is 241 yards of it, and it is about fingering/lace weight. 2 1/8 oz.
And here is two oz of 50:50 silk/merino that I nearly felted in the dying, and I am not sure how, I was careful, and the temp was never above 160 F, but the silk isn't as shiny as it was before, so that is disappointing. It is a really awesome color though, and still really soft. I dyed it with Wiltons, a mix of Royal Blue and Sky Blue. It is two oz. 260 yards, 14-16 wpi.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

My new etsy shop!

Hi all two of you! I have finally started an etsy shop, and now appreciate how much time it takes to take pictures, describe, price, write bio, and everything else involved in this process. So I appreciate those of you who have taken the time to do this! Anyway, I only have two items listed so far, but check it out when you get a chance.
I have linked it in the sidebar also.