Sunday, November 29, 2009

My Sporran

I received my package yesterday from my spoiler in the Voyager Swap I am participating in. Neila put together an awesome sporran for me, beginning with some stitch markers with thistles on the beads. Here we have a group shot, some Whiskey Fudge (which doesn't have any chocolate in it to my surprise, but it does have a good strong whiskey flavor!), a cute patterned tin of tea which smells wonderful, a teapot cozy in a gorgeous yarn, a tea measuring scoop, and a pattern and yarn from Patternworks for a cowl/hood project.
And this gorgeous Chinese porcelain teacup with a lid and a built in strainer. I love all of my gifts, but this one the most!
And last but certainly not least, some authentic Scottish treats, ginger border biscuits and caramel chocolate wafer bars, both actually made in Scotland. How fun is that.
And here is my teapot wearing its cozy. I explained to my husband that a teapot is one thing which actually needs a cozy to keep the tea hot longer.
I love my package Neila, THANK YOU!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Purple and Green Handspun

I finished spinning the purple and green stuff that I dyed at Amy's party. It looks better than I expected it to. I think these colors will make something cute for my daughter. I have about 300 yds of it, about worsted weight. It is softer in the yarn than it seemed in the roving. I still don't know what kind of wool it is, but it doesn't matter too much.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

FO: Dane Shawl

I finished another alpaca shawlette last week, so I thought I'd better get it on the blog! I really love these little shawls for so many reasons; they are quick, fun because of the lace, a little bit fancier than a scarf (in my opinion), surprisingly warm, I can wear it instead of a hoodie on a cool day. If you haven't got at least 5 or ten of these, get busy, there's no excuse, there are so many free ones available. This one took just over two skeins of Frog Tree alpaca sportweight. The pattern is a free one from Jane Tanner called the Dane Shawl. I did have a bit of a hard time with this one because of all the purling involved, she has altered the original oriel lace pattern from the Barbara Walker book to improve the appearance of the wrong side. (All pictures here are of the right side.) I don't think the wrong side looks that great either way, but my yarn is kind of fuzzy, so maybe in a smoother yarn it would matter more.
I do love the way she increased the row before the bind off so there isn't a problem with tightness in the bind off, she also did a neat method of binding off, but I don't know the name of it, so you'll have to look for yourself.
I used a size six needle, and did not alter the pattern in any way.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Starship Scarf

A few months back I developed a fascination for some of the art yarn that my friend Bohoknitterchic (ety shop here) was making, and at the same time, began noticing that my spinning was becoming a little too uniform, and somewhat boring. So I looked around etsy and found a neat little shop called Moa HandKnits Fiber Shop. I purchased this textured batt from her called Starship. It says it only contains kid mohair, but there is also a little bit of what looks like silk noils (according to Britney). Little puffs of orange stuff. I had a little trouble spinning it at first, I was still being a bit OCD about my spinning, and was trying to spin it very fine. I asked Britney about it, and she suggested letting it be a big larger diameter, and sort of letting the fiber control the spinning a little bit. So I relaxed a bit, and stopped trying to turn my textured batt into a perfect, smooth yarn, and came out with this.
I still wasn't too sure about it, but my Ravelry knit night friend assured me that it was really neat, and so I took some pictures and got ready to put it in my etsy shop. Then I couldn't figure out how to describe it, the wpi was quite variable throughout the skein, and I just didn't know if it was good enough to sell. I finally decided a couple of weeks ago to knit it into a scarf.
I knit a simple squishy ribbed scarf from it with a flare at each end, and it is very pretty after all, and amazingly soft. I love the contrast between its rough appearance and soft feel. I can easily wear it around my neck without itchiness.
So I put it in my etsy shop after all!
It was somewhat difficult to photograph, so I look very pale in the photo, but the scarf is accurately depicted.