Archive for May, 2009

Spring Lace Ribbon Scarf

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

(Note: we made it to WA with all the household goods and are getting settled in. Blondie is supposed to be transported to us some time in the next week. The house is a mess, we haven’t been to the grocery store yet, and there are about a dozen things on my task list to take care of. The list is getting shorter though. I wrote up this post last week before we packed…)

This is my second Lace Ribbon Scarf. The yarn is just so perfectly suited to this pattern that, although I considered other patterns, this won out. The first one is here if your curious to see it.

Fleece Artist

Spring Lace Ribbon

Spring Lace Ribbon

Pattern: Lace Ribbon Scarf by Veronik Avery. Available free from Knitty.
Yarn: 1 skein of Fleece Artist Merino Sock in colorway Parrot
Needles: US #5 Addi Turbo circular
Notes: This is a great easy pattern, well suited to handpainted yarn. Easy to memorize.

The yarn, well, I’ve knit with it twice before and this third time was totally different. Previously I’ve found it to be soft and light while this third skein was ropey and dense (seriously, I went UP a needle size from the last time I knit this pattern with the same yarn). Like it’s SUPER superwash or something. It also had a dozen broken plies which was very annoying. If I didn’t LOVE the colorway (even more than other photos of this colorway I’ve seen on Ravelry) so much I would have considered sending it back.

Touristy Day

Saturday, May 23rd, 2009

Alternative title: Supporting the Local Economy.
Today is/was our day to relax and show my Mom and Paul around town. It’s also their anniversary so we didn’t think packing was appropriate, plus we have lots of time before we drive to WA on Tuesday.

So, after a quick stop to drop some things off at Goodwill we hit the Clark Fork River Farmer’s Market. This is only the second time I’ve been; Richard and I went on opening day this year. It’s a really nice farmers market with a great balance of produce, organic meat, fresh baked goods, plants, flowers, and fiber.

Hand dyed mohair locks from Wolverton Mountain Mohair (no website, yet, but the owner says it’s coming soon). I don’t know yet if I’ll get some dog brush carders and card these or flick them open and spin. It’ll be an adventure either way!

Mohair Locks

Natural and handpainted batt from Raven Ridge Fiber Arts. The fiber content is wool, llama, and silk. I’m calling this colorway “manly” as I hope to spin it up into a heathery or marled yarn suitable for a man.

Manly Batts

This is 3.6 ounces of roving from Sugar Loaf Wool. To be honest, I’m not positive whether it’s roving or top. It is in a strip like top, but it’s not so oriented and there’s lots of short staples. A bit rustic, but appropriately priced for what it is. Colorway is Sherbet. I picked it up, turned around and my Mom said, “that looks like sherbet.” Yup!

Sherbet Roving

After the market (we also bought a huge focaccia with kalamata olives, feta, and artichoke) we headed up to put our things in the car. We popped into Macy’s to use the restroom and I found a new purse for a great deal. My old one has been held together with a safety pin for months.

Then the Monte Dolack Art Gallery was open and this was on my Mom’s list to stop in. It was fun to browse and posters are very affordably priced.

Yarn Scraps

Friday, May 22nd, 2009

While packing I ran across these yarn leftovers from projects I’ve knit here in Montana. I had them in an open top box, but I wanted something soft-sided for packing purposes. I thought they looked kind of neat squished together in this re-purposed plastic sleeve.

Yarn Scraps

It’s also kind of fun to see all these leftovers and think about the projects that I knit. Most of what’s in the bag is sock yarn too! The sockweight scraps are ultimately destined to be colorful stripey socks or contrasting heels/toes.

WIP Wednesday 05/20/09

Wednesday, May 20th, 2009

With less than a week until we move, I really don’t know how much time I’ll spend knitting or spinning in the next two weeks. Packing has already been happening, loading the truck is scheduled for Sunday/Monday, driving on Tuesday, and unloading on Wednesday. Getting re-settled into our house should be pretty easy – it’s still furnished after all. The only thing we have to unload the evening we arrive is any perishable food from the cooler.

After we get moved I’ll be busy getting ready for Blondie to arrive from Montana. We need to put up some temporary fencing and a shelter, get some hay, etc.

1. Tryst Vest – yup, still needs to be re-blocked. It’s going to have to wait a few more weeks.

2. Deep Blue Merino – singles are done, rested, and I’ve started plying.

Deep Blue Merino

3. Spring Lace Ribbon Scarf – currently blocking. It will probably be dry later today. (Okay, so it is dry, but this is what you get for now because I don’t have time to do a photo shoot.)

Spring Lace Ribbon

Second Handspun

Thursday, May 14th, 2009

When do you stop counting your handspun? Certainly not this soon – this is just my second attempt. Partway through spinning this I began forcing myself to move beyond park and draft. For a couple of days I wasn’t very successful. I was lucky if I drafted out a few inches of fiber before I had to park, but when I picked my spindle up after a week of not using it, it started to fall into place. Now I can let the spindle spin quite a long time, sometimes even to the max length my arms can handle. I still have lots of room to practice and improve though.

From fiber to singles to yarn…I just love this yarn, the color, the handspun-ness of it…

Lavender Top

Lavender Top

Lavender Yarn

Lavender Yarn

Lavender Yarn

Fiber: Lavender Falkland Top from The Artful Ewe
Yarn: about 115 yards of 2 ply, it’s a bit thick and thin, but likely averages out to a bulky weight.
Spindle: Schacht Hi-Lo 1.1 oz
Notes: What I’ve learned…
1. I know why people have a whole collection of spindles.
2. I need to get over my aversion to toilet paper rolls. It’s easier to unroll yarn from a larger diameter object than a chopstick (I did wind my next fiber off using my ball winder, but I’m not sure if this is good or bad for the singles).
3. Making two ply from a single ball is not something I’m going to attempt again anytime soon.

WIP Wednesday 05/13/09

Wednesday, May 13th, 2009

1. Tryst Vest – yup, still needs to be re-blocked. I couldn’t tear myself away from Desdemona. Can you blame me?

2. Lavender Top – the finished yarn is just about dry. I will reveal it tomorrow.

3. Deep Blue Merino – halfway spun up. This is the first half. For the second half I’m trying a different shaped cop, one that looks like a cylinder rather than a chicken leg. What I’m trying to fix is the part at the bottom where my single slides down the spindle shaft and gets loose.

Deep Blue Merino

4. Spring Lace Ribbon Scarf – this is my filler project to keep me occupied between now and when we move back to Washington in a few short weeks. The yarn is Fleece Artist Basic Merino Socks in the colorway Parrot.

Spring Lace Ribbon

Shakespeare In Lace: Desdemona

Sunday, May 10th, 2009

My shawl is finished. I’m going to overwhelm you with photos because I think this is the prettiest thing I have ever knit. She’s so light to wear!

As a reminder if you haven’t been following my blog, this pattern and yarn were the first shipment of the 2009 Shakespeare in Lace Club offered by Wooly Wonka Fibers. Membership in the club has been closed for a while, but if you like what you see the pattern will be available to anyone starting in June.

If you want to see a larger photo that will show the detail click on the image and then look for the button that says “All Sizes.”

Desdemona Shawl

Desdemona Shawl

Desdemona Shawl

Desdemona Shawl

Desdemona Shawl

Pattern: Desdemona Shawl by Miriam Felton, MimKnits.
Yarn: Wooly Wonka Fibers Tencel Blend Laceweight in color British Queen.
Needles: US 5 Addi Turbo circular
Notes: Let’s see, besides how much I love this shawl you all probably want to know what I changed or if there were any challenges, right? I used one size larger needle, but this is the norm for me to size up one. I also enlarged the shawl a bit because I’m tall (5’10”) and because we had a generous amount of yarn. For the enlargement, I cast on 118, knit 16 repeats of the center square, and picked up 121 stitches per side which will add 2 repeats of the border stitch pattern, plus the 4 corner stitches for a total of 493 stitches. My finished shawl is 44×44 inches.

My First Handspun

Thursday, May 7th, 2009

So here it is, my very first yarn. This is actually the second time I plied it. The first time was a jumbled mess that I ended up pulling apart. Now I know what I did wrong – even though in my head I knew that to ply I needed to spin the opposite direction as how I spun the singles, my hands took over and spun in the same direction. No wonder the first time was a MESS.

Here it is looking much better. I’m actually quite happy with this as my very first handspun.

My First Handspun

My First Handspun

My First Handspun

The fiber was a scrap given to me by Heidi of The Artful Ewe in Port Gamble, WA used for my 15 minute spindle lesson. My guess is that it’s Falkland because it feels about the same as the lavender fiber I bought from her.

It’s such a small amount I don’t think it’s destined to ever become anything, but that’s fine by me. I’m happy just to look at it and learn from it.

WIPs 05/06/09

Wednesday, May 6th, 2009

My obsession with Desdemona has not ended, but I finally needed a little break from it after many hours of knitting over the weekend.

1. Tryst Vest – yup, still needs to be re-blocked.

2. Lavender Top – all the fiber has been spun into singles. It looks a bit odd on my chopstick holders, but you can see the singles are finished and ready to ply.

Lavender Top

3. Desdemona Shawl – currently on round 50 of 60 in the outside border. While the border rounds are large, it’s a great balance of 3 patterns. About the time you’re tired of the inner pattern it’s time to move onto the much simpler middle pattern, then when you are tired of that it’s time to work on the strawberries. This is certainly the most complex of the three patterns with no rest rounds*. It was 6 or 8 rows into the strawberries that I needed a break and picked up my spindle. Motivation is still high though – the strawberries look so neat and I’m close to the end when I get to block it and reveal it’s full potential.

Desdemona Shawl

Desdemona Shawl

4. Deep Blue Merino – With the lavender top finished, I jumped onto the second fiber I purchased from The Artful Ewe. This is 4 ounces of 19 micron Merino. I can definitely feel the difference between this and the Falkland. My drafting is also getting much better so I can allow the spindle to keep spinning much longer, rather than parking it for every draft.

Deep Blue Merino

* for my non-knitting readers, a rest round is a round of knitting that is all knit or all purl so you can simply knit along without having to reference a pattern or count your stitches. In most patterns, the pattern detail occurs every other row with a rest round in between.

Oooh Pretties!

Tuesday, May 5th, 2009

After much browsing and drooling over various fiber products on Etsy I broke down and ordered these pretties from Greenwood Fiberworks. It’s not as if I have a bunch of other fiber already in my stash – I don’t. In fact, since I knew these were coming in the mail I got busy and finished the lavender top singles and I also re-plied my sample fiber. I’ll show you those a little later this week.

Greenwood Fiberworks Merino

Greenwood Fiberworks Merino

Greenwood Fiberworks Merino

Greenwood Fiberworks Merino

All three are Merino top, 4 ounces each. From top to bottom the colorways are Lavender Hedgerow, Persimmon, and Tropical Sno. Carolyn at Greenwood Fiberworks did a lovely job dyeing these and they were carefully and quickly shipped to me. I’m sure I’ll purchase more from her in the future. These will keep me busy for now though.