First things first: A surprise was waiting for me when I got home yesterday. I took about 30 seconds to open the box before I had to run to pick Rainbow up at daycare, but later in the evening I was able to bury my hand in the fiber and enjoy.
In case you're wondering, yes, this is the fleece I bought at MDSW, a 5 lb. white Romney. I have yet to pull the fiber out of the box and weight it to see how much I lost in cleaning and carding, but the shipping label says that the whole box was 5 lbs. 9 oz., and I can't imagine that a cardboard box can be all that heavy. The fiber itself turned out beautifully -- creamy white, just a few traces of VM that will be easy to pick out, and fairly soft. I am looking forward to getting to know this fleece, but I think I am going to hold off on spinning anything more than a small sample until later in the summer. I'd like to spin for another sweater, and for that I need to focus just on that one spinning project. I'm reserving this summer for spinning all sorts of stuff in my stash.
I have not touched my Essential Cardigan in almost a week, and the knitting I've been doing has been for a service project or a design I'm working on. Because I lack any good projects to show you, I thought I'd start a series of posts on some of the designing I've been doing. I've been awaiting word on one design that I submitted for publication (and I may have a while yet to wait), but there's another pattern I've been working on that I'm planning to put up on Ravelry for download, so I can share it with you.
This particular pattern is for a pair of mittens. It all started with a motif that occurred to me as I was trying to fall asleep one night, which seems to be when design ideas come to me!. Partly because of this, I have a little pad of paper on my nightstand, so I was able to jot down a quick sketch of what I was thinking; it looked something like this:
From there, it was a matter of creating a chart to see how I could get this motif to fit into a mitten shape. I have a set template in Microsoft Excel I've been working with that gives me a mitten shape and size I like, so I plopped the motif into the chart and played with it to get it to fit to my satisfaction. I've already designed and knit some mittens from this chart template, so I know that the stitch counts work, but I had to make sure that this motif had a repeat that would fit well. Luckily, it did, so that was one obstacle down.