Sunday, February 27, 2011

Spinning with Color

After a month and a half of spinning nothing but the brown yarn for my sweater, I was thrilled to be able to get to something with color in it. It was also nice to spin my default thin singles again!

Once I started on this, it seemed to spin itself up in a very short period of time. This is South African from Crown Mountain Farms, the January shipment from this year's fiber club. The colorway is called Celtic Glow, and it's very well named, in my opinion. This photograph doesn't do it justice -- some of these green shades do indeed seem to be glowing! I started plying today after finishing the last bobbin of singles last night, and it's turning out to be a light fingering weight. This is my first time spinning this wool breed, and I'm thoroughly enjoying it. It doesn't hurt that it's not brown and doesn't shed all over me while I spin!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Too Cute to Wear?

I have a small backlog of projects I've yet to show you, and I finally got around to getting final (though rather bad) pictures of one. This goes into the "spun to finished" category.

Polwarth from All Spun Up, colorway A Somewhat Seuss-ish Trout:

Spun into a two-ply DK-ish weight yarn:

And knit up into a cute little hat:

Pattern: Aviatrix by Justine Turner (Ravelry link)
Yarn: handspun polwarth, as listed above
Needles: US 4 (3.5 mm) and US 5 (3.75 mm)
Started/Completed: December 6, 2010/December 15, 2010

I knit this up in time for Rainbow's first birthday -- that is, the knitting was finished in time for her birthday (actually, I'm pretty sure I cast off while she was napping/sleeping off her stomach bug on her birthday), but then the hat sat in my knitting bag for about a month and a half before I finally got around to sewing on the buttons and blocking it. Why it took so long for me to do a job that took all of five minutes is beyond me. Rainbow clearly wasn't in a hurry for me to finish it, though, as you can see from this picture:

Yes, we did force her to wear it, and she had a mini meltdown over it. She forgot about it after a couple of minutes and wore it happily all the way to daycare, but it was a no go when I tried to put it on again when I picked her up this afternoon. The girl just does not appreciate handknits yet!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Sweater Project, Week 7

It took a full six weeks, but the yarn for my sweater is done. I finished plying the last skein (a mishmash of all the scraps from the previous skeins) last Sunday night. In all, I have 11 skeins that total roughly 1254 yards. It is worsted weight, about 10-11 wpi, which is just what I was going for.

My camera was not cooperating with me yesterday when I was trying to take advantage of the sun to get some good shots of it, so the color isn't very accurately represented here. In reality, it's a deep chocolate brown with some flecks of white here and there.

The above pictures were taken without the flash. The picture below is taken with the flash, and it's a little darker than the real thing, but you get the idea.

After determining my final yardage, I purchased the pattern for the Acer Cardigan and printed it out, and then last night, after Rainbow went to bed, I wound the first skein into a ball, turned on an episode of Masterpiece Classic on the DVR, and knit a swatch.

I was a good girl and let it soak in some water and dry overnight before I measured gauge. I got 20 stitches and 26 rows/4 inches -- spot on for stitch gauge, but half a row off on row gauge. Totally manageable. I cast on this afternoon!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Bor-ing!

That's what my knitting has been lately. Lady E is languishing once again -- we're in the middle of a mini heat wave, so I'm not exactly anxious to have a lapful of wool right now -- so the only thing on my needles getting any actual attention is my Caribbean Amphibian socks. I've just finished the gusset of sock #2 (and yes, that is real, actual sunlight coming through my office window!):

This just your average run-of-the-mill stockinette sock. To jazz things up a bit, I did an eye of partridge heel and carried it through the heel turn. I like how it looks, and it doesn't hurt that it adds a little extra durability to the heel.

These shouldn't take too much more time to finish up; I'm hoping that when they're done, I can find my knittng mojo again, because I'm anxious to start my handspun sweater! I figure that if I can cast on by the beginning of March, that will give me two solid months to knit before Maryland Sheep and Wool. I think I've decided on a pattern -- the Acer cardigan. I have enough yardage and the yarn weight is right, so I think I might have a winner! That is, unless someone can suggest something I like better ...

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sweater Project, Week 6

It's been a busy week of plying here and little else, which is why I haven't blogged since last Sunday. I do have a nice pile of finished yarn to show you, though it's not completely up to date. This is the first seven skeins:


As I type, the eighth skein has been added to the pile; skein #9 is drying in the bathroom upstairs after its bath; and skein #10 is on the wheel, ready to be wound onto my niddy noddy. All that's left is to deal with the leftovers, which I'm planning on combining to make the 11th skein, and I'm officially done with all the spinning for this sweater!* I should have at least 1,100 yards, though I'm hoping for about 1,200. Just about time to pick out a pattern -- please share any suggestions if you've got 'em! I'm thinking cardigan, nothing too fussy or fancy (or in any stitch pattern that would get lost in this dark color).

*I still have an ounce of fiber left that I may spin up later in a two ply for seaming, if I go the seamed route for the sweater, but that shouldn't take me more than a day or so to do.

Sunday, February 06, 2011

Sweater Project, Week 5

For the record, this is what 30 ounces of fiber look like when they've been spun up as singles:


The last ounce was finished yesterday afternoon, so it took me 36 days to spin all 30 ounces. Plying starts today!

Thursday, February 03, 2011

Like the Old Days

Most of the action here this week has been of the spinning variety, but I've been doing a bit of knitting here and there, too. I managed to put a few more rectangles on my Lady Eleanor at knit night last night, and during my lunch break yesterday, I finished a sock:

I started this one on Christmas Eve as we were driving down to D.C. and, needless to say, it hadn't seen much action since then. But these socks have now gone into rotation as my lunchtime knitting, so I anticipate a finished pair in another week or so.

I had to laugh at myself while I was getting close to the toe on this sock. It's just my standard sock recipe, but it had been so long since I knit a sock for myself that I couldn't remember when to start the toe!