Sunday, April 30, 2017

It Might Be My Favorite

I love most of the yarns I've spun over the years. There are some exceptions, like the surprise fibers from a fiber club years ago that I never would have picked myself, but most of the time, when I pick out fiber that I've bought, I spin it the way I want and I'm happy when it's done.

Last week, I waxed poetic about how much I loved the Southern Cross Fibre club shipment I'd just finished and how the colors were so perfectly to my taste. I also mentioned how much excess twist was in the yarn even after finishing, and I was right that after the skein was dry, it needed a run back through the wheel to relax a bit. That took very little time, thanks to my miniSpinner, and while there's still a bit more plying twist than spinning twist in the skein, it's just about perfect -- and I am absolutely smitten.

I gained very little yardage in removing the excess twist (only about two additional yards), for a total of approximately 316, so I will still have shorter socks, but really that's not much to complain about. I love this yarn so much that I would settle for ankle socks if that's all I could manage. And I really loved spinning the fiber -- so much so that when David of SCF offered up a fantastic deal on 550 g lots of several fibers, including Charollais, I jumped at it. Despite my efforts to spin down my stash, I just couldn't resist what could be a sweater quantity of fantastic fiber for the price of about two club shipments, shipping included.

Meanwhile, as I have more SCF fiber now heading my way, I figured I'd better start spinning more of what I already have, so I started working on the most recent club shipment (November 2016), Corriedale in a colorway called Space.

There's a lot of dark colors in this, with a few pops of lighter gray and blue, so I decided to spin another skein of my "pseudo-self-striping" sock yarn. I'm about a third of the way into spinning the singles at this point, and it's a pretty effortless, mindless spin.

I worked on this quite a bit yesterday afternoon, when it got incredibly dark and then rained pretty heavily, and I was thankful that my fingers can spin this singles without my eyes having to get all that involved, because dark fiber in a dark room is not a good combination. This skein might be going up in the shop when it's done, because as much as I like the colors, I'm fairly certain I already have a couple of pairs of socks in very similar color combinations.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Two Big Sleeves and Some Very Tiny Hats

I am very excited to share with you that my Quill sweater now has two complete sleeves! I finished the second one last night and unfortunately did not have time to start the collar (it was my night to put Rainbow to bed, and she took longer to settle down than I had anticipated), but I did weave in all my ends from the second sleeve. I'm hoping to at least pick up stitches for the collar tonight, but I will have to see what time I get home -- I'm headed out to Knitsburgh this evening for a book reading with a local author (and knitter).

After finishing up the last charity hat (for which a pompom has been made and will be attached as soon as the hat is dry from its blocking), I needed something new for my lunchtime knitting, so I grabbed a skein of Regia Stretch Color that I picked up off the freebie table at Indie Knit and Spin in February and started some preemie hats using this pattern. The first one is already done, and I think I should be able to get at least two, maybe three, more hats out of this one 50 g skein.

I also grabbed the leftovers from my Cape Cod Socks, and I'm knitting a teeny tiny pussyhat. It's kind of mind blowing to think that a baby could be small enough to wear such a little hat, but I know it happens.

All of the preemie hats will be going with me to SSK in July, and given how fast they knit up, I anticipate having quite a pile of them once I work through a bunch of sock yarn leftovers.

The weekend ahead is going to be a busy one. I've got a haircut scheduled first thing Saturday morning, then we have the family of one of Rainbow's classmates coming over for dinner that night, and on Sunday afternoon we're headed to an arts festival at her school. It's supposed to be warm and rainy for most of the weekend, so I'm hoping I can squeeze in some decent knitting time in between all the activity. I really want to finish up my sweater!

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Greetings from Sleeve Island

It turns out that when you really focus on one project, it actually does get done! As of the end of last night's knitting session, I have a sleeve and a half complete on my Quill sweater, and if I can get in a bit of extra knitting time tonight, I might just finish up the second sleeve altogether -- or at least get close to finishing.

The second sleeve has certainly gone faster than the first, likely because I knew exactly what to do the second time around with regard to the sleeve cap shaping. Unfortunately, the second sleeve cap has the same weird gapping as the first; I think I will wait and see if it's still visible after blocking (I'm hoping the yarn will bloom enough to fill in the gaps), and if it is, I'll do a little creative crochet on the inside.

There's still a good bit of knitting left to do once the sleeves are complete, namely the garter stitch collar. The collar has a number of short rows to give it a shawl collar shape, but once those are complete the knitting should be relatively mindless. The final step is the pockets, but compared to the rest of the sweater, they'll be a piece of cake.

The amount of time I've been focused on the sweater has, sadly, been to the detriment of my shawl design. I'd really hoped to have it done by now, but the truth is that I haven't touched it in probably more than a week. It will be my primary focus once the sweater is done, and I hope that making it my main project at home will help to get it finished up quickly -- especially because I will need to knit another sample in commercial yarn once the handspun sample is finished!

What has been making noticeable progress is my charity hat, which I just about finished up during my lunch break today (it just needs a pompom to be truly completed).

I used the basic hat pattern from Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, though I subbed 2x2 ribbing for the brim (she calls for 1x1, and I knew that would take me forever and a day, so I opted for something faster). The yarn was among the oldest in my stash, bought at Pittsburgh Knit and Bead shortly before they closed more than a decade ago. It felt really good to use it up finally, and while the hat is a bit too busy for me, I have a feeling someone will love it. It's going in the donation pile for SSK, unless Rainbow happens to claim it first.

Sunday, April 23, 2017

Almost Like It Was Dyed for Me

If I had asked David of Southern Cross Fibre to dye a batch of spinning fiber just for me, based on my favorite colors, he couldn't have done any better than the fiber that became the yarn I finished plying earlier today. It had beautiful shades of my two favorite colors, blue and green, along with some deep blue-purple. It is exactly what I would have picked if I had my choice. It's one of many reasons why I have so enjoyed being in David's club -- he always seems to know which colorway you would like best.

To back up a bit, the fiber I spun for this yarn was Charollais, which was new to me. It felt rough and a bit harsh when I first pulled it out of the bag, but I was very pleasantly surprised at how much I truly enjoyed spinning it. It had a spongy texture to it and drafted easily, and I actually experimented with a bit of a woolen draft while spinning the singles. There's really no luster to the yarn, but the fiber really took the dye beautifully. I spun a three-ply fingering, splitting the original length of top into thirds widthwise and then dividing each section into fourth lengthwise. My goal was to distribute the colors as much as possible throughout the skein so that I wouldn't wind up with tiny bits of the bright green amid large areas of dark blue and blue-purple. I was surprised while plying, however at how often it seemed like two of the plies were the same color, and the effect was rather like a subtle gradient on the bobbin.

I finished plying late enough in the afternoon that I won't have a finished shot until tomorrow at the earliest (the skein is still drying from its bath), but here is a beauty shot on my niddy noddy:

I did my usual tight ply on this yarn, but I may have gone a little overboard, because even after washing and snapping to distribute the twist, the skein is still twisting up on itself and the yarn is corkscrewing a bit. Here's a (poorly lit) shot of it drying in the shower just a little bit ago:

I'll see how it looks in the morning and may ball it up and run it quickly back through the wheel to remove some excess twist, but then again extra twist never hurt anyone when knitting socks. I guess I'll have to see how much the skein shrank and get an estimate of my yardage first; my initial guess is somewhere in the 320 yard range, which isn't a whole lot for my big feet.

In the meantime, I got a very preliminary start on my next spin, some SCF Corriedale in the colorway Space. I'm spinning sock yarn again, so there will be plenty of time to see it in the coming weeks!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

The End of One Slog

A simple stockinette item worked in the round really should not take a month and a half to knit, but I guess that's what happens when you knit a big slouchy hat in fingering weight yarn.

Pattern: Sockhead Slouch Hat by Kelly McClure
Yarn: Trekking XXL (75% superwash wool, 25% nylon) in color 143, approximately three-quarters of a skein
Needles: US 1 (2.25 mm) and US 2 (2.75 mm) Addi Sock Rockets, magic loop
Started/Completed: March 7/April 19
Mods: None

I was definitely late to the party on this pattern. It was very popular nearly a decade ago, and there are close to 14,000 projects on Ravelry. I guess I've just never wanted to "waste" a pretty skein of fingering weight yarn on a hat when I could use it for socks or a shawl. This yarn, however, was completely free -- I picked it up off the freebie table at Indie Knit and Spin back in February. These colors are not at all me, so I knew I wouldn't be tempted to use it for socks for myself, but I thought it would be perfect for charity knitting (and frankly that's the only reason I allowed myself to pick it up).

The pattern itself is super easy and straightforward, and other than remembering when to knit and when to purl for the ribbed brim, it's an entirely mindless knit. The only reason it took as long as it did was because I worked on it pretty much exclusively while putting Rainbow to bed until the past few days. The Mister and I trade off bedtime duty, so that meant I was, at most, working just a handful of rounds every other night. I probably would have devoted more concentrated time on it had I not had several other projects in the rotation as well, so perhaps calling it a slog is a bit of a misnomer. I wouldn't hesitate to knit the pattern again, particularly if I feel like using up some fingering weight yarn. Even with the self-patterning yarn, I don't think it's too busy, and it would be easy to enough to combine several partial skeins for some crazy stripes or color blocks.

I have not blocked the hat yet, but it will be getting a bath very soon and then will go into the donation pile that I'll be taking to SSK this summer. And because only having two current projects on the needles clearly isn't enough, I've started another charity hat to use up some extremely deep stash yarn (it was purchased more than a decade ago at a store that was closing, and it appears I never even entered it into my Ravelry stash).

This is Regia 6-fadig Crazy Color, which is now discontinued. I've tried to knit it several times but never been successful, so I'm sticking with something really easy this time around. I am following the Basic Hat Pattern from Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns, so provided I can finish it before the end of the month, it will count both toward the SSK knitalong (because Ann Budd is one of this year's teachers) and for the charity knitalong. And it will be two more skeins busted from the stash!

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Handspun Petals and Back on Sleeve Island

Over the course of the past week, I've felt a little bit like I've been juggling, what with all the projects I had on the needles at once. Usually I have only two or three, but I think toward the end of last week, I had four knitting projects plus spinning. Fortunately, I've reduced that number by one.

I cast on for Zuzu's Petals for the Knitsburgh Yarn Shop knitalong last Thursday evening and had the stockinette portion done by the time I was ready to turn in for the night. It took me just a bit of knitting time the following three evenings to finish it up, and I blocked it last night.

Photo taken by Rainbow

Pattern: Zuzu's Petals by Carina Spencer
Yarn: my handspun (Frabjous Fibers merino/sparkle blend in Trapeze)
Needles: US 6 (4.0 mm) 24 in. Addi Turbo circ
Started/Completed: April 13/April 16
Mods: none

This was a fast and satisfying knit, and it felt wonderful to be knitting with my own handspun again. I think that perhaps I did not choose the best skein, as I think some of the barberpoling of the yarn is obscuring the lace a bit, but it still worked well in general. I especially like the very first part of the cowl, in the stockinette section, where the colors transitioned rather like a sunrise.

While I was knitting the cowl, I was a bit skeptical that the neck opening was going to be wide enough to get my head through, but it ended up okay after blocking. Blocking was a bit difficult, I'll admit, and I think I'll likely need to steam the top edge to get rid of some inadvertent points, but the wonderful thing about blocking is that it's not permanent. I think the job I did was perfectly satisfactory.

The other project taking my time over the weekend was my handspun shawl, which has finally moved into the two-color portion. I'll just give you a peek for now -- I want to wait until I've worked everything out before I do a big reveal (plus there will still be a commercial yarn sample to knit before I can even think about sending it out to my tech editor).

My main focus for the week, I've decided, is working on the sleeves of my Quill sweater. I've ignored it too much in the past week or so, and if I want to finish it up at some point in the near future, I've really got to buckle down and focus on getting it done.

Photo by Rainbow; believe it or not, this was the best one she took.

The first sleeve is about at the elbow, and I've got four more sets of decreases to go. I'm getting a bit faster at switching out my skeins, too, and I've already decided that I'll break off one skein when it comes time to knit the cuff. The rounds are getting smaller at this point, but I still think I'll be marooned on "Sleeve Island" for a while yet.

I completely forgot to share some happy mail last week -- I won a prize in the Cape Cod Socks KAL on Ravelry! Aren't these mini skeins just so much fun?

These are from Sonnet of the Moon, and they're a fingering weight superwash merino/nylon. I've got a total of 275 yards, and I think these would look great in a colorwork hat or cowl or something as the contrast to a neutral color.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Nothing at All Like That Scottish Play

I've been reminded a bit of Macbeth this week as I've been working on my latest spin, though it has everything to do with the name of the fiber's colorway -- Boil and Bubble -- and nothing to do with the fiber or the project. Quite frankly, it's been the complete opposite of my experience with The Scottish play -- every minute has been delightful! The first bobbin was finished up Friday afternoon, when I got to leave work early for the holiday weekend and found myself home alone (Rainbow had the day off from school, so she went to my in-laws' to sleep over).

Try as I might, I just cannot get my camera to capture the real depth of these colors. It's almost like David was inside my head when he selected these colors for me, because I can't think of any other combination I would be more drawn to. I've also been very pleasantly surprised by the fiber. It felt rough when I first pulled it out the bag, but it feels absolutely lovely to spin. It reminds me a little of Targhee, in that it's somewhat spongy, and it's got a very matte finish to it. I am spinning my default singles, which usually result in a three-ply fingering weight, but I have no idea how the fiber will change when I wash the finished skein.

Because the fiber contains only about three colors (with areas of blending), I have been splitting the top prior to spinning each bobbin. I split the original length of top in thirds widthwise, but now I'm taking each section and splitting each in half and then splitting each half in half again, which gives me four little bundles of fiber to spin per bobbin. I figure this will help to distribute the colors a bit.

Now here's the part where I must admit that more fiber entered the house this past week -- but I have to say that I feel zero guilt about it. A couple of weeks ago, Ginny of FatCatKnits posted in her Ravelry group that business hasn't been so good lately. Thus far this year, I'd been good about deleting the shop e-mails she's sent out without buying anything, but that post was all the motivation I needed to place an order. On Wednesday, after an extremely long and stressful day at work (9.5 hours with no break!), I came home to find this waiting for me:

This is, from left, 5 oz. of Rambouillet/silk in Little Sister,  4 oz. of Panda Sparkle (superwash merino/bamboo/nylon sparkle) in Algae Bloom, and 4 oz. of superwash Targhee in a new colorway called Eloise. I really should put these braids in with the rest of the fiber stash, but it's made me so happy to look at them and occasionally pet or squish them that they're still sitting in my bedroom.

In an effort to make more room in my stash for fiber and handspun, this week I finally took the plunge and opened up an Etsy shop! There are about 15 listings up now, but I'll be adding more soon once I did out the Big Box 'o Handspun from the basement. You can find me on Etsy at Fluvial Fibers.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

I Need a Knitting Vacation

Is it really only Thursday? It's been a very long, very busy week. On Monday and Tuesday, we had late nights due to Passover seders. Yesterday, under the stress of a crazy work deadline, I worked through lunch (so no knitting break for me) and stayed at the office an hour later than usual. All this is a way of saying that I haven't had very much time for yarn this week, and frankly it's making me grumpy.

What knitting I have managed to accomplish this week has been on the sleeve of my Quill sweater. I finally finished up the short rows and have moved on to the sleeve, which is just about to my elbow. It would be moving a lot faster were I not alternating skeins -- I'm switching every round, to keep the beginning of the round neat, but that means a lot of moving of skeins to avoid tangling at the beginning of each round.

The shawl that I have been working on during my lunch breaks (when I get them, haha), is slowly growing. Though it doesn't look much different, there are definitely a lot more stitches on the needle (at this point, it's around 250) and they are getting crowded enough that I can't fully stretch out the shawl to get a sense of its size. I've got to weigh the skein of Corriedale to get a sense for how much I've used up, but I think I'm getting close to being ready to join the other color and start working the design.

The weather forecast for the weekend ahead is looking rather gloomy and rainy, but I'm thinking of that as the perfect opportunity to work on these projects and perhaps start a couple of new ones. For one thing, I need to cast on my Zuzu's Petals, the current KAL pattern for Knitsburgh Yarn Shop. I dug deep into the stash and pulled out this merino/sparkle that I spun back in the fall of 2013, originally intending to make something with it for Rainbow. It's been sitting in a ball ever since, so I'm claiming it for me.

The other thing I need to cast on is a baby hat for one of Rainbow's teachers, who is expecting a little girl next month. Rainbow has been taking in her knitting to school to show it off, and this teacher was so impressed that of course I felt I had to knit a little something. I've picked out the I Heart Cables hat pattern, and I'm using some of the pink Knit Picks Swish that Rainbow had set aside for her first piece of knitting but hasn't used (and likely won't). The teacher is on maternity leave as of tomorrow, so I really should have started this hat a long time ago, but I'm assuming that the school will be able to get it to her once it's done.

Do you have any big plans for the weekend?

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Just in Time for a Warm-up

It seems that the key to getting the weather to finally feel like spring was to finish a new pair of socks! I wore them today anyway, because my feet are almost always cold, especially in my office.

Pattern: my basic vanilla sock, worked over 70 stitches
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 4-fach Season Color, color 2077, 0.84 skeins
Needles: 40 in. US 0 (2.0 mm) Knitter's Pride Karbonz, magic loop
Started/Completed: March 24/April 9

I think I did a pretty good job of getting the patterning to match up on both socks, though obviously with the machine printing, some of it isn't exact. There isn't too much to say about these, as they're just plain socks, but they are my fourth completed pair for the year and the first time I've knit with ONline sock yarn in probably close to a decade. As with most yarns of this type, I found this yarn not the softest to work with, but I know that these socks are going to wear like iron. And certainly the self-patterning made it fun to knit.

I am holding off on casting on a new pair for the time being because there are enough other projects on the needles. My lunchtime knitting is now the handspun crescent shawl, which is still just all cream. I'm hoping soon I will be ready to incorporate color. But I'm already thinking ahead to its being complete, as I picked up yarn over the weekend for the commercial yarn sample for this shawl (buying yarn for a design is kosher under the rules of the yarn diet, don't you think?):

This is Neighborhood Fiber Co. Rustic Fingering, a gorgeous superwash merino singles yarn with a generous 475 yards per skein. The colors I picked are Lauraville (the gray) and Station North (the deep red). I'm fairly certain that I'm going to use the gray for the main color and the red for the contrast, but I may change my mind before I actually go to cast on.

Meanwhile, I'm still chugging away on my Quill, and I got to a key point over the weekend. I finished all the parts of the body and joined the shoulders, and on Sunday evening, I picked up for the sleeves and started the short rows to shape the sleeve cap.

It's a bit hard to see, given the needles going everywhere, but it's moving right along, and I think once I get past the short rows, the sleeve is going to fly. The sleeves are stockinette with a garter cuff, and once they're done, all that will remain on the sweater is the big, squishy garter collar. I've heard that part might take a while, but at least I am now free from the charts.

I'm also still working on the self-patterning yarn Sockhead, but it doesn't look too different from the last time you saw it. It makes for good knitting in the dark when I'm putting Rainbow to bed.

I did not get as much reading done this weekend as I'd hoped to thanks to a lot of Passover preparations, but I'm more than 100 pages into The Underground Railroad (which, incidentally, won the Pulitzer Prize for Fiction yesterday) and am enjoying it. Somehow I managed to order the large print edition when I bought it on Amazon, so I laugh a little when I take out at night, but truth be told, my eyes are a bit thankful for the larger font after a long day of reading at work.

Sunday, April 09, 2017

Land and Sea

I am so thrilled with the skein of yarn that came off my wheel yesterday. You may remember that I finished half of this particular FatCatKnits club shipment (Undersea Life from January 2017) just before we went away; I was saving this colorway for last because it was my favorite. I think you'll see why -- just look at these colors! They were inspired by all the brightly colored fish you see around a coral reef.

As with the other colorway, I split the fiber in half lengthwise and spun each half onto its own bobbin, then plied the two together. There was definitely more overlap in the colors in this skein than in the first, but I think that's mainly because there were more colors and shorter sections of them. This skein ended up a little shorter than the first, at 255 yards, but I've got more than 525 yards total with the two, which should be plenty for a good-sized shawl. Here's a shot of the skeins together:

I love how the little bits of flax really give the yarn a tweedy look. And while they were a bit annoying to spin, I do like the finished result, and I'm interested to see how the yarn behaves when it's knit up.

Almost as soon as this skein was off the wheel, I started a new spinning project. I don't think I ever managed to photograph and share this fiber when it first arrived in the fall, but here's the Southern Cross Fibre October shipment, a colorway called Boil and Bubble on a new-to-me fiber called Charollais.

The fiber is on the coarser side, so I figure it will be good for socks, and I'm spinning into a traditional three ply (hoping for fingering weight, but I have no idea if this fiber will bloom when it's washed). I split the top into three sections widthwise, and then I'm splitting each section into fourths lengthwise in order to spread out the colors a bit.

So far it's spinning incredibly easily, and the colors are just amazingly vibrant. I'm excited to see if they stay so bright in the finished yarn.

Thursday, April 06, 2017

Pattern Re-release: Viola's Stockings

Many years ago, maybe even before I self-published my first pattern, I wrote a sock pattern and submitted it to a book collection. The pattern was accepted, but it took several years before the book was finished and published in Defarge Does Shakespeare. It was a thrilling moment for me to see my name in print after all that time had passed!

Unfortunately, the book didn't sell as well as we all hoped, which meant that designers didn't get much in the way of payment (the Cooperative Press model meant that contributors were paid royalties or dividends, as it were, based on total sales and their contribution size). Recently, those who were involved with the production of the book decided that we designers could do better by selling the patterns ourselves, individually, and gave us the rights back to our patterns.

All of that is a long way of saying that my pattern, Viola's Stockings, is now available through my Ravelry store!

These socks were inspired by the character Viola in Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, one of my favorite plays. In the play, Viola is shipwrecked in a strange place and finds herself alone and dependent on her own intelligence and strength to survive. She quickly realizes that things will be much easier for her if she disguises herself as a man. She succeeds in passing as a man but finds herself conflicted about her identity when she falls in love with Orsino, the handsome duke for whom she works.

When I imagined how Viola might dress herself, I though she would likely wear something hidden to others that would nevertheless remind her that underneath the men's clothing, she was still a woman. Thus, the cuff of these socks is lacy and feminine, with a touch of sparkle in the form of beads.

These cuffs, of course, would be covered by her pants when worn, so all that anyone else would see is the diamond lattice pattern that forms the rest of the leg and instep.

The socks are knit from the cuff down, starting with a beaded picot hem. They use a traditional heel flap and gusset and are finished with a wide toe that is grafted with Kitchener stitch. You'll need about 100 g of fingering weight sock yarn (the sample shown in the photos used Cascade Heritage Silk); your actual yarn usage will depend on how long your feet are. The pattern is graded to two adult sizes, to fit a foot circumference of 8 (10) in./20.5 (25.5) cm. The stitch patterns are both written and charted, and my tech editor and I have just spent several weeks whipping this pattern into tip-top shape.

Even though this isn't a new pattern, I'm very excited to have it officially join my portfolio!

Tuesday, April 04, 2017

Firing on All Cylinders

It's only Tuesday, and it's already been an incredibly long week. There's a reason I so rarely take time off from work -- I end up paying for it when I get back! Thank goodness I have knitting to help me maintain my sanity.

And there's been a good deal of knitting, though perhaps not as much as I would like. For one thing, I am getting closer to another completed pair of socks. I did manage to finish up the first one before we left Florida and promptly cast on the second, which saw some action on the plane. I'm a little more than halfway through the leg.

I've also picked up my wild self-patterned hat again (it's being worked on pretty much exclusively on the evenings I put Rain bow to bed). It's hard to tell, but the pattern is interrupted somewhere in the middle of the stockinette because I encountered a knot. The patterning is so busy, though, that I don't think anyone will be able to tell.

The main focus of my knitting time the past few days, however, has been my Quill sweater. I finally reached the point of the armhole shaping on Sunday night and managed to knit up the entirety of the left front (that sounds more impressive than it is; it's a relatively thin strip of stockinette). Last night, I tackled the back, and I'm hoping to get that done tonight.

Once the back is finished, the other front should be a breeze, and then it will be time to start the sleeves. The sleeves on this sweater are worked from the top down, with short rows to shape the sleeve caps. That's really the only tricky part; once I'm past the short-row shaping, I think the sleeve should go very quickly, as stockinette is the round does. The final challenge will be the collar, with its miles of garter stitch -- but at least that will be relatively mindless and I won't need to keep track of a chart.

I've also added some additional rows to the handspun shawl I shared last week, but it doesn't look much different, so I'll spare you another bland shot of cream-colored knitting. Once I start working in the other color, it'll start to look a lot more interesting.

On top of all this, I'm tempted to cast on some new projects, but I am holding off for the time being. I think four projects, plus spinning, is enough for right now!

Sunday, April 02, 2017

Back in the Spin of Things

After a week away from my wheels and fiber, I was very eager to spin something when we got home from our vacation yesterday afternoon. I was good and did all the unpacking first, but as soon as everything was in its proper place, I plopped myself down behind my Lendrum and started in on the other half of the FatCatKnits Polwarth/flax. I'd saved this colorway for last because it was my favorite -- so bright and colorful! Here's about half of it all balled up as I was spinning yesterday:

It's actually a bit more vibrant than it appears here; yesterday was very overcast, so the light when I took this photo was not the best.

I have been so excited to spin that I've already finished up the first bobbin of singles; here's a composite of progress shot that gives you an idea of all the colors in the fiber:

The second bobbin is well under way, and I have a feeling I'll be done with this skein by the end of the week, if not sooner.

While we were away, a package from Australia showed up, a replacement from a September club extra I had ordered some time ago but that seemed to have gotten lost somewhere along the way. This time around, David was able to use his new shipping method that enabled me to track the package's progress, so I knew as soon as it was delivered (though, sadly, I wasn't there to fondle it at the time).

This is Flanders Field on Rambouillet, which I know will be an absolute joy to spin. The colors aren't very accurate here, either, I'm afraid -- there's a pale sage-y green in there that's showing up as white.

The week ahead is going to be stupid crazy (big project deadline at work), so it's quite possible that I'll be doing more spinning than knitting this week, as it takes less brain power. I'm sure my fiber stash won't complain.