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2013 Children’s Sweaters

Here lies the end of my 2013 obligation knitting – the annual sweaters knit for each of my children:

2013 Portrait

The original inspiration was Guston by Ann Budd. But the gauge was different, the scale was different, and once I got up to the patterned portion on the front of the first sweater, I decided the buttonband was way too much trouble.

So they are simple pullovers made with the same yarn base but different colors and different textured stitch patterns at the top.

I am well pleased.

Now, back to knitting for my own pleasure.

Luminosity

My latest spinning adventure began with this pretty braid from Pigeonroof Studios:

Luminosity

40% merino/40% superwash merino/20% silk

I spun the first half at home on my Schacht Ladybug. Then I began the second bobbin and ventured out with my spinning wheel to knitting night at Starbucks.

Now we are known to have fun at knitting night, and that week was no exception. Lots of laughing and chatting. I noticed from time to time that I was getting corkscrews in my singles, and I would correct it, but then I would notice it again a few minutes later. Apparently, in all the fun, my feet were treadling faster than my hands could draft the fiber.

I spent the next week correcting the twist, which varied widely through those last two ounces. I wound it from the bobbin on my Ladybug onto my Jenkins Swan, correcting the twist in each length of yarn as I went. It’s all a part of the process, right?

Luminosity

I might have minded it more had the singles not been so pretty to look at as I wound them on my Swan.

Luminosity

When all was said and done, I put the turtle from my spindle into my yarn bowl and plied it with the remaining bobbin on my lazy Kate.

This final result was this beautiful, bouncy skein of luminous delight.

Luminosity

It is destined to become a shawl as the drape is just amazing.

Luminosity

As I was working on that spinning project, my sweet Caroline informed me that she wants me to make her a handspun scarf with pink and purple and green in it. I went shopping for fiber and this luscious goodness from Woolgatherings was the closest I could find. I showed it to Caroline and she approved.

Caroline's Scarf

I then showed her swatches in the latest edition of PLY magazine of 2-ply, 3-ply and chain-plied yarn and how the colors mix together in each. She has selected chain-ply for this project. So that will be going on the wheel next.

Here’s to fall and scarves and lots of spinning and knitting!

Proud as a Peacock

Did we have pie for Easter? Did I make hot cross buns after my husband mentioned they sounded really good? Did I think hard enough to purchase the ingredients for a salad and mix it up to take with us?

No. No. No.

I was busy spinning yarn.

Handspun - Eye of the Peacock

My second finished yarn. Plied Saturday afternoon when I had oh so many other things I should have been doing.

Spun from this…

Peacock
Cotswald Sliver “Eye of the Peacock” dyed by Spunky Eclectic, January 2013 fiber club.

…using this: Bosworth Midi Spindle.

Eye of the Peacock

I was going to have felted singles, but that didn’t work out too well. The singles were rather thin and tightly spun. I did make an attempt, but after the yarn dried, I could still untwist and draft the plies. Thus I went to plan B and Navajo-plied all of it. Final thickness ranges from dk to heavy worsted.

Handspun - Eye of the Peacock

A whole entire skein of colorful goodness. Lofty, woolen-spun yarn.

For now I plan to stash it and admire it every time I pull out some yarn. Eventually it will probably end up as something felted, given the varying thickness. At some point I will swatch with it and see what I think.

But for now I am just going to enjoy admiring it.

You might even say I’m proud as a peacock.

Finito

My first “real” yarn. As in, an entire ball of fibre spun consistently from beginning to end, plied and finished.

Here’s the story.

Bare

Fiber from Knit Picks. 100% Wool of the Andes Roving, color Bare.

Knitpicks Wool of the Andes Roving, Bare

Singles…as they appear after being slid off the spindle shaft. Worsted spun.

Handspun

Shown with a coin for size perspective. Pretty fine, I’d say.

Wool of the Andes Bare Roving

Two plies wound together ready to add twist.

Bare - Handspun

Twist added…ready for it’s bath.

Bare - Handspun

Finito.

I have no idea what I’m going to do with this yarn, nor do I have any idea what the yardage is. I would say it is fingering weight so probably 350-400 yards. But that is just a guess.

One of the skeins is slightly underplied. As in, it did a half twist when I took it out of the water and hung it to see what it would do. But a half twist is totally in the ballpark. [For the record, if it's perfectly balanced, it won't twist at all when hung as a skein.]

I say, pretty good for a newbie. Seriously…I bought my first spindle in December. Give me a little slack, will ya?

Color Affection

It’s here!

Color Affection

It came in the mail yesterday…and I am already into the second section.

Color Affection

The yarn is fabulous. Very springy and not splitty at all. Pure joy to knit.

Color Affection

You’re thinking, “Um, Color Affection? Why are you posting black and white photos?”

Those are color photos, baby. Yes, the yarn is three perfect shades of grey.

…and yes, it is spring, and these are by no means spring colors. But think of it this way: Old snow is dirty, and it gets dirtier as it melts. Think melting snow and you have a perfect spring knit.

But in case you still crave color, I leave you with daffodils, blue sky and the vivid greens of spring.

Eye of the Peacock - Handspun

Cotswald Sliver unfinished singles…woolen spun on a Bosworth Midi spindle by me

Supero*

The thing about knitting Hitchhiker with sock yarn on sock needles [aka tiny stitches on tiny needles] is that other seemingly difficult projects become easy peasy in comparison.

Take Pomme de Pin (Ravelry link).

A week ago, it looked like this:

Pomme de pin Cardigan

Knit in one piece from the bottom up [yes, that means fronts and back together which translates to very long rows] with sport weight yarn [finer than the worsted weight yarn I normally use for sweaters meaning more stitches per inch] and an allover lace pattern [that centered double decrease alone takes longer than the working the other 7 sts in each pattern repeat combined], it was a slog. Add to that the fact that I’d made a mistake and had to rip back about eight rows to correct it, slog was an understatement. I started it in January, and it was going nowhere fast.

But after Hitchhiker, I’m telling you, sport yarn looks really heavy to me. And 195 sts per row? The sts are so big the yarn is literally flying off the ball. This project has become a breeze.

See? Almost up to the armholes.

Pomme de Pin Cardigan

Supero* indeed.

One possible hitch: After a looking for the perfect yarn to knit Color Affection (Ravelry link) for over a year – needed to be three colors that played well together in three different intensities which would show contrast when viewed in black and white – I have found [and ordered] the perfect yarn: Quince & Co. Finch in Iceland, Kumlien’s Gull, and Kittywake. On my monitor, it looks like three shades of a blue-based heather, but even if it turns out to be pure grey, I’m happy. I have been drooling over these colors since they debuted, and I am elated to have come up with the perfect project for them. The yarn has been shipped, and I’m telling you, when it arrives, I am casting on.

*Supero – Latin, with many meanings: to be above, have the upper hand, surpass, conquer, overcome

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