June 30, 2009

Where have I been?

Oh, around.

Just got back from the trip, more photos to come soonish, but I'm leaving on another trip tomorrow morning, so it may be a few days.

I did knit away busily during the travels.
china summer 356

The first primavera sock is almost a full sock, and I've gotten started on a new project:
new lace

Now I need to pack for tomorrow's trip! PHEW!

June 12, 2009

Long term project

Remember these?
zeilinger order

Spinning the fleeces
For a number of reasons I have decided to spin up those fleeces rather than dyeing and selling the fiber. I haven't added up the weights (frankly it makes my head spin to even think of it) but I'm conservatively estimating that there are about 20 pounds of fiber total.

This is clearly a long term project!

I'm happy with how the first fleece is spinning up. It's a yearling romney with tons of luster, so I'm spinning it into a lofty aran weight two ply.
Spinning the fleeces

Look at this sheen!
Spinning the fleeces

This is definitely not a next-to-skin, merino-soft yarn, but I'm sure it will find a good home in a great project.
For now I'm spinning and spinning, but eventually this yarn or a dyed version of it will end up in the shop. My hope is to have sweater quantities of the yarn available and there may be custom dyeing options. For now, I'm just enjoying the easy, relaxing, endless spinning.

June 09
Milo finds it all a bit dull.

June 9, 2009

Eyeing the frog pond.

I'm on the fence about whether to frog my Whisper cardi. On the one hand, I put it on and say, "hey! I think this'll look pretty good ." On the other hand, the knitting is supremely irritating. In order to catch all the stitches without slipping one I have to pay rapt attention. To stockinette.

I'm talking myself into frogging, here. Maybe I'll retry Whisper with a heavier weight lace yarn. This Fino is practically a cobweb and it's not working for Whisper.

So! With all this frog speculation and with the Seascape stole just finished, I am left without a big project. This can only mean one thing around these parts.

boxwood primavera
Socks! Primavera pattern in Wollmeise sock yarn club yarn. Yum.

But of course I am scheming, sampling, and swatching for The Next Big Thing. My first handspun sweater project, spun from one of the fleeces I bought last fall. The plan is to make a cabled sweater, but I am wondering whether the yarn is too variegated/heathered and if it will obscure the pattern.
When light comes from an angle, the cables show up beautifully.

But when in full, direct sun the cables fade into the heatheredness, at least in pictures. (the swatch under consideration is on the right. I have already decided against the yarn in the left hand swatch.)
Hmph. This effect is exaggerated in this photo - in person the cables don't appear this blended, but the trend is the same.
What to do, what to do? In the right hand swatch I am blending a gray fleece with a white fleece. I'm doing it a bit haphazardly, just flicking the locks together. I could try a more thorough blending technique, but that means breaking out the combs and frankly I don't know if I want to do that for this big of a project. I could try a sample with just the gray fleece, but I really like the loft of the white fleece and was hoping to include it.
I also wasn't spinning very carefully when I sampled for this swatch, and let quite a few bloops and blobs go by that I would normally fix, so the whole thing is a bit lumpier than I'd let the final yarn be.

All this to say that I am undecided.

But one thing is for sure.
Border leicester
I'm in love with the way my border leicester fleece is spinning up. I'll definitely be using this for something in the near future.

June 7, 2009

FO: Seascape Stole

Seascape wrap

Pattern: Seascape Stole, by Kieran Foley

Yarn: my handdyed, handspun merino 2 ply
Needle: Addi lace US 5s
Mods: added one more repeat of the main chart

I love, love, love this wrap.
Seascape wrap

Seascape wrap
I'm planning to use it as a travel wrap - my airplane companion since I always get cold or need a pillow.
I love how nubbley and warm it is, while still being lightweight and pretty (if I do say so myself). It pulls together a little bit since the merino has such good memory, but I knew that going in. The blocking won't hold perfectly, but that's a-okay with me. I'm traveling soon and I am so excited to have this with me for comfort and warmth.

June 6, 2009

Shop Update!

It has been months, but I've finally been back at the dyepot. I had a lot of fun this week rediscovering color mixing. I've just updated the shop with these new colors:
6-6 update
From top left, they are Eye of the Rhodie, At the Reef, Western Sunrise, and Confection.

I also cooked up one color that I'm just not going to be able to let go.
And my fingers are already twitching to spin it. It's called Glen, and is bound for a fun project in the near future.


Seascape is blocking! This project really worked out serendipitously. Out of 820 yards of yarn that I spun, This is how much is left after I finished.
That's 2 and a half yards. You can imagine me sweating out those last few inches of knitting, can't you? I'm giddy over the finished project and can't wait to share it with you, but it needs some more drying time before its debut.

Yesterday when I popped by The Needle Lady for some Addi lace 6s (for the Whisper cardi) Mimi showed me the Namaste bag I'd asked her to set aside for me.
And now? It's mine!
Knitting bag
Could you get more Vildish? I don't think so.

June 4, 2009

Southern Seas Yarn

Hey look! I still spin!
Southern Seas
206 yards, 4 oz, falklands combed top, 3 ply, in my colorway Southern Seas.

Southern Seas

I've completely fallen for these blues and have been scheming for a recreation of the colorway. Want! More! Blue!!

Southern Seas
And have I metioned lately how much I love 3-plys? Because I do. Lots. I went for a blended look on the colors in this yarn, and I love the subtle shifts between blue and green. (shocking, I know. I really am a broken record when it comes to these colors.) 

I can't wait to see it knit up! It's jumping in the mail and will be sent off to a friend shortly.

June 3, 2009

WIP Wednesday

I am hoping that posting my WIPs once a week will help me with my knitting/blogging mojo situation.  I'm in the midst of several big projects and the thought of not having a FO to blog for a while now is making me itchy. This may have something to do with having knit two whole sweaters that never made it as a FO. 

So! Here are some UFOs! 

WIP June

The Whisper Cardigan is going well. I knit most of the sleeve on 7s and then felt like it was going to be too big, so I ripped and am now knitting on 6s. Much better. I'm considering getting some pointier needles since I've been having some trouble scooping up this fine, fine yarn with my blunt addis. 

The end is in sight with the Seascale Stole!  I am now super excited about this project and thing it will be a great addition to my warm-keeping things. 

In other news, I am starting to think about a spinning for a sweater project. It's going to be a looooong process so it's going to take some scheming. And! My dyepot is on the stove for the first time in months. I did a little happydance when I pulled out the dyestocks and can't wait to get cranking with the shop again. Hurray for color!