Monday, January 09, 2012

Silk Shawl by Springtime

I don't have nearly enough projects in process, so I am going to take the plunge and complete a shawl for The Loopy Ewe's new challenge- silk.

I am going to make the Vernal Equinox Shawl by Wendy, and the yarn arrived today. It is a wool & silk blend in a lovely green.

The yarn has been made into a ball, some knitting needles have been selected, I read all the way through the pattern (well, skimmed) and am itching to get stitching.

Sunday, January 08, 2012

See? It's Cece!

My friend Martha needed a cardigan for work. I began the knitting before I put that cup on top of the car and drove off. Oopsie.

I knit.
And knit.And then realized I decreased the fronts too sharply (100% too often). I had to rip out the neckband, the yoke and detach the sleeves. The project hibernated for a bit.

I eventually got my act together and reknit the fronts, the sleeves and the neckband. I even bought a button and sewed it on. Martha is wsarmer now. But if she still gets cold....There is always a warm corgi available.

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Tour de Fleece 2011

Back in November of 2010, I picked up some dyed fiber at the So Cal Handweaver's show. This is a merino / silk blend dyed by Capistrano fiber arts. My plan for the fiber was to try and break out of my "rut" of using the same colors all the time. I wanted to ply two different colorways together and see what effect I got. I picked out one and Lori suggested the other.

Here is a picutre of the two colorways laid out in all their glory:

Then this July (2011) I decided to join the "Tour de Fleece" with the goal of spinning & plying these 4 oz into one fiinshed skein. It was a pretty respectable goal, as I done almost no spinning during the previous year, I wanted the project to be spun on a hand spindle and (not least) I began about a week into the tour, putting myself at the back of the pack. I started with the green / gold / purple first. I divided each colorway into 4 roughly equal sections to shorten the distance between color changes.

I managed to spin all of the darker colorway with no trouble and almost on schedule. Then I moved on to the sand / orange / purple. I did not enjoy this colorway as much, and it was quite difficult to stick with "the plan". The end of the tour came and went with this portion only about 1/4 complete. Into the project bag it went. I worked on it a little more later in November (a year from yarn purchase) when visiting with friends at this year's handweaver's show. Last weekend a friend hosted a spin-in and I brought it as my only project to try and get it finished at last. I almost made it, and finally finished the spinning Thursday afternoon.

I slid the two cops off onto knitting needles for storage and plied the yarns back onto the same spindle. After about 5 hours worth of work, here is approximately 4 oz of plied yarn. I wanted to make one skein with no breaks, and was successful. The spindle was quite heavy by the end, however.

The finished yarn, all skeined up. It needs a bath to set the twist and make it bloom, but the colors came out beautifully overall. Now I just need to figure out what project to make with it. Something knit, surely, and somewhat large. I may make a triangle shawl so that I can stop when I run out of yarn. A rectangle scarf would also be nice, or even a circular shawl. If I can't decide, I may get crazy and enter it into the county fair this summer.

I enjoyed spinning for the Tour and will do it again this year - hopefully with more planning and forethought. It feels good to finally finish a project and have a little more yarn in the "to knit" stash.

Friday, January 06, 2012