Monday, December 31, 2007
I had my first spinning lesson in March 2007. Here are some skeins since then. Some of the most fun knitting this year has been with my own handspun yarn!
1. My First Tiny Skein, 2. Spinning Progress March 12, 3. Spinning March18,
4. Spinning March 19, 5. Spinning April 7, 6. Spinning April 26-1,
7. Spin April 26-2, 8. Kid Hollow mohair, 9. Spinning April 26-3,
10. Spinning April 26-4, 11. BFL Willow, 12. Inspiration,
13. Merino/Silk/Angora, 14. Corriedale Class skein, 15. Rambouillet,
16. Merino-Tencel, 17. Falkland Thundercloud, 18. Antigua BFL,
19. Cormo DK, 20. Chocalpaca, 21. Goblin Eyes
For my first year-end as a blogger, here's a quick look back at some finished projects. There were a few items at the very beginning of the year that didn't get their picture taken. And knitting production was hampered by my falling down the spinning rabbit hole.
1. Annemor #4, 2. Husband Mitts, 3. Forest Canopy Shawl
4. Cleite Shawl, 5. Cherry Garcia and wristies, 6. Scarf with Weldons Border
7. Argosy Scarf, 8. Charade Socks, 9. Springgrass Socks
10. Amble Socks, 11. One Skein Shawl, 12. Wisteria Scarf
13. Jaywalkers, 14. Monkey Socks, 15. Mad Cow Socks
16. Forever Husband Socks, 17. LacyLeaves Pi, 18. Swallowtail Shawl
Saturday, December 22, 2007
Just a couple of quick pics for you today. More on how they are different to knit than the Selbuvotter soon.
Merry Mittens Everyone!
Thursday, December 20, 2007
Terri Shea’s Selbuvotter is a wonderful resource. After detailing the history of a particular style of Norwegian mitten, which is unique in having an origin with one woman’s work (Marit Guldseth Emstad), Terri has produced modern patterns using the traditional motifs and style which evolved during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The book contains patterns for mittens and gloves in various yarn weights and in sizes for a child, woman, and man. The motifs range from a stunning array of starkly geometric or gracefully curved snowflakes, to Art Deco lilies. And don’t forget the moose, reindeer, ravens, and dogs!
Inspired by my sister’s very large black dog Grindley, who will have to be an honorary Norwegian elkhound this winter, this is Annemor #4.
The mittens are knit in Berroco Ultra Alpaca, on Addi US2/3mm circs. I like to knit with the main color (MC) in my right hand and contrast color (CC) in the left, throwing and picking to follow the charts. There’s a good discussion of color dominance related to which color to hold in which hand in stranded knitting at nonaKnits.
Ultra Alpaca is very versatile and I’ve knit it at 6+ to the inch, all the way up to typical worsted gauge. At 50/50 wool/alpaca, it has a lot of resilience, more like its wool half than its alpaca half. I have found that the gauge relaxes just a bit with a soak, so if you are using it, wash your swatch!
The yarn knits up nice and soft, but with good stitch definition. Given that the entire hand is stranded, and so, double thick with stitches and carried yarn, the mittens are nice and warm. I would consider knitting these a little looser and fulling slightly for more wind resistance, and might experiment with that on a future pair. With use, the fabric develops some halo, but not enough to obscure the colorwork.
I used a strand of waste yarn rather than setting the thumb stitches aside, casting on new stitches, and picking up later for the inside of the thumb. I also made the effort to match the stitch pattern on the inside to the rest of the palm.
Yarn: Berroco Ultra Alpaca, 1 skein each Black and Light Green Heather, worsted wt. I used about 140yds of green (MC) and less than 100yds of black (CC).
Needles: US2/3.0mm, Addi Turbo circulars
Gauge: 6.5 stitches/inch
Started: December 9, 2007
Completed: December 19, 2007
Finished Size: 8.5” hand x 12” long
Friday, December 14, 2007
Monday, December 10, 2007
The Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl in handspun BFL is done!
Susan Lawrence’s pattern would be an ideal beginner lace project. The pattern is clearly written, gives complete instructions along with explanations of why things are done, includes both charts and written directions, has a small easily memorized repeat, and introduces several lace techniques. Best of all for new lace knitters, the pattern is written for sport weight yarn. For many who are new to lacy knitting, one of the most difficult things is to get used to very thin yarn on what seem like way too big needles. Knit in finer or heavier yarn, one would simply adjust needle size and number of repeats for as small or large a shawl as you wish, or have yarn for. So, another pattern good for skeins of handspun.
The shawl is knit from the center neck down, using a simple cast on, and four YO increases every right side row to create the triangle shape. The leaf lace pattern is composed simply of Knit, YO, and SSK, and the WS rows are plain purl. I like to use stitch markers on complex lace patterns, but Susan’s instructions were correct. This lace is so easy to read, markers really aren’t needed, and I think this would be a good pattern to help beginners learn to “read their knitting”.
More experienced lace knitters will find this pattern is practically like taking a vacation. And I mean that in a good way. It’s very relaxing and knits up quickly. For this project, I wanted to knit something in a simple, regular pattern so it wouldn’t compete with the striping I knew was going to occur with this handspun, and I think it worked out well
Knit as written, the shawl looked like it would be about the size stated in the pattern. But I knit a couple of extra repeats of the main chart for just a few extra inches in width and length. Since I’m planning to give this to a friend who is very tall, it’s still going to be a nice shoulder size. I made no other modifications. Though if I were to knit this again, in a solid color yarn, I would like to put some beads at the points of the scalloped edge.
The BFL has knit up very soft and warm, with just the teeniest bit of a halo. The fiber from Sakina Needles was great fun to spin, and has made a nice cozy shawl. I’m hoping my friend will see this a bright fun everyday scarf rather than some delicate dressy piece that languishes in a closet somewhere. Fortunately I have enough of the handspun left over to make myself some wristies. I’ve also got another 4oz of the fiber, but I’d like to spin that into a Navajo-plied 3-ply to maintain the long bands of color from roving to finished yarn.
Because of the small size, I blocked the shawl with blocking wires along the top edge, down the center “spine”, and through the points. The finished size is just right to sit comfortably and stay on the shoulders without a lot of fiddling.
Pattern: Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl, by Susan Pierce Lawrence
Yarn: Handspun BFL,
Needles: US5/3.75mm, KnitPicks Options circs
Started: Late-September 2007
Completed: 12/9/2007, and it only took that long because I set this aside for about six weeks
Finished Size: 56”w x 26”
All in all, another quick fun knit! Now, I’m embracing my inner hummingbird, and making the most of my sort attention span with some very entertaining small projects. The sweaters are languishing, unloved right now. But, Oh yes, I’ve already started something else.
I received my copy of Terri Shea’s Selbuvotter last week, and it’s wonderful! I’m going to have to start wearing mittens, I tell you, since I want to knit so many of these. Flipping through the patterns, I found one that immediately made me think of this guy
With Plenty of Ultra Alpaca in the stash, I started this last night
My sister is getting mittens for Xmas.
Saturday, December 1, 2007
I started spinning last Friday night and finished knitting this Friday night. A new land speed record!
Spun from the November fiber in Wooly Wonka’s Exotic Fiber club, a lovely soft chocolate alpaca, a 2-ply ranging from heavy laceweight to fingering weight. Yes, I could have spun more evenly, but I don’t regret it for a second, I wanted to spin something and I wanted to finish it Now!
I did come up a little bit short on yardage compared to the pattern specs which were for a much thinner laceweight. As a loose knitter though, on the same US3’s called for, I ended up with a nice size shoulder shawl, just a bit larger than Mim’s.
The Cleite Shawl pattern is currently only released to the fiber club. Keep an eye on MimKnits as she posted that she’s working on a full size version for her pattern shop.
The shawl is a triangular shape, worked from the center-neck down. The lace patterns form what look like feathers or spear-heads – appropriate I suppose for the Amazon Cleite’s journey to the Trojan War. Though it looks fairly complex, the lace was quite straightforward, with an easy repeat across each row that had a nice regular quality. So, it knit up fast. Don’t let my knitting friends tell you otherwise, I am really not a fast knitter. I have to take lots of breaks for my hand and arm, but I do have stubborn determination.
As Miriam says in the pattern instructions, the scalloped edge is formed by the decreases and YO’s in the last rows so that a knitted on edging is not required. She also notes it is perfect for handspun as you can bind off when you run out of yarn. Which I did. I was only six rows short of finishing the last repeat of the second chart, so I had made it past the last decreases for the spear tips, with enough rows of eyelets after to get a nice pointy finished edge. Knit again in a finer yarn, I would love to place some beads at each of the points before binding off.
Sturdy yet soft. Lacy yet warm. Scarf size for a little coziness at the neck and shoulders.
Yarn: Handspun alpaca from Wooly Wonka, 2-ply lace to fingering weight, 286+ yards, spun on the Lendrum DT, fast flyer
Needles: Addi Lace, US3/3.25mm
Pattern: Cleite Shawl, MimKnits
Started: November 23, 2007
Completed: November 30, 2007
Finished Size: 46” across, 22” deep