Friday, October 24, 2008

Camel/silk/merino Handspun

Several people have asked to see the yarn that came out of the batts I made with Lynne. Of course, I couldn't wait to spin it, even though it meant no time to knit this week.

The yarn is super soft, and the silk adds a subtle sheen. It truly is luxurious.

There is about 250 yards of sport weight yarn. I do still have about 50 grams of fiber in waiting, but probably won't get to spin it for another week.

I do have a project in mind, but I am still deciding whether or not I want to find a pattern, or wing it. I'll keep everyone posted.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


It was a beautiful weekend for a sheep & wool festival. The air was chilly, and perfect for woolen sweaters, and there was just enough colour left in the trees to make it truly beautiful.

Lynne and I got to the festival shortly after noon, and it was packed! It was so packed I felt like I couldn't even see what some of the booths had to offer. However, I managed to do just fine with the shopping.

Lynne, who just purchased a drum carder ended up with a beautiful 7.5Lb Romney fleece. Check out her blog for photos of how wonderful this stuff is after washing. I can't wait to see what she does with it! With the amount she has I'm sure there will be many great projects.

The ravelry party that evening was cold, but great fun! I even won a door-prize, a Classic Elite sock kit.

The highlight of the ravelry party for me, however, was talking to Author Doris Chan. I actually approached her, having no idea who she was, to ask if I could watch her work on the broomstick lace she was hooking away at. She was so sweet, and immediately turned to give me a better view while explaining everything she did. It was not until the end of our chat/lesson that we even exchanged names. I was so amazed that I had just gotten a lesson from a famous designer! If you are not familiar with her work you should really check it out. Her Blue Curacao Shawl is one of my favorite crochet designs ever.

The next day I couldn't resist going to see her at the Festival, and getting a copy of Amazing Crochet Lace autographed.

Sunday was especially nice at the festival. Things had calmed down, and were less crowded. You actually noticed when you were near someone you know, and could look about the booths with out fear of being swept away in a wave of desperate fiber hunters. We had done most of our shopping on Saturday, but did wander about, and double back to vendors where we had spent less time than we wanted. We made it a short day, though, and managed to drive into Massachusetts just as the setting sun was beginning to cast a golden glow over the Berkshires. It was a beautiful drive.

Here is my fiber haul from the festival. Not as ridiculous as I feared it would be.
In the back there is 1/2Lb of black and red merino/mohair roving, moving clockwise- 1.5 Lbs of superfine merino top (If I had even realized how wonderful this top is, and what a STEAL I was getting it would have been much more) 4oz of baby camel, 2oz of white yak, and 1/2Lb of dark grey Icelandic roving.

When we arrived at Lynne's house she helped me use her new drum carder to create my own luxury batts. A few ounces of merino, an ounce of camel, and a bit of tussah silk (that just happened to be in my car), and I got these wonderful creamy vanilla coloured batts. They are so exquisite!

Friday, October 17, 2008

Finished (Again)

The Saddle shoulder sweater is truly finished now. I'm quite glad that I took the time to re-work the bottom of the body. It fits better than I had hoped it would.

The irony of the whole situation was that my original plan was to make this sweater from Barbara Walker's top down pattern. I changed my mind at the last minute. I think the knitting gods were having a bit of fun with me.

For all of you who gasped and got dizzy when you saw that I cut the sweater I want you to know how not horrifying it was. I only snipped 1 stitch and then carefully unraveled it around. Knitting doesn't naturally unravel this way. So, it actually took a bit of work, and as long as each unraveled stitch is secured on a needle as it is freed, there was no danger of the whole sweater coming apart. I never dropped a single stitch in this process, and now I have a sweater that fits, as opposed to one that needed to find a fitee.

The weather in New York is supposed to be quite cool tomorrow. I think this sweater will make it's public debut at Rhinebeck. In case it is very cool (and I'm thinking the night time, out door ravelry party may be) I have packed some complimentary accessories, including a grey scarf knit for me by Joansie (since I received that in April this will also be the scarf's public debut).

This week has been an extremely busy one, and for several days now I have barely had time to knit a stitch. However, during class, and my class reading I have been swatching for my next sweater with the Classic Elite Desert that I picked up at the Hub Mills Store recently.

This sweater will be a simple rolled edge raglan. Once again, I will be using the EPS. The swatch turned out to be the perfect size for a sleeve, so I went with that (ignoring recent advice to wash my swatches. I know I should!) The thick & thin yarn makes for a very bumpy swatch. If you look at it closely, it looks like the fabric has hives. I'm sure this will be tamed a bit with washing and blocking. I would know this for sure if I followed the advice of more experienced knitters.

I have to say that this is the first time I have used a Classic Elite yarn that I have not immediately fallen in love. Since it is a loosely spun, un-plied yarn it is easy to split a stitch -especially when you are reading instead of watching what you are doing. I do, however, love the way the yarn is striping, and the colour combination is one I would have chosen if I had dyed the yarn myself. So, over all, I am still quite pleased.

I hope everyone has a great weekend! I know I plan to. I'll see about getting some shots of the sweater in action at Rhinebeck to post on Monday.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I thought it was finished

So, I finished the saddle shouldered sweater, and blocked it, but decided it really is too short. It fits, just not the way I want it to.

I thought about giving it away to someone that would like it as is, but I decided I really like it too much. I made it for myself, and I want to wear it.
So, I took my scissors to it.

One stitch snipped, and an hour of careful unraveling, and I had the bottom border removed.

Now the sweater is back on the needles, and I'm knitting down instead of up. I'll add a couple of inches, then rework the border.

Spinning at the Fryeburg fair was a lot of fun. I got to meet several other spinners, some of whom had decades of experience. I got some tips on spinning bulky yarns. which I have had trouble making with a consistent width. So, I have been spinning like crazy, practicing my bulky yarns.

One of the resulting yarns I loved so much I had to work it up immediately. I used it to make this over-sized cap that covers most of my head and half of the back of my neck. It will be perfect for shoveling snow (I hope to do much less of that this year), as I always ended up with a spot on the back of my neck too high to be covered by my scarf, but too low for my hat.
There are actually several new projects in the works. Those that are not Christmas presents may make an appearance soon.