February 24, 2009

process oriented

What project this will eventually be: Hourglass (Ravelry) by Joelle Hoverson
Spinning: 2-ply worsted weight on Lendrum DT wheel
Inspired by Yarn Harlot, I thought I'd show the work in progress for my first handspun sweater. It's slow going, but mostly because I keep getting distracted by spinning sock yarn. For socks I like to have several colours, but for sweaters mostly solid. So a handspun solid coloured sweater is not so visually impressive as it might otherwise be. I'm trying for a bit of thick/thin nubbiness just for some interest. But the style is one I think I'll get much wear from - a simple bell-sleeved pullover.

February 21, 2009

I heart bunnies

Pattern: Sophie by Ysolda
Yarn: Debbie Bliss Cashmerino DK

I live in a neighbourhood where real bunnies run free in abundance. My children love to watch them in our yard from the window. I suspect they take winter shelter in the playhouse. I once unearthed a nest of newborns in the garden and quickly re-covered them.

I have knit several bunnies and this is by far my favourite pattern. The ears are floppy and sweet and the limbs widen to make them easier for small hands to hold on to. Ysolda has many wonderful patterns and I have this on needles right now.

February 17, 2009

things I've dyed, then spun, then not finished

I'm scattered. My knitting/dyeing/spinning life is somewhat reflective of my work life: a zillion projects that I flit between like a butterfly, never landing quite long enough to reach a satisfying conclusion (FO), at least not until several months have passed, or someone's waiting for it, or there's a deadline. I used to have more project monogamy at work. I'd be working on one thing for months, nay, YEARS at a time. My time log sheets were hilarious. Now I project manage my own stuff as well as what a bunch of other people do.
Project monogamy at home should be a snap, but I just can't do it. Sometimes I'm cool with that, though. I have stuff simmering in a lot of different pots and I can pick up something for a bit (light scarf), then go to something else (heavy cabled sweater), for contrast. I am trying to have an assortment of things going on at once in distinct categories: dyeing stuff, spinning stuff, sweaters, socks, scarves/shawls, other accessories.
I guess it's just how I work. I'll chill now.

February 15, 2009

FO: Turn a Square

Pattern: Turn a Square, by Jared Flood
Yarn: Noro Silk Garden and Patons Classic Wool Merino

A quick project, and good for using up bits of stash. I lengthened it slightly to ensure ear coverage. I just realized I've been talking a lot about Jared - I actually have a huge range of projects going on that I'll get to talking about next. I think this is it for his patterns for a bit.

February 12, 2009

dyeing, in fuzzy photos

The work table, the undyed yarn (knitpicks), the dye (Hello Yarn), the vinegar, the plastic wrap and bags, the gloves, the microwave. Simple ingredients for FUN! I'm not great at this yet, but that doesn't take away from the fun part.
It's pretty hard to get something you really don't like, and you can always try going over it again anyway. I've done koolaid dyeing, too. Fun AND smelly.
It looks like I'm only capable of solid colours. No - I'm just really into red right now and I thought I'd dye enough to make Girasole. Oh - and the slightly lighter red one at the front is going to be this. I'll post some previous, multi-coloured, attempts later.

February 7, 2009

another manly sweater

Pattern: Jarrett (Ravelry) by Kim Hargreaves
Yarn: Rowan Felted Tweed
The one immediately above was the first version, made last spring. I have since made it again (top 2 photos). It was THAT fun. Same size, slightly different colour, for a different guy.
This yarn is fanTAStic. I would make everything I knit in it if I could somehow make everything from socks to winter scarves in a fragile but beautiful wool and alpaca blend dk weight tweedy yarn.
I find it difficult to find guy patterns at all and then ones I like. Brooklyntweed has improved my chances hugely. He is a knitting god. He made this one and I had to, too.

February 3, 2009

Beaverslide love

Colour: Lichen Frost
Another recent FO, for Christmas, for my wonderful brother. I can't say enough about this yarn. It's 90% mule-spun merino and 10% mohair. It is somewhat tweedy without being a true tweed which makes it really interesting to work with. The colours have depth and body. You feel connected to the sheep what grew this wool. This is a family farm in Montana and they are lovely people. They even have roving. I am trying to resist.

February 1, 2009

spinning for socks

I've been spinning for about 6 months on my wheel (6 months before that on a drop spindle) but this process is still pure magic to me. To go from a fluffy fibre to something strong and lovely to knit with. I gave a spinning demo to a big group of kids the other day and I could tell they thought it was magic, too. They've had a knitting club for a few weeks now and they're really INTO IT. Thirty or so 6-12 year olds sitting around concentrating hard on making their scarves is one of the coolest sights I've seen.