Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Something Blue

I recently found myself in need of a new spinning project so I went digging in the stash and came up with a lovely blue Merino from Gritty Knits. Are you tired of hearing about them? No? Good. I'm in the Merino-of-the-Month club with them and so I have an abundance of amazing Merino from them and I love spinning it so when I found the braid of September 2010 floating around in the stash and took a look at its amazing blues I knew I had to get it spun up.
I started with a 4-ounce braid (which I forgot to take a photo of. sorry.) and split it the long way into about 6 pieces. It naturally wants to split this way so it's easy to do and ensures lots of color movement in your finished yarn.

With the grey weather lately I've struggled to get decent pictures so I've been using flash but that doesn't always give me the best quality. This photo is pretty accurate color-wise though.

I wanted to do something different so I drafted out each of these balls into a soft fluffy cloud.

Prince William really liked it. I wanted to make it a little easier to spin though and somewhat portable which a big pile of fiber really isn't so I wound it onto an empty bobbin.

It was very fluffy and much more full than this at many points. I put the bobbin on the built-in lazy Kate on the front of my wheel and gently tugged at it to get more as I spun along. Drafting like this really made the spinning quick and easy and made it even more joyful to spin.
Here are the singles, ready to be plied.

I did a simple two-ply because I knew I wanted the lovely blues and bluish-greens to blend together to make a lovely finished yarn.
You know what?

It did. Here is the finished yarn. It's about 412 yards so a nice fingering weight and I love it! It's colors are so similar that it makes for a very soft and subtle variation. It would work great for almost any project, even one that needs a semi-solid so I can't wait to find just the right thing to knit with it. In the meantime, it can be art on my coffee table.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Photo-Lacking updates

I don't really have any cool pictures to show you today. No pretty socks in the grass, no fiber waiting to be spun or already spun fiber.

I have been knitting but I haven't really finished anything. I seem to have a whole bunch of things started that need just a few hours of concentrated effort to get them finished. I just don't seem to have that whole "concentrated" thing. I will work on something for a little while, then get bored and start working on something else. I may be drinking too much coffee but that's just a theory.

I've been spinning too. As a matter of fact I finished some lovely blue yarn but I didn't take any pictures yet. I guess I'm sort of slacking in the blog department right now.

I am working on my June socks. The pattern is Meander and I think it's lovely. The charts look very intimidating but once you get the pattern established, its basically just to show you how to move the cables over so it isn't as bad as it looks.
They've had their foibles though. I was past the heel turn and working on the gussets when I decided to try it on. Yeah...It didn't fit. I ended up frogging and starting over (this was after realizing at row 52 that I had messed up the ribbing pattern and purled when I should have knit. I laddered it down and fixed it.) I got to about row 35 this time before finding another mis-stitched ribbing stitch. I fixed this one as well. I just yesterday managed to get the heel turned and I'm slowly working down the foot. It's a good thing I'm loving the chosen yarn and the chosen pattern so much or I'd be bitter. Let's not discuss this when I'm bitter during the second sock okay.

Well, I'd better go and get some knitting actually done. Then maybe I'll have a few pictures to show you in the next few days.

Wednesday, June 08, 2011

A Lovely Handspun Project

I've been doing quite a bit of spinning lately. It just seems relaxing when you've had a busy day, or it's too hot to move.

I signed up for a SAL/KAL recently through Zarzuela. This is the Polworth in the Dahlia colorway that I got from her.

Beautiful right? I sure thought so. I spun it up as quickly as I could but then I had to wash it so I couldn't cast on the KAL pattern right away. It's the Dahlia Cowl. I couldn't wait to cast on so I dug out some handspun that was ready to go.

In February as a part of the Gritty Knits Fiber of the month club, I received this:

It looks like candy hearts right? I liked it but I wasn't sure what I wanted to do with it.

Eventually I decided to spin the singles pretty loosely and quickly. I also specifically split up the roving (Fractal spinning) so I would get different colors plying together.

It came out very nice and I plied it up right away (I tend to be impatient to go from singles to Yarn)

The yarn is pictured here on the bottom. It's with another skein I spun similarly. (Another Gritty Knits Merino of the month braid, for May)

Since this yarn was ready to go and I was desperate to try out the pattern and get knitting and it's not recommended to spin with wet yarn, I wound it up and cast it on.

It was so interesting and unique. I absolutely love it! The colors shift subtly all the way through. I made it a little wider than the pattern called for so I decided to just keep knitting. The end result?

Lovely. I decided that since this one is wider and I'm going to knit it again with the Dahlia yarn anyway that this doesn't really need to be a cowl. Instead? It's a table runner. Hah! I don't think that's what they had in mind with this pattern but it looks so pretty on my coffee table, I can't resist.

In other news, this:

Is for June's socks, they are cast on and moving along nicely. More on those later.

(I have no idea why all the text at the beginning of this post is underlined. I can't seem to figure out how to fix it. Anyone? Help?)