Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Would an Actual Starving Artist wear Silk?

I've been very light on the blogging lately but heavy on the actual fiber manipulation. Case in point? My new Baudelaire socks.

Aren't they lovely? This is some lovely green yarn a friend dyed for me to my specifications. I basically said, I want green and more green and bright green. I got bright green!
I knit these a few weeks ago when I wasn't feeling well. Lying in bed staring at the computer while it played video podcasts and knitting seemed like the best activities in world and so, that's what I did. (Actually, they may still be the best activities in the world. Especially now that my sinuses aren't plugged up and I can taste coffee again.)

If you've seen the Baudelaire pattern before, you probably noticed that it is knit toe-up so I took the opportunity to learn a few new techniques from Wendy Johnson's Socks from the Toe Up.
I did a short row toe with a provisional cast on for the first time, I actually (successfully!) knit a Slip Stitch Heel Flap heel and did a Russian Bind-off.
I have to say, I've never really loved toe-up socks but these gave me hope that I 'could' love them someday. They will probably never take the place of top-down to me, but I am encouraged to try toe-up more often.
Since I'm in Summer of Socks and I finished my Yarn Pirate socks already, I dug out a languishing UFO (Unfinished Object) and started working on them again.

These are my Vine Lace socks in the Sugarplum colorway, also from a friend. (This is probably the first semi-accurate picture I have taken of these socks and this lovely yarn. It's beautiful but very hard to photograph.) I cast these on a long time ago but since you have to pay attention to the pattern and can't just zone out and knit (yes, the other day I had to tink back 3 rounds because I did it wrong and couldn't rip back just that section.) they didn't get a ton of love. I decided they are beautiful and deserve to get finished so I dragged them out and started knitting again. I actually managed to finish one and cast on the second one already, I'm making decent progress although it is slow going because I've been doing lots of spinning. It is Tour de Fleece after all.
As you know, I've been working on the Grinchy yarn for quite awhile now. It's somewhat soul-sucking to spin 12 ounces of very lightweight singles in the same colors so I haven't worked on it a lot but I decided that finishing it during the tour was very possible and should definitely happen. I started working on it and Monday, I ended up with this.

Isn't it lovely? 3 skeins of light fingering weight yarn in a 3-ply. The skein on the far left is navajo plied when I ran out of one of the bobbins but I think it still works. The problem? My original plan was to knit the Wispy Cardi by Hannah Fettig. I love it and still love the idea.

The problem? I'm about 100 yards short. Disclaimer: I just estimated yardage as I wound it into hanks and I have not remeasured now that I washed the yarn.
I think though, rather than trying to fudge it, I will ask my lovely friend who dyed the Merino/Silk in the first place to dye me a braid of Merino/Silk in just the deep blue and I will spin that and use it for all the ribbing in the sweater. Meaning, I will have way more than enough yarn (I hope).

I've had a few other fiber adventures too. There's one I've been especially excited to share.
Last month's Zarzuela's Fibers club colorway was very unusual.

It's called Abundance and it's dyed on Polwarth/Silk

It had so many unusual colors in it that I was afraid it would get muddy if I spun it wrong. I decided the best thing to do would be to specifically try to keep the colors near each other, making it very colorful.
I spun a lovely chunky yarn.

The colors really looked great together. As soon as I saw the yarn, I knew what it wanted to be and I barely resisted the urge to wind it and cast on immediately! I did manage to wash the yarn first though and hung it on the fan overnight so it was dry in the morning.
I skeined it up as soon as I woke up (well, after coffee) and started knitting.

Any guesses?

It turned into a lovely Starving Artist Slouchy Beret.

(I cannot get the picture to sit up straight. I should also mention, I am super critical of all pictures of me and I specifically do not like this one. Double chin AND huge nose? Blech!)
I think the hat turned out cute but it does need some blocking. It only wants to slouch back and I think a tiny bit of volume at the top would be nice. Also, I dyed my hair. Does that look medium blond to you? (me neither, it's way too red and much darker than the picture on the box.)

I've also decided to try to be better about putting my stash up on Ravelry so I'll be uploading a few pictures today. Hopefully, if I just do a few a day, I'll have it all up in no time at all.

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