Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Whew! Lots of Linking

My blogging time seems to be lacking lately. I swear I really have been doing lots of knitting and even spinning though. Let's jump right in shall we?
The Lotus Hearts socks which is a pattern by Gina House. I made some progress on these, ripped, reknit, made some progress and had to rip and reknit again. I got past the heel turn.
What's that? This sock is not past the heel turn? That's right, it's not. I had to rip again. So this is literally the 4th time knitting with the same yarn (it's holding up really well to all the ripping and reknitting by the way). I'm two repeats into the leg and I think it's working out. I'm not getting my hopes up at this point, it's really just a crap shoot. These are for the second project for Summer of Socks and they're being knit from the sadly discontinued Chromatic Yarn from Zarzuela's Fibers. (There are still a couple in her shop if you're interested.) I'm knitting them on size US 0s. A bit smaller than I usually would but the yarn seemed fine to me. They are turning out just lovely, when I can get them to work out.

As a break from knitting these socks (mostly because I'm frustrated with my own inability to read directions and knit correctly) I've been working on some spinning. When I'm home I've been spinning on my Schacht Matchless. I have a lovely Sheep to Shoe Kit from Blue Moon Fiber Arts that I've been working on. I finished spinning the first half (or so) today. The package says it's 8.5 ounces total and I spun 4.625 ounces so far and have 4.25 ounces left so I think it's a lovely amount.
I purchased it pretty recently from a destash and I wasn't sure about the colorway at first but I love the yarn!

As I said it's a Sheep to Shoe Kit that I purchased from a destash on Ravelry and the colorway is Muddy Autumn Rainbow. Instead of doing the traditional 3-ply like the directions call for with this yarn, I went for a Navajo or chain-ply to make the colors stay with each other and possibly even stripe. I really love it.

It's a light fingering weight as you can see. From my 4.625 ounces, I got 514 yards.

I may not be able to stop taking pictures of it! I was unsure of the color because I'm not a big fan of the brown but I think it breaks up the brighter colors very nicely.
You may be able to tell from this picture that there's a little curlicue from the yarn being over-plied. I tend to over-ply everything (mostly because I'm afraid it will come apart or break if I don't) and assume that it will all come out in the wash. I did just wash this yarn and twack it pretty well so it would loosen up a little and I love it even more.

I know blue tends to be a color that bleeds very badly and I was a touch worried that it would bleed in this so I put very hot water and some Soak wash in the sink, then added just a splash of white vinegar, just in case. No bleeding at all! I was super impressed, especially because the colors in the fiber are so saturated but there was no bleeding at all in the water after a 30-minute soak.

As much as I love this fiber, I won't be spinning the second half right away because I'm very excited to start a commissioned spinning project. A friend of mine asked me to spin this:
It's a sweater's worth of Woolgatherings Fiber. Four 4-ounce braids of Blue Faced Leicester and two braids of Polwarth/Silk in the same colorway. It's going to be a 3-ply and I think it's going to be absolutely lovely, although I am a tiny bit worried about messing up her lovely fiber!
Woolgatherings does not appear to name her colorways. The only number I can find on the label is a stock number and it is BFL04111204. I have no idea if that's the colorway but I think the first part denotes the fiber it's on. Anyway, I would not normally do such a large commission project but she's an amazing (and patient) friend.

I've also been working on my drop spindling.

This is a new (to me) drop spindle from SpinSanity that was given to me by CJ Kopec of CJ Kopec Creations (we'll talk about why in a minute) I probably would have chosen a different design, it's a little dark for me but it spins beautifully!
I'm spinning some Merino/Silk from Cloudlover on it and I'm loving the way it's turning out. That little ball next to the spindle there is what I've spun so far, and it's just about an ounce of the 4 in the braid. The spindle seemed pretty full to me, so I wound it off. I'm starting up on the next little bit and I'm finding it to be the best travel project because it's so lovely and shiny that I'm always wanting to whip it out and work on it a bit.

A friend recently got the Respect the Spindle book by Abby Franquemont and I've been reading it intermittently while I'm over there. That really helps with my spindle-spinning, so far just because it's inspiring because I haven't gotten very far in the book.

Back to the Lovely CJ Kopec of CJKopec Creations. She and I are friends on Plurk (which is a really fun social networking site, look it up if you're interested) and she put out a feeler to see if anyone would like to purchase this lovely spindle since she never used it. I was the only one who replied because I looked for a spindle at Shepherd's Harvest this year but just didn't find any that spoke to me. I wasn't sure though, like I said, it's not totally my style so I was thinking about it. Then she put out a call for sample knitters for her shop. She's vending at Michigan Fiber Fest and was hoping to have a few lovely things to show off in her booth. Myself and several other people responded and I agreed to knit the National Gallery Shawl for her. The pattern is unusual and one I probably would not have chosen for myself but it's a fun knit so far. The yarn she sent is absolutely lovely too!
It's called Insatiable and is 245 yards per skein of 50% Fine Alpaca/30% Merino/20% Silk. It's absolutely amazing! The tan is called Dune but the deep teal didn't have a label so I'm not sure what she calls it. Like I said, it's absolutely amazing so far and I'm going to be sad to send it away. I'm knitting the edging now, which is the last part and then I'll be sending it back to her. Sadly.
I'm knitting it on size 9 needles, which is what the pattern calls for, even though I didn't get quite the right gauge. I figured, it's a shawl so it's not as important to have perfect gauge.
She sent me the spindle as a little thank you in the package with the yarn and pattern. I'm very blessed to have such wonderful knitting friends!


Teresa said...

That is a lot of accomplishments! All look lovely.

JennaKate said...

Pretty pretty!