Maybe, Maybe Not

I’ve been weighing the pros and cons of making a cream colored fingertip length cape. Dramatic. But, here on the farm? Mmmm. I’d be daft, don’t you think? It’s just too off season for any natural dyeing. I don’t have a stash of coreopsis, or a trove of indigo…so…I looked into the guest room uh…fleece storage room.

Seems I do have some color, indeed. I have, a couple of GCNI fleeces – these are grey fleeces from Running Moon Farm in Louisiana. I also have a russet colored alpaca blanket from a fellow named Lance who lives with my friends Martha and Randall in Georgia. And, let us not forget that silky long staple GCN from my friend Pat down the road.

L – R GCNI/Alpaca/GCN, GCNI/GCN

There you have the blends. With some adjusting, I think I could bring out the russet in the blend of all three. Though, those rolags of “just color” are pretty lovely. So far, though, the blend of 3 cards much easier, as the GCN is long and silky.

L-R Blend of Color, Blend with Cream, Barberpole of One Ply of Each

All pretty. I am fonder of the darker yarns. But the greyish yarn is so soft. And, and this is a consideration, I would certainly be able to stretch “Lance” a lot further if he made up one-third of the 4500 yards.

Okay. So that’s the predicament. Any help out there?

Prepping for the Ryan Eejits Celtic Cape Along

Gulf Coast Ewe 2010 Raw Fleece

Same GCN Fleece Scoured

I’m sitting on bags of fleece. A KAL came up that I could not resist. Meggie Ryan has designed a fingertip cape, Celtic in design, using her life, the Book of Kells, the Ogham alphabet, etc. How could I not want to own such a thing? Well, the requirements were posted. 4,500 yards of worsted weight, for one thing. Ahem. You non-knitters have any idea how much fleece it takes to spin that much yarn? I figure it’ll be about 5 pounds.

So, I looked at the bags of raw fleece in the studio. I have several that are over 6 pounds. So, I did what any red-blooded spinner would do, I sampled a bit of each. Wash wash card card. I chose “GCN 2010 #4” because she washes up amazingly white. Mindblower.

At the moment, my sink is full of fluff. I need to get the scouring started, and I don’t want to wait a week for the FSM. It’s just too cold. I can get a few ounces done every day and start spinning and start knitting. Overall the fleece appears to be pretty consistent, though I’ll have to blend a bit of this part into a bit of that part to come out “even.”

Hey. FUN!

eco-vest in Dove’s Roost Sally

eco-vest (pattern by Katie Himmelberg in Knitting Green)

Here’s the start of the covergirl of Knitting Green. The yarn is Dove’s Roost Gulf Coast Native handspun. The sheep in question is Sally.  This was spun from her 2-yr old fleece (2nd shearing). Note to loose knitters everywhere: size 10 1/2 needles are called out in the pattern. I’m knitting on 9’s and still not quite making gauge.

Using Robert Burns’ poem The Bonie Moor-Hen as a bit of inspiration, I used the chicken yarn (you’ll have to scroll down) to trim the neck edge of this jackety vest (or vesty jacket as the case may be). Here’s the poem, for your reading pleasure:

The Bonie Moor-Hen

The heather was blooming, the meadows were mawn,
Our lads gaed a-hunting ae day at the dawn,
O’er moors and o’er mosses and mony a glen,
At length they discover’d a bonie moor-hen.

I rede you, beware at the hunting, young men,
I rede you, beware at the hunting, young men;
Take some on the wing, and some as they spring,
But cannily steal on a bonie moor-hen.

Sweet-brushing the dew from the brown heather bells
Her colours betray’d her on yon mossy fells;
Her plumage outlustr’d the pride o’ the spring
And O! as she wanton’d sae gay on the wing.
I rede you, &c.

Auld Phoebus himself, as he peep’d o’er the hill,
In spite at her plumage he tried his skill;
He levell’d his rays where she bask’d on the brae-
His rays were outshone, and but mark’d where she lay.
I rede you,&c.

They hunted the valley, they hunted the hill,
The best of our lads wi’ the best o’ their skill;
But still as the fairest she sat in their sight,
Then, whirr! she was over, a mile at a flight.
I rede you, &c

I’ve been wearing this little jacket out in the field this morning. The chickens and the sheep think I look A-OK. It’s also very warm and scrunchy, and my DH likes it very much! Cha!

First handspun sweater of 2011, posted to 3 Ravelry Groups: 11 Sweaters in 2011, Crafting Poetry, and Knitting with Handspun.