Not my Yarns

Tom’s Big Basin Socks

I think I cast on in 2008. Don’t quote me. But, if you’re really diligent, or curious, or both, you could track me down on Ravelry and look at my Projects page. There you would find it. The cast-on date.

Embarrassing sorta. Then again, getting a UFO offa my neck is a good thing. Besides, Tom needs a pair of green socks.

The yarn is Fleece Artist. It’s alright, if you like handpainted Merino. I’m a natural kind of girl. But, this is quite lovely.

The Illuminine Mittens Kit

I won this kit on New Years Eve, one of the all time distressing nights. Our brakes locked up and melted on the way to play a dance. Nothing like carrying around a ton of sound gear, guitars, fiddles, and a mandolin and being stranded  an hour from home.

But, synchronicities abound in my life. On that evening, while I was full of agita, my number was being drawn by Mr Random Number Generator on NaKniMitMo…a group on Ravelry…sole purpose of which is to knit mittens!  And what having my number come up meant was that a stranded mitten kit was coming my way! (See that? Stranded attracted Stranded?)

The pattern, Illuminine is by spillyjane of spillyjane knits, and the yarn is by Sunday Knits. Yum yum yum. So, I need to unlock a set of #2 dpns from another WIP so that I can…yep…cast on!

That’s all folks.

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First Knit of the Year

A big fat pair of mitts. Note the color scheme. Now, note the color of my glasses. Yeah, how about that. I was halfway through before I realized I was knitting to match my eyewear.

This yarn is a worsted weight singles, corriedale, spindle spun. Twisted rib. Pretty much a plain vanilla 32 stitch fingerless glove. Wanted something long enough to cover my wrists.

Oh, the tan yarn was dyed with black tea. The brown, I can’t even remember. Some bark or other. Multi accent fluff is marigold dyed border leicester/coreopsis dyed GC/grey GCNI.

NaKniMitMo and 112 in 2012. Rah.

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?

Handspun Shawl – Lady Magdalene

Lady Magdalene Put to Pasture

This is freshly completed Lady Magdalene (design by Kimberly DelaCruz) knit during a Ravelry KAL in the Parts of Craziness group. Rather than using a laceweight or fingering yarn, I used a handspun Border Leicester singles that I had spindlespun last summer. The yarn knit into a fuzzy, almost mohair-looking, textile. This piece was roughly pinned out, but not yet washed and blocked. Still the design is fairly apparent. Here’s another picture…

Pre-Tour

Aestlight – Unblocked

In preparation for the annual spin challenge…le Tour de Fleece…I decided to purge the stash of commercial yarns. I found one skein. Schaefer Anne, 560 yards of fingering weight merino/mohair in a sage/slate/tan colorway. Almost camouflage. Nope…no camo sox for me.

So…I searched hi and lo for a pattern that would “use ‘er up.” Gudrun Johnston’s (shetlandtrader design) shawl pattern, Aestlight, fit the bill. Fast knit…all garter stitch…great! This is a lovely little shawl…a terrific scarf! Blocked, it’ll grow some, for sure.

Amazingly, although my intent was to use up that 560 yards of stuff that I neither spun nor dyed…but…still have quite a nice little ball left. Magic yarn, I say.

At any rate, the decks are cleared. I have a couple days left to prep fiber…shake it out…wash it…ready set…I’m planning to spin enough Gracie (scroll down for a look) to finish Tom’s 2010 Christmas present. Yes, I know. I also have 3 Gulf Coast fleeces to prep for spinning. So…look for more pics real soon. The Tour de Fleece starts July 3 and runs along with le Tour de France. I’m on a team this year…Team Hopelessly Overcommitted. What can I say?

Creeker

When I lived in the Santa Cruz Mountains, in the wagon train days of the late ’70s, I knit a scarf that I adored. It was knit from handspun singles as thick as your thumb. Sort of an oatmeal color. What a great scarf. Maybe I can find a picture of it. I wish I still had it around, but I don’t. In 1982, I left it at in the changing room at a ballet class. The next week, I had an injury that took me off my feet for a year and a half. By the time I went back to ballet class, my favorite scarf had been found by someone else.

So, here we are. I’m trying to spin fat enough to recreate that little piece of art. Woo! Fun! Here’s the process…

Not Thumb-Sized Singles Yarn 

The great thing about my Fricke is that the orifice (see that triangular loop in the lower right?) is completely non-restrictive. I’m using the standard flyer, here, and still, am able to spin fat. The flyer hook and the loop are about 1/2″ in diameter, so these become the limiters in the equation. So…starting with ultra-pre-drafted handpainted roving (I found some nice mohair blend in the chest, and I still had a couple jars of acid dye from a session a few decades back), very low tension, and a very slow foot, I managed to spin 60 yards of pretty darn fat and fluffy singles yarn with that 4 ounces of roving.

Soft

Doesn’t this look soft? Well, it is. Like a powder puff. Remember powder puffs? Anyway, this is one bobbin full…about 2 oz, and 30 yards. I spun the second half of the roving and then, yes, knit the scarf.

Creeker Scarf

This will be embellished just a little bit. Some felt balls on the end, I think. Fancier than my old Boulder Creek scarf, but just as light and lush and warm. Don’t you want one?