Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Blanket from the Ashes of a Dyelot Disaster

I was going through my stash and found some pretty multi-color blue yarn that had been discontinued while I was working at the Yarn Shop in town.
The colors were beautiful and I knew that what I wanted was this sweater right here-
From a 2009 issue of Interweave Magazine.
So sweet!
So I got cooking, and after I was 10 inches into the second ball I remembered why the yarn was discontinued.
The dyelots were ridiculously out of whack from themselves.
These two yarns are the SAME DYELOT.

I was pretty bummed out, but I thought to myself "Self, just weave with it. The crazy variation won't show as much and you will still get to use that beautiful yarn."
So I loaded up my rigid heddle, which is only 20 inches wide so I had to make three panels to make a blanket, and in a week or so I had this lovely throw.
It came out just how I thought, and I love it.
Joining Nicole for KCCO

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Mostly Finished

I cast off my handspun sweater on Monday.
It could use a little tweaking, like it totally needs blocking, and I need another pocket, and the sleeves are a little closer to three quarter than I like.
However, it's wearable, and super cozy and I spun the yarn! And before I spun the white yarn I washed an entire fleece! And I dyed the bright green! And I designed it!
I am a little in love with this guy.
What's on your needles? 

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Spinning, Spinning, Spinning

I have been putting my anxiety to work lately.
The easiest fix for my sad feelings is always food, but since I have probably gained 20 pounds in the last year I am trying to find another outlet.
Long-time readers will know that I have a new-found obsession with spinning, though I put it on hold for a bit for the holidays.
The past few days I pulled it out again, and have been getting a lot of yardage spun up.
A couple of weeks ago I received a surprise package in the mail from a facebook friend, filled to bursting with spinny delights.
I grabbed a braided top and got to work.
It's fascinating to me how different the final yarn ends up looking from the roving. 
From right to left here is the unbraided top, the predrafted top, a spun single, and a plied yarn.
Here you can really see the difference between the roving and the yarn. I am still a total beginner but I am trying to practice every day and I think I am seeing some improvement. 

The colors of this one are just perfect with the sweater I have been plugging away at. I don't know if I will incorporate it into the actual sweater, or maybe a matching hat?
Anyway, my pants thank me for channeling my nervous energy into this project rather than more cookies...

Friday, January 13, 2017

New Year

It's been a while.
Christmas happened, with all the attendant family time and coziness.
I am in a bit of a funk. Just moving from home to work to home to the couch.
This week we joined a gym in hopes of getting my middle-aged ass moving.
I don't really have a plan yet, but with a few hours of my own each day while all of the kids are in school I have many opportunities to get to work.
The thing is, there are so many things I would love to do in addition to working out.
In December I took a class in glass-blowing and made a tumbler (which turned out more like a vase) and I really caught the bug.
And while I was there I was reminded of how much I used to love working with clay.
So, in continuation of my previous foray into a #midliferenaissance I hereby pledge to take more classes and explore some interests that I have been neglecting since I had kids.
There will still be much knitting as well, though if this week is any indicator I need to be much more careful with my hands as I cut my thumb on a mandolin a couple of days ago and bruised the hell out of my finger moving a table.
I just finished up a shawl, the first I have tried with this method of construction.
It's called Somerled and it's a Scottish Hap.
It is was worked as a border first,
and then you pick up the inside of the border and knit the inner border.
Lastly, you knit the center and pick up as you go.

Then you have to block it, because it's pretty rumply.
And then, you send it away to get blocked by a professional because this looks terrible.
I don't have this back from the blocker yet, but I can't wait to see how it turned out. 
In fact. I loved this so much I am planning a new one, using some reclaimed yarn from a sweater that I loved that was attacked by moths (little beasts.)
The new plan is to add some different laces, I don't know how that will go yet, time to do some research.

What's on your needles?

Friday, December 2, 2016

Tomten/Nisser/Gnomes/Forest Folk

Earlier this week my mom and I took a trip to the Bachman's Idea House (our favorite destination for decorating ideas) and saw an adorable tomten ornament. 
I figured they would be easy enough to make, and it wouldn't cost me $8.99 each.
First I grabbed a branch from my back yard and cut it into about 3 inch lengths, then I assembled the rest of my tools and materials. 

First, I pushed a nail through the center of a half-yard length of ribbon and then nailed into the top of the branch segments. Next, I threaded on a large wooden bead.
This was a step ably performed by my faithful assistant.
Next I tied a length of freshly combed wool roving with the ribbon for the beard.
Then came lots of braiding, and more braiding and finally a little hat.
The Youngest made her own (I did the nailing and tied two knots, but she attached the hair and sewed her own hat!) and she decided that since this one was a princess she would need a pink hat.
As a secular Presbyterian, I usually go for the winter-themed in Christmas ornaments rather than the religious ones and these fit the bill perfectly.
The best part of this is that I had all the materials on hand, so they were all free! (okay, I know I bought those materials but not for this project, so I stand by my earlier statement.)
Hope you're all doing well out there in internetland.

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

A New Sweater

I cast on a new sweater on Sunday with the yarn I have been spinning, and I am slowly making my way through it.
There are 6 colors of yarn here, three from a pack that was graciously gifted to me by a friend, one natural grey sheepy's fleece, one natural white sheepy's fleece, and the green is hand-dyed with marigold. I am excited to see how it develops. The plan is to use all of the colors in a Icelandic-inspired yoke.
First I have lots of plain body to knit, and that should be a nice calming activity while I am still processing the election.
What's on your needles?

Thursday, November 17, 2016

You Spin Me Right 'Round, Baby, Right 'Round

Spinning has been very therapeutic for me over this election season. 
I think I have spun about 800 yards or so. It's been about 100 yards per day. 
This week, since the weather has been dramatically warmer than usual, I put out a call for marigolds and my mom and a few friends offered me their remaining blossoms. 
These have all been dyed with marigolds. The first dye batch had some nasturtiums in it and I wonder if that's why the yarn came out so very bright green. I love it! 
I let that batch cool and then heated it up again and I got the darker gold below. The largest yellow skein, second from the top, was a new batch of dye. I really liked that one too. In fact, when I finished dyeing the yarn I had so much dye left that I threw in a couple of shirts of mine and dyed them.
I have another skein in the pot right now that I was promised would come out pink (avocado skins), but the yarn isn't taking the dye very well and it's just kinda brown. 
I will see how that shapes up after a few more hours to soak up the color
I have tried dyeing spun yarn and also combed top. The top was surprisingly easy to dye and then process. The only skein above that was dyed after spinning is the second from the top, as I look at it.
The spinning is still pretty inconsistent, but I am pleased overall.
I have great plans for a sweater with all of this right here: the green is the first skein I dyed that didn't make it into the other photo, the teal, blue and darker gray are a bfl/silk blend from a generous friend, the browns are alpaca I snagged at a fiber festival Saturday before last and the light gray is from my farmer friend.
Now I need to pick a pattern.
Maybe this one with a white body? or something like this or I could just make another Grettir.
The main problem is that the fleeces aren't all quite the same color, and I don't have any more of this white. But I could do a border on the hem and cuffs in one of the colors and I think I would almost have enough.