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Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Knitting With Handspun

Nardoo in handspun 
I decided I wanted to knit something other than Capture the Moment this past weekend, so I cast on a new project.  (I'm actually really impressed with myself right now as I wanted to cast on three new projects, but I restrained myself - go me!)  This is Nardoo and I'm knitting it in my Dark Chrysalis handspun.
Nardoo in handspun
The way the fiber was dyed and spun, only about the first third was gray, then there was a short section with gray and a few muted colors, and then the rest was the colorful section.  I knew this would be perfect for a shawl where the rows get longer and longer as you go - either a traditional triangle shawl or an elongated triangle shawl.  I chose the Nardoo pattern because I thought it would give me a decent sized shawl with my single skein of yarn.  It's basically a fancy mesh stitch pattern, so simple to work.  At this point, I'm just starting the colorful section.  It's still unblocked obviously, but it's so fun to see the colors emerge from the gray section!

Now, if I can just stay focused on this and my cardigan without getting distracted by new, shiny projects...

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Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Capture the Moment

Capture the Moment cardigan 
My Capture the Moment cardigan is moving right along.  I've finished the upper sections of the back and both fronts and I've just joined them at the underarm to work the body in the round.  This is an oversized cardigan, meant to be big and snuggly, but that means long rows.  Lots of knitting!
Capture the Moment cardigan
I did get a better photo of the neck and front edging stitch pattern.  At this point, I don't have to think about it too much, just glance at the chart to double check which row I'm on, but it's moving pretty quickly.  I would think you could replace this stitch pattern with anything that has the same row gauge as stockinette (so no lace), but this pattern is reversible so it doesn't look strange if you fold back the edge at the collar. 

In a totally unrelated note, have you ever tried to type a blog post while your kitty rubs his chin on your laptop screen?  Yeah, that's happening.

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Thursday, September 12, 2019

Fireworks

Fireworks spinning 
I've started a new spinning project and this one is a big one.  This is also being spun for a specific sweater, so I actually sampled before I started!  The fiber (above) is Fireworks from BeesyBee.  It's 65% Merino and 35% Recycled Sari Silk.  If I understand correctly, Recycled Sari Silk isn't recycled from old saris, it's the loom waste from weaving the sari fabric.  The silk is chunkier than the wool and it makes a textured, neppy yarn.  I'm spinning a three ply which will help balance out the thick and thin somewhat, but for the most part, you just have to accept thick and thin with the sari silk.  On the other hand, you get these amazing pops of color!
Fireworks spinning
I'm spinning it on my Schacht Flatiron using the 12.4 : 1 ratio at 50 wpi, using Scotch Tension (singles Z, plying S).  I should say 50 wpi is my goal.  As I mentioned the sari silk adds a lot of texture.  I will spin six bobbins of singles before I begin plying.  Since this is going to be a big project, I won't bore you with weekly progress photos of half full bobbins - I'll just show you when I finish a bobbin.  (Which could theoretically be weekly, but I have a feeling it's going to take me more time than that to fill each bobbin.)
Fireworks spinning
The sweater plan?  I want to knit another Ambiente with the finished yarn.  The simple, oversized, stockinette will be perfect for showing off the little pops of color against the black.  When I sampled, I knit up a swatch to check gauge, so you can see above how fun it looks knitted!

Have a great weekend!  I've got some spinning to do!

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Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Something Cozy

Capture the Moment cardigan 
I've started a new sweater!  Right now it looks like I'm knitting a ranch house, but it will be a sleeveless cardigan when it grows up.  (For some reason, this doesn't feel like a vest to me - maybe because it's so oversized?) This is Capture the Moment and in the photo above, you can see the upper back and about half of the upper right front.  The left front is on a stitch holder and a provisional cast on at the moment.  The lime green marker is at the center back of the collar.  Did that explanation help you any with figuring out what you're looking at?  Didn't think so.
Capture the Moment cardigan
I'm knitting it in Malabrigo Arroyo in Prussia Blue which is a super dark navy blue, which means photos are hard to get.  The stitch pattern on the collar section shows up better in real life than it does in photos, but you can kind of see it above.  The stitch pattern is reversible - it's not 100% identical on both sides, but it's close enough that picking the right and wrong sides of the collar section isn't easy.  That's why there's a marker at the center back on the right side, although now that I've added some stockinette as the back and front, it's a lot easier to figure out which side is the right side of the sweater.

Also, it has pockets!  Next time I blog this, I'm going to totally overexpose the photo so you can actually see things.

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Thursday, September 05, 2019

A New Skein of Yarn

Dark Chrysalis 
I finished spinning the Dark Chrysalis fiber (from Beesybee).  This braid was dyed with one end gray, moving to all the colors at the other end, so I spun it to keep that color sequence intact.  First I divided the braid into three sections - gray, gray with some colors, and the colorful section.  The gray section I spun as it was.  It was pretty much a solid gray.  I split the gray with colors section lengthwise some to distribute the colors a bit.  The most colorful section was split lengthwise quite a bit.  I did have to draft, but I wanted the colors as intact as possible.  When the fiber was dyed, some of the color sections were shorter than the staple length of the fiber, which automatically means you're going to get blending and softening of hue as you spin it.  As I was spinning it, it reminded me of wings, but not butterfly wings.  It reminded me of dragonfly wings or fairy wings.  Then after I finsished it, I watched Carnival Row on Amazon Prime and the colors exactly match the fairy wings in the opening credits.

Once the singles were spun, I chain plied it, again in an attempt to keep the colors clear.  My finished yarn is 420 yards.  Here are all the stats:

  • Beesybee Fibers in Dark Chrysalis, 50% Merino/50% Mulberry Silk
  • Spun and plied on my Kromski Symphony
  • Singles spun using Double Drive at 16:1 ratio, 50 wpi
  • Chain plied using Scotch Tension at 16:1 ratio
  • Finished yarn is 420 yards/114 grams
The way it was dyed and the way I spun it, it will work perfectly for the type of shawl that's an asymmetrical triangle knit end to end (like the original Hitchhiker). More than half of the yardage is the colorful section, so if I start knitting at the gray end, it should work for that type of shawl.  I haven't picked a pattern yet, but I'm looking.  If anyone has any suggestions, I'd love to hear them in the comments!

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Tuesday, September 03, 2019

A Finished Handspun Pullover!

Niamh pullover 
I finished my Niamh pullover.  This was made from my handspun yarn and I loved knitting with it.  Seeing the stripes appear as I knit was so interesting and even though I still can't explain why the sleeve stripes are in the same width range as the body stripes, it was fun to knit.  I followed the pattern exactly, with no modifications.  This was designed by the designer of Ravello and I've knit several of her patterns, so I know from experience they work perfectly for my body type.  This was my first time using the contiguous set in sleeve technique and that was interesting.  I liked it!
Niamh pullover
The finished pullover is lightweight and soft and should be perfect for fall and winter weather around here.  I think it will work on its own as well as layered when it gets cooler.  I actually want to knit another one of these in dark blue - possibly handspun for that as well.  Someday...

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