Thursday, March 22, 2012

Weekly spinning, or Desdemona and the dropspindle

Now, I have a few long term project, and this was one of them.
My good friend Angela sent me the pattern for my birthday in december 2009, (BTW this gift pattern sending service in ravelry is great! :-) ).
Inmediately I knew I want to knit it from handspun, and from something dark red maybe with a bit of black for blod and mourning instead of the strberry color of the original one. I also knew I can't just take any handdyed wool from Etsy, as at the time I could "only" spin about 5-600 meters of two ply out of a 100 gramm braid. If it would've been now, I would just dive into my stash and dye up something in the necessary amount, but back then my ventures into dyeing were slightly less than disastrous (most ending up in one sticky bunch from which only a lumpy-bumpy art yarn could've been spun).
So, I kept looking at Etsy, until I bumped into this wool in march next year.I promptly started spinning it, but on the handspindle it took ages, and constantly got bypassed by other projects. I've tried looking up some progress photos, but only found some on the finished yarn :-(.
I finally finished the spinning, when because of my rebel nature in HP (umm, told the boss when a bunch of their rules were against the law) I was seated aside in a niche, where hardly anyone saw what was I doing. Therefore I didn't mind it a bit, because in that quiet corner as long as I've done my job,in the times between calls I could happily spin or knit away. The finished yarn was about 1200 meters of two ply out of that 5 ounce braid. in big, soft and springy hank..
Also as soon as the yarn was finished I started knitting, but once again, other, fresh, and shiny projects got in the way....
Until recently I found myself with some extra time on my hands, and finished the lady.
Since it is MY shawl, I guess no one is surprised to find beads in it.
A LOT of beads. Actually thousands of them, as only in the very last row there were more than 440...
Yes, I do love big shawls. This one is not a giant (in my eyes at least), but it is still sizable.
Angela, darling here it is, finished. Not that I need anything to remind me of our friendship, but still this one makes me think of you... Love ya.

Monday, March 19, 2012


This wasn't the first time I've knitted this pattern.
There were no unexpected surprises...and I could use what I've learned last year.
Used 400 gramms of uevenly spun 80% wool yarn, which turned out to be surprisingly light.
As earlier, I used loops instead of buttonholes, and added waist shaping. The only thing I've done differently, was to add long sleeves with deep ribbing.
Left with this much yarn...
Photos were shot by Chris.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Weekly spinning

I can't tell how happy it makes me to see that more and more are spinning in my country. That after so long it is coming back into "fashion".And (to be a bit not too shy) I have something to do with it.
That more and more have a desire to try this ancient craft, likeViki, or Kató, who already writes weekly spinning posts.
Though I do like the idea of a day appointed each week to a spinning post, much like the idea of "handspun friday" or the Yarn harlot's "tuesdays are for spinning", but those who know me, also know that I am far from following any regularity. Oh, sure I do spin quite regularly, more than once a week, I still can't comit myself to bring spinning content at the same day each week... I just can't promise that. What I can try is to write more often about spinning...
For this week I brough two speciality. First this roving above that along the usual merino and silk also contained linen that gave the finished yarn a certain... crispiness I think.
I also like the greyish-whiteish overshadow, that looks almost like a dust of snow... or an iceberg in the north see.About 700 meters of two ply out of 100 gramms.
The other one is this alpacca/silk/merino mix from etsy...
The finished yarn looked surprisingly much like the other red/bordeaux I've made recently from wool I've dyed myself.
The yarn thickness is similar to that blue-ish one, 750 meters two ply lace yarn, 100 gramms.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Portal gloves

With all that gloves and mitts I've knitted lately, Christopher couldn't be left out of the good stuff, could he?
"Mama, knit me Portal gloves, please!"
"What is that, honey?"
"You, know, that computer game"
"No, darling, I have no idea what you are talking about"
"(grumbles) grown should have orange and blue stripes. Like your orange/brown mitts, but wider stripes."
"Ok, hon, here you go (and there I put down my gigantic box of sock yarn at the front of him). Choose the yarn you want your mitts made from."
And then with two very decided move he picked out two small balls, and Put them into my hands.
"I want these!"
He also told me the stripes should be four row/round wide, and the gloves should be "short fingered" and slightly too big, so he could use them next year.
He seemed to know exactly what he wanted... and seems happy with them as well.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Spring thaw

Do yarns/projects ever talk to you?This one here did to me. It couldn't shut up as a yarn, and had definete opinions as a shawl.
Remember I mentioned that phone-call from the second hand shop, of which the result was that my stash got feeded more than 4 pounds of sock-yarn... But unusuall, there wasn't only the bits of half-skeins, but three whole skein of Four Season.
From its composition (80% merino, 20% acrylic) I would've thought it as a sock-yarn, but it announced, it does NOT wants to become footwear. Actually it was right, as it was loosely spun, slightly uneven singles. Definetly NOT for socks.
I kept looking at it, when it blurts out it wants to become a shawl, with a leafy pattern.
After a short consultation with Angela, and the Ravelry database, it points to the spring thaw pattern, nothing else.

I wasn't even surprised, when halfway into knitting starts to whine that it wants beads on. Who am I to argue with that?

At the end, I didn't even bat an eye, when it drops that can't stand me any longer and wants to become a birthday gift to my best friend. And so shall it be.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Black Hearts

Along with the crazy amount of yarn there lives an equally crazy amount of knitting magazines and patterns in my stash. I do buy my favorites, even when I don't inmediatly see something I want to knit, because it happened more than once that in a many year old magazine I fell in love with something I haven't noticed before.Of course there are some magazine I see one or two things I feel I want to make (very rarely, like once a year I bump into one wich containes more than that), but honestly, I rarely get around to actually knit most of the things I dream about.And until now, it didn't happen that from one magazine in fast succession I should knit not one but two items. And this was the fall issue of Vogue Knitting.
First there was the red fair isle cardigan, and it hardly even dried after blocking, I cast on for the Nordic Yoke sweater.
Of course knitting miles of stockinett out of almost black Sport/DK weight yarn is not that fascinating, also there was the exam period in Uni, it did got more than fair amount of rest time.
But as soon as exams were over, I got to the patterned part, and from there it just zoomed to the finish line.
The yarn is 50% merino, 25% alpacca, 25% acrylic, 3 mm needles.

Friday, March 2, 2012

An other pair of beaded gloves

Last year when I knitted my Helm's Deep shawl, I decided I need a pair of cream colored mittens to go with it...
Took me a year to come ip with the right design.It uses the same beaded lace panel, but this time I added half fingers.