It’s A Lot Like Working Magic

Bibbity

IMGP8910Bobbity

IMGP8964Boo!

IMGP8990Spunky Eclectic April 2013 Club, Seashells on Oatmeal BFL
480 yards of worsted weight, true 3-ply, fractal spun with a tiny skein of leftovers that I navajo plied (I hate waste!)
Ravelry stash page here

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This is quite possible the floofiest, squishiest, airiest yarn that I have ever spun. I was trying very hard to not overspin it and I think I did a pretty good job. On the other hand, while I was spinning it I thought I was going to get a DK weight yarn, and what came out was worsted to bulky, so fluffy – yes, DK – no. At least it is fairly consistent.

 

IMGP8985I have no idea what to make with it so into the stash it goes. I am sure inspiration will hit and this will become something awesome.

 

 

 

 

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Spinning Day Lilies

Sundays are for spinning. It is a most relaxing way to spend my Sabbath – especially when I am navajo plying.

I started spinning this gorgeous South African Fine Merino from the Spunky Eclectic Club a couple of weeks ago:

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February 2013 Club Day Lily

Because I was spinning it super thin, and because I also spent a lot of time knitting and mothering, it took me a long while to get this four ounces to look like this:

IMGP8915This is probably the thinnest that I have spun yet.

Navajo plying has got to be the most relaxing activity there is. I just love it. I love the yarn that it produces, too.

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I got about 415 yards of fingering weight yarn out of the one braid. Then I sold my other two to a fellow Raveller because, while I love this yarn, I have no idea what I would make with 12 ounces of it.

IMGP8918As it is, I have no idea what I am going to do with 4 ounces! It is very pretty and I am happy to let it ruminate in the stash for awhile. Maybe socks? Maybe a baby thing? We shall see.

As for me, I have moved on and already have a bobbin full of this months’ Spunky Fiber, a gorgeous BFL that has me completely over the moon (and not just because it is purple)!

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Learning to Love Monogamy

This week seems to be my week for finishing up languishing knitting projects. For some odd reason, I am in the mood to be monogamous with my knitting, and even though I have only four WIPs, that many unfinished works has been nagging me to distraction. This one took an exceptionally long time for a few reasons and I am mega-releived to have it off the needles, blocked, and ready to be worn.

IMGP8835Panda Silk DK Shawl in handspun BFL/silk from Spunky Eclectic, September 2012 Club, Pheasant
Ravelry project page here

Reason number one that it took me so many months to finish knitting this relatively simple shawl: I stink at estimating yarn requirements and yardage of my own handspun. After running out of yarn once, I ordered and spun a bit more. I kept back some of the fiber that I ordered the second time, thinking that I would love to see this yarn navajo plied. The I ran out of yarn again. Again, I pulled off a piece of the new braid, spun it up and kept knitting. And then I ran out of yarn again. Sigh. The top rail of the shawl is knit in Knit Picks Palette because I refused to spin up any more of that gorgeous fiber for this shawl! As it worked out, the black looks great and I still have one and half braids left to navajo ply. Win-win.

IMGP8837Reason number two that this shawl took me so very long to complete: all of that running out of yarn, spinning up more yarn, running out again, etc.. really killed my excitement in the knitting process. So with each setback, I became more and more reluctant to continue. Fortunately, the yarn is amazingly gorgeous, the knitting was boring enough to do while watching movies in the evening, and I really wanted to see the finished object and so I kept going, albeit with long breaks throughout.

IMGP8838Reason number three that it took and eternity to get to the end of this shawl: morning sickness. ‘Nuff said.

IMGP8836I am extremely happy with this knit. I love knitting with my own handspun and the finished work means that much more to me knowing that I took a lump of gorgeously dyed fibers and turned it into a useful and beautiful work of art.

Now I am off to finish another of my WIPs and get one step closer to being the monogamous knitter that I never knew I was.

 

Romney Wool

 

One thing that I love about spinning is the many varieties of fibers available. A knitter looks for wool, whether washable or not, perhaps specifying “merino” or “BFL”, but a spinner has a plethora of breeds to choose from and each has its own unique qualities.

 

Romney is my new favorite. And this is the Romney that I just finished spinning.

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This is another Spunky Eclectic club fiber, Lightening Strike, and, as you can see, it is purple. I was in heaven for all 12 ounces!

IMGP8704I got approximately 520 yards of mostly worsted weight yarn and I have big plans. Today I will be swatching and figuring and soon I hope to be wearing this gorgeous Romney.

 

 

Combo Spin

The Spunky Eclectic Group on Ravelry is having a Combo Spin Along. This is a new thing for me. You take one pretty braid and another, different pretty braid, and you spin them up and ply them together to make something totally new and unique. This is a huge challenge for me. I mostly prefer to let someone else choose the way colors go together, and then I just make the yarn. But I can rise to a new challenge, and this sounded really fun. Besides, since being sick, my fiber stash has grown and I have been itching to spin it – all of it! (to participate in the spin along, at least one of the fibers has to be from Spunky Eclectic, Southern Cross Fibre, or Hello Yarn. See actual Ravelry thread for more details)

So, I started with these. The fiber in the top right is BFL from Dear Husband, colorway Country Fair Girl and the fiber on the lower left is falkland from Spunky Eclectic, colorway Aurora Borealis.

IMGP8402I spun a full bobbin of each.

IMGP8441I confess that at this point I almost chickened out. I am not really impressed with the colors in the Dear Husband fiber. I didn’t like them when they arrived in the mail last summer and I still don’t. In contrast, I am completely enamored with the Spunky braid – and the purples and blues of that colorway were utter perfection on their own. How could I blend them with a lesser ply? Fortunately, I recieved three braids of this particular months club, so it didn’t hurt too bad to sacrifice one for the sake of experimentation.

And I am glad that I did.

IMGP8452Now, the Aurora Borealis was a little bit bleedy, if you know what I mean. My fingers turned purple while I was spinning it (to which The Princess inquired, “Why are your fingers purple? Can I dye mine green?”). There had been some discussion in the Spunky Ravelry club about this, so it wasn’t a surprise. I knew it would bleed into the water when I washed the finished yarn, and I knew that the flashes of yellow and white might pick up the blue and become greenish and blue. But, at this point, I was in experimentation mode and was just going with the flow. I love the way it worked out, even without the yellow and white.

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It’s going to make great longies!

 

 

 

A Spunky Rumpus KAL

This was a cool knit along to be a part of. The pattern was really a recipe so everyone has a different shawl at the end. This is how mine turned out.

 

Rumpus Recipe Shawl in Family Pendragon Mystic MCN┬áSport, Eden and Family Pendragon Superwash Merino/Silk, Violet (trim for Miss Giraffe). Modeled by my darling Dancing Queen who, upon hearing my input for her poses, informed me, “Mama, I have modeled for you before” in and oh, so teenager tone.

She’s right. She has. And she is a natural. Until she gets goofy.

 

But, back to the shawl. To get the idea of scale, here it is on me.

 

Three things about this knit.

1. I love knit alongs! I love the chit chat, the exchange of ideas, the friendly incentive to keep going (and to finish). I love to see how one pattern can turn out so different when knit by different people and with different yarns. This one was especially fun because of the mix and match nature of the pattern, and because the people in this Ravelry group are so fun.

2. I love Family Pendragon! Every yarn, every fiber, it is all perfectly lovely. I love the colors and the textures. They do not disappoint. Check it out!

3. I love the way the layered ruffles look! I did not, however, love how long it took to knit them. Don’t even get me started on the binding off. Whew! The last row and bind off of the last ruffle took me an hour! But it was good movie knitting. And I love the end result!

Anything else that I have to say about this knit (and there was quite a bit) I said on my Ravelry project page here.

And with that, Christmas knitting is officially begun. Wanna guess who this is for?