Sunday, February 13, 2011
Halfway through February
Thankfully the shawl that I wanted to do this month went smoothly. I had picked out the Dane Shawl to use with the Opal Alpaca Handspun in my stash. I'd gotten the Opal fiber at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival back in 2008 because Duffy had come out of the livestock barn and showed off some alpaca she had just bought. The nice people at Dove Creek Farms took my last $4 and gave me a almost five ounces of downy fluff from an alpaca named Opal. A pretty peachy-buff color that turned out to be surprisingly dirty after I washed it but was a joy to spin up. The pattern is nicely charted, but after doing the prescribed three repeats of the main chart, I thought I had enough yarn to try for a fourth and do the edging and bind off. I put in a lifeline to be sure. I had gotten about six rows into the second chart out of the two for the main and decided I might not have enough, so tinked back those six rows. Found out my handspun alpaca was kind of similar to mohair in that it didn't like being tinked. This did mean I had to be a little creative with the beginning and end of the chart, but I think it came out nicely as a shawlette. It may become a Christmas gift, but I haven't decided yet who it would go to live with.
In comparison my sock knitting was a bit more challenging this month. I had planned to use my Abstract Fiber Mighty Sock in Constellation using the Viper Socks pattern. It has LOTS of cables and they were getting lost in the yarn colors. The yarn wasn't the same as how I remembered it in my head. So they were frogged. I hoped to still use this yarn so went searching for a pattern and tried out Aquaphobia, but it increased sts from the 64 that I really like for socks and it wasn't really doing anything for me. I'm sure it will work with a different yarn in the future. I decided that this yarn was telling me it really didn't want to be socks, so found Calais Shawl that I think should work for it.
I went back to my stash and my queue and ended up taking yarn planned for one project and a pattern planned for different yarn and brought them together with my Stompegarn Show-Off Socks. These turned into nice fast knits:
First one done!
I had planned to do the second batt of Spinner's Hill wool-silk this month. 7.5 ounces of Corriedale-Finn-Rambouillet with silk. I divided it up into three batches and the closest I could get was - 67, 68 and 69 grams each. These spun up easier than the Black Cherry. I still had nepps to fight but easier to pull out. Two of the sections I was able to spin in one day each and one took two days, just because of when I started spinning. I tried plying it on the regular bobbin, but realized that it wasn't all going to fit, so used the niddy-noddy to get it off. Switched out to the bulky head and bobbin and then with Brandon holding onto the niddy-noddy, got what was already plied back on the bulky bobbin and then finished what was left on the three bobbins. Ended up with 364 yards of what looks like a nice round fingering-dk weight yarn. I'm calling it Spring Forest: