Saturday, December 27, 2008

Christmas Present Recap

My Mom and sister loved their gifts, which can now officially appear on the blog attached to their ultimate purpose. First, the tiger glittens:

Tiger Glittens

Pattern is Broad Street Mittens from Knitty, done on size 2.75 mm (US 2) DPNs. Yarn is all handspun: the orange is superwash BFL fiber from Numma Numma, colorway "Pumpkin Butter" and the brown stripes are Shetland Fine Wool from Pigeonroof Studios in "Bitter Orange." For some reason, I didn't expect this much variation in the Pumpkin Butter yarn, it looked more homogeneous to me in the skein (I think I was in denial). But these are for my saxaphone-playing, marching-band-addicted little sister, so she can keep her hands warm in style on the crisp (ha!) San Jose fall evenings during practices. I checked, and she can still play even if her thumb is covered.

And the other gift which has been on the blog before which I thought about blogging so much I've apparently fooled my brain into thinking I did blog about it but actually never got around to it. Huh. I guess I really was busy in October! Anyway, my mother got the Egyptian Green scarf:

Morning Surf Scarf

My mom also loves green, so this was an obvious choice for her gift. Mom is sensitive (I refuse to accept allergic) to scratchier wools, so her scarf is 80% wool 20% silk, spun from roving dyed by the Sanguine Gryphon (obtained via The Loopy Ewe) in the Egyptian Green colorway. I spun the singles big and loose (pretty sure it was on the largest whorl), then plied the singles with black sewing thread. The pattern is the Morning Surf Scarf, which I think is excellent for a single skein of handspun. You find a needle size that works with your yarn (I used 5.5 mm, US 9) and just go! On Ravelry folks have knit this with every weight of yarn imaginable, and they all look fabulous. The only thing I would have done differently with this scarf is skipping the blocking. I didn't wash the yarn before knitting with it, and I think the blocking killed some of the natural bounce and squishy-ness that the scarf had when it was fresh off the needles. The stitch pattern would have been a little less defined, but the thick-and-thin nature of the yarn made up for it. I have another bump of this fiber in a different colorway, and I think it is destined for a similar spinning style and project.

I was a little surprised that my holiday knitting was mostly done with handspun this year, but when I stopped to think about my full-to-brimming paper shopping bag next to the Ladybug, my surprise wore off. I love my handspun, and it definitely gives me an extra sense of creativity. I don't usually try to envision a project straight from fiber to garment, but that doesn't detract from the satisfaction of telling people that I made the yarn myself, too.


wildtomato said...

Your mom and sister are very lucky!

Maia said...

Beautiful! I love them both.