Friday, May 29, 2009

Spinning, shawls, and a tiny bit of wedding stuff

As promised, here's the spinning update. Over the last few weeks, I have slowly started to realize that my handspun stash is growing, and my fiber stash isn't really shrinking thanks to my membership in two awesome fiber clubs. Why didn't I ever realize that fiber takes up more room than yarn? So I'm trying to spin more with projects explicitly in mind, and also group fiber into complimentary colors for larger projects to try and keep the stash manageable. Although I am not yet tired of knitting cowls, I'm getting a little sick of searching for other one-skein projects that take about 250 yards of DK to worsted weight yarn.

I have wanted to make the Danish Heather Shawl (scroll down for great pictures) from SpinOff magazine, which calls for over 1000 yards of aran-weight handspun yarn, for awhile now. I recently acquired more Pigeonroof Studios fiber from a destashing Raveler, and I'm thinking of combining them with some others from my stash into a pink-purple-wine-with-bits-of-orange colored shawl.

Pigeonroof Braids
Colorways lined up. Blended? Plied? Striped? I have no concrete plans yet! The colorways and fibers are, from top to bottom: Cornucopia BFL, Calla SW Merino, Persimmon Shetland, and Millefiore SW Merino.

Lots of folks have knit the shawl in DK or sportweight yarn, so I'm not too concerned about the weight of the yarn I spin. I don't feel inclined to make an extremely heavy shawl, and I think this will be a great stash buster project. Plus, it's a huge garter stitch shawl! Super no-brainer. Lately I've also felt the need to keep another, simpler project on the needles while I work on my Halcyon sweater, so I have something to knit while watching movies or on the bus. In light of this, I've just cast on with this new handspun yarn:

Rainbow Brite Yarn
Rainbow Brite 3-ply Sock Yarn (8 ounces), spun from these two BFL tops from the Etsy shop Theytoldmesew:

BFL Rainbow

I split the tops in half, and spun and n-plied to preserve the long color repeats. I am totally getting better at spinning true sock weight yarn! There's still some variation in weight across the two skeins; the first one starts out much thicker than the second one. I want to make very tall socks out of this yarn. The first skein has 310 yards, and although I forgot to measure the second one before taking it off the swift, I'm betting it's comparable, so I'll hopefully be able to get some nice cozy knee socks. On the plus side, I got to cast on something bright and rainbow-y in support of all my married friends, family members, and acquaintances of every persuasion, in spite of Tuesday's desicion from the California supreme court. I had to redo the toe I cast on at knit night (it was too big, you all were right), and now I have to look up how to do a short-row heel and do some figuring. This project is especially fulfilling because it's what I intended to do with the fiber from the instant I saw it.

Rainbow Brite Socks
All ready for the heel turn!

On to the other spinning project with a knitting pattern in mind.

Handspun Targhee Processed Fleece
Targhee Laceweight Singles (4 ounces)

I bought this pin-drafted roving at the Verb Workshop grand opening. It's a prize-winning Targhee fleece from Black Sheep Gathering and (if I remember correctly) processed by Morro Fleece Works. It's heavenly, incredibly bouncy, and a little sticky from the tight crimp. I've been spinning it pretty fine, on the larger groove of my new high speed whorl. If I do end up knitting a shawl for my wedding, this will be the yarn. I'm thinking maybe Laminaria or, if I don't have the yardage, perhaps the mid-size Aeolian with pearl beads. I've never knit with beads before, but the tutorial on Knitty makes it look easy enough (famous last words, right?). I want to let the singles rest for a few days before winding it off the bobbins and measuring the yardage, and I'm not going to make myself pick a pattern right away. This yarn probably won't get knitted one way or another until I'm done with the sweater anyway, so I have some time to think about it.

Lastly, I have a pretty funny story to tell you all. Last week I was wandering around a local yarn shop after work with another knitting friend. She is in love with cellulose fibers (bamboo, cotton, linen), so I felt it was my duty to bring her over as they were having a sale on yarn with those fibers that afternoon. I didn't really need to buy any yarn, so I was browsing the books. And dudes, I think I found my wedding hairstyle in a pattern book. I am such a nerd. Yes, you are all laughing at me, but since you are reading a knitting blog that also makes you a nerd of the same caliber (ha!). And in my defense, it's an issue of Rowan magazine. Sometimes the Rowan style goes a little over-the-top, but I think this hairdo is pure class. Scroll down and click on the pictures for Short Sleeve Bacall, De Havilland, Garbo, and Hayworth. It's the same hairstyle in all four photos. I love it. I also secretly relish the idea of bringing a knitting pattern book into a hair salon, and getting to explain the whole knitting thing. I think that a hairstylist, being someone who works with their hands in a creative way, would be more likely to "get it" than the average person.

That's it for now, let's see if I can keep the blog rolling a little more over the rest of the summer. Enjoy the fiber pictures, I'm off to go make some stuff!


Anonymous said...

the hair style is So fifty's. I love it, very classy.
I am also working on a pair of knee-highs. the same ones that have been on hold for like two years.
I will try to take some photos when I get back.

Kristine said...

OMG - the aeolian with pearl beads for your bridal shawl. I'd faint.