Friday, December 19, 2008

My spinner's challenge

OK so my spinning group that I have been going to for a couple years decided to do something a bit different. Our usual is to meet once a month and spin. Well in June we had a dye day. Several of us met on a Sunday and dyed 10 pounds of wool. Our goal was to match four different colorways that was featured in a Weaving magazine. I have no idea what issue or when it came out. Then we were to spin it up and make something. Well I am happy to say I am finally finished with of of the 3 colorways that I brought home that day. It took me so long because I had to have a trial separation because when it came to the knitting it got so boring.
The spinning was quite fun. What I did was lay out the color in order and spin a lace weight single. Then I plied it with a mocha brown to dull the colors a bit. Which it did as the light green was a lime color and the orange was really bright. I ended up with some where in the neighborhood of 950 yards.

While I was spinning the yarn an issue of Spin Off came out that had an article about dropped stitch scarfs. Well I really like the pattern and decided to use it for my shawl. I did add more stitches to the cast on (72) and knit until I ran out of yarn. Even though the colors are in order. From dark brown to gold to bright orange, to light orange to lime green to light green. then it repeated and then ended with dark brown. The color changes don't match. One color may have 5 repeats and the match has 3. It does look uniform.

The final size is 16 inches wide and 102 inches long. I think I had about 2 yards of yarn left when all was said and done.
Even though it took me over 6 months to finish this project I am really happy with how it turned out and I can't wait to wear it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

A candy of and Idea

So I was in a swap for 4 ounces of fiber. I wanted to make it somewhat of a holiday theme, but not quite sure what my partner celebrated I didn't want to make it to Christmasy. So I thought for a few days and one day while shopping I came up with a candy of and idea. I love winter mints, you know the green and white spiral mints. I'm not a huge fan of peppermint I definitely like the green ones better. So after looking at the candies I got to thinking I wonder what would happen if I dyed roving in this pattern.
My first step was to soak the roving in white vinegar and warm water. While that was soaking I mixed up the green dye. It was a mix of kelly green and a bit of lime green to brightness.
Step 2 was to lay out the roving to be painted. Instead of the usual way I coiled it.
Step 3 was to dye. I used a old squirt bottle from when I dyed my hair. Yes I admit it I was away the grey any chance I get. I followed the pattern of the candy.
I then set the dye in the microwave in the usual manner. I don't have a pic of the roving in the final state. What it ended up was a nice mix of green and white. My partner just love the result. So next time you are trying to come up with something new why not look to candy for inspiration.

Christmas is in the air!

I am to say I am all done with my Christmas knitting and spinning. I must confess I have been done for a few days. Right now I am working on finishing up all my UFO's My plan is to have everything finished up by the end of the year so I can start 09 with fresh projects. I do have some idea of what the project will be but I will save that for later.
What I have been working on are 2 pair of socks, 3 pairs of fingerless mitts, two shawls, and some handspun yarn. My UFO's are a hooded cardigan for my youngest daughter, a shawl that has been in the works sense June and a pair of socks. I will be sewing in the zipper for the cardigan tonight so she can wear it to school tomorrow. The shawl should be done maybe tomorrow if not Saturday, the socks should be done by the end of next week.

One of my Christmas projects this year was a mohair shawl that I knit for my MIL. She is coming for Christmas this year and she doesn't like wool so I thought I would use some bright yellow mohair that I have had in my stash for years and years. As a matter of fact I bought it at a thrift store. Its so old the label says its from Sears!. My MIL love the color lime green so after the shawl was complete with fringe I put it in the dye pot and turned it into a gorgeous lime green. I think she will really love it. My husband is making her a shawl pin to go with it. He is a blacksmith and has been making shawl pin from some antique steel he was given. It came from a Victorian homes fence that was taken down.

Some of the other projects that I did this year was from reclaimed wool. What I did was go to one of my local thrift shops and bought three 100% wool sweaters. I then took them apart and re-knit the yarn. My BIL and his family all like to ski so they asked for ear flap hats. I asked them what their favorite colors were and they all said black. How boring. So I ended up using the same heather black from a reclaimed sweater and added some colors to make them more interesting. I have to say by the time I got to the last hat I was really tired of knitting them. The one with the white stripes is actually glow in the dark yarn. My nephew is a bit of a joker so I thought he would love the glow in the dark stuff.

Another reclaimed yarn project were hunting socks for my father and brother. They both love to go hunting and were asking about warm socks. These were from a free pattern that I found online. If you google Civil War socks you will find the pattern. They worked up really fast as I used size 5 needles.

Out of all the Christmas projects that I did this year This shawl was my favorite. I have a dear friend that is the nicest person I have ever met. She is always so helpful and generous to anyone in need. Every year for our birthdays and Christmas we exchange gifts. I usually give her some fiber or yarn or a spindle. this year I wanted to do some a bit different. Instead of giving her something that she can use to make for someone else I decided to make her a shawl . I love this pattern its called Pi with sleeves. Its from a old issue of Knitters and I have made this a couple of times ans just love the pattern. I used Cascade 220 heather in a sage green. My hubby is also making her a shawl pin to go with it.