Finally, the day came where I made an Ashton Shawlette for myself. You can see the first shawl I gifted here and the second one I also gifted here.
Now, as they say, a third time is a charm, right? Not so! I decided to make this shawl on size 5′s, the other two I’ve made I used 6′s. I’ve made this shawl with 450 yards of yarn the first time and 438 yards of yarn the second time. This time, with 450 yards again, down a needle size, I ran out of yarn a few rows early. This doesn’t make sense to me – maybe some of you who are more mathematically inclined can help me. If you are going UP a needle size, aren’t your stitches bigger, therefore using MORE yarn? So how did I make this shawl out of 438 yards, with bigger needles, before? I’m confused. Maybe my tension is different…but what do you think? If you use bigger needles, do you use more yardage?
I also like the fabric of this shawl on 6′s better. More drape, larger wingspan, and as I said before, big shawls are my thing now.
I’m tempted to gift my third Ashton… perhaps fourth time will be a charm?
I used Dream in Color Starry in the Black Pearl colorway. This yarn can be deceiving. It feels pretty stiff when you knit with it, but it softens up nicely when you block it.
I’ve started yet another shawl. The pattern is called Kuura and it’s a freebie on Ravelry. This shawl may be a gift as well. I’m knitting this with some Spud and Chloe Fine in the Sidewalk colorway. This yarn has been sitting in my stash for a long time. This pattern is really simple, I’m enjoying the lace as it is just enough to hold my attention and definitely not enough to frustrate me.
And lastly, probably the most exciting thing in my crafting life is that I am spinning what I want to! I opened my fiber box and chose the first braid that appealed to me, and that day it was a beautiful braid of superwash merino/nylon/bamboo from FatCatKnits. Her fibers NEVER disappoint me. This is the Wizard Island colorway. I’m going to navajo ply this for some stunning stripes, which will surely become socks.
Last year I made a pair of handspun socks using her same fiber blend, in the Farmer Phil colorway. They are still one of my favorite pairs of socks. Handspun socks have so much character!
What are you working on right now? Any patterns you are currently obsessing over? I have a lot on my mind… may have to make one of my “pattern crushes” posts soon.
My feet are ready for Christmas! I used the Knit Picks Felici again, this is the Jingle colorway. They’re pretty cute. Again there was a bit of dye speckled onto my white stripes, but It’s not enough to bother me, especially for $11 a pair. I didn’t feel like “modeling” this pair. I went outside to photograph, icy sleet started to fall, so this will have to do! Also, again, I used this pattern for the afterthought heel instructions, and will probably continue to do so for all my self-striping socks. :)
Speaking of self striping, I started a new pair. This yarn is from Purple Goddess Design and wow – I love it! This is the Night Vision colorway. Her self striping is really reasonably priced. And she has a colorway that LOOKS LIKE BACON.
And while we’re on the topic of socks, I decided to pull out this hand-knit gem from my drawer, since it is 18 degrees right now. I’m not sure who made these, a relative on my mom’s side of the family. I inherited them when my grandma passed away (someone had made them for her) and my mom knew I would appreciate a good hand knit. These are thick (probably aran weight) and great for frozen days like today.
Meanwhile, I’ve got a lot of knitting time at the moment, my work was cancelled for two days due to this ice/snow storm we’re having, so it’s kind of nice to catch up.
Next I will have an FO to share, and I’ve started spinning something new!
For well over four months my spinning wheel was dedicated to these yarns. It probably took me longer than it should have, but, I have my reasons. This is a project I was commissioned to spin. So here’s a quick rundown of how this went.
1) I was brought a lovely alpaca fleece straight from shearing (but skirted – this means all immediately visible yucky parts have been removed already).
2) The fleece went through three phases of washing – two with dish soap, then one last wash with my nice wool wash. The water was so yucky – sometime a fleece can look very clean to your eye, but the small bits of dirt can be deceiving! The water, honestly, looked like tea it was so dirty.
3) The fleece had to dry, completely.
4) I hand picked the fleece. There are fancy tools for picking, but I don’t have them, so I just did my picking by hand over a trash can – this removes some veggie matter and gets the fleece open and ready for carding.
5) I used my drum carder and made a lot of 3 to 4 oz batts, ready for spinning.
6) Finally, the spinning – the customer requested a thinner weight yarn, as well as something thicker. So I spun all the singles the same weight, and made two big finished yarns: a 2-ply fingering weight, 718 yards, and a 3-ply (navajo) 490 sport weight. This step is what took the longest. Constantly picking out bits of veggie matter, and well as second cuts (those about killed me) made for a slow spinning process. Plus spinning a lot of the same color is hard for me… I thrive on color when I spin, so this was a tough pill to swallow.
7) The finished yarns were skeined & washed a few times more.
The whole project took 32 hours of my time. Whew. I am proud of the finished skeins, very much.
Now for more pictures… it was over four months of work, ok?! ;)
Ever spun a whole fleece? How was the experience for you?
Once again, I am in sweater love.
Pattern: Tea with Jam and Bread by Heidi Kirrmaier
Yarn: Knit Picks Wool of the Andes Tweed, in Down Heather (gray), Lost Lake (green), and Brass (gold).
Needle: US size 6
Hm, where to start? This sweater has been a knitting whirlwind romance. I bought the pattern and yarn on a whim, and cast on immediately when it arrived. I’d seen this pattern many times before, but it just spoke to me so strongly one evening, I knew I had to make it! And just when I thought I was so over worsted weight sweaters.
I knew I wanted it to have a classic look, so my mind immediately went to a tweed yarn. And I’m all about being wallet-friendly at the moment, so I went for Knit Picks. I was a bit wary that I wouldn’t like the yarn, or that it would be prickly. It has a slight prickle, but nothing that would bother me on a cold day.
I love the pockets – they’re so clever. I’ve only knit pockets that you sew on afterwards, but these are built right into the sweater. The construction is awesome. You can’t see in the photo, but they are lined with the green yarn. So fun.
I have no issues with this sweater, the fit is probably the best out of all the garments I’ve made. I’m now thinking of one for spring…and perhaps one for my kids? (The pattern comes with sizing for kiddos too)!
Cozy sweater win!
Hey everyone! Has the chill of November left you frozen yet? Are you knitting away by a cozy fire?
I finished my Foggy Noggin!
What a nice, rhythmic knit. Great for TV & travel knitting. I’m finding a lot more room in my knitting life for simpler projects. It’s where I find myself the happiest, stitching along without having to concentrate too much. I would love to remake this hat in handspun – how fun would that be? I would maybe shorten the brim a bit next time, but overall, happy with this FO.
I decided to go ahead and cast on some new socks for Christmas. These are in Knit Picks Felici in the Jingle colorway. I’m going to do a simple afterthought heel again on this pair.
I’m really at a good place with my knitting. I used to worry about finishing old, languishing projects, or pushing through projects that my heart just wasn’t in. Since my knitting time is more limited now, I’ve learned that it is perfectly ok to set WIPs aside to start new things if I feel like it. Knitting is my pastime, and I’m not going to beat myself up about having “too many” WIPs or frogging something. From now on, I’m just going to respond to how I feel with projects, follow my heart and if that means casting on 8 new things while 8 remain unfinished, so be it.
I have a finished sweater up next, and oh my, I am so excited about it!!