Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Hat and yarn

I may have mentioned this before, having blog posts planned out seems to get in the way of my blogging. After my last post I planned to get picture of my hat and sweater taken so that I could write one post about both finished objects. I managed to snap a couple of pictures of my hat but the sweater, while finished, remains unphotographed. If I hadn't been planning a post with both items I would have certainly posted my hat photos last week.

The sweater almost got photographed today but the light wasn't bright enough, so it will just have to wait. Here are a couple of pictures of my Thorpe:

The first one shows the colour best but I like the second one because you can see more of the coat I knit the hat to match. I love this hat but I think I may knit another red hat. Thorpe is warm but somewhat hair crushing. I have vague plans for another slouchy hat to match my bright red coat.

While I don't have pictures of a sweater to complete this post, I do have some handspun pictures to share. The garnet merino from a couple of posts ago is all spun up and ready to be knit.
It is about 220 yards of DK/Worsted weight yarn. I'm still planning to use it to edge the baby blanket that I'm knitting out of handspun. It is so soft and beautiful and should go wonderfully with the Twilight Corriedale.

The other handspun I have to show off came to me as part of a swap (the swap I spun the Amethyst merino for). This is a really beautiful skein of 50/50 shetland and merino in blues and yellows and browns. I can't wait to knit this up into something. I'm thinking gloves...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Finishing touches

Yesterday as I was writing my post about all of the spinning I've been doing I decided that I needed a quick project to knit up. Enter Thorpe using leftover yarn from a sweater that I keep promising to post about. Since I was using a heavy worsted weight yarn instead of a bulky yarn I knit the larger size and got a hat that fits my small head.

However the worsted weight yarn also gave me a thin feeling hat and since I made this hat purposely to match my heavier winter coat I decided that the hat needed to be thicker. So I cast on for a lining using the black Cascade 220 that I used for the trim.

Now my hat is nice and thick and the perfect pairing for my cold weather Hudson's Bay Blanket coat. The other benefit of knitting and sewing in the hat's lining was that it got me in the mood to do some sewing up. I dug out my partially sewn up Juno sweater and got cracking. I might actually have it as a finished object in the near future. (We shall not speak of the Tempest which also needs sewn up.)

I will post pictures of the hat tomorrow once it is dry and I have decided if I am going to embellish it with a tassel.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Dyeing and Spinning

Lots of pictures today. I have been spinning up a storm these days, which probably explains why I haven't been knitting much (well not knitting much since I finished all that knitting I was doing).

It started off with some merino that I spun up for a hand spun swap on Ravelry. Though I loved the colours I hadn't spun merino for a long time and the result was more uneven than I liked. I'm sure it will knit up beautifully but I didn't think it made a very nice swap skein. I think I may try knitting the baby surprise jacket with it. It is about 250 yards of a dk/sport weight yarn.

Since I still needed a skein to swap I played around with dying some white merino I had on hand. It came out a really lovely mix of purples (I think of it as an Amethyst colour). It also spun up much more evenly. It has been sent to and received at its new home.

Between the two merino swap skeins I started spinning the Crown Mountain Farms Corriedale Pencil roving. It spun up really quickly and I now have 680 yards of worsted weight yarn. The plan is to knit this into some sort of baby blanket with a softer merino edging.

With that in mind I dyed up the rest of my white merino. I was aiming at a sort of raspberry colour and got a darker garnet colour that I am really happy with. I purposely dumped in more vinegar than needed so that the colour would break and give me something more mottled. I really can't wait to start spinning this.

Once the merino was as full of dye as it was going to get I still had rather a lot of dye in the water. I dug out my dark BFL and dumped it in to soak up the last of the dye. I'm also thrilled with the colour it came out and it too may become part of the baby blanket.

All of this hand spun baby stuff is for a couple of grad school friends of ours who are expecting their first in early March. Winter babies need wool as far as I am concerned. It is also a lot of fun to make baby stuff. So stay tuned for cute knitting.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Another finished project

After finishing my Cafe Latte skirt the only project that I still had on the needles (omitting the two projects that are waiting to be seamed) was the Cliete. I dug out my red roving and spun up enough yarn to finish the last repeat. Unfortunately I used the wrong red roving (I have two batches) and the new yarn didn't have the same saturation as the rest of the shawl. It took me knitting many rows before I finally admitted to myself that it really wasn't a close enough match. So I sat down again with the other red roving and spun up some more yarn.

Once I had the right yarn, it didn't take me long to finish knitting up the shawl. I finished the bind off last Friday and then washed and blocked it. I thought about taking pictures of it yesterday but it was kind of grey and dreary. Today is also kind of grey and dreary but I took photos anyway.

The picture doesn't exactly capture the colour but it is close. When Ken saw it pinned out he said it looked like a phoenix and it really does have a fire/feather look.

Monday, January 12, 2009

First project of the year

I'm glad I didn't make a New Year's resolution to blog every day otherwise I would be feeling pretty disappointed about now. I'm going to blame short winter days and my inability to get decent photos taken of my WIPs for my lack of recent posts. Today, though, I finished my first project of the new year and got Ken to take some pictures while it was still light out. Yay.

This is Veronik Avery's Shocking skirt. I wanted to knit a skirt but I didn't want a light summer weight skirt that seem to required a slip which sort of undermines summer wear-ability. A nice worsted weight wool skirt seemed perfect and this is a beautiful design.

I knit it with a variety of yarns. I originally planned to knit it using Knit Pick's wool of the Andes in Chocolate and Cloud. I ordered the yarn at the same time as they yarn for Ken's sweater. Unfortunately Cloud was back ordered so the project was put on the back burner. I finally decided to use a light beige Cascade 220 with the Chocolate Wool of the Andes and Lamb's Pride's Brown Bear for the accents.

Though I bought the Lamb's Pride especially for this project it took me a while to decide if it was the right thing. I tried a dark brown handspun and a navy blue tweed
as accent yarns before deciding that the Lamb's Pride was the best of the options. Part of my indecision was fueled by the fact that I don't have much brown in my wardrobe and I'm not always sure what looks best with it.

I've been thinking of this skirt as my 'Latte with Cinnamon" skirt. The mix of dark brown and light beige remind me of milky coffee and the Lamb's Pride is the perfect cinnamon colour. Now I just need to wear it out for coffee.

Trying on my skirt for the first time made me want to mix and match some outfits:

It looks great with my Tangled Yoke. Peach and brown is one of the colour combinations that I love and tend to return to again and again. I actually thought that I might use peach yarn for the skirt accents before I decided to try something new.

I also love how it works with my Value Village Shearling coat. Now I just need some nice brown boots...