30 January 2008

Stranded Colours and Fingerless Mitties!

I started some really cool fingerless mitts (yes, another pair!) that appealed to me as they use stranded colour patterning, and a tubular cast on (above). Two things I haven't done yet. The pattern calls for a pretty lightweight yarn, similar to sock yarn, however, since most sock yarns come self striping, I had trouble finding solids. I ended up ordering some really nice superwash merino sportweight solid colour yarn from Louet North America. It comes in SOOO many colours. I ended up getting a bunch of skeins with the excuse being that I was ordering and had to pay shipping, so why not get a few more??!! Anyway, the mitts are going well, and for the colour work part, I'm adopting the method of holding one colour in the left hand and the other in the right using either the continental or english style knit/purl for the appropriate yarn. Since they're knitted in the round there's few purl stitches and thus they are going along at a fair pace. I still have to stop and look at the chart repeatedly in a row, and that slows me down a bit. The tubular cast on I had to do twice. The first time I cast on with 2mm needles, and those were clearly too small, so I ended up casting on with the 2.75's and continuing right into the colour work with them. Let's see if I can keep the stray yarn untangled long enough to finish the mitt

28 January 2008

Handspun Neck Cowl

I was looking for a pattern to knit in order to use some of the orange handspun yarn I had previously made and found a GREAT one for a neck cowl on Hello Yarn's list of free patterns. I love her store and her yarn. I really want to make a pair of her norweigan style mitts. Anyway, since it's been really cold lately I thought the neck cowl would be perfect. It turned out very well and because it was knit on some pretty large needles (8mm), it was pretty forgiving of my thick and thin handspun. Very fast and easy, I would reccomend this pattern for anyone. The cables seem to pop out nicely and it's a good size.

14 January 2008

Skein Three progress!

Currently I'm working on some Blue Faced Leicester. I bought some green that when it came was WAY more flourescent than I would prefer, so I'm hand carding it with some dark brown BFL fiber in order to darken it.

progress from fibre to rolag to spindle:

It worked nicely, and I'm almost done one bobbin's worth of singles. It's ALOT thinner and ALOT more even than the orange from the previous entry. I'm excited to ply it as I'm spinning it with alot more twist. Above is the process I went through to darken the green. You can see the rolag, then the pre-drafted rolag, and then the spun single. Pre-drafting is the key! Below is a tomato baby hat I made on the weekend, I like how it turned out.

4 January 2008

Skein Two!!

I spent the last while hand carding some rolags of orange and grey bfl fibre in an effort to tone down the orange a bit. I think it was pretty successful. I then spun 4 bobbins of singles and then plied two skeins of yarn. It's a bit more balanced than my first skein, so I'm pretty pleased in that respect. However, I would prefer a slightly tighter plied yarn so for next time I know to spin my singles with more twist. I also advanced beyond the park and draft method for these skeins, standing up while spindling and drafting a bit faster. I stained and finished the Ashford Traveller wheel I got for my birthday, and it's sitting in parts waiting to be assembled. I can't wait!