Thursday, December 04, 2008

I'm Focused Man

I've been a busy little bee (or sheep) since my last post. I've been so focused on spinning lately its crazy. My wheels and I have become best friends. I wish I had another but I doubt my tiny apartment can hold them all. Too bad I'm not willing to give up one of lovelies. I have lots of handspun yumminess to show so moving right along.....

Let me briefly get the knitting FO's out of the way first. First off is a hat I finished a while ago for my future hubby. Funny thing is that I casted on originally for the little one in mind but I realized about an inch in that it was going to be way too big. I asked the hubby if he minded the color and he said it was cool. I forced asked him nicely to pick a pattern out of my default Japanese knitting book because he's way too picky and I wanted to make sure that he would actually wear the thing. He loves it and its coming in rather handy right about now.
Yarn: Vanna's Choice
Pattern: #032 from Knitting Pattern 300 ISBN:978-4-529-04172-0

Next FO is a special project I made for my Nana. She's the matriarch of our family and she turned 90 years old on the 22nd so you know I had to make her something extra special. Since I was on a budget, I decided to knit a spectacular pattern with economy yarn. Her favorite color's pink so I went with the Hemlock Ring Blanket in Caron One Pound. The yarn doesn't block well but I already knew that before I started.
We all got together and threw her a surprise birthday party. Of course she cussed us all out for not telling her about it (gotta love those southern women) but you could tell she was eating it all up. Here's a picture of her all decked out. Can you imagine experiencing Jim Crow and a black president all in one lifetime? I thank God every day for having her in my life.
On to my current obsession, yarn. I was a member of the Spunky's Fiber Club last year but I canceled when I started to get a little backlogged. Well she's opening the club back up in January (you guys better leave me a spot, I know how you fiberhaulics are!) and I am so psyched. Only problem is that I still have stuff from 2007. So to make me feel better, I'm trying to spin it all up before I join again. So far I have two finished and I'm working on another.

This is Tulips from her May 2007 offering. Its 100% BFL and was a joy to spin. I tried to spin it a little thicker than I normally would. I ended up with almost 3 ounces and about 137 yards at 12 WPI which is about sport weight.

I then tried something different by spinning up a long wool which I don't have a lot of experience with.
This is Harvest Haze which is 100% Lincoln wool. I spun this from the fold to try and wrangle those long fibers. It is rather scrathy but I picture knitting this into a double knit hat with something soft and luxurious on the underside.

Right now I'm working on the the Aspen fiber from the September 2007 installment. Its a merino tencel mix which is really slippery and shiny. I'm also spinning this from the fold but I'm spinning as thin as I can so I can get a great lace weight in the end. I'm thinking of navajo plying it to gain a little thickness in the end.

Once I'm done with this, I only have the July 2007 fiber which is a colorfully dyed Shetland called Celebration. Then more fiber for me!

This post is getting a bit long so I'll try to wrap it up. Thats what I get for staying away so long. I already dipped into my Rhinebeck haul. I spun up the sock wool that I snagged at Little Barn. I had two ounces of both blue and green which equated to two skeins of tw- ply loveliness.

I wanted to share my sheep to shawl project that I'm working on but I don't think I have time. I'll do it briefly:
Step One: Scoured Romney Fiber from RH Lindsay.

Step Two: Hand carded into rolags. (dog brushes really help with picking the wool)

Step Three: Spun long draw on my hitchiker. (Dave is working on a double treadle hitchhiker yay!)

Step Four: Plied and felt blocked for a nice fluffy yarn. (this skein is about 2 ounces and 83 yards at worsted weight)
I just found the perfect project for this project yesterday. I picked up this wonderful British magazine at B & N and all I can say is I am in luv! Its called Yarn Forward and it is a great magazine. I would get a subscription if I could. Anyway, I couldn't find any pictures of the pattern I want to make so here's one straight from the mag.
Its a one piece cable yoked sweater that I can't wait to knit. So far, I've processed about 3 and a half skein so I have a bunch more to go. I'll keep you posted. That's about it, I'm off to read my fifty-eleven blogs in my reader. Be breezy.

20 comments:

Shameka said...

It is good to see you posting again. All that yarn spun up looks scrumptious. I can't wait to see how that sweater turns out.

Vera H. said...

All your projects look great! I really want to knit the blanket.

Maia said...

Love the picture of your grandmother! And, the blanket for her is so pretty.

So many great projects in this post! I particularly like the Romney handspun. It looks so yummy!

hope said...

I love Nana, looking beautiful in her purple splendor. My mother is 90 too and they are a blessing indeed. Having a 90+ year old in your life puts everything in perspective. Great knitting, great Nana.

Margene said...

How wonderful to still have your Nana with you. She must be a crackerjack and an inspiration. Your spinning is superb! Nice work with all the 2007 Spunky offerings.

Purl Crossly said...

Your Nana looks beautiful at 90. Love your FO's and your handspun too.

Nik said...

You show that less expensive yarns can still be used to make fabulous things. I have a TON of TLC acrylic that I think should become a fabulous cable filled sweater.

And Nana is quite fierce...with her cussin' self *lol* HAPPY BIRTHDAY.

del said...

Your handspun is so pretty!

Wow, a hemlock blanket. It's gorgeous. How sweet to give it to your Nana.

Love the hat, too! They CAN be picky, can't they??

Rosi G. said...

Love the hat, love the blanket, love all the yarns, but I especially love the Nana!! She's precious!

cici said...

awesome post. Luv Luv Luv the yarns and the FO's. Nana is adorable:D

Shannon said...

Yarn Forward is starting to show up in stores other than B&N here:

http://yarnforwardmagazine.co.uk/2008/12/yf-us-sighting-at-borders/

And you CAN in fact subscribe from the US:

http://yarnforwardmagazine.co.uk/subscribe/

:)

Carmell said...

beautiful hemmie!!!

Jeanine said...

BEAUTIFUL Hemlock!

hope said...

I just wanted to wish you a Happy Birthday. Hope it was a great one.

hope said...

Happy New Year! Many blessings in 2009.

Emilee said...

I love the hat! I want to make a hat for my boyfriend, but I'm afraid he'll never wear it. He probably won't wear it because he doesn't typically wear hats...and if I knit it most likely it will be too big, lopsided, and loose pieces hanging out of the ends. Haha I love how you spin your own yarn! Do you find that cheaper to spin your own yarn since you take out the middle man? :) It sounds like fun, but a lot of hard work!

Lyrically speaking said...

I love the knitting hat, your Nana is 90, she looks very good, wow...that's such a blessing

Rima said...

Great projects! I want to make that blanket...at some point..

Scheherazaad said...

You have been very busy, and have acheived beautiful results. Your Nana looks wonderful and lively.

Celie said...

Nice blog!! I really love this sweater!