Friday, January 21, 2011

Shawls n' socks

... are all I want to knit lately. Shawls and shawl-like things, like capes and capelets. I love my Wavy Lace Capelet so much! The ladies that work at our favorite Maple Valley Starbucks complimented me on it when I went through the drive-thru the other day. That totally made my day.

I love what a great, flexible extra layer a shawl is. This one will work in spring, fall and winter here, and maybe even on a particularly chilly summer night. I have enough laceweight yarn for two more shawls, and once I'm done with the shawl I'm currently working on (of my own design and intended for publication, so I can't show it yet), I'm going to get started on a light, spring shawl with one of those yarns. I've had both in my stash for years.

It's still cold as hell here, though, and raining almost every day. We have a one-story house with a wood floor and a crawlspace, so that floor gets COLD. Slippers or slipper socks are a necessity. My felted clogs, after years of wear, are finally starting to fall apart, which sucks. I loved knitting that pattern, though, so I look forward to knitting it again.

The felted clog pattern is by Bev Galeskas, who recently passed away. I'll think of her every time I knit this ingenious pattern. I'd knit up a pair right now, but I don't have enough worsted weight wool in one or two colors in my stash, and I don't want to use scraps and make technicolor frankenclogs.

I've decided what I'm going to do. I'm going to go get two skeins of Lion Brand Fisherman's Wool in Natural, knit the clogs and then dye them. I used to dye yarn and fiber a lot until I got pregnant with my first daughter and didn't want the chemicals around. I still have some Jacquard Acid Dye somewhere in my garage. The technique that I plan to use to dye the clogs is called Jar Dyeing, and it was developed by this lady: Castle Fibers on Etsy. That's where I bought the instructions, and they are awesome. All you need is some dye (natural or acid), whatever mordant is needed (vinegar for acid dyes and protein fibers, like wool) and a big mason jar. It's loads of fun, not at all messy, like other methods of dyeing, and yields really beautiful results. I intend to knit and felt the clogs, then cram them into the jar with a series of 3 or 4 dye colors to end up with crazy, beautiful, rainbowtastic felted clogs.

Aside from the clogs, I've decided I need a proper pair of slippersocks, for variety. I have enough Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride Worsted (yummmmm) in a green and a pink colorway to pull off a pair of slippersocks. I intend to make them striped fraternal twin socks. That will be fun!

Speaking of socks, I have the first sock almost done of my self-imposed sock of the month club (a la Yarn Harlot). I just have to decrease for the toe. It's Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in the Black Purl colorway. I got it a couple years ago at the now unfortunately closed Hilltop Yarn East in Bellevue, WA. They were my favorite LYS and I was really sad when they closed. However, I've got lots of yarn in my stash to remember them by.

P.S.: Yes, I did knit my own project bag, which you can see under the sock-in-progress. I knitted that about 6 years ago, out of Lion Brand Lion Cotton. It was the first thing I ever knitted in the round, and it has served me well. It's been on planes, in cars, everywhere!

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