Wednesday, October 10, 2012

A delicious bit of lace and some thoughts on sock yarn

For the last couple weeks, I've been knitting this in spare moments:
It's the Winged Shawl by Sarah Fama, from Interweave Knits Holiday Gifts 2010. It's been in my queue since that issue came out... I finally feel able to knit it! I am absolutely loving it so far. It's simple enough that I can knit it while my kids are awake, yet complex enough to hold my attention. I think the end result will be gorgeous. And the yarn... oh, the yarn. It's the skinniest yarn I've ever worked with. This is my first time knitting lace with laceweight yarn, and it seemed a bit fiddly at first, but I quickly got comfortable. It's Lanas Puras Melosa Laceweight in the Desert Bloom colorway, and it's knitting up so beautifully! I have had it in my stash for over 5 years, and I think it's been waiting for this pattern. It's extremely reasonably priced... $16.50 for 900 yards of hand-dyed laceweight yarn. It's also a singles yarn, so it's not at all splitty, which is really great when knitting lace! I think I'll always have a lace project on the needles no matter what else I'm knitting, just like I always have a sock on the needles. I'm hopelessly addicted! Speaking of socks... I've noticed that socks knit with sock yarn that has a bit of nylon in it last a lot longer than 100% superwash merino socks. So I've decided to keep 100% merino for shawls and to stick with wool/nylon or alpaca/nylon, whatever/nylon blends for socks. There are so many amazing lace shawl patterns for sock yarn out there, like Kitman Figueroa's stunning, inspiring patterns! I don't feel ready to tackle one of her patterns quite yet, but there are like 7 waiting in my Ravelry queue. Maybe I'll have the guts to start a Damask by the end of the year! In the spinning world, I've spun 3 ounces of that lovely brown alpaca roving I picked up a couple weeks ago, and this weekend I plan to acquire some Romney wool and hopefully some mohair (!!) too at a fiber festival that's... once again... 5 minutes from my house! I'm really excited to see the sheep, being an aspiring shepherdess, to get my hands on the fiber, and to see my kids' faces as they experience the sheep, goats and the beautiful natural surroundings. And oh, good, Blogger's new interface still has the problem where it's ignoring my carriage returns, making my post look like one big paragraph, when it's not. GRRRR! Apologies for this post's goofy look. I'll see if I can find a workaround to this extremely annoying bug when I'm in more of a troubleshooting mood!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Typing While Spinning...

... is impossible. That's why it's been 6 weeks since I've blogged! I've been spinning and knitting like crazy. My addiction to lace knitting is still going strong. A few weeks ago, I made this:
It's Evelyn Clark's "Shetland Triangle." That has to be the easiest lace pattern ever! I will definitely be making another in the future. I also made these socks, from 100 grams of random Koigu scraps. Koigu KPPPM is a work of art in and of itself, before it's knitted into anything, so none can go to waste! I love how they turned out.
I also spun 8 ounces of Black Diamond carbonized bamboo fiber and 4 ounces of silk, both of which had been in my stash forever. Like, since before my 5-year-old was born. I never felt capable of spinning those fibers until now, and I'm glad I finally felt like I could handle them, because I love the finished yarn. Here are the singles:
And here's the finished yarn:
It's my first 3-ply, and I'm so happy with how it turned out. The silk pops through so subtlely, and it's so soft! I knitted it into a lace shawl, but I can't show that until it reaches its recipient! Bwah-hah-hah! I just acquired more local alpaca to spin, and got started on that Saturday night (yes, that's what I do Saturday nights, stop laughing). It's glorious, and it was raised 5 minutes from my house. I met the animal that grew it! That's pretty special, I think, and at only $3 an ounce, that's way cheaper than most alpaca roving you'll find online.
Did you know that October 12th is "I Love Yarn Day?" I just found that out, and I'm delighted with it! Way less annoying than "Talk Like a Pirate Day," way less contrived than "Sweetest Day." I love yarn every day, but I'm glad it now has its own special day. I Love Yarn Day is having a photo context over on Facebook, and the prizes are pretty great. Now, off to select a photo to enter!