Monday, March 14, 2005

Running hard and fast!

So much going on right now! It’s hard to find time to catch up the blog right now – work is going through a crazy spell and cutting into my fiber time!

I have managed a little time on fun stuff, though not nearly as much as I’d like. That Suffolk I dyed a few weeks back has slowly become sport-weight two-ply. I now have a rainbow of balls waiting to be turned into a Fair Isle project of some sort.

Socks for me would be lovely, but I didn’t spin the yarn with socks in mind, so it’s really a little soft. However, the doubled yarns should still wear fairly well, and socks are easy – I can concentrate on the Fair Isle method without worrying about construction details. I have enough yarn, I think – about 10-12 ounces total divided into approximately 2-ounce skeins of red, yellow, green, blue, pink and purple. There is somewhere between 150 and 200 yards of each color. That’s the only problem with dyeing by the “handful” method – you can’t be absolutely sure how much of each color you’ll end up having!

I have two books of just Fair Isle patterns – the Philosopher’s Wool book and 1000 Knitted Motifs – that should furnish plenty of patterns. There are the Barbara Walker Treasury books to look through, too. This will make a great practice project for the PW sweater kit I bought. I did do an in-the-round swatch over the weekend, and the gauge is about 10.5 stitches per inch in Fair Isle on size 1 needles. That sounds horrific – 84 stitches around on socks – but it’s only a dozen additional stitches from my normal socks on size 0 needles.

But first I want to get further along on my shawl. I’ve worked through row 50 of the Feather and Fan circular shawl in “A Gathering of Lace” – almost to the point of beginning the F&F rows at row 61. The KnitPicks (http://www.knitpicks.com) Alpaca Cloud yarn is perfect for a shawl, since it’s sooo soft and drapes beautifully. I got the midnight colorway, which is working up into a very dark green instead of the blue-black I was expecting, but I love the dark green and it will match so many of my rose-pink, tan and burgundy work outfits.

My daughter has set my summer spinning project, too. We met for dinner one evening last week, and were talking about my knitting projects. She also knits from time to time (usually when she gets homesick), and checks out some of the knitting blogs fairly regularly. She ran across a reference to and picture of a knitter’s wedding shawl recently and wants me to do something similar for her. So I’ll be spinning for and then planning and knitting a Shetland-style shawl for her to wear for her someday wedding over the next couple of years. I do have two fleeces already that I can use for this – a 6-inch staple Shetland lamb fleece and a 4.5-inch staple Merino-Clun Forest cross. The Shetland has already been commercially cleaned and carded; the Merino-Clun Forest will have to be washed and combed or carded by hand.

I’ll start the spinning during my late spring/summer public spinning demonstrations. I should be able to finish by Christmas 2005 – February 2006 at the latest. Then will come the design and knitting. The design will have to be a combined effort, but the knitting will be mine alone. I’m figuring at least a year, probably more. I’ll try to take pictures along the way. Then I can use the pictures and the text along with the shawl as a wedding gift. I won’t make more than one or two of these – my attention span isn’t that great! - but I do want the ones I make to be special and original.

1 comment:

GAndyS said...

I am enjoying reading your blog! I had a comment on the fairisle colors you were considering for socks but had spun too soft. You could run it through on a bobbin again very quickly and it would not only add enough twist but an added goodie is the evening that results to the overall twist! Then you could make the socks. You might even add a little serging nylon that is so soft to the spinning for a special ball or two for heels and toes!
Andy, see you at KR!