Quadrangle Spires

I finished my quadrangle spires shawl and it was an absolute joy to knit from start to finish. I just couldn’t get enough of the pairing of the handspun yarn and the light color framing it.

It was actually too large for me to photograph horizontally so I chose instead to get a photo of each side.

This project sent me down the rabbit hole-I purchased the Painting Shawls book and have now started two of the 13 patterns out of that book, with the full intention of knitting all of them. These are the shawls that are really inspiring me lately and they are fantastic stash busters as well.

Handspun project of 2011

I try to manage a large handspun project once a year. In July 2008, I completed the handspun, hand dyed lite lopi sweater. 2009 brought me my handspun february lady sweater. Sadly, 2010 brought a couple of smaller shawl projects, and nothing at all epic. You could say that I was already preparing for my 2011 epic handspun project.

Last year we attended the Iowa Sheep and Wool festival. While there, I purchased 8 oz. of Alpaca/Cormo/Silk and 8 oz. of camel top. I spun them 2 ply. The alpaca/cormo/silk was absolutely a bear to spin. What those pretty white balls of top held were only slightly processed blends that had a ton of vegetable matter and even entire bug carcasses. It was a slubby, dirty, awful, messy experience. But I still got good yarn. The camel was a different story. Lofty, light, perfectly clean, heavenly soft, and also gave me a ton of good yarn.  In December 2010, I began the Lilia Hyrna shawl out of “A Knitters Book of Wool.” The idea was to use the yarn undyed for this purpose. I knit on it in spare time between other projects, then at some point after Month O’Socks, I brought it to work and kept it there, working on it on my lunch break. After finishing the second chart and the set up rows for the final chart last week, I decided to bring it home over the weekend and give finishing it up a go. I worked on it Friday night. Saturday was busy and I had no time to work on it, so Sunday began a marathon of finishing. It took all day to do 6 rows and a crochet bind off. By the time I went to bed, the shawl was blocking on the floor and I knew I was going to be wearing a new shawl soon!

This shawl is far larger than I anticipated it being. The crochet bind off was a new experience for me. I love the natural, undyed fibers used on this shawl, it gives it a rich tone while still looking handspun and warm. I still have a ton of leftover wool, and have some dangerous projects in mind for it. But they’ll have to wait for the hottest days of summer.


Month O’Socks day #13

A long haul was done on Nick’s socks, but sock #1 not complete yet. Curses to big feet! I am almost at the point where I need to start the toe, which means I need to do a little reconnaissance work, due to the directions confusing me.

I really hope I am able to figure out the toe instructions since this knit has been so awesome so far. I also REALLY hope they fit!

To rest my hands from time to time, I worked on my Lillia Hyrna shawl, a few rows progress, but not much.

That is it! I have vowed to work on the heel flap of my wanida socks before the next blog post, let’s hope I can stick to that goal!

Advent Stole

I’ve been called a touch knittist, and I think it feels true lately. I didn’t finish the advent stole quite as quickly as I had anticipated, but did work on it as soon as I got back from vacation. I completed every single clue to specifications. The stole is absolutely HUGE! The yarn is a lovely merino laceweight I picked up via destash at some point.  I am officially no longer afraid of nupps!

Seraphim Shawl

I began this shawl with my kettle dyed sock weight in what I consider an absolutely perfect color. As the shawl called for more yarn than I had, I eliminated 3 repeats of the stockinette portion in order to make it small enough to use the yarn I had dyed.

I miscalculated in a very big way.  Very big.  And sadly, that was the last undyed sock weight I had on hand, so not only did I need to dye more yarn to hopefully match what I was knitting, but I had to dye laceweight and hold it double to finish the shawl.

The laceweight did not pick up color the same way, in fact you could say it basically ignored the blue tones that mingle with the turquoise and teal.  Thankfully since it is a triangular shawl, it basically looks like a border.  So, what do you think?

A Case of the “If Only’s”

So I’ve been working on this shawl.  With 1400 yards of handdyed linen/silk laceweight.  What should be more than enough.

Picture 1139

Um…apparently not.  Apparently I am just a yard short.  Which is extremely disappointing!  There is no sense trying to track down the base yarn for this tiny amount, which led to my case of the If Onlys.

If only I had slipped the first stitch of each row, then I’d have enough.

If only I had not chosen to knit a row before I started the pattern, then I’d have enough.

If only I had not dyed ALL the linen/silk base, then I could dye some more.

But, that just isn’t the case and I needed a solution.  I had originally intended to spin some merino into laceweight and then dye it, but I really wanted to finish this weekend.

After talking it over with Ummeyusuf for a bit, we decided that I could perhaps dye some plain cotton crochet thread for the last tiny bit.  Now, I knew the cotton would not take the dye in the way the linen/silk would, nor would it be scrumptious and soft, but I thought I could make it work.

So I dyed up some cotton, I had to add tea to the dye bath because the white crochet cotton was so very white.  And I ended up with this:

Picture 1140

Stay tuned to see how it worked out!