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Karlakór in Handspun

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A quick shot of the progress made with yesterday’s storm day knitting. It has been a while since I’ve used bulky weight yarn and 6mm needles so this sweater really seems to be flying.   It would be wonderful to have this lopi finished by the end of the month!

Plans For A Handspun Lopi

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Over the past year, I’ve been working on my woolen spinning and, with my 2lbs 3oz of local wool all spun up (yay!), I have accumulated enough to knit a lopi sweater.  I did some mixing and matching up of my woolen handspuns this afternoon and have come up with a color combo that I am quite pleased with.  Both dark grey and light grey are the gorgeous local fiber,  the white is a border leicester  and the gold colored, a romney/corrie cross that I picked up from Spunky Eclectic, and the blue is a beautiful wool/bamboo/mohair/soy silk blend  that I picked up from Art Club.

I have yet to pick a pattern but I’m leaning heavily towards one in my vintage Reynolds Lopi Volume. 78 and the pattern Karlakór in particular.  There are just so many lovely patterns to choose from!  I still have a couple of projects to finish up first so I still have some time to decide.

Hope you’re all enjoying your week so far, and happy crafting!

First Spins Of The Year

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January is starting with a bang in the fiber world. Lots of really amazing KALs and SALs happening and Ravelry groups are ripe with challenges to hone your skills, learn new techniques, and to bust those knitting and spinning stashes. How can you not feel inspired with the enthusiasm and verve shown by fellow crafters!

Last night, after checking out some awesome spins by fellow ravely members, I got out my wheel and finished up spinning my bump of amazing polwarth in the “November” colorway by Spunky Eclectic. I didn’t spin with any SAL or challenge in mind, it was just spun for the sheer delight of it. Spun up as a DK weight fractal 2 ply, it is soft, fluffy, and very bouncy. I love, love, love both the colorway and the fiber itself.

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Since I was in a good groove last evening, I got started on my first challenge for the year … the woolen challenge in the Spunky Eclectic ravelry group.  I got out my 2lb 3oz bag of gorgeous locally sourced organic shetland/border leicester cross fiber and  didn’t stop spinning until THE ENTIRE BAG was spun up into singles.  I also plyed my first skein, to boot!  Eventually, I am planning to use this handspun for a nice lopi sweater from on of my vintage pattern books.   I have some really nice cream, blue, and yellow woolen-spun handspuns in my stash that might look good as accent colors.

Sooooo, I *might* have been on a bit of a spinning binge last night but it sure felt good.  :-)

What kinds of crafty things are you up to so far in 2014?  Did you join any groups or challenges?

WIP Wednesday – Handspun Tea Jenny Cowl

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It is Wednesday again!  Where is the time going?  It seems like the days are quite literally flying by, but not to worry, I have a work-in-progress to share :-D

Yesterday I posted a picture of my new yarn bowl and my most recently finished handspun, a wool sampler in five wonderful natural shades of Finnish wool.   Lollyknits commented on yesterday’s post suggesting Tea Jenny by Kate Davies would be a great match for this yarn and I couldn’t agree more.

Since I do have a lot of hats but still want to knit this pattern, I’ve chosen to make it as a super cozy cowl instead.  I’ve cast on the same number of stitches as the body of the hat with 4.0mm needles and worked the brim chart.  With only five colors, instead of the seven the pattern calls for, I’ve had to play around a wee bit with the colors but I think that it is working well. The body of the cowl is worked on 4.5mm needles.

Even though I only started on this project this morning, I am ALMOST finished.  I only have the i-cord trims left to knit and then a-blocking we will go!

What are you working on today?  Making cozy things for the cooler weather?  Do share!

FO Friday – Handspun Sleeping Beauty

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I was recently gifted with a delightful cowl pattern by my dear friend and fellow blogger, Tina.  The pattern, Sleeping Beauty Cowl by by Anne Podlesak, is one that I’ve been admiring and I couldn’t wait to get started in some of my handspun.

I dove into my stash and quickly found the perfect yarns.  The main portion of the cowl is knit is a really wonderful BFL/silk in “Le Tigre” colorway by Northbound Knitting.  The color makes me daydream of butterscotch candies … mmm!  For the rest of the colors, I chose some odd and end balls of yarn left over from other projects.  Some “Firewoman” on Norwegian by Northbound Knitting, some “Shades of Burgundy” on BFL by Greenwood Fiberworks, and even some really amazing quiviut thrown in for good measure (and softness … and cuddliness!).  The resulting cowl is something that I am really quite proud of.  Actually, I’ve been wearing it since I’ve finished it and it is very soft and warm :-D

What have you been working on this week?  Anything that you are super-duper proud of?  I’d love to hear all about it!

FO Friday (on Saturday) – Carson Sunrise

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I had planned to do a FO Friday post on my newly finished Carson Sunrise yesterday but we had so much fun at the Not-Back-To-School picnic with the other homeschoolers that the time got completely away from us.  So I’m doing my FO Friday post on Saturday :-)

This was an interesting project for me.  I had originally planned on using other yarn but changed my mind when I saw the 3 color version … I snapped one of my good knitting needles and learned a very valuable lesson (don’t leave your knitting where you might sit on it!) … and knit on it all while dealing with a hand injury (which is thankfully almost 100% better now).  It might sound like quite the knitting catastrophe but the finished shawl, in my opinion, is very much worth all of the craziness.  This shawl is so unbelievably soft, the colors bright and cheery, and it drapes and wraps around me like a daydream.  I LOVE it!

Also, the more I work on semi-circular shawls, the more I absolutely love the shape of them.  They seem to stay put really well and they are very cozy.  I’m almost a little sad to finish this because now I need to find another fun semi-circular shawl to cast on.

What is your favorite semi-circular shawl pattern?  I’m looking for a fun new project to cast on in handspun  and would love to hear your suggestions :-)

June And July Handspun

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Between the business of July and August, and with some rather serious computer crashes, I completely forgot about posting my June and July spins.  Some of the pictures aren’t the best as I lost A LOT of photos while trying to fix my computer issues, but I’ve got my laptop up and running on Linux Mint now and it seems to like it much better that the previous MicroSoft system that I was running.  Yay for fixed computers!   :-)  Anyway, back to the fiber …

The first spin pictured is 4oz of  Targee in “Vulpse Vulpse” colorway by Spunky Eclectic.  This was spun up as a nice and bouncy worsted weight 2 ply and would look amazing as a hat or cowl.

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This second spin was a test for a special project.  This, in my opinion, was my first spinning flop.  While the yarn looks very pretty, it lacks any real structure and the yarn drifted apart when I tried to knit with it.  Lesson learned though … some fibers really need to be blended with wool to give them structural integrity. My take #2 of this yarn is going MUCH better. You’ll hear more about this in a later post :-)

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Next was 4oz Shetland in “At The Drive In” colorway by Northbound Knitting.  Have I told you lately how much I love spinning Shetland wool?  This baby is a nice squishy 2 ply DK weight yarn and would make the most amazing mittens!

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And some more of NBK’s lovely Shetland to share with you.  This colorway is “Namaste” and it is also spun as a 2 ply DK weight yarn.  I really love the mingling of the colors in both the fiber and the yarn.  Very calm, cool, and relaxing!

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This spin is 4oz of my own hand dyed merino in the colorway “Tranquil”.  This is another 2 ply DK weight yarn with tons of squish and bounce.  The semi-solidness of the colorway would give depth to some fun cables or add a little fun to any textured knitting.

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With this next spin, I got to take it right from the raw locks and turn it into a fat and fuzzy woolen yarn.  I had 8 oz of Border Leicester locks from SE which I tried one of Judith MacKenzie’s methods of washing on.  I sorted the locks and lined them up all pretty like on a few pillow cases and gently folded so the wool wouldn’t escape in the wash water.  This may take a little more time but it is definitely my preferred method of washing wool now.  The locks come out brilliantly clean and in perfect, neat little rows.  If I had a set of hand combs, it would have been an excellent time to try my hand at making my own combed top, but my hand cards did a wonderful job of making nice light and lofty rolags which are a ton of fun to spin.  I’m looking forward to the next time I get to play with raw wool as I picked up an Ashford Flick Carder which it dying to go for a test drive :-)

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Now this spin, you have already seen.  It is the wonderful semi-solid yarn that begins my Carson Sunrise shawl.  It is 4oz of mixed BFL in “Dijon” colorway by SE.  BFL is definitely one of my all time favorite wools to spin and this yarn turned out so dreamy!  I left it as a single as I was planning to use it as a shawl and since I went with the 3 color Carson, I still have lots of this left so I feel another shawl in the future with this yummy fiber.

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“Sundown” on superwash Corrie was another really fun spin.  This was a progression dye so I chose to spin it tip to tail and then N-ply it to preserve the color.  The resulting yarn was so much fun!  I used it to knit an Ida’s Kitchen by Kirsten Kapur, the photos of which I sadly lost during my computer troubles.

9265374642_06c7bd6fd2_bAnd last in this quite extensive list of yarns, but certainly not least is 4oz of Shetland in “Winter Sun” colorway by Hello Yarn. This was spun up as a fractal 2 ply DK weight yarn and I love, love, LOVE the colors in this.  It is such a warm and cozy colorway and would look awesomesauce as a pair of cozy mittens.

So all things aside, the summer has been an extremely productive time for Spinning … especially since I have yet to post my August spins … so much so that I am almost completely wiped out of fiber!  Crazy, isn’t it!

In other news, you will be able to find these some of these spins and more at the Wine, Dine, and Blueberry Stomp this Sunday at Rossignol Estate Winery.  The lovely Ruth of Sew What? and  Jim of Vitamin Sea Studio will have my fibery treats available there and if all goes well, my spinning wheel and I will be there to join in the fun.

Happy crafting and creating everyone!

 

Carson Sunrise

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Just a quick post to share with you the progress of my Carson Sunrise (a.k.a Carson: modifications for 3 colors) for the Fine SAL/Romi KAL.  I am only a few rows away from starting the edging and am really loving the color effects that my Firewoman handspun is having with the Dijon BFLhandspun  and the lovely orange sock yarn.  I’m thinking that a good movie and some knitting on my Carson is in order for this evening!

Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL

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Photo courtesy of Westknits Facebook Page

Guess what time it is?   Time to pick your yarns and colors for the Westknits Mystery Shawl KAL!  I’m super excited about this year’s KAL because the name this year is COLOR CRAVING.  I am always up for some fun new colorwork and with $1 from every sign donated to the Ricefield Collective, it make the KAL even sweeter.

This year the pattern is calling for three different colors of fingering weight yarn.

You can get the pattern here on Ravelry and join up with the KAL group to sneak a peek at what yarns and colors other people are planning to use and to get some ideas of your own brewing.

Below is the schedule for the release of clues:

  • Clue #1 – September 13th
  • Clue #2 – September 20th
  • Clue #3 – September 27th
  • Clue #4 – October 4th

I can’t wait to see what amazing texture and color combinations that Stephen has dreamed up for this KAL.  I’m hoping to do the KAL in handspun again this year.  I was really happy with how things turned out with my Rockefeller.

Are any of you planning to do this KAL?  Did you participate in last year’s KAL?  I’d love to hear!

WIP Wednesday – Steeks Baby!

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Today’s WIP Wednesday post is extra thrilling for me.  I’m going to do something super scary and completely new to me …. I’m finally taking the leap.  This is the week that I take scissors to my knitting for my first ever steeks.  Yay!

I’ve wanted to try steeking something for several years now and have just been too terrified to give it a go.  Each year in January I say to myself, “I’ll do it this year … This is the year of the Steek for me!” and then I chicken out.   Well, not this time!   After knitting the Mushroom Hat and receiving some kind words of encouragement from Adrian I’m finally ready to give it a try.

Last night, after I put the kiddos to bed, I searched through my stash of bits and bobs of handspun and found a happy mix of colors to cast on the Mushroom Pulse Warmers. I am flying right through that knitting … I’ll be finished this afternoon and will wash and block tonight … and am eagerly anticipating the steeking process.  Keep your fingers crossed, I’m hoping that I get they dry by tomorrow!  lol

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