Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Gray-dient spinning

It's Tour de Fleece time, and I have some spinning to share! 
I've been working on a gradient yarn in Shetland fibre. This fibre has been in my stash for a very long time, & I had been planning & even started spinning this project months ago (and then ignored it for a while). The Tour de Fleece was the perfect excuse to finish this project. 
I started with 111 g of black fibre (the natural Black is actually a dark brown), and 84 g of the grey, & divided the fibres into five sections. 


Trying divide all the fibre in proportion broke my brain, so I chose to blend the shades in three gradient sections, and to leave the oddly numbered excess as single colours. 
I spun in five sections; the fibre was weighed in grammes as follows; 
Section 1 - black only - 51 g
Section 2 - mostly black - 30g black & 10 g grey
Section 3 - half & half - 20g each black and grey
Section 4 - mostly grey - 10g black & 30 g grey
Section 5 - grey only - 24g


I partially blended the colours of each section using hand carders & spun semi-worsted.

The singles were chain-plied to keep colour in order.  The finished yarn is 270 metres of about aran-weight, with some variation (my dreadful hand carding resulted in a few little clumped up sections of fibre, & some thick & thin sections of finished yarn).
I had originally intended to knit myself a Boom! shawl. While spinning this, I realised that I (being a super sensitive type) don't particularly like commercially spun shetland fibre next to my skin, never mind my own lumpy, sticking-out endy hand spun shetland, so I think this may be destined to become the yoke of a very cosy cardigan or jumper (with a long sleeved teeshirt underneath).

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Finished Knit: Morvarch Blanket

My latest finished project is one that I am quite proud of. It's a baby blanket, based on the simply stunning Morvarch by Lucy Hague (Ravelry page here), & is knit in Dublin Dye's Merino DK.


I knit this in a thicker yarn & larger needles than called for in the pattern; DK weight, 4.5mm needles, and at a gauge of 19 sts to 10 cm in stocking stitch before blocking. (It may have stretched a little while drying. I really should measure it properly!) The pattern begins with the centre square, knit from centre out and in the round. I really should have printed an enlarged copy of the chart for myself for this section; I tend to knit in low light in the evenings & found I sometimes had to pick the chart up to decipher it. 

For the chart B & C sections (the outer motifs), I cast on extra stitches before knitting the short row sections; roughly centred the cable motif in these stitches & omitted the lace border stitches. I finished the blanket with a garter stitch border. 

The blanket will be used to wrap up a new person, currently cooking away. At least it will be if I can get it away from this Small Human, who is delighted to get to snuggle & cuddle it.

I owe a massive thank you to Yvonne of Dublin Dye for her support in this project, for taking my sort-of vague but sort-of specific colour requests & turning them into one batch of lovely almost-solid  yarn based on Dublin Dye's existing Icicle shade.

My Ravelry Project page here goes into more specific details for the modifications. I hope the notes are thorough enough to be replicated, if wished. 

While I was working on this knit, Lucy Hague released another stunning interlocking cable design, already in blanket form! Iona is part of the Illuminated Knits collection. It took all my self-discipline to not get distracted by this thing of beauty. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Procrastination

In spite of a recent lack of finished knits to share, I have actually been knitting.
Test knits & sample knits, none of which can be revealed.
Swatches, some of which I have been working on for two years (!) and that are finally coming to a conclusion.
And some knits that just need ends sewing in, and maybe some wee little buttons.

All of which helps me realise that I really do dither about & put off actually getting things done.
Some of this is due to a combination of indecisiveness; poor yarn combination choices and lack of confidence.  And some of it is because I just want to knit all the time, & not do all those other things that really finish off a knitted item to perfection.

Yet somehow I have been (very easily) persuaded to join in this year's Tour de Fleece* again. I've two spinning projects in mind, & hope to share some finished yarns soon enough.

*In which one spins yarn for every active day of the Tour de France. Projects / goals are self-determined, & photos of yarn in progress and finished yarns are shared online; through Ravelry, Twitter & Facebook. There are some truly incredible hand spinners out there. Go on & have a look. The worst that could happen is that you might end up with a sheep.