Friday, March 30, 2007

The Fair Isle gets a neck and a sleeve!

I have finally successfully set the collar and knit up the collar. I sewed the steeks on the collar and had a bit of trouble with fraying. So, I tried crocheting the steeks for the left sleeve. It has worked beautifully. One thing: the smaller and tighter the crochet edge, the better the steek will hold. I used a 2.00 mm crochet hook with this sweater and it is VERY stable now.

The sleeve steek before I crocheted and cut:

And now, the first sleeve:

I was able to match the patterns so the sleeve would match up with the sweater when my arms are down at my side.

And the beautifully neat inside:

My Spinning Supervisor

I just wanted to share this with you: Toby, my spinning and knitting supervisor.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Fabulous Fair Isle

After experimenting with my fiber blend during the weekend, I have been sidelined by another wave of mono so it is back to my fair isle sweater, which has been badly neglected in my zealous spinning lately. I must say, for once in my life, I have only one project I'm working on right now. Truly and unusual thing for me. I usually have three or four! At any rate here is a picture from a little while ago.. the collar is now properly centered and almost ready to go, thank God.

And of course, the required closeup of the work:

I must say I am VERY nervous about my steeks and how stable they will be after being cut open. It's rather nerve wracking, really. The thought of crocheting the steeks, picking up the stitches and knitting a few rounds before cutting the steeks has crossed my mind more than a few times. The last time, I cut steeks, I ended up with a lot of fraying. Too much fraying and it went right into the body of the sweater which produced much wailing and nashing of teeth. hopefully my deeper, wider steeks will help that this time around. 'Tis better to crochet two times than have an unraveling sweater.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The First Yummy Skein!!

Well, here is the first yummy skein. It's actually some of the bulkiest i've spun so far, and I'm loving it! I might just have to retrain myself, because this truly was instant gratification!! Now, to see if I can talk my friend into letting me play with her drum carder so I can do whole batts of this stuff!

Surprisingly, this yarn changes color depending on the time of day.. in broad daylight, it is really blue, and you can still see some highlights of that in this pic, but honest to God, it looks grey to me right now!

Just for comparison, here it is next to the blue corriedale that was part of the blend... I was so surprised, especially considering the color it was on the bobbin last night!

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My First Blends

For the past few months, I have been slowly gathering a variety of fibers ( grey CVM, blue Corriedale, blue-grey kid mohair, and natural tussah silk noils) with the thought of recarding them and blending them together. I was still unsure of how it would all turn out, but after seeing some of the stunning effects achieved by other fiber artists, I had to try it... so, here are the initial rolags, after a thorough blending..
and of course the close-up...

And the first spinning of the blend... please, let me know what you think!

You can barely see the grey in it now, and I added very little of the corriedale and mohair to it...I adore the luster it has though, and it is spinning into a very nice bumpy, noily worsted weight, which I really have to concentrate on.... I will say it is spinning up very quickly, and this one bit was shot after about a half hour of total spinning!

In other fiber news, my fair isle sweater is coming along beautifully with a newly placed collar, much wider steeks on the neckline after my last botched attempt, and the trunk is almost finished!!! Yay!!!! Pictures to follow!

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

My Alpaca Affair

I have been doing a fair amount of spinning lately, particularly alpaca, and some I have absolutely fallen in love with, like this, a wonderful BFL/ alpaca blend.

A completely unnecessary close-up:

I was able to get ahold of 18 oz. of this at my LYFS, and has drafted out beautifully, especially when I tore the top in strips. I have also been working on my first 3-ply yarn, a beautiful local rose gray alpaca named Shawnee who now resides at my friend's farm.

This of course was all possible, thanks to my beautiful wheel, which actually remains nameless except for ONE suggestion of Fred.... you know who you are, girl! Anyone have any ideas? I will announce at a later date..

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

My New Home!!!

Being that I have been blogging on yahoo 360 for almost a year now, I decided it was time I settled down with an honest to goodness blog of my own! For those who do not know me yet, I am an avid knitter and spinner, and lover of all things having to do with knitting and spinning. I also love reading about knitting, and love getting my daily dose with other blogs out there as well as reading my Elizabeth Zimmermann (Hail! goddess of knitting!) collection over and over and over again. I always manage to learn something new each time I read her books! There will be much more later on about my latest spinnings, my adventures with My First Fair Isle, and other musings..