Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Purple Nurple yarn

Remember this "Purple Nurple" yak/merino roving that I dyed a week or so ago?

Custom Dyed Yak Merino Roving

Well it's all spun up, navajo plyed and made into yarn, a gift for my friend CM's birthday.

Purple Nurple predrafted roving

Purple Nurple singles

Purple Nurple navajo plyed yarn

Close up of Purple Nurple yarn

This yak/merino is yummy stuff to spin. I hope she likes it. If not, I'll gladly take it back - LOL!

Unfortunately, the temps have dropped so I have no excuse (other than being down with a flu-like cold over the last few days) not to cast on for the rest of Walk in the Woods.

Tell me, what are YOU knitting now-a-days?

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Thrummed cardigan, anyone?

The Wrong Side of the Back of the Walk in the Woods Jacket

Wrong side of the back of the "Walk in the Woods" Jacket

I'm so very tempted to leave all of these unwoven ends hanging free and call it a thrummed cardigan. Is there such a thing? I believe it would be quite cozy on really cold nights. However, considering the heat wave we're having right now, its not the easiest thing to knit on. I'm not casting on for the front until it cools down a bit. It has felt like a heating pad in my lap over the last few days. But I was determined to finish the back before I took a break from her so I willing roasted.

Back of Walk in the Woods Jacket

Back of Walk in the Woods Jacket

I swear I can't see the vibrancy of the detail until I take a picture of it. Its like one of the pictures that you stare at until another picture appears. It just looks like a bunch of colors in person.

While I wait for the weather to cool down (those are NOT words you will hear from me very often) so that I can cast on for the front of "Walk", I'm spinning up some custom dyed yak/merino roving that I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year from The Fold.

Custom Dyed Yak Merino Roving

Its gorgeous stuff and purple is my color right now. Alas, this is destined to be a birthday prezzie for a dear friend. I can't wait to see it knit up. Its so rare that I get to see my handspun actually put to use - LOL!

Happy spinning and knitting everyone :)

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

A Walk in the Woods

Fall is one of my favorite seasons. I love the crispness of the air and the transformation of the verdant Blue Ridge mountains into a veritable color palette. I can't think of a better time to cast on for the Walk in the Woods Jacket from the Interweave book "Inspired to Knit" than now. I haven't found a book in ages that excites me as much as this one does. There are several patterns that I can't wait to cast on for but this one beat the others hands down.

I dove into the stash and was surprised that I had 75% of the colors in either Manos or Malabrigo yarns. The other 25%, I decided to spin up and dye using the Rupperts Corriedale I bought at Maryland Sheep and Wool this year. Twas a labor of love washing, carding, spinning and dyeing that yarn but it was worth it. I love the results.

Flicked and carded batts of corriedale fleece Pyramid of corrie batts.jpg

Washed and carded batts

Corriedale yarn bulky spun

All spun up into yarn

Handspun Corriedale yarn in the dyepot

Cooking up maroon yarn goodness

Skeins of handspun and dyed Corriedale

Happy dyed skeins

Sleeve swatch of "Walk in the Woods Jacket" Casting on for the "Walk in the Woods Jacket"

Finally, casting on

Fleecy goodness

What I felt like once it was all over...

I've learned so much just knitting the sleeve as a swatch. A year or two ago and I would have impaled myself on my needles before I would have taken on such a large scale intarsia project. There are SO many ends to weave in. But I'm madly in love with all of these colors. And I will love this sweater forever so I plod ahead and am 1/3 the way up the back. I screwed up one flower on the sleeve (its an Amish mistake, right Robin?) and knit it in the wrong color. I might frog it, I might say the heck with it and leave it. I'll decide another time. The inconsistent thickness of yarn makes me a little crazy from time to time but it seems to all work out in the end. And while it is NOT a portable project, it has been an easy project to pick up and put down thanks to my magnet board. And its knitting up quickly. I'm hoping to have it finished by my birthday later this month as a prezzie to myself (and perhaps to wear to Stitches East which continues to be an on-again/off-again prospect). We'll see if I'm all smiles after another week or so of knitting on it.

On an unrelated note, I've started a Ravelry group and Heifer team for Heifer International supporters called Team Ravelry (you can also visit the team's progress through Team Heifer HERE). If you love Heifer and its outreach, please consider joining or supporting our efforts. We're planning to do some fundraisers, knit-a-longs, team projects, etc. in the future. I'm going to be posting more patterns soon and Heifer will again be a beneficiary. Lots of fun is planned for the coming months. Hope you'll come along for the ride.