Tuesday, July 22, 2008

My First Pattern

I have a few pattern ideas rolling around in my head - several of them lovely lacy things - but I thought I'd start simple. Introducing Sidekick:

A simple bag, just big enough for wallet, keys, and sunglasses. It comes with a long i-cord strap, making it just perfect for running about town on those summer days when you find yourself without pockets.

The pattern can be adjusted for any yarn as long as the resulting fabric is pretty tight. A great use for scraps from your stash.

Skills used: Provisional cast on, knitting in the round, double-pointed needles, three-needle bind off, picking up stitches, i-cord. Magic loop for knitting in the round is optional.

I'm in the process of adding it to Ravelry, but it's also available as a link in the bar to the right. I can't wait to see what others do with it. Enjoy!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Yarn Love

Just to prove spinning hasn't taken over, here are some pictures of recent stash acquisitions. The Malabrigo Silky Merino falling down came right after hearing of the recent fire in their headquarters - I felt I had to stash some quickly before a Malabrigo shortage hit the world. (It looks like they are dyeing again now, yay!)

Malabrigo Silky Merino in Indiecita (top) and Stonechat (bottom), 5 skeins each

I love these pictures of the Malabrigo Silky - the texture of the yarn, the richness of the colorways. I'm considering Clapotis or another kind of stole that will really highlight the colors (i.e., mostly stockinette, not lacy). Next up is silk lace is from the Sundara Seasons Club. I'm not sure I'd wear this color, but I'm not ready to swap it yet.

Sundara Silk Lace in Granite Falls

And well, maybe spinning has taken over. Because I now have a wheel in my house (lent to me by my knitting mentor), and I purchased these rovings from Crown Mountain Farms (before the current sale, sigh):

Corriedale Pencil Roving in the Eire colorway

Blue Face Leicester top in the Shala colorway

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Beginning Spinner

I finished up the fiber I got to take home for the week, more Coopworth wool:

I very much enjoyed the spinning, but toward the end of the bobbin felt my legs tiring. Does this mean spinning is good exercise? I can't wait to start playing with color.

This left me with two bobbins of spun yarn, shown below as wound balls because I only had one bobbin to work with. We didn't get time to ply in the second wheel spinning class, although we did see it demonstrated. Since I'm currently without a wheel, I think the plying is going to have to happen on the drop spindle.

In the second class, I got to use a Lendrum castle-style wheel. I think I like the Ashford Traditional I used last week a little bit better - I think it's because the Ashford has a larger wheel and so spun a bit faster. But the castle-style wheel is much more practical for storage, so when I get a wheel, I expect it will be a castle-style one. My knitting mentor is going to lend me his castle-style Shacht wheel, and I suspect after that, I will be quite spoiled.

I don't have pictures of the following, but (EDITED to add pictures)

We also got to spin with Blue Faced Leicester (oh, it's so dreamy, and I could spin a very fine single!), and we carded some pre-washed Romney fleece, created rolags, and spun it up too. I spun two rolags on the wheel in class and then finished the other two rolags at home on the drop spindle.

BFL & Merino samples, Romney samples

I learned that I definitely prefer spinning from roving, and I definitely prefer spinning on a wheel.