Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Yellow and Blue

This week we feature yellow. Of all the Iris colors, the yellow gold ones are my favorite.

And, we have yellow yarn, too. This is the finished Tactile April club fiber shown two weeks ago. Definitely laceweight and soft, soft, soft.
No, you don't see alot of loft on it because I don't believe in yarn abuse and will not do the semi-felting business often suggested for short fibers such as angora. With enough twist in the spinning, everything should stay put and it will fuzz up once it's knit.

And, we have blue. A new project, Galina's new Russian warm shawl design from the current Piecework.
The construction of this type of shawl is different than most triangle shawls. This is one side of the border. Using Colourmart cashmere. Mmmm! You need some. Really! You need some!

Blue, too, about these socks. This was one of the Hawaii beach projects and only the soles are showing since they're slated to be a new Heartland Knits design (and I believe in keeping those things under wraps until they're ready for their debut).See how the colors at one end of the skein are more muted than the other end. This is Fleece Artist SeaWool. Doesn't look so bad in the St st sole, but the stitch pattern doesn't appear to it's advantage in the brighter sock. Disappointing.

Were you disappointed that there was no blog post last week? Yeah, the lack of feedback lately has left me feeling pretty disappointed and blue about the whole blog thing. Please consider commenting. It will make it much easier to set aside the time to write a blog entry each week.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Try, Try Again

This time of year when the flowering trees are in bloom is so beautiful. Wouldn't it be nice if they could stay this way all the time.

Another type of bloom arrived this week. It's the initial offering of Tactile's fiber club. I know, after being dissatisfied nearly every month with the fiber club (which shall remain nameless) last year, I vowed never to join another one. But, I seriously loved all the colors at Tactile's booth at Madrona so figured chances were good I'd like their club fibers, too. Turned out I was right.
It's a nice set up. You get a solid in the natural dye of the month (this month being Weld) and then a handpaint using it and additional natural dyes (this month it's Weld, Indigo, and quebracho red). Also, you can choose between wool or luxury fibers. I choose the latter and this month it was Angora/Merino. Mmmm.

Also, the fiber comes with a couple of info sheets--one about the dye material and the other on the fiber content. Nice, very nice.
There was enough white space on them to put a little snippet of the fiber and some samples I made spinning each separately and then what they looked like plied together. You know how I love keeping records for stuff like this, so this set up is perfect.

Because I really wanted to get to spinning this right away, I didn't wait to think up some clever way to use both colors but decided to do the obvious and spin them very fine and ply them together.
Here is the handpaint spun on the Reeves measuring in at 72 WPI. The spinning of the solid is nearly finished so look for pics of the plied yarn next week.

This week the mailman also brought a copy of this lovely book. It's an English translation of a long OOP German book featuring lace by Herbert Niebling.
His stuff is so fun to knit. Plus, I seem to learn something about constructing lace in every piece.

The cloth on the left is one of my favorites in this book.
Hmmm, it might be very pretty in pink. What do you think?

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Spring Blooms

The spring flowers have started showing their cheery faces in the garden.

Also blooming this week is the Niebling doily from the Spring issue of Anna. It doesn't have an official name but I was struck by how much it mirrored the look of the daffodils.
This doily was started using Joyce Williams Eastern European cast on--the one for starting socks on two circs. It makes it easy as pie to get going, but I sort of miss the little gathered sts in the center of the doily.
The chain cast off was blocked by having adjacent chains sharing a pin--this seemed to take away the loopy sort of edge my other doilies have where I used one pin for each chain.

Other doily stats:
DMC Cordonnet #50 thread
Size 00 (1.75mm) needles
Finished size: 13" diameter

I've also restarted (again) my Jonquil Wensleydale handspun cardi. Third time must be the charm because this one seems to be through the swatching phase and already past the cuff. Yay!

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Wee One

A new spindle arrived this week. Just a wee little thing, smaller than I imagined it would be.
It's a Jenkins Turkish Delight. The wood is Pink Ivory and it weighs 1.3 oz.

Here it is all put together. Awwww. This thing is so cute it's impossible to talk about it without the pitch of your voice rising two degrees.
All filled up it looks like this. I'm spinning a wool/silk blend purchased last year at Shepherd's Harvest from Morning Sun Fiber Barn. It's a light airy roving. Since Turkish spindles generally spin slower than their top whorl counterparts, I'm finding it easiest to spin more of a woolen single. This little guy is completely mesmerizing to use.

Here's a shot of the underside.One nice thing about Turkish spindles is as you wind on, it forms a center pull ball. You wind over two arms and then under one arm.

In knitting news, I started another doily. This is the no-name Niebling in the latest issue of Anna.
It's very spiderweb-y and seems to be going together really quickly as I only started this on Friday night and am just about halfway done.

We'll see if that sort of progress continues now that the days are nice and the garden is calling.