Fiber Corner

Daily life of a knitting designer/publisher of handknitting patterns

Sunday, July 12, 2009

A Good Day

We have a small flock of Pelicans spending the summer here. It's always a good day when they're spotted in flight or on the bay during my daily walk. And, to be able to get a photo to share with all of you was even better.

It was also a good day because I finished spinning and plying my first fleece. This was a Perendale purchased from Treenway back in 2007. It was so very white that I nicknamed it Snow.
I combed it with my Forsyth mini-combs during the summer of 2007.And, started spinning it on my Lendrum Saxony during the winter of 2008. Spinning continued during the winter of 2009 and finished up last week.
Total yardage is 2,923 yds of fingering wt yarn. When I started I wasn't sure if I wanted to use this yarn alone in a sweater, in which case I could double strand it if I needed a thicker yarn, or use it with another of my fleeces in a stranded Fair Isle type sweater. The latter is what I'll probably do with some of it.

It reminds me alot of Satakieli so perhaps I'll dye some in different colors to use for Latvian mittens.
All in all, I'm very happy to have finished the spinning part of this project. I loved every part, the washing, the combing, the spinning and plying, BUT staring at plain white yarn can be a tad b-o-r-i-n-g. I feel a spinning explosion of color, color, color in my future. Please, feel free to leave a comment with a link to your favorite Etsy vendor. (Lisa S, you'll be getting my order this week!)

But first, to finish up some knitting. The Indiski shawl will be completed this week and when I attach the edging I'm planning on taking pics for a Russian grafting tutorial. So check back.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Indiski Shawl

Progress has been made on the Indiski shawl since the last post.

After separately knitting both borders, sts were picked up along the straight edge of each one.
Want a closer look? First the sts are picked up (as opposed to picked up and knit, they're just placed on the needle) in the front loop of the chain selvedge edge. Placing them on the needle first lets you make doubly sure you've got the correct number and that they're all heading the same direction before they get stretched out in the process of knitting them.
Then, you knit the sts through the back loop which causes a little twist in them making a pretty join.

From the back you can see the twisted sts and the straight horizontal line is from the other loop of the chain selvedge edge.
The really important part when working the selvedge st on a piece like this, is that needs to be done very loosely; probably two or two and a half times looser than a normal edge st. This allows it to stretch along with the lace pattern during the blocking process.

After the inner border, the zig zag pattern, on each piece is finished, the miter is grafted together to join them together . Sorry no pics of this as it was an early morning maneuver without light enough for decent pics.
The inner triangle is then started, working from the sts on the left inner border and attaching them to the sts from the right inner border. There is a small error in stitch count in the pattern on the first row of the middle triangle but it's an easy fix.

For my peeve of the week, let me present my June Tactile club fiber. Isn't the color lovely. The solid is Osage Orange overdyed with Indigo making a lovely sage-y green and green aqua (not as blue as the photo shows). But...
the fiber content is Bamboo/Wool/Alpaca (49/28/23). Now, this is supposed to be a "luxury" fiber offering; you pay a premium for this fiber as opposed to the wool/wool blend club fiber. Never should bamboo, basically a rayon, be classified as a luxury fiber. Yes, there is alpaca in the mix but last month's offering was an alpaca blend and when I signed up, no where did it state that this was an all alpaca fiber club. Plus, I can get much nicer alpaca just outside of town. Last month we had to sign up again for the next three months and with this delivery of a pseudo-luxury fiber, I'm wondering now if I made a mistake. So, why does it matter? Just spin it up, you say? Well, bamboo and I are not friends and life's too short to work with fiber you don't like. If you'd like this fiber, just let me know, it's looking for a new home.