Tag Archives: Crazy Projects

A(nother) Sneak Peek

20150915_185634That’s the first bobbin of the epic project that I’ve been working on, but, sadly, not blogging about. Time has gotten away from me and I haven’t been taking as many pictures as I should have been.

What’s on the bobbin? I’m glad you asked! It’s Argentine Llama from right here in Oregon, just over the mountains from here. The wonderful llama who donated this fiber is Argentine Mach One, or Machie to his family:

Mach OneI’ll be posting in detail about Machie and friends another day, but I will say that you don’t know llama until you’ve felt Argentine llama! The only llama fiber I’d had any experience with is the coarse, hairy, nasty stuff I’m sure you’ve all seen. There’s really no comparison with Argentine llama fiber – it feels like a cross between alpaca and silk. Really.

So the Sweatshop Girls brought home a car full and got to work. I decided to separate the colors from Mach’s fleece and carded and spun them up separately. I’ve finished a small shawl and am working on a lacey scarf. Pics to follow later in the week!

Next pattern in the works

Way back in September Awana, Jean and I went to an annual Dye Day event and turned this –

Corrie Undyed

1800 yards Corridale handspun, light worsted weight. Maybe the most boring spinning project I’ve ever done.

Shades of Autumn orangey goodness. Three skeins were an odd tangerine color as a result of being first into the dye pot (more on that project another day.) A bit of brown and a bit more red were added until the perfect color began to emerge.

Jean waving her magic, er, spoon, over the dye pot

Jean waving her magic, er, spoon, over the dye pot

It was a group effort as everyone was lifting off lids and exclaiming over the colors as they simmered. Should have gotten a total Pounds of Yarn & Fiber Dyed that day, but sadly we were all so busy talking it was impossible.

Anyway. The yarn is nice and bouncy, light worsted weight and I knew I wanted to design and knit a simple shawl, putting the yarn on display to its best advantage.

I have always been enamored of the Hap* Shawl – that most practical of shawls, able to stand up to daily use over or under a coat or just tossed about the shoulders on a chilly morning, comforting and finally worn out with love and decided this would be my goal.

I prefer to knit a shawl from the top down, starting with 13 or so stitches and keeping a few edge stitches in garter to avoid that annoying tendency to curl. Having sold all of the Stash Shawls I had on hand during the blitz of craft faires the Sweatshop Girls attended before the Holidays, I knew it needed to work up fast because we’ve applied to a couple more coming up very soon, so a US #10.5 needle was chosen and off I went.

This is the end result blocking on the floor of the Studio –

About 600 yards total

About 600 yards total

The center is plain garter stitch with two Ostrich Plumes repeats giving that wonderful wavy edge. The final two rows and bind off were worked plain with a yarn from the same dye pot that started out a natural gray.

A closer look at the wavy edge before blocking –

20150219_193608Sitting atop a pile of freshly-washed Shetland fleece from Whistlestop Shetlands and a fab hard plastic strainer thing that warrants a post of its own.

You might have noticed the blotches of white here and there, a consequence of having the ties a bit too tight in places – the dye couldn’t penetrate to the center of the skeins in those places. While some see this as a flaw, I see it as an Artful Variation, something you just don’t get with factory yarn 🙂

I’ve had it in mind to publish a group of patterns detailing the construction and use of the Hap shawl for some time now. What say you?

* Hap is a general term for a cover-up to keep warm. Traditional Shetland Hap shawls are square in shape, with the “half-hap” being half a square, making this shawl technically a half-hap.

Busy Summer!

It’s been a Crazy Summer so far. Obviously blogging has fallen by the wayside.

Events not blogged about (yet):

  • Columbia Gorge Fiber Fest
  • Rug Hooking class
  • Revy’s rubber fetish
  • Dentist visits
  • Alpaca shearing
  • Long Draw Spinning class
  • Black Sheep Gathering
  • Sabu’s new haircut
  • Trailer repairs/remodels
  • Alpaca fleece tumbler
  • Mom’s yard sale
  • Visits to various Cool Places
  • Sabu and Sleep-away camp
  • Various and sundry new projects being planned or underway

Whew! I have a lot of ground to catch up on!

We’ll be back later today to start crossing things off the above list. Hopefully we’ll be able to keep up better in future. Lots of irons in the fire!

Katniss Finished!

Despite the lateness of this post, Katniss was finished on time and mailed Express* to Wisconsin in the hope that it would arrive in time for Kristen to enjoy it with her family on her Holiday vacation.

Because of one snafu or another, pictures were delayed, so today I treat you to a couple of phone pics of Kristen modeling Katniss:

1472897_341959279277930_578070558_n 1477440_341959322611259_1543222548_n

The fit is good. The yarn is nice and cushy and I hope it keeps her warm. Next up is a hat to match because there’s more than one skein left over from the cowl. Stay tuned!

* The package did not arrive as promised, so I took advantage of the money back guarantee, much to the irritation of the lady at my local Post Office whose computer had a very hard time coughing up permission to refund my cash.

The Katniss Cowl

While at the craft fair last weekend, I was talking with Kristen of Black Kat Beading (sadly she has no blog or online shop, but look for some of her work on my website when I get things up and running) and she showed me a picture of what has come to be called the Katniss Cowl:

katniss-catching-fire-2-537x402There are  many versions online, including this free pattern on Ravelry, but the one Kristen chose is the best so far, IMHO, for being close to the movie original but not a slave to design. The original was woven, after all.

Kristen asked if I would be willing to knit her up one, as she doesn’t knit and doesn’t have time right now to learn. I said sure – it was a great excuse to purchase the pattern and make one for myself some time soon 🙂

The Anaid Designs pattern calls for Lion Brand Thick and Quick yarn and once I had agreed to knit it up Kristen ran over to Jo-Ann’s Fabrics to pick up the yarn.

When she got back to the LCCC she mentioned that she’d talked to her Mom on the phone while strolling through Jo-Ann’s and told her about the project. She will be flying back to Wisconsin on the 12th to be home for the Holidays and Mom asked if she would be bringing it back with her. Huh. It is only half a sweater knit with bulky yarn and I’ve been known to knit up a whole sweater in four days with similar yarn…Maybe it was fatigue after a long drive and days of being on my best Public Behavior. I agreed to give it a try. If I manage to pull off this little Holiday Miracle Kristen will be happy indeed!

The pattern starts with three giant i-cords worked with the yarn doubled. The cords are then sewn together and the drape knit in two pieces – this allows for a nice structured look in the end:

katnissfront_mediumThe drape is knit in herringbone stitch on US 35 needles (not a size anyone in this little town stocks) so it will be a learning adventure – using such big needles (or something McGyvered together that Will Do) and learning the herringbone stitch. Whee!

So far I’ve finished the two largest i-cords and am working on the third:

DSCN0434Hopefully the final i-cord will be done tonight and I can get started on the first drape section and sew those pieces together at Knit Night tomorrow.

Seems I should get myself down to the local theater to watch The Hunger Games – Catching Fire just for the knitwear alone! Take a look at this scarf:

katniss-everdeen-captiol-couture-2And I must design a sweater along these lines:

tumblr_mwl1f5R5yf1r9i187o3_500There are probably more pictures online somewhere – leave a link in the comments if you have a source for the knit costumes from either movie…