August 20th, 2008I Swear,

I did finish it.


I even blocked it.

Sampler shawl

What I haven’t done is take some decent photos of it. Also started a sock. By “started” I mean that I knit furiously on it for about a day and then got bored.


July 21st, 2008Everything is Lace

I noticed something while reviewing my “active” projects the other day. Everything I’m working on is lace. Stoles, shawls, more shawls…all of it. Not a single sock, sweater part, hat, glove in the pile. Just something lacy followed by more lacy. This could constitute a rut.

First there’s my main project, the handspun Comfort Shawl sampler. I am so close to finishing this that I foresee a marathon knitting session sans break to finish those last few rows. I’m on the second to last color/fiber on the last ball of yarn. The last two new fiber sections took up around eight rows before merging into the next segment, so there is really about a dozen rows until the end. A dozen. I must finish this.


My even more mindless than a feather and fan project is a Wisp that I started in March with the intent of using the entire ball of yarn. I’m so bored with this project that I may just measure and decide it’s long enough. This project gained a few inches while we sat in the theater Thursday night waiting for a midnight showing of The Dark Knight. You know how much I hated (spoiler warning) the latest Indiana Jones? I loved this new Batman installation with the same intensity of feeling times a million billion. Seriously, it’s that good and I’m not just saying that because Bats is my favorite super hero and he can kick your super hero’s ass.


Finally, I’ve pulled Mellifera out of hibernation. She’s still a little baby shawl. This is another handspun project using singles made of merino and tencel. I’m hoping to make at least a bit of progress on this before I get distracted by another project.


I could almost kill for something cabled and not lace, but if I stop what I’m working on, I’m afraid I won’t pick them back up.

The basket it was used to be on my desk. At some point, I or a cat knocked it off the desk and it was wedged between the wall and my portfolio case by the window. If I ever bothered to draw anymore, I’d have found it weeks (months?) ago. It has been reunited with its mate in yet another basket, but this time in a visible location where I would immediately notice if it were knocked off. I’m pretty sure this is the culprit as I’ve found her picking her way across my desk when she thinks no one is looking.


On the knitting front, I’m nearly finished with the second ball on the Comfort Shawl. While I love spinning and knitting tencel blends, I don’t have the same affection when it comes to 100% tencel, particularly when spun into a low twist single. Mixed with wool, tencel acts much the same way as silk. On its own, there’s an artificial shininess that in no way resembles silk. I’ll be glad to finish out the tencel rows and move back to the squishy goodness of wool.

July 7th, 2008Ooh…Shiney!

The Comfort Shawl remains an interesting knit, although I’m still not sure how I feel about the piece as a whole. There are sections that I adore, like the blue next to the green, and other parts that I feel “meh” toward. I suppose I’ll reserve judgment until it’s all done and blocked because if I say that I don’t like it now, I’m probably just going to have to retract that later. For a change of pace, here’s a real, non-camera phone photo of my progress.


The blocks of color started getting more narrow with the green merino and the current soysilk section will be even more narrow as it is more uniformly thick throughout and less lofty than the previous section. Even though I’m unsure of the shawl as a whole, I’m loving knitting so many different fibers and seeing how they all knit up. This is definitely a good way to make up a sampler. I’m pretty sure the spindle spun silk I posted last week will knit up very similar to the soysilk and I can’t wait to get my hands around it.


I think I can get a couple more rows out of the soysilk, and then it’s on to the adult alpaca you see on the outside of the next ball of yarn. If memory serves, this ball will be adult alpaca, superwash merino, tencel and then BFL.


I think I might enjoy knitting with my handspun. I’ll let that sink in for some of you who know me and my propensity to throw skeins of handspun at people so that I wouldn’t be tasked with finding a purpose to the yarn. Knitting with my own yarn opens up a new realm of tactile delights and causes me to critique my spinning, all the while thinking of what to improve upon my next time at the wheel. Heck, it makes me want to sit at the wheel again.

I even pulled out my last spindle spun project and am thinking of an appropriate project for it. I made this yarn on a very basic Louet top whorl spindle over two years ago, months before getting my first wheel. This particular handspun was something I put on a pedestal. It made me stop spinning wool on a spindle.


This yarn is quite possibly the reason I can’t stand the woolliness of merino roving. This 2 ounce hank of Chasing Rainbows bombyx silk singles was my greatest spinning triumph and I honestly never thought I’d do anything other than admire it. This yarn also keeps me from being completely happy spinning silk on my wheel, for fear anything I do won’t come close to this perfection. And now, thanks to this handspun shawl, I have plans for this silk.


Back to my current project, I am knitting with singles because I wanted to stretch my limited amount of fiber as far as possible on this project. Strangely enough, I had a project in mind while spinning and that is not the norm for me. Usually, I just spin and throw the finished yarn at people. The color changes in the yarn are still amusing me to no end. I’ve just gotten to the fourth color/fiber and I have to say that I absolutely loved fiber #3. My notes tell me it’s a superwash BFL and it knit up into an incredibly soft and drapey mass. I’m almost sad that I’m back to merino, although I’m looking forward to the soysilk after the merino.

Sections 2 & 3 gave me around 3” each without stretching. I know that the each color/fiber change will start getting more narrow as I proceed, but considering I have two balls left, I’m now completely confident that there will be plenty of yarn for something larger than a shawlette.

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