Crafty stuff I’ve been up to…


I promised a post with Actual Knitting and Spinning in it…so here ya be! This is some of the Fun Stuff; I’ll put the Work Stuff in another post.

Knitting for love

In January, I knit an entire Maia shawl, with beads AND an extra pattern repeat, in just two(ish) weeks for a charity silent auction. The lucky winner was the lovely Marg:

I like the wee mischievous gleam in her eye…

Here’s the back:

The yarn is a cashmere/merino/microfiber blend from KFI; the beads are silver-lined purple glass. The best part (besides money-for-a-good-cause) is that Marg herself is a knitter, and so I know she’s really thrilled to have the shawl.

Many thanks to Romi Hill, who gave permission for me to use her pattern in an item to auction off for charity.

Knitting with handspun

I’m knitting Solar Flare, a wonderful shawl pattern by Laura Kanemori, out of some hand-blended-by-me batts, handspun-by-me into some very interesting textured, tweedy-ish sort of yarn in a colourway very unfamiliar to me.

As usual, it’s tough to get the colour right in the photo. And if the batts to the left look slightly different…they are. I thought I had drumcarded and spun enough to complete the smallest size, but, of course, I got two-thirds of the way through and ran out. Boooooo.

Fortunately, I had taken notes on the fibres, colours, and proportions of the original batts. Unfortunately, I had run out of one of the colours and had to make a substitution. The substitute, as you can see, was slightly more red than the original, so my Solar Flare will have a darker outer edge. At first, I wasn’t happy about that, but hey. It’s a SOLAR FLARE, so it should have colour gradients, right?

Right. (Work with me here.)

This is the first object I’ve knitted that I made, start to finish, from batt to yarn to FO. Well, OK, it’s not quite finished yet. Soon.

A LOT of spinning and drumcarding

I seem to be obsessed with my drumcarder.

I’ve been experimenting with colour blending, fibre blending, writing down recipes, then seeing if I can reproduce those recipes. Fascinating and for me, very relaxing and absorbing.

Currently, I’m working on the Shetland fleece that Lynn gave me for my birthday. (Well, OK. I’m “currently working” on several blending projects more-or-less at the same time. I picked the one on my drumcarder right-this-minute.)

I can’t remember if I have blogged about this fleece before…It was a lovely, generous gift; Lynn knows the shepherd, and the sheep’s name is Aleen.

I LOVE knowing the name of the sheep that once wore the fleece I now hold in my hands.

I washed the fleece back in August, and then sorted the locks by colour into dark, medium, and light. (I probably could have broken it down into five gradations, but I didn’t want to drive myself completely wonkers.)

Milk & Honey (light)

Cafe au lait (medium brown)

Expresso (dark brown)

This month, I’ve been dividing each colour into batt-sized clumps (by weight), and putting each clump through the drumcarder, picking out short cuts, VM, and sunburned tips as I feed the fibres in. Results:

There’s more of each colour. I want to do something with colourwork, but I have trouble with browns. Yes, they are natural and beautiful, but I don’t feel happy wearing them, and I believe the instructions that came with the fleece were to Make Something For Sandi.

Of course, I could ask one of my dyer friends to dye this…but I really want to keep a taste of the original colours in honour of the gift. Soooo, I went stash-diving and found a braid of richly dyed dark BFL in peacock colours from Gayle’s Art.

I weighed and divided and managed to get the coloured braid more-or-less evenly distributed amongst all the batts. (I split the braid lengthwise into small, long strips to preserve the colour balance throughout. I hope. So far, I don’t think I did a good job of getting the amounts evenly distributed because my scale doesn’t do tiny weights. Oh well.)

Here’s the result of blending a couple of the Expresso with the Gayle’s Art peacock-on-dark-BFL (“before” sample is at bottom; above are two batts “after” the colour blending):

Nice! The rich brown still glows through, and methinks the hints of colour actually perk up the brown even more.

Anything else fun?

Well, duh. This is ME, remember. Queen of Multiple Works In Progress.

I have at least three spindles hard at work. I have a pair of mittens I’m knitting for a friend of the family. I’m knitting a scarf for Sir Nicholas. Plus, I just got an idea for owl mittens (colourwork) and so I had to sit down and chart those out one day. And maybe I charted another pair of colourwork mittens based on a needlepoint design I did a zillion years ago.

Oh, plus tiaras, earrings, and sewing.

Never a dull moment.

Chispas

Valentine’s treats for your cat. No, they aren’t chocolate, they are needle-felted, but damn, they’re cute.

This is an origami sculpture made from a single piece of paper. DUDE.

Predictions of the future…from the past. This is what some folks in 1900 predicted for the year 2000. Sample, #29: “Fast electric ships, crossing the ocean at more than a mile a minute, will go from New York to Liverpool in two days.”

Math is cute.

Sobering thought for the day. Brought to you by a T-Rex. (If you don’t get it, go here.)

And of course, the obligatory Cute Baby Animal Photo.

OH BUT WAIT…IF YOU THINK THAT WAS CUTE…try this.

(Baby pygmy hippo. It’s tough to out-cute a puppy, but I think I have succeeded this time. You’re welcome.)

About sandi

Knitter. Spinner. UFO wrangler. Sometime bead artist and weaver. 3 cats, 1 dog, 1 spouse, 1 crazy life.
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8 Responses to Crafty stuff I’ve been up to…

  1. Pat says:

    Hi Sandi,
    Loved your post as usual. The Chispas are great. Where do you find all that fascinating info? Oh to be so productive. I keep promising my carder that I will pay attention to it — soon. Hasn’t happened yet. Life keeps getting in my way. I have PROMISED myself that I will finish up all current projects by the end of February and devote myself to some spinning and carding. I have a great deal of free wool to practice on so I can get to my real goal — The spinning the fiber from my beloved Llamas. Even though I only “babysat” them for a year they wound their way into my heart. Now I have vowed to make something from their fiber – that the owner just dumped in a corner as trash. Now it is my treasure. Your fiber work is gorgeous! I hope that I can someday be as good at it as you are. Thank you for your post. Look forward to the next one. Are you going to the Sheep and Wool Festival in Maryland on May 5, 2012? Would really like to meet you.
    Pat aka westies

  2. Rachel says:

    I’m tired just reading the list of all you have going on! and your Chispas, as always, make me smile. Needed them today especially, thank you!

  3. Woo! love seeing what you are up to. You have officially kicked my ass; I will start knitblogging again too! *hugs*

  4. molly says:

    love the predictions from the past! and what a busy person you have been…thank you for sharing!
    cheers
    molly

  5. enallagma9 says:

    Oh, I LOVE what you’re doing with that fleece! I’m going to have to try that myself – after I finish the ninety-eleventy projects I’ve got going….

  6. Seanna Lea says:

    I love the pygmy hippo, but for my money nothing beats the puppy with the bright yellow shoelace. It made me go wubble!

  7. Shearersgirl says:

    I love the shetland blended with the dyed BFL, fantastic result, I might have to try something similar.

  8. Mardi says:

    OMB. The Pygmy hippos were my VERY favorite exhibit at the Washington Zoo when I was little. I never saw one that young. Thank you!!

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