Thursday, March 15, 2007

Spinning and knitting

I finally got around to dyeing and skeining the rest of my handspun. On the whole, I think my spinning has improved quite a bit since the first skein (the one on top, shown for comparison). It's more even and there aren't as many overtwisted parts. See, no white spots!


I've finished the sock pal socks, and now I have nothing on the needles! It's a scary feeling, must cast on, and quickly!

Right now, I'm swatching for 3 different things. The first is a super-secret, hush-hush SP project and shall not be revealed.

The second is a slip stitch sweater for my sweetie. This is a picture of the yarn, which he picked out himself.


I took him to Sheep's Clothing in Rhinebeck and had him fondle the fiber. Why? Because I'm married to a yarn snob. Neither of us knew this until he touched the WoolEase blanket I was knitting for the in-laws and made a face like he'd stuck his hand into something unpleasant. So now, no knitting happens until the yarn is sweetie-approved. I don't want to bust my behind knitting and knitting just to get a yuck face, you know?

The third project is a sweater for my dad in a gorgeous burgundy alpaca. I had a pattern in mind, but after swatching, I'm not so sure. The gauge was dead on, but I hated the loose fabric it made. Eileen, who has more experience knitting with alpaca than I do, pointed out that it has no memory, so now, I'll have to find a sweater knit at a finer gauge, with a stitch pattern that'll help the alpaca hold its shape.

12 comments:

Kathy said...

When people say alpaca has no memory, does that mean that it turns into a shapeless blob after it's been knit? I have 900 yards in chocolate brown that really want to be knit into something!

Also, remember that messenger bag I made? It's sitting in my drawer all lonely. I know you liked the fabric, so how about I send it to you? It could use some love and attention!

Jo said...

I love your handspun - the before and after. The orange looks so sunny :)

Nell said...

Yes I agree, the orange is very sunny! And your spinning is looking great.

James has a thing for good yarn too. He does a 'Face Test' when I offer him yarn. He rubs it up and down on his cheek to see if he likes it. :)

cathy said...

The handspun looks so happy and sunny. I needed that jolt of orange today.

Poops said...

I love the orange homespun! What's it going to be?

Not just another said...

I hear alpaca having no memory! I have actually had it untie itself from knots, and slip right out of darning . . . oy.

It makes for truly luxe garments though!

Linnea said...

Oooh, I like the natural colors - okay, and the orange, too! Sorry, but the alpaca has no memory bit has me giggling. "Hah! It won't remember if you abandon it in a corner for six months, or if you accidentally spill coffee on it!"

The handspun looks so good - I really need to give it a whirl. You're using a drop spindle?

ZantiMissKnit said...

I really like the orange too! What did you use to dye with?

While we're sharing, fibers get the "bald head" test from ZMrK, since almost everything is to be knit into a hat. Alpaca irritates his head sometimes, but Malabrigo is his favorite.

Batty said...

I had my doubts about the orange, but now I love it. It was spun with a top whorl spindle and I dyed it with KoolAid. If you haven't tried spinning or dyeing yet, you may be missing out -- it's fun.

The alpaca still has me wondering what to do with it. It's going to be a sweater, but since it has no memory, I'm afraid it'll loose its shape with extended wear. I think I'll swatch a cable pattern and see how it goes. It's a sweater with tiny cables all over, which might help the alpaca 'remember' its shape.

Dipsy said...

Your spinning looks absolutely fantastic - the before as well as the after! The orange of the yarn in the first pic is so gorgeous - I adore orange! ;)

Annie said...

I love your handspun! I really want to learn how to spin, and how to crochet... but not until I've mastered knitting a bit more...
Really gorgeous color there!!

weezalana said...

Great before and after shots of the handspun! You can really see how far you've come in such a short while. :) It's so vivid and gorgeous!