Sunday, September 23, 2012

Easter Egg Yarn

I swear I have been knitting and spinning.  I've even taken a lot of pictures to show you and then forget that I still have to post about them.

Way back a million years ago, I went to the Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival and ended up buying a little bump of Easter-egg colored fiber.  For some reason I didn't make note of what it was at the time and I have long since lost the label for it.  I suspect that it is Corriedale.  I had started spinning it on a spindle, but I wound what I was working on onto a bobbin and worked it up on the wheel instead.
Here is it on the wheel.
The singles were rather pretty.

But I like the finished product, too.  Two-ply, fingering-ish weight.

I had split the bump in different ways so that the same colors wouldn't always line up, but there was still a lot of Lakers yellow and purple going on there (side note: when I was little I wanted to be an LA Lakers Cheerleader.  When law school get annoying, sometimes I wish I had followed through with that...but only sometimes).

It really does look like Easter.

I had extra singles on one bobbin so I made a tiny bit of 3-ply, chain-plied.  The plies on this one are obviously the same colors.  Looks very different.

Ooooo, pretty colors!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

Yarn From Afar

My former roomie, went to Kathmandu this summer to do some amazing public health work, abandoning me in the U.S.  While she was seeing beautiful things like this:

I was working in a cubical.  Pft!

I think she took pity on me, because she brought be back the best souvenirs.

400 yards of yak and what appears to be tufts of gold silk.

It is full of vegetable matter and is pretty grubby.  I am in love with it, because I know it is going to plump up and be gorgeous once it is knit up and has a bath.

She also brough back 100 yards of what appears to be sari silk.
The colors in this pic aren't quite right.  It is beautiful magenta more like this.

With all kinds of golds and blues mixed in.  I might just wear this one around my neck as a necklace.  Don't judge.

Now that I am spinning my own yarn, I can't help but think of how much time effort the women (I assume they are women) halfway around the world put into these skeins.  Roomie said she found them in a little shop in an ally at the back of the market.  What a precious, good find!

Thanks, roomie!

Tuesday, September 4, 2012


I ended my summer with a trip to Maine.  It was beautiful.

Cundy's Harbor in Harpswell, Maine
And I made some friends.

 We met on a boat.

 I liberated them from their cages.
 They came home with me in the car.
 We got along...mostly.

 There was also yarn in Maine, at Halcyon Yarn.
 So much yarn!

And fiber, too!
Yes, that is all fiber you can see there.
 I ended up with:
A new basic spindle and a couple more bobbins.
A big ball of silk/merino mix (because I am obsessed with a good silk/merino)

What appears to be a giant dust bunny but is really Yak.  I honestly don't know what came over me with this purchase.  I have no clue how to spin it or what it will look like when it's done.
This is alpaca.  Nate made me do it.  Kept being like, "ooo, it's so soft and such a pretty color."  He's an enabler.
 I wanted to show you the difference between these last two fibers.  On the right is the alpaca and on the left is the yak.  Look how short and fuzzy the yak is compared to the alpaca.


And look at the difference between 4 ounces of yak on the left compared to 4 ounces of alpaca on the right.

 Any tips on how to spin either of these?  I have no clue what I'm doing.

Less Studying, More Knitting

Oh, I know what you're thinking.  It has been more than a month since I have posted any knitting I've done.  You probably think I've given up on my strange hobby to do something more productive with my life like studying for Biostatistics class or actually making a living wage. 

Ha! That will be the day!

I have been busy knitting, though.  Look what a feisty photographer caught me doing at a work function.
I will admit that I laughed hysterically when I saw this.  Holding forth on the privacy and security implications of connected vehicle technologies, in a business suit, while knitting.  Exactly how I would always like the world to see me.

I had some A WHOLE LOT OF yarn laying around this summer, and this pattern called Pea Vines by the lovely Anne Hanson.  She makes these truly beautiful and complicated, yet easy-to-follow patterns. 

I truly believe that worsted weight is the queen of yarns (things just spring up so quickly under my needles with such fat yarn!) so even though the pattern called for fingering, I just went up a couple of needle sizes and went for it.

Here it is before blocking.
Is the right smaller than the left?

And after.
I think it just might be bad blocking and bad photography, but I can't be sure.

What I didn't realize is that it would take soooo much more yarn than was called for to knit with worsted on big needles.  After already using 100 yards more than called for with fingering, I got within 5 rows of the end and ran out.  Since I obviously have no respect for myself or the 100 hours I put into this garment or patience for a more elegant solution, I just grafted what was left of the two sides together (there are  some of you out there literally ready to kill me for ruining such a perfect pattern....I'm so sorry Anne).
I thought I was so smart until I realized that I grafted it inside out so the purl side is on the outside...crap.  But I think it looks alright all the same.  Again, lack of respect and patience made me not worry about picking it apart to fix it.
But I think it blocked out ok. 
 Now, off to see where else I can get caught knitting in public!