Be Sweet Skinny Wool + Broken Wings

Every now and then I get the chance to try a yarn that is just a decadent luxury.img_3295Be Sweet Skinny Wool definitely falls into this category. This delicate merino single is oh-so-soft and buttery. Think of the most rich, melt-in-your-mouth sweet treat — this is the yarn equivalent and it is delicious.

When I initially agreed to take this yarn for a test drive I had a certain pattern in mind, but as the story so often goes when I got it started on my needles it just wasn’t doing this lovely yarn justice. I ripped my progress and headed back to the drawing board. It just so happened that right around that time Joji Locatelli released a new pattern named Broken Wings. Requiring just 360-380yards of light fingering weight yarn, it felt like I’d hit the jackpot on timing.

When I got going, I was slightly concerned that this light fingering would be too light.

img_3351But I had a good feeling about it and I kept going…

img_3539And going…

img_3550And going!

For as complex as it looks, it was actually a relatively easy lace knitting project and I really had fun with it. I’ll admit that the not-knowing-how-it-would-turn-out that is a lace knitting project was a little disconcerting, but I hung in there. I really, really, really wanted to do this beautiful yarn justice.

And then I blocked it out…

super det laceAnd my concerns melted away.

detail pointFrom the lace to the delicate picot edge this just turned blossomed into a gorgeous shawl.

hangingIt’s not especially deep, but it is wonderfully long. And the twisted rib & bobble end are an unexpected and sublime detail.

onLight & airy and perfect for a light summer wrap to throw over your shoulders. I’m sure I’ll wear it year-round though, just because it is so darn pretty.

Considering this is a merino singles yarn, it held up remarkably well to my ripping back the first project and in the end it washed up beautifully. I’ve worked with similar yarns before, but I was very impressed with this Be Sweet Skinny Wool. Both the marvelous color and the high quality of the yarn were notable in my book. I will certainly keep this lovely yarn (and pattern, too!) on my short list of favorites because every now and then, you know, we just need a decadent luxury.

Bring On the Solstice, Please!

It is that fateful time of year for me – you know how some people get cabin fever in the winter? I kind of feel like I have the summer version of it, especially right around the solstice. The long days wear on me and I get overwhelmed and listless and irritable because of all the time spent out and about, all the noise of summer. I honestly don’t even think my routine is all that different, but I feel like I’m constantly behind. Even simple, silly things, like preventing backslide from our monumental spring cleaning and running errands wears on me. I greet the solstice (which is next week — hallelujah!) with relief knowing that I’m finally inching back toward earlier sunsets, the quiet of autumn and winter, and the luxury of space & time to be able to think clearly again.

While I’ve definitely been chasing everything lately and most of my focus has not been with my craft plans, I’ve still got some irons in the fire, of course, or I’m sure I’d really lose it.

I’ve been knitting away on my Broken Wings shawl knit with Be Sweet Skinny Wool.

img_3550It’s lace so of course it’s not looking like much at the moment, but I’m nearing the end of the first chart which is very exciting. The texture changes dramatically with each chart, so I can’t wait to see it all unfold. The yarn has been beautiful to work with, so soft and silky — overall, really just such a little luxury!

On my wheel, I’ve been working on the latest challenge in the Three Waters Farm Ravelry group, the 1×6 SAL. The idea is that you take one braid and spin it 6 distinct ways. You can play with color or technique or both. I opted to play mostly with technique…

img_3547From L to R these are: n-ply (with colors rearranged), gimp, standard 2-ply, single, slub single.

There are some funny stories to go along with these, but I’ll wait until I can get these properly washed and get the crazy yellow ties out of the photo so I can really tell you about them and the experience as a whole. You’ll note I have 5 mini-skeins there, so I’ve got one still on the wheel. I’d hoped to have finished it yesterday, but there were complications so now I’m hoping that I can finish today. Cross your fingers for me!

In the realm of attempting to plan, the Tour de Fleece is coming up! It officially kicks off on July 2nd, but as I’ve mentioned I’ve already been working with Mary Ann from Three Waters Farm to help co-captain her team. If you’re a spinner and have some Three Waters Farm fibers in your stash (or you want to add some to it!), I hope you’ll join us. It’s going to be such a great group & a fantastic opportunity to spend some quality time spinning. There are also some awesome prizes to be won, so lots of good incentives — you can read all about the team “rules,” prize information, and join Team TWF here. As for me, I’ve been attempting to put together my small mountain of fibery hopefulness for the Tour…

img_3549I pulled these from my stash this morning and already I’ve realized I have at least 16oz more I need to add to the pile, including the official Tour de Fleece colorway from Three Waters Farm that I’m hopeful will be landing here today. It’s probably good that there’s more to add as this pile is very blue and that does not bode all that well for someone with such a short attention span. On the flip side, that’s kind of a lot of fiber for 3weeks of spinning… I’m going to not think about that right now though.

In other fabulous planning news, the first skein of the Feel Good Yarn Co Summer Sock Club arrived yesterday — hooray!

img_3545It is my favorite skein of SilverSpun yet! I’m hoping to wind this yarn today or tomorrow so I can get knitting. This month’s installment also came with a sweet Feel Good Yarn Co logo tote from Work + Shelter. Especially in summer, I can never have enough totes as I run out the door to one place or another. I love that this one is pretty simple and understated, it’s just such a perfect little bonus for the Summer Sock Club.

As I race around today to the bike shop and the grocery store and the bank and to our weekly volunteer gig at the local humane society and I try to squeeze in some time for writing and yoga and walking the dog and maybe even finishing that spinning project, I’ll be trying not to think about the sun as it sets too late in the evening. You can bet that I’ll be thinking about the solstice and it’s significance in my little day-to-day world, every cell of my being is leaning toward that moment when I can feel the shift to shorter, quieter days. I realize I may be in the minority, but I cannot wait. Bring on the solstice, my friends!

Unstuck

img_3265-1This.

I’ve been a bit remiss here as I managed to mire myself in this giant bobbin of beautiful yarn this week. True, there are so many worse places to be stuck, but as a spinner the experience was significant to me. This is the first time that my plying flyer was really just not fast enough for me for a plying job. For those who aren’t spinners, lighter yarns require more twist and the plying flyer on my wheel is the biggest, slowest-to-add-twist flyer I have. Traditionally I’ve just used the plying flyer as a default for most plying jobs because the bobbins are bigger and therefore I can keep my spinning in one continuous skein which I’m weirdly into. The slow-nature of the flyer has never really bothered me before. This time, though, I felt like Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s European Vacation when he gets stuck in the round-about and is maniacally repeating, “I cannot get left!” Night after night I’d sit for the evening with the wheel and I just could not get through this plying!

And then finally…

img_3297Yesterday I did.

Of course I was exhausted by the time I’d finished and I didn’t have it in me to wind the behemoth off the bobbin in that moment, so I popped my next plying job onto the wheel and got it going…

img_3298This will be 4oz of aran/chunky yarn (we’ll see for sure after it’s washed). Compared to the 8oz of light fingering I’d just wrapped up, I’m FLYING! It’s magnificent.

Yesterday I also got to a long-delayed project…

img_3291I started the long process of remeasuring and labeling all my handspun yarn. Doesn’t it look awesome? I’m so happy with how these turned out. I worked with Rachel from Rachel’s Cozy Knits & Designs on Etsy and while I didn’t diverge far from her standard yarn labels, she did an awesome job of individualizing them based on my requests and creating just what I wanted. She was very patient and made the whole process quick & easy. And I’ll be honest, I’m totally nerding out with this. It’s certainly a time investment, but I’m learning a lot about my handspun as I’m meticulous measuring, checking wraps per inch, and weighing each skein. Additionally, having everything tagged will be utterly fabulous once I’m all caught up as I’ll be able to do this as soon as my new yarns are dry from here on out.

img_3294I managed to get through 10 skeins before it was time to take the kiddos to the pool yesterday and I have…

img_3299What can only be described as a heap left. Eventually some of these will find their way into my destash sale on Ravelry. In efforts to declutter our home, I’ve been destashing a number of fantastic skeins on Ravelry so do check it out.

6c314d7a-a059-4309-9fe4-a4520d43ff8eThese are just a couple examples of what I have up for grabs over there. They’re all reasonably priced and all prices include US shipping. And like I said, if you’re looking to grab some destashed handspun keep your eyes peeled in the Ravelry group & on Instagram where I’ll be sharing when I’ll that up. I have some weighing and measuring to do ahead of that though, so it might be a bit.

My needles have been clicking away, too, as I race to yet another finish line.

img_3296I’m closing in on the end of my Ashbury Mitts. I’m cooking up a little something for Bijou Basin Ranch with these and I’ve got a bit of a deadline, so when I’ve not been tackling the grand beast on the wheel I’ve been cruising on these.

I have some excellent incentive to get ahead though, as I somehow always do.

img_3295This insanely soft and beautiful Skinny Wool from Be Sweet arrived and I’m dying to get knitting on it. I think I have just the pattern for it and it’ll be on my needles just as soon as those mitts are done.

img_3287I also received this fabulous 100% merino trio from Backyard Fiberworks. I love the colors, just love them. I definitely want to use them together, but I’m not quite sure which pattern yet. Each skein is 400yards, so I’ve got so many options. Sweater? Tri-color shawl? What do you think? I’m so loving the process of brainstorming this bunch!

And — as if I needed further motivation — my Top of the Month Club arrived from Three Waters Farm.

img_327760% Polwarth / 40% silk. Yes, 40% SILK!

img_3278It positively GLOWS.

I think it’s safe to say that I’m officially unstuck and that I definitely have my work cut-out for me. I hope you’re having a wonderful weekend!