The Wool Wins

This week the weather has been cooperative and so my week has been largely about trying to get my FO photos taken in between all the stuff of life. And then in the free moments I’ve had when I probably should have been writing, I’ve been playing with yarn and fiber. Sometimes I’m just hopeless that way. Sometimes the wool wins.

The big WIP I’ve got going, my serious, serious addiction knit is my handspun Featherweight Cardigan. I’ve been talking about it a lot. And I’m going to be straight with you, you’re going to hear a lot about it until it’s done. It’s just the way it is because I’m so in love with the project and I can’t put it down. Last night after fussing a little about which bind-off to use on the body — I went with Jeny’s Surprisingly Stretchy Bind-off –I finished  it off  and I got the sleeves going. Once again I’m going the 2-at-a-time route for the sleeves so the length and decreases all match.

img_4919And finally a photo in natural light! Aren’t the colors awesome?!

Since I’m working the sleeves 2-at-a-time with 2 sets of needles (my preferred method), I’m excited that I’m able to use my Knitter’s Pride Royale and Karbonz tips. I’ve been using the Royales — my new loves — on the rest of the sweater and really like knitting with them. The trick for me with 2-at-a-time sleeves with 2 set of needles is that I like to get tips that are somewhat similar to keep things uniform throughout the knit. Since the Royale and Karbonz tips are very similar, if not identical, they are the perfect pair to get the job done.

Currently I have a 16″ cord on one side and a 32″ on the other because I couldn’t locate a free 24″ — generally I like to have just one cord size different on the “front needle” and “back needle”. The size difference helps me to easily tell the sides apart which is extremely handy, but keeping them somewhat close in length just feels more comfortable to me. I’ll make due for now, but I just placed an order for a 24″ cord from Dyeabolical, who now stocks a number of needles and notions including the 24″ color-coded cord from Knitter’s Pride I need. When it arrives, I’ll switch one of one of the current ones out. I’m not sure which I’ll prefer, I tend to go with short as it’s less ‘stuff’ to handle, but the 16″ is pretty short. By the time the 24″ arrives, I’m sure I’ll have developed a preference.

In any case, the rest of my fibery exploits have been of the spinning variety. I like to spin daily just to keep spinning, but I really do credit the flipping back and forth between knitting and spinning with keeping my hands, arms, neck, and back from having too much discomfort. That said, I’ve currently got three (yikes!) spinning projects on the go.

On the wheel, I’m working on Three Waters Farm Black Pansies.

img_4915It’s a merino/tussah silk blend and I’m spinning it somewhat fine from approximately 1gram nests which I’ll then chain ply. This is kind of an ahhhhhhh spin. It’s 100% in my comfort zone and it’s just a pleasure to sit back and spin it. Plus, I adore that super vibrant yellow.

I’m also working on a spindle project with my 0.85oz Golding ring spindles.

img_4916I haven’t been very nose to the grindstone with this spin, but somewhere in the last couple of weeks I wound my way into spindle #2 of this spin. These are rolags from Classy Squid Fiber Co. that I picked up at the end of last year as part of her Iceland Perspectives series. This colorway is called “Reykjavik”, a place I’ve always wanted to go. You know what they say, if you can’t go to a certain place, you can spin the colorway inspired by said place. OK, I’m guessing no one says that except me. In any case, I’m loving the textures and colors here. I have a total of 6oz of these rolags and I haven’t yet decided if I’ll spindle spin them all or spin some on the wheel. And I have zero clue how I want to ply them. This spin, like many a trip I’ve taken, I’m kind of leaving wide open to possibilities.

And finally, as I’ve been playing with a very, very new prototype from Akerworks (I’ll share details in time), I was curious to try said prototype with my Akerworks mini-spindles. Since I didn’t have a project on them at the moment, it seemed only right that I start a new one.

img_4917In the interest of full disclosure, the kids and I have been reading through The Hunger Games Trilogy and I’ve kind of got Katniss Everdeen on the brain. So now — because it’s just the brand of nerd that I am — I’m spinning her tale with these puni style rolags from Naturally Knitty named “Miss Everdeen.” I think I got the last 2oz of “Miss Everdeen,” the most lovely, earthy blues, green, and browns with just a hint of a spark with a touch of true red. I intend to ply it with 2oz of “Mockingjay” (still available in the shop) which is similar, but with fewer earth tones and more of an overall grey tone with the blues and greens. It’s just such a fun project.

Somewhere around there’s a stripey sock I have around in case I find myself with some windshield time that doesn’t lend itself well to sleeves or spinning. As I’ve either been the driver or not in the car, I haven’t really done much with it the last week. I’ll save that for another day.

As you can see, a lot’s been getting done behind the scenes here even if my posts have been a bit sporadic lately. So the wonderful, wonderful truth is that the fact that I’m hopeless and lose myself in my projects isn’t all bad at all. No, when the wool wins the results are generally awfully pretty. I think that’s a pretty decent trade-off.