Thursday, April 23, 2009

Clun Forest, Falkland, and more

When the most recent issue of Spin-off arrived, I was immediately drawn to the Clun Forest project by Carol Huebscher Rhoades. I had also admired the Cloisters pattern that Sarah Swett used in her sweater project(Fall 08 issue), and I just happened to have about 150 yards of Falklands available.

My Falklands came from (guess where)A Verb for Keeping Warm's Wooly Wonders Fiber Club, dyed very muted shades of green(The Silent Underground). This was my attempt to bust through my wall of spinning fine- and I managed to get about 10wpi in a 2 ply. The Clun Forest cap calls for 130 yds of a 3 ply at 10 wpi, so I figured I was safe. Turns out I was more than safe! I still have 55 yards left! I did start out with size 7, not 8, then switched to to 6 for the lace. I have a small head, so it fits just perfectly. I love the simplicity of the hat, but the lace border adds a nice touch.

I think this is the season for busting through walls, fiber wise. I'm now working on my first three ply. I'm spinning it on my newish Majacraft Little Gem, and it's four ounces of some gorgeous naturally dyed Wensleydale, color "Kelp", from Tactile Fiber Arts. I'm on the last bobbin, so photos will come soon, I hope.

Finally, I want to add a photo of my new basket; I purchased it a few weeks ago in Western Washington, where we took a much needed vacation, and visited friends in the Skagit Valley. The basket is made by a hugely talented woman named Katherine Lewis, who, with her husband, grows 40 varieties of willow that she uses for her craft. AMAZING. We visited her at the farm, where she sells her work when she's not at a limited number of markets. You can see her work at I plan on using my basket to hold some fiber, duh!

I believe it's called a "garden" basket on her website, but here it will definately be a "fiber" basket. The photo doesn't show it well, but the main color is actually green, and the brown trim looks just fantastic. Love love love it. The day we were visiting the farm I realized it was exactly one year to the day that I was diagnosed with cancer, so I decided I needed a present. Damn fine one, I think.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Quiet- but not still

Yup it's been quiet here, but I've been busy. Knitting life has settled down after all those berets; I've moved on to other projects. Spinning and knitting, but first, a smaller project, another jewel from Spindlicity.

This is from the Spring 06 issue, and it's "Smoke Ring" by Kathy Hinckley. I've looked and re-looked at cowls for the past number of years, but never made one. She suggests a yarn with a wpi of 14-16, and I had just the thing in the stash, 300 yards of a lovely Merino/Kid I spun more than a year ago. I don't know where it originates from since it was given to me by a friend who bought it at Black Sheep Gathering in Eugene. It works quite well. Soft, drapey, maybe a tad too halo-y for around the face, but so what.

I also started a top down cardigan for my friend C, who also got the Ropes and Picots Cardi. This is another unknown yarn, since she passed it over to me with no wrapper/labels and doesn't recall. It's a fairly substantial tweedy single, so I'm keeping it simple. Kind of boring, too much stockinette, but one of those good mindless projects. All that's left is most of both sleeves, and the last 3-4 inches of the body. I'm heading to Washington and will be seeing her so she can try it on, and I can finish it up.

I've been spinning a bit on my new Majacraft Little Gem- it was a gift from family for "finishing chemo", which was months ago. It just took me a while to decide what I wanted, then order it! I love it, but its been an adjustment since I have been spinning on a single treadle Ashford. My first full project on it(spinning and plying) was 2 oz of Wolf Creek Cashmere/Tussah in the color Bronze. I loved it unspun, and I did enjoy spinning it- but I underplyed it horribly, and will have to run it through again. Check it out: