A FO and reclaimed yarns

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No WIPs but I did finish the last of the three Jacob Shawls.  From getting the fleece to finishing this shawl took me about 2 years.  All natural colors, no dye.  Simple garter stitch shawls.  This Jacob wool is a bit coarse. I wouldn’t wear it against my skin.  The yarn is rustic and uneven but the shawls are still quite pretty.  They’d look good as decor in a rustic country style.

That’s been mostly the only thing I’ve been knitting on for the last few weeks.  I’ve been plying a lot of yarn from sweaters and I thought I’d show that off.

I had two Merino sweaters in very similar shades of plum.  I plied 2 strands from each sweater together to make a 4 ply fingering weight.  I got about 1400 yards.  I paid less than $7 total for the sweaters.

I had some leftovers from one of the plum sweaters so I plied two strands together to make about 500 yards of laceweight.

The last one is 4 strands from a silk sweater plied to make 960 yards of light fingeringweight.  Silk is tricky to ply.  Unlike wool sweaters I plied directly from the sweater pieces.  Unraveling cobweb weight silk into cakes is just asking for massive tangles.  This sweater cost $0.49.

 

Last is a dyeing experiment.  I was actually trying to dye yarn that only had a small amount of wool – the rest was undyeable fibers.  It failed completely leaving me with a pot of dye.  So I grabbed this yarn.  It’s sportweight (not plied) from a 62% nylon 26% angora 11% lambswool sweater (nylon dyes just like it’s a protein fiber).  I dumped it into the pot dry and it was also too much yarn for the amount of dye/water/space in the pot.  It instantly turned a pale pink (the dye in the pot is supposed to be a deep raspberry.)  That just wasn’t acceptable so I spent the next few hours experimenting.

I mixed up dye in different shades of magenta and blue and started dumping it in the pot, directly onto the fiber, stirring it around to get different areas.  After awhile I was noticing bits that were still pale pink so I started pulling the skeins out of the pot, pouring dye directly on the light spots and then dumping the skeins back into the pot.  Then it seemed like the colors were too contrasty so I pulled the skeins out of the pot and added a lot of the deep raspberry color to the pot and dumped the skins back in.  I wanted to blend the colors together more and not have them contrast with each other so hard.

I ran out of time for the day and stopped for the day.  I wasn’t sure I was done yet but I knew I could always experiment more another day.  As the yarn dried I could see more and more colors appearing.  It’s a very layered look, with colors blending and spotting and just being wild.  I think I really like it and I may not dye it anymore.  Then again I might.  I need to look at it for awhile before I make a final decision.

 

Proper FO pics

 

Click on the pics to see bigger versions.

In Between Days – being asymmetrical it doesn’t look right worn around the shoulders but I’ve never gotten the hang of wrapping it around the neck, particularly on the nearly non-existent neck of my dress form.

Lady of the Blue Forest – I dyed 3 skeins but only used most of 2. The darker line near the bottom is where I switched skeins but somehow the first skein ended up half dark and half lighter and over all it looks like I meant to do that.  I’m rather happy with it.  It’s the first time I’ve used my own handspun for lace.

Mitten Ornaments – I used these to practice getting my floats right, especially around the corners when switching needles.  I also need to be more aware to leave a bit of slack on longer floats.  No idea where to put these.  I’ll probably just toss them in the ornament box when I take my tree down and worry about it next year.

 

Finished Objects – knitting

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Mitten ornaments – I think I’m done, but I might be wrong.  There’s on my blocking board.  The last one (in shades of brown) is my original design (as in I didn’t look at anyone else’s chart but it’s a simple snowflake so it’s probably already been done.)

In Between Days – Also on the blocking board.  That board is 4.5 by 3.5 feet and there’s a good foot of shawl wrapped around each side to the back.  So when you last saw it, I had just finished the stripes.  The blue mesh took less than 24 hours (and I slept during that.)  The edging, on the other hand, was never ending and so tedious.  I’d knit on it for 10-15 minutes then do something else, knit on it and do something else.  It decreased by 1 stitch every 40 rows so it did get faster but it was just so boring and tedious.  I finally finished last night.  I even played a safe game of yarn chicken and lost.  It was safe because I had another cake of purple.  I ended up adding the new yarn 16 six stitch rows from the end and as it tends to be with hand dyed yarn, it was a different shade of purple.  All in all, it was an interesting knit and a well written pattern.  I would advise some experience with short rows before knitting this.  I had almost no experience and the first corner of the edging is not pretty.  The second one is better.

Next week I’ll try to get better pics of the mittens and proper finished pics on the dress form of this shawl and Lady of the Blue Forest.

Also next week will be a “plans for 2017” post.  I’m not too sure about a WIP post.  My husband has off starting tomorrow through Monday and I’m not sure how much knitting I’ll get done.  I’ve also sworn off casting on anything until the new year (the only exception is the last Jacob shawl, if I get in the mood to do so, as it’s part of an ongoing project trio.)  I’ve got the dressing gown collar to knit on when I do have time or a long term scarf project

FO Friday

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Lady of the Blue Forest in my own handspun and dyed CVM.

It’s still on the blocking board because I don’t want to go into the unheated cubby to get the dress form out and put it back.  It’s cold in there.  I’ll wait til I finish the other shawl to make it worth braving the cold.  You can see where I started a new skein – it’s darker,  But it almost looks like it’s on purpose and probably won’t be that noticeable while being worn.  And I can always overdye it later.

I’m pleased with it and it’s the first finished object with this year’s fleece.  I’ve not yet weighed it and figured out yardage.  I have a skein and a half leftover from the 3 that I dyed .  I’ll try to get it figured out this weekend.  It’s not like I’m going anywhere.  We’re about to get snowed in with a foot of snow here in Wisconsin.

 

Sort of Finished Object

Kind of finished.  Partially finished.  However you want to say it.  Here is the base of the Dressing Gown, all knitted and seamed.

See that bit of pink on the front – that’s where the right front started.  I knit almost 2/3 of it while watching podcasts on Sunday.  I finished the rest and seamed it yesterday.  I started the collar last night.  It will be sewn on when it finished.  Then it’s s couple of miles of lace edging, also to be sewn on later.  I’m debating when to wash and block.  I really only want to do it once as it’s going to be a pain to find a place to lay it out to dry.  I think I’ll wait until I get some of the lace edging done and see if I need to block that before sewing it on.  If so, I’ll also block the whole gown at that point.

So I wore it for a few minutes last night.  It fits well.  The sleeves are a little long and I might leave off the lace edging for those.  At the moment it barely touches the floor behind me but that will change with the addition of the lace and as it stretches under it’s own weight.  Speaking of weight, it wasn’t as heavy as I thought it would be.  I’m absolutely thrilled with it.

Ends are woven it but not snipped.  I don’t snip them off until after it’s blocked. Oh and that’s a Roo kitty tail in the first pic.  She was very interested in what I was doing, as usual.

Spinning FOs

 

No yardage for any of these.  They’re still a bit damp and need to go back on the wire racks in front of the fan until at least tomorrow.

7 skeins of Patrick the CVM in my default 2 ply fingering weight to sport weight.  I now have enough to start planning my dyeing for Sing a Song of Sixpence.   I do have to wait until after I test the new dyes to really pick colors but I can figure out yardage to dye in each color now.

One very bright pink skein of Hampshire.  Spindle spun very roughly, although it still averages fingering to sport weight.  It’s very coarse and will be used for weaving.  I have more in blue and green already spun and a lot more of this fiber waiting to be spun.  It was Koolaid dyed in the lock and spun that way as well.

2 skeins of art yarn of oven dyed in the lock Teeswater/Romney cross. Finger picked and spun however it ended up.  There are bit of fiber sticking out everywhere and it is nowhere near smooth.  Plied with a gold thread.  I’ll probably also use this for weaving.  I was despairing of ever being able to use this fleece.  It was one of the first fleeces I bought, before I discovered my love of fine wools.  I spun some up trying for smooth like I do the CVM and if fought me every step of the way.  I did manage to knit a pair of mittens but didn’t like knitting it at all.  I have one more skein of the smooth-ish yarn to use somehow but the rest of the fleece is all waiting to be spun into this art yarn.  I may actually pick up a long wool fleece this year specifically for this sort of yarn.

FO Friday

Rose Harbour Shawlette (blue and pink/purple)- I decided that I wasn’t enjoying knitting this at all and since my knitting is about the enjoyment I decided to stop early.  3 repeats of the lace makes this a shawlette but still quite pretty. Reclaimed cashmere, plied and dyed.

Cowl (reds and pinks)- With yarn doubled this actually went pretty fast and enjoyable (see previous WIP posts for details on how this yarn annoyed me). I’m pleased with it, although not enough to keep it. Malabrigo Merino Laceweight.

Christmas Stocking – I like this quite a lot.  My husband says it looks antique in style.  I’m not sure I agree but it’s pretty.  It also fixed my colorwork urge.  Can’t wait til I start decorating for Christmas so I can put this up. Assorted mystery yarns bought at Big Lots and dyed.  The Grey was picked up in a Lot of yarn on Ebay.

Now the rest were knit before I started the blog but have been waiting around to be blocked.

Buckhorn Cowl (purples and pinks)- I altered this a bit to 2 repeats of the lace on one end and 1 repeat of it on the other end.  Mainly I was trying to use up this yarn which ended up with a total of 7 projects made from it.  This was reclaimed from 1 sport weight cashmere sweater that I dyed (several times, both before and after knitting it.)  I think this needs another dunk in some dye before it’s put away.  There is definitely some color variations between skeins.

Etoile Hat (purples and pinks)- Same yarn as Buckhorn.  Nothing much to say about this.  It was a fairly easy knit, although if I made this again I’d probably go down a needle size for the ribbing.  It seems very loose.

Pandorica Cowl (dark red)- Yarn reclaimed from two sweaters plied together, merino and cashmere.  This was supposed to be a scarf and the lace pattern was not that difficult but I had a hard time working on it for some undefinable reason.  I complained about this on one of my Ravelry groups and apparently the Frost Flowers stitch pattern does that to a lot of people.  They struggle to knit it not because it’s hard but because it’s difficult to keep interested in it.  It’s weird.  I gave up when it was approaching 1 year from the day I cast it on and made it into a cowl…for a child as it’s a pretty long but thin tube.

Leaflet Cowl (purple)- This was not all that difficult and really pretty but I also had problems keeping interest in it. The yarn is reclaimed merino, plied and dyed.

*Reclaimed means a commercial made sweater bought at a thrift store/rummage sale.  I unravel them and often ply the strands together to make a thicker yarn and/or dye them.  It’s a way to get luxury fibers for quite cheap but with extra work.