Sunday, November 28, 2010

Damson & Squirreling Away For The Future

Winter slow-down has overtaken me. I'm only knitting short projects that don't make you crazy, mixing cookie dough and planning for next years potential projects. See above a small shawl called "Damson" from the book "Whimsical Little Knits 2" by Ysolda Teague. The yarn is a 2 ply hand spun I made from one of my Verb Fiber Club selections in Targee in the "Sweet Tart" colorway. I would not usually think of knitting this type of shawlette except the hand spun yarn I produced had sections that I knew would end up being stripes once knit. This is an interesting way of using up a small amount of fiber and breaking up the stripes at the same time. The pin is a vintage "faux ivory" (some kind of plastic) carved rose which looks sweet with it. Of course, I'd never wear this thing but it is cute.

Below that is more fiber from A Verb For Keeping Warm for me to spin. The green skeins "Parrotlette" in merino/silk are actually more green, below that is another Fiber Club shipment with Yak, Silk, and Merino "The Best Bite", 3 skeins of Gaia laceweight and some Verb fiber in Orange that I can't remember the name of but just had to have. It's not like I'm going to run out of yarn of fiber in the near future but I just could not help myself! There is more but I will have to put that in another post.

Lastly here are two books. The new lace book by Margarete Stove "Wrapped In Lace", I bought for her amazing knowledge and techniques rather than the patterns. The patterns are nice but as I looked at them I kept thinking there were too many "blank" spaces that I would have to fill with lace motifs. For me, less is not more. Still, I'm never sorry to have one of her books in my knitting library because there is always something interesting in them that helps me down the line.

The second book is an aberration on my part. It's called, "Selbuvotter" . It's not lace and I'm not into mittens or gloves but this is a flat out wonderful book that I had to have. Every once in awhile I have to have something but I don't know why. It may take weeks, months or even years before the reason reveals itself but it always does. So I will drool over this book and some day something may "click" and I will have a new obsession .

I will try to post again before the end of the year if I finish my current lace project.Until then I hope everyone is healthy, happy and with those they love this Holiday season :-)

Monday, November 22, 2010

Vinca Shawl/Helix Scarf (Pre Turkey Easy Knitting)

The days leading up to Thanksgiving and Christmas can be stressful. All the shopping, cooking, co-ordinating with family makes the end of the year the perfect time to haul out easy projects and at least one "No Brainer" project. The Vinca Shawl by Miriam Felton is a nice little project that has interesting construction, lovely drape and looks good in many different types of yarn. This pattern can purchased as a single project on Ravelry and is also published along with other patterns in a book called Twist & Knit (also available as a digital publication). While it is not difficult to knit, it looks really unique. Knit on a good sized US 4 needle the knitting goes quickly. I used 2 skeins of Gaia Lace by the Sanguine Gryphon in the "Little Round Top" colorway (420 yds/skein) . It's a soft and warm 40/60 Cashmere/Silk and is more green than my pictures show. While I had heard of the Sanguine Gryphon, I had never seen any in person before. It's not usually a weight of yarn I would consider but when I saw it at Verb I decided to give it a try. This is my second project with the Gaia and I really like how it looks and feels.

Just a mention that the folks at A Verb For Keeping Warm have moved to a wonderful new store space.

A Verb For Keeping Warm
6328 San Pablo Ave x Alcatraz
Oakland, 94608

The shop is large, has lots of space for classes or for people to just sit to knit, spin or work on other projects. They now have fabric as well as carrying a few other fiber/yarn lines. They will continue their usual classes in spinning, knitting, dyeing, weaving etc. but will also have classes on Quilting.

The second project is called the Helix Scarf. It's a simple pattern that is a free download off of the Spin-Off Magazine Web site. It's a very simple project that is easy to tote around and the knitting sequence is easy to remember. I used less than half of my ball of hand spun yarn made from the Verb Essential Luxury fiber club selection, "Tour de Fleece 1010 The Pyrenees 50/50 Cashmere /Merino. Two ounces spun into a 2 ply lace weight yarn. I got 818.4 yards from that. I knit the scarf on US 0 needles and I have enough for a second scarf :-) For those who are interested, Spin-Off is asking people to spin/knit the scarf as a project and to submit specs and samples in order for them to include it in a future magazine. I'm not going to do that but others may still be interested.

I'm doing a little spinning now and some other odds and ends of projects as the year comes to a close. I hope everyone out there is healthy, safe and happy! Good Knitting!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Simple Pleasures (Easy Lace Projects)

I'm taking a break from more involved lace to do a little bit of easy knitting. A while back, I spun a lace weight yarn from Pigeonroof Studio roving in the "Green Ocean" colorway. I bought it at A Verb For Keeping Warm because the colors looked so fantastic. It is a superfine baby alpaca/merino. I have to admit that I did not do a great job spinning it. It sat around in my stash for ages because I had no idea what I could do with it. Then one rainy day I decided to get it out and knit another Miralda Shawl from Nancy Bushes book on Estonian lace. I think it really came out pretty well considering I had no clue how it would look. I actually like it better than the first Miralda shawl I knit in a more semi-solid color. The second shawl is another one of those pretty little Elisa Shawlette's by Tiziana Sammuri on Ravelry in Gaia Lace which is a cashmere silk from the Sanguine Gryphon which I also bought at Verb. Sorry the pictures are not that great but I'm still trying to learn how to use my new camera. It has more talent than I do I'm afraid :-)
I will be doing small projects and spinning during the Winter because that's about all my tiny mind can handle over the Holidays but I hope to post progress as I go along. Good Evening and Good Knitting!