Silk-a-luscious

Our first day of spring is promising to be a wonderful one.  Temps should be in the 60's and the sun is shining!  As far as the spring flowers go, we're about a month ahead of time.  It's always interesting to note the timing of the bulbs over on the mainland.  There are fields and fields of daffodils and tulips and every year they have a Tulip Festival.  Some years they hit just the right week, but often as not, the bulbs are either too early or too late.  Last year they were too late and this year there is some concern that by the time the festival rolls around, the bulbs will be all gone.  This picture was taken about 10 years ago – we usually avoid the crowds that descend at tulip time.

Tulips

I finally dived in and started knitting with my handspun.  I was a little hesitant, because once I wound the blue merino into a ball, it didn't look anywhere near as nice and even as it did on the skein.  But it's amazing how the humble little garter stitch can even out yarn:

Scarf

The yarn is fingering in some places, close to worsted in others, underspun, overspun, you name it!  In some places the underspun singles broke while I was plying, but I just spit spliced and moved on.  Despite it all, I find it extremely satisfying to be knitting with yarn that  I made!  One of the reasons I gave for rejecting spinning last year (never say never!!) was that it added one more step before you could start knitting.  Now that I'm spinning, I realize that the added step is really a destination of its own.  I've been surprised at how much I love spinning for its own sake. There's something about feeling the fiber flow through your fingers and twist into yarn that is hypnotic.  In fact, I'll find that I can sit and do it for so long that I have to remind myself to get up and move a little every once in a while so I don't freeze up.

I finished a new skein this week and I am ridiculously happy with it:

Silk

This is Ashland Merino/Silk blend in the Sea Mist colorway.  It was gifted to me by Lorette before I even started spinning (an enabler if I ever met one!).  This was pure pleasure to spin.  And, it's come out so even and nice that I can really see some potential for this skein.  Right now I'm thinking of doing the Yarn Harlot's Pretty Thing cowl.  This is so soft and silky and would feel wonderful around my neck.  I loved spinning this so much, that I have ordered enough for a sweater.  I wasn't sure how much to order, so I ordered a pound.  I have a feeling that may be way, way too much, but I don't want to run out.  And, if I have some left over, I can start knitting cowls for Christmas.  Depending on gauge, I'm thinking about the Featherweight CardiganMarguerite mentioned this on her blog.  I would never have given it a second thought until I saw some of the changes that Ann had made.  Technically it calls for laceweight, but I believe I'll be able to get gauge with a fingering weight.  

Lots of things between here and there, though.  With spring comes some yard work and gardening.  Not my favorite thing to do, but we at least need to clean up the yard so we're not embarrassed when John and Lorette come to visit next month.  And, we've decided to try a small vegetable garden.  Just a trial to see if we can win out over the deer and rabbits.  I also need to finish the Auracania socks for my friend.  I went through my stash and just couldn't find anything I liked as well, so I've decided to finish them and toss them in the wash on cold water.  If they come out ok, I'll just give them to her with specific washing instructions.  Let the chips fall where they may!

10 thoughts on “Silk-a-luscious

  1. What a gorgeous picture of you and all the flowers, Dorothy! I miss flowers so much. Nothing grows here but sagebrush. I, too, am considering the Featherweight Cardigan after reading Marguerite’s blog post. How clever an idea! Hope you have a wonderful weekend. Your handspun is beautiful!

  2. Spinning and knitting go hand in hand for me and I find that at some times I want to do nothing but spin and other times I want to do nothing but knit. I love that I can “design” exactly the yarn I need for a project. I can dye it up, spin it up, blend it up, knit or weave it up. Lots and lots and lots of hours of joy!

  3. Your yarns are lovely and it must be such a pleasure to knit up what you spin.
    I hope your foray into veggie gardening is successful. We’ve been spoiled the last few days with glorious weather, and my thoughts turn to gardening, but you know how New England weather will turn on you…

  4. Our SW Michigan Tulip Festival (in Holland, Michigan)if the second week in May. Yes, we are at least two months behind you with the latest snowfall melting as I write.

    Our Michigan rabbits and deer are smart enough to wait until the veggies in the garden are “just right”. Then they come visit and chew right down the row.

    Be sure and blog about your garden adventures.

  5. Your blue scarf looks perfect from here – beautiful blue yarn!

    I think my next sweater is going to be Ashland Bay too – I ordered 1 lb 10 ounces of Colonial in multi blue. I LOVE the feather and fan edged version of Featherweight that you linked to – can’t wait to watch your sweater come to life!

  6. Dorothy – love to hear you talk about spinning. Phil brought back three balls of handspun yarn from Kazikstan and a pair of slippers made of camel/dog yarn. A little scratchy, and none of us want to smell them should they get wet! Not sure what to do with the three balls – they are very dense and I have no idea how much yarn there is. I will consult with my yarn group tomorrow. Together the 3 balls weigh about 450-500 gms. FYI – you are the first to get a message from me on my new laptop! Not a MAC, but it’s mine – and I’m happy. Deb

  7. Prety thing would look GREAT in that beautiful handspun. I think you’re doing great. I too am just starting to knit with my handspun and it definitely teaches you a lot about spinning by knitting with it.

  8. I’m glad you’re knitting with your handspun! You are spinning beautifully already. I have the “Pretty Thing” and a lovely little skein of handspun to try with it.

    On the sweater fiber, I think a pound will be too little. Just looking at a commercial very basic sweater pattern, a “medium” size range uses about 8 hanks of 100 gram/4 ounce yarn, so more like 2 pounds of yarn right from the start. I waste some fiber in the spinning process, so I don’t get a full 4 ounce skein out of 4 ounces of fiber. I stashed some fiber for sweaters, and got 3 pounds just to be safe. This might be a question for the Ravelry forums.

  9. I may put this on the beginning spinning forum. Im thinking a vest rather than a sweater with sleeves. The pattern calls for 6-50g. skeins, so thats what I was basing it on. Ill do some more checking around, but in the meantime I guess Ill just keep on spinning! Im sure Ill find some use for it!

    Dorothy

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