This journey began way back in November 2013, in Dublin, Ireland. I picked up this glowing bit of BFL wool and started daydreaming about what it could be.
While with my family in Wyoming I began spinning the fluff into a simple fingering weight two-ply yarn. Each full wrap of the cop showcased a new hue of purple encouraging me to spin faster.
After a couple of weeks of intensive spinning I ended up with nearly five hundred yards of amazingly soft yarn. I let it adorn my desk area so I could pet it whenever I wanted.
I spent weeks searching for the perfect pattern that would stretch the labored yarn as much as possible. I landed on Henslowe, a popular pattern with a lot of detail. I cast on in March and the shawl kept me company through the homework, work, and interview speckled weeks.
On April 6 this piece was complete. This is my first real spin to finished product project and every second of it was completely satisfying. The final project is luminous with a fuzzy halo of comfort in person. There are a few mistakes in the lace and a few places where the yarn thickness changes drastically but I think those mistakes make it that much more exciting. This shawl feels like a masterpiece.
Yarn: handspun fingering 2 ply 490 yards
Measurements: 53″ in wingspan 18″ deep
Mods: added two repeats of the lace pattern
I ended up with about 4 yards left of the yarn and made it into a tiny skein and hung it on my bulletin board as a souvenir of the process.
I swear I have some real content a-brewing but for now I’ve got project updates galore. I’ve gotten into the habit of always having a pair of socks on the go for travelling/at work during downtime and I just finished a pair for my sister and promptly cast on another for my brother.
They are both in a dk weight acrylic knit on size 4 needles. Although I have come to see that knitting with acrylic really isn’t the most luxurious of experiences, it is a hard-wearing and cheap material that is great for making things that are likely to be lost by (relatively) small siblings. The purple stripes are for my sister and the blue for my brother.
After completing the Beurre shawl I began the infamous French Cancan shawl. I have had this shawl pattern on my radar for at least two years and finally decided to conquer it. I am using a soft grey wool/acrylic blend that I had left over from a Christmas sweater. Though this shawl won’t have quite as much drape as the original it will be incredibly cozy and perfect for wrapping tightly around your shoulders.
Moving beyond knitting, I finished the first half, about two ounces, of the Lemon merino. I ended up with 294 yards of fingering weight yarn. It is my most even spin to date and highest yardage from two ounces of fiber! I’m going to begin the other half this evening.
I have a question for other spindle spinners out there, have you ever used a Russian support spindle? What was it like? What fiber did you use? What fiber would you recommend? Do you recommend a certain spindle maker? I am really interested in trying a new spindle breed and am captivated by the action of spinning supported. Let me know if you have any tips or tricks!
Last Sunday I cast on for the shawl, Beurre by Hillary Smith Callis and have been hooked ever since. It combines super simple lace, garter stitch, and short rows so it is easy enough to work on while relaxing after class but retains my interest.
When I bought the pattern I was dismayed by the minimal instruction but I found that the simplicity worked as I went on. The most challenging part of the piece is the first step, casting on over 600 stitches. This really tested my patience and continually counting and recounting the stitches was such a hassle. After that step it was all smooth sailing.
I’m making my version out of some leftover beige aran weight wool/acrylic blend yarn so it is a bit denser than the original version (original is knit in dk). It keeps my lap warm as I work on it and the yarn is really shiny so it looks much more luxurious than it cost to make.
I’ve completed the lace bits and am about half way through the garter stitch and I’m sort of sad to see it so close to completion. I may have to line up a new yarn to make another version of this toasty shawl.
Sometimes I get into a groove in my crafting. I’ll delve into the world of afghans or sweaters for months at a time and finally emerge and realize the creative monogamy I had been living in. This kind of realization occurred last night when I completed my monstrous granny scrap blanket. I had been in an afghan groove and had not come up to for air since January. My last four Ravelry projects have been afghans! Of course I have chosen a new thing to be obsessed with. This time its shawls.
Shawls used to really bother me because I had no idea how to wear one so that made it seem frivolous to even consider knitting one. Now I really appreciate their beauty, it is the perfect canvas to experiment with color and lace and cables and all that good stuff knitters love. I am going on a road trip to Colorado next week (16 hour drive) and it will be the perfect time to get some serious knitting done on my first semi-complex shawl.
This is the Simplicity Triangle Shawl Pattern by Aga Paul and it is my road trip pattern. I am making it in a maroon wool and will be gifting it to a family friend. I can’t wait to get started! I am also planning my next shawl project as well. I’m so deep in this groove it might as well be a canyon.
Do you get into a similar kind of groove with your crafting? If so what is your current one?