Wednesday, 12 November 2014

good weather...

... not for going out, no - but for crafting away inside:) we're having the "punishment" for the lovely september weather; a lot of rain, often windy, foggy, cool - or maybe it just seems that way after the long spell of nice weather? it's normal november weather really, nothing unusual for us at this time of the year. just this morning I heard on the radio that it's only 6 weeks until christmas! maybe it's for the best that the weather isn't exactly gardening friendly, otherwise I'd be even more behind in my christmas crafting:)
I seem to have reached the age, where the eyesight changes. lately it's become a bit difficult to wear my glasses, when doing finer stuff close-up. which means that knitting in front of the tv isn't so great. either I can't see my knitting properly or I can't see the screen. that's why I've been spinning a lot - I don't need to put away the glasses to see the spinning:) but it also means that I've not been as productive with the needles as I should! it's not even project spinning, some of the tops just popped out of bags I've dug out of storage!
 I found mohair top that I dyed with cochenille at least 3 years ago... it's darker in real life, but as shiny as it looks in the picture. very smooth and dense - probably good for lace knitting, though I think I wouldn't like it close to the skin...
this on the other hand is 75 % viscose, 25 % silk. very smooth, very shiny - and extremely heavy! probably nice to wear, though too chunky for lace and I have no idea what to use it for! I bought a kilo of this, but I only have 650 g now - no idea, where the rest of it went. but I am sure I haven't knitted it into anything, I would remember! off to the stash - for now.... 
these are some of the teeswater tops I dyed here and there. I think the green on the left and the red were dyed with leftover easter egg dyes, the right one is far darker green and not so grey looking in spots - the camera is playing up again! all of them would be suitable in thickness for the "persian dreams" blanket - but I am not sure that the colours would work well together... we'll see about that. over the last few years I dyed and spun quite a lot of the teeswater top, there should be plenty more colours for this. I do have to spin a load of the main colour first though:) not sure if it's going to be natural white - or if I should dye it black? 

this is the result of spinning the blending board rolags from my last post. it's much more blended than my usual batts from the drum carder - probably, because I don't like putting the fibres through the drums too often (sheer laziness:). it's easer to do on the board, though it probably takes longer to load and draw off again.  
I also finally finished the baby alpaca cardigan! I don't know why I procrastinated for so long, it took ages to knit, even though the spinning went smoothly. it must have been the sleeve caps, because I had to block the parts first to calculate a proper fit... I used attached i-cord all around and put in button holes for the front.  I hope it arrives safely with the recipient and soon (for some reason the mail to Berlin always takes longer than to any other german destinations:()

the pattern is called horseshoe lace, simple to knit, just 8 rows (or was it 10?) and a 10 st repeat. if you turned it over it might be called angel wings:)  
those two cowls are the leftover silk threads from the first petal cowl plus some black handspun merino from my stash. for the first one below I worked the purl rows plus the k row before in colour, but there wasn't enough silk left to do that in the 2nd cowl. so I only worked the purl rows, which means that some of them look like sashiko embroidery:) but maybe the slightly more muted look makes it easier to wear, if you don't want to look too colourful?:) it's wider as well, because I realised after knitting the first one that I don't like cowls so tight-fitting!
 the blocking was fun with those two - I rolled up two rubber foam fillings for neck rolls into a towel and pulled over the cowls. no pinning involved.....
and of course I had to make more rolags:) these two batches went as spinning fodder to Berlin as well - I used similar greens, but more yellows and rusty reds, so that the yarn should look more autumnal than the greens I spun up myself. it's mostly merino and south american wool, plus handdyed silk and soy silk for the glitz. 
I also found some bigger sample bags in my stash. the dark brown is yak, there's guanaco, alpaca, some angora and cashmere and the shiny beige is soy silk, dyed with coffee. it still smells like coffee, after such a long time in the bag:) the rolag diameter is much smaller because the fibres were fairly short - apart from the soy silk. I hope I am going to see a photo of this when spun up - could turn out to be cafe latte?:)
when I am not spinning or knitting I am making embroidered christmas cards. just 6 weeks left - tick tock:)