A long-awaited FO

Ravelry tells me I’ve been knitting this since June 2005. I can’t now remember how I decided that, but it can’t be anything other than an estimate, but now it is finished. I can trace almost all of the things I’ve knit in the intervening years in its stripes, but I am resisting the urge to keep it and look at it, and shall instead give it to C for her birthday – I promised it to her long ago, and she has probably forgotten now, but although I love it,it’s much more her than me.

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Experiments in blending, or: after-the-fact justification

I bought a drum carder. I also bought several little bags of pretty fibre in amounts too small to be anything on their own. An appropriate justification for both of these facts is carding different fibres together to design the composition of the yarn as well as its colour and shape.


Left to right: carded and uncarded fibres next to each other; four different uncarded fibres; carded batts; spinning in progress.

This is going to be sock yarn. It’s 65% wool (40% shetland and 25%merino), with 25% mohair and 10% silk for strength and shine. Both woolsare grey – the shetland is natural light grey, and the merino a darkergrey (dyed), so the basic colour of the yarn is grey, but themohair is hand painted purple-mauve, which is not obvious in theblended fibre, but which brightens the colour, andthe silk is bright fuchsia, which is visible in the fibre inoccasional streaks. I’ve carded about 80g of thisfibre, which should be enough for socks for me, and I have about thesame amount again, so I can repeat the trick if I like it.

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Knitting and Stitching Show haul

At the last minute, I decided to go to the Knitting and Stitching Showwith J, and to save myself from an unbridled orgy of stash enhancement,I set some rules. Fibre was my prime target, but only interestinghand-dyed fibre. It is of course possible to buy hand-dyed fibre on theinternet, but it’s hard to choose – so much depends on things whicharen’t obvious from a computer screen, so I much prefer to buy it inperson. The only yarn I was allowing myself to buy was sock yarn, andeven then it had to be either reduced or unavailable online.

So I succeeded on both counts! I’ve got lovely new hand-dyed fibre, including silk tops and mohair which I haven’t spun before, and some nice shades of wool including some superwash BFL. I haven’t completely decided what I’m doing with any of this yet, although I have some ideas, mostly around weaving or sock yarn – I’m planning to use the carder to do some fibre mixes (silk, mohair and wool) for socks. Talking of sock yarn, I bought five skeins: two in burgundy Malabrigo for the long-promised scarf (Henry) for large-male-friend-R (colour had to be confirmed in person), one Cherry Tree Hill greeny-grey solid for Boyfriend Socks for R (reduced by 10%), and two for me: a lilac semi-solid by Ripples that I’ve never seen online, and a Cherry Tree Hill Sockittome lottery colour that is a one-off. The lilac will be socks, something lacy probably, and the Sockittome will probably be not-socks; gloves or scarf or something – possibly even woven if it’s a scarf.


I wanted a book each on weaving and spinning – the former a basic guide to rigid heddle weaving, and the latter a comprehensive encyclopaedia type. And I succeeded here as well. An initial glance at the weaving book gives me encouraging information about the quantities of yarn I’ll need to weave the wraps I’m planning – less yarn for woven fabric than knitted, which makes sense considering the relative flat-and-dense-ness of the different fabrics.

Final acquisitions were 3.25mm Addi turbos for knitting Henry, and an Onya bag to replace my current spare bag which is wearing out. A good day!

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I can haz drum carder! (And other animals)

This is my lovely new drum carder, which arrived yesterday, and which has already got through hours and hours worth of hand carding in a very short time indeed :-) I’ve now carded all of the lilac alpaca which is destined to be my MiL’s Christmas present, and spun the first lot of it; I’m intending to spin most if not all of the rest of it this evening, and then it will be ready for washing and plying, hoorah. I’ve also made a start on carding the black alpaca, which will end up carded again, with the purple merino, to make goth-coloured yarn.


I was intending to make this into a wrap for me, and had originally thought of one of the beautiful spiky lace shawls I keep seeing on Ravelry, but in the same delivery from Fibrecrafts as the carder was another package, which I’m not entitled to enjoy for about six weeks: the loom R is giving me for my birthday. I’ve got two projects planned for this, and one of them is the gothmerino-alpaca – a nice simple rectangle of plain weaving to make the kind of wrap I like best. The other weaving project I’m planning is one I’ve already talked about: the autumn coloured wrap, with one ply of burgundy merino and one of variegated autumn-leaves colours. For a while I looked around for fibre in the colours I want, and then when I gave up on that, I looked around for undyed fibre and dyes to produce it myself, but then I remembered that Freyalynn (who dyed my Wisteria and Caribbean fibre) also does custom dye jobs, so my autumn leaves fibre has now been commissioned! This will be a birthday present from my parents. I believe in planning ahead in such matters :-)

Things have not been quiet on the knitting front, either. I finished the Child(no)hoodie for my niece, but the gauge was off on the sleeves, so I’ve frogged them (one frogged sleeve in the first photo above), and I’m redoing them differently. Picked up stitches around the armhole to make sure they fit, and plain red until the garter stitch cuff, because I thought the stocking stitch stripes looked odd with the garter stitch, and because this way I’ll have more orange left so can make an orange-and-red striped hat with the leftovers. The recipient now has independent existence, but we haven’t been to meet her yet, so I have a little while left to finish knitting her welcome gifts :-)

And Clessidra is coming along nicely. The heel is turned, and I’m into the ankle, and am just about to take measurements and make calculations for the calf increases.

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