Handspun Showcase Shawl

Woo hoo!  I did it!

I went from this,

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to this,

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to this,

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during the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics.

I am very happy with it.

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I designed this shawl to let my one precious skein of handspun really sing in an unfussy setting. I wrote up the pattern here. The darker yarn is Cascade 220 Heathers in charcoal gray.

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I’m glad I went with the shallower shape, since that makes it wide enough to wrap generously around the shoulders. Even broad shoulders like mine.

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The edge is just a couple rows of garter stitch, so it has to be blocked pretty severely to lay flat.

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As a result, it’s a bit lighter than you’d think for something made from worsted weight yarn.

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Perfect.

WIP Wednesday – Handspun Stripes

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Look! I’m knitting with my handspun!

Since I finished the yarn so quickly, I decided to upgrade to the long track event and finish a project with the yarn before the flame goes out. I can totally make it.

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It’s a shallow triangular shawl, alternating the handspun with charcoal Cascade 220. I didn’t think I had quite enough of the handspun to make something as substantial as I would want, and I think the Cascade 220 presents a good solution.

At this point if I bound off I would have a respectable something, so I can totally do this. I just have to decide two things:

1) How to end it. Should I end with a straight black edge? A crocheted handspun edge? I have a few different ideas.

2) What should I call it? I’ll write up the “pattern” such as it is on the blog when I’m done, it’s super simple. The idea is to let 150 yards of handspun in a wonky DKish weight really shine. All the names I can think of are way corny.

Thanks for all your tips on spinning wheels. It really helped me focus my thinking!

Yarn!

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Look! I made yarn!

(3.5 oz of superwash merino top in “twilight” by cloudlover 69)

Here’s the obligatory coin-for-scale shot:

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It ranges in weight from sport to heavy worsted, but on average it’s about DK.

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I’m embarassingly proud of my yarn. Before this, I didn’t really get spinning. It’s not so much that I didn’t understand HOW to spin (my SnB is full of expert spinners and patient teachers) but WHY you would bother. Now I get it. You win, Jenny, Jacie, Karen, Allison, Lillian, Sharon, Aaron, Melissa and anyone else who told me that the CT River SnB would turn me into a spinner. It did.

So what kind of wheel should I get? 😉

Plying

I finished the singles on Tuesday…

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and tonight at SnB the lovely and talented Jacie taught me how to Navajo ply!

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Jacie has an ingenious method of Navajo plying spindle-to-spindle.  But of course she does, she’s a genius spinner. (Have I mentioned she won ribbons at Rhinebeck?  Oh, I guess I have.)

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Go to her blog and ask her to make a video tutorial 😉

Honeycomb

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Pattern: Honeycomb, Knitty Spring 2008
Yarn: Jo Sharp Classic DK Wool Heather in “brocade”
Needles: #4 for ribbing, #6 for pattern
Dates: December 30-February 13

I had intended to give this to my mom for her birthday (or mine, a week later) but there just wasn’t enough time. So happy Valentine’s Day!

I took a break from this project to do Multnomah and start February Lady because I was seriously considering re-doing the arm holes.  They just seemed awfully big, in a way that wouldn’t be flattering.  In the end I just decided to do a greater than average amount of ribbing around the arm holes and neck holes, and it turned out fine.

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This is the same yarn I used to make Glasgow Lace 3.5 years ago and it’s been sitting around ever since. I knew it had to be something for my mom, it just took me awhile to decide what!

And we’re off!

Here is my empty spindle at the beginning of the opening ceremonies:

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And this is where I was right after Gretzky lit the second cauldron:

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I split the roving into four (not necessarily equal) portions, and I’ve already gone through one of them.

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Since the roving itself is mottled, the singles are barberpoled, which is kind of neat.

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A more skilled spinner would get sock yarn out of this, but I think it’ll be between sport and DK once it’s plied. That’s fine. Since I’m making decent progress I’m thinking of converting this to the “long track” event, which would require knitting the finished yarn before the torch goes out. We’ll see. I’ll try not to get too far ahead of myself.

Ravelympics Preview

I’ve decided to participate in Ravelympics this year, but not with a knitting project. I’ll be challenging myself with spinning.

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(3.5 oz. of superwash merino in “Twilight” by Cloudlover69)

This will be yarn before the torch goes out.

What ever happened to that green stuff, you ask?

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I’m about halfway through. It’s coming along. I took a break from spinning to do a crazy amount of knitting in November and December, but I’m actually itching to spin again. The purple stuff will be just the thing to kick-start me, I think. And I’m sure I’ll improve as a spinner, so the second half of green singles will be more even. The plan is to ply the first half (more solid green) with the second half (more varied shades of green) so I think it’ll be ok.

I wasn’t sure I would do a spinning project for Ravelympics, but then I got a sign. My SnB did “Secret Snowflake” presents and exchanged them a couple of weeks ago. The lovely and talented Karen got me spinning supplies!

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Perfect! Now that I have a niddy-noddy and WPI thingy, there is no excuse. Time to get spinning!