October 2007


I have finaly been victorious over the yarn elves that were sneaking into my knitting bag all summer and adding extra yarn to my ball.  The Spiderweb Shawl is finished!!

You may remember back in July I started with this, 1300 yards of laceweight handspun BFL in the Tulip colorway from Spunky Eclectic.

I decided to use it to make a Spiderweb Shawl from Victorian Lace Today, but I wanted it to be different than the one in the book.  I loved the geometric design on the shoulder part of the shawl, but I wasn’t to keen on the more open lace for the bottom half of the shawl.  I wanted it to realy envoke the spider web it had been inspired by.

So, I began addapting the pattern.  I dropped charts B and C from the shawl and decided to work chart A until I ran out of yarn.  At the time I didn’t fully comprehend just how much yarn that was.  I stuck with the size 7 needles the pattern called for because I liked the drape of the fabric.  The pattern is written for either a half or a full hexagon, but neither shape seemed like it would stay on the shoulders without some wrestling or constantly having to be readjusted.  I wanted to be able to put it on and then move freely in my daily activities.

Being the geometricaly obsessed person that I am, I could see that if I made the shaw with 4 wedges instead of 3 or 6 that it would give the shawl a shape very similar to a Farose shawl.  It would have extra length in the front to keep it anchored as I did….whatever it was I was going to be doing.  So I started in on the project.

I knit, and I knit, and I KNIT, but my ball didn’t seem to be getting any smaller.  Every night I would think that the hole in the middle of the yarn cake was getting bigger, and every morning it would look just the same.  That is when I decided yarn elves were adding to the cake at night.

After 2 months of knitting (with some breaks for spinning and knitting socks.  I would have gone insane without some breaks!)  It looked like this

Just a little bit bigger than the book.  This was going to take forever!  I decided I was tired of having this project hanging over my head and that I wouldn’t knit anything else until it was done!

Well, here we are a month later and it is finaly time to reveal the finished product!

Here it is in its pre-blocked state.  It is dwarfing our Queen sized bed.

I had to block it on the floor and it took up every last inch of free floor space in our master bedroom!  I had to stand on the bed to get a full shot of the lace amoeba

I could have used some blocking wires to make the edges all straight, but I love that the points add to the natural spidery-ness of the whole thing.  It is going to be my Halloween costume.  I am going to wear it while I hand out candy this year.

Here is a closeup on the center detail

And here is how much yarn is left over from the 1300 yards I started with.

(BIG SIGH OF RELIEF!)

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I spent this week spinning and dying wool/mohair blends and I must admit that they came out stunning!

Bumble Bee Fields

Blood Orange

Gothic Beauty

Blood Orange (without the mohair)

Bumble Bee Fields

Poison

Blue Moon

I am deeply in love with these colorways, but not with these fibers!  I spent a couple days this week covered from head to toe in mohair fluff.  It was in my eyes, it was on the baby, it was blowing across the floor in little mohair tumble weeds.  I had known that I have a reaction to mohair when I wore it as a garment, but I had been OK dying it so I thought I would give it a spin.

I was itchy from fingertips to elbows, my eyes were watery and I queasy by noon.  But I LOVE these colorways!  So now my goal is going to be to reproduce these colors on some different fiber bases, because I LOVE THESE COLORS!

I have been knitting on my Spiderweb shawl.  I am SO close to being finished!  I only have a half inch or so left in the wall of my yarn cake.  It is almost see through.  If I am lucky I will have it done this weekend!  My deadline to have the whole thing finished and blocked is Wednesday and for the first time that goal seems atainable.

I also got a couple books yesterday that I have been lusting over for MONTHS!  I got these

OMG!!  I am so deeply in love!  They have great close up pictures, wonderful clear line by line instructions and charts (in the cable book).  I absolutely want to knit each and every of the over 500 patterns that are in these books.  I don’t have nearly enough yarn!

 I went on a dying jag this week and blew through a couple pounds of fiber in a day.  I was dying up the fiber for my fiber club and decided that since I was already set up for dying I might as well make a day of it.  The club fiber colorway is a secret, but I will share some of the other fibers with you.  This was one of the first fibers that jumped out of my pot.

 Anubis

It is such a fantastic blend of colors!  I also dyed up some roving for a dying challenge on the Yarnies United board on Ravelry.  The challenge was to dye something with the theme of Opals.  Here was my challenge entry

When it is spun the colors will blend with the white and become pale and beautiful.

I have also been spinning a whole bunch too.  My favorite this week is Technologic

It is a superwash sock yarn and I am completely in love!

 Speaking of fiber club, I have been considering opening it up to a few more people.  It will be a three month spinning fiber club and will have a very limited membership at this time.  Each month there will be 4 oz of a new colorway that is not available in my shop ariving at your door.   If you are interested, you can sign up in my shop 

Hey guys!  I spun up a storm this week!  I took 8.5 oz of superwash fiber and turned it into 1000+ yards of 2 ply sock yarn in about a week.  I am amazed at how fast I was spinning.  Here is the final product

This is calling my name!  It is trying to tell me to forget the dozen or so projects that I already have on the needles and start knitting something with it.  I am resisting, but my resolve is very very weak.

I have been working on my Spiderweb shawl every night, but I don’t think I have any less yarn in the ball.  I have come to the conclusion that it has begun breeding.  I knit and knit and knit, but I don’t ever come any closer to being done!  I think I am going to focus on this project now because I want it done so I can wear it on Halloween.

By request I have set up a tutorial on one of the ways to fix a broken single if you find yourself in posession of one as you are plying.  It is written in the great tradition of those old 50’s instructional film strips.

I have also been in the middle of a major shop update.  There is free shipping now on everything in the shop to anywhere in the US or Canada.

To make up for my last picture starved post, I have an abundance of things to show you today!

I finally got half of the Arizona Sands fiber finished!

I am so pleased with how this fiber came out.  It is a lace weight and I got somewhere between 15-1600 yards from the first 8 oz.  I will have a better idea exactly how much is there when the second skein is done drying.  I had planned to make some socks out of it, but it is so unbelievably soft that I think I might make a Forest Path shawlout of it instead.  But not right now.  I have WAY to many UFO’s going right now and I need to get some of them done before I even begin something new.

 One of the UFO’s that I am trying to get done is a pair of Diamante socks for myself.  Here is how far I am so far.

This is the first sock and I am almost to the heel turn.  I am using wool blend singles that I spun up a while ago.  I know that they will pill like crazy and won’t be as strong as if they had been knit with a plied yarn, but since they are for me to wear around the house I just don’t care.

Also the wonderful and beautiful TheBon did me a HUGE favor and I love her to teeny tiny pieces for it!  I have been lusting after some superwash from Crown Mountain Farms for a very long time.  When I heard that Teyani had been injured and wouldn’t be able to dye her wonderful colorways for a very long time I rushed over to purchase some from their site, but I didn’t have my fiber allowance money in the right account and they would have been sold out before I got it transferred to the right account!  I was whining about this when TheBon offered to stop at their booth at OFFF and pick some up for me, she even through in some extra fibers!

fiber-288.jpg

From Left to Right there is Merino/Soy blend in the Miso colorway from ArtFibers, so very soft.  Norwegian wool in the Daisy colorway from Black Bunny fibers.  And the fibers from Crown Mountain in the colorways Do You Wana Dance, Beat Goes On and Rasta Man (this one is a new colorway dyed by Klaus)

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Here is a closeup of the Do You Wanna Dance colorway.  I am planning to use this one in the October Spin Alongon Ravelry.