Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Setting Off On Holiday!

Hello Everyone! I hope you are having the loveliest of days! I am sneaking in one more quick post before heading of on holiday, as our friends in some parts of Europe say. I find "holiday" a FAR more interesting word than "vacation". Actually I might get a chance to blog while on holiday, but we"ll see. My holiday involves a long road trip, spending time with friends, meeting new people, and who knows what else! I am looking forward to it.
I started this yarn at the beginning of summer, but it has been languishing in a corner 'cause I wasn't looking forward to plying so many yards. But I split it up into skeins and that made it so much easier. The bigger skein is about 230yards and the smaller skein is 105yards. Both are a heavy worsted weight.
I still have some of this yarn to ply, just a tiny amount. And then some plied yarn on my Navajo to wind off. I was going to do it all on my navajo spindle, but I wanted to get it done before my trip so I switched to my big plying spindle.

And this is pretty exciting.....mohair I spun! This is from the batt that I carded and then dyed in the beginning of July. I tried to spin it up very fine, but I don't have a lace-weight spindle so it is a little tricky. It's only 95yds of fingering weight.

But look at that lovely halo! To be frank, I really didn't enjoy spinning this up as much as I have other fiber. But I think it was because I was trying to spin so very thin on a heavy spindle. It wasn't the fault of the fiber itself.
I did have fun brushing it though, to bring out the halo. I was rather fierce in my brushing, but I think it turned out quite well.
I have been doing some reading on commercially spun mohair. Rarely will you buy mohair yarn that is pure mohair. Due to the properties of mohair it often is plied with nylon thread, silk or merino wool. It is often quite difficult for hand spinners to produce mohair that looks like the commercial spun stuff (not that that is necessarily a bad thing). Mainly because of the rate at which they spin it, and the type of machinery involved for brushing etc. If you want an interesting read on different types of yarn and why they behave the way they do, check out
The Knitter's Book of Yarn.
I have learned many interesting things about fiber and yarn from both The Knitter's Book of Yarn, and also the
Knitter's Book of Wool.
I think it would be of immense help to any hand spinner to read these in-depth. Even though they are not written for handspinners, per se, they are wonderful tools to use.

But on to more knitting.... My birthday shawl is finished!!!! I am so glad to have it done, but also a little sad because I really enjoyed working on it. I had some trouble with the last three rows. I made a mistake somewhere and had to tear them out. So I ended up putting stitch markers between every pattern repeat. It made everything much easier and kept me on track. The crochet bind off is a little tedious but well worth the effort in the end.

I haven't blocked it yet, but I didn't want to wait until after Holiday to show this to you. Buddy insisted on getting in the photo shoot. He tried to sit on the shawl, and sprawled here and there in a charming manner, but in attitudes that entirely rumpled my knitting. I finally agreed to let him lay just his head on my shawl. I think he was pleased. And who could resist that sweet face?

I think one of my favorite things about this shawl (besides the fact that it is green) is the feminine ruffle on the edge. It is so lovely!

Well, that is one large lace project behind me. But I already have two more in the planning stages. One will be using some of my handspun, and the other will be with more birthday yarn from 2 years ago.
I'm debating whether or not I should take any lace knitting with me. Because every now and then holidays have tedious moments that are perfect for complicated lace charts.
I am taking my tunic, I need to get back to work on it and finish the front. Other than that and a spinning project I don't know for sure what is going with me. Some mindless knitting for the scenery stretches on the road.
I'll tell you all about it when I get back, or possibly while I am gone! For now though I must run, supper is on the the table and I have a lot to get accomplished yet tonight.
Have a lovely week!

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