Category: elijah

Spinning a Gradient Yarn with Fauxlags

This is a fiber story  from roving to toy. It is also a love story dedicated to my dear daughter. It all starts last summer when I received some some bright pink and purple roving for my birthday. She instantly claimed it as her own and I was happy to oblige.

The fiber was Malabrigo Nube, colorway Baya Electrica. You can find it online for about $15 at places like Yarn.com or Jimmybeanswool.com. Pretty decent price for 4oz of 100% Merino, and the colors – priceless. The fiber was a bit felted in places though which was expected based on the reviews. So doing a bit of extra prep up front seemed like a good plan to make the spinning much more pleasant.

NUBEMALABR.BAYAELECTR.zoom.1

I’ve always wanted to spin a gradient yarn, so this would be the perfect fiber to try fauxlags. I watched this video and this video to learn how to make fauxlags and began to separate the colors. I took over the entire kitchen table for a few hours to make this happen! Once they were all rolled up, I used this old document box lid to organize them by color so that they were all ready to spin up.

fauxlags

I definitely need more practice making fauxlags. Some spun up easily, while others were too loose and pulled apart in clumps. Overall they were really fun to spin though. The progress went by quickly because everything was bite sized. I could easily see how far along I was and it was hard not do “just one more”.

After all the singles were spun, I used chain-ply to make a 3-ply yarn and maintain the gradient effect. It was so fun seeing the resulting yarn come to life!

niddynoddy

hand spun yarn cake

I believe I ended up with about 100 yards of worsted weight yarn, here’s a link to my ravelry spinning project page. Perfect for making a little pink elephant for my daughter. I have knit this elephant pattern called Elija by Ysolda Teague for my son years ago.

hand spun hand knit elephant

She loves it and the yarn is holding up really well. I was a bit worried that the handspun would wear out quickly, but it’s been nearly 6 months now and it looks as good as new! The amount of love and care that went into making the yarn and knitting the toy was well worth it.

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Pirate Elijah Elephant

Elijah

First and foremost, sorry for my lack of posting lately.  It directly correlates to a lack of knitting, unfortunately.  But, it’s all for a good cause – you see… I’m pregnant!  Yep, I’m working on creating baby #2 and let me tell you, those first three months have been all consuming.  I have had no energy or drive to do much besides sleep and eat.  I just started my second trimester and I’m starting to have some good days where I feel “normal”! 

I finished my Elijah elephant designed my my favorite designer, Ysolda Teague!  This is the first project that I’ve finished in 3 months!  I’m putting a pirate spin on it though, maybe you can tell by the stripes.  I’m working on an eye patch and a little tattered vest in black as well.  The stripes were a little hard to work with but I really like the effect.  This toy is for my 3 year old, so while I love the pattern as written, I felt like it needed a little more edge to it for my toddler going on 6 year old son.  I gave it to him already, he seemed to like it… at first.  Is it a bad sign if he tries to give it away to each person he runs into… including the dog??

I used shepherd’s wool with size 4 needles – this proved to be very difficult.  Ysolda says to use smaller needles than the yarn calls for so that the stuffing doesn’t peek through, but this was a little overkill.  It made it very hard to pick up stitches for the appendages and overall just added to the difficulty level and my happiness – or unhappiness – level with the project. 

What’s next? I’m making a mother bear project bear right now and I bought Ysolda’s Sophie pattern too (a very sweet little bunny).  With all these toys it’s apparent that my little family addition project is influencing my knitting projects 🙂  I can’t wait to find out if I’m going to have a boy or girl next month!!