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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
I started my first baby item for my little Sophia due this November. I think it’s perfect that the name of this pattern is Sophie! It is the cutest little bunny pattern by Ysolda Teague.
It’s knitting up very quickly which is always nice. I’m really enjoying working with Debbie Bliss Cashmerino so far. And the color is gorgeous. I’m not a huge fan of pink, but this is a really lovely and subtle, dusty pink.
I’m using bamboo DPNs which I don’t normally like because they are too grippy, but they are actually helping me keep my tension now that I’ve switched to continental knitting.
The pattern has a nice picture of what the finish product will, hopefully, turn out to be.
On another note, my son’s new zebra backpack showed up in the mail today. It is the cutest little backpack from http://www.skiphop.com/ and reasonably priced too! His first day of preschool is quickly approaching, yikes!
Having a yard sale this weekend was just what I needed to finish this project. Weaving in the ends and getting it blocked was the perfect time filler for sitting and waiting while random strangers went through my junk 🙂 Now to package it up and send it home to the newly married couple.
This pattern had the most interesting bind off. It was a purl 2 together, then put the resulting stitch back on the left needle to be worked in the next purl 2 togethter, and repeat. It resulted in a very nice braided look.
And time to start on baby girl projects 🙂 I also did some swatching for baby sweaters in my time… I haven’t gotten the exact look that I’m going for yet. I’ll just have to start on some patterned projects if I’m going to get anything done in time!
I’m finally making the Hap Blanket, by Ysolda Teague. It’s knitting up super quick, which is good because I need to finish it and gift wrap it by this Saturday. I hope they like it!! I find it difficult to pick out colors for other people and, so far the center square is reading a little… mexican poncho-ish. Not quite what I was going for. What the photo doesn’t show is that I’ve started the edges and it’s looking much more worthy of a gift now. I can’t wait to see it all unfolded. This is one of those projects that stays in a blobby mess until it’s all bound off and allowed to spread out.
I am very pleased with the Lion Brand Wool-Ease Chunky yarn so far. It’s very soft, and will hopefully be very durable too. If you read my blog, you’ll know that I’m, admittedly, a bit of a yarn snob. So, I was a bit skeptical about the acrylic blend of Lion Brand. But, I figure it will be machine washable which is always a nice feature for a hand-knit gift, just in case the recipient isn’t familiar with the delicate nature of wool and alpaca. I suppose this would make a nice felted discloth if it was 100% wool and thrown in the washer and dryer though!
After this, I vow to start something for the little girl I’m expecting in November. I’ve been compiling various patterns… these are on my list of todo’s (ravelry links):
I also really want to design something… but alas, there is so little time in the day. Hopefully I’ll get around to it very very soon!
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!!
I stayed up utnil 1:30am this morning weaving in the ends and blocking this sweater. Before it was blocked it looked like it would fit an 8 year old, I was very nervous to see if it would really stretch enough for me to wear. But it suprised me! It did as promised and stretched. It grew by 3.5″ in length and the sleeves grew by half an inch as well. I’ll post measurements in Ravelry, but for now I have to do some party preperations for the hubby. Happy Birthday Paul!!
Oh – I’m going to take this sweater to StitchesWest and see if I can pick up some nice buttons to complete the sweater 🙂
Here’s my new sweater project. It is coming along quickly after a few re-do’s and slowness in with the initial vine pattern. I have a solid understanding of the pattern now and it is knitting up quickly! The only problem now is that it looks so short. I am considering ripping out and adding some length. As it stands it will need to stretch by 4 inches to match the pattern. No sense in making a super short sweater right?
How was your valentine’s day? I follow this blog by Amigurple who had the most amazing gift from her boyfriend that she blogged about. Check it out, so so so awesome. She is a knitting maniac too, FO’s fly off her needles daily it seems. And they are super cute too. Oh and she made a really cool little cozy calculator for anything rectangle that you don’t want to do the math for 🙂
This weekend I got 90% done with one dainty fingerless mitt, designed by my favorite, Ysolda Teague. She named it Veyla. A beautifully romantic name to fit this delicate and romantic, fairytale of a glove. My mitt wasn’t exactly turning out like the one on the picture, but I continued along any, completely enamoured in the rapid pace of the project. It was a nice change of pace from the sweater I just completed (also designed by Ysolda). I was about to start on the thumb when I realized my mistake… I had been following the directions for the Left mitt when this had started out the RIGHT mitt! What does it matter, you might ask? they are fingerless, you can indeed where them on either hand, but the details tell all. The cuff buttons will be folded over the wrong way, the leaf detail on the knuckle is pull in the wrong direction, so it doesn’t much look like a leaf anymore. *sigh* I will likely rip out up to the cuff and start over. In the meantime, here are some pictures to give you a preview of this quick and gorgeous little knit.
Yarn Fiber: Alpaca and Silk from Blue Sky Alpacas
Needle size: 3, circular
Pluses: Gorgous color, steely, shiny gray and very soft
Minuses: Snags quite easily, I have to watch my wedding ring and any dry skin on my hands very closely