Sunday, May 22, 2011

Knitting with Handspun

Knitting with handspun has always been a challenge for me. I've lamented this fact before. I'm not sure what it is. Either the project isn't worthy, or the intended recipient isn't worthy. Shameful, really. I've got to get over this. I'm starting to really build up a stash of handspun. I love spinning and the 'Tour de Fleece' is coming up. So that means I'll be producing more handspun.

I've trolled around on Ravelry. Other people seem to have no issues with knitting up their handspun. I've come across some really great finished objects there that have inspired me to cast on and knit already.

I've mentioned that I've been bitten by the Stephen West bug. His patterns are totally worthy of using handspun. And I have good friends moving to the Northwest Territories in July who are totally worthy of some handspun.

So, that being said, I knit up this little cowl called Drawbridge. Such a simple pattern. It can also double as a hat in a pinch. The colours of the yarn are nice and masculine. I'm sure my friend will like it.

Sunday, May 15, 2011


So, I finished the Daybreak and I absolutely love it. As predicted, I immediately cast on for another Stephen West pattern. This time, I'll be knitting Daybreak - in handspun no less!! I'm super proud of myself for doing that. I've written before about my hesitancy to use handspun. I think I even listed that as a goal for 2011. I'm really trying to see the potential of this beautiful yarn - not to see it as a final project in itself.

Here is the blocked daybreak on my floor. So happy with the yarn and the pattern. I highly recommend both

The daybreak on my back porch.

Here is a photo of some locks from the 'big project'. The rest of the fleece is currently undergoing a 'cold soak' in a large rubbermaid container. I decided to hand wash a few locks just to see how they look. I handcombed the locks, and will likely spin these up to see how they turn out. Pretty aren't they?

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

The Big Project (Take 2)

Since my original post about the big project, I've done nothing to process the fleece. The lady from whom I purchased the fleece recommended that I keep the fleece in a freezer for a few days, just in case there were bugs and what not hiding in the fiber only to come alive once in my warm home.

Well, this was back in March, in Labrador. Things are still pretty cold at that time in Labrador. So rather than store it in my freezer, I decided to keep in on my back porch for a couple of days.

Bad idea.

Kevin assumed it was garbage. I know!! I can hear the gasps from here. I contacted the seller to see if she had a similar fleece for sale, but sadly she sold the little lamb (a Merino, Corriedale cross named Rosie). She also decided to change her shipping. She no longer ships in black garbage bags owing to Kev's faux pas. She contacted me sometime later to tell me that she just had her flock sheared. While she had sold Rosie, she still had her sister Daisy, and I could buy some of her fleece. I was a happy camper, as was Kev. He finally got out of the dog house.

Here is what it looks like all spread out.

I'm very happy with this fleece. I've already scoured and carded a small amount of it, just to see what it spins up like. I have to spin some existing fiber however, just to get a few free bobbins. I'm very, very happy with the result so far. This is a far superior fleece to the Jacob fleece of two summers ago.

I haven't settled on a big project goal yet. Like a sweater or an afghan. I may just spin single skeins of various weights and colours and just enhance my stash. I'm still debating what to do. I am toying with the idea of an icelandic yoked sweater. I think I will have enough yarn when all is said and done. We shall see. Exciting times.