Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Works in Progress

Here is my first ever experience knitting with unspun yarn. This is not icelandic, like the kit I have waiting for me upstairs to make Meg Swansen's superlative Icelandic coat. This is Fingerlakes Woolen Mill Unspun. Soft and yummy it is. The wool comes as a big flat "cake". For this project, which was gifted to me by a friend at church who inherited it from her Grandma's stash, 4 strands are used, so the "cake" is divided into two sections by lifting out the center few inches, then using the inner and outer strands of each remaining spiral of yarn. It is going pretty smoothly and has been a nice break from all the frenzied deadline knitting. This will be a fitted helmet-type hat called Betty's Well-Shaped Hood. It is a classic pattern from Patternworks from many years ago.

Here is the Nicky Epstein Felted Bag from the current issue of VK. Gail and I are teaching it as a class together. This is obviously not felted yet. The version in the magazine is in lovely soft berry colors. Gail is doing something like that, but we thought it would be fun to show the different effect of doing the same pattern in neutrals. I like the way it is turning out.

Below is the Big Easy by Beth Brown-Reinsel. It is an easy circular pullover that features Gansey-like elements. I am enjoying the knitting very much. The patterning keeps the rows just flying by. The yarn is Wool Pack 10 ply, and it is showing off the stitchwork nicely. I swatched with 3 other yarns. One can understand why traditional ganseys are done with a very tightly twisted yarn. Anything with texture or even a heathered color just swallowed up the subtle knit-purl patterns.

Holiday Cheer and Class Reports

The holiday ornament class went really well last week. Everyone one in the class was a familiar face and I just love that. I got the Sophia Hat and wristwarmer pattern published for Chris. She just got in a bunch of that yarn and I had done the hat a few years ago. It is a luscious wool/llama blend dyed in yummy soft colors by those fabulous Wool in the Woods girls-Missy and Anita. The hat turned out well and I hope it will appeal to folks as a nice last minute gift-hat on size 9 needles-quick, quick, quick!
The last session of Chinese Lantern went well,too. It is such a thrill to see everyone have success and finish. One student made hers into a circular vest and one made the center chart into an intarsia contrast panel. One did hers in Karabella Aurora 8 and I was so enthralled with it that I've ripped mine out in the Naturespun sport and am going to redo it in the KA8. I don't know which color yet. There were a couple done in Galway which shows off the stitches beautifully-and those two were looking fantastic. All in all, it was a parade of masterpieces in the making. Go Girls!

Sunday, December 03, 2006


Okay, so maybe I don't feel like a genius, like Sally Melville promises, but I am glad to have my einstein finished. It is quite unique in the touch me. Once again, blogger's issues with the Mac platform are making it hard for me to put up photos, but I'll get them up. The fabric of the washed and dried Touch Me really does beg to be fondled, as the name implies. It drapes and slinks like nothing I've ever knitted before. The downside of that is that it is already growing longer with each wearing and I have to do some research to find out if I can rewash it or block it somehow to refresh it between wearings. I found some awesome buttons, and overall, I am really happy with it. Some of the students in the class are pretty much done as well. A couple are going to add collars so they will stop by the shop and see me. I love keeping those contacts alive. Students are the best. Sometimes I like teaching better than the actual knitting!