Another fiber festival is in the books! I had a wonderful class with two fantastic students. I did some shopping, some socializing, some teaching and then some more shopping and socializing.
Happy Hands Lotion – This stuff is great for knitters and spinners because it dries quickly and isn’t greasy. Today I bought the Clover scent. I also like Mandarin Clove and Sweet Dreams. Our local yarn shop, Starstruck Cat, carries the lotion and it is available directly from the Etsy site here.
Yarn Bowl – This is the second year I’ve bought a yarn bowl from this vendor, Beech Grove Clay Works. The glaze jobs on their work is amazing, as well as patterning in the clay. And, they are reasonably priced.
Project Bag – Another project bag from Unique Petites. These have a flat bottom so they stand up.
Yarn Ball Pin – This was actually a gift from a vendor (Froebe Fibers) Patty and I both bought the same yarn from. And she will be at Stitches (as a participant, not a vendor) – we hope to see her there!
Yarn and Fiber
An alpaca/merino/tussah silk braid from Knitted to a T. The electric/denim blue colors are deeply saturated. The colorway name is Janie’s Got a Gun.
Hand-dyed yarn from Froebe Fibers. This is the Shady Leprechaun Lace, a blend of 70% superwash merino and 30% silk. There are 1090 yards in the 100 gram skein. The colorway is a silvery gray with bits of teal blue/green over it and she dyes using food-safe dyes. Her online store is here.
Lastly, and from a new to me dyer, is yarn from Copper Centaur Studios. The dye on her yarns is a deeply saturated tonal, nearly solid. The base for the yarn I bought is Slightly Silky – a very squishy fingering weight blend of 80% superwash merino and 20% silk. The colorway is “Intentional Tardis” and is destined to be a Dr. Who shawl.
Hey looky! I started and finished something and it *didn’t* take three months. I started this week before last knowing it would be an easy travel project for a work conference in Orlando. I actually cast on and knit up to where the silver started at home so it would pre-started and I wouldn’t have to worry about changing needles. I flew down on to Orlando on a Satruday (6:20am flight – what fun) and finished up the green as I was waiting for my bag at baggage claim. I really enjoyed the colorwork pattern – it was so much fun to watch the design develop.
Moving on. My Rav project page is here.
Pattern – Up . . .up & Away (Ravelry pattern here) from Grace Akhrem (website here). This is a beanie style hat worked in two colors with some rows using both colors.. The second color is carried up the rows so only four ends total to weave in. I love stranded color knitting for its simplicity and the fun of seeing what happens next. DK weight yarn in two solid colors that contrast would look best – you want the colors to pop against each other. Pattern is $7.00 on Ravelry.
Yarn – Sublime Yarns’ Baby Cashmere Merino Silk DK (Rav link)(Company website). Sublime is a line from the English yarn company Sirdar which was distributed in the US by Knitting Fever (it appears Knitting Fever no longer distributes Sublime since I can’t find it on their website). This particular yarn is a DK weight blend of 75% merino, 20% silk and 5% cashmere. A 50 gram ball is 127 yards and the yarn is tightly plied. I used 89 yards of the green and 51 yards of the gray for the whole hat (so you couldn’t quite get two hats out of two 50 gram balls). The green colorway is number 0336 and the gray is 0276. I would buy this yarn 100 times over – its durable and squishy soft.
Pattern Mods –
1. Circumference – the pattern indicates the body circumference is 20.5” at a gauge of 5.5 sts/inch. On size 4s I came out to 5.75 sts/inch and 7 rounds/inch. Going up to a size 5 needle resulted in too loose of a fabric and was under 5 sts/inch. So I stuck with my size 4s, knowing I’d need to do a little tweaking for height. I did not adjust the circumference (number of stitches around) since I have a small-ish head and wanted it to fit tight. The finished result was pretty tight but it fits and I expect it will stretch out. I could have gone with it a bit longer at the end.
2. Cast on 112 and just did a 3×1 rib over 11 rounds for the brim – none of the decreasing in the pattern. This was two more rounds than the pattern to add length (see next note).
3. The first step on the body is to knit 5 rounds – I knit 8 total, again to add length. Here’s about where math went wonky. Based on the row gauge and the number of rows per the pattern I should have had about 2.2 inches knit so far. I knew my row gauge was off a bit but only by about 1.5 rounds per inch. I was no where near the 2.2 inches (mine was more like 1.5 inches). So, fuzzy math aside, I added 5 rows to the pattern between the brim and body.
4. I did the same round exercise when I got to the crown shaping and now my hat was too tall! So I needed to eliminate rounds. In the crown shaping section I only knit one round between the decrease rounds (6-8, 10-11 and 13-14). This eliminated 4 rounds.
5. In the grand scheme I only added one round and could have possibly knit the pattern without any mods. But, I actually would have preferred the hat to be longer (I ended up 1/4 of an inch longer than the pattern length). I think a 9 inch beanie would be better for me.
For a bit of a break from knitting and sweater stress (one sleeve and a bit to go) let’s talk about fiber prepping. Specifically, experimenting with a drum carder. Part 1 will be about some BFL lamb locks and Part 2 about some silk noil, BFL, faux cashmere and sparkle.
My friend Patty has a sweet drum carder. It’s a Fancy Kitty with a fine or extra fine cloth, I think. At any rate, she was kind enough to let me borrow it for some experimenting. Previously I’ve used a drum carder to mix colors of but never to mix fibers.
I had a couple PhatFiber samples just begging to be carded. The first are some hand dyed BFL lamb locks from Fiber Fancy (who unfortunately closed down about 9 months ago). Here they are before their trip through the carder. I did pull and tease them apart a bit first.
Some of the locks immediately wrapped around the licker in (that’s the little drum). Also, despite the small sample I had I let the fibers cover the entire width of the larger drum. This made the carded fiber very thin and hard to remove from the drum. Would have been smarter if I had fed it onto only half the drum.
Once I finally got the fiber off the drum, I ran it through one more time. The end result was a fluffy, semi-textured batt. I was happy with how the colors blended in the end.
Have you ever tried drum carding? What would you card if you had a carder?