Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

vacation knitting

A vacation means a driving trip, and that means lots of knitting time for me. I do take my share of driving, but try and plan it after dark when I wouldn't be knitting anyway. So having returned from a recent vacation, I have a few photos to share of progress on the FLAK sweater, and a finished project.

First the finished project:

Both yarns are commercial alpaca called Baby Twist, and are very soft. I originally made the headband, because I fell in love with the dyed and sparkly skein of alpaca yarn, but there was only one skein at the store. So I did the headband, thinking that would use the whole skein. When there was over half of the skein left, I bought more black alpaca, using the pretty yarn as a stripe. Even that didn't use up all of the yarn! I imagine my next step will be to buy yet more black yarn and make a matching scarf. Good thing the black alpaca is a yarn the shop stocks!

I spent most of my non driving knitting time working on the aran knit along sweater (known as the FLAK). I got through the first five installments, which makes the sweater have the back and front knitted down to about underarm level. This sweater is being knit top down, and we started with the saddles, those bands across the shoulder, then picked up stiches for the back, and knit to desired length. The front was the same process except we had to shape a neckline. The nice thing about this knit along is that the designer is offering options for different looks. If I wanted a rounded neckline, I would have increased only a few rows. I chose the V neck line and so did increases all through the knitting of the front. I did each side separately, finally joining and knitting a few rows at the end of the V.

One of the challenges on this was to reverse the knitting order of the cables, so that they matched the order presented on the back. It wasn't hard, once I got a good start on the cables and could see them developing, but at the beginning, I often felt my mind crossing, right along with those stitches, as I tried to work out which cable pattern was next. Add to that was the constant increases at the neck edge which would have to be a cable, once there were enough stitches. I finished the front almost literally right before we got in the car to start home, I knew I would not work on it in the car, and wanted it to be ready for the next installment when I got home. As it has turned out, I have not knitted on it for a week now, even though the sleeve installment is printed out and ready to go. I think I needed a cable break.

The yarn I am using is from my stash, a sale bin purchase several years ago. It is called lana Moro and it is 50/50 wool/acrylic. I love the stitch definition on the cables with this yarn.

What I have been knitting on this week is the start of mystery shawl along 3. I am using Cherry Tree Hill merino lace yarn in the color Java. The shawl has a circular start, and I have about 20 rows done, but that blob of yarn and needles is not very photogenic. So instead I have a photo of the swatch I made to decide on needle size.

I am hoping that the subtle colors of the yarn show in this photo. I took the picture outside hoping to get the sunshine on the colors. It's a fantastic yarn to knit, so soft and subtle in the coloring. I am expecting the shawl to be very lovely when it is done.

I am still Olympic spinning, even though the olympics are long over. With the wonders of modern technology, I have about 75 hours yet taped on my dish DVD. I am planning to watch it all, and spin, to complete my self made challenge of seeing how much yarn I can spin. Right now I am spinning a lovely merino silk blend I got when I went to SOAR. It is spinning like a dream, but there is alot of the fiber, so I have over 7 hours spinning time in it already and am only on my second bobbin. That's the problem with very fine spinning, it does not make the stash reduction happen! But the good side of that is the nice lovely lace weight yarn that I can use for my current knitting obsession, a shawl.


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