About Me

7.10.17

School is in session

School is in session and it's time to finish a project, add a class, and experiment.  The latest FO is my handspun vest made with the Mocha Dream roving from Ewespun Fiber Mill.  The fiber, ⅓ each Romeldale wool, alpaca, and camel down, was a dream to spin.  I ended up with 478 yards of two-ply yarn, which was more than enough for the vest.  The pattern called for a size US 9/5.5 mm knitting needle and after knitting a swatch I got the gauge I needed with a US 7/4.5 mm needle.  The pattern is from Folk Style, a book I've had in my library for some time.  The Grand Tour Waistcoat, designed by Di Gilpin was the perfect choice. There are a few Ravelry projects using the pattern without the intarsia motif.  The finished vest looks good with or without the swirls.  I didn't mind battling the bobbins, as intarsia is one of my favorite knitting techniques.

There's nothing better than a finished project.  The latest FO is a vest, knitted using spindle-spun yarn, using the intarsia knitting technique.  (I have an upcoming class for teaching the intarsia technique at Anoka Fiber Works.)   Intarsia, aka picture knitting, was popular when I picked up the needles in the early 1980s and I dove in relatively quickly as a fearless young knitter.  Thankfully the bobbins of varying sizes and shapes are still in the toolbox.

There wasn't a plan for the yarn in the beginning, as I just wanted to spin the beautiful roving from Deb Peterson, proprietor and shepherdess of Ewespun Fiber Mill at Old Man Wool Farm.  Deb premiered the roving at Shepherd's Harvest Festival over Mother's Day weekend.  The fiber blend is ⅓ Romeldale sheep's wool (from Deb's flock), ⅓ alpaca (also locally sourced), and ⅓ camel down.  The process of spinning was a joy and the natural colors blended into a beautiful variegated two-ply yarn with z-twist singles and s-twist ply.  I am thankful to have purchased that third ball because the 478 yards were enough for a larger project.

Fortunately, after many years of knitting and spinning, I have an ample library of knitting and fiber-related books.  Folk Style had the perfect pattern, Grand Tour Waistcoat designed by Di Gilpin.  Figuring that
Mocha Dream spy with the IST oak burl spindle.  The perfect tool for the project.

Mary snapped a photo for me.  There are three cables in the middle of the top motif.  

The upper fronts sport some seed stitch texture and cables.

A new class on the schedule at Anoka Fiber Works is for a Dorset "Cartwheel" Button.  Janie Crow taught our knitting group how to make them while in Shetland.  It was fun and we used the wool from our projects.  I thought it was time to practice and found the buttons easy and fun to make.  

The first three buttons turned into eleven buttons and counting.
The fall colors have been delayed by the abundance of rain this year.  I love the pops of color against the sidewalk concrete and grass.


I found a skein of fractal-spun Malabrigo Nube from a spindle spinning class I taught a few years ago.  The colors look like the leaves on the sidewalk (minus the grass).  I don't know what it will be, but I'm knitting a gauge swatch to try it out and see how it knits up.


Weaving Wednesday is a good time to experiment a "painted" warp.  I had some fabric markers, so I went small scale on a small loom to try it out.  No drips!  If I like doing this, I'll invest in some good quality fabric paint.  The blue and white fabric in the top left corner of the photo is Fey's kitchen towel.  She was very happy to finish them!


I finally used the skein of Vice yarn (Blurred Lines) that has been waiting patiently in the stash.  I think it would make a nice hat.  At the time I took the photo (yes, I fixed the position of the dowel to go up and over the front beam) there really wasn't a weft yarn I thought looked good with the colors, so I went with a neutral color.  As of this writing, it's coming along nicely.