Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Spinning

I bought a drop spindle kit on Etsy last summer, and it was only a few months before I bought a wheel. I love my Ashford Kiwi, and am having lots of fun learning how to work with different fibers and trying new techniques. Here are a few skeins of yarn I spun and their subsequent projects...

#1
2-ply merino - fiber hand-dyed by Miss Babs and purchased at Fibre Space in Arlington, VA. It turned into a Lacy Baktus shawlette that became my favorite scarf this winter.

#2
I bought some hand-dyed merino from FatCatKnits on Etsy and made a scarf for my aunt, but used the leftovers to make socks for me - I've discovered that wearing handknit socks automatically makes my day better.

#3
Another great project for handspun is the Toast wristwarmers - nice and simple, and they don't use up much yardage. I made two pairs with 4 oz handspun and could probably squeeze out another. I spun up the fiber (from A Tangled Skein in Hyattsville, MD) with long color repeats and then made a 3-ply yarn, which has awesome, slow color transitions.

I have a few other handspun projects and a number of handspun skeins waiting to be knit up (I have spun fiber other than merino, these three projects are just my favorites). My current project is spinning sweater quantity of some superwash merino in a navy blue. And... I'm going to Maryland Sheep and Wool Festival this weekend! I'll be sure to post pictures and descriptions of my loot!

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Blog Revival

I decided I should start blogging again, and my newly finished sweater seems like a good project to talk about for this revival.

A family friend brought some yarn back from New Zealand for me, and I wanted to make a sweater dress out of the golden-yellow tweedy DK yarn. I couldn't find any pattern I liked with the right gauge, so I set out to design it myself.

I made a swatch to find stitches per inch and played around with a few cable and lace patterns for the center design. I settled on a motif I adapted from the Sculptured Lace Scarf from Interweave Knits Spring 2009.


My idea for the dress changed a bit from my original sketch - I started ribbing at the waist, but there was still a lot of positive ease at that point and the ribbing looked weird, so I ripped it back and made it more of an A-line shape. I also opted for a vest style instead of the capped sleeves. I had to add bust (and back) decreases near the top to get the fit I wanted in the end, but it ended up looking great (in my opinion).