I while back while at Anoka Fiber Works I met a gal who had purchased some white roving my shop space there. She had spun the roving on a supported spindle and it was lovely. I think the fiber was from my alpaca Carley. The goal was to knit a shawl from the yarn.
And before I knew it, this spinner/knitter had finished a lovely shawl and sent me pictures of it.
And looks great on! An especially amazing project to complete by spinning on a spindle and knitting! So proud to have contributed just a little!
I finished the F~S4 (Finally Season 4) Downton Abbey Cowl that I started just a short time ago.
It took nearly all of 2 balls (50 g each) of Baby Twist yarn. Knit on size 9 needle, it was a quick and fun project.
It has a lot of texture from repeats of 4 rows each of purl, knit and seed stitch. And the alpaca yarn gives it wonderful drape that is so soft against the skin.
Downton Abbey Cowl
This is destined to be a ‘shop sample’ at Anoka Fiber Works where I have the Baby Twist yarn for sale. Stop by and check it out. I may have to knit another it was so easy and fast.
Nearly a year ago, I hand knit a pair of spats for my sister. I used my 100% alpaca bulky yarn that I had dyed. They turned out really cute, but each required 7 buttons! So they just hung around here until the end of last month when I took a polymer clay button class.
Spats heading right
I mixed the clay with the help of the instructor and managed to match the color quite nicely.
Spats going left
I made the buttons, baked them and sewed them on.
I think they look great, but I’m concerned that the bulky yarn is too heavy and they will not stay up if worn over slippery leggings or over skin.
Spats showing off
For now, the jury is out. They have been delivered to my sister, but it is now too warm to wear jeans and boots. In the meantime, I’ve begun to work on a boot cuff pattern to make on a knitting machine. There will be more on that in the future!
Don’t you agree? Every girl should have a very special outfit. Here’s the one I just finished. It is 100% alpaca yarn, hand dyed and hand knit!
The skirt has mock pleats.
The cardigan sweater still needs snaps on the front. The skirt also needs snaps.
Hat and bag
And a matching hat and hand bag are a requirement. The purse also needs a wee snap closure. And,,,,, taa daa!!!
That’s right. Even Barbie needs a little pampering in an outfit of alpaca! What fun it was to knit.
The hat is delivered.
A great fit
The journey of making this hat is complete. It is now on the job, keeping my brother-in-law’s head warm. Like a prayer shawl, this hat carries my blessings for the one who wears it! May he wear it for many years!
All the previous steps of this special hat project have led to this — knitting! First, I knit a little swatch.
My sample swatch
By measuring this and doing some math, I conclude I will need 88 stitches for the hat.
Can you see the difference?
I knit a few test rows, then change to a smaller needle. When the stitches are stretched out, you can see that the last rows (at the top of the photo) are a little tighter. This will make a warmer hat, so I choose that needle size.
And so I begin
I cast on and start a 2×2 rib in the round. My plan is to continue this rib to the end.
And so it grows
Black is so hard to photograph, but it is still ribbing as I continue to knit round and round.
The hat is a foot!
The hat looks quite strange when done. Really long and skinny! It is nearly a foot long.
Ah, that is more like it!
The 2×2 rib is so stretchy that is easily stretches to fit my styro head with plenty length to fold up for double warmth over the ears. It is so soft and immediately warms the wearer!
I’m very excited to turn this over to the one who needs it. I hope he likes it.
I’ve been waiting for the chance to do some dyeing with the new colors I got a while back and the white yarn I had processed at Rach-Al-Paca’s mill.
Step 1: Skein up a whole lot of yarn:
Skeins to be dyed
Step 2: Hang the wet yarn to drip until dyeing is done:
Even though it was rather windy, I managed to keep my dye-pots hot and the colors appeared like magic!
Step 3: After washing, rinsing and rinsing again with a little vinegar, the water is spun from the yarn in the wash machine and the yarn is hung to dry:
My little drying rack is loaded.
Both sides are full.
And this pipe is holding more skeins.
The last of the yarn
The yarn on this pipe is the odd amounts for custom projects or to be knit into products.
Step 4: After the yarn is dry, I re-skein it to make it look better:
Which is better?
Each pair of skeins above is the same color. The one on the left has been re-wound into a neat skein with the multiple colors blended as they will look when knit into a project. I think they look better. Do you?
I have 28 new skeins of yarn for sale. Those who visit during Farm Tour will have the first chance at this yarn!
And the rest of the yarn
I have 2 and 3 of some of the color combos. I even have a couple in camo and blaze for the knitters with hunters in their lives!
I hope to see you all at Farm Tour – Sept 29 -30 – at our farm.
Now that my topper is finished and I have been wearing it, I was looking for another project to make for me. This is what I decided on:
My next project
The pattern calls for mohair, but I have some super fine (about 16 micron) alpaca yarn that is between lace and fingering weight. It is so yummy. So I started this loop scarf.
The pink at the beginning is a provisional cast on. When finished with the knitting, I’ll pickup the stitches from the pink and kitchener beginning to end to make a loop scarf with no visible seam.
It is stockinette stitch, but on every knit row, I increase at the beginning and decrease at the end. This is a brilliant way to keep the stockinette from curling on the edges. While it grows pretty quickly because of the large needles, it is still going to be a long term project. There will be many hours of knitting to be done here! Think I can finish by the chilling nights of fall?
Remember the topper I started in January? I’ve been making slow progress on it since. I have the back and both sides of the front done. Then I started the sleeves. They are 3/4 length sleeves that start at the bottom and have increases spaced evenly to the top. The row stitch pattern is a repeat of 4 stitches, so as I was working on the sleeve when I had increased 4 stitches on each side I added a new pattern to the edges. I had finished 43 rows of the 60+ that I needed when I decided I didn’t like the jagged, zig-zaggy look of the sleeve. So I tore it out – after much gnashing of teeth and pulling of hair. I wasn’t sure I would like NOT adding the pattern to the edges any better. I wish I had taken a picture, but I didn’t.
And I started again. This time I have not increased the stitch pattern, doing a plain stockinette on the edges of the new stitches.
I’ve nearly finished this sleeve. I have about 6 more rows to go which will include one more set of increases and get me very close to the goal of 13 inches. What do think? Can you imagine what it looked like with another set of the pattern added in the edges? I did not like that look, but struggled with not following the pattern. (I’m just that way, I guess!) But at about row 40, I decided I like this look and am sticking to it!
And that brings me to this:
Yep, that is the end of my big bobbin of hand spun yarn. It will come close to finishing this sleeve, but I have 2 arms. And it is a good thing I do as I will have to go back to the wheel and see if I can match the thickness and spin enough yarn to knit another sleeve and do a crochet border.
I think I’ve overcome my frustration with this and the excitement to see it finished has returned.
As promised, here is the progress report on the topper I started. (The pattern calls it a ‘topper’. I don’t really care for that name. What would you call it?)
This is the back. It will grow to be about 20 inches from bottom edge to top. I’m guessing I accomplished about 8 – 9 yesterday – I didn’t measure. What I did measure was across.
Check my gauge!
Look at that! It is supposed to be 18 inches across the back piece. It is less than a half inch over that! Gauge has always been my nemesis. I’m quite pleased with myself. It will be hard to focus on knitting for business all week as I could just keep going on this. But I must and so I will.