Friday, May 4, 2012

Shawl x3

I've been on a bit of a random Shawl kick lately.

I cast on my first ever Shawl on June 20 2011(thank you Ravelry project page). I liked the project but I am far from a monogamous crafter so the Shawl was lost in the bustle of many other projects. It probably didn't help that I was using basically the thinnest yarn ever. By the end each row was incredibly long. However I decided to bring it to the fore and finish the sucker sometime in February or March.

It may be the magic of blocking lace that makes me fall in love with it every time. Overnight my project went from this:
To this:

After a bit of concern about looking too matronly wearing it I've gotten over that as well and have quite enjoyed it on some of these cool spring days.

So fueled by that success I couldn't help but jump on the bandwagon for the Reddit Knit-Along of the Age of Brass and Steele. The pattern was super simple but delightful so I knew it should be a fast project. I found yarn that I was quite happy with at Michaels. It's a cashmere blend so super soft, but from Michaels so still affordable (particularly because I always use at least a 40% off coupon and have gift certificates). The color was was crocuses so I figured that was perfect as well and called the project April Showers.

Unfortunately it came out very much more stripey that I was hoping for which was disappointing. But lo and behold when I wear it everything blends together and gives me the look I was hoping for. Yay.

Now before starting the KAL I was unsure of what yarn to use and considered spinning up Kiwi's fleece as I thought it would be perfect for the pattern. However common sense prevailed when I figured given the month timeline maybe starting from raw wool was not the smartest.

But when I found that it was only a week into April and I had finished half of the knitting already. Plus it was a long Easter weekend made awesome by the fact that I opted not to drive home to my parents but instead enjoy some free time in my own home. So I figured I'd give the spinning a try.

After prepping it into roving on my hackle Kiwi's fleece spun so easily and perfectly into a wonderful DKish single it felt nearly like a miracle. Being a single it was of course twisty but I washed it "thwacked it" as I'd seen suggested. And hung it to dry under the tension of a spray bottle. The resulting yarn did have a bit of twist to it but for the most part seemed to be pretty stable.

So I quickly knit up a little sample and lo and behold there were some places where I could see the stitches starting to lean but for the most part it was smooth sailing. And the color and texture were just wonderful.

I proceed with much sorting, washing, flicking, hackling, spinning, winding, washing, drying, winding, and knitting. And in the end had this wonderful shawl.

Its impossible to really capture the colors of it as they seem to change even every time I look at it. But I'd say they speak mostly as gray to me with hints of brown at times. The single adds so much character to the knitting that I am now certain I'll be doing a good bit more of this type of spinning.

Hooray for new things!

1 comment:

WonderWhyGal said...

Three beautiful shawls. I have to admit, the handspun shawl is my favorite. I always am a sucker for Pasture to Product. I bet the colors do tend to look different. I am planning on working through a Jacob fleece and working small sections at a time. I want the yarn to reflect the subtle changes natural in the fleece. Good thing to remember about the singles. Maybe I do want to ply? hmmmm