Monday, August 22, 2011

Oh, dear...

It has been awhile since I blogged last. Sometimes, it seems, I just don't have an awful lot to say. Having family here for a visit for a week or so at the end of July/beginning of August left me feeling strangely drained of thought and energy.

One positive thing I did was to treat myself to a Mystery Knit Along -- a new shawl pattern from Stephen West at WestKnits. My very first WestKnits pattern was the Windschief Hat, which I knitted for Grant Hart last winter. It was a lucky find while I was browsing Ravelry's cache of hat patterns for something that might suit Mr. Hart, whom I did not know very well yet at the time of knitting.

I enjoyed that hat pattern so much, I have knitted others for myself, and a second one for Grant, and a number of Stephen's other hats as well, plus two shawls.

After my company left, I was despondently cruising around Ravelry and happened to see the announcement for Mr. West's Knit Along. I was only a couple of days late joining the party and figured I could catch up quickly enough, so I paid for the download. It's still in progress, but nearly done now. I just have to put the edging on and bind it off, then wash and block, and it will be good to go. Here's a picture of it, partway through the third "clue."

I have a turtleneck dress I bought a few years ago, which is just about the same shade of terra cotta as I used in the shawl. It's nice in the shawl, but on me a whole dress in that color is...well...gagsome. Luckily it's 100% cotton, so I am overdyeing it dark brown. It won't be the exact same shade of brown as the yarn I used in the shawl, unless of course I am very, very lucky, but it should be close enough to be attractive. And besides, there will be very few places in the edging where the brown is actually next to the fabric of the dress for comparison. The biggest part of the edging will be spruce green.

The shawl was also a great way to test some really beautiful yarn I'll soon be selling. It's a 2-ply sport weight yarn from New Zealand that will be fantastic for outwear. It's not terribly soft, but is sturdy and durable and really has some body to it. Definitely not Merino. It feels more like Shetland. I can see it making excellent hats, boot socks, or mittens, and of course I know now that it's great for a cold winter day shawl.

Anyway, I've been busy skeining it up and washing it in preparation for selling.

I pretty much wash everything I sell, so it's ready to work with the minute it lands in a customer's hands. Washing really brings a yarn that's been compressed tightly on a cone back to life.

In addition to all that knitting and skein winding, I've started playing with dye again, and added some nice new items to my shop. Below is a sampling of spinning fibers, but I added some new yarns, too.

Well, back to my regularly scheduled knitting now, while you enjoy an old favorite of mine, which I rediscovered this week.

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