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Round and Round

Happy Easter early! I finished the Easter Egg KAL Arne and Carlos were having and have twelve beautiful round Norwegian-style eggs sitting in a basket:


These eggs were really fun to knit! Each egg took about 3 - 4 hours to knit and stuff with polyester fiberfill, so I could finish one in a day or two. I only knit on them when I wanted to. I knit all twelve eggs between March 17 and 26, so I think you could knit three or four of them by Easter. You can watch all the KAL episodes (about Norway in Easter, not about knitting; the eggs are really easy to knit), and buy the pattern here. I was getting pretty discouraged with my knitting, and making these cute little Easter eggs were just the ticket to get me out of the doldrums!

The messy wrangle with the Fiadh Beast is over:

Fiadh done

I cannot tell you how happy I was to finally get round to finishing it! It will be a warm sweater that I will wear almost every day this winter, and I'm very happy with it. It has Gone Upstairs to be blocked, so it may be winter before I see it again, but it's too warm now to wear it, so that's ok. I was just so happy to be done with it. It's a well-designed pattern, and I might have liked knitting it in another yarn, but the Bartlettyarn made it heavy and hard to wrangle into submission. I felt like I fought with it every step of the way ... but, that being said, I'm really happy to wear it knitted in Bartlettyarn because a) it has a lot of lanolin in it; b) it will be very hard wearing yarn; c) it will bloom and be soft after blocking; and d) all the real Aran sweaters were knit in minimally processed, full of lanolin, sheepy-smelling yarn. So I love it.

I've made some progress in my spinning, too.

There was a bit of fiber that was intriguing in my "spinning" box, so I spun it up. It was 1.48 ounces of brown/blue/olive green/teal commercially dyed (not hand dyed) roving that felt as though it had some mohair in it, though I really have no clue what fiber it is or where I got it. Maybe it has alpaca in it, dunno. 

Brown fiber
The finished skein is a lovely dark brown that has a deep, resonant color of dark brown with the teal, blue, olive showing through. It's quite pretty. I did it 2-ply and it came out about fingering to sport weight. I'd call it a light sport weight yarn.

Brown skein

But when I put it in the sunshine ... whoa! It just lit up! So pretty!

Brown skein sunlit

Right now I am spinning a big (308g/10.86 oz.) ball of fiber commercially dyed with blue, green, purple and black.

Big blue ball

It feels like wool, Coopworth or Romney. It isn't particularly soft, but it isn't harsh. Just really woolly. It will be warm! There is no lanolin in it either. Once again, I have no idea where I bought it, but I think it might have been at Sharon's moving sale, which was 1243438768709978876 years ago. Note to self: When getting fiber, attach a label saying where and when you got the fiber, as well as what the #%&*#@#%^ fiber is. Fiber usually doesn't have anything like a ball band, like yarn. Imagine if you bought yarn with no ball bands! Horror!

Blue fiber

I was going to spin it in a 3-ply, but when I got started, I decided to spin it 2-ply and make a light sport/heavy fingering weight. I'm think it would make a lovely, lacy shawl for spring and a nice lacy scarf in the winter. Also I think it will become softer after setting the twist and after blocking the finished shawl.

Spinning blue

This picture doesn't really do justice to show how beautiful it spins up. I think it might be the prettiest yarn I have ever spun! 

My spinning wheel has been going round and round very happily with this fiber. I hope you have a wonderful, happy Easter! Happy knitting and spinning! (click to find the Easter Egg)


Be Happy!

Hello happy people! After my last post, I grit my teeth and kept on knitting. We got some new chairs for the living room, which meant that I could knit Fiadh in my lap with my legs stretched out, and that made it much easier to knit. I finished the first sleeve:

Fiadh front

This is what the back looks like:

Fiadh back

I'm liking it a lot more. I have one more sleeve, the button bands and collar, and a pocket lining to knit and then I'm done! Just in time for warm weather! 

Speaking of weather, what a wild ride the weather the last week or so has been. Temperatures almost at 60°F, then dropping down to 19F°, then back up again. At least it will be warm again in a week or so.

I'm about 54 rows (and they are long rows) from the end of my Northwest Shawl, which means it will be another week or two before I am totally done, but having Fiadh and Northwest Shawl getting done at sort of the same time fills me with glee. Also, I'll finish the cowl I started with a bit more vim and vigor and it will go fast, I am sure. I really like it, and I'm sure that having two endless projects going on at the same time too was discouraging. 

I've been enjoying Arne and Carlos' Knit for a Bit YouTube videos. It's almost like having a real knitting circle. Arne and Carlos are having a KAL for knit Easter eggs that sounds really fun! You can use up scrap yarn that you have too, so it's a good way to go through your stash. The knitalong starts March 17. The pattern is $4.00 and you can find it here: Easter Eggs by Arne & Carlos.

I've been having a blast spinning. I finished my fine skein of the copper-dyed light green yarn:

Light green skein

It really is green, not blue. Sorry.

I absolutely love it. It is so soft and light and has a nice fuzzy halo! It reminds me of a kitten ... a little, soft, light green kitten.

After I did the light green skein, I spun about 45g of purple merino with stellina in it.

Purple fiber

I love how it looks when it is done, but having spun a little bit of it, I know that I will never spin anything with stellina in it again.

Spinning purple

The stellina got everywhere; all over me, up my nose, on the floor. It just wanted to make my whole world sparkle. Luckily, it was remarkably easy to clean up, but I didn't really enjoy it. I did love my little skein of yarn though!

Purple prewashed skein 

Before setting the twist

Purple prewashed skein

When it was all dry and skeined

I spun this fairly thick in a two ply, so it's worsted to Aran weight, and I got about 40 yards. I love it. 

Happy knitting and spinning, my joyous friends! Happy St. Patrick's Day and Happy St. Gertrude's day tomorrow! I'll be enjoying knitting my Easter eggs starting soon!

Edited to add: Pogo says Happy Gertrude's  Day too. Any day that celebrates cats, especially eating mice, is fine in her book.


Squishy Yarn

My squishy, luscious, brick-colored yarn is done, and I am very happy with it:


I got 13.02 ounces of yarn. I have no idea what it was for weight of fiber to start with. I really am sort of amazed at how even it is, and I can't wait to knit it! I thought I would have less yarn than I have, so I will have to look again at my pattern choices before I decide what to make. 

I jumped right into my bag of roving to see what to spin next. I chose a small amount of this:


That is 45g of some kind of fiber that is not merino (might be Romney?), and I think it was dyed in the dye left from my copper dying, as it was not exhausted ... but it was nearly exhausted, as this is only lightly dyed. It is a very light green, almost white. I don't think my iPhone takes very good color pictures, as everything looks quite washed out. I do try to correct the colors, but I suck at it.

I will spin this very fine if I can, to make 2-ply sock yarn, but as I will only have 40g or so of the resulting yarn, I'll have to spin something else to put it with. Or maybe I'll make kid's fingerless gloves. We'll see.

It's kind of nice to spin 2-ply anything, after spinning a 3-ply yarn. But I do love how squishy and even the 3-ply yarn is!

My knitting has suffered this week because I hate all of it. I'm on the first sleeve of Fiadh which is always trying to escape my lap because it is huge and heavy, my cowl of my own design that I started is easy but boring, and Northwest Passage shawl is far, far too endless -- after I finished the 13 repeats of the chart I was knitting, I discovered to my dismay another chart of 24 rows to do five times or so, and then there is yet another chart to do after that one. It's already too long and it's going on and on and on. It doesn't look anything like the photo, which makes me wonder where I went wrong? So I am harrumphing big time and am contemplating not knitting anything for a week or so because I hate it all. 

Happy spinning though! Even though I probably won't knit with it!