Tuesday, November 26, 2013

A Faroese Man Shawl and Other Adventures*

Dear Oogy,
I have finally completed the Untried Northern Isles Technique project for November: behold the Faroese Man Shawl:

A basket weave bed jacket/shawl in Sirdar Snuggly double knitting yarn (nylon/acrylic blend)
It has all of the shape attributes of a Faroese shawl, so it does sit on one's shoulders effortlessly.  I did my best to make it something a distinguished gentleman would wear without cringing. We'll see what the Pops-in-Law has to say.  I was skeptical about the shawl's construction until I tried it on--it really is comfortable and after a few minutes I forgot that I was wearing it.  I have not ruled out a future project for myself using this pattern.

I had skipped over October's luxury fiber project.  I found myself in the midst of an existential crisis brought about by the amount of yarn in my possession.  The thought of buying more, and spending a lot of money on it, was too much for this Yankee.  So, I ferreted around the stash and uncovered 2 hanks of 100% cashmere that I was saving for a very special project.
I found my copy of Victorian Lace Today (thank you for the gift that keeps on giving!) and decided to make one of the wide bordered scarves.
It's labeled "easy".  We'll see.

While all of this angst is going on, I'm deeply involved in the Camel Knitters' 2013 fundraiser.
Camel Knitters Guild original design mitts
We have about 20 pairs of mitts to sell, and one big colorful scarf to raffle off.  It all happens on Dec 5 and 12!
Kathryn Alexander's Color on Color scarf made with lots of Knit Picks Palette yarn
I am considering the idea of making the mitt pattern available in some form or another.  It's been tested by you, me, and about 10 Camel Knitters, with great suggestions for improvements and clarifications.  Is it ready for prime time?  I'll let you know!

I hope your Thanksgiving plans involve lots of down time for knitting and other assorted fun.
*I changed the title of this post on 11/27 because "other atrocities" did not really capture what I wanted to say...

Saturday, November 2, 2013

impromptu fiber fix

I decided at the last minute to attend the Fiber Festival of New England today.
I was feeling sad about missing Rhinebeck last weekend, and I can't go to Stitches East next weekend on account of some scheduling conflicts, so I decided it was my only chance to get a fiber fix without flying somewhere to do it.  I didn't even know about this event until earlier this week.  According to a fellow fiber fiend behind me in the long line to get in, I was to expect something like a less-crowded mini-Rhinebeck.

I entered the event knowing I wasn't going to buy any fleeces (2 unprocessed here already) and that I would only purchase roving from rare breeds.  This is what I encountered upon entering:
I wish I could somehow include the olfactory presence of this experience.    I took this picture before walking around ALL of the tables.  I chose the fleece that is in the center of this picture, oddly enough.  How did I know!?  It's a black and grey Icelandic lamb fleece.
Brownie helped me scour it:
It's currently drying and producing a most pleasing aroma!

I didn't stop there, you know.  I did adhere to my original plan of getting some rare breed roving, but I also found the naturally dyed roving difficult to resist.  The booth for This and That Farm was my undoing:
An unbelievable array of color from natural dyes.

The blue is indigo dyed, and the green is dyed with a combination of marigold and logwood, both from This and That Farm.  Also pictured is a ball of shetland roving from the Rosefield farm and a bag of Finn roving from Heron Crossing Farm.
I'm eager to do some spinning, but the wheel is full of another project and all of the spare bobbins are full.  I guess I need to finish some old spinning projects before I can dive into these.