Monday, August 23, 2010

Traveling Women

FO: Red Traveling Woman
Pattern: Traveling Woman by Liz Abinante
Yarn: Rowan 4-ply Soft, 100% wool, fingering weight, 2 full skeins
Needles: 5.0 mm bamboo circs

Yay! I loved this pattern. I usually like most patterns I knit, aside from a few epic fails (including a short row hat) but I LOVE this pattern. Quick, fun, accessible lace. Pretty, too. I really like lace patterns in fingering and sock weight yarns. I like the increased stitch visibility. I still have a lot of trouble seeing my stitches when I knit in lace weight. The pattern was intuitive, and since I was able to see my stitches much better than when I use lace weight, things went quickly, easily, and happily. Usually I spend a ton of time counting, recounting (every repeat!) and then at the end of the row I am still off. This has dominated my lace experience until Aestlight, which I knit in sock weight. I am now a big fan of the lace pattern-sock/fingering weight combo. Not as delicate as a lace or cobweb shawl, but much more realistic and enjoyable on the knitting end.

This yarn was given to me by my mother, my number one source of amazing yarn. She loved the yarn so much, that I always wanted to make it into something for her. I have had the yarn for at least two years, maybe more, before I found the perfect pattern. I am so glad I waited for it. The yarn looks great with the pattern, and was very easy to work with. I have read critiques that the Rowan 4 ply soft is anything but soft, but I did not find that to be true. I thought it was springy, soft, and held its shape really nicely as I knit. It only got softer with blocking. I am a bit sad its discontinued, personally.

Happy wearing, Mom!

Preview of the next Traveling Woman, in the oh-so-lush Sea Silk:

Preview of another FO, a Mohair/Linen version of Wisp:

Saturday, August 7, 2010

I've been blocking....

Hemlock Ring

Traveling Woman

And yes, I block with safety pins. They work much better for me than straight pins that tend to pop out when I stretch the fabric.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Lovely Handspun

For this amazing handmade, undyed yarn, I decided to go with a basic stitch pattern that would let the focus of the project be awesome yarniness. My mom and sister got this yarn for me as a graduation present, from a shop in Point Reyes that sells the work of local, Northern California Fiber artists. This particular yarn is the softest yarn I have ever used or even touched, and is 100% angora goat. Here are the specs for the yarn:

100% Angora Handspun
The Studio by Alice Rantos
Inverness Park, CA

Purchased at Black Mountain Artisans in Point Reyes Station, CA.

FO: Handspun Cowl
Pattern: Shetland Feather and Fan Cowl by Tara-Lynn Morrison (free pattern!)
Yarn: 100% Angora Handspun (169 yards, about worsted weight)
Needles: US 9 bamboo dpns

I knit in the feather and fan pattern until there was no more yarn, making for a fairly long tube-- about 12 inches. I have noticed that with some of my shorter cowls, the whipping winds still find their way onto exposed neck in winter. Problem solved! I can wear this cowl all scrunchy as pictured above, but it is also long enough to fold over double and wear that way. Both ways are incredibly warm.

This yarn is almost worsted, I think. It seems a bit DK in places, and a bit Aran in others. At times the yarn was smooth, others, it was a bit nubbly. The yarn is so gorgeous, and so soft. I was overly excited to wear it, and had to take it off because though summer in SF is not warm, it does not quite call for double layer wool on the neck. I do look forward to using it a ton in winter and fall.
Catching up with Lenin in the Ukraine.