Posts Tagged ‘handknits’

Choosing a fleece with contrasting colours. This one has just black and white in what seems to be equal parts – that’s very dark brown and cream, of course

The testing and planning for this project may just be the most fun part. I have now washed, carded or combed, spun and knit swatches (or small projects) from 4 of my stashed fleeces. I’ve been working with the multi coloured fleeces this time because I wanted some colour texture in my sweater. This one is a Jacob from Great Britain. It’s for Earl. I considered my choices for working with the stark contrast of the colours in this fleece. I could do a relatively homogeneous blending for a smooth mottled look, I could keep the colour separate and ply a white with a black for a ragg look, or I could try to keep the colours separate and use them to form some kind of colour pattern. I decided on the later and choose a random colour pattern as I felt it would be closest to the true nature of the fleece as it appeared on the sheep’s back. There are lots of grey fleeces out there, why make this one look like them?  In order to keep the colours separate they had to be plyed by the Navajo method. This produces a 3 ply yarn. I made mine a worsted weight (4 Medium) about 35 yards/ ounce and about 9-10 WPI. Although I love to card or comb by hand, I do use my roving carder for larger project where I really want to get on with the task of knitting it so that is how I’ve been preparing this one for spinning. I knew I had to be careful with any stark white areas as they would pop out visually so most of the white has some degree of black mixed in. Each time I load the carder it has some of each colour. It is in the carding, to a degree, but more so in the separating and arranging of the bats for spinning that the “painting” of the colour pattern takes place. I’ve been knitting each ball as it comes from the spinning wheel so that I have a feel for how I want the next colour pattern to work out. Updates Here

I’m making my Christmas presents and wanted to work with some cashmere so I thought this would be a nice little project that would work up fast and give the recipient some wonderful warmth and luxury this winter. It was really fast and such a treat to knit. This one’s for Bethy.

I love this cowl and it was so fast and easy, a perfect “knitting as meditation” project.

BLOCKING: I blocked it with wires and pins and Wow, what a difference. I really stretched it to it’s max when I blocked and probably wouldn’t have stretched it quite as wide now that I see it dry. I think I prefered the fabric with a little more bounce and a slightly tighter fit. But that is personal taste and it’s nice to have a choice. Different blocking choices can give you such different looks.

Pattern coming soon, check here to see if it’s out yet.

I have decided that there will be no problem selling handknits or handspun yarns once I get started. People need to see and feel how special the knitwear and yarns are and know how easy it is to get help from a real person who is the artist and designer.

Before I can promote the site I need some handspun yarns and some pattern downloads to be available.

My next project will be to spin a variety of handspun luxury fiber yarns and put them up on Etsy and the Web site and to use these yarns to re-knit some of my designs. I’ll take lots of pictures and write up the patterns. I should probably get back to the magazines that have approached me about publishing some more designs. The more our name can be seen the better and people like things they see in magazines. It offers a level of credibility and professionalism.