Current Projects: Slow Progress

Knitting and spinning projects recently took a break for this.

That blue sky! Those clouds!

That blue sky! Those clouds!

This rear view photo was lazily taken from my chair on the beach. I would have taken other pictures, but was too busy just taking in and enjoying the sights and sounds of the ocean.

Since then, knitting and spinning has resumed.


Houlland progress

The photo shows the border and first repeat of the main chart. One repeat down and three more to go. The beauty of starting a triangular shawl at its base is that the rows get shorter and shorter as the knitting goes on!

Although this knitting project has been getting the most attention, it was slow going for a while. After knitting and ripping the same three rows three times, I finally quit being so stubborn and put in a lifeline. Progress is much faster now. And, as expected, I have not had to rip back to a lifeline yet. Ha!

Lang Eyre

Spinning slowly continues for this project, started in July during the Tour de Fleece 2016.

Washed and dyed fleece, ready to go

Washed and dyed fleece, ready to go

I’ve been preparing the fibers by hand picking them and then handcarding them into rolags.

L to R: dyed locks, picked locks, hand-carded rolag

L to R: dyed locks, picked locks, hand-carded rolag

Three of the six colors are now yarn, and the fourth color is almost ready to be plied.

L to R: natural, purple, green

L to R: natural, purple, green

This project is a test of how well I can plan, dye, and spin to specs. The choice of pattern is a good one I think; gauge is not critical and the striping in the hap will allow for slight variations in color in case I need to dye and spin more yarn.

Before any dyeing was started, I spun a sample from the washed fleece. The portion of washed fleece for the sample was weighed before and after preparing it into rolags to get a measure of loss during prep. The sample yarn was spun using Jamieson’s Shetland Spindrift (a reasonable substitute for the yarn used in the pattern) as a guide. The sample yarn turned out to be a very good approximation of the yarn needed for the pattern. So the weight and length of the sample was used to estimate how much of each color of washed fleece would be needed.

After all that, I dyed the fiber and got started with making rolags and spinning. I’ve been keeping a record of all the weights and yardages throughout the process, and it’ll be interesting to see the results.

The skeins are generally turning out as planned so far, but the real test will be when the knitting begins. If needed, I have more undyed fleece and the dye formulas.

Hap Stretcher

This still needs a light sand and polyurethane.



These ends still need woven in. Then the hap can be washed and blocked (once the hap stretcher is finished, of course.)

*new* Black Wolf Ranch Alpaca I-Cord Scarf

One always needs a simple knit on the needles, right? This rectangular scarf is a neat idea. Three strands of I-cord run up through buttonholes along the length of the scarf. The end product can be worn as an artsy scarf or cinched up to make a cowl.

Skewers show placement of I-cord

Skewers show placement of I-cord

The yarn is a 2-ply sportweight alpaca from Black Wolf Ranch in Montana. The way it’s spun makes it sturdy, yet soft. The color is gorgeous and would look fantastic against a charcoal grey coat.

BWR Yarn

So that is a round-up of most of the projects I have going at the moment. I’m going to get these ones finished up before focusing on the others. So many projects, so little time!

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