I have such a backlog of finished projects from over the past couple of months that have yet to make it up on the blog. So since I’ve been in such a mood to spin yarn, I figured I’d start catching up by talking about a Christmas present I made for my best friend and soon-to-be-roommate.

In September last year, I spun up this yarn, as hinted at here. It was my first time spinning Blue-Faced Leicester, and it definitely was a very pleasurable spin, only taking 3 days to make the singles and 2-ply. I always love to see how different the spun up yarn looks compared to the fiber. In this case, it ended up brightening up the colors a bit.

4 oz BFL
Fractal Spun
2 ply, 32 WPI
516 yards
Started 21 Sept 2011
Finished 24 Sept 2011}

I knew that I would be knitting a shawl with this yarn, something with an Estonian pattern to it. I had several in mind, but ended up choosing the Echo Flower shawl, mainly because of the blossom stitch (makes up the main body of the shawl), which I love. It’s the same stitch that can be found in the Laminaria pattern, which was the first shawl I ever made and still to this day my favorite shawl. My bestie always compliments me on that shawl, so I knew I had to make hers with the same stitch.

{Peacock Shawl
US Size 5 Needle
Modifications include leaving out the nupps in the border pattern,
and doing a normal knit stitch down the spine instead of a twisted stitch
Started 24 Dec 2011
Finished 31 Dec 2011}

I used up every last yard for this shawl. I left the nupps out of the border pattern (I dislike nupps, and besides they are yardage pigs [aka use up a lot of yarn]). I was a bit worried as to how the colors would do with this stitch pattern, but I was pleased with how the fractal spinning helped create a nice graduated color effect. And I love how the edging border came out at the end of the triangle! Love that contrast of tight blossom stitches and more openwork lace.

If it wasn’t for the fact that I started this project with my best friend in mind, and that she is indeed my best friend, I would NOT have been able to give this beauty away. The softness, the slight sheen of the yarn, the shawl pattern, everything came out better than I had even imagined.

Up until yesterday, Peacock had been my best spun yarn. More to come on what yarn I now consider my best ever!

PS>We move into our new apartment tomorrow!!!


Sometimes you just need a wheel…

Last Monday, ten minutes before I had to be at work, my Kromski Sonata spinning wheel arrived at my front door. I had just enough time to pull everything out of the box, and then assembled it later when I got home from work. I spent a good part of last week spinning 4 ounces worth of wool, then plying it into a final skein of yarn. Making yarn takes so many hours, I had no idea.
I have come to the conclusion that I love my wheel. Making yarn on it really goes much faster than a spindle, so I have named my wheel “Soren.” (That’s also the name of the main owl character in a new series of books I’m reading, so it seemed appropriate.)
The silver spun up a little bit thicker than the natural color, so I have some natural leftover that I’ll probably ply with the remainder lavender I had leftover from the Peekaboo Purple yarn. My techniques have improved so much in just the first week of having my wheel, and I can definitely tell that I’m a wheel girl. I’ll probably never go back to a spindle, but that’s just my personal preference.

4 ounces of Merino Fleece
Natural and Silver
2 ply
332 yards
approximately Fingering Weight

I was so pleased to get over 332 yards of yarn out of the 4 ounces of fleece, so I’ll have enough to make a nice little shawl. This yarn is so cozy, so I can’t wait to knit with it.

Unfortunately, I worked a 9 hour shift at work on Friday, after I spent over 3 hours spinning the day before, so I had to give my ankles a few days’ break. I’m hoping to get back on the wheel by the end of the week. And a new fiber purchase may or may not be headed to my house soon…