Friday, November 19, 2010

The Comforts of Yarn...

Cooler weather means my knitting bag has taken up regular residence in the living room. Here's what's been happening with yarn in my world lately...

The big news of the day is I finished my Italian February Lady Sweater! It's actually been finished for over 2 weeks and sadly enough this is the best picture I've taken of it to this point...


The new sweater knitter side of me is totally amazed at how it turned out. It still blows my mind that I knit a WHOLE sweater. The perfectionist side of me would like to be able to go back and make a few changes. But in the end I feel lovely when I'm wearing it and the soft Italian yarn feels like wearing a hug...just as I imagined it would.

When my Mom and Rod came to visit our new house this summer, my Mom brought me some woolly goodness from back home in the form of 2 hanks of this very colorful hand-painted Brown Sheep Co. yarn.


I will be the first to admit that I don't get near as excited about bright multi-colored yarn as my Mom, but I really want to figure out something lovely to make with her thoughtful gift. I'm always amazed at how much the look of the yarn changes when you wind it from a hank to a ball.


I think my problem is I'm much drawn to knitwear that has detail and texture through its stitches, and those things tend to hide in bright yarn like this. I've started, and frogged, two different scarfs with this yarn so far. I've decided for now it's gonna just hang in the stash basket until I find some inspiration that fits it bright personality. Any suggestions?

Oddly enough, while I'm having a horrible time finding my groove with the above yarn, I decided to dig some other multi-colored merino out that I bought while visiting my mom 2 years ago at The Red Barn Fiber Processing Company. The hank is 525 yards (9 oz) of machine spun, hand-dyed merino. I'm not sure what the intended weight of the finished spin was, but I'm treating it like a DK weight as it's not quite up to worsted. I really wish I would have taken a picture of the hank before I wound it into this lovely ball, because the difference in color focus is amazing. The hank came across as very warm with focus on the red tones. Once I wound the ball the yarn took on a whole new personality and it's definitely the cooler blues and purples that are taking center stage.



I've decided this yarn is to become my first attempt at a shawl. I've chosen the Emily Shawl from the winter/spring '10 issue of Knitscene for my pattern. It's a simple leaf lace repeat and it only required me to cast on 3 (THREE!) stitches to begin. As much as I struggle with the challenge of bright multi-colored yarn, I'm quite loving the subtle variations of color this yarn is creating. The shawl knitting up quite a bit faster than I had expected, though I am worried that I should have used a larger needle size as the stretched fabric isn't quite as airy as I had envisioned. With as quickly as the knitting is going I may frog it and start over with needles a couple sizes larger than the 8s I'm using now. (Oh how I love the flexibility of the creative process in knitting!)

What's in your knitting bag this fall?


peace

2 comments:

Donna said...

Emily Shawl is perfect for that yarn, Jenn! And I do have a suggestion for the handpaint from Brown Sheep ;)...I am of the same mind as you in terms of seeing the texture over busyness of color, however, hand painted yarns pair up delightfully with slip stitch patterns, especially the linen stitch. It comes out with a bit of a woven look, which really appeals to me. May or may not work for you, but thought I'd throw it out there. Happy holidays to you my friend.

Knit on,

Donna

Jane said...

Your sweater looks beautiful! It's always fun to try to fit a project to the yarn. I won a skein of lovely handspun/hand-dyed yarn and have yet to determine what to make. I'm working on a second cloche hat for my daughter and have some things that are hibernating - a vest and cardi for me. Now my 11 yo son wants a Mr. Roger's cardigan....