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Posts Tagged ‘handspun yarn’

I was going to call this finished yarn “Electric Lotus” because the two colorways I spun together to make this yarn were “Elektra” and “Lotus.” I was expecting something much brighter but since I bought them on variegated BFL, it has totally changed the color profile of the yarn.

FKC-bobbins

It was a surprising spin and I love it. Deep grays, rich burgundies, deep browns, streaks of cream and some surprising pops of midnight blue…

I didn’t really have a master plan when I spun this up, beyond, “Spin enough to knit Sorcha a generously slouchy hat.”

FKC-lotus1

Wait. You mean I have to knit this gorgeous yarn into a hat for someone else? Fine. But I don’t have to be happy about it.  There’s definitely enough there for a generously slouchy cap. Perhaps two. Which wouldn’t make me cry.

FKC-lotus2

I went for a mostly Aran weight yarn, with some deliberately thick and thin bits here and there, just to give it some textural interest. As with every other Fat Cat Knits fiber I’ve ever spun up, it was a dream to spin, beautifully prepared, and the yarn is deliciously soft and squishy.

FKC-lotus3

Not Quite An Electric Lotus. More like, a Luddite Lotus. A low tech, still on dialup, no I don’t have an iPhone kind of yarn.

*niddy noddy issues = For those following along at home, a niddy noddy is a helpful tool that you can use to make up skeins of yarn when winding it off the bobbin of your spinning wheel. Well I don’t actually own a proper niddy noddy, but I live with a grip. Grips, in case you didn’t know, are very good at solving problems with whatever bits of string and tape and wax that you might have on hand. Thus, my niddy noddy is now an old wooden chair. We turn it upside down and set it on the kitchen table when I need to wind yarn. Captain Sexypants put super clever clove hitch rope knots on each of the legs to keep the yarn from sliding down when I’m winding it off the bobbin.

Rope + cats + before coffee + having to retie knots = hilarity has ensued.

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I know, I know, it’s been a lot of yarn porn lately. But you know, that’s what’s going on at Spacious Nuthouse Estates these days. All The Yarn.

FKCskein2

Dug into the stash and grabbed some fiber by another one of my favorite fiber color artists. Ginny, who runs the company Fat Cat Knits.

What makes Ginny’s club colorways really cool is that you don’t get just one color to play with. She always dyes up two distinct-but-related colorways and you get half and half of each. They are designed to work together so you can either ply them against each other nicely, or so that if you spun and plied the two distinct yarns separately, they would be very complimentary. This is nice for stripes or colorwork.

FKCskein5

I took the path of least resistance with this one and just plied the two bobbins against each other. I’m pretty happy I did. It’s a really wild array of colors and yet, they’re all quite harmonious. That’s why I named the skein “Autumn Array.” I’m so happy with this yarn! I feel like I’m starting to get my spinning chops back.

FKCskein4

Fat Cat Knits fiber bases are incredible and the prep is always so good. This stuff spun up like butter and it has been stuck in a packed bin in the stash for 3 years now. No felting at all. I easily got a very even single and the plied WPI was mostly nice and consistent around the skein. A few spots are less than perfect… but that’s the beauty of handspun!

FCKclub1

Autumn Array – 2011 Fat Cat Knits fiber club – BFL/silk.
206 yards of Aran weight yummiliciousness!

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I’m on 5 of 6 repeats. Thank god. Because that means I’m close to being done. Perhaps with tonight’s Criminal Minds marathon on Ion I will manage to get it all done and off my needles and out of my grill and, you know, just, done.

hat is taking shape

It looks fantastic, it’s shaping up nicely. The whole thing is knit on straights, flat and shaped as you go with short rows. You just graft it up the back when you’re done. Or a mattress stitch, if you didn’t use a provisional cast on like instructed because you forgot a crochet hook and some waste yarn and had to cast on at D&D because you needed something to do with your hands while other people were rolling in combat and then the DM looked at you like you might be coocoo for cocoa puffs when you asked him did he have any wool on hand, so you just, improvised and figured you’d work it out later.

Did I mention, brilliant?

And a shit ton of short rows?

clevershortrows

You shape the crown as you go (also with short rows) which is bloody brilliant.

This pattern is like, so perfect for a vibrant, messy, chaotic handspun yarn like this one, where the color combination is maybe a little crazypants. I especially like how it stripes vertically from crown to brim.

I love everything about this hat, except knitting it.

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I’m knitting this great tam by Wooly Wormhead, called “Dulcie.” It’s the second one I’ve knit and I’m making it out of some roving I spun up a la Fat Cat Knits.

Fat Cat Knits April 2010 club

Now, do not get me wrong. I love this hat. I do. It is clever and mathematical and smart. I love the one I knit for myself and I know the person I’m knitting this #!@#!@ hat for will love it too. And I also know, because this is just how I roll, I will probably knit it a few more times as a gift when one is needed. The pattern is just that good.

But seriously it’s making me want to stab myself in the eye with a #9 rosewood straight needle.

The pattern is comprised of 6 repeats total – each repeat is 40 rows. And each repeat has multiple bits of short row shaping. So there is some counting and paying of the attention and honestly, how can I focus on my The Walking Dead marathon a la DVR when I have to count stitches, and, you know, pay attention?

Also I might be running out of yarn. And it is handspun. Which means I cannot make more, because all the roving is gone. This means I’m getting nervous and starting to count and do things with math, just in case.

So now this hat is also making me want to start drinking, to go along with the stabbing.

The cats look a little worried.

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