Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Mail from Norway and an EZ Baby Sweater

Look what arrived unexpectedly yesterday (on what I thought was a postal holiday)!

It's a wonderful package from the lovely Theresa, full of Norwegian goodies! The yarn is Evilla, from Estonia. It's unspun and will make a really cozy shawl. I have plans for it (this, if you must know, assuming I have enough). We have already devoured half the chocolate bar and 2 of the Kinder eggs, and the two licorice candies are for my mom. Thanks so much, Theresa!

During a phone call with my mom last week, she reminded me that a good friend I grew up with is expecting her first baby (a girl) next month, and the shower is this weekend. So, what did I do? This:

Pattern: Elizabeth Zimmermann's Best Baby Sweater (aka February Baby Sweater), from Vogue Knitting: American Collection
Yarn: RYC Cashsoft Baby DK, 2 balls, Chicory (Note: I really ran out of yarn before the bottom garter band was finished. You could easily get 2 sweaters out of 5 balls of yarn, but it is a squeeze to get a sweater out of 2 balls of this yarn.)
Needles: US 5

I really love the results of this pattern. It was extremely quick; I started Thursday night and finished on Saturday. It is really an adorable sweater, and the yarn knits up nicely.

Finally, I finished plying the 4 oz. of alpaca silk that Sarah sent me in our east/west fiber festival trade. Mine is on the right, and the 2 oz. skein she sent me long ago is on the left. There are noticeable differences in the two skeins, but I think they will work together. This is really a beautiful fiber, and it spun really well.

Thank you all for the kind comments on Ariann. I do like it unbuttoned, but it isn't quite what I expected. Live and learn, I guess.

Saturday, February 17, 2007


Pattern: ChicKnits Ariann
Yarn: KnitPicks Andean Silk (approx. 12 skeins, Chocolate)
Buttons: 4 wooden buttons from MJ Trim

I really liked this pattern; it was well-written and easy to follow. I'm a bit less happy with the sweater than I thought I would be. I was a bit between sizes on this one and opted for the smaller size, so I like it unbuttoned better than buttoned. I opted not to make the belt, because I don't really need or want the waist cinching. At some point in the future, I may make it. I'm also a little disappointed in the sleeve length, but that could be a row gauge issue. They are longer than 3/4 length and just slightly too short for long sleeves.

As for the yarn, it's very soft, but sheds like crazy and is definitely somewhat fuzzy. I ran into a number of knots while knitting, which was disappointing. I'm also a bit skeptical of how this yarn will wear. In all, I'm not sure I will use this again for a sweater, although it would make a lovely scarf. I do like the drape, which was a big factor in buying a blend rather than a 100% wool yarn.

Overall, I think it's a success, even if I hoped it would turn out a little differently.

Friday, February 09, 2007

A Little Spinning and Dyeing

Way back in the fall, I spun two pounds of Bluefaced Leicester that I purchased from Haltwhistle Fibers at Maryland Sheep and Wool. My intention was always to dye the yarn and knit a sweater, and I finally got around to it. I started the sweater last night, which will be a simple crewneck raglan.

I used Jacquard Acid Dyes, in Sapphire, I believe. I have to admit that the color isn't exactly what I wanted, but I think I'll like it once it's knit up. I have a block against royal blue after many years of wearing it in elementary and high school, mainly in the form of cheerleading and band uniforms. I have a similar block against orange, although I seem to be getting over it.

I also spun up the 4 oz. of merino tencel top I bought from The Sheepshed at Mountain View Farm at Rhinebeck this fall. I love this fiber; it spins very easily, and it produces the most beautiful yarn. This skein is around 500 yards of fingering weight 2-ply. It's destined to become a shawl, I think. Icarus, perhaps?

Ariann is finished and blocking. I'll have photos soon--and a sidebar update. Life has been busy.

Sunday, February 04, 2007


I really have finished things lately, and I'm on the second sleeve of my Ariann sweater. I often have to decide between photographing things for the blog and actually doing things, so the blog falls by the wayside.

This is a pair of socks knit and given to me by Tamara. They are my first gift socks and my first Koigu socks. I really love them! I think they're better knit than most of the socks I knit for myself, as well.
This is Elizabeth Zimmermann's Baby Surprise Jacket, knit in Socks That Rock medium weight, Farmhouse colorway. This is a really interesting and quick pattern, and it shows off variegated colors really well. The jacket is a gift for a friend from law school, who is expecting later this month.

I have taken some photos of my latest handspun, and they will be up soon. (I have to save something so I don't wait another 2 weeks or more before posting!)