Last Sunday I loaded up my car with my spinning wheel and fiber and headed out to Harveyville for our January Spinsters gathering. Nikol was the host with the most providing a wonderful setting for spinning, laughing and coffee. I missed the last get together and we didn’t meet in December and I was beginning to have Spinsters withdrawl! I missed seeing everyone so much — I love catching up with everyone and hearing all about their lives.
Since Nikol has umpteen carders, she invited us all to bring 2-4 ounces of fiber so we could make crazy batts!! Yipee!! We did that two years ago during one our meetings at Harveyville and had great fun with it. I almost forgot to bring any fiber and Grasshopper luckily reminded me just as I was stepping out the door. I would have been so sad if I had shown up empty handed!
We put out the empty baskets and divided up our fiber so that everyone got a taste of each others fiber. That orange fiber was such an amazing color and there was also a green that made me smile — it ended up being a nice range of colors.
Grasshopper turning away at the carder. Nikol had four carding stations set up so no one had to wait very long for their turn.
Voila! Here’s my finished batt.
During the swap and shop evening at the Fall 2008 Yarn School, my friend Grasshopper was selling several of her “not so favorite” fibers that she had dyed. One in particular caught my eye — it was BFL (or as another friend calls it: biffle) in shades of blue with greens and magenta — oh, baby, those are my colors!! Grasshopper said she liked it “okay”, but she wasn’t crazy about it and would probably never spin it. Enough said. I snatched it up! It spun like a dream and I made approximately 590 yards of 2-ply worsted weight yarn.
Now the hunt was on for pattern — it would need to be a shrug or short sweater since I had limited yardage. I settled on a pattern from the Drops website, a short jacket with short leaves (pattern 117-43) that is knit side to side in garter stitch with short rows for shaping and absolutely NO seams.
Drops is a Norwegian company that produces lovely yarn and has hundreds of free patterns available on their website. The patterns are originally written in Norwegian and the majority of them have been translated into English. Because the instructions have been translated, they can sometimes be a bit quirky in their phrasing and I had to reread them MANY times to make sure that I understood everything correctly. A few times I know I was cocking my head to the side the way Louis does when he doesn’t understand what I’m asking him to do! All that said, the pattern is very clever in its use of short rows to create its shaping and I’m really pleased with the outcome.
By the time I was ready to cast off, I only had about two feet of my handspun left so I use some Harrisville Highland yarn in a teal/blue colorway to cast off and then used the same yarn to add a single crochet edging. Since the yarn was handspun and the garment was knit side to side, the edges ended up not being consistently even, so the crochet edging totally evened things up, plus it tied together with the cast-off edges.
I’m so glad that Grasshopper didn’t want that fiber because I feel like I scored big time!!
Thanks to Sugaroni for taking the pictures!
I’ve been on a mission as of late to knit more with my own handspun yarn. This little sweater was knit for my new little neice Kaitlyn Rose using two yarns I’ve spun, a green merino super wash that I dyed and a multi-color merino dyed by Maisy Daisy Handspun. The pattern is Pie, a free and super easy pattern published by Berroco.com. I modified the pattern from a kimono to and one button cardigan and added a crocheted edging of the Maisy Daisy around the body of the sweater and the green around the edges of the cuffs. Because it was knit in garter stitch and the pieces are simple with very little shaping, it knit up amazingly fast!
Whew! Spring Yarn School has come and gone!
I went as a helper again, along with Ana and Jen M, and we were the dish washing, fiber rinsing, towel gathering, table busing, chicken rangling, airport shuttling, laundry doing, Yarn Zombies — all in all, we made a good team. There were two teachers, Adrian and Jen S and then, the grand Poo-Baa, Nikol, who made the whole thing roll. This spring, there were twenty students, many of whom were attendees for a second and even third time. Everyone was great — we all had our wheels in a giant circle and we would laugh and spin when we weren’t in the dye lab, carding or eating. Jan absolutely kept everyone in stitches and Rachel laughed till she fell out of her chair. There was amazing food (thank you Nikol — when are you going to put out a cookbook?!), wonderfully dyed fiber, lots of spinning and just plain fun.
If you’ve never been to Yarn School, I would HIGHLY recommend it — you’ll leave exhausted & revived!
More pictures can be found here & here!