Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Fancy Yarn

I was just visiting Mom and she gave me this amazing yarn!  She bought it at an art fair or something (I didn't quite understand. The lady may have just been hanging out in a random parking lot...) from this woman who raises the animals, sheers them, and spins and dyes the yarn.  So cool!  I would love to get to see the production side of yarn.  It's so crazy how spinning and crocheting/knitting are often mutually exclusive, even though you can't do either if you don't have spun yarn!

Anyway, these are some of the nicest yarns I've ever had.  I'm actually kind of nervous to use them because I'm afraid I won't do them justice and whatever I make won't stand up to the integrity of the yarn itself.  Ah, the burdens of being a crafter!

Another challenge is that I have relatively limited amounts of each yarn, really only enough to make a hat and/or mittens in each.  Or maybe a relatively short and narrow scarf.  Mom wants me to make something for her combining the purple and neutral ones (2nd and 3rd photos below) but a) she doesn't like/want anything that I can make with this amount of yarn and b) I'm not crazy about that color combination.  I don't think it looks bad, per say, but it doesn't really look good either.  Perhaps because each yarn is so rich on its own, putting them together dampens the effect rather than making them looking better.  I'm going to my local yarn store this weekend for suggestions of what to do with it and to see if they have any other yarn I can combine it with to provide more yardage.  So we shall see...  Stay tuned to see what I create!

I was a dummy and threw away the label for this one before noting the materials, but I assume it's similar to the others.   I  think I'm going to make a hat for myself with it - I have about 50 yards.

Grey alpaca and grey fine wool - 210 yards
Natural indigo with rainbow wools - 160 yards
Please feel free to comment with any suggestions on what I could make!  These are all worsted to bulky weight yarns (I'm a bad judge, but I'd lean more towards bulky).  I'd also like stick to knitting since it uses less yarn.

You can see the spinning website here (personally, I don't think the website's so good, but she has some nice yarn so...).  The farm is Wauka Valley - there's also a link to it on the spinning wesbite.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Colorful Cable Hat with Earflaps

When I first learned to knit, my friend Zina commented on how she really liked the colors of yarn I was using.  So, to be an awesome friend, I made a hat for her with it.  Granted, it was only my second hat, but it still came out really well and she wears it all the time.  A few weeks later, I made hats for myself and another friend using a very nice, 100% hand-dyed wool.  And I let it slip that Zina's hat was made with acrylic yarn I'd hat lying around for years.  Since then, she's be pestering me non-stop for a colorful hat.

Well, she's moving to another country, so I decided what better send off than this cabled, earflap hat.  Not that she'll really needs it where she's going....  This is the first pattern that's I've really written myself, and the first earflap hat I've made.  The idea came from this Chunky Cabled Earflap Hat, but aside from learning how to do the increases on the earflaps, I didn't look at any pattern!  (Clearly, I'm pleased with myself!)  Admittedly, there are a few mistakes, but that's what makes it personal, right?  Zina seemed to like it as well, and hopefully she'll get some good use out of it.

Granny Stripe Cowl

My good friend Lara is moving to away, so I made this cowl for her as half (very belated) holiday gift and half going-away present.  The pattern was inspired in part Attic 24's Granny Stripe afghan and in part by this two-colored cowl from Purl Bee.  I also needed something that would work up pretty quickly because I only had a few days to finish it before Lara moved.

I used Lion Brand Homespun yarn, I think in color bourbon (I threw the packaging away...).  I used to work with this yarn a lot when I first starting crocheting, but then I stopped.  This project reminded me why.  The finish project is very soft and has a nice texture, but it's a pain to work with!  Making the foundation chain was especially difficult because the individual stitches were tough to see.