Last week I started knitting on a Weekender. I've resisted knitting this pattern for a while for no good reason, and decided that it would be a good way to knit up this handspun. I also decided that it would be a good project to practice working on my knitting machine. I got my machine more than a year ago now, and haven't used it as much as I want to, mostly because of the learning curve.
I'd already knit a small swatch by hand, and had an idea of the fabric I'd be making. This yarn is sturdy - tightly twisted and tightly plied, but the merino and silk keep it soft. I reverse engineered that gauge on the knitting machine, and then picked a size based on that. My gauge is a little bit bigger than the pattern gauge, so I went down a size.
Since I'm knitting this on the knitting machine, I'm knitting it flat instead of in the round. Honestly, a sweater this big and this heavy needs seams, so that's not a big deal. (To the designer's credit, the pattern was designed for a light and lofty yarn that can do without it - my yarn, however, calls for more structure.)
I haven't been working on this at a breakneck pace. One day I'd do the ribbing by hand, then the next I'd do the machine knitting on one side of the body. Then a couple of days to do the other side. Then a day or two to do the neck ribbing and shoulder bind off.
This morning I picked up the stitches for the sleeves, which was a project in itself. Because I alternated skeins every two rows, the little loops that carry up the selveges confuse which stitch is the next one to pick up. And since a lot of people on Ravelry said the sleeves are little bit on the tight side, I added a couple of extra stitches (plus a stitch for the seam).
Now it's time to hang it back on the knitting machine and knit the sleeves!
When I first had the idea for this blog three and a half years ago, I knew I wanted it to be about fiber. I had a few blogs before it,
This year, the spinning group in my guild decided to do a fiber exchange/challenge. The rules were simple: each person would bring in four ounces of clean, unspun fiber, we'd swap it, and make something with it by the end of the year.
I got a mystery wool, along with some light tan alpaca. I tossed it all in the dyepot along with some mohair that had been lingering in the stash. Once the wool was dyed, I blended everything on my drum carder, and spun it into fine singles. Then I 3-plied it, resulting in this yarn:
The mohair and wool give it a lot of shine, and the alpaca gives it a little bit of softness. Initially, I'd loved the color, but by the time I'd finished, I felt like I'd gotten my fill of that shade of pink.
So, back to the dye pot I went. I used a tye-dye method that I read about in the first issue of Tiny Studio Magazine. The result is a variegated yarn with pink, purples, and oranges.
Now to the next part of the challenge - actually making something with the yarn!
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