Saturday, May 22, 2010

Stash busting...

It doesn't feel like it's been so long since my last post. There's been so much going on, I don't even know where to begin -so I wont.

I have been spending a lot of time spinning, and I feel like I'm making pretty good progress. I don't have a lot to show for it yet (I've been really bad about taking pictures lately), but I have two lovely 4oz rovings spun and waiting to be plied, as well as the first half of a handspun swap project spun, that I will be finishing up in the next couple of days.

Both of the rovings that are waiting to be plied are All Spun Up rovings. One is the Ice Cave BFL/silk from the current spin-a-long and the other is a nice earthy-colored merino that I've had in the stash for a long time. I've been spending a little more time going through my stash and making an effort to use it. I think the stash has grown to the point where I get confused when I look at it because there's just too much pretty stuff to choose from. I was having such a hard time trying to decide what to spin the last time I picked, that I had to just close my eyes, plunge my hand into the bin and go with whatever it happened to get.

The lovely skein pictured in the photos is one I finished about a week ago. It's BFL from All Spun Up. For this one I decided to split the roving in half down its length and then pre-draft it before spinning. I like the way the color progression turned out and it's very soft and fluffy. I didn't quite get the yardage I was hoping for (especially considering it was on the heavier side at 4.5oz to begin with) but I'm still pleased with the finished project.

The knitting has come to a stand still. I was busting out with the baby knitting, but then I took a break to knit a birthday shawl for one of my best friends. As much as I love my friend this may have been a poor choice on my part...

I recently bought some very lovely yarn and I decided to knit an Akimbo shawl. I love the way this shawl looks, and so far I think the pattern has been very well written (I sort of despise working from charts), but I'm so bored with this shawl right now that I struggle to stay awake while I'm working on it. I can handle about 4 rows a day and that is all I can tolerate. I've been asking myself why I've been having such a hard time with it (after all I did knit a Simple Yet Effective Shawl without getting this bored and that one has even less going on with it than the Akimbo) and I think I have my answer: it's the combination of pattern & yarn. The yarn I'm knitting with is lovely and soft and perfect... but it's not handspun. The Akimbo Shawl is largely garter stitch, and while I'm confident that it will be beautiful upon completion I have to admit that as boring as garter stitch is for me, handspun yarn with it's lovely, wonderfully unpredictable color changes makes garter stitch tolerable for me. At least I only have about 12 more rows to go at this point.

For now I'm allowing my attention to drift from the knitting and I'm enjoying my time at the spinning wheel. I've ordered a couple more bobbins for my woolee winder and I'm gearing up for the Tour de Fleece. My (considerably more reasonable) goal this year is to spin at least one pound of fiber from the stash. I may end up doing more, but I'd rather not be disappointed in myself if it doesn't happen.