Thursday, September 09, 2010

Fibers and me

ETA:  What?  Two entries in one day?  Not really.  The other day I was setting permissions to my projects on Ravelry and began scratching my head, as I was sure I'd written a post about the Clematis Stole.  I checked all the posts on this here blog and couldn't find it...Odd.
Today, while trying to figure out how the jump break feature works, I had to edit a post and found the post.  For some reason (oh! shiny object!)  I got distracted and the entry that should be posted back in 6/01 was kept as a draft...

This is my new toy, it's a Fancy Kitty Kitten and it's a joy to work with.  Having this new toy to play with has sucked up a lot of my time and has also made me realize a few things.
-  The spinning classes I took didn't prepare me for carding, and I suck at it,
- pre-drafting fibers helps to align them, making them more suitable for worsted spinning,
- I'm not as bad at long draw as I thought.  I don't like doing it as I have to keep on paying attention to what I'm doing or I'll switch back to short draw, but the small attempt I did at woolen, didn't turn out so bad - practise, practise, practise,
- I was able to rescue some rovings I thought were felted beyond salvation by putting them through the carder.  I did lose some of it, but at least now it can be drafted,
- I don't like batts, not even for long draw.  I rather take pieces of roving and hold them over my finger.  Batts are too drafted for my taste, but then again, it could be that I don't quite know how to make good batts,
- with the carder I can create some cool colored batts, but for some reason, I've lost my dyeing mojo.  I've dyed a few rovings since I got the carder so I could make them into batts, but so far nothing I did came out to my liking.

I've finished (finally!) knitting the Clematis Stole.  Right now it's upstairs, blocking.  I found out I can't block a straight line correctly.  I love blocking (hey!  What can I say?  I'm weird), but am lousy at blocking stoles...
I knit the Clematis Stole with some merino yarn I bought some 3 years ago from a Chinese website.  The site is badly designed and I ended up with some ugly avocado green yarn, when I was trying to buy some white.  Oh, well.  The skeins (3 of them, 100g each) sat in one of the bins for all these years, waiting something to come along.
I started this stole maybe 4 times, using different yarns and nothing seemed right, until I tried the Chinese merino.  I wanted a larger stole and the weight of this yarn fit the bill (it's fingering, maybe?).  The only problem I had with the yarn was the color - easily solved by a dye job after the stole was done.  I got a nice green, but not quite the shade I wanted (did I mention I lost my dye mojo?).

I put some clear beads (aurora borealis, if I'm not mistaken, size 6) on the edging and at the center of each flower.
I knit both borders at the same time, since I had done it so many times before I was afraid if I knit one at a time, this stole would never be done.

I used all the three skeins, so the stole is 300g, and approximately 180cm long by 50cm wide.

Linda's design is very clever.  She instructs you to knit both borders before you knit the body, that way you can use all your yarn, ending the body at any point, without being afraid you'll run out of yarn before finishing the second border.

The Clematis Stole is a very pleasant knit, has many different options for borders and body and will keep you happy for a long time (if you decide to knit all the available possibilities).

Oh!  Did I mentioned she has a new design a few very cool designs?  If you haven't yet, go check out her stunning new shawl designs - here.

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