Ok. We are getting back into the saddle here at Dragonfly Headquarters just in time for the school year to begin its end. The spring here in the Washington area has been cold and wet, with the occasional 90 degree day, leaving us gasping and sweating and so not ready. It's cool this week, and sunny, at least today, which makes for excellent dyeing weather;)
The usually lovely Jack is off school for two weeks, so he was able to come with us to Cunningham Falls for the spring Cub Scout campout, which occurred during a massive thunderstorm. Exciting! Especially the sprint from the "campfire" to the tent in the downpour while singing "Singin' in the Rain". Certain children who shall remain nameless were out of their minds wound up at bedtime resulting in the almost certain ban of rice crispy treats from our house forever. Unfortunately, smores for breakfast didn't help him on the hike the next day either. Luckily, we have no photo evidence.
All I know is that I can't wait for this crazy year to end! Even if it does mean the monsters will be home with me all the time. It will be nice to have things slow down a little, and to have a certain young man mellow a bit, which he tends to do when submerged in water for any length of time.
I have been knitting a sweater from a variety of beautiful grey, mostly shetland and romney, fleeces that I have processed. One particularly amazing fleece I spun straight from the lock, resulting in a chunky, wild yarn that has so much life!
Another fleece is a beautiful shetland with the most amazing almost- lavender color; this fleece is not as soft as I hoped and I worsted-spun several bobbins of singles straight from the lock, resulting in a yarn that feels like garden twine. Back to the drawing board! I carded these locks sideways with my Strauch finest and woolen spun them. The result is a much fluffier yarn, but still not so soft. I'll use the second version in the sweater, but sparingly:(
The sweater itself began as a February Lady, knit in a super chunky gauge. Unfortunately, one has to be very careful with the placement of the transition from garter to gull stitch when one is built like me! I'm 10 inches in and still have not reached a good spot to start that change. Between the transition issue and the overall heaviness of the garmment, I may choose to skip the lace pattern altogether and make it a long vest/tunic-type garment.
I should have titled this post: "Why I should not knit socks". Or maybe, considering the above paragraph, "Why I should not knit". I am still plugging along with my Maggie May socks, begun January '09, and my Malabrigio socks, hurriedly begun at Stitches East. I have started the heel turn on the second sock. Yay! But not until after I discovered that i had the spiral going the wrong way (they are Coriolis socks from Cat Bordhi's most recent book), as in, going in the same direction as the first sock and had to rip back and re-knit the arch expansion. Aaargghh! Good thing I had time before the rain started on our camp out this weekend! Luckily, Maggie likes an ankle sock. Unfortunately, I still have to go back and do the toes. The moral of this story? Never guess the size of your friend's feet when knitting them a sock. And to paraphrase Maggie Righetti, or was it Elizabeth Zimmerman?: "Stop and admire your work often. Take the time to measure as you go." Or Treebeard the Ent:"Don't be too hasty!"
The Malabrigio sock? Just ripped back on it for the fifth or sixth time. This time the heel gusset was too short. So much for the lovely stitch pattern I was using. Now that I'm back on track with a proper heel flap, I'm just going to relax and enjoy finishing this beauty up in stockinette. Oh, and I'm going to ignore the wonkiness of the heel turn, which got slightly off-center somehow...
Phew. Enough with my imperfectionist knitting. The scouring and dyeing has been going much better. I think I mentioned that I did some fleece shopping with the lovely Steph and brought home some yummy fleeces. Above is some Corriedale I'm dyeing for her from the Clearing at Curry Farm; spectacular stuff with an 8" staple and the fineness and crimp of merino. I bought some last year and have LOVED it. I may need to buy more...
I also washed up a lock of this beautiful Romney cross she bought. I'll be keep some it's natural grey and overdyeing the rest. So fine and wooly. I can't tell you how tempting it is to spin this baby up for my sweater. It would fit in very well! Luckily, Elizabeth saved me from stealing it by giving me some of her gorgeous Finn fleece that she scored at MD Sheep and Wool. No pics yet, tho.
Mostly, I've been dyeing locks; however, Andrea of Spinster Yarns and Fibers in Baltimore asked me to dye some spinning fiber for her shop in a range of colors. I really like the way she ordered. Nothing like some free rein to allow one to express one's creativity. I had a really great day yesterday dyeing pretty fiber to reflect my version of the color wheel. I'll try to get some pictures for you before I send them off this weekend;)
Finally, look at the pretty yarn! I'm still updating the shop in the aftermath of stitches and MDSW. Above is Traveller sock in the colorway Villainness (did you see that this color sold out on the The Loopy Ewe site on the first day!!!?) and below is mostly Sea sock. These beauties will be updated in my shop tonight or tomorrow.