Tuesday, 5 June 2018

Sweater from scratch!

Remember this - couple of lumps of naturally dyed fleece I bought at Edinburgh Yarn Festival in 2017?

Which I then played with on one of the drumcarders and made these?

And then I spun it up into this yarn. Under this is about half a Portland fleece, which I dyed bright blue with indigo and spun up to match. It's all a heavy fingering weight 2ply yarn, all spun quickly and long-draw on the Suzi Pro. This was all done a bit quick and dirty, and I made no organised notes on wpi or even length of each skein. 

And this sweater was designed completely on the fly. I worked out how many stitches to go round me with lots of space, cast on - and didn't realise there was a twist until I'd done about five rounds of the corrugated rib. Oops. Couldn't be bothered to unravel, so I just knitted over it. You can't really tell.

I pulled the colourwork patterns out of Pearson's Traditional Knitting, and centred them on front and back. The armholes and neckhole were steeked. I didn't bother sewing the steeks back - as you can see I crochet-reinforced the edges before cutting, but have just left them free inside the sweater.

Really pleased with how the colourwork looks - two shades of blue (the pale was a handful of Mule fleece I stuffed in the indigo vat to exhaust it), yellow, two shades in the middle and one madder-red. 

When Mark took this photo for me, a couple of days after Wonderwool as we were walking along the Wye valley from Builth, the green in my hair was still quite rich. It's faded quite a bit now. But I'm really pleased with this sweater. I've washed all my winter woollies and put them away, but this one's staying out. 
And there isn't even any green in it! Hector was watching ducks I think. 

Shows 2018. So far...

Failing miserably at regular blog posts this year. So here's a couple of photos of the stand at Wonderwool Wales this year. I was really pleased with the way it looked. 

And this was exactly a week later - Wharfe Wool Fair, in Ilkley. We came back from Wales a day earlier than usual, but it was a lovely little show. Lots of friends and catching up. I also taught a short workshop on Visible Mending too.

This was what I ended up with after teaching at North Cheshire WSD Guild a fortnight ago. I'd had a cough for a few days, but luckily (and with the help of vast amounts of tea and cough-sweets) my voice held out. But I did manage to forget a spinning wheel, even though I'd brought the basket with all the Majacraft bobbins and tools. 

But the workshop was my How to choose a fleece and what to do with it and didn't really need a wheel. I'd brought a selection of five very different washed fleeces and one unwashed Jacobs, so we discussed and handled all the fleeces, I demonstrated washing, combing, carding, spun quick samples on my spindle (of course I'd brought a spindle) and it went very well.

The Guild also hit my fibre rather more enthusiastically than I was expecting, so an emergency dyeing session of blue and purple had to happen the following Sunday.

And this was the Saturday just gone - Leeds Wool Festival at Armley Mills industrial museum. We rather baked in the room my stand was in, but it was a very successful show for me. I saw lots of friends, made new ones, discussed how to use a slow-cooker, did someknitting, had gin from the Gin Palace, and we were home and packed away by 6 that evening!