The hank featured at the top of the image was created from an art batt created by Purple Lamb. I had two "Anduril" art batts of approximately 2 oz each. It was my first attempt at spinning a mixture of fibers and decided to do a short forward draft from the fold. I spun two bobbins, one batt for each, and then plied them together. The result was a beautiful fingering weight yarn with a nice glossy finish and a lovely drape. I gifted all three of these yarns to my mom as stocking stuffers for Christmas.
Next up is my dive into some art yarn. With another art batt from Purple Lamb called "Rainy Day," I spun a rather careless single (intentionally...I wanted thickish parts and thin parts without a lot of organization.) I then took some commercially spun wool and make a super coil yarn by holding my "Rainy" single perpendicular to the wool running through the orifice. I allowed the "Rainy" to wrap around the wool and then pushed the resulting wrap up, making the coils tight and close together. I think this will look interesting in a weaving project I have in mind. I will say it is a little labor intensive for a very low yield of finished yarn, but it is very funky and fun. I do not have a picture here, but I also spun a true thick and thin art yarn with my thick bits being spaced at regular intervals.
Last up for today's post is my subtle gradient yarn, which finished at about a sport weight. I did a short forward draft on a 4 oz Malabrigo roving (merino) called "Glitter." (The name is a little deceiving, there is no glitter in the traditional sense to be seen in this colorway, but it does have nice metallic hues without the shine.) Before I began, I divided the wool up into color groups. The dye on the roving was such that there were no big sections of any particular shade (light, medium or dark) but I sort of went for averages. This meant there were some dark bits that got in the light, and vice versa. I liked it, though, it made for a dynamic and very subtle color shift. Once I completed the single I did a chain ply to create a very nice pseudo 3-ply yarn. In this way, I was able to maintain my color groupings without having to worry if separate bobbins of singles would line up properly. Even with the chain ply I was able to get 200 yards of yarn.
So...that's what has been coming off my wheel lately. Next up, I think, will be some beehives. Woohoo. I'm learning lots while having fun, and that's pretty awesome. I'd love to hear about what you're making!
All projects I knit are knit with love, but sometimes a project comes along that is extra special and seems to stitch in a little more of me than expected. Sometime last winter, I want to say February-ish, I started a sweater for my husband. I was so happy because he actually asked me to knit it- I wasn't inflicting my weird obsession with fiber on him, he really wanted a sweater and he really wanted me to make it. I am happy to report I finished it...before the new year, even. (Yes, yes, I appreciate it, but you can stop cheering for me now.) I am even happier to report that we survived the sweater curse. Apparently it's a thing- you knit a sweater for your partner and your relationship falls to pieces before it's done. But I will say, I think knitting something for someone so close to me is what made this project so special. My husband and I have had a difficult year; not in our relationship but more just life things coming up and slapping us in the face. And through it all I worked on the sweater. I look at the finished work and I see in the cables each of the trials we faced this year. Every section has some memories that are very specific to, let's say, just the left sleeve or the collar. With it all said and done, this 2017 sweater project makes me feel proud. Proud because all of those intertwined cables that represent our challenges have made us stronger and that despite some of the upsets we faced, we are together and we are strong. (Also, there is some personal pride because it was probably one of the more technically difficult knits I've tackled.) I love my husband and his sweater is filled with that love.
As for the pattern itself, it is lovely. I really like the cable work that Ms. Anikeeva includes in her designs. She does a beautiful job, too, of making lovely men's knitwear that is also masculine. While there are delicate components and a lot of pattern and interest, the overall appearance of this sweater is very "man." It is balanced, the cable work is not overdone. (I have seen some sweaters where the cable work is absolutely stunning, but there is so much of it crammed together that it makes me a little dizzy. This cardigan did not have that problem.)
I chose to use KnitPicks Wool of the Andes Tweed in "Flagstone Heather." It was a nice yarn to work with, but the main reason I chose it is because a sweater, especially a men's sweater, needs A LOT of yarn. I was trying not to make the first sweater I knit for my husband cost almost $300 in supplies, and the KnitPicks yarn was a nice option that was also economical. I am sure one day I will knit a $300 sweater, but this was not that day. I really loved the pattern in tweed, though. (I'm a sucker for sweaters in tweed.)
Summary: This cardigan has great cable work. It has a balanced appearance and the pattern is well written and clear. I even got to try some new techniques, like a tubular cast-on. The collar is also great, it is bulky and warm, worked in short rows to build height around the neck. I would recommend this project for someone who is comfortable with cables, patient, and has some experience with garment knitting. The difficulty rating on this pattern is "intermediate" and I think that's pretty accurate.