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The ends almost match!

February 21, 2007

This makes me inordinately happy. Try to explain that to the Muggles. This scarf was knit with handspun Wild Things merino, fiber from Lisa Souza (see sidebar). I split a 4 oz. bump down the middle lengthwise and spun each half on a separate bobbin. I wound the singles off into two balls, and plyed each ball back on itself. When I knit the scarf, I started the first ball from the inside, and the second ball from the outside. Voila! Scarf ends that almost match.

Fern is finished and got to go to Madrona with me – barely dry. I don’t have a woolly board, so it took almost three days for it to dry.

From the sheep’s back to mine:

This is Kim and I, high on fleece fumes at the Salt Spring Fibre Festival in July 2005. Kim helped me pick this gorgeous Perendale fleece, a goodly portion of which has now become Fern.

Fern is an Alice Starmore design from the Stillwater book. It is designed as a pullover with dropped shoulders. I get more wear from a cardigan, and I was aiming for more of a jacket style. I gave it square armholes because I’m not fond of dropped shoulders. I wanted to finish all the edges with i-cord, however, when that was done the neckline was too big and looked unfinished; it needed a collar. I used a provisional cast on and picked up the cast on stitches to knit the second half of the collar so that it would be symmetrical in the front. I used a provisional cast on for the fronts and back too, then picked up the cast on stitches and worked an i-cord cast off. The i-cord down the fronts was knit along with the fronts with short rows thrown in occasionally to avoid curling.

I like the feel of the sweater. It’s warm and not scratchy and it hangs well. I have to say that by the end, I ws so very done with knitting grey yarn in the dreary grey PNW winter.

This is the Tabachek Mini spindle that my sweetie gave me for Christmas. It was purchased at my LYS, Knitopia in White Rock, BC, which now carries spindles, fibres and is a Majacraft retailer. The spindle weighs 26g., has a bubinga whorl and a hickory shaft, and it is a wonderful spindle.. I’m spindling some tussah silk from Treenway in the Desert Sage colourway.

Remember this from back in December? This is the spindle spun, Navajo plyed silk/wool, just over 1,000 yards weighing about 4 oz. Sadly, it lost a lot of its sheen after I washed the skein. I was thinking about knitting an entrelac scarf with it, but it may be a bit too fine for what I had in mind. It’s got long colour runs which I find so attractive in entrelac, so maybe I’ll try it anyways.

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23 Comments leave one →
  1. February 21, 2007 3:48 am

    Wow! That’s a gorgeous sweater. Wow! And Wow! that’s a gorgeous yarn. Wow.

  2. February 21, 2007 6:20 am

    The scarf is too cool! I can’t believe the colors fell that way! Fern is amzing! Hubby has good taste:-) The Tabacheck is really beautiful. i hope you find something pretty for the laceweight, it deserves it!

  3. February 21, 2007 7:24 am

    Girl, you never cease to amaze me…that sweater is so beautiful. The neck cable is especially nice. It’s a gansey, right? And spinning with a drop spindle, I knew it could be done…my 9 yr old and I tried the other night. I still need to get to my lys for some help. Lovely fiber, by the way.
    Ang

  4. February 21, 2007 8:11 am

    Melanie, that sweater is so beautiful. The shade of silver is so lovely and the way you redesigned it is very impressive. And your pictures are always so nice, how do you do that??

  5. February 21, 2007 8:48 am

    You deserve some kind of an award for that sweater, you should get a trophy.
    So very cool that your experiment with the colors in the scarf came out so perfectly! And the silk is gorgeous!

  6. February 21, 2007 8:59 am

    Wow, Mel, how much did that fleece weigh? It’s huge.
    Your sweater is a masterpiece and I feel so lucky to have been able to it in person. I can’t believe how perfectly the scarf came out! Of course you planned it out very well so how could it not?
    What about a lace entrelac design for the silk? That would work well with the fine weight of your yarn. Which, by the way, is gorgeous (of course!).

  7. February 21, 2007 9:53 am

    Beautiful work – I love seeing a fleece turn into a finished garment. Your skill is outstanding!

  8. February 21, 2007 10:46 am

    I couldn’t imagine spinning enough yarn to make an entire sweater, much less one as intricate as yours! Do you use a wheel or a spindle? Either way, it’s very, very impressive. πŸ™‚

  9. Gina permalink
    February 21, 2007 11:11 am

    That sweater is Incredible!!

  10. February 21, 2007 11:33 am

    Did you process that fleece yourself? Or send it away to be carded? Wow. Wow. These photos make it seem even more lovely..
    To regain silk sheen–a vinegar rinse helps. White vinegar diluted in water, and then a quick slap or two against a hard surface will soften and fuzzy it a little. It is gorgeous too. Just makes me want to roll in it. (now I really do sound like my dogs…)

  11. February 21, 2007 1:04 pm

    You know I love Fern πŸ™‚ The Perendale’s sheen and drape were made for that cardigan.
    I think that just handling the silk/wool as you knit with it will bring some of the sheen back. Silk often loses a little sheen when it’s been washed.

  12. February 21, 2007 1:23 pm

    Gorgeous sweater! From the fleece, too — very impressive. Your scarf is very pretty, too.

  13. February 21, 2007 3:04 pm

    That sweater is just beautiful!

  14. Jan permalink
    February 21, 2007 3:33 pm

    Awesome! There’s one big ol’ Perendale sheepie out there somewhere that is button-poppin proud today. πŸ™‚
    The spindle and silk are both beautiful. Lucky you for such a nice gift.
    Your end-matching is cool! I like the way they reflect but don’t exactly mirror; the colors look more natural and interesting that way. Lovely pattern to show off the yarn. Wild Things is such an organic colorway, you chose the perfect pattern for it.

  15. February 22, 2007 1:24 am

    OMG, Mel! I didn’t realize you had spun that yarn too! Wowza. You are amazing!

  16. February 22, 2007 3:05 pm

    I love the scarf, but the silk is awesome!
    And the more fleece the better for me!!! There is something about a pile of fleece that just makes my heart go pitter pat.
    Congrats.
    Holly

  17. February 22, 2007 7:03 pm

    You’re putting us all to shame Mel! The silk/wool is gorgeous and you know how I feel about Fern.

  18. February 22, 2007 7:30 pm

    That is gorgeous – what a pleasure to see (and wear, I’m sure). Quite the improvement on the original even!

  19. February 22, 2007 7:58 pm

    Wow! That sweater is awesome!

  20. February 23, 2007 10:14 pm

    Your Fern is beautiful. I haven’t yet seen a Starmore I didn’t like. Can I ask what you meant by throwing in short rows down the front to keep it from curling–while you were i-cording? Not sure I understand. Thanks; beautiful work.

  21. February 24, 2007 6:27 am

    i bow down to you, oh master.

  22. February 24, 2007 7:39 pm

    I have loved Fern for years — it is one that I always vowed to make. the cardigan idea is fabulaous and your knitting is stellar. Way to go!!

  23. Sam permalink
    February 26, 2007 4:54 am

    Mel, it’s just inspiring – what else can I say? Gorgeous work, and I think you should try the entrelac. It will make beautiful use of those color runs! πŸ™‚

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