Tuesday, May 22, 2012

There Still is Fiber (FO: Haslam)

Though I haven't knit more than a handful of stitches in a few weeks (due to too much work, exhaustion, and the need to clear my head on a bike outside instead), I still have a couple things to share in that regard.  

First, while very little spinning is actually occurring, when my friends went to a Fiber Festival in Hood River a few weeks ago, I felt the urge to try and experience the fun of a festival 'in spirit'.  So I handed over a few bucks and some color preferences and said 'buy me stuff'.  They were more than happy to spend my money and they picked well...

Let's take a closer look shall we?
From top left clockwise:  Woolgatherings 4 oz Polwarth Wool Top, Sporform 4 oz shetland/corridale in Dark Purple, Dicentra Designs 4 oz BLF in Kung Pao, and Crabtree Farm 4 oz black Merino/Alpaca in natural (so so soft!)
And not bought at the festival but some more to share...some of Sue's beautiful dyed roving
I can't wait to have time to spin up some of this amazing fiber...on my brand new spindle!  I've been borrowing Anne's all this time and since a spindle is something I can actually take to the field (unlike a wheel of course), I figured I needed to buck up and buy my own.  The ladies in my knitting group are sort of Jenkin spindle junkies and since he was going to be at the festival, they had no problem picking out a good starting spindle for me.  Eventually I may get another smaller one but for now, I think the Turkish Lark is a good size.  Isn't is beautiful?  And yes, I realize it has no fiber on it...I will remedy that soon for sure!

Also, to add to the fiber fumes, I actually finished something.

I had grand plans to get a few projects that are so close to being done finished before heading out to the field.  But that got derailed by an enabler... See, during April, Kelly organized a KAL/contest of sorts for knitting one of the designs of the very talented Lily.  And then, Lily just happened to release a pattern called Haslam at the start of that KAL that I fell in love with.  Which is funny since it is another wrap and I still don't know if I will wear them!  But Kelly's beautiful version tipped the scales and in mid-April, one week before I was heading to Alaska, I found myself rooting in the 'stash' for a perfect skein.  I found one I had forgotten I had....it was a new base that my friend Sue was trying to decide if she wanted to buy so gave Anne and I each a skein to try.  Anne did so immediately (as was the intent) but it took me 2 years (or more maybe!) to try it out (which is why I am so not the person to ask to test knit a pattern or a skein a yarn...but thank you for thinking of me Sue!).  It's a merino/silk fingering blend (50/50) and likely wouldn't wear well for socks...but for a wrap, I thought the silk would be perfect.  And it is.  The wrap is super soft, and drapes well in my opinion (the color is more accurate in the pictures below). 

I was stressed that week preparing for the Alaskan trip and apparently garter combined with stitches dropped with intention was just the key.  I finished it in a week and I'm in love with the finished object.  There will be more of Lily's patterns knit in the future I am sure (in particular, Wray and Helvellyn are calling my name)!

Now back to work and preparation...the countdown begins...I have 12 more full days to sleep in my comfy bed, eat good meals, and use an actual bathroom before I head out to sleep in my truck, eat egg sandwiches and pasta every day, and use a shovel instead of a bathroom for the rest of the summer/early fall! 

ps -- so far this year, I've collected 3 FULL large trash bags of shed from the girls and will likely get another 2 at least.  When I get out of the field this year I need to set aside 15 minutes a day to pick guard-hairs I think!!  I'll be curious how much fiber I can get from each bag...I'm hoping maybe 20 - 25% of the weight of the bag, but that is likely wishful thinking!
_ _ _ _ _ 

Now playing:  Moonshine by Martin Simpson



kristieinbc said...

The wrap is lovely! I am like you though, and am not sure I would wear one. I see all the beautiful patterns and my first impulse is to cast on, followed immediately by a little voice in my head reminding me I might not ever wear it. I will be interested to see if you end up wearing yours. If you do I might be inspired to knit one for myself. :-)

I love the colours of your new fibre, and the spindle is so pretty. Enjoy your remaining few days of civilization.

Jacey said...

It is beautiful! Wow, it does look like it's got beautiful drape. I'm so guilty of knitting things I probably won't wear (shawls especially), but I love knitting shawls! They way you start with a tiny triangle and it grows exponentially is gratifying.

The dark purple fiber is beautiful! I hope you can do some spinning while you're in the field. And enjoy your last days of luxury! I know it will be a busy summer for you, but hopefully, a successful one!

V said...

Do you believe I have found your blog again? Home computer has been defunct for a while, not that I am ever on it! Wasting a little time at work, cleaning out computer files, favs, etc.
Love the wrap, you could give as a gift, or donate as a prayer shaw, or sell it!!
Count down to field will come quick my friend!

Julie said...

that shawl turned out beautifully!! I love the colour. And all those roving photos... just awesome.

Denise | Chez Danisse said...

I haven't been knitting lately. Now you've totally got me in the mood, perhaps something green. Your wrap looks perfectly crafted, and it is such a pretty color.

knittergal said...

Beautiful shawl! And wonderful to have friends that will look out for you and keep you swathed in fiber while you're out in the field! Enjoy your home comforts before you head out again.

elizabeth said...

Oh wow! What a great haul, and a lovely wrap! Spinning will be PERFECT in the field, and provide restful meditation. :o)

melissa said...

oh such lovely fiber! can't wait to see what you spin up!!

and your wrap is gorgeous!! absolutely gorgeous.

Jane said...

Hi Rachel,

You have some beautiful colors here to play with when you return from the field. Thanks for introducing me to this designer. I hadn't heard of her before. I have already favorited some things to make this fall.

Rue said...

Oh, Rachel, your Haslam is gorgeous (as are your festival fibers but the FO is really something special). I definitely hear you on needing garter stitch projects when life/work/etc start going into overdrive. There's something incredibly soothing about the simple stitches, especially when you can mix them with a bit of fun here and there.

Ok, I'm off to go add Haslam to my queue before tadpole wakes up.