The good news is that I finally obtained a full time role! I start my new position in a week and am looking forward to getting back into the workforce. On the fiber end this will be good for me so that I stop creating Works In Progress (WIP). My time off has seen me cast on several shawls – two of which are gossamer web based. The Sunflower shawl is nearly done as I just have a 1/4 left of the edging to complete. It still looks so much smaller than the photo but my hopes are that it grows with blocking.
I have begun and ripped out and restarted my gossamer triangular shawl and seem to be progressing much better now that I am past the first 4 rows of the border. I still think there is an error in the pattern as I had to reduce some stitches to make things balanced but there is nothing online about this issue so perhaps it is just me.
Bobbin lace is still awesome and I am working on my first true lace edging which will be attached to a handkerchief when it is done. There is a great deal of pleasure of moving the bobbins around and pining threads to create intricate lace work. I have had thoughts about learning needle lace but for now I am concentrating on learning Torchon lace work. After all there are several styles of bobbin lace still yet to learn and master. My homemade pillow is by far my favorite lace pillow but we shall see how things change when the sectional pillow arrives. I actually made this piece with silk yarn I purchased during the YarnFest in Loveland, CO in April. I am amazed that the silk fibers stayed in place when the pins were removed.
On the festival front it looks like I will only be participating in the Golden Farmer’s Market in July and August. My heart is not into going to Salida this year so I decided to skip the festival and hopefully join it next year. The only other market I am looking into is the Denver Public Library’s Paris Holiday Market in November. Of course I will also have the Rocky Mountain Weaver’s Guild Sale in November to hopefully move my hand spun yarns into new homes.
I realized that I have not done much yarn spinning as my stash is so large. I am finding it difficult to procure a local venue to sell the hand spun so I have begun listing the yarns on the Etsy site. Once several of the 50+ skeins of yarn are sold I am sure the urge to boost my supply will occur. For now I have some merino/tencel fiber being spun on my Russian spindle to be used in making a gossamer web shawl – 8 ounces of fiber should be enough to make this work. Of course I also have flax fibers to play with and ply with different fibers (silk and cotton). Having a huge stash of hand spun has allowed me to focus on knitting items and of course create lace with bobbins.
I just have this nagging feeling that I am going to forget what my WIPs are at some point as in general I never had more than 3 at a time. I don’t even want to contemplate how many actual WIPs there are but I breath a bit easier knowing that a few are almost complete. As I get bored easily edgings are generally my downfall as they are so repetitive but the Sunflower shawl edge got a lot focus while at the hair salon and under the dryer this weekend. My cotton spinning class was cancelled as we didn’t have enough people sign up for it but hopefully the silk and drop spindle courses will happen this summer/fall.
Well I am going to get back to knitting the gossamer web shawl for a bit and until next time – keep your needles sharp and yarn in abundance!
So far I have 3 different lace shawls on needles while being almost done with one of them. I’m very pleased to have finished knitting and blocking 2 lace shawls in 2014 for the fiber festival season. My new blocking boards are wonderful. One of the lace shawls is a “Shetland Lace Shawl” made with Habu yarn and is my long term (1+ year project). The other 2 are from the great book “New Vintage Lace” although I strongly recommend researching the erratas before beginning a project.
Since I have 2 finished shawls I am happily pursuing the art of Bobbin Lace making. My first local guild meeting was very inspiring and encouraging. I foresee making trims for pillows and long term project of a table runner. Maltese Lace is my goal as it is elegant and intricate. For the moment of course I’m just learning the techniques while making bookmarks – we all need to start at the beginning and with small projects. Enjoy the photos of my journey – till next time!
I’m almost finished with the beaded lace shawl. The last of the 4 panels is being knit and I’m back to using a single skein of yarn. My best tool for applying the beads has been the ortho dental floss versus the Fleegle tool. I seem to shred my yarn or break the beads when using the Fleegle so it’s back to the floss for me.
My exciting news is that I have begun to knit a Gossamer lace shawl for the first time. At my last guild meeting one of our members brought in several handknit Gossamer and wedding ring shawls. I was so in awe of their beauty and intricate designs. We spoke at the meeting of our mutual love of fine lace knitting done for our own enjoyment. I left the meeting inspired to begin my first delicate shawl. The next day I worked at the yarn shop where I found the perfect yarn for my shawl. I’m using Habu wool crepe yarn in a soft peach for this project.
Tonight I have to prep for the craft fair in Westminster – hope to have some pics to share soon.
As I am spinning the Romney fleece into a fine yarn I have decided to actually knit with it. So for the first time I am spinning yarn for an actual project! After pulling out all of my lace pattern books I finally decided on the Frost Flowers & Leaves shawl from the book “A Gathering of Lace. I’m so excited to start this project and have actually cast on the first few rounds tonight. It uses the Emily Ocker’s circular beginning technique and I finally found a video that explains it in a manner that I can understand. The shawl has about 200 rows and a lace border. It will require 3000 yards of yarn – yikes. So far I have spun 298 yards and I think running out of yarn will inspire me to spin more of the fleece. My shawl will be ivory color but isn’t it beautiful?
I’m finishing up a lace beret on another set of needles and I’m so grateful that I have several stitch markers in my stash. This hat is almost done as I just need to do the 2×2 ribbing for it.
Later in the month I will make a similar hat but on larger needles as this one appears to be on the small side. Looking forward to making summer based hats which will be great for the beach or camping trips in the mountains. Hoping lighter weight hats will sell this summer during my farmer’s market.
The Estes Park Wool Market class schedule is out and there is a one day class on spinning Orenburg lace yarn. The class is $100 but I’m thinking it will be well worth the expense to learn this technique on my Ashford wheel so that I can produce high quality lace (cobweb lace) yarns. Also with this technique a little fiber goes a long way! It will also give me a reason to continue to spin silk fibers as the wool is plied with silk for the finished project. Galina Khmeleva is the teacher of this class and it would be so neat to meet her as I own her videos on this topic. I still have a few weeks to decide but it would be a nice treat for myself and a means of getting away for a couple of days. Everyone that knows me knows that I adore Estes Park. It is one of my favorite towns in all of Colorado. We have our favorite restaurants and enjoy watching the wildlife in and around town.
Well I’m off to knit my shawl but will post progress in a few weeks – stay tuned!
I finally took the plunge in January and taught myself how to needle tatting. I love this medium and it made much more sense to me than shuttle tatting. Yes shuttle tatting is the traditional method of tatting but I’m glad to have had people encourage me to try needle tatting. I knitted a beautiful doily in 10/2 cotton yarn but didn’t like the crocheted edging the pattern called for. When I took up tatting I realized that I could make a lacy border for the doily which suited my tastes much better than the crocheted one.
This year I have also been knitting several intricate lace items – I’m up to 3 projects on my needle. The doily is the first and will be finished as soon as the border is done. My next project is lace fingerless mittens showcased in Knitting Traditions Lace magazine and is being made on size 00 needles with wool/silk yarn. The third project is a knitted beaded shawl made with lace alpaca yarn and is also a project from the same magazine. I’m so glad I purchased this issue of the magazine as there are so many projects I can envision making over the course of the year.
Knitting Traditions Lace Fingerless Mittens
beginning of mitten
Of course I am still spinning and have had to remind myself to do so at least twice a week to keep my mental balance. I won 2 fleeces at this year’s National Western Stock Show auction. One is a white Romney fleece with 6″ to 8″ locks and the other is a white Wensleydale fleece with 6″ to 8″ locks. The Romney has been scoured and is just beautiful. The locks are being spun on my new Ashford Traveler wheel. The Louet wheel has some dyed Merino roving being spun on it in a fingering weight yarn. Both of these fleeces came from a ranch in Oregon.
Cleaned Romney locks
2014 is shaping up to be full of projects that stretch my knowledge and skill sets. Looking forward to sharing updates on each of these as the year progresses.
I managed to end the 2013 craft fair season with a profitable show. At this past weekends Holiday Artisan Boutique I took paid orders for 3 custom knit hats. Patrons loved the faux cable hats made but as they are more kid size than adults each requested a hat with longer length.
The first of the three is almost complete and has engaged my knitting skills. My patron chose a sports weight yarn as opposed to worsted weight. I have had to adjust needle size along with alterations in the stitch pattern. It is turning out rather nice though.