Jobo Designs

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21. December 2009 14:17
by Jobo
5 Comments

Another Handspun Shawl...? do they ever get boring?

21. December 2009 14:17 by Jobo | 5 Comments

nope? I don't think they ever get old.  I really enjoy working with yarns spun from handpainted roving in every type of setting - from mittens to socks to shawls and scarves. 

This particular yarn is extra special to me, since it was one of the first yarns I ever made? spun on a toy-truck-wheel spindle.  After I had used up all of the wool samples that came in my beginner kit I went out and bought a couple of Fleece Artist Handpainted Slivers as a treat.  At the time I didn't realize that silk wasn't really a beginner fiber, and I bought 3 braids of a Merino and Silk Blend in a mix of Greens and Blues.  I was so attracted to the color and softness of the fiber, I couldn't help it!

2624394029_abe98a3057  

The finished yarn was a softly spun (probably not quite enough twist in retrospect) basic 2-ply? with colors ranging through every color from medium and dark blues through turquoise, teal, baby and sky blues all the way to creamy white sections.  As far as weight goes? the yarn is pretty inconsistent overall, with thick and thinner sections.  The whole thing averages out at around light fingering weight or so, maybe a smidge thinner.  For one of my first yarns though, I am still quite impressed that I was able to make anything useable at all at that point.  I really like the way that the barber-pole effect blends the different blues and greens together.  I think this may have been the point that I realized how in-love I was with 2 plies.  It certainly wasn't the last one I made either.

As you can imagine, my Ravelry queue is completely ridiculous.  Everytime I see a neat pattern, I add it to the list of "someday" projects, and try and remember what's in there when a special yarn comes along.  I wanted to work on something for *myself* now that the majority of the Christmas Knitting is done.  It seems like I've been slogging away on stuff for everyone else but me for the longest time (sooo unfair!)  so after rediscovering this yarn again while digging in my stash for something else, I decided it was time to knit this skein into something unique and pretty

I had been admiring a shawl pattern for some time that was designed to use Worsted weight yarn in a fairly small quantity? which I thought might suit this yarn since it was a little on the bigger side, uneven, and I wanted to knit it into something lacy with some open bits.

The pattern is this:  198 Yds of Heaven by Christy Verity (available as a free download on Ravelry)

closeup handspun ocean yarnClose-up of yarn and the beginning section of the shawl :)

The pattern itself is very neatly organized and well written.  I particularly like how it is provided as written-out instructions and also charts so anyone can give it a try, regardless of lace background and skill. 

198 yards in silkHumble Beginnings of ?198 yds of Heaven?

When I decided to cast on, I was away from home and did not have access to printed patterns so I thought this might be the perfect time to try accessing patterns from my new i-Phone.  I am still searching for the best knitting and fiber "applications" (basically little programs that you can download and use on your cell phone?)  and ways to use my new gadget-copter-phone to enhance my knitting on the go.  It was very convenient and easy to save the link to this pattern in my "favorites" and then bring it up to follow the charts.

knitting with iphone 198 yardsknitting in public with my i-Phone

So far, I have made it through the chart 2 repeats and things are working up very nicely.  The lace is pretty straightforward and intuitive, so not too complicated for travel knitting.  I often stay away from patterns that require me to carry paper patterns around when it comes to knitting-on-the-go, so I think this ability to read patterns from the internet at the touch of a finger will be very useful.  I also downloaded a little Ruler program so I can do approximate measures, and there are a couple of row counters available as free downloads too. 

198 yards lace close up 

Knitting with hand dyed and then hand spun yarn is always a surprise.  you never quite know how the colors will line up, whether they will blend or stripe, how they will coordinate, and how they will look all piled on top of one another.  I think it's that unpredictability that I am addicted to.  It's like the yarn has it's own story to tell and it adds another deep dimension to the whole process and finished appearance.

Speaking of *finishing* I think I might go and do some more knitting? see how long it will take me to get this puppy all finished :)

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