Saturday, February 6, 2016

Spring

No winter lasts forever; no spring skips it's turn. - Hal Borland


The trees have been visibly working on their buds for the last several weeks, the migratory birds are starting to come back and the dogs are starting to shed.  Spring is on it's way.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Fiber Arts Friday: Alpaca Cape, part 5

Last time (May 2014) I was still unsure about my repaired cross.  It's second from the top and looked pouchy to me in person.

repaired cross is second from the top

But after resting on the guest bed for a few weeks, I decided it wasn't too bad and put the project back on my WIP shelf.

I finally I picked it up last month.  It took me a bit to figure out where I was and remind myself of what I was doing... just a few rows after cable cross #6 with a total of 22 called for by the pattern.


I've been working on it a little bit almost every day since, and am now up to cable cross #10.


This will be a very generous wrap when finished, so in the event that I don't have enough yarn I have a backup plan for the bind off.

It's now 46 inches wide/long, with 12 cable crosses and ~3.5 balls to go... and each row taking a little longer than the last.  ;-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Fiber Arts Friday: Startitis

After finishing two long term projects in two weeks, I had a bit of start-itis:


an improvised hat, a purchased pattern hat and thoughts on a design.

Each of these has been ripped out at least once.  So even though I have one more long term project on the go, I just could not help myself... there are a lot of ideas flowing.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday!

Friday, January 8, 2016

Fiber Arts Friday: Swatching

I admit it.  I'm not big on swatching.

I do it when gauge is important for the project.  Then I only do the very minimum... cast on 20-30 stitches, knit a few rows in pattern, measure the stitches per inch.

I've never made a whole swatch and washed it.

I haven't even kept a partial swatch I've started.

I have always consumed the swatching yarn in the final project.

However, early last month I was working on a design idea.  After I sketched out the finished item and noted how to make each section, I decided I should swatch out part of the plan.

Since I don't have the yarn made for this design yet, I went to my stash and found a couple of samples that were sent as part of a larger order.  Neither of these yarns are something I would purposely go for.  The pink is very splitty, so I don't like working with it.  But they are the perfect size for swatching ideas.


After a couple of tests, I believe I have a good plan now.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday.

Friday, January 1, 2016

Fiber Arts Friday: Tibetan Mastiff Scarf, part 3

I know it's hard to believe, but I have finished two scarves in two weeks.  Fortunately this one did not take more than two years to make.... a couple of afternoons to prepare the roving, two months to spin the yarn and three and half months to knit the scarf and a few days for blocking.


This project has been all about learning how Tibetan Mastiff fiber works.


This is 100% chiengora.  No blending with wool, silk, alpaca or anything else.  The yarn has a fabulous halo and is surprisingly soft.


I would say this fiber works more like wool than alpaca or cashmere.  It has bounce similar to the wools I've worked with, a drape similar to alpaca, but was not as slippery to spin as alpaca or cashmere.  It held the twist really well and was enjoyable to spin.


This yarn was blended from the undercoat of several gold dogs that belong to one of the breeders we work with.


Now to see how well it wears.  ;-)

Happy Fiber Arts Friday and Happy New Year!

Friday, December 25, 2015

Fiber Arts Friday: Palindrome Scarf, part 8

Two years and three months later, I have a finished Palindrome Scarf.

There was a time where I was knitting 1 inch each week but back in September I was just picking it up after it had been sitting for a (long) while.


The final length is 90 inches after blocking.  It wraps around my neck once and hangs at a favorable length,


which means it also wraps twice on a really cold day.


I ultimately made three stripes with the 15g of black.


I really, really like this pattern.  Simple and easy, but not boring... and no wrong side. :-)

I had lots of purling practice and used up all of my left over yarn (the point of this project) ..... and almost half of the supplemental yarn.  So I still have left over Yak+Merino yarn, which was not the point.  :-/

I used the Miraculous Elastic Bind Off which is quite stretchy, but not crazy stretchy.  I will definitely use this one again.

Happy Fiber Arts Friday and Merry Christmas.

Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Happy Holidays

It's a beautiful, frosty, Christmas Eve Eve morning here in Northern Colorado.


Happy Holidays from Alpacamundo, Colorado Tibetan Mastiffs and Kathryn's Brain.