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Pat's Knitting and Quilting

March 27, 2010
Handspun Cassidy

Tah-Dah!!

Handspun Cassidy

This is, by far, my favorite sweater that I've ever knit - I'm sure the handspun has something to do with that, but even without that extra added attraction, I adore this cardigan - the fit is just perfect, the stitch patterns are simple- yet so attractive, the hood has already come in handy on a cold windy walk this morning and I forgot how beautifully set-in sleeves fit - no pulling, stretching, bunching. I love everything about it - Thank you Bonne Marie for your excellent, well written patterns.

Handspun Cassidy Handspun Cassidy
This was by no means consistently spun yarn, but it was so forgiving when knit up that I can hardly tell. I used the thinnest skein for the ribbing/button bands, the several consistent middle skeins for the body, next thickest for arms and very thickest skein for the hood.
Hanspun Cassidy

Pattern: Cassidy by Bonne Marie Burns of Chic Knits
Size: 36
Yarn: 22 ounces of 3 ply Handspun Oatmeal BFL from Paradise Fibers.
Needles: Circular sizes US 6 (for ribbing and bands) and US7 (for body/arms/hood)
Extra info and mods:
1.Knit the back and 2 fronts all together on a 40" circular needle and knit both sleeves together too. This makes perfect "row to row" seaming. I also spun a very small skein of 2 ply yarn and used it for all the seaming which worked very well.
2.Did M1R and M1L increases to match the full fashioned waist decreases.
3.Picked up the stitches all the way around the bands/hood in one fell swoop - 316 stitches for perfect symmetry.
4.Did a one row buttonhole with 2 cast off stitches in the purl dip.


hood front and back

Handspun Cassidy Handspun Cassidy

and finally, a few close ups

Handspun Cassidy

set in sleeve

Hanspun Cassidy

button band

Hanspun Cassidy

This has been a thrilling adventure - 6 months ago, when I picked out a teeny braid of fiber at Rhinebeck and tried to spin it on a spindle, I never dreamed that I'd actually be spinning my own yarn for a sweater anytime in the remote future! Wahooooo :-)

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March 22, 2010
Luxury Spinning

My birthday gift to myself this year was a subscription to the Spirit Trail Fiberworks Handspinning Club. Jennifer beautifully hand dyes different luxury, exotic, and basic fibers which arrive on my doorstep each month - the gift that keeps on giving!

Spirit Trails Cashmere Silk

Spirit Trails Cashmere Silk

Spirit Trails Cashmere Silk February's fiber was 50% Cashmere/50% Bombyx Silk in Water colorway. I spun 638 yards of a 2 ply heavy lace/lt. fingering weight yarn from 104 grams of this heavenly fiber. The spinning was surprisingly easy and fun - I had heard that cashmere/silk was difficult to spin, but this was wonderfully prepared fiber and it just flowed into my wheel evenly and smoothly.

You can sort of see the silk shimmer in the pictures above (esp. if you click for bigger version), and below you can see soft luscious cashmere halo - definitely the softest fiber I have ever spun!

Spirit Trails Cashmere Silk

Making a shawl pattern choice is not easy with SO many options - I spent 2 days with all my lace books and I swear I looked at almost every shawl/wrap on Ravelry. Who knows if I'll ever wear it, but if I ever become a shawl wearing person (which will soon be a MUST since I love knitting shawls!) - I have a vision of wearing it with white.

Here is the beginning of Clothilde - a simple, but beautiful triangular lace shawl. I have more than enough yarn, so I can make it any size - My current plan is 4 repeats of Gull Wing Lace and 3 repeats of Spearhead Lace.

Clothilde Start

Cassidy is all in 1 piece - My favorite sweater ever! Finished pictures coming soon!

Cassidy

With this awful new comment system (that I haven't figured out how to change), I am often unable to respond to people who ask questions since I don't know how to get in touch with them (no way to put in email info and difficult to put in blog address). So I will occ. try to answer questions here.

marie-andree wrote: Hi! I'm a follower of your blog. I receive it by google reader but I don't see the pictures. I have to go to your blog. I've got over 80 blogs I'm following and your the only one I've get to go to the blog.

Marie - I know it is inconvenient and I'm really sorry! Let me try to explain....I manually create this fake blog. I don't use any blogging platform like Blogger, Wordpress, Moveable Type, Typepad etc. - I just create the web page myself and manually make archives/posts/galleries. In order for feed readers like Google Reader and Bloglines to find me, I publish my own feed and I have no idea how to put the whole post in a feed reader. I would love to switch over to regular blogging software or a blogging service, but I would now lose all 4 years of my blogging history. I know it is way behind the times and I'm truly sorry.

Elizabeth, Guest and Carie all asked versions of the same question about my recent handspun socks ....I too would love to know how you spun the yarn so that the colors almost matched! Is that serendipity, or did you do something magic?

Right now I'm knitting a pair of handspun socks that are wildly fraternal, but with Faux is Fair, the spinning was planned. I divided each braid into 2 lengthwise sections (one for each sock)- I further divided each section horizontally and vertically and then spun 4 separate skeins of yarn - 2 for each sock - luck was with me and the color changes sort of matched :-)

First Crocus

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March 12, 2010
Handspun Socks - Colorwork Version

Warning MANY pictures because I really like these socks!

Handspun Faux is Fair

From these 2 beautiful braids of BFL that were hand dyed by Ginny of FatCatKnits...

FatCatKnits BFL

I made this pretty pair of Faux is Fair designed by Robyn Gallimore of Red Bird Knits. (More yarn/spinning info here) With the 4 different Anatolian motifs and the ever changing colors, this was a fascinating pair of socks to knit. There was a little bit of stress because I was worried about blue yarn supply the whole time (in fact I ripped out and inch of the leg after weighing my yarn, for fear I wouldn't have enough - I did...with 6 gms to spare!)

Handspun Faux is Fair

Isn't the sole pretty?

Handspun Faux is Fair

and the back?

Handspun Faux is Fair Handspun Faux is Fair

Pattern: Faux is Fair by Robyn Gallimore Red Bird Knits
Yarn: 3 ply handspun BFL - from Fat Cat Knits January Mixed Blessings Fiber Club
47 grams of gold/purple and 60 grams blues
Needles: 2 socks on one 2.25mm circular needle

The colors flowed beautifully - they sort of match, but are not too matchy matchy - perfect if you ask me :-)

Handspun Faux is Fair

With these done, a nice big knitting spot is opened up (I've been limiting myself to 3 WIPs) and the timing is perfect since I just spun some gorgeous 50/50 cashmere/silk. I started knitting a shawl yesterday - such an enjoyable morning knitting project - a few rows every morning with coffee - more on that next time.

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March 2, 2010
Shiny Distraction

I am a lousy monogamous knitter (which means this sweater may be here for awhile!) and I realize you might get tired of looking at pictures like this...

Cassidy Progress

so I will distract you with shiny new yarn...

FatCat Mohair Braid FatCat Mohair Braid

I divided this bright beautiful Fat Cat Knits 64% Kid Mohair/25% Merino/11% Nylon Blend in Winter Doldrums colorway (mid winter mini club) into 4 color sections to make this pretty 2 ply yarn. To preserve the softness and luster of this fiber, I spun and plied it quite loosely.

FatCat Mohair Yarn

There are 4 small skeins (total of 267 yards/4.9 ounces) and I'm thinking of making mittens from Magnificent Mittens, but am not sure yet.

FatCat Mohair Yarn

I'll leave you with some close-up peeks ...

FatCat Mohair Close

FatCat Mohair Close


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