Spinning Autumn

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Christmas trees might be glittering in many a window and the strains of “deck the halls” perpetually jangling in the background but here – here it’s still very much Autumn. A very wooly, Blue-Face Leicester sort of Autumn.

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My very first batt, newly acquired from Miss Bab’s, now one of my favorite hand-dyed fiber purveyors. Go look and do some coveting. She dyes yarn too.


Knitting for the overtaxed, writer’s-blocked brain

Oooo, just look'd the purty changing colors…

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Color-shifting yarn + mistake rib = endlessly entertainment for a stalled, twitching brain.
Now, if only words would start behaving like stitches flying off the needles...

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Same old, same old

Still cooling my heels in work-induced knitting limbo so here are some pretty yarn pictures instead.

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Both scrumptious skeins (Petals and Autumn) are from the Knittery*, home of cheerfully hand-painted yarn that I have spent entirely too many hours ogling and coveting. For now, these are marinating in the stash until I have enough brain space to contemplate them further. Maybe they’ll be lovely, lofty scarves one day…

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*Psst, did you know that they’re having a sale on their merino 4-ply right now? Go buy it all up so I won’t be tempted.


Playing Catch-up, again

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Remember all that criss-crossing, chest-thwacking knitting I did a whinge about months ago? Well, it’s finally done! Done and gifted!

Here’s I. kindly modeling the scarf for me before I hurried into my suitcase and we set off for our whirlwind two-week trip to visit relatives (including the intended recipient) overseas. Happily, my uncle the scarf-recipient was quite delighted with my gift. Yarn, color, stitch pattern – it all went over extremely well. Really, nothing beats the warm fuzzies of having a knitted gift well appreciated!

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Brooks Farm Riata (48% wool, 36% mohair, 16% silk)

US 10.5/ 6.5mm

Tubular cast on x number of stitches, knit in Barbara Walker’s basket weave stitch (book 2) to desired length, do a tight bind-off to avoid flaring, attach fringe.

I love, love this yarn. I really can’t enthuse enough about it. Once knit up, the end product is soft as anything and amazingly warm. The yarn is composed of three separate strands with each one a different fiber content. The strand containing silk provides a subtle gloss and texture to the knitted fabric surface. Furthermore, since the skeins are hand-dyed and each fiber takes on dye differently, there are subtle shade gradations across the skein that adds to the depth of the knitted fabric. That said, I think the yarn probably works best in stitch patterns where there is a common overall texture rather than one in which you have a single motif you want to have “pop-out” of a plain background as the color shifts may camouflage the motif. The mohair content in the yarn does mean that there is a bit of shedding but otherwise, I can’t find a single fault. (And even less so when a skein of 375 yards sells for a mere $34 dollars) You can find the variegated-dyed skeins of Riata at the Brooks Farm website but the solid color ones like this teal seem only available at fiber festivals. I bought this skein at Rhinebeck last year and have been kicking myself ever since for not buying two, especially when this particular teal I choose seems to have been irreproducible, not to mention impossible to photograph accurately (the top photo is closer to the real shade but still not quite right). Since I missed out on Rhinebeck this year…well, there’s always Maryland Wool in May!