Monthly Archives: February 2011

Claudia Skirt Update #3 – nearly done

This has been a terrifically fun skirt to knit — it’s not done yet, so I mustn’t get ahead of myself.  It’s about 90% complete.  Not only did I use thicker yarn than the pattern called for — and compensated by making a smaller size — I also changed needle sizes when I began the eyelet pattern.  I love gored skirts and wanted to really emphasize the way the panels were expanding.  So I changed from a 3.5 mm to a 4mm which gave me an increase in width, without increasing stitches. 

As a result, the skirt is getting longer, faster than the pattern calls for.  Increasing the needle size may end up being a mistake, but for now I am claiming victory.  I have several more repeats — 48 more rounds to be exact — before I am told to cast off.  However, as you can see, it’s already 16 inches, which when measured against my frame, brings the skirt to an inch or two above my knee.  I don’t have much more to go.

This skirt will also get washed and blocked which will stretch it out a bit more as well.  I have about 4 more inches to knit, so will need to order more yarn. That sad, proud, wee ball of purple is all I have left.  I plan to finish it off with the same purple.

I love the way the colours merge together.  Thanks Elann and Adara. 

Plan is to finish knitting this soon, make modifications to the pattern, and then spin and dye my own locally sourced yarn — thus creating a 100 Mile Skirt!!

Back to 100-Mile wear – local Polwarth

So you may have been wondering in the past while, what ever happened to the idea of 100-mile wear.  Well, I haven’t abandonded the idea at all. I was seduced by all the wonderful yarns and patterns out there and my own desire to make things FAST.

However, 100-mile wear, is much like the Slow Food Movement. Good things take time and energy to produce. With that in mind, here are some of the things I am working on lately:

The fibre I am using is locally sourced Polwarth.  All washed up, I have a pound of the fibre.  In the photo here is a combed nest, waiting to be spun; some fibre already spun on my Houndesign lace spindle; and a sample swatch from fibre that I spun on my Ashford Traditional last weekend.  Here’s a close-up:

This fibre is amazing: it is extremly soft – no surprise since the breed is 3/4 Merino, yet the staples are long — 4 inches, (10 cm) thanks to the 1/4 addition of the longwool from the Lincoln. 
There is a good crimp on this wool — crimp being the waves you see in the wool.  Crimp allows the yarn, once spun and washed, to have some elasticity, a desireable effect.  You want your sweaters to stretch with you when you bend your arm or reach for someting, and then move back into shape.  The staple on the left, when stretched out is 4 inches, the one on the right, when stretched out is nearly 5. For those of you out there who spin, this makes for dreamy spinning, especially if the fibre has been prepared using wool combs.
My plan today is to comb up a bunch of nests — maybe even as much as a 1/4 of a pound, and spin it up on my wheel.  This kind of fibre wants to be spun fine, so I’ll do it.  And then, the skeins will hit the dye pot — I’m thinking some varigated yarn with analagous colours. 
Stay tuned.