Saturday, January 17, 2009

Or is that swatch, swatch, knit ...?

is how it went this last few days, I swatched for two sweaters, first for TJB's gansey and second for Owls, and I knit more sock. Oh and I carded, and carded and carded.... and then I carded some more, and I am not yet done carding. But first, the Owls pattern is available, would you all understand if I just kept quiet about that and knit one for myself? But I can't, I'm so exited that I have to share.

So exited that when I knew a month or so ago that the pattern would be available I went off an bought yarn to knit Owls for me. I'm not a bulky girl, in terms of yarn, more a sport weight, or fingering weight kinda knitter, so I compromised and bought what is called DK or 8 ply (in the US heavy sport) planning to recalculate the numbers. The pattern was released yesterday, and last night I swatched many ways, I swatched the rib on 3.25mm needles, the stocking stitch on both 3.75mm and 4mm needles and I included one solitary Owl .... Oh I knit the swatch in Quality Yarns Merino Possum yarn, 60% merino, 40% Possum and its soft and fluffy and called bark - sounds just perfect dosn't it?
But it didn't work.
This is one camouflaged owl .... hiding in the swatch, and imagine after a wash and wear or two. In my defense, the Owl was a tad clearer last night, and fluffed up most magnificently when I washed the swatch to make it bloom and relax - bloom it did. And that is why I always swatch, and always wash the swatch ..... Cause otherwise your Owls can go to ground, never to be found again.

Just as well I'm still on leave, I've warned the cubs, tomorrow we are off to the Mill to find a better Owl yarn. Knowing me they just accepted that, they are knitters kids. Which means they are on holiday, but Mum says they have to be dressed and breakfasted and teeth brushed, shoes on and ready to go by 9am, and they accept that ... I'm looking for non fuzzy Owl coloured yarn. Wish me luck.

Of course I interrupted another swatch, to knit Owls, the swatch for Toby's gansey. I'm glad I'm swatching this, the initials are good but take up to much space so I'll arrange them closer together, and the traditional gansey patterns that I chose are not knitting up as I expected - so I've charted a second option and I'll set about swatching for that, if Owls don't distract me.

I spend yesterday also doing fiber'y things, I took all that Cria that I had washed, and I fluffed it up, picking out as much vegetable matter as I could. One of those jobs that whilst it is being done makes one wonder why this is my hobby. But once done, and there is 230g of pure white, soft, fluffy, teased, and clean Alpaca Cria all ready to card, makes me smile at the potential and the beauty of it. Today I spend nearly all the day weighing out cria, angora and Perendale fiber and blending batts thru my drum carder. I ended up with ten 50 gram batts, 500g in total. I've blended it so there is 10% Angora, 20% Alpaca, and 70% Wool, I'm basing that on the yarn used in these, Fresco Fair Isle Mitts by Pam Allen. I have a bit of a knitter spinner fantasy about spinning and dying yarn for Fair Isle work - and this is my attempt to fulfill that dream. Here in New Zealand there are numerous and mostly beautiful carded batts and rovings of merino and silk and alpaca ... but not much with other sheep breeds and other blends, or maybe I don't know where to look. So I'm making my own. These batts have been blended once thru the drum carder, and I've teased out and carded a second time 4 of the batts. I plan to re-blend them all by the end of the week - just to distribute the 3 fiber types more evenly.

So behind all the swatching and the carding the last sock plods on, I finished the first spring thaw sock a few days ago, and have managed to cast on and work the toe of the second (not shown today). And yes that is an end I have to weave in, you guys ... you spot everything.

so as I said, wish me luck ... in finding the perfect lightweight Owls yarn
I have promised the cubs a cafe lunch ... so they are not to deprived
take care


Kate said...

poor wee owl. Hope it works out with some new yarn!

Sarah said...

What a cute pattern! I had never heard of the Owls before:) I hope you find some yummy yarn today...I have also been swatching of late...I just don't want to roll the dice with a full sized sweater!

Knitting Linguist said...

What a fun pattern! Good luck finding the perfect yarn -- you are going to have such fun knitting that sweater :) The cria is looking good; I can't wait to see it spun up, I bet it's going to be such fun to work with. Tell the cubs hi for me, and I hope they enjoy their lunch out :)