Spinning, Knitting, Crocheting, Organic Gardening, Living off-grid, and chasing sheep - because- I'm, like, NOT SANE!

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Behind the FO Parade rides the Karma Queen......

austen lace mufflerBefore I say a word, a flash of gratuitous handspun yarn pron is in order. Hmmmm...., we'll start with this little Austen Lace Muffler from the last issue of Crochet. It is soooo soft. I made the body out of one skein of the 50/50 merino/silk dk that I sell in the shop - hand-dyed in 'ravens'. It took about 1/2 skein for the body of the muffler and about 110 yards of handspun purple for the ruffles. wool/silk So, with a skein of your handspun and a skein for the body - you could make two of these. I wish I had because this one is not for me and when I tried to reason with the cosmos on why it should be, my dear little mannequin got rough with me about it and refused to let me have it back! Note to self: next time, don't fill the gift knitting season with only gifts for others - it just isn't healthy to pine away for something soft on your neck while making oodles of scarves that will never be yours.

handspun scrap hatThen, there's this little scrap hat - made from some singles that I spun from bits of leftover roving here and there. Squishy, colorful, and a little funky. Of course it isn't mine. And, for the record, this little head mannequin had a wicked squinty-eyed stare that keeps me a little scared. It's creepy, I tell you. gimme roses She was no less than brutal when modeling this little tam - an orgasmic mix of merino/cashmere/bamboo, silk and cotswold - a colorway I called, "gimme roses" because guess who is a sucker for a rose scent or a pretty rose to touch her nose? Soft, elegantly rose pink and nearly an inappropriate experience trying it on, also NOT FOR ME. Damn!

You might feel a little sorry for me, now, or hate me in five minutes - funny how life twists and turns that way, eh? stuff 029 The gimme roses hat was happy sitting alone but felt even prettier up next to this little scarf - a simple knit with crochet border from the Cotswold/silk yarn we had in the shop a while back. This batch was a double natural dye - one time in cochineal and then a dip in indigo to overwash. It was the first time I've ever experimented with teaching James how to dye and the irony is that it will likely be the last. That said, I still have a confession to make - I traitored on the hand knitters of the world.

A few months ago - wait, don't throw those oranges and rotten tomatoes at me - please!, I got drunk with the desire for sweaters. Sweaters for my chest, for my legs, for my feet. I wanted to be able to dress my entire family in woolly love and warmth (it may have something to do with the fact that last year we were pretty cold most of the winter). I started to calculate how much knitting I would need to do to just have one pair of long underwear, a sweater or two, and a few days of wool socks for everyone and I got really, uhm, depressed. Maybe in 10 years I could achieve that knitterly pace but, not today. Furthermore, I wanted to be able to save my hand-knitting for those unique and special things that cannot be done by machine. Yes, you heard it from me. I got onto the e-commerce sight of doom and bought myself a knitting machine. Oh, I dreamed. I dreamed of many sweaters by January. Of leg sweaters for all of us so we could play in the snow for even longer. I dreamed of knitting time where I could sit quietly, guiltless and contentedly working away on that special knitting, in full confidence that I'd done my job and outfitted everyone I loved against hypothermia with my magic knitting machine.

cochineal/indigoIn my lust for easy knitting and warmth, I overlooked the obvious. A knitting machine is no different than any other facet of my fiber addiction. It must be met with total humility and an understanding that time, energy, and a heart full of woolly love will cultivate success. It pains me to admit that, in a couple of months, all I have managed to do was knit the body of this scarf, which I adorned with hand crochet work. I could have knit it by hand in less than a week. Go ahead, give me what I deserve (humbly hangs head in shame). Who knows, though, some day we may all be sporting long underwear and sweaters a plenty - or, you know, I could just have some major cabinets full of machine knit washcloths. What WAS I thinking?