Thursday, January 24, 2008

Knit or spin? Spin or knit?

If you've been getting the impression that there has only been spinning going on here at Chez T4S, well, you'd be mostly right. To prove that I haven't forgotten to knit, however, I present the following evidence. (Humble apologies for the horrendous photos. I'm tired of waiting for good light.)

dic stulpen model
Pattern: cable pattern from Stulpen, body of mitts based on Serpentine Mitts
Yarn: Dream in Color Smooshy, "Black Parade"
Needles: U.S. size 1 (2.25 mm) DPNs
Modification: I mirrored the cables on the two mitts.

dic stulpen done
Ever since I knit those two pairs of Serpentine Mitts in December, I've been wanting a pair for myself. The thought of knitting the same pattern for a third time so soon did not appeal to me, though, so I used a different cable pattern. All in all, I'm quite happy with these, but I would change a couple of things if I were to knit them again:
  1. I would move the cable pattern 4 stitches farther away from the thumbs. Although the pattern is centered on the mitts I made, it doesn't appear to be centered when I'm wearing the mitts. Apparently hands are three-dimensional. Who knew?
  2. I would probably shorten the cuffs a bit.
Still, these mitts are supremely functional. That is, they're keeping my hands warm while I'm at my frigid office.

So, spinning! I finished another skein on Monday. It started out looking like this.

cw ea roving
Occasionally I like to buy things that are outside my normal color comfort zone. This roving from Copperpot Woolies certainly fits that bill. It's comprised of dusty purple, orangey-gold, and white. As I started spinning it, I said to myself, "This has the potential to become some really ugly yarn." But I pressed on. The Professor wasn't exactly encouraging. He told me it looked as though I was spinning up a bad Halloween wig. Humph. At my look of displeasure, he did add that the spinning seemed to be improving the fiber.

cw ea niddy2
As it turns out, I needn't have worried. The finished yarn is worlds better than I was expecting.

cw ea skein
Fiber: Copperpot Woolies 100% merino, "Elegant Autumn"
2 ply
310 yards
16 wpi, sportweight
114 grams (4 oz.)

cw ea close1
I am still surprised by how much I like this yarn. It's heathery, tweedy, and just plain good. The roving gets an enthusiastic thumbs up from me. It didn't draft quite as smoothly as the superwash merino I used for my last skein, but it wasn't difficult to draft by any means. The slightly less smooth drafting did mean that my singles weren't as consistent as I would have liked. However, the inconsistencies aren't particularly apparent in the finished yarn. Those nice color variations can hide a multitude of sins.

cw ea strandsjpg
Mmm, soft and squishy merino goodness.


At 1/24/08, 6:56 PM, Blogger Bea said...

I love this one but not as much as the last one :)

At 1/24/08, 7:22 PM, Blogger aija said...

Wow, that is some super gorgeous yarn!! I love the color you chose for your mitts, too.

At 1/24/08, 7:46 PM, Blogger Jodi said...

Great mitts! I love the subtle colors. My husband has requested fingerless mitts to wear at the office.

I love this handspun, by the way. So lovely!

At 1/24/08, 8:07 PM, Blogger loribird said...

I think the mitts are great (though I agree with you about the cable placement) but that handspun - WOW! It's absolutely gorgeous! Great job.

At 1/24/08, 8:30 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The mitts are fab and thanks for the info on the cable placement ... just in case I ever get through my queue and decide to knit them.

Sins? I don't see any sins. Looks perfect to me.

At 1/24/08, 10:02 PM, Blogger Bea said...

I've nominated you! Go see my blog!

At 1/24/08, 10:33 PM, Blogger bookgrump said...

I envy the mitts. They're beautiful!

Your progress as a spinner amazes me. You're getting so good!

At 1/25/08, 12:32 AM, Blogger Angeluna said...

The yarn you spun from that roving is just amazing. I would never have thought the color would come out like that. You must get more and make a sweater.

How funny you changed the cables on your Serpentines. I've been looking through my Viking Knits and found something similar to change up the second pair. Need to finish mine, once I get over the chemo cap craze.

At 1/25/08, 5:52 PM, Blogger Knitting Bandit said...

Won't be long and you'll have your own Etsy store...maybe your yarn will be the next "gotta have" yarn. We'll all be able to say we saw your first pretty yarns...
Thanks for the surprise mail. It was so much fun!

At 1/26/08, 9:09 AM, Blogger Charles said...

Lovely Mitts!
You did suchs great job!

Also great handspun yarn too!
I wish i could leanr some day.

Another thing, check out my knitting blog too! See what you think!Comment me also!



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