Knitting and spinning and pattern dreaming.

Hello! Hope y’all are having a good Monday. I’m off work today due to the Martin Luther King, Jr holiday in the US, which has given me some extra crafty time this weekend. I’ve made a lot more progress on my Yvaine shawl (free pattern here) and am in the final, garter stitch section. Yay! This is knit out of my own handspun Polwarth – the fiber was from Cloudlover Fibers.

It’s been fun watching how the striping is turning out, with random widths of the different colors. I would never have chosen these colors if the fiber wasn’t part of a spin-a-long, but I’m liking the finished product!

I’ve also gotten some spinning done…I finally taught myself how to use my adorable Jenkins Turkish Delight spindle that I bought way back in October with birthday money. I’ve been “saving” it; for what purpose, who knows? I know I’m not the only one who buys special fiber tools or yarn and then hoards them away, because they’re “too nice to use.” I have a fiber stash, not a museum! That’s crazy talk. Anyway, I finally convinced myself to stop squirreling it away and actually enjoy it. There was a little bit of a learning curve moving from a top-whorl spindle to a turkish-style, but the Jenkins site has really useful tutorial videos, and I cottoned on fairly quickly. It’s really been a huge pleasure to spin with. Mine is made of Borneo Rosewood, is 1.26 oz (36 grams) and it’s just the cutest little spindle. I love it.

The fiber I’m spinning is super bright (to the point of being almost dementedly, crazily bright, really) but I like it. It’s from FatCatKnits, the colorway is called Nerds, and it really is perfectly candy-colored. It’s Falkland wool, which I would definitely recommend as a good beginning spinning fiber. Just the perfect amount of stick-together-ness, to use the technical term.

(I also have to say, apologies for the sub-par phone camera pics this week. I just couldn’t get it together to use my SLR, and I figured a blog post with serviceable photos is better than no post at all, right?)

Moving on to patterns! It’s easy this week to keep up with my 2012 resolution of sharing my favorite patterns, because there have been SO many cute patterns and collections released in the past few days. Stop it, knitting designers of the world! You’re spoiling us!

  • Whimsical Little Knits 3 and Saturday Treat from Ysolda Teague were just released for pre-ordering. Saturday Treat is a collection of six accessories patterns that will be released each week. WLK 3 is Ysolda’s third collection of patterns that are both whimsical and little. : ) I have the first two collections, and may buy this one later down the road when I’m further through my massive to-do list of projects. My favorite from this new collection is a shawl called Sherilyn.
  • Cecily Glowik Macdonald released a couple new sweater patterns this week, and I adore them. Chalet is a v-neck cardigan with pockets (!) and Oakwood is a pullover with a really pretty lace neckline…and more pockets! : ) I want to knit them both right away!
  • Tanis Gray released a book of Washington DC inspired patterns called Capitol Knits – you can see all the patterns on the Ravelry page. My favorite is a lacey, slouchy hat called the Library of Congress hat. I have to admit, it first caught my librarian’s eye because of the name, but I was impressed by the rest of the collection, too.

I’m always on the look-out for new patterns to add to my dream list of knitting, so feel free to share your favorites. : ) Have a great week!




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