Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Handspun FO!

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Feather and Fan Comfort Shawl by Sarah Bradberry
My handspun yarn made from roving dyed by Kristin of All Spun Up
Merino Wool (733 yards / 122 g per skein), 0.98 skeins
US 4 (3.5 mm) bamboo circular needles
US 4 (3.5 mm) Knitpicks Options Harmony circular needles (when it got too big for my 24" bamboo circs)
US G (4.0 mm) aluminum crochet hook for stabilizing upper edge

It's been a while since I last posted, and while I've done hardly any blog-reading in that time period (grrr...must remedy that!!!), I have been knitting off and on. I'm still working on Laminaria - which looks like it's turning out to be a miniature shawl (though containing lots and lots of lovely little stitches) - a headscarf, perhaps? No, I didn't swatch for it... why do you ask? ...

However, four weeks ago I flew to the west coast for my brother's wedding and decided to start a simpler pattern on non-threatening looking bamboo circular needles to work on during my flights (and during my multiple layovers). I wanted to knit with some of my rather busy looking, multi-colored handspun yarn, so I picked a nice, straightforward feather-and-fan-based pattern.

I love how it turned out!

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Here's a visual recap of the shawl, from roving to finished product:

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After I bound off and tried it on, I was hoping the shawl would grow a bit during blocking, and I'm glad to report that it did. It's also much drapier.

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As usual, the cats had their fun with the shawl.
While it was still a work in progress, Moana analyzed it to determine its Toepad Squoosh Rating (TSR - she gives it a 9.5 out of 10):

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...and tried it on:

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...as did Bug. He found it to be quite suitable for napping under when people are shining lights in your eyes and trying to photograph their knitting:

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Note: You may notice in these photos that Bug has shaved "wrists" - he has been having some health problems and had IV's for a few days. He's doing quite well now, though :)

Bug carried out additional testing after the shawl had undergone the blocking process (he thought it needed a bit more cat hair integrated into the surface to make it just right).

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Here you can see him examining the crochet edging for imperfections:

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Clearly, the cats take their jobs as quality control specialists very seriously :)

I do love the way the colors progress in the pattern. It's a great choice for any hand-dyed yarn, and looks wonderful worked in stripes of several solid colors, too (as shown on the pattern page).

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More photos for your viewing pleasure:

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I also finished the swatches (I was able to make 7 of them with the yarn and beads supplied) for Schaefer Yarn Company. Each one is the width of the scarf and 3 chart repeats long.

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Heather Undulating Waves Scarf by Laura Nelkin
Schaefer Heather, 55% Merino Wool, 30% Silk, 15% Nylon (400 yards / 113 g per skein), 0.91 skeins "Indira Ghandi" colorway
US 4 (3.5 mm) Knitpicks Options Harmony circular needles
1386 size 6 beads

This is a great pattern (which looks fantastic without the beads, too, in case you were wondering) and lovely yarn to work with.

I'm constantly learning new things while knitting, and this project was no exception - I discovered that I have been making yarnovers on the purl side incorrectly (doh!). Previously, I'd simply been bringing the yarn to the opposite side between the needles for both knit and purl sides. I always thought the resulting purl side YO's looked a little funny... heh. This pattern requires you to do your purl side YO's correctly (bringing the yarn to the back of the work over your right-hand needle, then returning it to the front under the right-needle before purling the next stitch), otherwise you get a tangled-looking mess with beads scattered around willy nilly instead of the neatly beaded ladder rungs you want.

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IMG_5351 "right" side
IMG_5328 "wrong" side
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In payment for the swatches, I got Schaefer Susan in the Subtly Solid Botanicals colorway "Sedum" to make something I've had in my queue since the first month or so I started knitting - the Phildar Zip Cardigan (the link is to a beautiful one made by Girl Who Knits). Here's the yarn:

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Pretty, pretty!

38 comments:

muchadored said...

I cannot get over how gorgeous this is. It's a perfect marriage of pattern and yarn. Now I need to really practice my spinning so I can produce some usable yarn for my own! So lovely.

Jeannie said...

Beautiful handspun and the shawl is very pretty too!

Rosina said...

Your shawl is lovely... and I enjoy your photography too! I always want to know how the shawl looks on a person (drape is so important) and your shadow photos catch the eye. Excellent work :)

Cablegal said...

Ablosutely beatutiful shawl. And yarn of course. Love the photos!

Micky said...

Lovely shawl. And goes with kitty so well.

And those swatches, just awesome. Great color and wonderfully done.
:)

Angie said...

Oooo.... I just love the colors in that shawl (I'm a sucker for blues and browns together). The combination of the colors, the shape and airiness of the shawl remind me of a giant, exotic butterfly or moth. Just gorgeous!

Virtuous said...

Just gorgeous!!

I have been coveting the F&F shawl for awhile now! And just wonderful it is in your own handspun!

SJ said...

What a gorgeous use for your handspun! (I'm still amazed at the yardage you got out of that fiber, too! Care to share the secret?)

Lolly said...

Your handspun shawl is so stunning! I adore it!

ccr in MA said...

Oh, such a pretty shawl: nice work!

My cats often decide that I am insufficiently furry, and they contribute enough to my knitting that I say the FO is 98% wool (or whatever), 2% domestic shorthair. I could never knit for a severely allergic person!

Love the photos!

Disentangled said...

Lovely shawl! I saw your photos come up in my friends ravelry activity page and it took my breath away! So beautiful. Your handspun is perfect for that pattern.

missalicefaye said...

I love the scarf, but I especially love your beautiful shawl! Variegated yarn always looks fabulous in feather and fan. Yay beautiful handspun shawl! :)

Kara said...

Gorgeous shawl! It looks amazing. I totally get why your cat would be in love with it.

craftoholic said...

wow, your shawl is so beautiful, I love seeing the succession from roving to finished product.

Kirsten said...

Your Feather and Fan shawl is GORGEOUS!!!! I made one out of Noro a month or so ago and have been dyeing to do one in handspun. Now I REALLY want to start!

Nonnahs said...

The handspun shawl is stunning! Really. Gorgeous!

Bryony Ramsden said...

WOW. That's incredible. Just gorgeous. And very brave to let pusscats stand on it!

alligator said...

Your shawl is BEAUTIFUL!!! It looks so luxurious and the colors are amazing! I think that was the perfect pattern choice for your special yarn.

Amanda said...

Wow! The F&F is at the top of my queue, and I have been working on some handspun for the project. Very inspiring! Did you spin intentionally for stripes, or did you let the colors fall where they may? I'd like to get the same effect in mine. Lovely!

Katy said...

The shawl is just gorgeous. Beautiful yarn!

elizabeth said...

It's beautiful! That shawl is always gorgeous, but handspun really shows it off. Nice work!

Tammy said...

Gasp! Your shawl is wonderful! It's the perfect combination of pattern and yarn.

Pam said...

What a lovely shawl! Really nice! And I love the yarn for the zipper cardi -- it'll be elegant!

Amber said...

Stunning! I'm dyeing (pun intended of course) to get spinning and dyeing my own wool. This is the first shawl I've seen that I've wanted to knit.

Beth said...

Once again, I'm blown away. And doing that "I'm not worthy" bow.

You have a fantastic body too. Just had to mention it. Haha.

kmkat said...

The photo of the shawl-with-legs (2nd photo of Bug) made me LOL.

Laiane said...

Spinning is on my list of Things to Learn - Eventually. I understand that it's as addictive as knitting. I would be in serious trouble.

Love Mona's TSR, I must say; give our "get well soon" wishes to the Bugster.

schrodinger said...

Amazing! Stunning! Beautiful! Well done.

Ella said...

It never fails to amaze me how a lumpy bumpy pile of wonky colored roving can turn into something so freaking beautiful. It's beautiful!

PS - Your QA department is super cute. :D

hyeknitter said...

your shawl is beautiful.

wendy g said...

The shawl is just so beautiful. Your handspun and the pattern are perfect together. As usual the photo shoot with Moana and Bug are stunning!

Alison said...

Beautiful shawl -- and handspun!

whitknits said...

That shawl is so beautiful! I love the way it looks in your handspun. I hope someday I can create yarn nice enough to turn into a shawl like that.

Amy said...

Beautiful! I just love seeing the shawl in every phase.

The A.D.D. Knitter said...

Well if Bug and Moana give their stamp of approval, I GUESS it's an ok project...kidding, your shawl is amazing!!

Lin said...

Breathtakingly beautiful knitting.

Darcy knotty Knitter said...

The feather and fan shawl is gorgeous I have yarn put away for the pattern:)Hugs Darcy

Anonymous said...

thanks for share.