Yarnporium is coming!

You may or may not have seen some details over the past few weeks about a little show I'm going to be vending at this coming weekend - the brand new Yarnporium!

The Yarnporium kicks off on Saturday, 5th November at King's College London on the Strand at 10am (unless you've booked a workshop) and will run through 4pm on Sunday afternoon. If you are looking to do any holiday crafting this year, this is the show to go to! There will be yarn and kits and all sorts of lovely, beautiful treats for the crafters in your life (or for yourself, when you get right down to it!) Allison has been doing an amazing job sharing previews of vendor goods on Yarn in the City, but I thought I'd do a bit of my own sharing.

So what am I bringing to the Yarnporium? Well...first up will (obviously) be fibre. Lots and lots of fibre...

Clockwise from top left: Haematoma Humbug BFL, Willow Hearth Romney, Hoard Falkland, Shetland/Suffolk Victoria Sponge batt, Alpaca/Ile de France Victoria Sponge Batt and Quantum Dots BFL.

I'm also hoping to have a few more gradients for the show, including a very last minute one inspired by this gorgeous autumnal vine I saw over the weekend.

IMG_1885.JPG

I'm also planning on having quite a few spindle kits available - if you've been wanting to learn how to spin, or know someone who wants to learn, these make great Christmas presents! You get a drop spindle, instructions, and four 1 oz/28 g bundles of different fibres to try out for £20. I'll have them with a wide selection of fibre colours and types, so do come by and check them out!
 

Tickets for the Yarnporium are still available at the early bird price (£8 per day/£12 for a weekend ticket) until tomorrow. After that, the prices will go up to £10/£15 respectively, so don't wait! It should be a great weekend and I'm looking forward to seeing you there!

Spinworthy

"Knitworthy" is a term that gets discussed a fair bit in the knitting world, particularly in the run up to the winter holiday season. What makes someone knitworthy is an ongoing, and sometimes contentious debate - the recipient's appreciation of and understanding of the value of handknits is dissected within an inch of its life, their ability to care appropriately for said handknitted gift is considered, and the giver's ability to "let it go" (it being the knit item in question) is discussed and pondered. It's a tough thing, putting all the time and energy and work into a handknit present when you're not sure what will happen to it in its new home.

What you don't hear discussed very often is if someone is "spinworthy".  For me, spinning a gift for someone is a different undertaking then knitting something. When I spin, part of the enjoyment is in being early in the creative chain that begins with the sheep growing the wool and ends with the finished object. I take a raw-ish material (the "ish" being reflective of the fact that I'm usually working with already processed but not always dyed fiber) and create something that, while beautiful in and of itself, isn't actually the finished product. There is still potential in that skein of handspun - it might grow up to be a hat, or a cowl, or some warm cozy mittens. It might end up as a square or two in a big blanket, or an edging on a sweater, or just about anything at all. The final fate of that wool is still up in the air.

All of this is a rather long and indirect way of saying I've finished a big spinning project. For Christmas in 2013, I gave Alli a sweater lot of handspun, fiber and colors TBD. After much back and forth and a bit of sample dyeing/spinning, she decided that she wanted yarn to knit the Gradient Pullover by Amy Miller. We went back and forth on colors, but she finally decided to go with the same pale to deep orange as shown on the pattern page. After some disagreement about fiber (I was pulling for BFL, she was enamored of merino-silk), we finally found a solution (that is, she got her way), and the project was underway.

Sadly, this was sometime in late May or early June that all this got settled, and the rest of the summer was pretty much a wash (what with the moving and all). I finally got the fiber out to dye and realised that I was short by about 10 ounces. Thankfully, my parents came to visit in October, and brought some more fiber with them (thanks Mom!). Much singles spinning and plying later, I present this:

IMG_4772.JPG

Fiber: 80% merino/20% tussah silk, dyed in three different shades of orange

Spun/plied: singles spun at 12:1 on a ST folding Lendrum, plied on a Hansen miniSpinner (hence the ginormous skeins!)

Yardage: 455 yds/6.8 oz of light orange, 645 yds/7.9 oz medium orange, and 660 yds/9.4 oz dark orange. Plus a couple of mini skeins of medium and dark so she can swatch. Total yardage 1760 yds/24.1 oz, approximately 1170 ypp. The medium orange is a bit lighter in grist then the other two (sport vs. DK) but I think they'll be ok all together.

One last beauty shot:

IMG_4775.JPG

There's a bit of odd plying going on in some places, but that can be fixed if needed down the line. I'm hoping it will be a non-issue when knit up.

So - Happy Late Christmas A! You are definitely spinworthy, but no, I will not knit the sweater for you. 

Toxic!

I came home early this afternoon with a wicked bad cold, and was thrilled to find the November installment of the Hello Yarn Fiber Club on my doorstep. Meet Toxic:

Toxic superwash corriedale

8 oz of superwash Corriedale top. Can you say socks? I love the colors, and have great plans in mind for the 3-ply yarn I want to end up with. I signed up for the doubles option, so instead of getting 4 oz, I got 8 oz. I figure that should be enough for some serious socks. I can't wait to get started on it, but it will have to wait until I finish the Wild Raspberry Targhee that is currently on the bobbin.

There has also been some serious work on The List. I finished one entire Endpaper Mitt (sans thumb ribbing) and discovered that, while it fits me perfectly, it is a wee bit large for its intended recipient.

Endpaper Mitt, version 1.0

My gauge was only off by 0.5 stitches per inch, but over 56 stitches, it works out to 7.5 inches around instead of 7. My Fair Isle gauge is definitely looser then my non-stranded gauge.

Endpaper Mitt, version 1.0

I loved the pattern, and it went incredibly quickly. I went down a needle size on both the ribbing and mitt (from 0 and 2 down to 00 and 1), and the new version (not pictured) seems to be the right size. Hopefully those will be done by next week, but we'll see.

Progress is also being made on Mr. Redjeans, but the pictures wouldn't be terribly interesting, so I'll save it until the body ribbing is done.

C$*%)#^$) Update

OK, some small incremental progress has been made:

Two sweaters for small children - one done except for a button and some end weaving, the other not yet started
Bayerische socks - not started
Plain stockinette socks - one almost to the ribbing, but they're size 11.5! One done, one halfway through foot
Zeebee - done except for grafting
Everlasting bagstopper x 2 - not started
Two sets of Fair Isle alpaca mitts - need to be designed and knitted. And by designed I mean Fair Isle chart lifted off the internet and incorporated into an already existing mitt pattern.
Hemlock ring blanket - done but unblocked blocked and ready to go
Endpaper mitts - not started, but I've considered starting to rip out the Goodwill sweater that is providing some of the yarn

And D-day is only 5+ weeks away. I'm not sure whether to panic or be happy I've got this much done so far!

Other progress: HY Fiber Club October offering is spun, plied and drying. Hopefully I get together the summary post today (as long as I get home to take pictures before the sun goes down completely).

Taking stock

Now that it's November, it's time to start thinking about the holiday knitting that has been sitting in a corner waiting patiently while I have been distracted with Halloween costumes and mini-Clapotis knitting and various and sundry other things. Every year I find myself in this position, and every year I swear I will never do this to myself again. As it is, I have seven weeks until Christmas, and the following projects to complete:

Two sweaters for small children - one done except for a button and some end weaving, the other not yet started

Bayerische socks - not started

Plain stockinette socks - one almost to the ribbing, but they're size 11.5!

Zeebee - done except for grafting

Everlasting bagstopper x 2 - not started

Two sets of Fair Isle alpaca mitts - need to be designed and knitted. And by designed I mean Fair Isle chart lifted off the internet and incorporated into an already existing mitt pattern.

Hemlock ring blanket - done but unblocked

Endpaper mitts - not started

As you can see, I have a bit of work to do. And I keep getting distracted by handspun Clapotis, and Mr. Greenjeans for me. When what I really need to be doing is the C%#^%#&*^ knitting! Next year, it will all be different...

Thistle Clapotis

My distraction...