When it’s right

There was no snow yesterday, it warmed up and rained instead. But it’s still pretty, and I’ve been assured there should be some fluff by early next week.

I just want the holiday mood it brings!

I finished the Ancient Roses tam last night, and I’m supremely pleased with it.

The pattern is “Basic Tam” from Ann Budd’s The Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns (I’ve started linking to books through Knitpicks whenever possible since they do such a great job of showing projects in the books.)

The yarn is some alpaca I spun (two-ply, 13 wpi) from a Spunky Eclectic roving called “Mahogany.” I knit using 3 mm needles (that’s 2.5 US) and cast on 156 stitches. My crown decreases (which I did using the Concentric Circle method) are spaced more closely than the pattern calls for, to make more of a Slouch than a Tam.

Since I’m such a mad knitting fool these days, I cast on immediately for another handspun gift project.

This is the “Apple Harvest” sock pattern from Apple Laine, basically a simple stockinette pattern with a lace panel down the back of the leg. I am loving it in this yarn, which is some three-ply handspun superwash merino I dyed and spun over a year ago. My mother-in-law has admired it several times, and while she was here we decided it would be good for her next pair of socks. So, not too much of a surprise gift (particularly since she reads the blog!) but I had to show it off.

I also started a mini-sweater, using some bits of handspun, and I got most of one done in about half an hour yesterday. I’m making the pattern up as I go, but basically it’s a top-down raglan on tee-tiny scale. I think I’ll make a bunch of them and give them as ornament gifts. A garland of them (sewn sleeve-to-sleeve like folding-paper-doll cutouts) would make a great decoration!

I’ve temporarily suspended work on the Anu’s Mittens from post before last. I’m having trouble keeping tension on the yarn (Rowan Cashsoft 4-ply) carrying both strands in a continental manner, because it is so soft and smooth, but my gauge stranding two-handed is abysmal. Has anyone ever used a Strickfingerhut? It’s a little thimble/ring this is slipped onto the index finger and has guides to keep stranded yarns separate. I ordered a selection of them (This is no time to mess around! I’m trying them all to find the one that works best for me!) and I’ll let you know the results of my experimenting. I figure it will be a handy tool for when I am able to pick up the Autumn Rose pullover again. (No, I haven’t forgotten My Precioussss; I’m still carrying around my swatch, petting it and showing it off to everyone. In praise of the yarn, it’s holding up quite well so far.)

I’m also awaiting the delivery of some more roving to dye up for the shop, since you guys seemed to enjoy the last batch so much. I’m going to be doing two of my all-time favorite fibers this time, a merino/alpaca/silk blend and some targhee wool. Mmmm…

All for now!


6 thoughts on “When it’s right

  1. The Norwegian Knitting thimble is your best bet for Continental Fair Isle knitting. I have some pictures in my blog of me using mine. That plastic one will not give you a satisfactory tension. The metal one has the yarns staggered and that will give you the tension you want.If you look in my archives on October 8, 2006, you will see me using the Norwegian knitting thimble.

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