Wools Gone Wild!!!

I was so amused by Jodi’s comment about my spring break plans (“Don’t get too “girls gone wild” on us!” she said) that I’ve had the title for this post rolling around the ol’ noggin for a week now. I’m such a dork, it still makes me giggle (“Wools gone wild... harhar snort!”)

It’s sort of true though; I got so much done, the wool was really flying. As promised, I took my week off and spent it recuperating; there was loads of guilt-free napping, vegging out in front of the television (though it’s usually PBS, so not altogether brain-melting,) far too much time browsing Ravelry, and some recreational crafting, baking, and experimental yogurt making. (I know, I really am a wild one, aren’t I?) I did manage to kick the bronchitis (and the stomach thing I got soon after… triple ick.) without the aid of antibiotics, which I’m fairly proud of since I’m so prone to those lovely respiratory illnesses that just keep on giving.

But I know you came here for the fiber-related side of my week, and really that’s my favorite part too, so let’s get started. Grab a cuppa, it’s a long one…

First off, since this was my week, I decided to knit something for myself. I found a pattern on Ravelry, grabbed two skeins of the new Malabrigo Merino Worsted my local yarn shop had just gotten in, and let fly with what may well become the most-worn handknit in my wardrobe to date. I started Saturday and it was finished by Monday evening.

5.0mm/US8 needles
1.5 skeins Malabrigo Merino Worsted, “Verdo adriana” (color 117)

Since I still felt (and looked) a bit rough, the sweater is being modeled by Zoe, my long-suffering dressform (who really doesn’t really share my proportions even when I set the measurements. She’s much more cylindrical than I am, and her bust is abnormally high and firm. Ah well.) I made a few modifications to the pattern (nixed the puffy sleeves, left off the trim, made it a smidge longer in the body and sleeves) and it’s perfect for throwing on during the cool-but-warmer spring days we have now. I really love it, and it was a really fast knit (could just be I’m used to tee-tiny needles, too.)

Then I moved on to knitting for others. There is fellow Coast Guard Wife in my botany class, and though our husbands don’t work together we’ve met at the “mandatory fun” events (Christmas dinner at the station, 4th of July BBQ…) She’s expecting her second son in July, so of course, I had to knit her something. I settled on an old standby, EZ’s Baby Surprise Jacket. It looked sort of lonely by itself and I had plenty of yarn left over, so I made some baby-longies (from the pattern in The Opinionated Knitter) to match.
They turned out so adorable that Andy said (and I quote): “Get those things away from me! They’re so cute they’re making my biological alarm-clock go off!”

Baby Surprise Outfit, size 3-6 months (???)
3.5mm/US 4 needles
Dale of Norway “Falk” (brown & cream) and Jaeger “Matchmaker Merino DK” (green & blue)

I’ve come to the conclusion that no BSJ of mine will be truly complete without some pants to match. Really, aren’t the too cute for words?

With that successful venture in mind, I began spinning the 4.5 oz. of merino fiber I plan to use to knit a similar outfit for another friend of mine who is expecting. (Really, is it just me and my age, or is everyone having babies lately!??!

The fiber is from Hello Yarn’s fiber club, which I was lucky enough to be a member of last summer (a wonderful way to spend my birthday money! Thanks, Mom!) She called the colorway “Maldives,” and it turned into just over 400 yards of wonderfully squishy, bright dk-ish weight yarn.

From the same friend, I had a request for a sweater made from Green Mountain Spinnery’s “Mountain Mohair” yarn, which is much softer than I would have imagined, given the 30% mohair content. It’s “yearling mohair,” so I suppose that makes the difference.
We chose a natural shade of grey (“Grey Birch” from the yarn label) and I’m using the Organic Guernsey pattern by f.pea. It’s a simple neck-down sweater, and I really like how it’s working up in this yarn.

I just have the sleeves to go now… I expect I’ll get them done well before the little one arrives (before the end of this month.) I want to find some of those Beatrix Potter buttons for the henley neckline. Baby knits are too much fun.

I was then thoroughly distracted by the arrival of the first installment from Enchanted Knoll’s “Happy Hooves” sock batts club. If you’ve never tried spinning from batts, you really, really should, and Josette is just the woman to provide you with the addictive fiber you’ll want to roll in good stuff.
Spinning batts are made on a drum carder, and they are a lot less compressed than commercial roving, so the drafting is a dream. The spinner has a lot more control over color placement as well. Josette did the first club fiber in one of her most popular colorways (and one of my favorites), “Wood Elves.”

The fiber is superwash merino with a sprinkling of sari silk and a generous dose of sparkley-stuff (angelina? I’m not sure what it’s called.) I spun like I’d never spun before, and in less than 48 hours had two bobbins full…

…which very quickly turned into two skeins of my mostest favoritest sock yarn ever.

Just under 6 ounces, just over 400 yards, of pure, soft loveliness. There is a little bit of silk fiber dyed to match that I will be spinning up to carry along in the heels and toes.

I had to spin this stuff so quickly because it was my “blankie yarn” for the beginning of this week. Andy has been suffering from sleep apnea for some years now, and he was scheduled for the first corrective surgery Monday morning. My mother in law came to help out with the girls, and I (nervously) accompanied my (nervous) husband to the hospital in Belfast, Maine.

Everything went well, he’s back home healing up now, but I spent a few nerve-wracking hours in a waiting room while he was in surgery. I managed to put the time to good use. (What is it Elizabeth says? “Knit on, through all crises.” It works.)

I’m turning my Happy Hooves yarn into a pair of Loksins! socks, for me this time. I knit the last pair as part of Sockapalooza, and I’ve been waiting for the right yarn to make myself a pair. I do believe I’ve found a good match. The pattern was just complex enough to keep my mind occupied, but easy enough I didn’t have to spend the whole day bent over charts. I like how the pattern somehow looks suitably Elvish for the yarn.

Once Andy was released to a room upstairs (where we planned to stay overnight) and was safely, if not entirely comfortably, resting, I went out to explore Belfast. Oh, who am I kidding, I already knew there was a yarn shop in town (something it seems you can count on in most decent-sized Maine towns). I made a beeline to Heavenly Socks Yarns, where I found a sale on all the sock yarn in stock. Throw me in the briar patch, why doncha? Though they had plenty of other beautiful yarns in the shop, I brought home some skeins of sock yarn. What else would you expect of me?
There was Trekking XXL (on sale on top of the old $13.95 price!!!) (Zitron’s had to raise their prices due to the change in rate between the Euro and US dollar, so Trekking is up to $16.95 or more in most shops.) that had to come home with me.

Color 170

Color 78

I bought some soft superwash for a stranded pair of socks I’m making as a gift (ahem-Alien-Invaders):

Invicta Extra by Scheepjes

There was also this stuff that I just couldn’t pass by. It’s a blend of superwash merino (63%), silk (20%), nylon (15%), and sterling silver (2%).

Kraemer Sterling Silk & Silver

Really cool stuff; the silver translates in the yarn as a hint of sparkle. I’m not sure if I want to leave the yarn white or dye it. I may have to see if there is any left when we return to Belfast in a few weeks… it might make a nice shawl.

All in all, it was a very eventful week, and I had a lot of fun. Much better than a hangover on a hot beach in Mexico. Now that school’s started back up, I won’t be nearly as active a knitter, but I’ll try for more regular posting.

All for now!


12 thoughts on “Wools Gone Wild!!!

  1. that’s a hearty lot of knitting. And, I agree with Andy – that outfit is soooo cute I almost forgot that they grow up (rather quickly, I might add) and become TEENAGERS! Also, if the sterling silver and silk yarn displeases you in any way – uhm – I guess, because I’m your friend and all, I could take it in and give it a home.

  2. The baby outfit is terminally adorable. If I wasn’t already beyond babies I would want one of my own to wear it. Sadly all my grandkiddies are now way beyond that little size.And congrats on all that knitting and spinning. I agree about knitting through crises. When my DH was in the emergency room for over 5 hours a couple of years ago I knit knit knit. Although my superstition was that I could only be knitting for him. LOL.Has Mud Season hit yet?Namaste,

  3. Wools Gone Wild?!?! I love it. What a bumper crop of beautiful projects. I enjoyed knitting the little Organic Guernsey pattern, but I didn’t think to tweak the raglan increases to make them line up properly. Oops!

  4. Was there ever smoke coming out of your needles? And you spun in there, too? Oh, and had a little surgery thing? Shoot! And you kicked several ailments? You allegedly slept, but when? ;-)Flat Jetty is on her way back to Maine. I hope she had a good time.

  5. I love the way your Wood Elves spun up and is knitting up! So gorgeous. Now I’m wishing I had joined Josette’s club. Ahh, such fibery goodness.

  6. That yarn you spun up is beautiful and even more beautiful knitted up. I also really love the green sweater. Might have to make me one of those with your mods.

  7. Wow Loribird, what a great week you had….All that wonderful knitting therapy. I loved seeing all your projects and yarn….very inspiring. Those are going to be some happy babies wearing your wonderful knitted creations.P.S. I’m a hospital knitter too–I think my family would think something was wrong if I showed up anywhere *without* a knitting project along.

  8. Your spinning is beautiful!I love the boob holder and the color. And all of the baby things…too cute!Feel better. Maybe you could just THINK about the heat in Mexico?

  9. What a fun, fibery post! I so enjoyed looking at your handspun yarn and your FOs. Pretty Wood Elves roving. I look forward to hearing how you like your new sock yarns.

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