Rainy Day!

It’s an utterly bleak and gray rainy day. I’m thrilled.

Unfortunately, they’re saying on the radio that even if it rains all day today and all day tomorrow, it won’t likely be enough to make a huge difference to the crops, and we’ll still need several more inches of rain, soon. So we’re keeping our fingers crossed.

Thank you all so much for your responses to my 100th post! You still have through Friday to weigh in on the contest if you’re so inclined. And I have still not skeined, finished, dried, and measured that bobbin — and it’s killing me! The suspense! We’ve got votes from the 500s to the 1200s for yardage, and my old friend Wednesday (hah! You’re old!) pointedly notes she really can’t guess at the meters on account of all the yards. This is pointed, because she knows full well I grew up as much metric as SAE, and am prone to switch between the two at random, and have generally tried to be conscientious about using both when I’m referring to measurement type stuff. My excuses are that a) I am lazy sometimes, and b) my skeiner measures yards. However, I am duly reminded and will make an effort to remember to include meters on my numbers from here on out!

Oh, so yesterday I was chit-chatting with Pippi, who updated her store, but did not include any more Pagoda! I hate her so much! So I told her so. That resulted in me promising I’d take at least one in-progress photo of what I was doing with the Falkland Pagoda, even though it just looks like a giant sack of nothing. Or as my mother-in-law has joked, a toilet seat cover! Everything looks like a toilet seat cover when you do it in the round on a set of circular needles. This shawl is not in the round, but nonetheless…

What I can tell you about it is that structurally, it’s a triangle shawl knit from the top down, but getting longer. So there’s a set of central increases — a mitered corner at the centerline. Doing it this way means the long colour repeats I spun into the Pagoda are triangle stripes throughout the fabric. Meanwhile, to counterpoint that (or deal with my tendency to grow bored with one single pattern), I’m doing sections of different patterns, delimited (that’s a geek word for “separated”) by eyelet stripes. These pattern sections are also triangles, but they’re at a 45-degree angle to the triangles that appear because of the striping effect.

I had decided that the final section would go to having all one pattern for the outermost or lowermost edges… and now I see that I won’t have enough yarn to make that happen. So, since Pippi is all out of Pagoda, I thought I’d see if my own Falkland inventory didn’t happen to have something that sorta worked, maybe kinda.

And that looks, in the fiber, like it could match the pink-purples. Or work with them. However, sadly, with the first bobbin of single spun up, the answer is no, not at all. So I probably will have to dye some Falkland yellow and work with that. Given that dilemma and the lead time involved in turning some Falkland top yellow with maybe flecks of pink or orange here and there, I decided to finish something that had been sitting on my table for… since… when did the spring IK come out? Since then.

You see, I’d never actually done this entrelac thing, and I had some problem yarn — a chain-plied tussah silk seconds for “Indian Summer,” which had blurred too much and I lacked confidence in the light brown dye in it (since discontinued). So I simply followed the directions in the magazine and used up the yarn.

I was right to be suspicious of the light brown dye. It ran in the hot water wash.

So, I gave the entire thing a half-hour acid bath at about 180 degrees F, rinsed it very aggressively, and then ironed it to the point of mostly dry.

I’m actually happier with this colourwise than I was with the yarn. I mean, the yarn wasn’t bad. But there were pink overtones I didn’t like so much. The running brown changed those, as did the hot iron.

And really, this was a fun little learning project, with a pleasant end result.

Having that off the needles, of course, allowed me to cast on something else. I took this leftovers skein here, which Chad tells me our cat Paimei has been bringing to him in his office with some regularity, and started fiddling with it.

I think it was somewhere around 125 yards, and was the leftover merino/tencel from this sock yarn. That should be quick and entertaining.

Oh, right — and I’ve been working my way through my “Spin Me” stack. Monday night, I wrapped up the second bobbin of a fine laceweight merino/tussah leftover, and spun up these fellas:

This was another of the superwash/tencel batt trials. There were two, one of which had been through one more pass to even out the colours more. The superwash/tencel batts took more passes than I really felt like doing, oy! Pictured above is the more-blended one, which spun up into this single:

while the second one, less blended, spun up into this single:

which brings us to the end of Monday night’s spinning. Tuesday night, also known as last night, I was thus forced to have a ply-o-rama. It would seem I took no pictures of the 350 yards of merino/tussah, nor have I weighed it, nor anything! For shame. But I did snap this picture of the superwash/tencel once I plied it…

And supposing it ever dries, well. You know. Same goes for that merino/tussah one. This Autumn coloured yarn here came to 385 yards (352 m) before its long long hot soak and whatnot. Simple hot soak for… well, I can’t be sure; the truth is I forgot about it and when I went to take it out later it was far from hot. Ahem. I followed that up with a cold rinse and hung it to dry on the towel bar, as it was, by then, evening and a thunderstorm. That’s why it isn’t dry yet. But I can tell it’s going to be rather nice. Maybe nice enough to make me willing to blend superwash and tencel more. I can’t say for sure yet.

Speaking of blending, that’s really what I ought to be doing right now. So, without further ado, and without telling you more of what I’ve determined thanks to all your wonderful responses to my 100th post, I must now finish my last coffee and head into the studio, lest there be no new exciting batts for Friday’s shop update. Yay, batts!

Oh, and actually that reminds me — a sale! I’ve just marked a whole pile of handspun and handpainted yarns to 15% off, now through July 3. Or, well, starting in about an hour. And your shipping’s on me if you let me know you came from my blog, at checkout time. It’s here:

http://stores.ebay.com/Franquemont-Fibers

5 thoughts on “Rainy Day!

  1. Yanno, that merino-tencel stuff makes me wonder what I might have managed had I carded up that roving I bought that turned out to spin into a horrible looking color rather than giving up and making “art yarn” out of it… I’ll have to keep that in the back of my mind for next time.

  2. Good lord woman, when do you sleep?!?!?! Beautiful scarf, I like the colors MUCH better now! I’m still trying to wrap my brain around your yardage question. It’s not easy to estimate. But I guess you knew that. ;o)

  3. That shawl is amazing. It’s funny, people will go on about how variegated yarns don’t work for lace, or don’t knit up well, etc. etc., but I have yet to see any evidence of that.

    The entrelac is pretty nifty, too.

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