- Abby Franquemont
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So far this decade… well, century… hrmmm, milennium at that! I’ve found the even number years to be rough, tough, and challenging, with the odd number years much less eventful. However, I don’t know that I expect 2007 to be uneventful or unchallenging, what with a fledgling business in play now and everything! I’ve got more than a few plans and goals for the coming year, and I’m very much looking forward to 2007 and all it brings.
First up, I decided that for at least one month, I would attempt to document, and put online, everything fiber oriented that I do. Yes, everything! I expect this to actually be trickier than it sounds, as I suspect that there are fiber-oriented things I do which I don’t even notice or remember — sort of like how one doesn’t really notice or remember what t-shirt one was wearing 3-4 days ago, or that one had a snack, or all sorts of little things. I anticipate that I’ll routinely forget that I spun this sample, or tried that blend, or repaired Chad’s hat, or wrote a quick article about something… and I bet even I will be surprised by how much I actually do.
That said, of course, so far this morning of 1 January 2007, I’ve done nothing yet. Well, I guess I did go find a bunch of my old posts about fiber arts, and put them into the archive on this site, while drinking my coffee and doing a year-end/new year email reorganization.
On tap for today, I plan to work more on the Desert Flower shawl, whose purpose is really to be a giant swatch for this yarn, which was spun as an example for the blend next to it, which is for sale on eBay this week. The blend is camel down, silk, merino, and a bit of firestar nylon, and the first big skein — I intended to just swatch one skein — was spun from two batts, preserving colour separation to get an interesting long-repeat self-striping yarn.
The shawl starts with the yellow at the center, and radiates outward through the pink, into the purple at the outside… or that was the plan. But into the purple, I realized I was going to run a little short and this posed a dilemma: run off with another couple of the batts from sales inventory, and spin up just the purple parts, or do something else? In the end, I took one large batt and spun a heathered yarn; so now when it’s all done, the outside edge will be a heather of all the discrete colours in the entire shawl, and a good example piece for how you can do a lot of interesting colour tricks with a multicoloured batt.
The original skein was about 400 yards, and the second is 240. And no, you can’t see any pictures of that yet, because it looks like a giant sack on some 40″ size 3 US Addi circulars! It’s a rectangle, somewhat haphazardly throwing in assorted patterns from Sharon Miller’s Heirloom Knitting, which happens to be the only knitting book I didn’t pack when we moved, leaving it out as a reference while traveling instead. And I haven’t unpacked any of my fiber books yet; I should put up more shelves in either my office or workshop, so I can do that.
Other than that, on the UFO knitting list for the moment, I have a scarf for me from commercial cashmere (Belisa cashmere laceweight yarn I picked up at Stitches West last year) — which among other things, is part of my “achieve peace with pink” goal for my near future: the yarn is variegated salmon pinks to a smoky tan. That one’s just an elaborated print o’ the wave simple one for carrying around places. The toughest part of it so far has been finding a lacy pattern that I felt looked good with the length of the colour repeats. It’s sitting by my slothing chair on a pair of old size 2 straights and I haven’t touched it in probably 2 months.
There’s also the triangle swatch. Urgh! The point of this was to swatch some of my handpaint lace yarns. It’s presently taking up a pair of 40″ size 2 Addis and every day I try to make myself knit a bit more. It’s really going to be a small shawl or large scarf when it’s done, with a falling leaves center that increases as you go up, forming an isosceles right triangle, around the outside of which is an in-the-round… well, in the triangle… lace border which is about to shift back to falling leaves from a more open improvised X’es sort of thing. The “urgh” comes in because for this project, I had to actually seek help from someone who remembered more trigonometry than I did, to work out the logistics of how I wanted to do increases in the round at the 45-degree angles. I know from experience that when I fudge that, I get almost a shawl collar on the shawl, which while it’s sorta comfy, I think looks crummy (vis this little shawl, which I wear and actually like for function, but find that I never wear it for style, only as a practical thing).
I’m trying to keep my plate relatively clear, because I know that any day now, two boxes will be arriving in the mail containing my birthday present, which is nothing less than a vintage autoknitter with 60, 80, and 100 needle cylinders, which I hope will consume a great deal of my excessive handspun sock and lace knitting yarn stash.