Oops!  Long time no blog, due to technical difficulties.  I’ve gotten some knitting done.  During a conference in October, I finished the feather and fan scarf I knit from my fractal stripe handspun.  I had reversed the pattern front to back in the middle of the scarf because I was knitting during a concert and messed up, but decided to leave it that way.  It turned out lovely.

Fractal Stripe Handspun knit in Feather and Fan

You can see that one half of the scarf has slow color changes, while the other has more frequent color changes.  I love it!  However, when I was blocking it, I discovered this:

Aaaaaugh!!!

Aaaaaaaaugh!!  I hate dropped stitches in lace.  As you can see, I salvaged what I could and put a safety pin through 3 stitches that seemed to prevent any further damage.  I am not sure how to pick these up again, and may just have to fudge it.  This was going to be a gift, but I don’t want to give something that I messed up.  So I may end up keeping it for myself – it depends on how well the repair goes.

So instead of working on that, I started a new project – the Reid lace cardigan, from Knitty.com.  This will be for Annabelle, and hopefully in time for Christmas.  But in trying to be clever and avoid seaming, I managed to mess up in a few different ways.

Reid Cardigan lace pattern

First off, I decided to knit the right and left fronts together with the back up to the armhole shaping.  Once I got there, I realized that there IS no armhole shaping – it’s a drop shoulder design.  Duh!  So basically I knit in one piece up to the neck shaping.  It really didn’t look that big to me.  Instead of frogging, I started on a sleeve.

Reid cardigan sleeve

I’ll see how it looks as a longer cardigan.  One of the ladies in my knitting group suggested putting a ribbon through the waist – I think that would look cute!  We’ll see how it goes as I fudge it up.

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Remember my Fractal Stripe handspun from SakinaNeedles roving? I’m finally getting around to knitting it.

even closer

It’s standard Feather and Fan, 3 repeats over 56 stitches. I thought it would show off the yarn nicely.

Handspun Fractal Stripe Feather and Fan Scarf

One of the two plies has a long color repeat, and the other has progressively shorter repeats, which results in interesting color changes. Unfortunately, as a new spinner, I spun this yarn very tightly and robbed the superwash merino of some of its softness. I hope it gets better with washing.

Also, I’m knitting a new Baby Surprise Jacket for my college friend Helen, who’s expecting a baby boy. She likes cream color, so this is what I’ve come up with.

Helen's Baby Surprise Jacket

It’s Spritely Goods superwash merino in CoffeePot Rock that I got from the Loopy Ewe, striped with some Patons Kroy from my stash. Here’s how the sleeve folds up so far.

The sleeve

Since this sweater will be for an actual baby, I won’t have to worry so much about yardage and sleeve length like I did for Tim’s sweater.  I started off the striping similarly to Tim’s, but the bottom part of the sweater will be different.  I haven’t decided yet how to finish it.  It’s going pretty quickly though, since it’s my second time knitting the pattern.  So clever and fun to knit!

I finished spinning my Prairie Thistle superwash merino roving from SakinaNeedles. In my previous post about this, I talked about manipulating the color changes. So I spun half of it using the whole width of the roving for one ply, then a 1/2 width, then a 1/4 width..

SakinaNeedles singles for Fractal Stripe

Then an 1/8 width to get progressively more rapid color changes in the other ply.

Rapid color changes

Unfortunately, I spun the second ply somewhat finer than the first and ended up with this much left when I plied it. Oops!!

Oops

So I wound it into a center pull ball and finished it up. It will mess up my Fractal Stripe a little, but hopefully not too much. I was impressed that I managed to fit the whole 4 oz onto one bobbin!

It all fit on the bobbin!

On the niddy noddy:
On the Niddy Noddy

Yarn spaghetti before finishing:
Yarn Spaghetti

Skeined up after soaking and blocking:
My 3rd handspun skein!

A penny for scale:
A penny for scale

Now, what to do with this?

In Spin-Off magazine‘s Summer 2007 issue, there is an article called “The Fractal Stripe” which describes a method for controlling the color in painted roving. I have another beautiful roving from SakinaNeedles in colorway Prairie Thistle. It’s superwash merino.

This is a palindromic color sequence (ABCBAABCBA), which I plan to spin into a 2-ply yarn. I split the roving between the 2 ABCBA sequences and will spin one of the plies as is, then split the rest of the roving along the whole length in order to get shorter color repeats. Plying the two together should create a nice effect. Here it is partly predrafted. Sooooo soft!

Here’s the beginning of the singles on the bobbin. The merino is really nice to spin, and I like that there are undyed spots, which varies the depth of the color. Can’t wait to see how it turns out!