Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Spinning and Knitting

It is no secret around Willow's Cottage that I have a lot of fiber. I refuse to make an accurate count of the boxes, bins and bags of yarn and unspun fiber I own. The Professor claims I have a lifetime supply of fiber, even if I live to be 100. He's most likely correct. But it's better if I don't know for sure. At least it isn't spread all over the cottage. It is all confined to two spots-in my guest room closet and under my bed-except for the three baskets of hand spun yarn on display in my bedroom. Please do not tell me that you do not keep yarn under your bed. I won't believe you.

I don't purchase much yarn throughout the year. I still maintain that my ultimate goal is to use up my stash and believe it or not, I am making progress on that front.

However. I do make allowances for some purchases of specialty fiber. For example, I bought two skeins of merino/silk blend fiber at The Knit and Crochet Show Marketplace last month in Portland. I expected this fiber to spin up with the blue/purple and the raspberry pink maintaining a dominant vibrance in the yarn.

But the predrafting and spinning showed how much yellow and rust was in the coloring.

After I finished spinning the 435 yards (approximately) I spent a few weeks just looking at the yarn, wondering what to knit with it. I loved the softness of the silk and wool, and I loved the colors. When MamaMia saw it, she said it reminded her of a hibiscus blossom.
But less than 450 yards wasn't a lot to work with to knit a wearable garment. I finally decided to knit up a few swatches. Just to play around. I tried purse stitch and then garter stitch but neither pattern showcased the sheen of the silk and the color variations. I ended up liking the look of a plain stockinette stitch. Some elongated stitches gave length and maximized the yardage. I thought I might have enough yarn to make a wrap.
I have knitted my way through 1/3 of the yarn. It looks like the wrap is going to be wide enough and long enough for snuggling when the weather turns a little cooler in the fall.

When it is finished, I'll have details. For now, the Hibiscus Wrap is still a work in progress.


Anonymous said...

That is looking so lovely. It's amazing how different some fibres look once they have been made into yarn.

Tracy said...

Hibiscus Wrap--delicious name, and delicious spun yarn, Willow! That fiber looks the little, subtle variations in the spun. My hubby is always suprised whenever I bring new yarn into the house, claiming I have more than plenty enough--LOL! And he's right. I've been on something of a yarn diet, and trying hard this past year to reduce my stash. But I don't count "yarn calories anymore"--LOL! Can't wait to see your finished wrap. And, oh--LOVE the new banner--sizzling for summer. ((HUGS))

Barbara said...

Oh! you clever knitting friend how colourful. I guess you need a large stack or when the fancy takes you.

Trudy Callan said...

How lovely.

I've been enjoying your blog. I would love for you to come and visit my blog as well, .

My 8 year old daughter has her own sewing blog. If you would like to see what she's up to, go to . She is currently learning how to hand sew. In a few weeks she will start learning how machine sew. She is very excited. Her six year old brother is also featured on her blog. He has been sewing right along with us. It's been a lot of fun sharing this with them.



ellen b. said...

Very pretty!

Anonymous said...

Such a lovely color and name. It makes me want to learn to spin!


Marg said...

It's not enough for me for me to have Charles and Charlotte sitting on my mantle...One of these days I'm going to wrap one of your hand made sweaters around my body and feel those wonderful fibers tickling me up and down.
It's so beautiful to see how you mastered knitting.

Mr Puffy's Knitting Blog: said...

What? I thought I was the only one who stashed yarn under the bed!

Gorgeous spun yarn ~ what a luxury. I think a drop stitch wrap with the drop stitch was a fantastic choice to maximize the look and yardage!

Elizabeth said...

Your new header is stunning.
In fact your whole site is a delight for the eye.
Such colors.

Pat @ Mille Fiori Favoriti said...

Such a beautiful color Willow! I was going to say 435 yards was a lot of yarn and then you told us it wasn't much -- I guess now you know I don't knit. The wrap is lovely!

Unknown said...

What beautiful colours..yes, look so much like my hibiscus at home too. Happy weekend..

Sharon Lynne said...

Very beautiful yarn. It DOES look soft and cuddly.

Anonymous said...

Ah, yes. Willow is to fiber as nikkipolani is to roses. Enough said.