Thursday, June 12, 2014

Berserker Dragon

Plum Crazy Montague Yarn by Waterloo Wools meets Battle-Weary Dragon shawl.  I suppose that would make it a Berserker Dragon. (Rav link)
Don't mind the self-timer photography.

I love the combination of texture and lace and beads in this design. Actually, not very lacy as the only YO openings are in the edge. It is, however, knit in fine lace yarn. It's not my quickest knit.

This shawl will soon be on it's way to Waterloo, Ontario to be used as a sample display piece.  My original silver dragon shawl was the display piece during fibre fairs until I moved it with me to Winnipeg.

If you want your own... feel free to go knit one :) First you'll want to order some Montague yarn because it's divine.

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Over the years

This story starts in the early spring of 2011. It was April. Not quite Earth Day. I was new to spinning. I had my own spindle from Knit Picks (after borrowing a friend's top whorl for my second attempt) and some pretty fibre from ToPly FIbre Arts on Etsy.

I still remember how proud I was of those first "nests" of singles off the Turkish spindle.

 Plied it up. Loosely. I didn't know better.

Then I was eager to knit it! Started a project as soon as I had some 2ply to work with, while still spinning the remaining fibre.

I was in love. It was looking amazing. I mean, look at those colours.  Everything seemed to be going well...
... except design idea was a flop. It didn't do what I wanted. In retrospect, it needed short rows, but I was still pretty new at knitting... I don't think I knew of short rows yet. Well, maybe for sock heels.

After whipping through the spinning and knitting in a few days, I found myself frogging on Earth Day, which was the opposite of my intentions.

New project idea emerged soon after in May 2011. Start from the center and see where it goes. I started with a cute doily pattern online. That part of the pattern uses spaced increases.

Then I worked a spiral stitch stitch after switching to the 'pi' method of doubling stitches every so often.
Again, I was loving it.
And then I ran out of yarn. It was inevitable, I knew.
Thought of spinning up some Romni I had, but it wasn't a good match in fibre or colour.
Clearly the obvious solution was to order more BFL from ToPly Fibre Arts. This time I got plenty of fibre - 8oz (started with 4oz).  I chose a colourway I thought could blend with what I had. Thus Earth Day met Snowy Pines.

By this time I'd started expending my collection of Turkish spindles and I had a pretty blue medium sized spindle from Thomas Creations to play with.

And then disaster hit.  I was happily spinning. Excited to be working on the project again. It was spring of 2012 by now. I was pregnant with twins and had quite a few ultrasounds to monitor them.  During one such visit, my spindle, what fibre I'd spun, and the bit I'd had with me to spin up disappeared.  All I know for certain is it was in my car before the appointment and I couldn't find it when I got back to the car. Did it fall out? I looked, checked various places someone might turn it in near by, posted on lost & found lists.
ANYHOW, (I shall not go down that rabbit hole again), the short of it is I was so upset the entire project was set aside again for a long while.  I don't even know how much fibre/spinning I lost.

Another 2 years later, winter of 2013/4 I finally started spinning again.

And then after that first adorable ball was plied (loosely to match the original yarn) I looked at the large pile of fibre remaining... and took a brief break again for other projects... and then I got a spinning wheel and eventually pulled out the remaining fibre spring of 2014 (3 years after starting this all), whipped it up, and got back to work on the knitting!

After the spirals, the circle turned into a square with the help of short rows. And then a modified candle pattern finished the edge. I had just enough to complete the lace pattern, so that answered my question of what would follow.

Bound off 3/4 of the lap-sized blanket and ran out of yarn! Picked up the stitches again. Considered a sewn BO to save yarn, but that was a long thread! (I did measure/estimate I had plenty for the BO.)  Chose to work a simpler YO BO method that used less yarn than my original attempt. This time I got to within 20 stitches of the end... and sought out some almost-matching yarns in the form of two fingering weights held double.

June 3 I blocked that baby on the shady deck.

Thank goodness for blocking wires for a nice straight edge.

That's my new snuggly blanket. Mine. It was a long term project, but so much fun to play with the fibre and make up the pattern as I went.  I love the sheen of BFL and how soft and cozy it is.