Can you tell how excited I am? Look what I've made! This is the pencil roving I bought from the Yarn Yard at Woolfest last week. I took 100g of hand paint and 100g of semi solid, spun them into singles and plied them against each other. The effect of the solid is to soften and add a unity to the hand painted element. I have to say that as a new spinner, every time I undertake a new project I learn something new and feel that my skills are improving. Whilst there are still a few lumps and bumps that give the yarn its character the yarn is far less over spun than my previous pieces of work. One of the things that gave me most pleasure is that I finished plying with next to nothing left on either bobbin - I had managed to get almost identical yardage from both! I still can't quite believe it.
I estimate that there are just over 500 metres of yarn here so I am thinking of using it to make a small shawl which should show off the character of the yarn and make the most of its glorious next to the skin softness. I am so pleased with this yarn. It gives me a little glow every time I look at it. I have of course, loaded up the bobbin for my next project - I just can't get enough...
There's no point to making all this interesting yarn if it isn't to be put to practical purposes. These are the Rib and Cable Mitts from the Spring 2006 Interweave Knits which I am making using my most recent batch of hand spun yarn. I am adapting the pattern slightly by omitting the cables and contrast edging. I have also given them a slightly longer cuff as I don't like a draught blowing up my sleeve! I have kept them as simple as possible to show off the subtle colourings of the yarn. The mitts are knitting up pretty well although there are a few over spun patches and variations in yarn weight to deal with. I have learned that with handspun it is important to take overall measurement into account rather than relying on row counts to ensure evenness.
Lastly, one small final purchase from Woolfest - ebony glove needles, super small needles just right for making fingers and thumbs without feeling all fingers and thumbs! Perfect.