Sunday, 5 October 2008

Up close and personal

First, I'm going to get personal. As I'm sure you know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month. Now, I'm not going to launch into a lecture on how important it is to check your breasts, you hear and read that all over the place so I know I don't have to ask you if you have checked.

This month my reminder will be more subtle - I'm going to Spin Pink. Here is my roving, some lovely merino silk from the Yarn Yard which I'm going to spin as finely as I can on the wheel every day this month. That way, in all my October posts I can show you a pretty picture of pink spinning.

The only words will be 'Have you?' I have.

In the meantime I've been doing some spindle spinning. If I had had my wits about me earlier today I would have taken a 'before' picture of last month's Yarn Yard fibre club offering. Beautiful, rustic brown and white Shetland, over dyed in all kinds of autumnal shades. Not one of those fibres that jumps up and down screaming, 'I'm gorgeous and bright and colourful - spin me!' This fibre has quiet dignity that took its time in letting me know what it could be. I got out a medium weight spindle and started to spin and was enchanted by the way the colours resolved themselves into a spectrum of heathered tones. It's actually turned out to be one of my favourite fibre club parcels ever. I wanted to keep the integrity of the colours so I navajo plied them.

Shetland yarn is, of course best known for use in Fairisle designs. Wouldn't it be great if I could use this yarn, with its range of beautifully toning colours all laid out for me in some sort of stranded knitting which would look like I'd done something way more fiendishly difficult than it really is. What I needed was a good, plain contrast fibre.

When I first started spinning I was advised that Shetland is a really good fibre for beginners because of its 'stickability' which is true, so I bought a few small bags of fibre to practice with before moving on to the hand painted stuff. One of these bags contained some gorgeous natural black Shetland, which is, of course a fabulous, deep chocolaty brown so I have spun a small skein of this and here is the result twisted up with the painted roving.

If I use these for a stranded or mosaic knitting project I think I can get a really interesting effect which will be much simpler than it looks.I haven't quite decided what it is going to be but I think it will be pretty. You won't tell anyone my little secret will you?

Finally, in a shocking departure from my current knitting projects I was thinking that I really should be making some grown up clothes with fronts and backs and armholes and suchlike. I have a few of these on the needles but to be honest I am a bit stalled and need a livener to refresh my appetite for these pesky garments.

Thanks to the lovely Coldspring Mills, I have more Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool on cones, (purchased for a ridiculously cheap price several years ago I might add), than I care to admit to. It really is lovely stuff with a great texture and drape.

I have had Honeycomb from Knitty on my list for a while so thought that now the autumn has put a bit of a nip in the air, a little tank top might be just the thing. The lack of sleeves was also attractive as I should have it finished before I succumb to project fatigue and wish I was several sizes smaller.

I have just got past the waist shaping and so far I am pleased with my efforts. Its an easy pattern to memorise and the fabric feels lovely as I knit it. It's at this point in a project that I fantasise about having half a dozen of these all in different colours.

But we all know that I will be going well if I finish this one.


celadon2 said...

i do check. i had a scare last jan. i really take care now, so does my 17 year old daughter. sorry no caps, cuddling kitten.

tea and cake said...

so do I, check that is. One of my aunty's had a breast removed a year ago, which forced me to get a mamogram (all clear) and now I check regularly, along with the 'pinch & punch' on the 1st of each month - the only way to remember since I no longer have periods.
Beautiful yarn and really pretty pattern - ooh, I must take up spinning again, very soon. love, Karen x

LynS said...

The spun shetland in heathery tones is very beautiful. I look forward to some stranded project that highlights it.

By the way, thank you for the much appreciated comments on my blog.

Rosie said...

Love the subtle autumn tones. And your blog is such a ine of helpful information: I've just emailed tea and cake to say "thank you" for her very helpful suggestion in the comments about the first of the month!

Auntie Noo said...

The autumn shades handspun reminds me of the illustrations in the flower fairy books.... no idea why but there you have it!

Lin said...

Honeycombe looks a great knit, lovely yarn you chose. I love the spun Shetland.

Mrs J said...

The fibres & spinning are lovely. Glad its not just me who finds pieces & sleeves n'stuff the least attractive part of knitting! Like the top though!

tea and cake said...

I got rosie's email! what a small world we live in, in blogland - wonderful! love, Karen xx