Friday, 3 April 2009

Breaking new ground

Viewed from a distance, there are some tasks that seem so daunting that you can't ever imagine yourself achieving them. If anyone had said to me a couple of years ago that I would contemplate knitting a garment with my own hand spun yarn I would have told them that they were having a laugh, that I would have neither the skill or the patience for it. But now look - I have almost completed the ribbed section of another Back to School Vest with my own hand spun yarn that I showed you the other day.

I love the way that it is knitting up. It is slubby and uneven in parts but has come together to form a reasonably consistent and cohesive fabric. Despite the fact that I spun the batt in a fairly unplanned way,only editing the grey elements occasionally to ensure a reasonable spread throughout the yarn, the striping has been subtle and consistent.

Here is a closeup of the edge showing a reasonably even stitch definition.

I think that this vest will turn out slightly heavier than the one I have just finished in commercial yarn as despite my attempts at a semi long draw technique most of the spinning and the way that I spun the batt in strips ensured that the yarn is at best semi worsted and therefore denser than a commercial aran weight. That reminds me, I have to award Dreamcatcher the Yarn Spotter of the Week award for correctly identifying the yarn used in my green Back to School vest as Rowanspun Aran in the Hardy shade. Impressive yarn knowledge, Dreamcatcher!

I also have a new travel sock project in Misti Alpaca Sock weight. I still haven't made up my mind whether I really like alpaca or not. I love how soft it feels in the skein but once it is wound and I'm knitting with it I can't shift the idea that I'm knitting with cat hair. Not that I have a particular dislike for cats but they aren't the first thing that comes to mind if I want a pair of socks.

I decided to go with the Escher pattern again as I have it memorised and thought that as alpaca does not have the fibre memory of wool, it would be a good idea to use a pattern that gave some extra stretch.
As this is a reasonably fine yarn I decided to do an eight row rather than six row pattern repeat ( I know, I just live on the edge all the time...) but even so, the pattern, although it breaks the colours up well seems quite indistinct compared to my previous versions.

Saucer of milk for the sock?


daisie said...

purr-fect ;)

Suse-the-slow-knitta said...

the back to school vest loooks wonderful- now go & buy some catnip!

Lin said...

Wonderful vest. i can't wait to see it finished and modelled!

Anonymous said...

Maybe I don't know much about Misti Alpaca, but a regular alpaca is llama fur.

I think I would be a little weirded out with cat hair too and can't say why.

picperfic said...

aww...don't make me think of cats when I love alpaca to bits! I am not a cat person you see....I love that yarn but I see what you mean about the pattern detail being lost in it.

dreamcatcher said...

Hee, thanks! I suspect I am a bit of a yarn "anorak" :-) Love the colours of your handspun in the latest BTS vest.

Anni said...

KNitting a garment from my own handspun is my dream. Got to loose some weight first though so I don't have to spin quite as much.