Monday, December 31, 2007

Where I'll be

Here are some places you can find me in the upcoming days.

1) Coquitlam Farmer's Market (details at on January 13 and February 9. I'll be bringing a ton of yarn with me -- vast amounts of my single ply Corriedale, and as much sock yarn as I can make between now and then. Come visit me, and bring a big shopping bag for the gorgeous local food you can buy directly from farmers in the area.

2) At the Port Moody Arts Center (details at I'm teaching a class in how to knit sweaters without a pattern on Wednesday evenings. Shaping a sweater doesn't have to be a complicated affair; I'll teach you some basic calculations and basic sweater shapes, and you'll feel like you can take on the (knitting) world once the class is over. Plus, you'll have a new sweater.

The second class is a Knit Cafe on Saturday mornings. This is an open classroom, sort of like a knitting group with a mentor. All are welcome, from people who have never touched needles before to more advanced knitters who want some guidance in some specific techniques. Do you have a half-finished project that you can't make progress on? Do you want to know how to follow a chart? Work with two colours at once? Do cables? Or maybe you don't know what you want to learn, but you just want to go with the flow and see what's being taught that day. I think the Open Class is gonna be big fun. Basic materials and tools will be available for purchase at cost (including my own handspun yarn -- I can't pass up an opportunity for potential sales -- but you can bring your own, too.

As always, my yarn is available on my Etsy shop (link to the right) and at Three Bags Full.

I have a bunch of pink, lavender, pink/white/brown, and eggplant yarn drying inside. I might even photograph some of it this afternoon -- stay tuned.

Friday, December 28, 2007

I'm famous! (In Coquitlam)

So it's all silly, but at this moment I am absurdly proud of having been interviewed by one of the local papers, the Tri-City News. The interviewer got most of the facts right, and the photographer took a wonderfully glam photo of yours truly. The link is below -- read the article, then come back and tell me I'm pretty:

I'm spinning orange sock yarn, and on my drying rack is a yarn I'm titling Myfanwy. Tell me why I chose Myfanwy, and I'll...well I don't have any useful giveaways. I'll be very impressed though, and I'll ask you to be my friend.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

The love between a woman and her mittens

If this love is wrong, I don't want to be right. Above is shown a mitten in progress, both front and back. I'm so pleased, I can hardly tell you how much. It might be unnatural.

The first mitten is now complete, and the second is begun. Don't ask me for the pattern, because that scribbled-on graph paper in the first photo? That's my pattern.

I've knit with my own yarn before, but somehow this feels more special. Maybe it's because I know I'm preparing. I'm practising spinning this fiber, trying to get it thinner. I got it down to a worsted weight, but I need to get to a DK in order to do a Starmore pattern. I'm practising dyein the fiber in gradations of the same colour. I tried to get 5 distinct shades, but what I got was a light (not as light as I wanted), a dark, and three of much the same shade in between. And I'm practising my stranded work. It's improving. I have ordered this little plastic doohickey, looks like a ring with two guides on the top, for stranding both colours on the same hand. Right now I do my foreground colour in my left hand, as I usually knit, and my background in the right hand -- slow, and awkward, and not nearly as quick as I'd like. I must practice my "throwing" technique.

Here is a picture of me spinning the shetland. This is my usual spinning location (by my desk in the livingroom) and uniform (comfy jeans and fleece, sleeves pushed up because I hate having fabric on my forearms when I'm doing any sort of handwork). We're trying out a new camera -- not bad for low light, hm?

I'm theoretically doing the mittens as prep for my sweater, but the mittens themselves are really fun and satisfying, and fast! The first mitten was complete inside 24 hours (after the wool was ready of course). I'm having visions of a second pair in gradations of cherry pink, with a chocolate brown foreground. Maybe some sort of a leaf pattern?

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Cooking up mittens

I'm cooking up something new -- something just for me. I handspun some Shetland wool, undyed. I tried for sport weight, but I think it came out more like a DK -- will need to practice that for my next project. Then, I put half the skeins in a charcoal dyebath, and half of them I dyed in varying shades of purple. My plan is to make a pair of Norwegian style, 2-stranded colourwork mittens. I was considering Eunny Jang's Anemoi (, but the yarn might be too thick to make the pattern work. I'm also considering doing them in the Alice Starmore pattern for her Lindisfarne sweater.

My eventual goal is to have good enough spinning, dyeing, and fairisle knitting technique to make a full-size Lindisfarne for myself, out of my own handspun. And if I'm doing the dyeing, I can make the sweater in 12 different shades of red, 10 shades of blue, 4 shades of brown. It's my marathon project for this year. Right now, I'm training for the marathon with a short 5K -- mittens. Updates to follow.

Here's the purple yarn cooking: