Monday, September 04, 2006

OSSP revealed!

My One-Skein Secret Pal has been revealed! Ali is a Scot living in England and working in Wales. She spoiled me rotten during this round of SP, and capped it off with this lovely package:

She knitted me a beautiful scarf in silk from Hipknits (drool). Besides being really pretty, it is both warm and cool at the same time; it will be great for transitioning my summer clothes.

Ali also included a tea towel and lanolin soap from Quarry Bank Mill, a living museum of the cotton textile industry. The mill reminded me of the Genesee Country Museum, which I used to visit when I was little as a daytrip from where I grew up in Buffalo, New York.

A final surprise in the box: a package of heart-shaped paperclips. I'm going to use these to mark pages in my knitting books; they're currently full of slips of paper.

Thanks, Ali. You've been a great SP!

In other news, I finished my first skein of handspun this weekend. The fiber, a blue-faced leicester from Copper Moose, was a gift from Rainy, my SP7 secret pal. She game it to me along with a top-whorl spindle, and some merino/mohair blend from Beaverslide, which I must... not... spin... until... other... projects... get... finished....

I took a lesson from Lucy at Mind's Eye, and then spun up the rest after a 4-month hiatus for a new job, business travel, family weddings, and general hosedness. I don't have a niddy-noddy, so I skeined it around two chairs:

When I hand-dyed some sock yarn from my SP7 spoilee Paula, I skeined it around one chair, but the diameter was too small for her swift, and it got all tangled. Sorry, Paula! Will definitely use two chairbacks from now on.

I overspun it, so I washed and weighted it with some hangers. Hopefully that'll set the twist.

This is absolutely beautiful fiber. The color seems to mix a rich medium brown with a glossy grey, and it changes depending on the light. I'd say it's half-way between these two:

The diameter varies a lot, both as a thick/thin texture, and at different points in the skein. You can distinctly see what was spun during the lesson, what was spun that month, and what was spun this weekend. I can even tell where I started to get tired in this weekend's batch! We'll also have to see what the gauge is like; the class yardage is about fingering, but it looks like most of it oscillates around worsted weight.

Still, I'm really happy with it. I haven't decided what to do with it yet, but the color would go beautifully with my winter coat. I may make a hat from it, or use it to trim a hat and mittens.

I also picked up a long-stagnant project: my Hopeful in Knitpicks Ambrosia. This is a much drapier yarn than the pattern calls for, but it's looking pretty good. The yarn has a beautiful fuzzy quality to it: not so much a halo as a fog, particularly in this color (Fog). I have the body completed, so now I'm on to the sleeves and neck trim. A short-sleeve alpaca/cashmere sweater will have a pretty limited season, but since it's going to be pretty delicate, that's probably just as well. :)

I also finished Clapotis #3 and delivered it to a very happy mother-in-law, but we forgot to take pictures. :( We'll get some soon.

I also made an object for my one-skein SP spoilee, but won't post it here until all is revealed.

I decided to do the rising flames heels with gussets, and will try to adapt the technique from the Widdershins pattern from Knitty. We'll see how they turn out.

I attempted a stash cleanup on Wednesday night (while frantically looking for my dance veil, which I didn't find but still swear is in that room). My goal was to get rid of some stuff and organize everything, but I failed miserably. I did manage to pass on three balls of yarn and a pattern. (By the way, if anyone wants an out-of-date wool of the andes color card, let me know. Knitpicks still carries those colors, but they've added new ones since I got it. Free to good home.) The organizing didn't go so well either; instead of nicely arranging everything, I just took bags from the floor and piled them in a wardrobe. the pile is semi-stable, which is an improvement. :0


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