Wednesday, April 07, 2010

Blossoming

Before I forget, thank you for all the comments on the little blue baby jacket. H has decreed that he likes it and with a bit of distance I'm feeling a little more enthusiastic about it. I think the solution might be a really killer hat to set it off, and the cashmere hat can go with something else. I'm poring through the options in Itty Bitty Hats at the moment so we'll have to see what comes off the needles.

I've realised recently that I run the very great risk of turning into a knitting baby bore. Actually it might just be a baby bore generally; when I finished talking to Mum the other day and she handed the phone to the outstretched hand of my father, her parting comment was to tell me that I didn't need to repeat everything about the baby to him, she'd fill him in later. What? my father not interested in the every day minutiae of the growth of his first grandchild and the steady expansion of his daughter's stomach? Clearly this cannot be right so I told him all about the baby anyway - baby bore? moi?!

Anyway, whilst technically this is my party and I can wave baby knitwear around until the cows come home if I really want, we might break up the Lilliputian parade every now and again.

My spinner's itch returned with a vengeance just before Easter as the combined result of a quest for mind-free yarn play and some very beautiful handspun photography on someone's blog (you know who you are Pat), so I rescued Miss Sonata from her corner and had a little look through the fibre stash.

I'm trying to be a little bit project monogamous when it comes to spinning - fewer bobbins being the main incentive for that one - so in the end I picked up the rest of a braid of fibre that I started so long ago that I can barely remember.

April 026

I'd spun one bobbin and my recollection was that it had taken forever and not been as much fun to spin as whatever I'd just spun beforehand (probably BFL for some sock yarn), so it had been pushed to one side.

April 030

I know that it was a braid that I bought at the Iknit London day many moons ago and I think I bought it from Fyberspates (but don't hold me to that one). I fell in love with the colours without much idea about how to spin so I have no label, no notion of the fibre content, no clue at all really. I've christened it Apple Blossom, in lieu of any other name.

I suspect that the main component is merino but I think that there must be something mixed in with it, possibly tencel, because it's got a silky sheen that I haven't seen in any of the other merino tops I've spun. If any of the more experienced spinners have any ideas please chip in.

April 038
Anyway, by the time we got to Good Friday I'd spun my two remaining bobbins and I waited, and waited and waited and sat on my hands and waited a bit more until Easter Sunday when I decreed that the bobbins had sat long enough and started plying.

Et voila:

April 095

What you can't tell from the pictures is just how much yardage that is. I knew the bobbins had felt like they were taking a while to get to the end of the third of the braid but I also knew that I was spinning pretty finely and the two go together.

It wasn't until I was looking quite near to having filled my plying bobbin will no sign of wood showing on any of the three bobbins on the lazy kate that I started to wonder just how much yarn I was making.

H's initial guess was 80 yards but I allowed him another shot on the grounds of lack of experience so he changed to 450 and I went for 400. We sailed passed both guesses with a whopping 658 yards of barber pole 3 ply, followed by another 148 yards of Navajo plying to finish up the other two bobbins. That's a crazy 806 yards of yarn, no wonder it felt like it took forever.

And before you think I've spun a 3-ply lace-weight, this is a light to medium 4-ply weight.


April 097

The solution to the mystery, discovered after the washing and skeining is that that braid of yarn, it wasn't 100g. This is 146g of yarn and I love every inch of it.

April 100

The question now of course is what to knit with it. Socks would just be wasteful so I'm thinking a shawl, it's just a question of choosing a pattern that will complement and not be overwhelmed by some fairly strong colour changes - any ideas?

6 comments:

  1. You talk about baby, baby knitting or anything else baby related as much you wish too. Personally I am all ears, I love it!!! It is bringing back many a happy memory.

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  2. Enjoy every second of it, and talk about it as much as you want...

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  3. Seems it's your right as new mother to talk as much about your baby as you want, knit as much for your baby as you want...or anything else for that matter!

    Although...as I saw the beautiful spun yarn and read the guessing game on yardage, I did admit I was hoping this particular skein was going to be used for mama. Of course your last picture suggests maybe a compromise? Something big for mom, something small for little bear!

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  4. It is lovely yarn although I had to laugh at 80 yards. Bless him.

    I sometimes wait a whole five minutes before plying, just about long enough to make a cup of tea.

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  5. Oh yes - a beautiful spring shawl!! I love the pink/green combo - such pretty yarn!

    and by the way, I love seeing baby knitwear - bring it on :-)

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  6. The yarn is sooooooooo beautiful. A lovely nursing shawl which you and baby could snuggle under.

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