So, I have two entire wether fleeces from my favorite Shetland farm, the year I completely overbought fleeces.* They were packed up in a box and the bags and tissue they shipped in. They are pristine. Despite my neglect, I’ve got pounds and pounds of usable wool to process this summer.
They are also disgusting. I cannot believe that I opened this up and felt huge relief there was no evident damage (we’re supposed to be out of range for moths, but there are carpet-beetles who eat stuff at the local museum to make a point about not storing animal fiber museum pieces properly I guess), and thought, “How beautiful,” because it’s gross and dirty and smells (although not as badly as I remembered).
*At the time, I really did buy slightly too many fleeces. Even so, I used all of it but these. Weirdly, happily, they’ll probably end up being what I had originally planned. I’ve been pretty lazy about spinning (it’s not really my thing, or rather it’s sometimes my thing but not really my thing reliably for more than a couple of months at a time), so I am not super looking forward to the washing/processing/spinning this time, but I am pretty excited about not having to spend $80 on eco-friendly low-processing-impact yarn. I like one-sheep sweaters.
It’s Octagon Time! It’s a blanket/basic shawl. Really, what it is depends on what you want to make, and what yarn you use.
I went a bit wild and self-indulgent on this one; it is probably the most hedonistic use of an expensive yarn I’ve ever committed. The soft blue gradient yarn making up most of the project is Cascade 220 Superwash Wave in Deep Sea; the bold near-neon-green stripe is Dream in Color City in Pickleball.
(The smaller stripes are Malabrigo Yarn Rios in Apple Green, and the subtle, thicker bands are Malabrigo Washted in Aguas and Cirrus Gray. It was meant as a scrap-friendly project, and technically it is that, but I kind of like the Cascade background and the contrasting stripes. The .PDF is written as a formula, and doesn’t really include instructions for stripes. If you’d like to knit something with a similar color pattern, I had about 16-18 garter ridges separating all the bright green bands, and stayed pretty consistent with that all through the blanket. The middle might be the smallest band of main color; it’s about 14 ridges.)
Weirdly, despite the hedonism and all my feelings about it, I really like the result, and want to keep it, and not allow the dog to steal it; something about the murky blue-greens and the shocking contrast stripes really appeals. (I will probably keep it. It’s a small throw and not really adult-sized, so something that’s a dog or a kid will probably end up with it eventually. Maybe not the dog though. She got the Garter Square blanket sample. Makes her tacky dog bed look slightly better.)
I never actually made a Table Salt post, so here goes:
Table Salt is a cowl that uses a similar textured motif to the large one in the Salt Cowl & Hat. It takes the same idea, but makes it smaller, more fine-grained, for a different textured effect.
The pattern is meant to be done in light sockweight yarn, but I’ve also worked it up in sport/dk, partly to check my math and partly to see what happens. It’s all right at a bigger gauge, but this experiment did take every functional bit of an entire skein of Malabrigo Yarn Arroyo, and I haven’t blocked it yet, so I’m not sure if it’s just a roomier cowl or if it might be mini-cape material. It should open up at least a little bit, and it’s already considerably larger than the original.
By the end of the month, if all goes to plan, I’ll have published 10 indie patterns this year, so far—
but 6 of the 9 so far are hats;
two are shawls,
and two of the planned ten are cowls.
(One’s a connected triangle cowl. It could use some new photography. But that aside, it looks like I still classed it as a cowl, rather than as a bandanna or a headband. One is a balaclava, but you can wear a balaclava as a hat, so I counted it in the hat category.)
This seems unbalanced, with a considerable lean towards hats, and that bothers me a little—but it looks like I am/may still be in a hat phase for a little while. I’ve been playing with some structural ideas, which seem fairly compelling to me, and I guess on the up side, small projects like hats and socks are decent for spring and summer knitting—but I still feel a sort of low-level anxious desire to Get Ahead with those in a way that would free up some time to experiment with some spring and summer tops and light sweaters.
In other news, Igneous/Igneoramous is available now (link here or above), SALT cowl is coming soon (sneak preview in first photo—it’s really simple but still extremely satisfying), and everything that comes after that is too far out or too early in planning for me to talk about it without jinxing it.
A new hat! Mafic is a simple garter-stitch beanie with an unusual construction. Knit it flat on one circular needle, with no seaming at the end. It’s reversible, with faux seams on the ostensible wrongside.