The skirt is done. And I love it. I must make some more. The fabric sale is still going on, so I'm going shopping again tomorrow (you better believe it, baby!) I think I'm going to sew one up for my sister too, who's been staying with me for a few weeks. Sort of a "thank you for cleaning up after my babies and doing housework and cooking dinner for me" gift. Really, nothing could be a big enough thank you for all of that, but it's a stab in the right direction, yes?
Anyway, here's the skirt. More than likely I wouldn't be wearing it with this shirt...well, unless I found flip flops in the same loud green...and striped tights in olive green and apple green....I should stop while I'm ahead. I can see it in your eyes. Ahem. Here it is.
It's done in pieces kind of in a princess seaming style (or maybe it is that, actually?), which is very flattering to my less than flat tummy (giving birth to two large babies takes a bit to recover from).
I've been looking into buying a Lendrum double treadle folding wheel, since it seems to be the most affordable wheel that I won't outgrow. (It's hard to spin laceweight on the Babe -- though not impossible -- so I feel that I am outgrowing that one.)
After Googling "Lendrum Double Treadle", I came across the family run company, Paradise Fibers. Besides the fact that they seem to be the only company with the wheels in stock (once a shipment comes in, these go fast! This company just got theirs in, so I struck it lucky), they are also some of the nicest people ever. I spoke with the guy who owns the store, and he sent me some fiber samples to look over and feel before I completed my order. Not only were they very generous samples, but they were generous with the variety of fiber they sent me.
It's a virtual library of fiber. I don't have anywhere that I can go to feel up a sheep around here, so this is a key turning point in my fiber arts life. In case you've always wondered what the difference is between Domestic Romney and Corriedale Cross, here is what I know from fondling my little chunks of goodness (please remember that this is completely from an amateur sense of touch, and without having spun it. Also, no matter my opinion, there is surely a use for each and every fiber. There's no wrong one, just possibly a wrong one for a particular project. All of that being said, here they are.):
Blue Faced Leicester: Incredibly easy to draft, soft and bouncy when spun up, what is there not to love about the beloved BFL? $16 a pound.
Colonial in Purple/multi: Not quite as buttery as the Merino, but soft nonetheless. It drafts out easily, and the colorway is fantastic with every shade of purple imagined. $23.50 a pound.
Corriedale Cross: Not coarse at all. To my inexperienced touch, this feels just like the Colonial to me. $11.50 a pound.
Merino 64 ct: I often find wool itchy, but this gives me the barest prickles. It is soft and lovely. At $12 a pound, you can't really go wrong here.
Merino/Tussah Silk (70/30%) in McKenzie Blue: This has a goodly amount of silk carded through the wool. Soft hand, light and drapey. I love they way they've mixed turquoise, grass green, brown, burgundy and sky blue with the white of the silk. I would love to spin some of this up for hats for my boys. This is $38 a pound.
Merino/silk (80/20%) in turquoise: Slightly softer than the plain Merino, but with shining streaks of silk combed throughout. This goes for $80 a pound. Pricey, but very, very nice.
Merino in Cranberry/multi : I love the way this is all different shades of Cranberry, from bright to deep. The colors are very alive. For $27.50 a pound, I would buy this because I don't have a carder and can't replicate this at home.
Merino/Angora (80/20%): I need to be honest here. I thought that I hated Angora till just now. I would roll naked in this stuff. Let's not go any further. $56 a pound.
Romney, Domestic: Wirey and coarse, and long. I imagine this as a coat, perhaps handwoven. This would make an incredibly durable, warm, strong yarn.
Wensleydale: A long wool breed. This would be great as a cardi or something else that won't go directly against the skin (or my skin, at least). It's not scratchy, exactly, but certainly not butter, either. Ever so slightly wirey. It is probably long wearing. Perhaps a hat, with a lining of Merino/Angora? $20 a pound.
And now for the exotics:
Camel down: I thought that camels were coarse, like horses. As it turns out, there's a bouncy, fluffy down under all the guard hairs. This itches my neck only slightly, and looks like a cloud. It goes for $37.50 a pound, which means that I will buy some when I'm in a splurging mood.
Chinchilla Microblend (5% Chinchilla, 22% Silk, 73% 80 ct Merino): This feels just the way a Chinchilla looks -- fuzzy, squishy soft and wonderfully cuddly. There is no hint of a scratch here. The only reason this won't be filling my entire stash closet is the price tag -- $7.50 an ounce.
Yak: For some reason, I've always wanted a sweater knit of yak ("What, this? Oh, it's yak.") It's ever so slightly wirey though, which is kind of confusing, since it's soft at the same time. This goes for $90 a pound (which would certainly up the "wow" factor of the sweater, as well as ensure that it be spun up in a laceweight to stretch it as far as it could possibly go).
So there you go. A virtual library of fibers. All of the details and prices, of course, are for the ones I sampled from Paradise Fibers. I wasn't paid to advertise, but I figured I'd take the guess work out of this all for you -- if you decide you just have to have one or more of these fibers, you have all the info you need right here.
My wheel was shipped today, as well as some Corriedale Cross and Merino, and some Brittany birch DPNs to assist in my sock knitting from now on. (I hope I like them -- I ordered three sizes!)
Oh, I almost forgot to mention, I started work again on that one cursed sock. My hands feel ok, although still a little achey, so I'm going to go slow, but I'm Knitting Again!