Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Handspun, and a hat made of marshmallows. Or something.

As some of you may have noticed, most of the comments here on the blog have disappeared.  As I mentioned a few days ago, Haloscan has bit the dust, and I've had to switch over to a new comment program.  Sadly, this program does not yet support Haloscan imports, so while I have everything saved to a file, I won't be able to put the old comments back on the blog until they update their system.  Aggghh!!!  However, they're not lost forever!  (Or so they say!)  I should be able to put them back on here eventually.  In the meantime, any new comments you leave (always much enjoyed!) WILL be visible in the new system, so no worries.

A few days ago, just before the Haloscan Incident, reader Lisa commented:
"Since you are full of knitting knowledge and inspire me in all your endeavors (knitting as well as cooking and child rearing!) I have a question!
What do you use to wash/ block your beautiful pieces? I'm stumped. There's Soak, Eucalan, Meadows Wool Wash, Unicorn,Kookaburra... just to name a few.
I'm make something with qiviut and want to find the right one for this lovely work in progress. I'm very curious what is in your pantry!
BTW... the colors you pick out for your projects make me weak in the knees! lovely!"

I attempted to comment back, but...we then everything went to hell with Haloscan.  So!  Lisa!  Very sorry about my belated reply, but first of all, thank you, thank you and thank you.  I'm so glad that the things I write from my little corner of the globe can serve to inspire.  I must credit my grandma for teaching me to knit, and my mother for continuing to inspire me to be the best Mommy I can possibly be to my children.   :)  I certainly don't always succeed at everything I try to do, and sometimes I can be downright prickly!  But it's all part of the journey.  And I'm so glad that I'm able to share it with people like you!

To answer the wool wash question, I use Eucalan.  I'm sort of an old-fashioned sort of girl, and I like the fact that they've been around for pretty much forever, use natural scents in their wash (I'm sensitive to artificial fragrances), and you don't need to rinse the stuff out if you don't want.  Just soak and you're done.  It's gentle enough for qiviut or cashmere, but tough enough to get the grit out of a pair of socks.  I use it exclusively.

And now, on to my new favorite hat!


Personally, I think it's pretty fantastic when a yarn knits up as advertised.


And that is certainly the case with this one.


Cushy, warm, cute, and cozy.


Kind of like wearing a marshmallow.  Except less sticky. 

Pattern: Shroom by Lee Juvan (Knitty Winter 2009).  It took only 2 days of easy knitting -- probably no more than 4 hours total.  More details on my Ravelry project page.

Also, I've been back at the wheel this past week!


I know, how bizarre!

It's been way too long since I've felt the rhythm of the treadle and the feeling of wool tugging through my fingers, and I enjoyed it immensely.

I had to hand wind the last few yards onto this bobbin -- I was determined (possibly a bit too much!) to make it one large skein instead of breaking it into two.

Skeined up on the niddy-noddy...


Washed, whacked, and dried.


It ended up measuring out at a bouncy worsted weight: 4 oz, 220 yds.

My photography assistant, modeling it's possible use as an accessory.




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