Monday, 14 April 2014

A study in orange

I discovered when I was about seventeen that I'm able to wear orange well. It's a strange colour, orange - people either love it or hate it. I happen to love it, so being able to wear it makes me very happy.

Consequently, my stash features a lot of this delightful hue. I'm working on a delicious orange shawl at the moment (in cobweb-weight Posh), but I've mostly been playing with orange handspun recently.

I decided to do some experimenting with a braid of bamboo/merino that I bought at the first Knit Nation. I had never tried spinning bamboo before, nor did I particularly have any desire to. However, it was literally the only orange fiber I was able to find in the entire marketplace. It's been sitting in my stash ever since while I decided what to do with it. I was taken with the urge to master singles yarn, so out came the orange. It was horrifically compacted. Not felted, which was good, but it took me most of an hour to fluff it out enough to spin. And once I'd unbraided it, I discovered that the bamboo wasn't blended in very well. In fact, it was almost possible to just pluck it out entirely. I didn't, of course, but I ended up with rather barber-poled yarn.

Merino/bamboo singles

I'm happy with it overall. It's pretty, and I managed to have it not be wiry. I like very tightly spun and plied yarns for the most part, so it was difficult to keep the twist to a minimum. 250-odd yards, 105g. Once it came off the wheel I fulled it slightly with alternating hot and cold baths, and then beat it on the side of the bath.

After that, I dug some older orange handspun out of the stash. This was from some batts I won on Ravelry. It's very soft and fluffy, but I had no idea what to do with it until Heraldic Friend pointed out that I'd never made anything for her daughter, who happens to be my niece in the SCA. This was an appalling state of affairs, so I resolved to make something for my lady Makeblise immediately.

The result of this was a pixie hat. It'll be a bit big for her right now (it's nearly big enough for me), but I was determined that she'd not outgrow it in less time than it took to make.


Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Big hat, little hat

Two more recently-finished projects, both using up some leftover yarn. First, I crocheted myself a snood.
It used up every last scrap of this yarn, which was excellent. I bought it before I really figured out my yarn preferences, and this really didn't match up. Still, it's gone now and I have a perfectly serviceable snood. Crochet is DEFINITELY not medieval, but hair cauls/snoods/hairnets definitely are. I really don't feel like taking up netting, but I needed an alternative to loose-and-flowing-Lady-of-Shalott or all-the-plaits-Princess-Leia. I'm hoping this will do for things like hanging out in kitchens and doing archery. Up and medieval-esque, but nowhere that anyone's going to be looking too closely.

I tried wearing it to work the day after I finished it. It worked pretty well, but the wool was a bit too slippery on my fine hair to stay put, even with the drawstring. (Elastic is a step too far, even for grubbing in the kitchen!) So I'll need to figure out an arrangement of hairpins to keep it in place all day. Still, it was comfortable, and I got compliments on it from my trendy colleague, which is promising.

After that, it was another gift for a small person, this time a little boy who was born at the beginning of March. I was concerned that it would be too small, but it fit him perfectly. :)

Yarn left over from my sister-in-law's birthday hat