Raving Mad About Roving...
My friend Jacquie and I went to Knitch in Atlanta because the store had a SALE (15% off each item at the store...). Well, you know me - I hear the S-word and I am there... Actually it was Jacquie's idea - I just tagged along... Good excuse, hmm?
Now that spinning is a new hobby I not only look for yarn but also for roving. Very bad idea... Which is also kind of silly at the moment because I am going to SAFF in 17 days. ;-) But you can always buy just a little to play with, right - which I did, of course:
Clockwise from top left: Blue Face Leicester Dark Plum, Merino Top Cranberry and Merino Top Amethyst - each 2 oz.
I also got some yarn - I couldn't resist. It's for next spring for a short sleeved sweater (I am thinking cables). It was such a steal - 1,000 yards of Eden Print Bamboo for $46. Very soft - the color is called Cappucino. (I guess because it's Italian - it doesn't really look like cappucino to me...)
And then there was one more thing I bought - I couldn't say NO either. Weak, weak, weak woman - but such a deal. It's a Noro shrug, a store sample. I always wanted to have one of these. And there it was. I love the colors - great for fall. No way I could have knitted this piece for $34. Very cool. ;-)
This was the exiting part on Saturday. After the shopping spree, Jacquie and I went to Gainesville to our Saturday SNB meeting to get our knitting fix in the afternoon. I love going there - always such a nice and relaxing group. Of course, we had to show off our goodies. ;-) It's so much fun to do the show and tell and hear the ohhhs and ahhhs. ;-) And Jenny brought home-made biscotti. My favorite with anise - they were YUMMY!!!
After the meeting I got home, watched the first four episodes of Boston Legal (Season 1) on DVD and knitted this cute little hat.
Yarn: 3 balls Debbie Bliss Aran Tweed (double-stranded)
Needles: US # 9
The pattern is from the latest Knitter's Magazine. It is the Tweedy Topper by Susan Douglas. I really liked the pattern - it knits up very quickly (tho', I didn't knit the hat band - not my kind of thing). I wanted a hat to match the entrelac poncho - now I am all set for cooler weather in Asheville in 17 days. ;-)
And then on Sunday... After talking to my Mom - our weekly phone call on Sunday morning - I sat down and had this urge to spin. So, I spun some of the roving I bought at Knitch the day before. It was funny because I started and once I got going I wanted to spin it all up, of course. But I was to meet a couple of knitting friends to carpool to a workshop with the famous Ginger Luters. I got so carried away and totally lost track of time (which is very unusual - if you know me - I am German - I am never late...). Since I was running late, I hurried out the house and later - during the workshop - I found roving clinging to my jeans. GEEZ GIRL... Hahaha...
But the Merino spun turned out really nice. Here you are:
Come a little closer (notice that I am kinda pleased with my spinning attempts???)!
Pixie, my spinning teacher, will probably think "WTF, Claudia hated to spin with Merino when I gave her some." And she is right. When I first tried it, it felt slippery and dense to me at the same time and I couldn't get it to work, not on the wheel and of course not on the drop spindle. But I found that if I prepare the roving more for my humble newbie attempts, I can spin it better. Here is what I do, and this may sound silly to all of the experienced spinners out there but it works for me. I part the Merino roving into at least 8 separate thinner stripes. And then I spin them up one by one.
So, GINGER LUTERS - what a wonderful person, great teacher and inspiring designer. I am so glad that I went to her workshop. Ginger published a book called Modular Magic.
Here is an excerpt from the book description: The modular techniques introduced in this knitting guide provide a creative approach perfect for beginners in which rectangular, square, and triangular pieces are used to fashion a sweater or other knitted garment. Step-by-step instructions and simple solutions illustrate the construction procedure. The swatches and sketches provided reveal endless possibilities for mixing color, texture, and shape.
I have to back up a bit here - Ginger also gave a presentation at the Atlanta Knitting Guild meeting and she brought a ton of her finished projects from this book. Truly great sweaters and cardigans. What intrigued me most was that you can start somewhere on your knitting and you design while you create your pieces. For example, you have a lot of left over yarn in the same weight and in colors that somewhat match. With Ginger's creative shaping you can mix them all together and make scarves, sweaters, blankets. Very, very cool.
So, back to the Sunday workshop - it was a three-hour-class. We started out knitting L shapes and then connecting them. You connect them by knitting on to the existing piece and there is not really any seaming because you connect your pieces by knitting them together as you go. Right up my alley. ;-) Here is my class sample:
Ginger explained that she does her designing on the computer and she plays with shapes and colors.
After the L shapes, we moved on to mitered squares which you can see in each corner of the Ls. And after the mitered squares we with played with T shapes. I have to finish that square yet - here is what I've knitted so far:
After the workshop we went to dinner with Ginger Luters. It was very interesting and a lot of fun to be so close to such a knitting superstar.
When I got home, I wanted to finish the spinning I started in the morning. I felt kind of experimental (interesting that mental is part of experimental...) and plied the Merino Top with one strand of Knitpicks Wool of the Andes (the color is called Black Cherry Heather). I thought it coordinates well with the cranberry colored merino. Here is the end product - 46 yards:
It think that should be enough to make a skinny scarf, belt or maybe a kerchief.
Interesting what one finds when you look up word definitions: A kerchief (from the French couvre-chef, "cover the head") is a triangular or square piece of cloth tied around the head or around the neck for protective or decorative purposes.
So, these were the spinning and knitting tales from the weekend. Have a great week & happy knitting!