Monday, 22 April, 2024

By The Fibreside

Knitting and spinning on the Sunshine Coast of BC

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Knitting, Spinning

Colour junkie

I’ll admit it. Neutrals do not send my heart aflutter. Pastels aren’t really my cup of tea either. For me, it’s deep, rich colour. You see it in my yarn stash, and in my fibre stash. Saturated reds and blues, purples and browns. I’m powerless in the face of a beautiful variegated, which explains all the Noro. I went outside the box a little with my one purchase at Fibre Week (a lovely light purple/white blend of alpaca/mohair/merino), because I do need something a little more neutral for a stole or shawl for work. However, I also bought a gradient yarn from The Wacky Windmill that goes black through a host of bright stellar colours, so let’s call the fibre an aberration…

So it doesn’t surprise me much that when I’m working on something like this:

Colours by West Coast Fibre Works.
Colours by West Coast Fibre Works.

…that all I need to do is look at it and I think to myself, “Oh! I just want to keep it, it’s so perfect!”

And this is even a little washed out. Imagine how perfect in real life!
And this is even a little washed out. Imagine how perfect in real life!

Now, let me be clear. This that I’m working on? A baby sweater. It will never fit me. It will not even fit Læmmer, who is an oddly sized little stuffed animal. The most it would ever do is sit on a hanger looking amazing and perfect, and decorative. So despite my infatuation with the colours, I will send it to its intended recipient, knowing that there it will be just as amazing and perfect, and will be used as intended. And once it’s been outgrown, then maybe there’s a stuffed animal at its new home that it will fit, and if it gets worn out, well then it’s served its purpose, because the colours will have inspired enough wear that it has been used, and used hard. And for now, I have the joy of just how perfect this little sweater is turning out to be.

Speaking of little sweaters, Tour de Fleece continues, and even though today is technically a rest day, I went downstairs after work and spun while Mike was making dinner. Today I spun up half of the brown for the final project.

15 rolags, minus some waste...
15 rolags, minus some waste…

Woolen spinning and I are still not the best of friends, but I genuinely think it’s a combination of practice and fibre. I have a sneaking suspicion some of the fleece I made rolags out of wasn’t washed, and I think those were the ones I had trouble with. In any case, there was some waste as things broke, didn’t do what I wanted them to, and such things. But I was 1.5 hours at spinning it, which wasn’t too bad. Another fifteen brown and then ply, then two sets of eight white and then ply, wash and full, let dry, and hopefully I’ll be on to my final project in short order. Let’s call it about five hours spinning time, which I may be able to sneak in the rest of this week before the family comes to visit. Because! I spent another 1.5 hours last night figuring out a pattern.

1 sheep + 1 swatch + 1 measuring tape + 1.5 hours = 1 pattern for my final project!
1 sheep + 1 swatch + 1 measuring tape + 1.5 hours = 1 pattern for my final project!

I used the basic construction from the Baby Boat Neck Pullover by Beth Woodard with the Ram Lopapeysa chart from Laura Helton, but adjusted both for my gauge on 3.25 mm needles (which I liked better than on 3.5 mm), and Læmmer’s quite frankly odd proportions. As a stuffed animal, she’s in her mid-thirties, and that causes some sagging, smushing, and other oddness in her shape. But, according to the math, this sweater should fit her very well.

I have a new-found respect for pattern designers now, especially those that make sizes available for their patterns. Not only do they have to figure out the different ratios from original for their different sizes, but they have to double-check stitch counts, gauge, and all kinds of other math. I nearly had a failure with the yoke, because I forgot to add in the stitches from the sleeves when calculating the decrease rate for the yoke. That would have been ugly. But I caught it, and I can’t wait now to knit it and see how close I am to being right about how well this will fit. But first, more Tour de Fleece and woolen. Hopefully we’re better friends by the end.

2 comments on Colour junkie

  • Sheila

    I love the colours of that baby sweater! Makes me wish I had a baby to put it on! Not really… But it’s so happy! I totally get the aversion to washed out, blah colours. Saturation all the way!

  • Trust the math | By The Fibreside

    […] say that from the perspective of one who just this year has really started to get knitter math. I MacGyvered a pattern for my final project, which was all knitter math, but even six months or a year ago, faced with the […]

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