I thought I would take this week to show you guys a few things I have been knitting and weaving recently. Some are going to be Christmas presents, and some are gifts I have already given for other occasions. I’ll tell you about the pattern as well as the yarn I used, and I would love it if you could post in the comments or email me photos of some of the things you’ve been working on as well.
First off is this cowl I made using Cindy from OrangeSmoothie’s Bisons Amid the Daisies pattern. I interviewed Cindy just last week, but I wasn’t quite done with the cowl then.
My lovely daughter is modeling it, but it is going to be a gift for my mother-in-law. What I love about this is that it combines sock-weight yarn with bulky handspun. I also love that it can be worn as a big comfortable cowl/poncho or an infinity scarf.
I used my handdyed sock-weight Anachronism colorway for the main color and the handspun version of the same for the bulky. I have it available in both handdyed and art batts right now, but I could spin some more.
I have actually been working up some combinations with this pattern in mind. Here are a few other possibilities that combine a sock yarn and art batts in the same colorway.
- Venice Soft and Strong Sock and Venice Art Batts
- Purple Iris Sparkly Merino Sock and Purple Iris Art Batts
- Bouquet Sparkly Merino Sock and Bouquet Art Batts
If you want to spin a singles yarn, I think just one art batt would do it as the pattern calls for 60 yards of the alternating color, but if you want to spin a 2- or 3-ply yarn for the bulky weight, you might consider getting 2 art batts to be sure there’s enough.
Of course, the pattern would look great with a solid color for either the sock weight or the bulky weight too, which opens up a vast realm of possibilities from your stash and/or my shop! If you are interested in doing this but don’t spin, convo me on Etsy. I would be happy to spin up some art batts for you.
While I was in the midst of knitting the Bison Amid the Daisies pattern, I was also weaving this vest. This was actually a gift for my daughter who is modeling it.
This was my second vest. I made one for myself some months back, but I made that in three pieces. This time, I wove the back as one solid piece and then split it in half, working with two heddles for the front. I had some difficulty figuring out how big to make the neck hole, but I think it came out okay.
Here’s my daughter with her youngest brother and our rescue dog.
We are still planning to twist the fringe, but I am really pleased with the way this turned out. I used my Black Butterfly sparkly merino sock yarn for the warp and some worsted-weight singles that I spun from Black Butterfly batts.
I actually got two different pattern books for weavers in search of a vest pattern, and I learned a lot from each one, but neither had a vest pattern like the one in my head, so I had to wing it. The open work that you can see in the picture above is a modified Brooks Bouquet where the groups of warp are pulled tight to create the opening. I did that on the first vest, and my daughter requested it for hers too.
Next up is a cowl I have almost finished for my older daughter who is on her way home from college as we speak. It’s the Cool Beans Cowl by Ann Thomsen.
It’s still on the needles. I just have to bind off using a stretchy bind-off for the first time. I tried it earlier today and messed it up, so I went back a row and hope I didn’t miss any stitches! Now I’m going to scour youtube so I can actually see the bind-off she is talking about before trying it again. What I love are the eyelets, the colors, and the fact that this was a pretty simple pattern but with enough variety to be interesting and fun to knit.
I made it from my own handspun using one of the 4-ounce gradient Lago di Como polwarth braids I dyed a couple months ago. It’s 100% organic polwarth, and I love how springy and soft it is. I just came across the term “playing yarn chicken,” and I definitely did that with this because I wanted to use all the colors in the gradient yarn without running out. It really turned out to be just right, and I needn’t have worried.
If you are a new spinner and love soft fibers like I do, you might consider trying Polwarth. It is almost as soft as merino but with a longer staple length, making it easier to spin with very little sacrifice of softness. I believe the micron count is 23-25 as opposed to 19-21 for most merino.
I hope you are having lots of fibery fun and enjoying every stitch! A blessed Advent and a merry Christmas to all of you!