Monday, April 23, 2012

Lace and Flowers

I am so excited! Tomorrow I will be visiting Leslie at A to Z Alpacas with the boys. I can't wait to see the shearing and there is one cria. I'll be sure to bring my camera and blog about it! In preparation for our day trip, I made a couple of pans of blueberry muffins:


Yummy! And yes, we already dove into them while they are still warm and have perfect, crunchy tops. I like to add lemon juice and zest to flavor them, but I'm out of lemons at the moment, so I added cardamom instead, and they are really good.

I started knitting the cabled four-ply into a nice lace pattern:

lace swatch

It's a sort of modified fishtail lace. I decided to add the garter stitch welts which flow in the opposite direction from the eyelets. I think I'll have to chart this out and write some instructions for a scarf or neckwarmer! I like the 4-ply, but I think I'll stick with the 3-ply. I have dyed up gobs of the fleece (I haven't actually weighed how much, but I think I must have a pound by now) and I am deciding whether to make a blanket or the Petal Cardigan from Knitty, or maybe something else entirely. If I do the cardigan it will mean more swatching, though, because even with all the swatches I've done, I haven't done simple stockinette!

I realized I was going to need a lot more spindles for this project, and really light ones too. I wondered if it would be not that hard to actually make my own spindles, so I got some dowels and toy wheels. First I tried out a top whorl with a hook. It ended up terribly unbalanced and I hated it. I decided the problem was poor hook placement, and that I don't have the patience or whatever to deal with trying to find the precise center of a dowel, so I tried a low-whorl with a groove. It worked almost perfectly! So well that I have made 2 more, just adjusting the placement of the groove so the new ones hardly wobble at all.


This is great, because I have an awful lot of fleece to spin, and quite a few more dowels and wheels. This way I don't have to try to make plying balls, and I can put off my decision about how many plies I need for a while. Also, my top whorls are free to spin other things, though most of my spindles are dressed up in something...

spindle collection

Just a couple of the wobbly ones are empty. They're better for heavier singles, which force them to behave themselves and stop throwing themselves on the floor. I call them spindle tantrums... it can't have anything to do with how I spin...

I have more rovings to dye up. This batch will have BFL, Corriedale, BFL/silk, Merino/bamboo, and a little Wensleydale. I also have some soysilk to dye up, and I'm going to try out some milk fiber as well. There should be a lot done by the end of the week!

Spring is surely on its way, with all kinds of fresh green things popping up everywhere! It was gloriously warm- I think we topped out at 25C, which encouraged all things green, so I took my camera outside and captured what I could.

May Day Tree

Our May Day tree


A crocus coming up in our north-facing front yard


Yet more crocuses in our flowerbed


A daylily is starting to grow (this is about an inch high)


More daffodils on the verge of opening

Yellow Trumpets Blowing

And some yellow trumpets blowing.

Hurray for spring!


Lisa-24-7 said...

YAY homemade spindles! I think those are so cool! I think it's also very interesting you have so many and they are all full!

Avi Abrams said...

good spring captures!