Last weekend I got out the dye pot and dyed 8 ounces of white merino spinning fiber so I can make the Nymphaea shawl by Becky Herrick (click the indie patterns link at the top of the page to purchase/download). She was kind enough to give me a copy of this pattern, which she just published, after I told her I thought it would be lovely in handspun. I considered the gift a challenge, and when I realized nothing in my stash would work, I got down to business.
I dyed the fiber using Wiltons' Icing Dyes. I don't like acid dyes because they're so toxic, and you can get some amazing color variations from simple food coloring. To me this still counts as a WIP because I still have all the spinning and knitting to do. Yay!
I have been doing a lot of drawing and doodling lately. There's been a lot of stress at my job lately, and working on small, soothing, abstract art is a nice way to de-stress. I thought I'd see how they do in my shop since I usually (gasp) just draw on scrap paper and recycle it when I'm done.
Remember that post a long time ago about my goal to spin and knit a sweater in 2012? Combing raw wool is hard work, and spinning plain white wool is BORING. I have spun 2 of the 24 total ounces I need, and I have only combed 13 ounces so far. I will finish this someday, but maybe not in 2012. Meh.
My current knitting obsession is the Color Affection shawl by Veera Valimaki. This has been a huge fad in the knitting world, and now that I've started I can see why. Why are stripes in garter stitch so addictive?
This shawl uses three different colors, and when I started I had planned to use this yarn:
In the skein it looked like a more bright pea green, but as I wound it up I found it to be much more brown, and I'm really not wowed. I wanted something with more pop to go with the subdued gray and deep purple. I have been auditioning other potential third yarns. First up is this one, a sparkly and slightly variegated lilac purple.
I'm not sold on it, but it's definitely more lively than the green. Here's my third option. This one's really starting to grow on me...
Since the purple I chose is definitely a red purple I think this red would be a good candidate, and it might bring out my color a little bit more than three relatively neutral shades right around my face. I am ready to add the third color as soon as I can decide which one to use. What would your choice be?
Come check out what other folks are working on at the Idaho Etsy Team page: