sock porn for knitting voyeurs.

Monday, April 20, 2009

drowning in silk

I applied for a SOAR scholarship based on the writings I've done on this blog, and Friday received a kindly rejection letter from Spin Off. Admittedly I was bummed, but by the afternoon it was time to get over and into something else. My heart's always reminding me of my ability to compartmentalize-- my foolproof method is to throw myself into something new, or at least really interesting. I grabbed my Matchless and 2 ounces of indigo dyed tussah silk from A Verb for Keeping Warm and went to town.

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I'm not a really big fan of 100% silk yarns, to me they mean lace or summer. I didn't want to card the silk into a wool like last time, so instead I laid out the length of silk (dyed in large color sections) and pulled off lengths in color order for spinning over the fold. I haven't spun over the fold since first teaching myself to spin, and I do like the control it gave me in handling the silk.

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I mention I used the Schacht Matchless (aside from Michael, the only one who's spent time with the Joy in a long time is my son) because I have wanted to try Irish/bobbin led on it-- another one of those new, distracting things. I've spun in hybrid double drive since its arrival, and used to spin in scotch tension on the Ashford, but had never tried bobbin led before. It was an easy setup and actually a lot better than I thought it would be-- I really like a strong takeup and I certainly got it this way :)

Originally I was going to spin another handpainted single of Verb's merino/silk for plying with the tussah, but went off the rez with a white merino/cashmere top instead. I think the white really shows off the long stretches of color Kristine dyed that I tried to keep intact.

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Another reason I chose the white was because it is superwash-- my baby sister just had her baby and I wanted to weave her a large nursing wrap/coverup that could be easily washed when my nephew invariably does a baby blowup near or on it. I changed my mind though (like usual)... the yarn is just way too soft for weaving; not that it wouldn't hold up to it but that the crazy softness just wouldn't translate to a woven fabric like a knitted one would.

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I kept trying to take pictures so I could choose the one that looked the softest :) I don't know if it worked but eh, I could look at the shine of the silk all day.

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I ended up with about 400 yards of a light worsted weight and already started on a little something :) Any guesses? Leave me a comment on what you would make and I'll randomly draw a name once I finish the project and post pictures (a week? two?) The winner will receive the aVfKW merino/silk I didn't spin for this project...

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3 ounces in the exclusive Ultra fiber club colorway, "Roman Numeral." Don't spin? Never a better time or better fiber to learn with ;) Or, tear it into strips and knit with the roving, use it as mitten thrums, make a CoCoKnits fleeced earflap hat, felt something beautiful, replace the pet rock on your desk... it's up to you :)

Miss you!

53 comments:

barefoot rooster said...

oooooh, beautiful. i would lean towards something snuggly -- maybe a textured shawl, or a big cowl, depending on how spring is going out there....definitely something simple, so as to be able to focus on the pleasure of knitting with it! just lovely.

Jenn said...

400 yards of light worsted ... I would make a baby kimono-type of sweater, if that would be enough. Something with cables to catch the shimmer of the silk. Whatever you make will be gorgeous - looking forward to seeing it!

Jessica said...

I would definitely do a cowl or mittens! Something to show off the beautiful yarn and get to wear close to my face or hands all the time. Not that it's cowl or mitten weather right now... :P

Bex said...

It is definitely one of the prettiest things I could replace my pet rock with!

400 yds for a baby... and snuggly... maybe a little hat and a matching stuffed bear?

nestra said...

Already said, but I am also going with cowl. That yarn looks like it would be so warm and snuggly!

Junebug said...

My guess would be... A light shawl/shoulder covering/shrug, or maybe a stuffed toy of some sort? Gorgeous yarn!

spacekitty said...

Those silk blends look so yummy! 400 yards sounds just about right for the One-Row Handspun scarf: fabulous, simple, and eternally entertaining. I knit two in December, both in 4 days. Plus that scarf really leaves room for softness and snuggling.

Holly said...

Sorry you didn't get into SOAR. For what it's worth, I find all the spinning information on your blog to be very helpful (and inspirational!)

karen said...

I would knit one of these:

http://www.ravelry.com/projects/kittin/ribbed-baby-jacket

again in a hearbeat. Super cute! Your yarn is totally crazy drool worthy.

Shannon said...

Do you plan on going to SOAR even though you didn't get the scholarship? I am thinking about going but I am not sure yet.

Birgitte said...

I would knit delicious soft booties for the baby with a yarn that soft and yummy :o)

Christy said...

I'm not sure, but it would make the cutest kid's sweater ever.

iftimeexists said...

Once again, I love your yarn! I can't help but imagine it as a cowl...maybe a longer moebius one that could be looped once or twice around the neck. I see it in a super simple lace pattern that wouldn't compete with the yarn.

Of course, I'm sure whatever you make will be lovely!

Too bad about SOAR, but there's always next year!

Linda D said...

Oh yes, the cowl is winning hands down. Something loose so I could pull it up over my face if it gets cold enough!

adrienne said...

That's too bad about SOAR - your blog is so edumacational!

If I had that much gorgeous squooshy yarn, I'd probably knit something lacey - a smaller Hemlock Ring blanket? Something cozy.

Phoebe said...

Sorry to hear about SOAR. But the yardage you spun up is a dream. I was thinking just like Jenn...a baby kimono or I can also picture an EZ's BSJ. Makes me think that I need to get some more white fiber to ply with all of the brights that I have in my fiber stash.

knottygnome said...

to me it's calling out to be a cowl and hat set. something really simple, like stockinette or moss stitch that shows how pretty the yarn is. it looks very soft and huggable. :-)

Elizabeth said...

A snuggly sleep sack for the baby (though, I don't know about yardage for that one)

Abby said...

That turned out gorgeous! I don't think I'd be as generous as you and I'd probably knit something for myself.

I think the yarn would make a gorgeous Phazelia's mitered baby jacket, though. ;-)

elizabeth said...

400 yards? I'm guessing a smallish clapotis!

I'm sorry that you didn't get the SOAR scholarship. I've loved your posts and have learned so much about processing fleece - I'm begging my guild to buy combs! I went to SOAR last year and I'd say you definitely deserved a scholarship.

madonnaearth at yahoo.com said...

Just looking at it makes me want to make something warm to go around my neck with beads. A looser version of a cowl, with beads scattered on it for good measure.

I love the finished yarn you made, and the shine the silk gives to it.

norichan said...

I'm imagining that as the cutest snuggly sweater for a baby ever! That is a beautiful combination. I wish that I had an eye for combinations like you do.

undeadgoat said...

I would knit something snuggly and smooshy to keep myself warm in the winter but also to hug against my bare skin when I felt icky. And perhaps if my brain were not slightly fever-addled I would have a more normal answer but TOO BAD.

Ibunnysavetroy said...

I would make a thorpe, personally!

georg said...

I think you can just knit a wrap out of that.. or a baby sling.

Anonymous said...

What lovely yarn you spun! I'd probably knit the Forest Canopy Shawl by Knitting as Fast as I Can. The pattern is written for a lighter weight, but for a little less yardage. It would be great! Dee (sheepish56(at)aol(dot)com

kittywiththumbs said...

Love the silk, You spin wonderfully -you're right, who wouldn't want to look at silk ALL DAY
I'm in love with garter stitch at the moment, so maybe a BSJ for a baby.
If I was to use that for something for myself though.. I'd probably just carry it around to pet it :P

kittywiththumbs said...

*sigh* lost comment - Anyway, I adore your spinning, and you have a way of explaining things that is wonderfully descriptive, pity about the scholarship though

As for that wonderful yarn.. I could see a BSJ growing out of it, or a little crib/shoulder blanket in garter stitch
If I was to make something for me though, I'd probably jst cary it around to pet it and look at it in different light.. so very very pretty

Sharon said...

Wow! That yarn alone is reason enough for you to receive a scholarship to SOAR. Makes me want to cancel my Spin-off subscription in protest. I love your blog and I am always inspired by your wonderful spinning and knitting and amazed that you can do all that as well as capture it so beautifully in a blog. As for what I would make, long white evening gloves if I lived in a fantasy world and knew how to do fingers and, back to reality, a lace scarf or fingerless mitts. Thanks again. I hope you get to SOAR. You deserve it!!!!

Gnat said...

Sorry to hear about the Soar scholarship...I didn't get it either. I just found your blog...well was sent over by a friend and it's awesome!! Can't wait to go back and read the old posts. :) The silk is beautiful!!

SpinningErin said...

My goodness, that's fabulous. I would knit something with a fairly dense gauge because I love how silk and silk blends feel that way. Perhaps a simple shawlette with alternating lace and stockinette panels, so that the silk is shown off in multiple ways. Nummy.

DesertRat said...

I'm going to guess Ishbel. It's the right yardage and would have enough stockinette to showcase the gorgeous yarn!

Valentine@ravelry.com said...

Bummer about the SOAR scholarship but YAY for the beautiful white, silky goodness. I'm guessing cowl too but since everyone else has already chosen that, how about a headband, maybe like Calorimetry? I'm still trying to decide what to do with my AVFKW shipment. I've only gone as far as taken it out of the package, squeezed it a few time with a slight squeel, and set it on my desk to admire. That's such a good idea of spinning over the fold though. I was just thinking how difficult it was to handle silk. Over the fold might actually give me enough control where I'm not having to fight the wheel. Thanks for that!

Thystle said...

Scarf! That's my story... But which one... That I don't know yet...

Michael said...

You were robbed!!!! I'm sorry you didn't get in my Dear. I hope your spinning/knitting/weaving can pull you outta that funk!

Rest assured you have many fans who hang on your ever word! Here's to next year.

Josiane said...

I'm sorry you didn't get the scholarship for SOAR. I would have loved to read your report after the event. Hopefully, you'll get it next year.
Your yarn is seriously gorgeous! And yes, it definitely looks like it is very soft. The softness makes me think I'd knit it into a scarf or a cowl... something to snuggle in! I'm very curious to see what you are doing with it.

Minou14 said...

Oooh! It would be enough for a Baby Surprise Jacket - squishy garter stitch and the long color runs from the silk would show up nicely. I think a hat would be really scrumptious too. Otherwise, I think I'd just keep it and pet it. I'm fond of spinning yarn I like too much to knit with. :)

Pam Murphy said...

Gosh, it's hard to guess! I've never spun anything, ever. It will be something I shall do someday! Your lush yarn would make a pretty top down baby sweater, bootie and cap set. But, then again, you could always make a lux scarf and give it to me!!
Pam Murphy

PBnJ said...

I'm guessing you're making something for the baby. I'm sure whatever it is, it will be beautiful and lovely to wear or use!

I just love all your spinning and knitting and weaving!

Romi said...

Gorgeous. I love A Verb for Keeping Warm!!!

Knittymama said...

I think it would be beautiful as a garter stitch baby sweater!

abmatic said...

The yarn seems like it would be nice knitted as something like a clapotis which has both knitted sections and open sections. I bet with 400yds you can make a nice sized piece of fabric. I often use my clapotis as a lap blanket when I'm sitting at my desk so it plays double duty as both a scarf/shawl and blanket.

Twinsanity/Spinsanity said...

I put in for a scholarship last year and got the polite "you didn't make the cut, try again next year" letter too. Maybe I'll try again when SOAR comes back this (MI) way.

And I'm on the soft squishy cowl team.

I've got 8 ozs of gorgeous merino/bamboo and a single oz of silk in similar colors...trying to decide whether there's any chance of streeeeeetching the silk enough to combine the two. Spin the silk itty bitty lace weight and the merino blend maybe worstedish and two ply them. Hmmmm.

Elizabeth Psyck said...

I would make either a little slouchy beret or a nice comfy cowl. That looks like the PERFECT thing to have up nice close to your skin during a freezing winter.

craftmonkey said...

combining 3 things i love: AFKW, silk, and spinning. yes!

vtknitboy said...

i'd spin it really thin, maybe 3 ply it for better stitch definition. heavy lacewgt. definitely would love to see it around my neck (as a knitted garment, of course!). the colors are beautiful!

KT said...

Best baby hat ever? With ear flaps? Like a baby Jayne hat.

KT said...

Oh, PS, first spindle still lost but went back and replaced it with a Golding. Go big or go home right?

kewpiedoll99 said...

Just because you can't weave with it (and in fact I think weaving might obscure the lovely contrast in plies) doesn't mean you can't use it for something baby. I'd knit a loose garter stitch receiving blanket, myself. I love that you plied the merino with the silk - I've plied white with color in the past but not two different fiber plies, and I love the look of it. I may do this with some silk/baby camel I have been spinning lately...

meghan said...

a bonnet and matching booties. bonnets are ALWAYS awesome! :)

danielle said...

I would weave a pillow sham that was exclusively mine (shear decadence), or knit a snuggly stockinette cowl (though you don't really live in a cold enough climate; so what about a thorpe hat for those few days when it does get cold. It would be nice and soft on your toasty warm ears.

Liz U said...

ohhh. shiney.

Knit - R - Done said...

I don't know what I'd do with it, but I really want the roving. Thanks, Aija.

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