The handspun yarn currently on my needles began life as a Shetland fleece Tonia gave me for my birthday, about 8 years ago. Do you remember this yarn? I talked it about in a podcast a couple of years ago. This is the yarn that I tried to dye red using avocado peels, pits, and some horrible heavy metals. Might have been tin. The colour stopped a bit short of red, rather nearer to that colour that Crayola used to call “Flesh”.
So I over-dyed it using acid dyes and, despite extensive pre-testing to determine precisely how much dye would be necessary to dye the yarn a soft coral, I overshot the mark and landed closer to orange. Not quite electric orange, it doesn’t vibrate when you look at it, but… it’s orange.
But that’s not the worst of it, oh no. The worst is that all those chemicals took what had been a lovely soft fiber and just beat the hell out of it. So the yarn isn’t even as nice as it was when I started. And it’s lace weight handspun. From a birthday fleece. And now it’s orange. TRAGIC.
Now that I can knit again for short periods, I am thinking about projects and wanting to start twelve new things all right this second. I discovered the Summit Shawl on knitty.com this week, and the shapes it makes kind of reminded me of … Yes! It’s like one of those safety mesh orange things.
And that is when it hit me that the not-quite-electric-orange yarn would be perfect for this pattern. In fact, I think this is possibly one of those contemporary patterns which really should be knit in orange, always.
As an aside, the pattern is really fun to knit, and the wool yarn (subbed for the 100% silk that pattern calls for) does seem to be working. It’s a good pattern to knit if you’d like to practice your backwards knitting. I’m not sure if backwards knitting is any faster than purling, in my case, but it is definitely fun. Every aspect of the project is making me happy.
Painting will soon commence with my first ever real artist quality paints! Yep, I’ve decided to replace my student grade paint with artist quality as I run out, and the first tubes arrived yesterday. I gotta say, not cheap, this fancy pants artist’s stuff. I hope it’s worth it. I haven’t cracked them yet, as they’re so wee and cute I just want to admire them in their little box for a while longer. (Next time, however, I will get the jumbo economy size because a lot of the cost, I’ve been told, is in the packaging.)
Waiting in the wings for a quiet moment this weekend to cast on, another big ass pile o’ handspun (the fiber is Bluefaced Leicester, a gift from Chris, of Briar Rose Fibers) that will soon become (yet another) knitty.com shawl, Bitterroot, sans beads. There’s a tiny little bit of the most excellent coral running through this yarn, along with greens and browns, though the colours tend to homogenize a bit in this image.
If it seems that I’m having a bit of love affair with shawls right now, it’s because I am. I’ve knit lots, but given most of them away as gifts, and there is an appalling lack of shawl-age in my closet at present. I would like to remedy this fact in a weekend, naturally, but as I can only knit for half an hour at a time, a couple of times a day, I think it’s probably going to be a while before I have shawls to model.
Have a good weekend, knitsibs.