Tuesday, December 14, 2010

By hand

We had sun yesterday! so there are pictures to go along with today's post. It's generated the sort of excitement I might expect to feel on finding non-poisonous mushrooms while lost in a forest so there's something to go along with dry bread rations or something.

What I want to show you now that I can is what I've been knitting with my very own handspun. First, as you may recall, I had a little Totoro in mind:

This is a character from My Neighbor Totoro, meticulously recreated in knitted form by Brella, who lives in Toronto just like me and is definitely somebody I would like to watch this and other Studio Ghibli movies with.

If you look visit Ravelry and look through people's knitting experiences with this and Brella's pattern for the larger Totoro, you will notice everybody says the larger one was way harder to do. I have to say I did not take these remarks very seriously, because I've done so much with multiple needles over small spaces and the only other tricky bits are increases and decreases, and a cute bobble for the tail:

If I had knit this with something from Twisted Fiber Art - all those yarns are super sproingy - I might still feel that way, but it seems I spun zero sproing into my Polworth. It's like knitting with stupendously soft (yet strong!) twine.

The pattern takes about 40 minutes to knit but I had to keep stopping to nurse my fingers, sore from all the manipulations of unyielding needles. So I think I won't knit the bigger Totoro, and I might not even stuff this one, because it holds its shape without any effort at all.

I will add eyes though, because even a baby Totoro needs to see, if only to approve and bless my future knitting endeavors. Like for example the easy non-stretchy unshaped scarf I'm going to make with the rest of the Polworth.

Speaking of Twisted, my continuing hat quest led me to pull out the Blue-Faced Leicester I spun from roving acquired there. I'm improvising a pattern which may or may not amount to something:

This yarn seems to have a lot more sproing, while being as soft and squishy as the Polworth. On the other hand, it was my least favourite fiber so far to spin, because it was so stubborn in the drafting stage. I guess I will need to weigh these factors as I go on with the spinning thing.

Oh! and speaking of spinning - I wanted to mention that Jessie has reopened A Piece of Vermont on Etsy, and is offering fiber as well as hand-dyed yarns. Jessie not only has an incredible gift for colour, she often offers a close-to-the-farm experience. The current fiber for example has been on some local Romney sheep, and in her hands, and that's about it. Highly recommended, even if you have to visit a few times before scoring anything.

Skirt News

I snapped a shot of the new knitting skirt since Brenda expressed interest in seeing it:


See how it's a bit longer in the back, for extra warmth and boot coverage? So clever.

It's from Animale, a slightly weird line of clothing I like for these frequently-applied big crazy pockets that keep me from having to cart a purse around all the time, or wear a jacket, while keeping a sock in progress nice and close. These particular pockets have been accented with a decidedly fall fabric and I think I'll have to do something about that, because in all other respects this thing is suitable for all-season use.

And I did a mini tutorial over at my Procrastination Diary for my felted wool sweater skirt, which I seem to be - yes, in fact, I'm wearing it again today. Can't get enough of wool, I guess, or comfy squashy soft things. Which I'm okay with, because it's winter after all.

1 comment:

Brenda said...

Your skirts are wonderful and brought a great smile to my face. Thanks for sharing. I think the lower back is meant to conceal the undies when you bend over to reach the yarn in the low pockets. LOL!