In my last trip to Paris I was very restrained in my yarn purchases but I really couldn’t resist some gorgeous indigo alpaca at La Droguerie. I only took a 1oog ball, I didn’t have any specific project in mind, I just loved the lo0k and feel of it.
I’d been admiring Ysolda Teague’s Veyla for a while, and wanted to make myself a pair of these cuties. My only reservation was that I already have a few pairs of fingerless mitts, but I haven’t got any handknitted gloves of my own, it seems I have gifted away the few pairs I have knit in the past few years… So I just decided to alter the pattern a bit by knitting myself some fingers.
Veyla (Ysolda Teague) with fingers
I found the buttons in a car boot sale and I love the mother of pearl look and the contrast with the dark yarn (the color is truest on the photos of the gloves themselves). I think the fingers partly take away the edgy/lacy contrast of the original design, which is a shame, but I love them nonetheless. They might just be the classiest pair of knitted gloves I own.
The yarn was absolutely gorgeous to knit with and is gloriously soft to the touch. The gloves only used up 50g, so I’ve still got another 50g to use. Any ideas of what I could do with my remaining 170 yards of gorgeousness? Oh and I’ve still got 2 of my cute little buttons left…
Remember the Spindlers’ challenge for December over on Ravelry with the childhood theme? I finished the spinning just before leaving home.
So this batch of alpaca and this spindle which I’d made out of resin:
Got spun and navajo plied on the fly and became this:
Which turned into this, once washed and whacked:
This was fun! It’s the first time I participated in the spindlers challenge, but I really enjoyed the process of thinking of the theme and deciding on how to interpret it and so on. The spindle theme very simply makes me think of my childhood, as does the caramel colored alpaca. It also made me finally deal with this batch of fiber which I’d had for a while.
Alpaca is definitely not my favorite ever fiber to spin. It sheds quite a bit and I’m not all that fond of the ‘hairiness’ of the finished product. Or of finding wads of alpaca hair under the armpits of my coat… never a flattering touch… It also created a few problems in the navajo plying because sometimes when going through the loop, some of the hair got a bit ‘ruffled’ in a way, and came out of the twist a bit. But that would probably have not been a problem with a different type of plying.
Still despite the few hiccups I tremendously enjoyed the whole challenge. Now I want to knit this yarn into something also related to the theme. I had Mousie on the mind, but seeing the quantity: just under 200 yards if I remember right (the yarn is home with its tag and I’m not) and the weight: between heavy laceweight and light fingering, I might have to go and look for something else to do with it…
Over on Ravelry, the spindlers group has monthly challenges. I’ve always followed other people’s take on the theme of the month, stalked the thread, and admired the yarn, but I’ve never actually taken part before.
This month, the theme is childhood, and I thought I had the perfect fiber and spindle to jump in. I bought this alpaca as part of my first lot of fibers from Wingham Wool, it’s in the natural shade Fawn, but in my eyes, it’s the perfect caramel colour (I can’t quite photograph the shade right, it’s slightly darker with more brown and reds in real life). It reminds me of the salted butter caramel sweets I used to have as a kid in France. For some reason I only tried to spin a bit of it when I first got it to try spinning alpaca, but I never really got round to spinning the rest of it. This felt like the perfect opportunity. The spindle is a reminder of the hours I spent on the swing set in our garden.
I’m not entirely sure yet what will happen to this skein so I decided to three-ply it because I love the look of three or four-ply yarn. I’m navajo-plying my yarn using the ply-on-the-fly technique, which for me is instant gratification because you can see straight away how the yarn is going to turn out once plied. Plus once you get into the rythm it’s a bit like when you get a bit of momentum on the swing.
Somehow I’m finding it more fiddly plying on the fly with alpaca than with wool, so I’m giving the singles quite a lot of twist and plying it more tightly than I usually would. It’s turning out about fingering weight, although I’ve not calculated wpi yet. The challenge only requires one skein to be spun by the end of the month regardless of its weight or length. I’m not going for a big skein, but would like to be able to not only spin but also knit a small item related to the theme by the end of December. I was thinking of maybe Mousie by Ysolda Teague, but that would only take a fraction of it, any other suggestions?