My Forest Floor Legwarmers are finished! And the stranded colourwork turned out pretty well, if not as perfect as I hope to get by the end of 2013 (The Year Of Stranded Colourwork, as I have decreed it!). In the end, I had plenty of yarn for full-length, slouchy legwarmers. In fact, despite having carefully weighed and weighed again, after working the 19 stripes on each leg that I’d calculated I had yarn for, I was left with so much yarn that I carried on to 23 stripes, unpicking the ribbing at the bottom of the first legwarmer to add more length. Why 23? I don’t know, I was at knit night and it just felt right. And apparently I estimated well – I have several yards of light brown left, but only about 8 inches of the dark brown. Perfect! There’s two skeins out of my stash and onto my (now warmer, cozier) legs!
I’m feeling pretty proud of myself right now. I set myself a goal in January to have three skeins of yarn out for every two I bring in (including handspun). So far the proportions have been pretty even, but just yesterday I was able to destash 14 full and part-skeins of yarn – mostly cotton that I was given as gifts, and it’s nice enough but I far prefer wool – as well as finishing the legwarmers and a pair of seed-stitch bathroom-cleaning rags for 3 more skeins knit out. This puts me so far ahead in the stashing down that I feel like I should celebrate. By going to the yarn store. But I won’t, because…well, I made no such resolution about my fibre stash.
In fact, dear readers, I wanted to talk to you about that. I signed up for a couple of clubs – Dyet Yarns’ Fairy and Folklore club, running January-March, and Fat Cat Knits’ Fairytale club, running March-June. Yeah, I’m a sucker for folklore. And I’m going to blog my club fibres, but on the off-chance that someone reading this hasn’t got theirs yet, they’ll be under the jump.
Right now I’m super into playlists for my spinning. It all started with my first Dyet Yarns batt, Víla:
The description of the Víla included with the fibre really caught my imagination, stating that they are “the nymphs of Eastern Europe, characterized as elusive and alluring creatures,” somewhat like the Greek Sirens, but sometimes helping or healing mortals. I immediately thought of the song Pokhod by the Russian group Agata Kristi, which mentions the similar woodland sirens, Rusalkas:
Where the river runs, Rusalkas are making eyes at us
There, surely, we will die of their soft caresses
And a whole playlist sprang up around that song, perfect for spinning on a dark January evening while Mr. Salamander plays Magic (The Gathering) in the next room. Of course, I still haven’t finished spinning the batt, and the playlist is a bit dark for the fresh spring days we’re getting now, but if nothing else, winter is bound to come again.
Then came February’s installment, Scheherazade:
Of course this one will be paired with the Rimsky-Korsakov symphonic suite! I may put it away for a few months, though – that rich copper and gold speaks to me of autumn, or perhaps late summer so as to be able to knit with it once the weather turns and the leaves begin to fall.
And an interesting take on the fairy tale Snow White & Rose Red from Fat Cat Knits, The Bear Prince and The Evil Dwarf (Deuteronomy likes this fibre best – ignored the others but jumped up immediately to love on this one!):
For this, which might get spun up soon-ish, I think Modest Mussorgsky’s Pictures at an Exhibition is the clear choice. Yes, you now know the terrible truth: for as long as I can remember I have loved 19th and 20th Century Russian orchestral and piano music. I may flirt with Japanese pop or Canadian songwriters, but always in the depths of my heart are the great Russian Romantics, Impressionists, and Modernists. Some days I like to dream of getting a piano again – when I stopped taking lessons at the end of my teens, I had just started achieving enough skill to start tackling things like Pictures at an Exhibition, or a piano reduction of the Nutcracker Suite, and sometimes I regret not keeping it up. But such is life – it was around that time that I took up knitting, which has a far more central role in my life than piano ever did. And who can keep money in the Piano Acquisition Fund when there are fibre clubs to join and sweater quantities of indie-dyed yarn to purchase? Not me!
I haven’t figured out a playlist for this one yet, but on the same day I received my Fat Cat Knits braids, I got a Pansy-themed batt from Caliope’s Fibre, a local(ish) creatrix I ran into at Knit City in the fall.
The packages arrived on just the right day: it was a rainy Wednesday, and the two-year-old I look after had been just insufferably two allllllllll day, so you can imagine that coming home to this bright and luxuriously soft batt was a wonderful treat. Never mind the tantrums or the diapers, I have sparkly Merino-silk-soysilk to spin!
Finally, because I don’t want to get behind on these things, I wanted to share another FO, my Echo Flower Shawl!
As I mentioned earlier, I didn’t enjoy knitting this one as much as some shawls. Truth be told, I think it was a completely irrational reaction to the fact that the increases are worked right into the lace pattern, rather than alongside it, preferably in the form of yarnovers on every right-side row. I have no idea why that bothers me so much, but I was chatting about the shawl at knit night and I’m apparently not the only one, so…? But now that it’s done, I’m really digging having it in my wardrobe. Such a lovely colour, and just the right size!
Tragically, however, although I knit a pretty generous shawlette, I still only used half my skein of yarn, or I could boast 18 out of the stash this week! Well, in the fullness of time, I’m sure I’ll find a use for it…