WIPWed #62: Anti-Progress

I think there must be some force in the universe that is actively preventing me from making any knitting project progress. (I suspect that force is Time, or The Lack Thereof… perhaps with a healthy dose of Indecision.) Here’s what I accomplished (ha!) this week.

Spindling:

Turkish Spindles

Three little spindles L to R: Capar Large, Jenkins Aegean, Enid Ashcroft Mini

I’m enjoying playing around with my three little Turkish spindles. On the Capar to the left is some Louet Merino/silk, on the Jenkins Aegean in the middle is a BMFA yak/silk blend, and on the mini Enid Ashcroft is Miss Babs Merino/silk. I’m amazed at how differently they each spin! The Capar feels slow and steady. The Jenkins is flighty and needs lots of attention (i.e., multiple flicks per make). The EA is easygoing and a real pleasure to use. I pick them up here and there throughout the day. I have not yet made a habit of spindling for long, productive lengths of time nor have I gotten comfortable spinning out and about (like, say, waiting in a doctor’s office) which is when most of my crafting time occurs. Do you spin in any unusual places?

Simply Royal:

Picture2

BMFA BFL superwash, colorway Royal. Click for project page.

You’ll have to pretend like that’s a current, decent picture of my sock project… because it’s not. The purple area is meant to represent the length it is at the moment. Some progress, yay!

The Project That Isn’t:

Cephalopod Yarns Traveller | Woolen Diversions

Cephalopod Yarns Traveller, colorway Hobart, IN.

Just before we left for Costa Rica (like the night before), I went crazy (“I won’t have enough knitting, OMG!!!” ha) and wound up two skeins of CY Traveller for an emergency airplane project. I had decided I wanted to knit a Brickless shawl, but then I noticed how different my two skeins were. The top skein has a much bluer/greener cast and the bottom skein is more on the orangey-brown end of this colorway’s spectrum. (In case you’re wondering, the skeins were split in half so I could force them to fit into my bursting carry-on. See: crazy.)  I tried alternating skeins while knitting and it just didn’t look tidy with the way this pattern incorporates bound off edges into the design. I knit the tip of this shawl about 4 times, each time second-guessing myself and wondering if it wouldn’t be better in a thicker yarn with some silk in it (my original plan) or at least some better-matched skeins. Then I remembered the other projects I had wanted to knit with the Traveller yarn:

Photo copyright Hunter Hammersen. Click for pattern page.

Like the Chrysanthemum frutescens hat…

Photo copyright madelinetosh. Click for pattern page.

Or the Honey Cowl. I think if I use half of each skein for each project and alternate for a bit in the middle, the color differences shouldn’t be too noticeable, more like a gentle fade in tone. I should have enough yarn for the hat and a small version of the cowl. A fun and easy fall accessory set should be just the thing to get my knitting mojo back. Have you ever had a project that just did not want to be?

Check out Tamis Amis for more WIPs!

So Long, And Thanks for All the Yarn

One of my favorite indie dyers, Sarah Eyre of Cephalopod Yarns, announced today that she needs to close down her business for the sake of her health. (See here for the shop announcement, and here for an eloquently-written post about it on her personal blog.)

Bugga in Blue Ringed Octopus and Box Jellyfish. Click for project page.

I’ve decided that the best way I can mourn the loss of her gorgeous yarn, is to celebrate the beautiful skeins that have graced my knitting needles. My Beautiful Briny Sea shawl is one of my absolute favorite knits — the colors embody everything I love and I wear it all of the time.

Bugga in Fig Eater and Dog Days Cicada. Click for project page.

Sarah’s colorways always manage to look subtle and cohesive from a distance, but up close they are gorgeously variegated and complex.

Bugga in Blue Lobster. Click for project page.

The above photo does zero justice for the yarn, but Blue Lobster has got to be one of the best blues of all time (and I am a great admirer of blues). It is rich, electric, and tinged with just enough green to appeal to my teal-loving tendencies. I have worn these mitts every fall and winter since 2011 and I love them just as fiercely as I did when I first finished them.

Bugga in Starry Night Cracker. Click for project page.

These socks were one of the earliest pairs I’ve ever knit, from one of my first skeins of Bugga back in the Sanguine Gryphon days. The Starry Night Cracker colorway is a perfect, gentle dusky blue tinged with tannish undertones. It will be missed.

Skinny Bugga in Horseshoe Crab. Click for project page.

I have not yet finished this shawl (started in * mumble mumble 2010 cough *) due to early-lace-knitting-incompetence but it was meant to commemorate my time in grad school studying horseshoe crabs. Perhaps I will dust off this old WIP now, fix my mistakes and finish it once and for all, for the sake of nostalgia.

Bugga fiber, handspun, in the colorway Yubaba. Click for project page.

One of my first decent skeins of handspun yarn was made with CY Bugga fiber. I love this skein so much, and was thrilled to knit it up for a pattern that will be published in the Afghans for Afghans charity e-book that should be out in the near-ish future.

Traveller in San Francisco Bay. Click for project page.

CY’s Traveller yarn has clothed countless babies and children, I imagine. The sweet little hat above was destined for a good friend’s baby, who wore it well beyond the age when I thought it would still fit.

Traveller in Aokigahara. Click for project page.

Traveller makes great adult hats, too, and I appear to especially love to use it in my Beribboned designs. So many beribboned things.

Skinny Bugga in Nude, San Francisco Bay, and Ghost Moth. Click for project page.

Sarah, your talent, artistry, and eye for color will be sorely missed in the yarn world. I refuse to say that you as a person will be missed, because I am determine to believed that you will remain involved as much as you can in the beautiful, creative community that’s grown up around the beautiful, creative work that you’ve done. Slow down, rest up, and care for yourself. Be proud of everything you’ve made. Remember that much love is heading your way during this difficult transition. And thanks (ever, ever so much) for all the yarn.