For a while now I’ve been teasing on my Sunday Year of Projects updates about a sorta stealth set of projects. They’ve been on my list since the year began and have gotten a mention here or there including a tick off when they were finished. But I’ve been keeping a bit quiet about the finished objects. But I have a great reason. Or at least I think it’s a great reason! Lets start at the beginning, shall we?
I might have mentioned once or twice how I have been participating in the Harry Potter Knit & Crochet House Cup group on Ravelry. I’m a dedicated Potterfile, having read all the books more times than I can actually remember and having something of a competitive spirit, it was a natural fit. And since I joined the cup group for my first term I was sorted into Slytherin House and have been very happily at home in my nest- the Copperheads. Our nests are small groups where members can chat, cheer each other on and generally have fun in the name of crafting.
Back at the end of June one of my very favorite nest mates proposed a question- she was in the process of setting up an online business, Essential Fiber. She would provide the fiber dyed in my choice of colors from her HUGE palate if I would spin and knit said fiber into something she could use for her projects gallery at launch time. Who could possibly say no to something like that, right?
I’ll admit the project gave me pause. I’m only just starting to feel confident enough in my spinning skills to where I can look at the fiber, say I want to spin X yarn in Y yardage to knit Z project. So this was going to be a challenge for sure. But you gotta start somewhere, right? So I agreed. Talking back and forth a bit we established that something involving colorwork would be the most ideal project for her gallery, so I settled on Kate Davies’ Peerie Flooers Hat & Mittens for the project. I hit up my hand spun stash to get an idea of where I was at for yardage and weight of fiber in order to create the yarn. A lot of math was done (which is NOT my strong suit, believe me) and I arrived at what I thought I would need. Sent her my list and waited (im)patiently for my fiber to arrive. And then I spun. And I spun some more. And I spun a bit more after that. Seven yarns total:
And when all were finished and the yardage was measured, I have to admit I was quite pleased. The lightest green and blue each started as 2oz of fiber and I needed to land around 180 yards. With one I had 190, the other 205. Not bad from a consistency standpoint! Each of the other colors started at 1oz of fiber and I needed about 75 yards each. Based on my calculations I average about 350 yards per 4 ounces of fiber so that ounce each should allow plenty to get the job done. With one bump (the yellow) I ended up with 120 yards. The others all ended up within 5 or 6 yards each of 90 yards even. Again- total victory in consistency!
And then the fun- turning the yarn I just made into a hat and mittens worthy of display on someone’s website. O.M.G!!! But as mentioned before, I have a total fangirl crush on Kate’s designs and it turns out I really rahter love color work so it was a fun challenge. I had most of the month of August for the knitting with a goal of a week or so before the end of the month to guaranty mailing time. There were times where I was nervous because, truth be told, I am not the biggest fan of knitting mittens, but I persevered. And in the end, I shipped these off with more than enough time for M to get her pictures. I’d offer to show you my own, but it turns out I never took any of the mittens at all. The hat I have, but just this goofy blocking shot:
Essential Fiber’s pictures are definitely better. So go check it out. And while you’re at it, order some fiber. Or yarn. A lot of it. Because it’s awesome! And her colors are fantastic! For the hat and mittens, I had the pleasure of spinning the Fine Shetland. It was a dream. Soft enough where lining the cuffs of the mittens was entirely unnecessary. Easy to draft and colors to dye for. Oh. Wait. I mean die for. Consistency of color was fantastic throughout but with just enough variation to produce a slight heathering that’s absolutely lovely. Can’t wait for my first official order to arrive- Finn in Agapanthus, the fade to white option. I’ve seen a preview and all I can say is- WOW!