rainbow fish cuffs

I finished knitting the Crofton cuffs from my handspun 15.5 micron merino yarn. I ended up working the pattern backwards, because I knew I wanted the blue-green yarn to be on the cuff part, and that was the only way I could assure that it worked out that way. I also knit quite a few extra rows throughout, since i have enormous hands, and I wanted them to fit me, well, like a glove. I really love them, but I must admit that they look a bit like rainbow fish, both because of the color gradient and the seedstitch “scales”, and I’m not sure how I feel about that:

handspun, knit rainbow crofton cuffs

And the fishy lookalike:

520_Boesemani_Rainbowfish_Melanotaenia_boesemani.e

However, this merino is SO devinely soft, especially on the stockinette portion covering my hands, and I’m really craving a sweater that looks and feels just like this:

sweater-cuff

But spinning that much yarn, and making the color changes come out so well, especially across 2 sleeves, feels pretty daunting. Not to mention the fact that I have yet to knit an adult sweater. But, oh, I want one so very much. You just have to feel this yarn to know what I mean. It’s like smooshy, fluffy velvet. Maybe I should do a poncho with a turtleneck instead? That would be less ambitious, and I wouldn’t have to worry about color changes.

new spinning territory

I’ve ventured into new spinning territory on 2 recent projects. The first was a challenge to myself to spin it as finely as I could, for my weaving friend who also likes to dye her own yarn. I used superwash merino and I even spun it traditionally worsted… no predrafting… using a forward short draw drafting method. The result was about 250 yards of 2-ply yarn, somewhere between lace and fingering weight. I’m quite proud of it, but it felt like it took forever. I stretched out the process over a couple of weeks, because my fingers would get quickly tired of holding back such thin singles.

handspun fingering superwash merino yarn

As soon as I got it off the wheel, I moved right into a treat for myself that I’ve been very impatient to start spinning… some hand-painted Australian merino from Woolgatherings that my sweet Papa gave me for Christmas. He’s been reading my blog, so he knew EXACTLY what I would like. 😉 I don’t know if it’s because I was more excited about the fiber, or if it was more interesting to spin because I couldn’t wait to see how the colors turned out, or if it’s because I’m realizing that I just enjoy spinning thicker yarn more, but this took me less than two days. I decided to leave it as single-ply, another first, so that also cut the time in half, and I spun it mostly with a short backward draw. I felted it a bit on purpose during washing it, since I heard that will help give singles more strength. The result was about 210 yards of DK/Worsted weight, which I can’t wait to knit into these Crofton cuffs for myself. I like the version with the seed stitch tops, and I’m excited to see how they will stripe.

single-handspun-austalian-merino

Now, for a little small talk about the weather: We were the lucky recipients of a layer of freezing rain on top of our 5 inches of snow last night, and it’s like an ice-skating rink out there. No snow play for the kids today I’m afraid. THEY are telling us it will start to melt this afternoon, and then we’ll have constant rain in our foreseeable future… so we are getting very nervous about flooding. But at least the chickens will be happy to come out of hibernation. They’ve got to be getting stir crazy up there in their coop. But they are still laying eggs for us, so I guess they can’t be too miserable. Sweet little chooks.

frozen-snow

chicken igloo

I know we have nothing on the rest of the country, but 4 inches of snow last night (and more expected tonight) is very rare for us, and not seen before by our 2 sweet hens. When it started yesterday afternoon, they were hiding in the bushes, and I ended up having to carry them across the yard to their coop when it was time for bed… there was no way they were crossing it themselves. Their little coop looks like an igloo this morning:

chicken coop covered in snow

and they seem to have no intention of leaving it so far, snuggled up together upstairs:

hens snowed in coop

My other kids, however, are very much enjoying it… and the chance to miss school today:

kids-in-snow