The cushion covers I’ve had on my mind about have been started:

They are made of a recycled angora/wool bulky yarn which I’ve dyed to 3 colors; a bright yellow, light turquoise and dark blue.  They are going to be so very cushy and wonderful!! One problem, though, is I don’t think I’ll have enough yellow yarn to do both sides of a pillow… I have more of the turquoise and blue, however. I’m sure I’ll manage to improvise something, with the size of my stash being what it is….

I’m making up the design up as I go; working a square from the centre out by increasing at 4 points every round. I added a section of seed stitch, which is very attractive in a bulky yarn, and a *yo, P2tog* lacey insert, which creates a very nice little row of dense little ‘purls’, and I recommend trying! This one is almost finished now; a few more rounds and I’ll bind off and start the next. It’s very fast and satisfying knitting, as it grows so quickly!  It is very bulky, and I’m curious to see whether it changes a lot or not very much with blocking; because I seldom knit with this bulky of yarn.

On this spindles, I’ve got some new fibre; alpaca with a bit of wool, which I bought during a visit to Saltspring Island this last weekend, at lovely farm called Bullock Lake Farm. They raise sheep, angora goats (which produce mohair), alpacas, llamas, and have many other creatures. It was an lovely place to visit. I’ll get some pictures of the first bit of spun yarn up soon; it’ll be interesting to learn how best to spin the alpaca; and what kind of yarn best utilizes it’s qualities.

I’ve also gotten back to working on my handspun hat: (which has proved a bit vexing…)

After putting the project aside for some time, I had gotten to the point where I was ready to rip it back (it was too big… 😦 ), and so I did that on Friday night, and then started knitting on it again on the ferry over to Saltspring on Saturday. Then Sunday morning, I realized… &@#$^%!!! it was STILL too big. So I ripped again, farther back this time. I think there’s just something about the way I increased; every round, in 6 places… that makes it just balloon, even after I start knitting completely straight. But it IS beautiful, in the sort of way that kind of hurts your eyes with its clashiness!

Well I’m farther along now than is shown in the picture, and it STILL seems like it’ll be a bit too big, but there’s no way I’m going to rip it out again; if it doesn’t fit quite right when it’s finished, I’ll just felt it to size.

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This is a sweater’s worth of recycled angora blend yarn, which I dyed into a ‘rainbow’ of red shades, from light pink to a deep burgundy. I actually dyed and photographed this project in my last few days living in Whistler, before moving into my new apartment in Vancouver, but it’s taken me awhile to get it up on the blog.

To get these coordinated shades, I tossed the entire lot into the pot, and then pulled out the skeins one by one once I felt like they’d reached the right depth of color. As I went, I had to toss a bit more dye into the pot as well, so that I could reach the deeper colors, which required the addition of some blue. I’m pretty excited with the results.

I’ve had a few thoughts about how to work with this yarns:

  • working single-row stripes which transition gradually and somewhat randomly from light through dark
  • working multi-color slip-stitch patterns (Barbara Walker’s treasuries have MANY examples of this)
  • working more than one strand of each yarn together, and shifting the strands to create a subtle ‘ombre’ effect – perhaps in an interesting texture pattern?

The thing about the yarn is that it is quite small gauge (fingering?) and it doesn’t have very much stretch at all, which makes it a bit tiring to work with, so while I was VERY excited while dying it, I’m not sure how much I’ll like knitting it up. Maybe I’ll hold two strands together to get worsted/heavy worsted and then make some pillow covers, or something else that is fast and satisfying… lace medallion pillows perhaps? Check back later to see swatches!