Adventurous April 2018

More Knitting With Blue Faced Leicester

On the heels of yesterday's post, I thought it would be fun to share more of the projects, like yesterday's Little Plum Shawlette, knit in Blue Faced Leicester yarn by the incredibly talented group of knitters who have been helping me test yarns.

Collage1

These test knits use a variety of different BFL based yarns. The cowl on the top left was knit in Elliebelly BFL Superwash. The brown portion of the floral socks is knit in Elliebelly BFL Sock, the same yarn used in yesterday's shawlette. The red mitts are knit in Elliebelly BFL Aran, the original BFL yarn I dyed and still my favorite yarn to knit with.  The green socks are knit in Elliebelly BFL Constant, a yarn I was originally hesitant to dye because of its high nylon content.  I convinced myself to try it because of its potential to result in super strong socks for kids, but ironically, it has become one of my favorite sweater yarns as well.  The nylon in no way alters the feel of the BFL and the yarn resists pilling and takes color beautifully.

Collage2

For Ruxton, the green shawl in the upper left hand corner of this collage, we are back to BFL Superwash Sport.  I adore this yarn and it's paired perfectly with this pattern, which is such a clever, textural knit.  The red sweater is knit in Elliebelly BFL Cash-Silk Sock, a blend of 70% BFL, 20% Silk, and 10% Cashmere.  It took only a couple of projects, this being one of them, to convince me this yarn was a keeper and compared favorably to other luxury blend yarns.   The sweater with the large cable down the front is knit with two fingering weight yarns held together for a marled effect.  One of them is the ever-versatile BFL Sock.  Definitely not just a sock yarn.  The lacey blue sweater is also knit from BFL Sock.

Conclusions?  You should all run out and find some yarn with Blue Faced Leicester and knit with it.  Now.  Seriously, it's wonderful yarn.  And fortunately, you won't have to go to England to  buy some like I did originally.  Although Elliebelly yarn isn't being sold currently, there are a number of good commercial and indie options for buying BFL and I encourage you to enjoy the experience of knitting with it.

The first purpose I envisioned for this yarn was diaper cover pants for babies who were cloth diapered.  It's fabulous for that purpose, and if you want to see some of my earliest dyeing and favorite projects, you'll find a few pages of adorable projects for babies on Ravelry.

image from images4-e.ravelrycache.com© elliesmomm  Elliebelly BFL in the Guppy Creek Colorway

Adventurous April 2018

Knitting The Cables And Lace Capelet

14 - 2

I finished up my Cashmere Gadabout last night.  It's blocking and there will be photos later on this week. Once it was drying, I picked back up with my Cables and Lace Capelet, which has been languishing for weeks while Christmas knitting got finished.  And I'm so glad that I did!  This project has a lot of virtues.

First is the yarn.  I love Madeline Tosh.  Sometimes, I cherish her skeins so much I become hesitant to knit with them while waiting to find the perfect pattern.  But this yarn, her Super Bulky ASAP in the Weathered Frame colorway, was ordered just for this pattern and went straight onto my needles when it arrived. 

The second virtue of this pattern is that the yarn knits up fast and pretty in the super bulky weight.  I'm not a huge fan of knitting on large needles, and the size 11s are at the outer edge of comfortable knitting for me, but still within it.  And overall, they are worth dealing with because it is so stinking fun to watch this pattern take shape, so quickly.

The third virtue is that it is making me feel very accomplished.  If you've looked at this pattern before you know that you knit the bottom band and then, after grafting the ends together, pick up stitches to knit the body of the capelet.  I'm notorious for avoiding picking up stitches, but have been gently encouraging myself to do so over my last few projects.  I'm happy I've been doing that, as last night, I picked up the 133 stitches around the edges of the band without a hitch and went onto the lace.  Success!

My gauge is good, even in the round.  But I'm aware of pattern notes that say this project comes out too small for an adult, even though the sample project is beautiful and clearly adult sized.  It's difficult to get a sense with it all bunched up on the needles, but I'll likely take it off on some waste yarn once I get a foot into the body to get a sense of whether I need to make some adjustment.  Hopefully once finished, my notes on sizing will help anyone who wants to knit this down the road to get a sense of how it fits.  It's such a beautiful project and this is an ideal yarn.

Adventurous April 2018

A Big Box of Yarn

Last month, one of my favorite online vendors, Necessitate, did an auction to benefit a charity that works with the families of terminally ill infants.  How could you not want to contribute?

I found a listing from KimberlyR for a "Scrappy Rug."  She was offering to knit a big bulky I-Cord spiral rug, using the winning bidder's yarn scraps.  Yarn love.  So I am sending her this.

Yarnbox

I know.  It's not exactly scraps.  But I decided it would be fun to have a rug done up in my favorite Elliebelly colorways.  I had some bulky superwash yarn — an American produced yarn that had never been part of Elliebelly (its a sort of superwash cousin to the Talia bulky weight yarn I did), but that I had purchased a large amount of to do some knitting for my kids — and I seemed to have a lot of random skeins.  Perfect!

Yarn1

From L-R, Top to bottom, that's Pallas, Agatha Wants to Win, Moulin Rouge, Nightingale, Farmhouse, and Alphabet Block. (They look different because the yarn hasn't been reskeined after dyeing to mix up the colors.  This is something many dyers, including me, do because it gives a better idea of how the yarn will look knit up).

Yarn2

Marble Angel, Sacajawea, Sunflower, Retro-Kitchen, Pretty Kim, and Sakura.

Yarn3

And finally, Treasure, Peter Rabbit, Guppy Creek, Crayon, Urban Myth, Cleo and Baba Yaga. 

I'm sending Kim 26 skeins in all — there are two each of Urban Myth, Baba Yaga, Cleo, Agatha, Sacajawea, Sunflower and Crayon.  Each of these skeins comes in at 105 grams/3.7 ounces, so there is a lot of yarn goodness in the box.  I thought she would enjoy having a lot to play with.  I'll use her leftovers in scrappy hoodies I'm knitting for the kids.

The box will be on the way to her in the morning.  I can't wait to see the results!