Sunday, October 11, 2009

In which the Rabbit explores the relation between cotton candy and cashmere

The Rabbit calls this the "Pink Confection Scarf." It was knit from three different yarns: Debbie Bliss Pure Silk, Artyarns Cashmere Sock, and Artyarns Mohair Splash (the one with the beads). It is delicious.

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In which the second Red Scarf is finished, and both are sent on their way

For some reason, the second red scarf took the Rabbit forever. It will be a while before she does another scarf involving K1 P1 ribbing. But she did finish it, and was quite happy with how it came out:

Red Scarf #2 was then put into a box with Red Scarf #1 and mailed off to the Orphan Foundation of America, and thus the Rabbit's first charity knitting endeavor was complete.

Friday, October 9, 2009

In which the Rabbit starts a whole new stash

Now that Esmé is on the scene, the Rabbit has started laying in Stuff to Spin in a concerted way. She bought two half-fleeces at the Festival. The first is from a Coopworth named Helen:

The second is from a Border Leicester named Adeline. Adeline's shepherd told me that one year Adeline gave birth to triplets, only one of which she liked, so they named that lamb "Preferred." I didn't ask what they named the other two. "Rejected" and "Abandoned"?

I also bought some hand-dyed Border Leicester locks from Tidal Yarns. These were dyed using cochineal (I think).

Since the Rabbit is traveling at the moment, and a) doesn't want to wear out her welcome by commandeering her friends' washing machine for washing raw fleece, and b) doesn't yet have any combs or hand cards for the dyed locks, she has also bought some fiber that has already been processed, so she can bond with Esmé right this second. She found this roving from Mountain Fiber Folk at the festival:

This Crosspatch Creations batt came from The Fiber Studio in Henniker, NH:

And this merino top came from The Elegant Ewe in Concord, NH:

Pictures of the yarn Esmé comes up with from the fibers to follow. Watch this space.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

In which the Rabbit has a bit more to say about the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival

Predictably, there were lots of sheep at the Sheep and Wool Festival. These apparently decided to commemorate the occasion with Henna tatoos:

Here are the same sheep participating reluctantly in a herding demonstration. That was their day—standing around in the rain for a while sporting their tatoos, then being herded for a while, then standing around some more.

Here are two Romneys:

And a Coopworth:

And a fabulously coiffed Cotswold:

There were other fiber animals as well. No alpacas (apparently their truck broke down) but two very haughty-looking llamas:

A creature described affectionately by his goatherd as "cashmere on the hoof":

And, last but not least, a distant cousin of the Rabbit's, ready for her closeup:

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

In which the Rabbit makes a new friend

Her name is Esmé, and she is a Schacht Ladybug. The Rabbit found her at the Vermont Sheep and Wool Festival in Tunbridge, VT. She's right out of the box here, waiting to be put together by the Rabbit's delightfully handy friend, Jonathan.

The Rabbit's extremely excellent spouse, Mr. Rabbit, agreed that a spinning wheel would be a very good present for the Rabbit's 45th birthday. But outlets selling spinning wheels are scarce in Rabbit Country. So they agreed that the Rabbit would try out some wheels while in Vermont. And then, while at the Festival, the Rabbit spotted a sign: "Ask me about my one-day Festival pricing on the Schacht Ladybug." And so she did. And she tried out one of Esmé's sisters on the spot. And she bought Esmé.

Every Ladybug has a birthmark, each in a different spot. Here is Esmé's:

The Rabbit believes firmly that Esmé is the Best. Spinning. Wheel. Ever. Here's what she and Esmé whipped up the first time out:

This was spun from 100% Rambouillet roving, hand-dyed by Christine of Now and Zen Yarns. Note to self: Rambouillet is yummy.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

In which the Rabbit starts another lacy thing

The Rabbit seems to have come down with a bit of startitis, (see, e.g., here) but she consoles herself with the fact that she will have twenty hours in the car during the next five days in which to finish things. Here's the new thing on the needles:

It's another scarf, made with the Handmaiden Double Sea Silk that the rabbit (ahem) "acquired" on Saturday. The pattern is Christine Vogel's Drop Stitch Scarf from her blog, Frazzled Knits. The wavy pattern seemed appropriate for seaweed-infused yarn.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

In which the Rabbit knits lace

It's hard with paws. There has been much ripping back and re-knitting.

In which the Rabbit goes to Kitchener, and participates in a yarn orgy

It's call the Kitchener Knitter's Fair, and it's two large room jammed with yarn. And some roving. And lots and lots of knitters. The Rabbit was driven into a frenzy by wool fumes. Here is some of what she scored (notice that she doesn't say "bought." That would bring the reality of the thing too close.)

First, some sock yarn. Three skeins, to be precise:

The Rabbit notes that in a way, these are three different versions of the same skein of sock yarn: lots of reds, with bits of blue, green and purple. She was in a red mood.

Another theme that emerged: fuzzy neutrals, one in Shetland wool (she met the shepherd), one in suri alpaca, and one in angora (angora!):

Another theme: yarn to make drapey shawls with. The first of these is a hand-dyed blend of merino and tencel, and is wonderfully shiny; the second is a mix of silk and something called SeaCell, which is a man made fiber made with seaweed (the manufacturing process is similar to that for rayon and tencel):

Finally: small amounts of Very Decadent Fibers, to make small decadent things with. Some paco-vicuna, and some qiviut:

In which the Rabbit prepares for winter

The Rabbit has decided that one way to make winter more tolerable might be to assemble a wardrobe of yummy handknit hats and scarves. To that end, she has just finished another winter scarf, this one knit out of chunky baby alpaca yarn:

The pattern is from Leigh Radford's One Skein. That woman is a genius. (Apparently, One More Skein, the sequel, is now out. Note to self: must get.)

She has commenced work on a cabled hat to (more or less) match. Early days yet.

Monday, August 31, 2009

In which the Rabbit finishes some scarves and starts some socks

Finished: One scarf for Mr. Rabbit.

And one scarf for the Rabbit herself:

Started: one pair of stripey socks to keep the Rabbit's paws warm as winter approaches:

Also in progress: something Top Secret.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

In which the Rabbit spins some silk and merino

As part of her plan to spin the Bluefaced Leicester, the Rabbit has begun spinning a pale green merino and silk roving from Louet that she will ply with the fleece. It will give the yarn some consistency through the color changes in the Leicester.

Here's how it looks so far:

The silk makes the roving quite slippery. It took the Rabbit quite a while, and much sotto voce cursing, to be able to manage this, but she is not unhappy with the results. More spinning on Thursday.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

In which the Rabbit dyes some wool

Last week the Rabbit got together with her spinning teacher, Kassy, and another of Kassy's students for a yarn-dyeing session.

This yarn was handspun (by someone else). The Rabbit dyed it using different colors of pink—and one called "mushroom"—as it lay in a warm bath in a roasting pan sitting on two of the burners of Kassy's stove. She used the same process with the blue-green skein below.

Below is the Rabbit's homespun, now dyed a fabulous delphinium blue.

In fact, this yarn reminds the Rabbit of nothing so much as the delphinium she saw in Peter and Annie's garden on the way home from Marblehead:

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

In which the Rabbit finishes a hat, and starts a scarf

Something about this pattern made the Rabbit sure her father-in-law needed this hat (here, modeled by Mr. Rabbit) for Christmas:

The Rabbit is about a quarter of the way through the second Red Scarf Project scarf:

In which the Rabbit finishes another adorable baby kimono