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

In which the Rabbit finds the Best. Knitting. Organizer. Ever.

It's the Mead Five Star Stand 'N Store. It came from Staples, of all places. It doesn't look like much, but it has a place for all the little bits and bobs the Rabbit uses while knitting—so much better than the little plastic sack she was using before.

Open it up, and fold down the sides, and the BKOE has lots of little pockets both open and with zipped or velcro closures. Of the open ones, the Rabbit uses one for stitch holders, crochet hooks and a needle gauge and one for a little notebook, pen, and post-its. There's a zipped pocked for the three things she uses most often: scissors, tape measure and darning needle. There's also one with a velcro closure for stitch holders.

And on the other side, there's a longer pocket for everything else.

All hail the BKOE.

Monday, August 10, 2009

In which the Rabbit describes her tour of New England yarn stores

The New England trip would best be described, really, as a tour of yarn stores (and places that sell lobster rolls). Here are some of the highlights, yarn-wise:

The yarn store in Norwich, Northern Lights, carries the complete line of Manos del Uruguay—all the solid colors and all the variegated. The Rabbit went a tiny bit crazy. These will become a striped scarf for Mr. Rabbit, probably garter stitch, with the stripes running lengthwise.

The Rabbit bought this Cash Vero DK at Whippletree Yarn in Woodstock, VT. It's for a scarf for the Red Scarf Project which the industrious lagomorph has already finished:

This Rowan Romance came from Seed Stitch Fine Yarns in Salem, MA. The Rabbit loved this yarn store.

Courtney, the owner, helped with finding a pattern for this yarn, a cabled clutch that is also all finished:

In Beverly Farms, MA, the Rabbit made her way to Yarns in the Farms, and boy was she glad she did. It's a little enchanted cottage crammed to the rafters with beautiful, hard-to-come-by yarns. It's a warren-away-from-home. It's fabulous. She bought this skein of merino/cashmere/dehaired angora (angora!) there. She's going to make it into Clapotis. She's the only knitter in North America (the world?) who hasn't knit this pattern, and she feels left out.

Last, but definitely not least, the Rabbit went to Webs, in Northampton, MA. "America's Yarn Store." Huge. Overwhelming. And that's not even counting the 15,000 square foot warehouse filled with closeouts and discontinued colors at half price. Nevertheless, the Rabbit was able to pull herself together to buy a few things, including an umbrella swift (love it, love it, love it) and this, for another red scarf project scarf, already underway . . .

. . . and this. More angora (angora!).

Sunday, August 9, 2009

In which the Rabbit finds fiber at the farmer's market

During the Rabbit's New England sojourn, she went to the Norwich, VT farmer's market. Though traditionally rabbits and farmer's don't get along, the Rabbit braved the market in hopes that there might be some yarn from locally-raised sheep or, even better, some fleece. The Norwich farmer's market did not disappoint.

Below is the first find: 300 yard of handspun made by the delightful owner of "Muscle in Your Arm Farms" in Etna, NH. Such lovely colors; this skein makes the Rabbit think of the Caribbean. No plan for this yarn yet.

Muscle in Your Arm Farms also provided these two beautiful, soft, lofty skeins of undyed Cormo (a breed descended from Corriedale and Merino):

But perhaps the best find of the day was this fleece:

This is Bluefaced Leicester, dyed a variety of shades of green. It's incredibly soft. When the Rabbit brought it to show her spinning teacher, Kassy exclaimed "It's like a salad!" This remark is probably unrelated to Kassy's observation, a few days later, that the sheep who produced it must have been fed a steady diet of olive oil to produce such unctuous fleece.

The Rabbit is planning to spin the Leicester eventually, probably plying it with something else. Watch this space updates on the fate of the fleece.