Mangos, Pumpkins, Saffron, Ginger


Not very long ago, Wendy spun up the most beautiful orange roving. You can see it in all its splendor here.

If you swing by my blog, with any regularity, you know that I'm not terribly drawn to warm colors, as a general rule. Blues, greens, and purples dominate over all other colors. It's not that I don't love a wide variety of colors, its just that, given a choice, I stay in my color comfort zone and stick to shades I know look good on me and that I love looking at. But this orange had me smitten. So I headed on over to Nistock Farms, where Wendy had gotten her roving, and I got myself 8 delicious ounces of Autumn Spice.

It arrived last night and I didn't even shed my heels and suit before I was spinning away. We reached the front door at 6pm, by 7:30, I had spun, plied, washed and set to dry 26 yards of handspun.

Since these pictures were taken around 3:30 AM (I'm having me a little bout of insomnia, thanks for asking) there is no proper lighting. I think, all things considered, the pictures are fairly representative of the color overall, but they don't really capture some of the beautiful subtleties of the shade. It's mostly a lovely pumpkin color, with shades of a soft pink, some grey and yellow. The overall effect is amazing.

The wool is definitely not as soft as, say, a merino or alpaca, but I love it and it spins surprisingly easily on my little 0.9 oz spindle.

In addition to the 8ozs of Autumn Spice, I also got myself 4oz of the Fudge Brownie shade you'll find on the same page. I haven't even begun to spin that.

To all of you spinners out there, I'm starting to find myself overflowing with roving. I have absolutely no issues with this. I am wondering, though, what is the best way to store the stuff to avoid any problems with it as it waits for my little spindles to spin it up? It's relatively warm and dry here in LA, though I live within a very short distance of the ocean.

How do you make your knits look great?


Put a baby in them.

Jess said I could post pictures of her little one making my Dragon Hoodie look almost too cute to bear.

If you think that's cute, check out the other pictures, after the bump.

Spin spin spin


As I reported before, almost all my knitting has been on my stealth project so I can only entertain you with spinning, for now. I hope that those of you who aren't spinners aren't too bored with it all.

After such success with my soy silk roving worked on my 0.6 oz spindle, I thought I should try it on some of my other roving.

The result is about 52 yards of two ply Lace to DK weight yarn.

More yarn porn after the bump

Shine your light on me


Well, I found a couple minutes to snap a photo of my knit handspun. There's a big old window near a couple of empty work stations, in my area, and since I get to work so early, there was no one to ask, "Marnie, why are you taking pictures of a band-aid sized piece of knitting, at the office?"

Here is a picture that shows how textural the stitch is.

And this shows, fairly nicely, what the stitch really looks like.

The handspun has proven to knit up much better than I could hope. There's a gradual transition from one dominant color to the next and a subtle second color that acts like a highlight.

Here's my knitting enjoying the view. If you were able to look right, up a steep hill and into the "nice" part of town, you could also see where Leo works.

Many of you have asked about the stitch. It's the same stitch used in this cardi from Vogue Knitting

I've found a couple variations in my Harmony Guides. They refer to this one as "Star Stitch II"

I really like this stitch because of its versatility. Worked on larger needles and blocked out, it produces a lovely flower like lace stitch. Worked tightly on smaller needles, you get a great textural stitch that doesn't curl and is just unusual enough to catch peoples' attention.

The stitch is worked as follows.

With a multiple of 4+1
Star: P3 tog, but leave old stitch on left needle, yo, P same 3 stitches together, removing the old stitch from the left needle.
Rows 1 and 3: Knit
Row 2: *k1, star stitch* repeat to last stitch, k1
Row 4: k1, p1, *k1, star stitch* repeat to last 3 stitches, k1, p1, k1

Actually, I knit it slightly differently, because I knit in the Combined method, which means my knit stitches sit differently. I essentially reverse the pattern. I Purl the odd rows and I work purls between the stars and work the stars with k3togs, only, because of the way my stitches sit, it's like I've done an SSSK. I'm not sure that's actually of any interest to anyone, but there you go.

Watching sausage being made


I really want to show you images of the handspun I've been knitting. What is my problem? Lighting. I get up at 4:30 am to blog, and I've spent an hour trying to get a decent picture. It's not light out when I'm home, this time of year. While I've certainly offered my fair share of crappy photos, I genuinely do strive to have something decent to show you.

There are some bloggers who just never seem to have bad pictures up. They tend to photograph their pictures in natural light to ensure that everything looks beautiful.
I am not these bloggers, nor any of the others, who, ifI weren't so sleepy, I'd remember. Nope, I take pictures when I am ready to blog and light be damned! But it doesn't mean I don't lament my crappy photos. This morning, I took my soy silk yarn on a field trip around the house in hopes of finding a decent shot.

Go on the adventure, after the bump.

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