she spins seacell at the seashore

Posted on Posted in designing, projects, spinning and fiber

this is linda. linda is very happy (i know, you can’t tell from the photo, but . . .). she’s been spinning seacell that she purchase from creatively dyed at the fiber fair a couple of weeks ago and she is pretty happy with herself (and it).

you may also have deduced that linda is completely smitten with spinning; a mere few months after starting our class, she is fully immersed in it. we all look forward to sundays just to see how happy she is to be there. i’m not kidding—we’ve seen her cry from joy right in my own so-called dining room.

she can’t keep her hands off anyone else’s fiber either

this is some fiber from three bags full, purchased by anne marie at the trading post booth (we see them at a lot of fiber fairs and they are always patient and good to us as we paw through everything in their booth, exclaiming loudly and blocking anyone else from getting near the good stuff.)

here’s what it looks like spun up

mmm, tweedy. we likee.

we had a very silly but productive day in class yesterday, even though we weren’t actually at the seashore and susan wasn’t here (susan, you missed a good one). everyone has begun experimenting with knitting up their first handspun and things get fairly exciting when that happens. linda knit up some hot waffles with yarn from the corriedale batt she spun up during august.

here we have some of the singles, some 2-ply yarn, and then the finished mmitts. nice, right?
linda mentioned that she used the unicorn fibre wash and rinse samples that anna sent her and is very pleased with the result—nice and soft.

not to be outdone by any measure, anne marie brought her “dog walking” sweater that she’s knitting from her first batch of handspun ( i love that—a dog walking sweater—it sounds sooo romantic. why don’t i have a dog?? uh, on second thought, don’t answer that. we all know why).

anyhow . . . she’s knitting the flyingdales sweater (ravelink) from a fine fleece by lisa lloyd in a 2-ply yarn she spun from romney/alpaca blend produced locally by per ardua farm (no website, but click to contact them).

how excellent is that?? it’s really, really good, i can tell you; much better in person that in the photo. here’s a shot of the cables and yarn up close (why is handspun yarn to hard to photograph . . . anybody?)

i trudged away on my dark brown lincoln/corriedale/nylon blend sock yarn; it’s almost done, though. i had hopes of spinning more this past week now that the garden is pretty much spent, but i worked on my sweater too much to accomplish that.

on their way out at noon, they were distracted by a couple of small FOs which got blocked the other day and an impromptu modeling session ensued

it is nice to see the neckwarmers on something other than an inanimate dress form.

after class i spent the afternoon blocking my sweater body, which i finished up on saturday night.
i have a nice big pressing bench in my workroom for projects like this

i got used to using a bench like this when i worked in the garment business and an ironing board just feels foreign to me now. mine is big enough to pin out a whole sweater at once, for which i am very grateful. we cobbled it together from a discarded cabinet, some MDF and a layer of homasote (which accepts pins and reacts to moisture quite nicely, and wow, do they have an informative website . . .), all covered over with wool batting and muslin.

i pinned the whole body piece out to the finished size, then covered it with a wet towel and made steam by touching the towel with a hot iron and no pressure.
the difference in the fabric is unbelievable

not just the way it looks since we saw it last, but the way it feels and drapes . . . it’s incredible. blocking is magic, eh?

that’s the full frontal view pre-collar and button bands. if i wore vests, i would make one of these without the sleeves (hmm, maybe my mom would like one?). and when we produce the pattern, i’ll add instructions for doing just that.

i wanted to start the sleeves real bad right away, but then thought i should get the most fiddly parts finished before my week gets out of hand. so last night i added the collar and button bands

i used the same rib as i used at the bottom hem, and put in one-row buttonholes—i like these the best if i need a hole bigger than one stitch (for which i then use an eyelet).

these last few photos show the color of the yarn really well—it has very deep, nearly-black tones of blues, greens, and plums which have been difficult to photograph accurately most of the time. several people have witten to ask how much yarn they would need to make a sweater with this glory days yarn, and while i can’t speak for every pattern or size, two skeins should be enough for almost anyone—the skeins are large at 1000 yards each (i’ll use about 1200-1300 total yards for my sweater).

i’m going to use these horn (antler?) buttons that i purchased at our local fiber festival a couple of years ago. we have a vendor (i can’t remember her name and i have no label) who offers them each year; i think someone in her family makes them

they have a wonderfully rustic natural gray color and irregular shape that contrasts well with the formality of the tartan fabric (and maybe they add a hint of wild scottish highland-ness to the whole thing? or, maybe that’s just my romantic side speaking again.).

i started my sleeves in class this morning and plan to knit as much as i can this week to finish them and complete the sweater—hopefully by the end of the week.
and if i’m going to meet that goal, i better go work on it.

39 thoughts on “she spins seacell at the seashore

  1. By “hard to photograph” do you mean the glare/refraction you’re getting? As a general rule, handspun wool has a less consistent texure and more lanolin than chemically stripped, weary commercial yarn. Thus, the light path is much more complex with handspun. It used to be true also that handspun would rarely have a level dye job while commercial yarn would be uniform in hue and saturation…

  2. OMG I am **loving** the way the cables curve around the armholes and I am a vesty kinda gal so really look forward to this one showing up in the shop! The way I’m going I should just stick to your site and knit only Anne Hanson patterns–I have quite a few of yours on the needles and more lined up when I’m finished the first ones!

    Cheers, Barbie O.

  3. wow, it seems like that sweater has flown! very pretty.(truthfully, i think i’m just smitten by the cables. cables will be my downfall…)

  4. The more I see that sweater yarn, the more I fall in love. So complex. So my colors (dark, jewel tones, with black). Wow.

    I met Chris at Wisconsin Sheep & Wool last month. One of my friends was just leaving as I got to the fiber fest (late, I had to work, and I live on the other side of Wisconsin), but she said she had just been back to Briar Rose for the 3rd time that day(!). When I made it there, I knew why, and I had an awful lot of fun. Most of the yarn that followed me home was in my usual blue-green-wine colorways, with one silvery yarn that will make a gorgeous shawl, but the WHOLE POINT of this digression is that I have a skein of Glory Days also, in an atypical for me autumnal colorway.

    This lovely BFL is earmarked for a shawl pattern of my own design, which I knit in the past and want to refine and share, since people keep asking for the pattern, but now years later, I have improvements in mind. But I do want to test knit them first! Plus, right now, I have a wonky thumb that doesn’t like purling, and the shawl is adapted from Seafoam stitch, so basically garter stitch.

    I am not sure what to do with 1000 yards of DK weight yarn, though, as far as winding. I don’t want to break the yarn if possible. If I may ask, how did you wind it for your sweater? I’ve knit from the skein at times, but this is an awful lot of yarn. And I’d like to knit it on the way to Rhinebeck. Obviously way too much for my ball winder; I’ve heard of using a tube to wind on, or I did buy a cone winder from eBay but it has no directions and I’ve not ventured to figure it out yet, nor do I know if I have the right size cones to use on it….

    Anyway, the many and lovely sweater textures look great with this yarn, as they would with a less richly colored yarn too. Good for you, getting the bands done! And what beautiful bands they are, seriously. ; )

  5. Oh wow. Love the fiber, the yarn, and the spinners. The sweater and the antler buttons are awesome. I hope we get that!

  6. How on earth do you knit so quickly? The sweater has really grown since the last time I saw it in the blog. It looks like it is going to be amazing.

  7. Gorgeous–and slipped in there was a phrase that is music to my ears “when we produce the pattern.” 🙂

    Your sweaters are beautiful–I like the way you combine simple elements in a sophisticated and novel way.


  8. Great sweater! It’s a nicely balanced design. Looking forward to seeing it finished. You should be easy to spot at Rhinebeck.

  9. Wow you are cruising on that sweater! I think you’ll make it in time. 🙂 The neckwarmers look even better on real people. :p

  10. Did I see the words “produce the pattern” pop up in your post? oooh, goody, goody, goody, tee hee. hehehe. LOVE the sweater! And the yarn’s color texture doesn’t clash with the stitch texture. It’s actually enhanced by it. What a beauty!! Yay!

  11. love your sweater. and yeah, I agree blocking is magic.

    how very fun to watch new spinners become fiber-holics like the rest of us. 🙂

  12. The sweater will look fab on you, the colors and style are so you ! And I agree, Briar Rose yarns are truly georgous !
    I have knitted a shawl with my handspun yarn a while ago and it was a great experience, so I can totally relate to the ladies in your spinnning class. They did such a great job !

  13. OMG what awesomeness in one post. Not only yourself (brilliant and with beautiful knitting as always) but brilliant spinners with gorgeous stuff on wheels and needles! I love the seacell… will she navajo-ply it to keep the colour changes? And I adore the mitts… and can I say that the photos of the dog-walking sweater had me drooling… looks warm and yummy and just right!

    I love how your sweater turns out. It is wonderful to see it in all it’s stages of work. Really helps me envision the process a lot! Maybe I’ll even have the courage to make one from scratch one day too 😉

  14. Of course, I love all your “stuff” but I can’t wait until this sweater pattern is available….I can’t knit fast enough…..

  15. Your spinning class has some beautiful yarn and projects going. YAY for them!! I love the Fylingdales cardigan. It’s on my must-knit list too.

    Knowing you, you’ll have the sleeves for your sweater done in record time.

  16. Anne, you are amazing!!! The sweater is gorgeous and I can’t wait to see the sleeves and the completed project.

    The handspun yarns are also gorgeous. I was drooling over it. What a nice morning greeting.

  17. I was just thinking how badly I want to finish the sweater I’ve been working on as it’s really cut into my sock and scarf knitting time and then I read this post. Doomed, doomed, I say! (But in a most wonderful way!)

  18. Beautiful – I love the side cables. As always, it’s fun to follow along with the various steps of your projects via pictures. Very instructional (Doesn’t that sound dry?! But no, it’s not.) as well as interesting.

    And the neck warmers look even better on people than a dress form!

  19. I am going to have to retire and knit full time just to start to begin to barely keep up with you!

    The sweater is scrumptious! You truly have a gift!

  20. The buttons look to be antler, rather than horn; in any case, they and the sweater are lovely. I’m always so impressed by how rapidly you must knit, Anne – I think I’d need a lifetime of knitting constantly to become half as quick.

    I really appreciate the WIP and “process” photos (e.g. the pressing bench) on your blog. I just went back through some of your older posts because I’m knitting socks for the first time, and I was afraid I had everything backwards. I was reassured to find that so far, so good, at least with the double points. We’ll see what happens when I get to the heel. 😉

  21. I absolutely adore your sweater. I love seeing your spinning class having so much fun too. And love seeing what they are making. You are clearly an excellent teacher. Wish I could swing a class from you sometime…

    I look forward to the sweater pattern. It’s a really nice, restrained but interesting one and I can think of 3 people to make one for already. Naturally the first one of the three is me.

  22. Does this mean–I hope, I hope–that you are going to start designing sweaters too???

    Oh please, oh please!!

  23. Love those buttons, with the glorious sweater… and a question, tho you may have mentioned in an earlier post… at the lovely lacy neck warmers going in the pattern shop?

  24. Just beautiful! Any and all of the people, yarn and patterns! I’ve now added at least one or ten more things to the line of “next” to be done. I’ll be a great-grandma before I get them knit!

  25. Linda is a real joy and everyone who is priveleged enough to call her a friend is a rich woman. I am a rich woman because she is my friend. It is wonderful to see her sooooo happy and so emmersed in spinning, something she has wanted to do for as long as I have known her. Relish in her friendship and sunshine, there is no one quite like her in all the world. Pat

  26. I too have caught the spinning bug, actually drop spinning, but I feel I’m just around the corner to investing in a wheel, but I’ll have to invest in one that is best for beginners, so I have some research to do, without out making an overpriced investment. Something modest to start out with.

  27. Wow, great sweater! I have to admit, when you were knitting it, I was so-so about it, but after blocking, I see it’s beautiful! Oh the magic in blocking!

    Great job, as always!

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