Thursday, December 30, 2010

FOs for the FY*!

* Finished Year

It's almost the end of the year, and I have found myself wanting to wrap up a few projects. (Which is not to say that I haven't also been starting new projects, because I have, but it's been good to feel like I'm clearing out both my list of stuff OTN, and the mental space devoted to those projects.) Yesterday, after putting some solid hours of work into it, I finished up the Tibetan Clouds Stole (my Rav project here). I cast this one on at the beginning of March, so it's been a long-term project. That was mostly by design; I knew with the beads that this was not going to be portable, which always slows things down. I also had put quite a bit of effort into finding the perfect yarn in the perfect color with the perfect beads, and I was happy to take my time with this one, enjoying the process and the feel of the yarn and the fact that I never once wondered whether I'd made the right choices. However, as I approached the end, and started to see the number of pattern repeats decreasing, I began to want to be done. And then I began to badly want to be done. So it was nice to get to the end yesterday.

I soaked it and spent the better part of an hour wiring it up and pinning it out to dry. (As I did that, I thought about the fact that this is going to be one of those shawls that makes non-knitters say things like "You should sell things like this! You'd make a fortune!" and that they never never understand just how many hours go into making a shawl like this, and that no-one will pay what those hours are worth, let alone enough for me to make a fortune. I knit things like this for my own pleasure, and if I give them away, that is also for my pleasure. I wish that knitters were paid what such things are worth, but it's my impression that we, typically, are not.) And then I waited.
And waited.
And waited.
The waiting time was not wasted, of course. I put it out to block just before dinner last night (leftover duck stew and the last of the baguettes, retrieved from the freezer), and after that was done, we watched a movie while I worked on the second Silk Road sock. As of this morning, they, too, are finished.
They are even now soaking for their own blocking session. (ETA: These have blocked out even better than I thought; they may end up fitting me after all. Poor Younger Daughter...) I think I forgot to show you my absolute favorite bit of these socks: I kitchenered the toe shut in two colors so the stripes go right over the toe. I am charmed to pieces by this.
The project details for this one (on yet another Rav project page): my own pattern (which I will write up), in Spud and Chloe Fine, a silk/merino blend that I highly recommend - I loved working with this yarn, and I love that it comes in solids that are this bright and vivid. Knitted on two size 2 circular needles.

I wasn't the only one who spent yesterday playing with fiber. Older Daughter, she of the first FO, spent the day playing with dye pots. For Christmas, she received a natural dye kit (from us, but honestly, this is something she wanted!), and yesterday she dyed up her first batch (some undyed handspun that I'd been saving for just this purpose, some natural-colored wool I had in stash). The results?
Four ounces of lovely purple yarn. I wonder what she'll make with it (assuming I don't thieve it first)? I'll get the dye details from her, but I believe that lac was involved.

And then this morning, finally, the shawl was dry. And the rain had stopped (we're getting hammered with rain these days). I actually dressed up to take some outside shots of it.
The central motif makes me very happy.
It's like a mandala, isn't it?
The edges are just gorgeous, too, and I love the way that the beads run all the way up the sides, between those little eyelets (you can't see them well in that picture, but trust me, they're there).
It's long enough to wear with both edges hanging back over my shoulders.
Or hanging down. (Can you tell I'm not used to the sun after all that rain? Look at me squint!)

All in all, a successful project, I think.
Project details: Tibetan Clouds Stole by Sivia Harding. Knitted out of Sundara Yarn Fingering Silky Merino, which may be one of my very favorite yarns ever; every single stitch was a joy. The beads are dark amber silver lined glass beads. Size five needles. (In fact, finished on my brand-new Signature circular needles, which it turns out I absolutely adore - more on that later - thank you, beloved SIL!)

In case I don't manage to post before Saturday, I wish all of you a happy and peaceful New Year, filled with family and friends and health and fiber and time in which to enjoy all of them.


Jane said...

Wow, that's gorgeous. Well done to your daughter too, that yarn has come out a beautiful colour. Hope she finds a suitable project for it soon

Wanderingcatstudio said...

The shawl is absolutely gorgeous!
And LOVE the toes on the socks!

Rachel said...

Very beautiful and you look so elegant in it! I love your socks too.

Happy, healthy new year to you and all your family.

Anonymous said...


That's the sound of me being knocked back on my heels and perhaps even breaking a wee bone. Jocelyn, that shawl is a guaranteed heirloom, and amazing and beautiful and awe-inspiring to we who wield needles. Wowie.

After that, what will you pull off next year? :)

twinsetellen said...

I said it on Rav, but I'll say it here, too. The shawl is fabulous. You're right, the muggles will say gee, you could make money selling those things, but the instant I saw it I knew it had already yielded tremendous treasure.

And the socks just make me smile, especially the 2 color Kitchener, which is exactly what I did on some mittens a few years ago. So satisfying.

One question before I go - is there enough room in your house for two stashes? From the looks of that purple yarn, your daughter has started hers off quite notably.

twinsetjan said...

Sometimes it's handy to have a clone...twinsetellen said it all!

Mary Lou said...

That stole is breathtaking even in the photo. When people say 'you could sell those' I just take it as a compliment from a non handcraft person who really has no idea, but likes the product. Those toes are great, don't you love when you do a little detail like that, even if no one else sees it? Best wishes for the New Year.


I really love how long that stole is, as well as the pattern. When you write up the sock pattern, will you post it or publish it somewhere?

All the best for 2011, and may your FOs be many!

Nana Sadie said...

OMG. Tibetan Clouds is STUNNING! And yes, I've been asked the same thing and no, they literally fall in the floor when you tell them what your price would be (I've thought this through you see), they just have no clue how much goes into knitting something like that. As always, you blow me away with your expertise.

The socks - you may be "Charmed to Pieces" but I'm in awe. I can do that with fabric, but can't imagine kitchenering those stripes evenly!

DD's dying is also gorgeous - don't you dare theive it - it's HERS!
Happy New Year!

perches said...

Oh, your stole is GORGEOUS! Such pretty lace, and such a great length for wearing :) Nice work.

EGunn said...

What a great way to finish off the year! The stole is absolutely beautiful, and I'm in love with your socks.

Good use of Christmas as an enabling tool. It appears that Older Daughter has skill with the dyepots; that could be a very handy thing to have in the family. =)

Stell said...

Wow, what a simply amazing shawl .... and grafting in two colours! What an amazing end to the year, I hope that there are many many occasions to wear both of your latest pieces - and the new year is a 'good-one'.

Carrie#K said...

Poor Younger Daughter. That's the way the socks block! lol.

The stole is gorgeous. It's exactly what non-knitters think we can make our fortune on. I wish.

Happy new year! Hope it's treating you well so far!

Amanda said...

Beautiful lace shawl! I love the stripes on the bottom of the socks too.

Gwen said...

The socks are amazing. I'd love to see them for real. Very nice toes! Clever!

The shawl is gorgeous gorgeous gorgeous. Aren't we lucky we get to make such things for fun?

(If you don't steal the purple yarn from your daughter, I might if given half a chance)

Happy New Year!

Rachael said...

The shawl is gorgeous, kudos to you on that! You make me think vaguely about starting mine...then I have to STOP and think about all my lace ufos..too many!!

And the socks are such fun, congrats on the design, very nice!!!

kim tyler said...

Joce - that's an absolutely gorgeous shawl. I love it on you! You look so CUTE!!!!

Alwen said...

The shawl is indeed gorgeous, but I have to say Sunshine! Green grass!

All is snowy here.
(Fairly local-to-me webcam that might or might not work: )

Lynne said...

Great dyeing job, OD - well done.

The shawl is just beautiful. I have added it to my Rav queue. I was looking for something to knit for DD when she is feeding GB#2 at night in winter - may be this is it!