Friday, March 28, 2014

The big alpaca adventure

In other words from fiber to knitted item...
Once upon a time, there arrived a box, full of alpaca fiber, in the state as it was cut from the animal.
It was soft for sure and it was white...well kind of. It was full of all kinds of things.Hay, and stray, and wood and seeds, even a bit of alpaca poop.
We went through it bits like bits, picking and picking out all that vegetable matter, and picked out more, and some more.
No, not this much, a lot more. 
Then it went to have a bath in the bathtub. Then an other and an other, and I think I lost counting somewhere between the ninth and the twelfth change of the water. After the first few round here was a few cm thick mud at the bottom of the bathtub.
Then it dried in the middle of my living room. Thakfully I have a child, who is well trained since his birth, doesn't even bats an eye when a blanket of wet alpaca appears in the middle of the living room, just casually steps over it. While drying I was pulling the fiber apart, and picking out even more VM.
Then I carded it.
Then I spun it...and I've started knitting it.
And knitted, and knitted. Then blocked.
Then made some pictures.
And close ups...
And more pictures. Then I packed it and sent it away, back to where it originally came from.
The alpaca fiber came as a SAPGAP deal From Sandy Kunath.Sandy, thank you for letting me do this.After all that washing and picking and carding, it turned out the softest and whitest alpaca I ever dealt with. Half of it was dyed and spun DK weight with beads, a topic for an upcoming post. This neckwarmer was made out of the part we put away as the dirtiest, and roughes part.
I have to thank Krisztina for all her help, keeping me company, breaking her back  picking the fiber with me, and help out with the carding.
And Zsóka for letting me use (even lending it over Xmas time) her carder.
The neck warmer is based on the Drops pattern 155-29 (knitted it in the round, used only the last two pattern diagrams, and cannot remember the number of stitches).
Photos: Christopher Laurent Deli

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The wool of day is coming again!

It's almost here! In slightly more than a week, there will be another day of the wool.
If you happen to be in Hungary, and interested in everything, or anything about wool, fiber, spinning, weaving, knitting and whatever about wool come and join us! I am already preparing and wondering what wonders the day will bring.
I've written about the Woolday last fall here. Adrien did the same thing here.
Eszter shows her pictures of the one we held last spring here.

More info about the day here. Most of it is in Hungarian, but contact me for details.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Duty on the job..

Since I am translating the Drops patterns, I kind of feel, it is my duty to knit as many of their patterns and yarns as I can...
In their last catalog there was this little beauty, and with the coming of spring/summer, I felt the urge to knit something really light and lacy.
I had one hank of the Drops lace yarn in ice blue, which seemed perfect, so I didn't had to fight the urge.

Only minor changes to the patern itself, and that was only because I love my shawls big, and I wanted to use all of the yarn.(What could I do with 100 leters of lace?). I added a repeat to the main pattern, done twice the las four rows of the edge pattern, than added some more rows to make the edge really scallopy. I still had some yarn left over. If I would knit this again, insted of the four repeat of the main pattern, I would do not five but six, maybe even seven repeats, and leave the edging a bit narrower. And (of course???) I added beads to the edging. Just look close the pictures. Lots of beads.
The (almost) obligatory blocking pictures, because it never cease to amaze me. Someone said the Drops lace yarn wouldn't relax/grow as much as pure wool, which is logical and neither the alpaca, nor the silk is as elastic, but look:
It did grew all right.
 I said there are beads, didn't I???
This is the kind of job I like.

Monday, March 17, 2014


Striping a yarn with long color-repeats with a unicolored one always facinated me.
I finally managed a shawl like tha too.For a present (now that everyone knows that I am selfish, and do not knit for others...except when... but that is an other post. Or a whole other blog). Two skeins of Drops Delight (actually aone and enought for the last two rows and the picot edging) and two skeins of Drops alpaca silk.
If knitted it bigger than the pattern, making a few extra stripes, and increasing before the lace so it could be divided by the number of stitches in the pattern repeat plus the edge stitches). If I would knit this again for myself, I would knit it even bigger, like knit two full skeins of delight and three skeins of alpaca silk.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Rainbow Spektrum

When I've knitted my first Spektrum shawl, as a kind of a "job requirement" I've made it out of DROPS yarns. I love it, and I hardly take it off (just as the girls in Barka, even they couldn't make me). The shawl was also very succesful, pictures of it made it to the Facebook page of DROPS itself. Still, even as I knit it the first time around I had a feeling it would really, really look good in a long changing rainbow colored yarn.
So when a Facebok friend asked if I would knit one for her, I jumped on the opportunity and convinced her, that if we get into shipping it halfway around the world, we might as well go into it full, and make it from handdyed, handsoun yarn.
I already shown teh yarns to you in various stages of readyness, the rainbow colored one is about 500 meters spun out of corriedale wool.
The grey one is about 1100 meters of merino, slightly heathery.
The pattern can be found on the Drops pages here.
This one is already is on its way to Canada. I hope the recepient will love it as much as I do.
And I kind of have a feeling this was not the last version I've made of this pattern.
Pictures were shot by... does it still need to be said?
 But I never tired of putting down his name: Christopher Laurent Deli.
This last one is my favorite.