Saturday, January 19, 2008

Dogi, part 1

On a quick potty break from my booth at the Finger Lakes Fiber Festival last September, I happened upon Maggie Alexander's booth, and while I did not have much time to linger then, I made a mental note to stop by again when a had a few more minutes to look and fondle.  The next day I looked, I fondled and I purchased 2 pounds of a blue-faced leicester/merino/angora blend.  One in the salmony color below and another in a darker tealish color. I am a sucker for angora and a sucker for BFL.  So if they are together I am impressed that I stopped at 2 pounds. 

 When I started spinning the fiber I noticed that the pound was 12 ounces.  I knew it must have been a mistake so contacted Maggie, who was very apologetic. She actually sent me a whole 'nother pound to play with!  The new pound is a little darker than the original but softer and looks like it has more angora in it.  I am a happy spinner with that.  I started spinning the original salmony 'small pound',  intending it for a sleeveless sweater and only got as far as 5 ounces plied together.  That was in early November.  Holiday Knitting took hold around Thanks giving so very little spinning got done until a week or so ago. 

By then I had found Knit Kimono. I try to keep my buying of knitting books to ones that have at least 2 patterns in them I'd like to knit.  This one has 3 or more, plus it is beautifully designed and illustrated as well as having a short interesting history of Japanese kimono fashion.  A delightful read and a pleasure to page through.  As soon as I saw it I immediately decided to change from the sleeveless vest (well I hadn't knit one stitch on it yet) to the Dogi vest on page 29.  Do you do that too?  I find I am very susceptible to being enthused by a new pattern and then, if I have not started it very soon, can be swayed to an even newer one when I see it.

As I read the pattern I realized I probably did not have enough of either ball to do the whole thing so I have decided to make stripes.
I just couldn't wait to get it all the yarn spun up.  I wanted to start this vest right away.  This is the first time I have spun a bit, started a project and plan to continue spinning as I knit.  I am looking forward to it. In the past I have spun and spun and spun and then decided to make something (or not), but this is the opposite.  I am curious to see which I prefer, or maybe it will be both.

I have even made a swatch. Pat pat.  Well, it was necessary as this book shows garments that fit skinny models and I am far from a skinny anything. Using the needles suggested, my swatch is 4 sts/in while the pattern calls for 4.5.  Also I am getting 5 rows to the inch while the pattern is expecting 6.  This is actually good.  I have done some math and think this will make a longer vest, as I wanted, and a wider one (hopefully not too wide).

Here's the beginning of the vest. It's knit side to side and starts with 2 provisional cast on's. See my innovation already at work?   I used the 9 inch cables from my Denise kit. They are working extremely well. I did notice though that the first row after the cast on was a bit tight in terms of moving around but after that it goes quite smoothly.
The cable cast on used to attach the two provisional pieces takes forever but does produce a nice edge.  It also gave me time to notice all the neat bits of color in this yarn - blue of course, plus some gold, orchid and red.

Next I will do a combination of the darker ball plied with some merino/tussah in blues that go oh so well with the bits of blue in the roving for the button pattern ribs. However this is as far as I have gotten on that part.  Only another half ounce to spin here.

 So I have some spinning to do but I have not gotten to the first stripe in the knitting yet.  There should be plenty of time.  I'm am so looking forward to spinning the fiber ball with the extra angora in it that that alone should keep me going.    
Well.... I do have that helmet liner to finish, I suppose. I did tink it back and it was no problema to get it going again.  Must have been mercury retrograde or something.  
The new fiber is calling.


Penelope of Flitwick said...

I am a spinner also.
Glad we are in the same house!

Heather said...

I love seeing how you're planning your projects out. Good job, and that is gorgeous!