Thursday, May 13, 2010

Alicia's Cami

Alicia, my granddaughter, will be 16 in June.  Amazing to look at her baby and toddler pics ('96).
and then to think of this soccer goalie almost grown ('09).  
She's a wonderful young lady who has never been into girlie stuff.  Early on she only wanted plain jeans, no embroidery or embellishments. NO dresses either.  Her grades are excellent and she has so many interests besides soccer - reading, piano, anime and making videos.

So what to make her for this special day?  I could think of several things but needed to keep reminding myself that she lives in a very dry warm section of CA.  When I have visited in late summer the temps were often over 100 and I was warned they would be in the 90's when I go this June.  So I dithered and thought and got nowhere.

Then the spring issue of Interweave Knits arrived and in there is a nice camisole with a cabled neckline.  Aran Necklace Camisole on p 54, and on Ravelry it is here.  I know she wears cami's over t-shirts so this one became the winning contender.  Jim said he would spin the bamboo and I said I'd dye them both and spin the silk besides knitting the cami.  That might sound lopsided but considering that Jim is still spinning it is just fine.

2 ounces of cultivated silk was placed into a dye pot alongside 8 ounces of bamboo top.  They were dyed together in what I hope, to Alicia, is a neutral-ish mix of periwinkle and demim. 

Spinning the silk was a pleasure and quickly done.  Spinning the bamboo became quite a chore for Jim (gosh that stuff is stiff and sticky unless blended with something else) until I ran it all through my Pat Green Supercarder.  That machine makes a soft and pleasurable batt out of any fiber.  
Now we have yarn in both fibers ready to go.
Silk on the left, bamboo on the right and a close up of the necklace section on the bottom right.  Dyed in the same pot this is a great example of how different fibers take dyes differently. 

The pattern looked a bit off putting but I knew if I just concentrated I could do it so waited until a few necessary things were done (notice I did not say UFO's were completed) and I had some knitting space.  The necklace itself has 2 pages of instructions but they turned out to be really very clear, not social knitting but not too demanding either. 
So far about a third of the necklace section is done.
More in the next few days.

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