Inspired Spinning

So, handspun scarf is going to hit the frog-pond. Ann will not be getting a handspun pink scarf from me tomorrow night. I hate hate hate this scarf, hate the gauge, hate the density, hate the rough edges, hate everything about it.

I hate that I tried to make this gift for her and I am giving up on it.

The hardest part about being me is that I have the attention span of a gnat. Oktoberfest socks are underway, and that is lovely and all, but I am in the mood to knit lace. The Faroese from A Gathering of Lace is underway, but each row is still about 400 stitches and takes upwards of 45 minutes to knit a row, so I get about two rows done per day with the breaks of doing real life work, parenting the cutest not-quite-two-year-old in the world, and playing, I must confess, FarmTown on Facebook. For the record, I have knit 10 rows, for roughly 4100 stitches, and my shawl is less than an inch long at this point. And scrunched together on 29″ needles, it looks pretty miniscule.

Even with all the goings on in my life, there is plenty of time in the day, and I am spending much of that either looking online at knitting and spinning stuff, or I am spinning.

Last night, I was inspired by the fact that my Mother keeps mentioning over and over how much she likes my lace shawls and how pretty they are and how she wants to show them off, which translates to me as “I really want a lace shawl.” I asked her point blank and her answer was not “No” but “I just don’t wear a lot of shawls,” which further translates to me “I don’t wear shawls because I don’t own one.”

Could be way off base, but I think she wants a shawl. I picked up 8 ounces of Ashland Bay colonial top in colorway Golden Rod at Pennsic.

Photobucket (Picture borrowed from Ashland Bay Trading Company, whose fibers I adore and have spun since my earliest days and am not being paid to say so.)

When spun, it has the faintest golden glimmer to it.

Photobucket (This is a sample I cabled while at Pennsic, but it does give you an idea of the colors and sheen.)

I decided last night to see if I could coach some lace weight yarn off my Ms. Louet S-10, which is not designed to produce lace weight without some modifications, but I worked hard and slowly at it, and didn’t do too badly. I spun a sample of probably 50 yards of 2-ply yarn, probably more fingering weight than lace, but not bad all things considered.

First, I entertained thoughts of knitting the Feather and Fan Shawl (Rav link) from A Gathering of Lace, which I do have designs on, but I was quickly overwhelmed by the idea that I would need about almost a quarter of a mile of yarn to accomplish that. I backed down.

Then, this morning, as I looked at patterns on Ravelry, one of the first to appear because almost anyone who can wield a needle has knit it, I spotted the Swallowtail Shawl (PDF link). 516 yards of fingering weight (which is what I am calling my GoldenRod yarn until I actually test it out) is very reasonable when I have 8 ounces of wool to spin. With the addition of some amber and olive green seed beads, it will have some weight, some sparkle (which is what my Mom is really after) and the nice woodsy, Autumn coloring that she loves almost as much as she loves southwestern colors.

Here’s to inspiration. Now I just need an attention span.

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