This week has been the absolute pits. Duane has been sick with a couple of different issues for most of the month. First, it was the flu; apparently not swine flu, but a heinous flu nonetheless. Now it is something unidentifiable but causing him tremendous pain. He is getting by on Viocodin and sheer force of will.

Then I caught a cold. Not the flu thankfully. I thought it was just allergies, but no such luck. I am on my second day home, but today at least, I am home by myself without a spunky toddler to chase or a agonized husband to fret about.

After needing a reboot on the morning, I am calmer, resting again instead of cleaning and throwing stuff away. A pot of coffee has prevented me from sleeping again, but I am slowly feeling a little better.

Except my thumb. I made biscuits for breakfast/lunch, my ultimate comfort food. When I pulled them out of the oven, the oven mitt I used had a burn hole in it I failed to notice, and as a result, I have a spectacular blister on my right thumb. Right across where my working needle rests.

Spectacular. I tried to take a picture, but taking a picture, left handed, of a close up of my right thumb, was awkward, and worse, the pictures I did get all looked exactly like I was posting pictures of an erect penis. No kidding. Let’s just see what Google hits THAT brings, shall we? Anyway, burns are the most painful injury I have experienced, particularly the blistery-type. I contemplated cutting my thumb off for a hot minute, but remembered I couldn’t knit or spin very well without a right thumb. Time for a typing break until the pain lets up.

I have been doing a lot of spinning lately. I am only 8 rows from finishing the Swallowtail Shawl and I am about to come up short on yarn, so I have spent some time this morning working on another skein to hopefully finish out. Want a peek?


Last weekend, I worked on a sample of the Agate colourway of combed Colonial top from Ashland Bay I got at Pennsic. It is a funny thing: when I lusted over this wool in the Brush Creek Wool Works booth, I remembered it being gray with a lot blue and some reddish-brown blended in. I sort of figured on it spinning up into a bluish-gray yarn with some brown heathered in to give it a bit of warmth.


What you get, is this:

The blue actually shows up better in the photo than it does in real life. To be honest, the only colors that show up when you actually look at it are gray and black.

Here is a swatch of it:
(Sorry for the terrible photo; it is a cloudy day and with no natural light, all my pictures are coming out poorly.)

Looks like steel gray once knitted up. I have nothing against gray; I like gray (some of my best friends are gray! HaHA!.) It is just that this isn’t how I imagined it, and it isn’t the color I was looking for for its intended project. (If you can guess the project based on the swatch I posted, you get a gold star.) I bought ice blue beads and some rootbeer colored beads to go with the yarn, thinking they would go so nicely with the bluish-gray yarn with the anticipated heathered brown in it, but in truth, I think they will look odd. Black beads will probably work best, which I have too, but it just is not what I was looking for.

So while that is a bit of a disappointment, let me tell you what is NOT a disappointment (and be prepared for the crappy pictures, because again…no sunlight today!).

Ashland Bay- Colourway- Northern Lights. The camera will just not focus right on the skein.

It wont focus on the bobbin.

It just won’t focus on this yarn. Probably because it is so beautiful that it would break the camera…we will go with that theory and blame the equipment and not the operator.

I am in absolute love with this yarn. I bought this top YEARS ago at Pennsic from the same Brush Creek Wool Works merchant. What was once 8 ounces is down to a piddley 2-3 ounces, having wasted or sold off the rest in the intervening years, which I now tremendously regret, as I now have a very serious purpose for this yarn.

For a while, I was dreaming about going and spending the money on Perchance to Knit’s Midnight Rainbow. What does one do with 1250 yards of stunning silk/merino handdyed yarn? Why, you knit this:

(Picture is borrowed from Fiddlesticks Knitting…go buy their stuff!)

When I found this pattern on Ravelry, I think I gasped out loud. I have a thing for peacock coloring (blues, greens, iridesence, all the trimmings!) and the beauty of the pattern just struck me so deeply that I havent been able to let it go. I am in love with this pattern.

So, reading back through the archives on the Yarnharlot’s blog, I saw she knitted the Peacock Feathers Shawl in the Midnight Rainbow yarn (which makes sense since the other name for the yarn is now Yarnharlot’s Peacock), and the enchantment was complete. Until I saw the price of this silk/merino lace weight wonder.

$60. Six. Zero. Dollars. Can’t do it. Just cannot. Knitting is not my source of income, it is not bringing me anything but joy, and $60 yarn would ultimately only bring me pain after an initial burst of exultant adoration.

So when I started spinning the AB Northern Lights top, and seeing the color blend I was getting, I realized I might be able to achieve the color I want without paying Six Zero Dollars. My piddley little three ounces isnt enough, but I can always get more in this colourway and Ashland Bay is consistent enough that there wont be a dyelot issue.

But as I have neither enought top or even the Peacock Feather’s shawl pattern yet, I might as well get back to spinning the thing at hand: my mom’s Swallowtail Shawl.


One response to this post.

  1. I have a thing for peacock colors, too. And the Peacock Feathers shawl is in my queue as well! I haven’t yet found the right yarn for it but maybe once I get better at spinning I’ll aim for that. I can’t wait to see how yours turns out!


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