07 April 2010

unexpected inspirations

Today I'm thinking about all the things that inspire me when I work with fiber. First, there's all the patterns that are available to knit with. I love the way that cables twist and bend stitches into a braided organic form. On the top of a mitten or down the front of a sweater, it doesn't matter where they're knit, they always capture my attention and interest.

This mitten is a tag team effort between my mother, Julie, and my cousin, Ashley. My mom spun the yarn from some of our gray CVM Romeldale top and Ashley found the pattern and knit the mitten. It's called Cruiser and its free on Ravelry.

Here's another collaboration between my mother and Ashley, some hand-painted hand-spun inspired by the colors in a peacock's feather. They did this over Ashley's spring break.

Their process involves winding a very large skein of fiber (I'm talking at least a fifteen foot segment) between two chairs and then draping it over a tabletop and painting the color segments with foam brushes. Next, the fiber goes into a pot to steam for about an hour. Finally it is rinsed and hung out to dry.

Here's another effort of my mother's. The middle skein is an example of our Barn Raising colorway, spun into a double-ply, worsted weight yarn.

The gray fiber beside it is a sample of the top that we dyed over to get this colorway and also the same top that we spun "straight up" to get the gray yarn in the mitten on top.

There's so much that you can do with this fiber!

Here's one last image that I couldn't resist posting. I guess my point is: sometimes when you're inspired you get unexpected results. Our hens have been up to some shenanigans in the hen house. My Mom discovered these wildly varying eggs last week.

Underneath, is a hank of dyed roving that we call Mermaids in the Basement. This fiber is perfect for socks. I like to spin it with a bit of "overtwist" so that the final stitches slant slightly when they're knit.

I hope you're inspired and/or surprised today. (Preferably both.)

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