Thursday, September 15, 2011

Cap Complete!

I finished my In-Between Seasons Cap that I knit in my lovely handspun 3 ply yarn.

I've had this yarn labelled and on my store shelves for a while.  One day it called out to me and said "Hey, I'd feel great wrapped around your head!".  And if you knit, you just know, that when a yarn calls to is time to listen (in other words, if you hear little voices in your head, it might be time to slow down and knit yourself something!)

The yarn was homegrown. I carded some fibre from my bay-black Cyrano with some lovely dark Polwarth lamb fleece. The colour is of the very darkest chocolate. It was spun and navajo-plied on my Lendrum DT.
This is a picture of my alpaca, Cyrano.  This picture was taken when he was about 3 or 4 years old.  By then, he had won a few show ribbons and would have just started his breeding career.  He is 8 now and has sired several offspring.

It was a good thing that I really enjoyed knitting the hat.  The pattern told me to start my decreases after I had 4 inches knit from the edge.  As I knit a few decrease rows, I had a feeling that I might end up with a hat that was too short for my big fluffy-haired head.  But I also feared getting to the end of my one ball of this handspun before getting to finish the hat.  So I took the chance, continued to knit the whole thing and as suspected, it didn't cover my ears.  I also had a good size ball left.  I ended up ripping the hat half back and putting in an additional 1.5 inches before the decreases.  I'm so happy that I did.  I love this hat, in the look, the fit, the colour and the OMG-its-so-soft yarn.  I may knit another hat in this pattern.  I enjoyed the twisted stitch patterns.

I've been taking advantage of the nice fall weather to get my raw fibre skirted and sorted in the shearing shed.  This is the tedious work that goes on between the day of shearing and the day that the fibre can be sent to the mill, but it needs to be done properly to ensure that the yarn is of top quality.  Because my shear shed isn't complete weatherproof, the day must be warm, not raining and not windy.  If I don't get it done while the weather outside is nice, then I have to drag my skirting table into the sunroom for the winter.  Skirting raw fleeces is a dirty job and I don't like having to do it in the house.

Dyeing is something else that I like to do before winter as well.  I heat the dyepots in my sunroom where the windows can be opened and the rest of the house is closed off from the smell of hot vinegar.

I've added a skill to my knitting bag - the Twisted German Cast On.  My friend showed me how to do this particular cast on method on a sock that I had started about 10 months ago!  The one sock languished in my knitting bag for a long time.  I recently picked it up and finished that sock.  Then I couldn't remember that cast on method that she had shown me.  YouTube to the rescue again!  It didn't take me long to find the KnitWitch video on Twisted German Cast On .  I cast on using the two needles of the circular held together.  This makes a nice, loose, stretchy edge on the top of my sock.

Do you look for something to put on your knitting needles as soon as the weather starts to turn cool?


Wooly Knits n Bits said...

That hat is just beautiful. The cable edge really adds to it. I marked that pattern as a favorite on Rav.
I'm eager to have a look at that fiber you have in the dye pot too.
Must get to doing some skirting too.

farmer said...

I love it!
I have been itching to get at some knitting,thinking a cowl will be my first project.
I love when the weather allows for wearing wool!

Mountaindreamers said...

one can not have too many hats! your alpaca are precious!

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Yes, Mountaindreamers, my alpacas are precious.
And Farmer - I love when the weather gets cool...I know I can wear my nice alpaca\wool things PLUS, after the farm is winter-ready, we have a couple months of mostly sitting, spinning and knitting time!
Wooly - I love that twisted cable edge...I'm thinking of making a jacket with that along the edges...wouldn't that be classic!

Azure Islands Designs said...

Love the hat Norma...having said that...I'm not a hat person but if I was that would be the one for me...seriously! Simple but with a great cable edge that adds a very classy feel to the hat! :~)

I used to knit a great deal about 15 or so yrs ago...mostly sweaters, mitts,and scarves...I couldn't get the hang of hats??? I acutally think about knitting almost every fall...must be the need for warmth. :~)

I think a sweater with the cable would be gorgeous...can't wait to see it...


Leigh said...

Don't you just love YouTube? Your dyepot is lovely, such pretty colors. ANd so is that cap! Very well spun and knitted.

luckybunny said...

The hat is gorgeous, I just love the color. Your Alpaca is stunning, he's one handsome guy. I'm hoping to get to work this winter, I'm still a very new beginner but hopefully when things slow down I can get back to work. I bought some DVD's to help me as I get further along, I've figured out the basics thankfully lol.

Prudence Puddleduck said...

Your inspiration has struck a SPARK! Love your stories & your yarn...

Norma from Misty Haven Alpacas said...

Thank you,
Azure, Leigh, Luckybunny and Prudence for the kind comments.
It makes me happy when I can spark someone else's creativity, Prudence!