Uh huh. Fun times.
Spindrift Shawl by Helen Stewart, of the Curious Handmade podcast.
My version was truly Spun-drift because I made the yarn myself, especially for this project.
I used some beautiful Fuzzlings from Fondant Fibre. They were composed of a mixture of fibres: merino, massam, stellina and silk, which made for a really interesting spinning experience.
- The silk required a longer space between my hands when drafting, as otherwise I got "stuck" and the singles broke.
- The massam was quite hairy and sticky and needed to be blended well with the merino on its way towards the wheel.
- The stellina was springy and needed to be kept under close control, wrapped into place by the other fibres.
Keeping all of these elements in mind as I worked was a fun challenge, but meant I lost sight of my intention to spin a fine fingering weight yarn. It came out slightly thicker than planned, so with reduced yardage.
The joy of a Curious Handmade pattern is that Helen uses a percentage system to allow the knitter to track progress. As long as you weigh your ball at the start and check it again at the percentage markers, you can tell whether or not you are going to have enough yarn.
I knew at 10% that I only had 70% of the yardage I needed to complete the shawl as written.
So I dug around in my box of odd balls for a good match, thinking I would use it for the five eyelet stripes. That still left me 10% short of yardage, so I took 10% out of the main stockinette portion to compensate.
So far so good!
Chelsea Morning socks) was so bright that it sucked the life out of my handspun, which looked dingy in contrast.
Third time lucky?
Artio Shawlette. It is a Skein Queen yarn, with some cashmere in the mix, in the colour Spring Lime.
Suddenly the project started to sing - choirs of angels appeared on the horizon and the sun broke through the clouds :)
However, I forgot to weigh my golden nugget...
I settled down on the train and began to knit.
I worked alternate stripes in lime / handspun, until at the end of eyelet section four it was clear my yarn was running out.
So I did the only sensible thing...
Instead of turning my work at the end of a right side row, I shuffled the stitches to the other end of the circular needle and worked the picot bind off, still on the right side.
Smug face ;)
I blocked it as soon as I got home that night.
And here it is!
I am really pleased with the finished piece. The handspun is soft and sparkly, with a sheen from the silk and a crispness from the massam.
The shape is very evening-appropriate: just the thing for a Regency Ball!
But failing that, it looks great with denim for everyday.