Now you’ve gone and done it

Once again, my friend Ewenique has stunned me with her generosity and creativity. She sent a wonderful Christmas gift from across the pond and I love it, despite the efforts of Royal Mail and/or the United States Postal Service to delay and destroy it. Just look!


Let’s see. There are some chocolate macaroons (completely uncrumbly, I might add), and a sweet little case that’ll be great for stitch holders. My jaw just about hit the floor when I saw the Wollmeise yarn, but even that was overshadowed by the splendid box bag. (Wollmeise upstaged? Yes!)

It was all accompanied by a lovely card and a Silly Bandz (dragonfly-shaped to match the zipper pull on the bag, naturally). Even the wrapping paper was amazing. Ewenique, I am thoroughly delighted and enchanted by your gift and by the fact you made that bag for me. Thank you. It’s perfect!

My husband gave me a strange look when I started hugging the bag with a blissful smile. But you understand, don’t you?

Almost forgot

I made a cowl from that homespun Polwarth from last month. The pattern is Later, Gator! by Amanda Berka. The pattern is free, available in the November/December 2010 newsletter from My Sister Knits.

Later, Gator! cowl
Later, Gator! cowl

You’ll notice the subtle stripes, which comes from a “fractal spinning” technique. When I prepared the roving for spinning, I split the roving in half lengthwise, leaving one half as-is and futher splitting the other into four strips. That resulted in long color runs for one ply, and shorter ones for the other.

I also actually ended up only using about half of that handspun on this cowl. I guess I’ll have to make another!

Isn’t she lovely

Isn’t she beautiful…

Romney handspun

I’ve been playing around with that Romney fleece I got late last year. I’ve been doing things here and there since I washed it: I first hand-carded some of it into rolags and spun some test yarn, and more recently I scored a Pat Green drum carder on Craigslist and carded some of the fleece for real.

Pat Green Drum Carder Romney batt

I’ll need some more practice, I think, but I’m pleased with what I’ve done so far. This yarn is around aran to bulky weight, a little thick and thin, very light and lofty. It’s only an ounce and three-quarters, so I’ll have to card and spin up more if I expect to make anything out of it. Still, it’s a start!

Romney handspun

And, over the holidays, I finally broke out the dyes I bought a while ago and dyed up seven 4-ounce batches of fleece in various colors. These were dyed in a crockpot using Dharma dyes.

Dyed Romney fleece

I’ll be carding these as well, and hope to come up with some really pretty batts. Wish me luck!