Thursday 28 June 2012

Feeling Citrussy

You may remember that I have been a member of Picperfic's Luxury Fibre Club for three months this year. I have been thrilled with all the fibres I have received, and shall definitely be signing up for the next round of fibery goodness later in the year. Marianne has a wonderful eye for colour and I have not been disappointed with any of the fibre blends or colourways I've bought from her. April's squishy parcel revealed Darling, a blend of superfine merino, cashmere and silk. Marianne spiral dyed it so the colour changed gradually from aqua through to black.The colourway is Esme, after Marianne's new grandchild.

Esme Darling fibre (4)

Marianne suggested spinning it from the fold, using this video to help.

One of the things I like about Marianne's fibre club is that she offers suggestions for spinning, and includes a sample of the spun fibre. Sometimes she also suggests a pattern to knit using the spun yarn. I chose to spin the yarn using my usual drafting technique, but did follow the suggestion to spin a single with a view to knitting a Citron shawl. It took quite a while, but eventually my bobbin was full. In this photo you can see the darker shades, all the aqua and blues are hidden underneath!

Esme Darling handspun 001

I wound the yarn onto the niddy noddy, and managed to do so without any breaks! It was quite overtwisted in some places. I changed my spinning ratio part way through the spinning as I thought I was putting too much twist into the yarn. I loved the colour changes I could see.

Esme Darling handspun 003

When I took the skein off the niddy noddy, it sprang into a 'mess' of tangled spaghetti! Had I not read Marianne's accompanying newsletter, I'd have been seriously panicking by now!

Esme Darling handspun 007

But I followed the instructions for fulling the singles, with two rounds of soaking in very hot and then cold water, followed by some serious thwacking and snapping of the skein! The skein was left to dry. After drying, much of the overtwisting had gone, although it wasn't perfectly straight. I posted this photo in Marianne's Ravelry group, and the view was that once knitted and blocked, the little springy parts would disappear.

Esme Darling handspun 009

So I wound the yarn into a lovely, fat yarn cake. It gave me great pleasure to see how the colours changed towards the centre of the yarn. And it was my hand spun, mine!!!

Darling Esme handspun

I cast on the Citron shawl, it grows very quickly and proved quite a distraction during my report writing!!

Citron WIP (2)

The ruffled sections got slightly tedious towards the end, since you are doubling your stitch number during these rows. But it is an easy, mindless knit - perfect TV knitting, or for when you don't want to have to think too hard. I ended up doing 6 repeats of the pattern, and the ruffle was slightly narrower than it should have been. I just wanted to maximise my yarn usage. I think I achieved that as I only had about 20cm left after casting off!

Citron WIP

It took a week to knit, but I was motivated to knit it as I wanted to see how it would look as the yarn changed colour. After a good, long soak, I blocked it and left it to dry overnight. I was conscious of not blocking it too severely, as I was aware of some thinner parts in my spinning and didn't want a blocking disaster on my hands! Mr JK was then in charge of the camera for the photo shoot.

Citron 005

It has definitely turned out a wearable size, although an even bigger one would look good too, don't you think? I can picture one in shades of purple!! (No surprises there then!)

Citron 002

I wish that I'd had it ready for photographing when we were out at East Ruston last Saturday, as there was the most perfect stone 'Citron' that would have been great to use in photos. Never mind, you can get the general idea from this.


The Tour de Fleece starts on Saturday, so I hope to be doing a lot of spinning over the next month. I have a couple of projects in mind, I'll tell you all about them next time! See you soon! xxx

Citron 008


Anonymous said...

I love the colour changes, very pretty!

Christine65 said...

How clever you are :) It looks lovely. I keep thinking about knitting a Citron 'at some point' but your version might push the pattern further up my Ravelry queue.

Chrissy said...

Oh wow, that is seriously gorgeous. I do admire spinners. It must be wonderful to start with fibre and make a shawl or a sweater with the result. I love the shading of the Citron, it really is pretty.

Kim Sonksen said...

Your shawl is perfect! I love the colour changes and the size is just wonderful

June said...

An absolutely stunning shawl! The colours are just brilliant!

Lynne said...

It is really lovely! The colours are beautiful, and the dark edging really sets it off. :)

Jennyff said...

Oh beautiful, the pattern works perfectly with your gorgeous yarn. You must be quite pleased the summer is so dreadful, you can make use of Citron straight away.

snoopydogknits said...

This Citron, in that gorgeous handspun, just has to be one of my most favourite knitty sights ever. It is just gorgeous! Rosx

Anonymous said...

oh my. everything about this post is absolutely gorgeous! your spinning - the yarn - and especially your finished citron!
amazing! i hope you're properly proud of yourself!

Anonymous said...

Utterly gorgeous - I would have freaked out too if my skein did that off the niddy noddy! Fab colours.

I am karmicdelight on Ravelry:)