Knitting · Spinning

Knitting and Spinning Plans – May 2021

Disclaimer: I know Ravelry has been an issue for some folks, so please be aware that any Ravelry-focused links will take you over to that site. I will do my best to post image and links NOT attached to Ravelry but some things exist only in that universe. I will try my best to call out that the link takes you “over to Ravelry” in some fashion so you know.

I’ve been participating in the Harry Potter Knit/Crochet House Cup group over on Ravelry for the last 7 months and really enjoying it. It combines my love of all things HP with some crafting challenges and since I am always attempting to knit the stash down, it helps me to make some progress on that. I’ve been doing a lot of smaller stashbuster projects which I’ve been earmarking for charity boxes, so there’s a double benefit there. The spring term for 2021 starts Saturday, May 1, so here’s what I’m planning on for classes for the month. There will be several projects associated with other challenges in the group (Quidditch matches, the OOTP/FAWKES project and possible Headmistress challenges but I’ll post those once we get there). I normally try to knit 6 classes’ worth of projects each month, so they tend to be smaller items, but the other challenges are perfect for larger things like shawls.

Birlinn Squares: The original pattern (link to Ravelry) by Kate Davies called for DK-weight yarn, but I’m using fingering/sock-weight scraps since the blocks don’t take much yardage at all at this size. I’m doing a plain undyed/off-white edging for each of them. Last term, I knit 3 of them, and I like to use these for small/quick class projects when I just need to get something turned in. Next up, I’m planning for a purple speckled one to join the stack. (And reserving the right to knit more of these if I get pressed for time this month.)

Next up, my mum has requested some self-striping socks with red as one of the main colors, so I’ll be casting on a 64-stitch plain vanilla-type sock for her using a skein of Vizo from Desert Vista Dyeworks in the Oh, Clark! colorway. If I don’t get both knit in May, that’s okay, but I’ll be looking ahead to June to try to get the pair finished up in time for her birthday late in the month.

I also want to knit up a Da Crofters Kep hat (link to Ravelry page) by Wilma Malcolmson. This was a free pattern for the 2021 Shetland Wool Week and it’s a beauty. I have (literally!) an entire body-sized storage bin of traditional shetland jumper-weight (fingering-weight yarns) left over from various projects or things from yarn companies they sent as extras when I was designing something for them. I have 3 different possible colorways picked out, but I think I’m going to start with one that combines forest greens, chestnut and mushroom since the theme for this term will be the earth element.

I also dug into stash and pulled out the single skein of super bulky-weight yarn I own, a Potluck colorway on Hedgehog Fibres Chubby base (100% merino wool). The yardage for this yarn base is pretty low – just over 50 yards for the 100-g skein, so of course, that necessitated picking up another skein of bulky so I could make something substantial with it. I wound up getting a skein of Malabrigo Yarns’ Rasta in the Cian colorway. I think I’m going to knit a Kesic Beanie by Cate Savard (Ravelry link) with these two skeins.

As the last knitting project for the month, I’m going to try to get through a fairly basic sweater to add to my spring/fall wardrobe. (The great thing about the group is that if you have an unfinished project, you can submit that for a partial class turn-in, and then finish it the following month for a Detention project to garner a completed turn-in.) My stash is of such epic proportions that I have come to the conclusion that just doing a 1- or 2-skein project will not actively diminish the size of it, or at least not anytime soon. My plan is to work on the In Stillness cardigan (Ravelry link) and see how far I can get. It’s a DK-weight cardigan, mostly stockinette, so I’m going to do my best to get it done, as I think it will be a very versatile multi-season layering piece. (More discussion on capsule wardrobe pieces later). I’ve got 4 skeins of a soft, green yarn I purchased at Shilasdair Yarns when we visited the Isle of Skye in May 2019. This blend of angora bunny, wool, cashmere and camel fibers isn’t part of their current line-up (it was a hold-over from prior stock when the shop changed hands), but I will enjoy working with it nonetheless.

Finally, I’ve earmarked a 2-oz handcarded batt from Edgewood Garden Studio as my spinning project for the month. This is the Angel’s Breath color, and it’s a blend of mixed wools, alpaca and glitter. I have 2 others I bought at the same time to make a gradient set of 3. These run from a dark copper through cinnamon to this cafe au lait color. I’m spinning them all fairly fine (light fingering weight/heavy laceweight) for a shawl at some point. I have grand plans for a larger sweater spin I’ve been plotting with my online friend, Dana, but I’ll share those once I get this last batt of this set finished up.

Whew! Does that seem like a lot? It didn’t when I had it all written out on one small notepad, but it definitely does here! I’ll tackle the smaller items first, and then see how far I can get with the sweater. If I can accomplish a garment while doing other smaller projects, I may slot another one in for July, for the last month of the term.

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