This week, I’m working on a new spinning project. I have a lot of handcarded batts in stash and I decided that I would tackle a set of those next. These are from KCKnits on Etsy (although I think her store is permanently closed) and the colorway, Princezna Hyacinta, is inspired by an Alphonse Mucha print, with royal blue, turquoise, jade green, citrine and white. The batt fibers are hand-dyed merino wool and firestar for a bit of sparkle.
I decided to spin these by stripping sections of each color off the batts, so they will form long, mostly gradient color shifts. I’ll spin 2 oz as one set of singles and the second 2 oz as another set of singles and then ply them together. I’ve had pretty good success with this in the past but may have to do a bit of creative breaking off and adding in sections of singles to retain the long color shifts. I’ll see how it all works out when I get to the plying stage. For now, I’m almost done spinning the second 1-oz batt, and I plan to finish that up this weekend and then start on the second bobbin (with the third 1-oz batt next week).
I’ve also started another sock project (I think you’re going to see a fair amount of socks this year – I’m on a sock-knitting kick apparently). I am a fan of Hunter Hammersen’s knitting designs and I have her Fine Things for Plain Occasions ebook which has a ton of patterns I’d like to knit in it. I just received the first installment of Long Dog Yarn’s One Club To Rule Them All for January 2022 (all the colors are themed on LOTR), and this lovely herbal green speckle dye was really calling out to me for something Hobbit-ish, so I settled on the By Naughty Design sock pattern which has fun little vines and leaves on it, and I cast on for these this late yesterday.
I also got to a good stopping point on my Desert Mandala design. I finished adding all the seed beads around the center motif. I still have the larger square crystals to add in the flower centers and stems, but I will put those in at the end so they don’t get cracked or shifted around on my scroll rods. Loads of bling! Next time this is out – in February – I’ll be working on the specialty stitch border around the center motif and see if I can’t get that finished up.
In it’s place, I’ll finish out January with some work on another full coverage piece. This is Winter’s Encounter. Original artwork by Laura Prindle, and charted by Heaven and Earth Designs. I’m also stitching this on 25-count fabric, 1 thread of floss over 1 square of fabric. It’s a MUCH smaller design than my other one, so I have hopes of finishing it sometime in the next couple of years and you’ll see it out as a focus piece every month this year. The horse isn’t quite a perfect match for my beloved long-time long-distance riding companion, Bhen, but close enough that I think of him everytime I see this artwork. Same gentle face, but Bhen would have been uninterested in the bird and wondering where his quilted blue horse blanket was if I was going to make him stand out in the snow. He was not a fan of cold precipitation despite having been bred and grown up in the snow belt of Idaho.
For reference, you’re looking at the full height of this piece and just under halfway across it. My plan of attack is to finish up the two partial pages at the bottom – one of which I’m about 75% finished with – before moving over to work on the rest of the horse and the winter landscape to the right in the image.
Have a great week YOP’ers!