13. April 2011 16:05
I recently subscribed to a Fiber Club with All for love of yarn and part of the lovely package (which you will see as soon as I manage to take decent photographs of it!) was a little 0.5 ounce sample of Blue and Purple BFL Top. I've worked with BFL before, and have enjoyed it, so I was excited to play with it and see what I could do with it for the Spin-Along. There is a prize for the most creative use of the fiber, so I couldn't miss out on that!
Here is the sample - just a little chunk of fiber really. Since I have been working on my thin spinning... and BFL would lend itself to a nice shiny lace-weight... and the thinner you spin you get more yardage... I decided that I should try spinning up a very fine lace from this and perhaps use it as my yarn to swatch for a Mini-Haapsalu Shawl.
I have been fascinated with Estonian lace since receiving the Haapsalu Shawl book a few months ago, and I've been just itching to make an authentic one, with the proper dimensions and traditional lace motifs. One thing that has kind of irked me though, is the fact that traditionally the lace borders are knit separately and then sewn on. And you thought sewing a sweater together sounded like fun? How about sewing on several meters of lace edging? I know I am capable (at least I really really hope I am) but I wanted a trial run to make sure.
So I spun a nice cop of teensy singles on my little Golding Dragonfly (which weighs 0.7 ounces, so nice and light) and used andean plying to fold the single in half. I managed to get 150 yards out of the 15 g sample, which I was pretty proud of in the end! The finished lace-weight is light, strong, shiny, and quite smooth. I'm sure it will fuzz up a little more over time, but in the beginning it was quite tight and ordered.
Here are the Singles again... with a penny for comparison of size. I always seem to forget to do WPI measurements of the singles. For that matter, I tend to forget to measure WPI for anything really. Woops.
I set out right away to work on my lace sample - I chose a simple leaf-lace for the center of the sample-shawl, and one of the simplest borders to try and sew on. The Haapsalu Shawl book shows lots of examples, and the beginning sections of the book explain all of the calculations to know how many stitches you will need. It isn't a "pattern" book in the strictest sense of the word, but everything you need is there to come up with a shawl on your own.
Here is my Leaf Lace center panel blocking (Yes, it is pinned out on a Sham-wow... why do you ask?) and waiting for me to get my act together and make the lace edges. I've done the math, and planned things out, so now I just have to get started. I do have the first border cast on already... 170 stitches for each half, that's 340 stitches of casting on, and then casting back off.... for only a sample shawl. The real deal will have more like 600 - 700 stitches for those border edges. Eek!
And here is a closeup of the pretty Leaves... just because the fine Handspun looks so goooood. Despite being Blue layered on the most hideous, offensive orange known to man. So far so good :)