{made} - alpa crochet cowl.

Busting some of my stash yarn I had waiting around for something fun to make, the Alpa cowl by Lady Colori was the perfect match for my delicious madelinetosh pashmina in the color-way “fragrant”. I loved it so much I got a little carried away and made it a mighty 58” diameter, so there is lots of room to double, even triple wrap it around your neck. 

{made} — crochet strawberry tawashi.

This cute little kitchen scrubber was made for the Wildfiber tawashi swap on 07.31.13. All swap participants were to use Knit One, Crochet Too 2nd Time Cotton yarn and be as creative as they wanted on the design. I had some red and green yarn in my stash, so when I saw this adorable strawberry it was a perfect fit. The only catch, the pattern was solely written in Japanese. Luckily, the person who posted it added some pictures that helped me decipher the pattern. Once I got the right number of stitches it went pretty smoothly, ending with a pretty cute addition to any kitchen.

{handspun} — Franklin.

I joined my first spin-a-long with Diane who does the Knitabulls podcast and ordered the hand dyed fiber from GnomeAcres. It is 100% Superwash Merino and a 4 oz. bump. The colorway was designed after Diane’s bird, Franklin, which is a girl. We had just over a month to spin and I loved working with this fiber. It was so wonderful to draft and spin… and the color is gorgeous. Amanda, of GnomeAcres, has an unique method of hand dying her fiber, she dyes it while it’s still braided so there is a touch of white in the middle. At first I wasn’t so sure I’d like that, but it really grew on me. The colors blended so well together with that touch of white in there.

I also tried fractal plying for the first time. It is where you take a braid of roving and split it length-wise completely down the middle so you have two ropes that are identical. Spin one as is onto one bobbin, this will result in a very slow color change.

Break the other half of the roving apart length-wise about 4 times (I did once down the middle, and then did each of those halves again, etc.) so you have a lot of skinny ropes. I kept the same colors together at the ends, or mirrored them, for example if it was grey at the end of one of the skinny pieces I joined it to the other grey ended half I just separated. (I hope that makes sense!) It will result in a very quick color change on this bobbin.

Then, I 2-plyed the bobbins together and voilà, delicious looking yarn!

There is also a pretty decent write up on Knitty about fractal plying: 
http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwbis11/KSFEATfractal.php

Here are all the details and how long each took me:
First Bobbin (split half into eights): 5/3/12–5/6/12 
Second Bobbin (spun half whole): 5/8/12-5/9/12 

2 Ply: 5/10/12-5/11/12 
Re-ran through wheel to correct overspin: 5/11/12 
Soaked: 5/12/12

Approximately 376 yards 
WPI: 17-18 Sport Weight

I have a little bit of one bobbin left that I will Navajo Ply at a later date.

I donated this skein of yarn to an art auction fundraiser I hosted for my parents :) art for Jerry

{made} — Rustic Ruffle Pillow.

I only crochet the front of the pillow pattern and sewed a fabric back with a slit to allow the removal and washing of the pillow insert. Closed and secured the slit with a button. Whip stitched to attached the fabric to the front of the pillow.

My pillow front kept growing larger and larger as I crocheted… therefore I stopped the last ruffle two rows early. The pillow insert is 16 inches in diameter, the final pillow size is probably around 18 inches.

This was a long overdue mother’s day present for my mom… it took a lot longer than I thought it would (but doesn’t it always!).