Aphaia


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2013 – A (Somewhat Delayed) Recap

I had plans for a big fancy post with lots of discussion… that has not really panned out. Instead this is very much just a summary, but it is still nice to write it down.

All things considered 2013 was not a bad year crafting wise.

I knitted / crocheted / wove 35 projects – which included garments for once, instead of only focusing on accessories.

I launched 5 patterns > Flightless, Laitis, Hildasay Mittens, RiverscapeSānu

I managed to spin. (Quite a bit through the Tour de Fleece to be honest, not a vast amount after.)


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FOs: A Round-Up, February-May 2013

To be honest with the move and everything, there hasn’t been a vast amount of knitting. Not really a surprise. The fact that I kept packing things also complicated matters. It does tend to put a spanner in the works when you think to yourself, ‘oh I’ll do that now’ only to find that everything you need to do said thing is not only packed but distributed across twenty seemingly identical boxes. At that point it is easier just to give up and go pack something else. You’d be amazed how many times this happened, and not just with knitting stuff.

 

So the FOs.

 

Two more ‘Flightless’ – this pattern is now available for sale! Details here, and available on Ravelry and Craftsy.

 

I also have another pattern up for sale, the Laitis Cowl. Again available via Ravelry and Craftsy, more details here.

 

I also managed a couple of slightly different FOs. A couple of woven scarves. I won’t go into too many details now, but needless to say, I seem to have acquired a loom.


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Spin: HilltopCloud Handblended Club Yarn January 2013

This was one of my Christmas gifts, a 3-month subscription to the HilltopCloud Handblended Fibre club – 200g of handblended yarn delivered to your door.

This was the first month’s fibre – a scrumptious blend of Merino, Bluefaced Leicester and Cotton.

DSCN8285I opted to spin this at my usual weight, aiming for a heavy fingering / light sportweight 2 ply. And I suceeded. 514m of fresh green yarny goodness. It was this fibre which got me thinking about the fibre:yield ratio blogged about previously (see here for the original post, and the related page on yields from the Fibre & Spinning section). Now I jsut need to decide what to knit with it.

DSCN8301


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Spin: HilltopCloud Whitefaced Woodland

This was the December 2012 Best of British club yarn. 150g of Whitefaced Woodland. A breed I’d never heard of before, and apparently it is on the Conservation list of British Breeds.

It is an interesting fibre, it doesn’t felt, which has obvious benefits when knitting up hardwearing items such as mittens. It also had an extremely spongy texture. When it came to spinning it up, I decided to let the fibre decide how it wanted to be spun. I didn’t want to loose the bounce and springy feel to it, so I tried to keep that.

What I ended up with was 180 yds (165m) of a lovely springy Aran weight.

DSCN8283_medium2I’m currently planning out what to knit with it.


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Fibre: Cheviot

CheviotCheviot Ewe and Lamb (From here)

History

The earliest reference to sheep from the Cheviot Hills dates to 1372 which refers to ‘a small, but very hard race’.[i] During later centuries it appears that both Merino and Lincoln bloodlines were added to the original Cheviot stock, records state that there were 3000 Merinos brought to England in 1480, a similar number were introduced in 1560.[ii] In the eighteenth century, further improvements were made to the breed  which increased both the meat and fleece production.[iii]

The breed has subsequently introduced to the United States (1838) and Australia (1938) – although it appears the breed is in decline in Australia.[iv]

The Fibre

  • Staple length can vary from 4-5 inches, some Australian examples see staple lengths reach 6 inches.
  • Diameter of the fiber tends to fall between approximately 27-33 microns, though 24 are know.
  • The fibre should spin up well, and works well in blends.

My Cheviot Spinning

Cheviot was my first spinning experience, and I used a drop spindle to create about 40m of super-bulky/art yarn. This is certainly a breed I would spin again.


[ii] The Cheviot Sheep Society – History; D.Robson & C. Ekarius (2011). The Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, p.54.

[iv] Oklahoma State University, Breeds of Livestock (Sheep: Cheviot); Rare Breeds Trust of Australia – Cheviot 

Useful Links

The Cheviot Sheep Society 

Oklahoma State University Breeds of Livestock, Sheep, Cheviot

Cheviot Sheepbreeders’ Association Australia 

Rare Breeds Trust of Australia – Cheviot