This cold snap has me digging for all manners of woolens to wear. What I do seem to have a lack for are warm hats. Wurm comes to the rescue! It’s a fast and easy knit. This hat was knit from some softly spun merino singles plied with a finely spun silk single.


  • Yarn: Handspun from stash, marinated for several years; merino & silk
  • Yardage: somewhere in the neighborhood of 250 yards
  • Needles: 3.25 & 3.75 mm

CNCH Gallery Submissions

Beggar's Bag (click to enlarge)

CNCH starts tomorrow. I’ll provide a report next week. In the meantime, here are some eye candy on a few of my submissions. Drop by the gallery and take a look if you are in the Bay Area this weekend!

The bag on the left is the Beggar’s Bag for the Traditions and Innovations Gallery.

Draft: Floral Dance Star Variation (Anne Dixon)
Warp: Borgs 22/2 Cottolin (natural)
Tabby Weft: 8/2 cotton (natural)
Pattern Weft:  assorted handspun handpainted BFL singles (purchased at 2011 Whidbey Island Spin In from Island Fibers, I think)
Construction: all hand pieced, even down to the zipper and  lining.

I definitely learned quite a bit on this project. Even after re-sleying, I think the sett is still too close. I found out later in my research that I should have sleyed it for a loose plain weave. This is why I had to go to a 8/2 cotton instead of cottolin for weft. It’s a good thing too since I ran out of natural cottolin.

Return to Sender Yarn
Return to Sender Batt

On the left is my Return to Sender skein, blocking on the skeinwinder. On the right is what the batt looked like before I started. The fiber is 85/15 BFL/tussah, dyed with natural dyes by Mary Finley and Roger Salter of Dreamy Goat Design Studio.

I split the batt into pure colors, and stripped out the mixed bits as my “in-between”. Spun the colors in progression as a fine single and plied it with an 80/20 “black” BFL/tussah (SOAR 2009 ? special — Bend, OR). You can see that the black BFL toned down the colors quite a bit, but still quite nice.

Weight: 4 oz. (2 oz. RTS, 2 oz. black BFL)
Yardage: 1,012 yards
Plies: 2
WPI: 44

I have one more gallery submission for the Return of the Return to Sender (yarn spun for the 2010 CNCH), but I forgot to photograph it before sending it on. I used an alternate treadling to Floral Dance with my 2 ply yarn and turned it into a sketchbook cover. Probably subliminal. I’m not that happy with the cover. I will likely re-do it after the conference.

Another Pleated Scarf

Wool/Cashmere/Silk Pleated Scarf

Are you tired of this series yet? If not, here’s the next (and last for a while, maybe) pleated scarf.

Let’s go for eye candy first. Click on the image for the full sized fuzzy goodness (click again on the new page to enlarge).

Yes, it looks a lot like the last pleated scarf (at the bottom of the post). But that one was in preparation for this one. What’s so special about this one? The yarn in the green/blue stripes is handspun Spirit Trail Fiberworks 50/50 silk/cashmere, purchased at SOAR 2009. I had just enough yarn to make one scarf with minimal sampling.

Yarn Source: Spirit Trail Fiberworks
Fiber Content: 50/50 cashmere/bombyx (it doesn’t appear that Jen carries this blend anymore)
Colorway: unknown (I lost it at SOAR)
Plies: 2
WPI: 40 (pre-finishing), 32 (post finishing)
Yardage: 580 (pre-finishing), 578 (post finishing); I used 504 yards for the scarf so I have a little bit leftover for a little something.
Weight: 2 oz.

As soon as I saw Anne‘s scarf, I knew that this yarn was destined to become a pleated scarf. I also knew that I had to do a lot of sampling before I started to wind on for this scarf.

Luckily, I had some Lisa Souza 100% wool lace weight in nearly identical colorway. Making a scarf with the wool would tell me if the grey weft would detract too much from the lovely blues and greens in the yarn.

Loom set up is the same in both scarves, as is the weft yarn (light grey tight spun cashmere single from ColourMart). I was, however, able to get about 36 ppi on this one.

On loom

As you can see, the grey did mute the colors somewhat, but did not alter it too much.

All stiff and unappealing, fresh off the loom
Unwashed sample and lightly finished scarf

I washed the scarf gently in the sink and line dried. I tossed it in the dryer briefly when it was almost dry to full it up. As you can see, it’s still kind of stiff and no halo from the cashmere. I was too gentle with it. The reason was that I didn’t want it to shrink as much as the last scarf.

Yesterday, I put it in a bin with extremely hot water (1/2 hot tap, 1/2 near boiling water). I don’t have a dedicated fiber toilet bowl plunger, so I used the only thing available in my kitchen — a potato masher. I abused it for about 15 minutes with a couple of dunks in cold water in between. After spinning it dry, I tossed it in the dryer with a towel. The halo finally came out.

Loom Length: 76″
Finished Length: 74″

I only lost 2″ in length. Why only 2″? In retrospect, it made perfect sense. This yarn has high silk content which prevented it from shrinking like the last scarf, which was 100% wool (blue/green stripes only). Duh!

So, what’s next for the loom? I don’t know yet. Suggestions?

Just in time

For the warm weather that is…

I finished the Ribbed Cap back in December. But the length really bugged me. It was too long to not roll up, but not quite long enough for it to look right rolled. It just wasn’t wearable by my standards.

This week, I buckled and ripped it out to just below the crown shaping and reworked it. I added about 1.5 – 2 more inches to the length, and removed the top knot. I like it much, much better. And I would actually wear this version.

Yes. Just in time for 80F weather. But with this strange spring, I might actually have a chance to wear it before summer really hits.

With the remainder of the yarn, I made a little neck warmer.

I created a small little triangle bit below the cowl to tuck into the V of a jacket or a sweater. This would be much less bulky to wear than a traditional scarf, but a little more coverage at the neckline. I hate it when the wind cuts through the gap between where the scarf ends and the jacket/sweater ends. This little triangle bit can be tucked in for a bit of extra protection.

There are still a few things that I would change, but over all, I like it. This little creation has quite a bit of design opportunities. I made this plain with maximum wind protection. But I can see this with a bit of lace to dress it up. Can’t you?