Olympic Progress

I finished the back of the blue and grey sweater vest, then had to put it aside to finish these beauties:  Martha’s little shrug, made with “Tempting Ewe So DK and Sparkly”.  The pattern is called “Entrechat.”  I’ve made this shrug twice now and love it.  All in one piece it’s magical the way it comes together.

Martha's Shrug
At the same time I began the process of dyeing a Suri alpaca fleece in 4 shades of blue.  I’m giving a natural dyeing talk at the Maryland Alpaca guild soon, so I wanted to get the fleece dyed and dry.  I love the curly, shiny shades of blue and can’t wait to spin it.Suri Alpaca dyed with black beans




.Next I dyed a Huacaya alpaca fleece.  It started a dark brown color.  I took half of it and dyed it with pokeberries to give it a red-brown shade.  You can see the un-dyed brown on the left, and the brown dyed in pokeberries on the right. Toward the bottom is a bag of carded dyed Huacaya.
huacaya alpaca dyed with pokeberries






Eudora's Pillow


The next project that needed my attention was this pillow for Eudora, my god-daughter.  She and her sister are moving back to Nigeria.  What knitted gift could I give her that would be meaningful in a country near the Equator?  We agreed on a pillow!  This pattern is called “Penelope’s Pillows”.  I used a soft self-striping Woolwinders yarn called “Stonehedge Crazy.”  It was very fun to work with and has the appearance of homespun yarn.  Striped with it is a black wool called “Julia.”  The black strips are garter stitch, and knit with a size 5 needle.  The colored stripes have twice as many stitches and are knit with a size 7.  The pillow back is the same except that the colored stripes have the same number of stitches so they don’t have that gathered look.  This pillow was a bit of a challenge in that I kept forgetting to switch needles for each stripe, so it took longer than it needed to.
2 fronts of the vestFinally, two days after the Olympics started, I was able to go back to the sweater vest.  It was hard to get back into it, but how could one not be encouraged by those hard-working athletes?  Now that I’m more than half way through the 2nd sweater front, I can’t wait to finish.  I’ll keep working on it steadily for sure.  Will I have it done by closing Olympic ceremonies?  Probably not.  I’ll award myself a bronze medal if I can at least get the hood mostly done.  But with this dye talk I’m giving on Sunday, and various family and friend obligations (happy ones!) I cannot sit in front of the TV for 5 more days knitting non-stop.  Oh well.  I’ll do my best.