Salad spinner

So much of the kitchen is co-opted to the knitting space. Long-term dual use items include a pasta bowl (hat-blocking) and leaf sprayer (damping of blocking fragile-when-wet yarns such as alpaca). Now they are joined by the salad spinner, thanks to a very useful guide to lace-blocking by Eunny Jang.

And why did I not realise that laceweight would dry out so quickly? I thought I’d be sleeping on the sofa since only my bed was big enough to pin out even a small-scale project such as Annis, but after a quick whizz in the salad spinner and a brisk spring breeze through the window to help things along it was only a couple of hours in the blocking.

This yarn was a gift from someone I met at a conference. She admired my cardigan, intense knitting discussions followed. Turned out she spins and dyes but does not knit, the first part of the process is what floats her boat. An apt metaphor since she’s from Caithness on the northern tip of Scotland. We were joined by another delegate from Shetland and discussion expanded to include the wonders of Shetland-based wool brokers Jamieson & Smith. The next day the spinner caught up with me and pressed a superb ball of beautiful yarn into my unresisting hands. She happened to have it about her, she wasn’t sure what if anything could usefully be made with the amount available but she knew I would appreciate it.

hand spun gift

I knew that, thanks to the geektastic joy of the ravelry database I’d be certain to find exactly the right project. Sure enough when I got it home, worked out that it was 50g of 24-wraps-per-inch laceweight therefore probably about 400m long and punched those parameters into the aforementioned search engine more than one hundred free pattern possibilities immediately presented themselves and it was just a matter of choosing.

annis in progress

Note the step-mother’s gorgeous tiger jug from >Barnbarroch Pottery pressed into use as a yarn bowl.

annis spread

I’m very pleased with the way this pattern’s short-row construction shows off the changing colours of the yarn. Also with the decision to bead it rather than knit nupps. The beads are from the Debbie Abrahams beading website, added by the crochet hook method as detailed on this Knitty technique page. I’ve always been put off by the idea of stringing hundreds of beads at a time onto a ball of yarn. The possession of teeny tiny steel crochet hook of my great auntie Mabel also made the decision easy – no need to order and wait for additional tools.

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