New "Spring" Socks!

The quotes around "spring" are more about the season than the socks.  We got another 5+cm of snow overnight and there are still a few flakes in the air.

The view from my apartment deck this morning.  If you squint you can see the edge of the Muskoka River melting.

However, there is nothing like a good pair of new socks to help improve my mood, and its even better when they are a hot, awesome, almost coral-ish, pink.

For much of my life I've shied away from pinks, as they didn't appeal to me and they were way to "girly" for me.  However as I get closer to 30, I'm discovering how much I like bright, brash colors and pinks like this do the trick nicely.

This colorway is one of those special, unrepeatable skeins that happens when a dyer gets to the end of their day.  This skein, which is Kilcoursie Fingering by Georgian Bay Fibre Co.  was one where Carla had been experimenting with some yellows and had a few skeins she wasn't pleased with, so at the end of the dye day she over-dyed it with leftovers, which must have included some magenta. 

I even wore them to work yesterday! They make most days better!

As her sister, and resident sock knitter, I offered to take that skein of dastardly pink yarn off her hands and make myself a pair of socks out if it.  I know that was a very generous offer on my part.

So now I have socks that are worthy of spring, now if only "spring" would get the hint and catch up!


Project: Cavalcade "Spring" Socks
Pattern: Cavalcade Socks by Tanis Lavalle of Tanis Fiber Arts
Yarn: Kilcoursie Fingering in an OOAK by Georgian Bay Fibre Co.

What I Love Wednesday: Georgian Bay Fibre Co.

What I Love Wednesday is a new feature I'm trying out on the blog.  This is where I share with  you the tools and toys I love to use.  All the items featured on What I Love Wednesday have been purchased, used and loved by me. 

Georgian Bay Fibre Co. is my new favorite thing.  Now, in the effort of full disclosure part of the reason I love it is because my sister, Carla, is the dyer behind this new company and I've spent many hours helping out as her studio assistant, however this yarn is fantastic.

Also, this is why I've been so quiet the past few months, I've been working with Carla since January to get things ready to go.  I'm terrible at keeping secrets so I had to just go quiet for a while as things were coming together.

But onto the yarn ...

Permanent Collection featured on Hennessy Fingering

Lilac, the colorway of the year (available till December 31) and the Spring Collection (available until June 20th)

Featuring Bluefaced Leceister (BFL) yarn and spinning fiber, GB Fibre Co.'s colorways are inspired by the Georgian Bay/Parry Sound/Muskoka area.  The best thing about the colorways, is that they are designed to work together.  Every time I'm in Carla's studio, I just want to play mix-and-match and knit all the three-color shawls out there.

While the colors are stunning, the yarns themselves are amazing to work with. BFL is great yarn to work with. It is a British Breed categorized as a Longwool. But its particular characteristics makes it a "goldielocks" yarn.  In the Fleece and Fiber Sourcebook, Deborah Robson and Carol Ekarius state that BFL is an "... exceptionally adaptable wool, well suited for garments that need to be soft but also must stand up to wear, such as socks, sweaters, mittens and hats. In weaving, it will drape well without being heavy".

I've had a chance to experience this first hand,  having knit or woven with nearly all the available bases.  The bases have been named in a great system, using the names of different bays within Georgian Bay, each base is named based on it's fiber content/type and then by weight.  

The Hennessy line, 100% untreated (aka. not superwash) BFL, is available in Lace, Fingering, DK and Aran weight.   I've knit with the Fingering and Aran weights.

Lumen Shawl by Sivia Harding in Hennessy Fingering, Aster.

The fingering might be my favorite part of this line.  I prefer knitting lace to most anything else, and the Hennessy Fingering has a great 2-ply structure that blocks like a dream.  While I'm not a color work knitter myself, this yarn would be great.  I'm considering making a stranded hat  just to try it out for that purpose.

North Winds Hat by Felcia Lo in Hennessy Aran, Almost Truffle (aka, the accident skein that inspired the Potter's Truffle Colorway)

I've also knitted out of the Aran and while it was only a hat, I've been wearing it every day since I finished it on February 6th.  And its been a helluva winter and there is no sign of pilling and it has retained it bounce.

The attracting of the untreated BFL is great for me.  It's like eating whole-grain bread, its really, really tasty, but it has a bit of a crunch to it.  It feels rustic and historic and different than anything else I've worked with.  

Over the weekend I was home and snagged 3 skeins of the Hennessy DK in Squall, and I'm itching to cast on a Mara shawl.  I may do that before bed tonight.

Not only is there the Hennessy line, but my heart lies with the Kilcoursie family.  With 80% Superwash BFL and 20% nylon, this is sock yarn through and through.  Right now it is only available in Fingering, but I know Carla is investigating getting a DK and Aran. These heavier weights will be perfect for boot socks, baby blankets and anything you want to be able to machine wash.

Squadron Socks by ME! in Kilcoursie Fingering, Almost Lichen (the skein that inspired the Lichen colorway)

Squadron Socks by ME! in Kilcoursie Fingering, Almost Lichen (the skein that inspired the Lichen colorway)

I love this yarn so much I designed my very first pair of socks in it.  The pattern is just awaiting photography and then I will be releasing it through Georgian Bay Fibre Co.  The pattern will be for sale on Ravelry and I can't wait for you to knit it.

The final line is Pengallie.  This one is really special with 80% super wash BFL and 20% silk, this shiny beauty is perfect for shawls and sweaters.  I haven't knit with this one yet, but I know that Carla has and there will be a great pattern coming out for it soon.  Currently available in a fingering weight, I know Carla hopes to expand this line as well.

So please go and check out her website http://gbfibreco.com and get yourself some of the best yarn out there!

Spin 365

While knitting was my gateway drug into the fiber world, it is far from my only love.  Spinning, weaving and crocheting all take turns playing second fiddle to my knitting.  However for 2014 I think my priorities will go Knitting, Spinning then every thing else (weaving, crocheting, embroidery) thanks to the inspiration from David at Southern Cross Fibre who is spinning for at least 5 minutes every day and sharing photos on social media. David is sharing his shots on Flickr and his blog, but there is a presence on Instagram.  

I figured there is no downside, I get more spinning done (which is good for my fiber stash and my mental health) and a neat way to engage with the spinning community on Instagram.

Here are my first 7 days of my #spin365 - 

Day 1 - I tried spinning some of the Cormo locks I drum carded, I hated spinning it so I decided to toss it and start fresh again on Day 2.

Day 2 - I worked on some KnitPicks Wool of the Andes roving that I carded together with some silk noil that I picked up from Bohoknitterchic a few years back.  Day 3 - I spun more on the Florida Gators Sprinkle batts (not exactly the sexiest name) but didn't get more pictures.  Day 4 - I was coming down with a cold and I didn't get around to spinning on Saturday,.

Day 2 - I worked on some KnitPicks Wool of the Andes roving that I carded together with some silk noil that I picked up from Bohoknitterchic a few years back.

Day 3 - I spun more on the Florida Gators Sprinkle batts (not exactly the sexiest name) but didn't get more pictures.

Day 4 - I was coming down with a cold and I didn't get around to spinning on Saturday,.

Day 5 - I finished the Sprinkle Yarn, and let it sit overnight before plying.

Day 6 - I was home sick from work so I managed to get 100g of singles spun up in this beautiful green hand dyed yarn.

Day 7 - Plying the green singles from the day before.  My niddy-noddy is still in Parry Sound so I can't measure it yet, but I will be home this weekend so I can get it skeined and washed.

Day 7 - Plying the green singles from the day before.  My niddy-noddy is still in Parry Sound so I can't measure it yet, but I will be home this weekend so I can get it skeined and washed.

So I'm really pleased with my #spin365 output so far, and I'm looking forward to sharing the ups and downs of spinning every day.