Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Moebius Blossom Cape & Flying Carpet Yarn

I'm just recovering from the Saltspring Island Natural Fiber Festival this past weekend. It was an amazing event with a range of exhibits, vendors and events. There were demos and silent auctions and lots and lots of fibre folk.

I managed the finish up my Moebius cape, which I've named the Blossom Cape, just in time for the festival. The dark purple yarn is hand-dyed wild silk from Trish Moon at Indigo Moon Silks on Gabriola Island. Trish had a stand at the festival and I just had to pick up a few skeins of hand-dyed sock yarn from her. Many of her yarns are naturally dyed and she offers an incredible range of colours and yarn types.
The purple silk is gorgeous and my pictures don't do it justice. The colour isn't as flat as in the photos. There's actually a beautiful, organic shifting and shimmering of different shades of deep purple.
The variegated yarn is leftover yarn from my Winged Series of shawls. I believe it was a Fleece Artist yarn.
I had wanted another warm weather shawl but, as mentioned before, I'm not very good open shawls and the whole shawl pin deal. Also, I don't like having a big, hunking knot tying the ends together. I wanted something of a certain size that would give me enough range of motion and a good dose of drama. Really, why bother making a shawl that doesn't have drama???
So my answer to this conundrum was a shaped Moebius that would mimic the silhouette of a cape without needing to be knotted in the front or pinned. I knitted up a the basic Moebius strip until it was several inches wide (or long, I guess, depending on how your measure a Moebius. Then I short-rowed half of length which would give me extra length in the back and sides. I decreased one pattern repeat on each side for every cycle of the short row.
In the end the bottom half of the moebius actually is a flattened semi-circle. Is that as clear as mud?
I did this mainly because I wanted a longer/wider shawl but didn't want a lot of material twisted up in the center. I wanted something that would flow nicely and drape at all angles. The short-rowing provided all these elements nicely.

ETA - I got a bunch of requests for a pattern for this piece. So I'm working on a Fast & Dirty pattern for the Moebius Blossom Cape.
The festival also held a Fibre to Fashion competition. There were two teams of 5 that had to card, spin and weave a shawl within 6 hours!
It was so much fun!

Here's the spinners going. You can practically see the smoke coming out of those wheels!

My partner in crime and I left Saltspring in a blissful, fluffy daze. We were probably one of the few that actually didn't mind the grey damp weather that has blanketed the Rusty Coast. We were looking forward to spinning all night long.
I practiced some pretty hard-core restraint with my festival purchases but there were a few things that I couldn't resist including some spray painted pencil roving of Blue Face Leicester and silk from Hummingbird Fibre Arts. I couldn't walk away from the display. I just kept circling it, drooling over the roving and all the smashing colours.
I got to spin some up yesterday. Here it is:

I was aiming for a fingerling yarn and came pretty close. The colours came up even more beautiful than I anticipated. Doesn't it look like flying carpet colours? Rich and intense and so full of possibilities.

Have a great week everybody!


No comments: