fAnne Hanson, of knitspot fame, has patterns that she calls Little Nothings. They are patterns for perfect small projects which usually don't require much yarn. I decided to do my own little nothing the other day. (Though of course I don't have her design skills and used someone else's pattern.)
Yarn: 1 oz of handspun 50/50 yak and silk (yummmmmmm) from Trading Post Fibers
Pattern: Abby from Knittyspin
Dates: spinning = one day in July 09, plying = 12/17, knitting = 12/18 - 12/20
Modifications: Lots! First off, I didn't use a silk single. Next, I only cast on 90 stitches. Finally, I only knit about 4-5 inches of cowl because I ran out of yarn (I knew I would).
This yarn is simply luxurious. I mean, yak and silk? What could be better? It is light, airy, shimmery and WARM. I did a worsted style spinning 2-ply yarn which ended up being a light fingering weight. The singles for this yarn was spun back in July for my challenge day during Tour de Fleece. But I never got around plying the singles and they took up one of my bobbins.
My friend, Victoria, does a lot of work with horses which means she is outdoors most of the winter. I thought this yarn would make a perfect pair of wristers to help her hands stay warm. When I plied up the yarn, however, I realized that I wouldn't have much and the wristers wouldn't be very long. I decided that a cowl, even a short one, would probably be better. I had previously made Abby with some laceweight alpaca so the pattern popped into my mind as a possibility. It is an extremely easy pattern to memorize so I could knit it without thinking.
I cast on 90 stitches so the cowl would be close to the neck and knit until my yarn ran short. In fact, it ran too short and I ran out of yarn before the bind off. So I did what any enterprising spinner/knitter would do, spun up some more, plied it and knit the bind off. I love drop spindles. The additional fiber I used wasn't actually yak/silk because I didn't have any more left. It was merino/silk instead and was much more white than the soft cream of the yak/silk. I don't think that really mattered because there was a slight curl to the ends of the cowl. That meant the cast on and bind off edges were both hidden.
I was able to finish everything up on Sunday morning and quickly ran over to another friend's house to drop off the gift to Victoria. Yay for quick gifts!