Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Pretty, Pretty BFL

What a busy month! With Calliopsis just published, a large secret project for a magazine under way, a new sock design in progress, and a new fingerless mitts pattern almost ready to publish, I basically have knitwear design on my mind 24 hours a day.

The mitts—a pretty combination of lace, stockinette, and garter stitch—are my first design with my own handspun yarn.

Handspun Mitt Beginning

The fiber is Ashland Bay Mixed BFL Top, which I spun and plied with drop spindles; the resulting two-ply yarn is fingering weight, 16 wpi.

Handspun BFL mitts

I had about 140 yards to work with. So I weighed the yarn carefully as I knit, making sure I wouldn't run out. In the end, the small/medium size used about 125 yards. There's also a large size, which requires about 140 yards.

Spindle-spun and Spindle-plied BFL

I think there will definitely be more BFL in my spinning future! I enjoyed both spinning and knitting it. But what I loved most was how, after a good soak in Eucalan, the fabric developed a really pretty halo. And it's so soft!  A delight to feel against your skin.

My sister Jenny, an accomplished spinner with years of experience (far more than me—I'm still a newbie), says BFL is her current favorite sheep breed because "it is a pleasure to spin and finishes up soft and lustrous, not as fussy or pill-prone as merino." So far, with my limited experience, I'd have to concur.

Handspun BFL and Mitts

They're called Spindler Mitts, and I hope to publish them next week. To get news about these and all my new patterns delivered directly to your inbox, sign up for the monthly Blue Peninsula newsletter.


Jane said...

The new mitts look like another great design. I look forward to reading more about them. I don't spin but I do like to knit with BFL yarn.

Bonnie said...

Thank you, Jane. Any fingering weight will work for these, and I look forward to seeing how they knit up in commercial yarns, too.