Quite a while ago I posted about my wish to make a jumper for one of my girls inspired by this wee fellow:
About this time last year I had purchased a glorious shetland fleece. It was silver grey, with darker grey patches. I washed it ready to spin, once I had decided what I wanted to create with it:
I went backwards & forwards between a jumper & a tank top & in the end, decided to go with a tank top.
I wanted the fair isle design to be isnspired by the colours of the two wee robins that we see on our nature walks (& that try as I might, I can never get a photo of them both together!)
Soft greys, deeper grey, brown, off white & that glorious deep red - orange.
The fleece has patches of charcoal grey - I combed all the fibre & then drum carded to blend the different colours within the one fleece. Some of the fibre was set aside to dye in the browns & reddish orange.
The colours I got from the natural fleece where as follows:
Off-white - from combing the lightest parts of the fleece - the combing removed the grey hairs leaving me with off white.
Silver - Blending the off white with the charcoal
Charcoal - from the darkest parts of the fleece
Brown - I hand dyed some of the off - white
Robin Redbreast Orange - again hand dyed off - white.
I was so nervous about dyeing this! I wanted it to be just right & did not have enough fleece to try over if I made a mistake! I mixed Orange Scarlet & Bright Turquoise Procion Dyes
I was delighted with the results - a perfect Robin - Red! I then drum carded the dyed fleece with some sparkly angelina fibre in 'rusty nail' to give the sweater a very subtle sparkle.
So, onto the yarn! I spun this up on my spinning wheel into a 2 ply yarn. Just a little heavier than a fingering weight. I spun in a 'woolen' method, which produces a lovely, lofty, cuddly yarn, perfect for Fair Isle designs.
I charted out a few fair isle patterns, decided on a winner & cast on a swatch. Essential! This gave me the info I needed for sizing, needle size, the look of the design knit up etc etc.
Once I cast on 'for real' I knit & knit, round & round using steeks for the neck & arm holes. Truthfully though, I am lazy & I do not sew up the areas to be steeked first, I just have at it with the scissors, assuming the fuzziness of the yarn will do its job & hold everything together : )
And here it is! Rosie's Robin Redbreast Tank Top
These photos are not the greatest - it hasnt been blocked here& I really need to get a photo of Rosie wearing said jumper.
I enjoyed creating this so much. I has brought me a lot of joy!