Search This Blog

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Another Custom Order Finished!


This is another custom order that I recently finished. This project is very near and dear to my heart because the "customer" is a friend who is recovering from bone cancer. She also raises llamas and asked me months ago if I would be willing to take the fleece from one of her daughter's llamas, process it, spin it into yarn and then knit or crochet a scarf for her daughter for Christmas. I agreed and at the time it seemed like Christmas was very far away and I would have plenty of time to get this done.



The fleece had lots of tiny little sticks in it and it was a very fine, fly away fleece so every time I tried to pick something out of it, the fleece got more and more and more static built up in it and pretty soon it was stuck all over me and I could no longer pull anything out of it because the fleece wouldn't let go of anything. So, I decided to wash the fleece in lukewarm water with some organic Basic H and I managed to pull all of the little sticks out while the fleece was soaking in the sink. I then put the fleece into a lingerie bag, spun out the water on the spin cycle in my washing machine and laid it out to dry on the sweater rack I have set up on the tub in our main bathroom. The fleece was so fine it formed dreadlocks when I washed it, so I had to hand tease each lock in order to card it on the drum carder, and the fineness of the fleece also resulted in some breakage of the fiber, forming little noils in the carded batt. I was so upset and frustrated - I was hoping I would be able to spin this fleece smooth and thin and have enough yardage to do a huge scarf. Apparently The Creative Muse had other ideas (which happens all the time around here.)




I finally had enough fiber carded that I could start spinning it. I started spinning it smooth and thin and realized fairly quickly that it wasn't going to cooperate on the spinning wheel either. Sigh...on to Plan B (or was it Plan C...or D?!) I decided to allow the fiber to do whatever it wanted to and ended up with a couple hundred yards of thick and thin somewhat lumpy and bumpy yarn but it was incredibly soft and the color was gorgeous. I knew I really wasn't going to have sufficient yardage for a scarf of any great size so I searched and searched and searched both on-line and through my pattern books, looking for a long skinny scarf that had long lines of color runs and I needed it to be crocheted because I am a slow knitter and Christmas was getting closer and closer.  I finally discovered the perfect pattern on Lion Brand's on-line web site. I had several small skeins of a variety of different colored llama yarns on hand so I decided to use all the yarns along with a novelty eyelash yarn from Bernat called "Boa" in coordinating colors. The darker yarn on the outside edges of the scarf are from my friend's llama fleece.



I ended up with enough yarn to also do a pair of crocheted fingerless mitts, which are not yet finished - I still have to find a tapestry needle and sew up the sides and weave in the ends - so I'll have to get pics of those later.

And, the first of the fingerless mitts I messed up the pattern and ended up with a "fan" shaped object that is 5 inches wide and about 15 inches long at the longest part - rather than frog the entire thing, I decided to set it aside and try the fingerless mitts again. I figured out very quickly what I had done wrong and soon had one mitt done but didn't finish it because I wanted to be able to compare the second mitt side by side to be sure they matched in size before seaming both of them.

The "fan" is now going to become a neck warmer! I am going to add a few rows of crochet around the entire fan and then create button loops on one end and sew a large button or two on the other end so it can be fastened securely.

I always say "there are no mistakes in art, only art you didn't plan on." That proved to be true for this entire project. It all turned out completely different than I had envisioned but even better than what I had in mind initially. I love how The Creative Muse just sneaks in, takes control, and creates such incredible art! And how blessed I feel to be the "vehicle" that The Creative Muse uses.

I will get pics of the finished mitts and neckwarmer when I have those completely done.

14 comments:

jude8753 said...

Wow what a lot of work good thing you have patience and know what your doing, looks beautiful.

Lenox Knits said...

It's gorgeous and I'm sure she will love it. I agree that it's amazing what the creative muse comes up with when we release control over to her.

Pricilla said...

It's beautiful and will go with anything.

In my brain it sounded like you had crocheted a turkey...but then, this is me.

Lin said...

Wow. I guess overcoming challenges is the theme with this scarf. Nice work. :)

tollykit said...

It really is lovely and I'm sure she will love it.

PJ said...

that really turned out beautiful even through all of your trials. looking forward to seeing the finished mitts and neck warmer. have a great day...hugz!

Grampy said...

That sounds like a hard battle you were fighting.I am glad you won.Your friend will be delighted.It is beautiful.

BeadedTail said...

A lot sure went into this gift and I'm sure she's going to love it! It's lovely!

FishHawk said...

"Split Rock Ranch" has been included in a special edition Christmas Gift Sites To See. I hope this helps to attract many new customers for you.

http://asthecrackerheadcrumbles.blogspot.com/2009/12/christmas-gift-sites-to-see.html

vickie said...

I turned out lovely ... after much loving care and hard work. Don't you just love those moments when heART takes over - it's always superior!

WillOaks Studio said...

That was a wonderful tale of "a day in the life of a fiber artist" and yes, parts of it gave me a good laugh. A glove shaped like a big fan?? turning into a cowl? Oh my! The skinny scarf is just lovely!

Keisha said...

That's a lot of work-- looks very good now that it's done. Congratulations. :)

Mountain Woman said...

The pieces are lovely as are mine.

Sonrisa said...

Definitely a labor of love. I'm so impressed by your persistence - and your skill.

Dropping by from SITS.