Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Knitting a Two-Faced God

After knitting lots of amigurumi and other baby stuff (like this super cute pumpkin hat) from bright, cheerful, but somewhat boring cotton yarn, I felt it was high time for a handspun / art yarn project. I've had my eyes on Ianus for years now, a pattern inspired by the Roman two-faced god. As I am always reluctant to spin huge amounts of yarn for myself, it took me a while to actually start the project. It also took me a while to decide on colours, but I am very happy with my choices so far (though I think silvery-grey silk would have been even better for the middle part, but I didn't have any and chose black viscose instead).

First, let me show you the yarns. It's always a challenge to aim for a certain thickness and yardage, as I have no way of measuring while spinning, and fibres behave differently - so I am very proud about these results. They are not exact, but very close.

From left to right: Ocean Ianus (440 m, 110 g), Night Ianus (133 m, 70 g), and Storm Ianus (455 m, 120g). Ocean and Storm Ianus are quite plain, that is to say without add-ins, but with some nice highlights and sparkle (silver and black) and contain mostly merino wool.
Night Ianus is pure viscose with added thread, beads and sequins - lots and lots of them! It took me ages to spin this quite small amount because of all the add-ins. I spaced them about 5-15 cm apart, had to restring several times because I used so many beads and sequins, and was actually a bit frustrated it took so long - but it was so worth the time and effort! I love how it's turned out.

I started knitting right after the first two yarns were finished, and I love how the subtle highlights in the first yarn turned out so far. The amount of sparkle is also perfect, but doesn't really show in the photos, except for the one huge blob ;-) The rest is much more subtle, visible only when light hits it at the right angle, and it's beautiful!

After using a row counter app for a while, I decided to make a row counter from beads and wire which also functions as a stitch marker - this way I don't need the phone and it's also quicker. I put it at the beginning of the round and it can count up to six rows, as the pattern is made up of sets of three and later six rows.

I've made quite some progress already, and after finishing the last yarn I took a photo showing the already knitted part together with the other yarns in the right order. I'm so excited and so looking forward to seeing how they will look when I actually knit them up!

The colours are a bit off, the blue part is actually a blueish, deep teal, but my camera always has problems with teals and turquoises...

I also made a project bag because this project will take me a while and kind of deserves its own bag ;-) Also, you can never have enough project bags! (By the way: if you're interested, there are still a few project bags in the shop, and they come together with matching sets of stitch markers - a wonderful addition to my yarns!)

As always when knitting with handspun / art yarn, I realize how much fun it is. The highlights, sparkles and add-ins turn up more or less unexpectedly, it's exciting and interesting to knit, never boring, and the texture looks and feels wonderful! I am very happy I finally took the time to spin these yarns, and I am very grateful the pattern is now available separately, as you had to buy the yarns called for with it at first. Many thanks to crocodile for the wonderful pattern!


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