Projects, stories, memories and myths of knitting and crafts

Wednesday, 28 April 2010

CLearing House and still knitting!

I am finding it challenging to get any writing done as life has become a little busy. We are moving house soon so I have started the BIG clear out. I have never done it in this way before, where a little has been done in each room. I usually stick with one room until it is done.

This way is proving to be a lot of fun as we are tripping over the stuff lying all over the house! I have done two draws in the kitchen, most of my bedroom, part of the front room and and part of the sitting room. I can, however, report that Borneo and I have conquered the shed and the garden. The cellar awaits....

I am managing to get some knitting done. Sadly, the weaving and I parted company, mainly through my lack of understanding, as the warping of the alpaca-silk shown in the last post was not a success and the fabric started to move on the warp so I know my tension is wrong and I cut it off the loom. I fear I am too ambitious too soon!

The yarn is too beautiful to waste on something that does not work so the warping thread needs to be investigated more thoroughly when I can. I have good news on this front.

I am booked on a weaving weekend next month. I have so many questions! I spoke to the lovely lady today and she sounds delightful, passionate about her craft and I find that very exciting. I cannot wait to attend but there is still a lot of house clearing to get through before the day will arrive. I will plod through it with the thought of the wondrous reward to come!

I am managing to knit my 2 rows per day, set target, on a silk-merino jacket that I started in France last year. I have started the sleeves together so that they are the same. It is the easy knitting that I cart around with me. I have not shown it before. At this rate it will be couple more months before it is finished.

The yarn is 4ply Scrumptious from Fyberspates which was dyed to my colour needs. I love it.  It is fabulous to knit. It reminds me of the sea and I wanted a textured pattern to mirror this. It feels so good. I love Fyberspates yarns. The pattern is a Marion Foale design which appeared in Woman's Weekly.

The baby jumper is all but complete and awaits sewing up and finishing. I have a cute little teddy button for the top. Maybe it will spring into completion in the next week.... maybe not. It is four months until the baby is due.

Lastly, Ishbel, the lovely Ishbel, has grown in leaps and bounds. I snuck away from all the chores in the world today and sat down at the river, knitting her and enjoying the bird song. I have about 10 rows left to complete now. The sparkly bits caught the sunlight as I worked. It was a delight.

I gained a few curious hellos from some and broad grins from others who walked by my bench near the river. It was gorgeous out. This is the view I enjoyed with the ducks for a few hours.

There were beautiful bluebells too.

Saturday, 17 April 2010

Phone Sock and On the Loom

Today I have taken a short break from all the big projects that I am working on. A friend who shared dinner with us last night, asked me to make her a phone sock and as she is leaving here tomorrow, I got straight to it. I found some left over stash and cast on.

It grew very quickly.

Soon it was done, ready to be handed over this evening. It was great fun to just knit something quick and easy, making it up as I went along. I know it will be loved and enjoyed. That is the best part of making something that someone would like.

I spent Wednesday dressing my loom for a new project. The new heddles arrived on Tuesday, a 10 dpi (dents per inch or strands of warp) and a 12.5 dpi. I was impatient to work with them and to try a very fine weave.

I am not sure what I will do with the fabric but I wanted it to be ready quickly as I was having a treatment on Thursday after which I am not to move around too much for the first week. This limited the size of the fabric I could weave.

I chose the finest heddle as I want to work with a silk and cashmere laceweight yarn that is in my stash. I love the colour and have wanted to use it for some time.

As I dressed the loom, it took so long as the warp is fine and has 120 stands for 23cm of fabric. I could not help getting a little frustrated and wondering if all this work was really worth it. I am still so ham-handed and it takes me a long time as a beginner. I am sure that this will change with practice.

The warp must be set up with a good tension so that the weaving is easy and flows.

In the end it was all worth it and I love the fabric that is being produced. It is an even weave and is soft, silky and fine.

I love every minute that I sit in front of the loom. It calms me as a meditation of presence, placing each thread of the weft in place and then beating it down, and repeat the process again.

The weaving enchantress is waving her wand and weaving me into the wonders of creation and I am delightfully captivated.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Baby Jacket and Ishbel shawl

The baby jacket and I are having and interesting relationship.

When I saw the pattern, I loved the texture because I am not an avid bamboo fan. In my opinion, bamboo stretches and does not always hold to the original shape so I feel the textured pattern will hold the stitches firmly.

This pattern has been effort for me. It is three simple textured patterns which I believed I could whip through without much thought. That is the problem. I am not thinking and so have had to unpick it several times, the worst one being the whole of the left front yesterday as I missed 6 stitches of texture right at the bottom and only discovered it at sleeve height. Thankfully it is a small garment.

I have also found that the way the armhole decreases have been written is tedious and would not be very easy for a new knitter to understand and that did disappoint me. There are simple ways of writing these instructions so that it is easy to follow them.

All this said, the baby bamboo is soft and snugly. It is lovely to knit. It has a slight sheen to it and it looks lovely. I am enjoying the knit again. It will be a very pretty classic baby knit when in is done.

More important, Borneo likes it and it is his gift to give.

Yesterday, the yarn arrived from Fyberspates for Ishbel and it is gorgeous. It is cream with a blush of pink. Borneo ordered it for me, after flipping through the pages and showing me the colours while I was beading the Aeolian.

I chose it and did not know it is sparkly which was a lovely surprise. If I had ordered it myself, I would have realised this as it is called Sparkle Sock - colour - Blush. It will suit the recipient admirably. I do love it when the Universe gifts like this.

I started Ishbel at the knitting group last night but more of that at another time when the baby jacket is complete!

Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Aeolian Shawl - Complete.

Just a quick post as the Aeolian was completed yesterday. Here she is on the blocking board and I am still in love with her. I have decided that she is a gift for a friend so she will be put away until the appropriate time. I see there is another shawl by the same designer in the latest Knitty and I have my eye firmly on it, however it is at the back of a queue of projects that I need to complete first, one of them being another shawl.

The next project is a Baby Jacket for a colleague of Borneo's who is expecting later this year.  All set and ready to go.

I have chosen Sidar Pattern 1802 and Sidar Baby Bamboo for a traditional little jacket that will be machine washable. It will be a relaxing easy quick knit. I don't often knit for little folk anymore as mine are now grown folk!

Sunday, 4 April 2010

kelmscott complete

It is with a mixture of both joy and sadness that I have completed kelmscott. It has been a project that I have thoroughly enjoyed knitting.

The yarn turned out better than I thought it would.

The back view.

The Aeolian's siren song is calling. I have 30 rows left to knit on the shawl and there is a huge amount of beading in it so it will probably take longer than I planned.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Revealed Scarf.

Now that the gift has been given, the third woven piece that I made was a bright spring scarf. It is made of 100% merino baby yarn in pink, soft cotton in orange.

I used a feature yarn for the warp. and wove in a few stripes of it to marry the colours together.

The scarf on the loom.

Here it is finished. I am much happier with the edges this time but they still need work.

Although I used more yarn than I thought I would need for the warp, It was still shorter than I would have liked and next time I will allow at least another 30-40cm. All in all, it was another quick fun project which taught me a great deal and gave pleasure to the recipient which made it all worth while.

I did start reading my book again last night and it referred to something in the back pages which proved very interesting. By the time Borneo came to bed, I was reading the book backwards! Now I have missed the middle bit and there are some technical terms that I have no frame of reference for! It is not an optimal way to do things. So today at some time when Kelmscott is complete, I will attempt to put all the weaving information in order in my poor befuddled brain!