Thursday, February 28, 2008
Wednesday, February 27, 2008
Late on Sunday I took this handspun, a hodge podge of assorted fibres and colours which had been plyed with a fine black weavers' wool,
I wove away, as compulsively as I usually do with such things,
--- and by late Tuesday evening I had it completely woven, cut off the loom, a few skips repaired, and some experimental fringe alternatives pondered. The scarf is in a finishing bath now and will be pressed, have its fringes sprinkled lightly with beads and trimmed evenly, to be ready for its debut here tomorrow.
Tuesday, February 26, 2008
This is what I have done so far.
Don't worry, it will look far better when it's blocked! Handknit lace undergoes an amazing transformation from rumpled dishrag to elegant work of art during the blocking process.
I'm starting both ends at the same time for two reasons. First, I want the wave patterns to be the same at both ends of the scarf with the lace pattern "right side up" at both ends. Second, I have a limited amount of this hand dyed, handspun merino/silk blend and this way I can use every last inch and still be assured that both ends will end up the same length. The two ends will be grafted in the middle when they are complete.
I'll recycle a picture from an older post to show you the handspun I am using.
Monday, February 25, 2008
Swatch 13 - (lace of choice) Pierced Diamond
Both of these swatches are from stitch patterns I found in the Barbara Walker Treasuries. I knit them in a coned, superwash wool, fingering weight yarn usually used for machine knitting. I had thought about using another shockingly bright yarn, like last week, but the orange I was thinking of may have been too dark and possibly even a bit too fuzzy to meet the acceptable standards.
So next week's Master Monday report had better be that I have done the write ups for these last three swatches. I will be knitting this week though. I have two non-Masters knitting projects I'm actively working on.
And I'll be weaving. The loom is warped for the next project.
Thursday, February 21, 2008
- I had all the cotton denim yarn, purchased at a clearance sale months ago.
- The bright orange acrylic was leftover yarn given to me by my daughter.
- Who doesn't have a pair of holey old jeans kicking around?
- I even had leftover thread in the right colours.
- I had the perfect buttons purchased long ago for a project that I changed my mind about.
- The inkle band, cut in two, turned out to be exactly the right length to make shoulder straps that place the bag at a comfortable carrying height.
- The inner pockets were made from a scrap leftover from the main lining.
- The plastic canvas was in my stash, previously rescued from a thrift store for next to nothing.
- The bag turned out a nice size and shape simply by cutting the woven yardage exactly in half.
The only things I had to buy specifically for the project were the fusible interfacing (to stablize the weave so it could be cut and sewn), and the bright orange broadcloth for the lining. Both of those I got at a local department store. I didn't even have to set foot into our big (annoying, high priced, slow service) fabric store.
All the details would have taken less time if I had had a commercial pattern to refer to. As it was I had to stop and carefully think about how best to accomplish the features I wanted. The bottom and the narrower sides were given some stability with plastic canvas basted invisibly between the layers. The inside was lined, complete with six customized pockets, four flat ones of various sizes, and two pleated ones for bulkier objects.
With the exception of the inkle bands, I have enough of everything left over to make another whole bag.
I haven't decided yet whether I will do that and sell the extra one, or if I will buy a pattern for some kind of lined purse. Either way it won't be anytime soon. Sewing isn't my favourite hobby. Although I did a fair bit of it years ago, now I only sew when it is a necessary step for finishing some other fibre related project.
Wednesday, February 20, 2008
This latest project, an inkle band, is at least a "go with" for the handwoven fabric (sitting in the background) that I just completed on the rigid heddle loom. Now to dig out the sewing machine and get to work designing something to bring the two together.
Tuesday, February 19, 2008
After cutting old jeans into 1/2" strips I was off and weaving. 2 shots of the denim yarn, one of a bright orange acrylic, 2 more of the denim yarn and then a strip of the recycled denim jeans. Nice, simple tabby weave.
Monday, February 18, 2008
For this swatch, and two more lace ones, the requirement is to knit a lace swatch, bordered by seed stitch, and containing at least two multiples and three repeats. And the big challenge....it has to be no bigger than 7 inches! After much experimenting I found that for me that means no more than 8 stitches in each multiple, and no more than 12 rows in each repeat....otherwise it ends up being over sized and would be rejected.
After getting the knitting done then you have to write up a pattern for it including the seed stitch border. All information like needle size, gauge, materials, references/sources, abbreviations, must be included. I've gotten bogged down there a bit. I have a rough draft of the necessary information, but I have to fine tune it. So just the knitting of Swatch 11 this week. I can't say it's finished until all the paperwork is done.
Saturday, February 16, 2008
Friday, February 15, 2008
Thursday, February 14, 2008
Monday, February 11, 2008
Swatches 8 and 9 feature twisted decreases which are meant to be a little more visible and decorative than the usual decreases. I honestly don't think I would use them anywhere. I prefer decreases to be as inconspicuous as possible.
Swatch 9 - Twisted Decreases (Full Fashioned)
The central double decrease is most commonly used at the centre of a V-neckline, or in lace patterns.
Thursday, February 07, 2008
In the past I have tried many different methods to protect the area. The most obvious, a bandage, was too clumsy and thick, interfering with my manipulation of the knitting needles. I tried a leather quilters' thimble and it was also too cumbersome. I then tried using fingercots but they dulled the sensation of my fingertip too much making it feel like I was knitting with gloves on.
I have finally found a near perfect solution.
A humble piece of masking tape. It works great! It protects my finger just enough to prevent the shock of a needle ramming into an open wound, but isn't bulky and also leaves enough sensation in the fingertip so that I can still feel what I am doing.
As you can see in the picture, eventually even the masking tape wears through but at $1 per roll I can afford a new inch or so of tape whenever that happens.
Monday, February 04, 2008
This is Swatch 6, a vertical to horizontal seam like you would do when inserting a sleeve.
And Swatch 7, a horizontal to horizontal seam where "stair step" shaping is involved, like sometimes requested for a shoulder seam. Personally I like short row shaping and a 3 needle bind off better.