Sunday, January 27, 2019

What I have been up to

While I have not been posting here very often, I have been busy with fiber arts. For example, yesterday I attended a workshop put on the local weaving guild. We practiced finger pickup patterns on rigid heddle looms and hemstitching, then two of the many talented seamstresses in our guild shared their secrets for sewing with handwoven fabric. It didn't occur to me to take any pics - brain fart, I guess - but a good time was had by all despite the snowy weather.

The other guild I belong to, ostensibly for spinning, was a disappointment last year. This year looks more promising. For one thing, we were presented with a challenge: spin yarn for a specific project AND then actually complete the project, by the June meeting. I have been working on spinning fat rug yarn for a runner. It's funny how when one starts spinning, the yarn is fat, but with practice, it slims down. Now I *want* to spin fat yarn and am having difficulties. Referencing Jill Moreno's book Yarnitecture, I wrote up a crib sheet to help me: more take-up, larger whorl, more fiber, less twist, slow feet, fast hands. Also, I bought a jumbo flyer for plying the fat singles.

When I learned to spin, I optimistically purchased a sweatersworth of roving, thinking I would spin it up, then knit it up. Needless to say, that did not happen. Recently, I decided to spin up that roving, aiming for a three-ply worsted yarn, to make this "cardigan" which is actually more like a wrap. At the last weaving guild meeting, a member was wearing one she had knitted. I kept staring at it all through the meeting. This spin-to-knit project is not part of the above mentioned challenge, but will be a challenge nonetheless.

I have an idea for a tapestry project for the frame loom, which is warped and waiting, but couldn't decide on which techniques to use. So I started a practice piece on my Ashford SampleIt rigid heddle loom. Working from Carol K. Russell's The Tapestry Handbook, I've been trying my hand at shading techniques: gradations of dots, basic hatching, gradations using weft blends. The latter was not working out too well for me, so now I have switched to Jean Wilson's Soumak Workbook with the goal of sampling each one she describes. I'm having a little trouble not beating the weft too hard.

The ribbed baby cable socks are still in progress. I try to complete a four-round pattern repeat every day. Maybe they will be done before winter is over.

It's not Thursday, but here is a throw-back, from 2006. It's a Princess Snowball Cat Bed, from Stitch n Bitch. Many times I have contemplated getting rid of it, but invariably one of the pets decides it is the perfect spot for a nap. Since it "sparks joy" for them, I will keep it.

Hope you are keeping warm!

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Unmatched socks

Ordinarily, I try to knit matching socks. This wasn't always so, but now I pride myself in making them look alike. So I was a bit discombobulated over this pair. I was well away before I realized they did not match. Then they sat in limbo while I debated over whether to reknit them. In the end, I decided it wasn't worth it.

Pattern: Gusset Heel Basic Sock by Wendy D. Johnson
Yarn: ONline Supersocke 6-ply, colorway 1551 (I think)
Needles: US2
Modifications: None that I can remember

In another inconsistent knitterly move, I neglected to make note of the toe construction (Turkish cast-on maybe) or record the stitch count or the start date. I *do* know that I previously used US3 needles to knit this yarn but thought they were too loose. The US2 needles, however, created socks that were too small for the intended recipient. Fortunately, these fit my daughter, and she never says no to handknit socks.