Dying is great fun and color is a great challenge and pleasure. ROY G BIV et al. I've been working diligently on getting ready for the Hutchinson Art Fair on May 9th. I will have some different things there, emphasis on low immersion scarfs and socks. Why-o-why did I think that each scarf needed to be ironed? But the colors are spectacular in the sunlight aren't they.
I'll also have hand spun yarns. They will range from single ply to 3 ply, fine to lumpy bumpy art yarn. I plan on bringing my wheel and spinning when it is slow. Stop by and see me.
I've started knitting on a beautiful sweater. It is a Norah G. design. It has cables, lace and moss stitch, what more do you need?. It is knit from side to side starting with the ends of the sleeves. This is a construction that I haven't done before. I think that I like it.
Ply is a strand of fiber that has twist. The strands are then twisted together the opposite direction to make a plied yarn. Plying makes the yarn stronger, more stable and evens out the the inconsistencies.
What is crimp? And does it taste good?
Yesterday, on Earth Day, it seemed like a good thing to do, so I figured out a how to make a paper bag using a newspaper, glue stick, and cereal box. Not really to hard to do but time consuming.
That is how it is with knitting too. You just need to get good at making 2 different stitches. And keep going. Add some new techniques, manipulate the 2 stitches. And keep going. It can be as simple or as challenging as you want. Most of us keep a least 2 kinds of projects going at all times. One for knitting socially or in the car and one that is best done in private with concentration. There is room at the table for everyone.
Fiber Word of the Week
Soy silk - a fiber made from soy beans that imitates the sheen and drape of silk
What is ply?
I am knitter hear me roar! Finished it, the blue top. Looks great. Accomplishment is a great thing, especially when it is a project that has been in the bag for quite a while. A really good feeling.
Roaring in April, in Kansas, we had quite an ice storm in the last 36 hours. Spent yesterday inside. I did lots of reading and spinning. Really nice when that happens. The yard looks like a fairie wonderland this morning. Cool blues and greens with lots of sparkle. That makes me think of an art batt to card up. Walking on the grass is an odd sensation as it goes crunch, crunch, crunch. My little dog is hesitant about walking on it. There is about 1" of ice on the deck, not going up and down those stairs. As time has passed the ice is beginning to melt, it sounds like the whole world is cracking up. Another problem for the little dog and her needs.
Micron - metric unit of measurement, 1,000,000th of a meter. Used in describing the average size of a particular fiber. The higher the number, the coarser the fiber; vicuna 10 micron, alpaca 18 micron, and llama 24 micron.
Fiber word of the week: Soy Silk.
Well it has been 3 weeks and I have been knitting on the blue top and a pair of socks. I took the blue top to the polls last Tues, got lots of knitting and unknitting done. The election that I was working was a local only so lots of sit time. I think the top will take about 3 more hours. The knitting pattern is commonly called a smocked stitch. The purl stitches get pulled together & wrapped with yarn, in a uniform and repeating way. The back looks great too, a bit like grain bundled in to shocks. Take a look at antique farm scenes.
Tarentine - fiber extruded through the spinerets of a mussel. Yes that is what you read. This is from a mussel (sea creature). It apparently is very fine and not at all gross. A very ancient fiber and not at all on the modern list of production animals.
Fiber word for the week: Micron
There are some projects that have just hung around too long. This is one of them. I started it 5 years ago, as I was driving the Alaskan Highway, a trip of 5 weeks. I took this and a couple of other knitting projects along to work on in the evenings. It is a sleeveless shell with a smocked bodice. When I got home, others, both people and projects, vied for my attention. And I forgot about it. Then it started to hang over my head. After all this time, I was sure that I had lost the directions. And it just got bigger & bigger as it talked to me, "Finish me, finish, finnnisssssh." Went looking for the directions and found them! So, know I'll spend time figuring out where I am in the pattern and start where I left off. Don't you just love knitting, where else in life do you get to pick up where you left off 5 years ago without penalty. Pretty grand, life is good.
Boucle - The word boucle comes from the French boucler, meaning to buckle, curl or bulge. In hand spinning or yarn production it is a plied yarn that one ply loops, twists or bubbles around the other. Often it is made out of mohair or a "mohair like" material.
Fiber word for the week: What is tarentine? Next post, you'll know.
Wow! This sweater was started the last of January and finished just a few days ago. Love the leaf pattern yoke. It is modified form af a Knitty.com pattern from last fall. It sure feels good to finish things. A great sense of accomplishment. The color of the alpaca/wool yarn reminds me of copper and autumn leaves. I guess that that is why I chose it.
Last Friday I dyed up some bamboo socks in bright spring colors. Also did a rayon infinity scarf. See what you think. I think it will be fabulous to wear. The fabric is very light and it moves wildly in the wind. But it is gusty today in central Kansas, so everything moves in the wind. The blue is about the same color as the sky. Lovely.
Fiber word for the week: what is boucle? Next post you'll know.
Spring is here, 70 degrees this afternoon. Well at least I'm thinking of spring and all the lovely colors of silk scarfs that I can dye; mango, chartreuse, pumpkin, charcoal, faintest sky blue, golden sunset, or rocking amethyst. On Sat. it may look like winter again. That is how March is.
It seems that I am always looking forward to or thinking back on something. I must learn how to live in the present. Planning ahead and not forgetting the past, but really focus on what is today. The people that I meet, the situations that I'm in, and my responses to and my willingness to help, that is what is really important. I enjoy today. Life is an adventure that is best lived walking with God.
Dog sweater done!
We all sprung forward together on Sat night/Sunday morning. But I think the recoil might have been to much. I'm deeply tired. Perhaps tomorrow will be better.
As we all wait for spring, I've taken this time to finish some projects:
2 pairs of socks that I can't remember how long they have been on the needles.
1 green rabbit baby blanket looking for a baby to give it to. It has been on needles a couple of years.
1 copper cardigan sweater for one of my daughters.
1 dog sweater for Lucy. It was so funny when I grabbed my camera and the dog sweater, she got so excited. She must think that she is a model. Look at that pose.
Warmer spring days also makes it easier to dye. And I can hardly wait to be able to spin on the deck. It is an absolutely beautiful place to be and loose myself in spinning. We will all try to find ourselves. Knit well and love greatly.
It has been quite a week. Finally got the little car out of the garage. Snow is melted mostly.
Finished the dog sweater. Fits like a champ and Lucy looks so fine, and warm too. Spent a bit of time messing with the tweed stitch pattern. Knitting the back side instead of purling it. Very pretty. Looks a bit like a 2 color bamboo to me. I think that I will play like this more often. Could get interesting results. And maybe useful.
Spun some Junk Yard Yarn, 3-ply. You ask what is Junk Yard Yarn? To spin it, you make a pile of assorted fibers and colors. These do not necessarily have any relationship with each other. Spin one fiber for a bit, then move onto another. Continue. The key here is to have variety and continuity. What I spun was a bulky weight. A 3-ply is a rounder yarn than a 2-ply. It also gives Junk Yard Yarn more continuity. More about this later.
Picked up a pair of socks that had stopped me at the heel. They had been laying around a couple, well maybe 3 or 4 years. Yes, I had lost interest in them. Well, I'm past the heel now and into the foot. Do you know about second sock syndrome? I like to knit socks 2 at the same time. This is the only way that I can be sure that they are an actual pair & that I finish with a pair. I think that I will finish them this weekend.
Junk Yard Yarn
We had a second go around(or could it be snow around?) this week. I can't tell you when the last time was that we had 2 big snows this close together. Infact, one big snow a winter is about normal for south central Kansas.
Just beautiful. A blanket of white, brings out the color in everything else. The most subtle shades glow. And the brights knock your socks off. Mr Cardinal is a streak of red. You can imagine the flames following him across the sky. There is something magical about a snowy day especially if you get to stay inside out of the cold.
So with that said, I'm inside working on Lucy's dog sweater. It is worked from the rump up. I am working on it as the computer uploads photos. Tweed stitch is going great. It looks so good in both sides, I just don't know which side is the front side. Do dogs have opinions about such things?
Here is the super fine merino combed top that I dyed & spun last week. Seed beads are plied into it. Do you agree with me that I looks a little like small pearls on an oyster shell? I think that it would knit or crochet into a lovely shawl. It is a sport weight.