Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Time and spinning

Spinning in public is very, very interesting, I have not yet screamed at a person who says "that's a dying art"  living, breathing, spinning person right in front of you.

Sometimes this remark is made to 3 or 4 spinners, members of Guild

But another question is quite valid and interesting, "how long does it take"  and I can not answer with a amount of time, except that I can 2/3 fill a Louet bobbin with a fine yarn during a football game.

If I measure out a small amount, 25 g each of the 3 fibres I am working on for Kadigan, spin them and ply, without stopping for instant replays I might learn something.

Sunday, December 2, 2018

with apoligies to Robynn, Kadigan 2

I have just finished this commissioned piece, lovely yarn but fine, lovely man but big.
It's a relief to have done. Now I get to work seriously on Kadigan

I want to blog a lot about this work, this pattern because I know I will get a lot of questions and compliments as soon as I wear it.  And I want to track the alterations I make, something which I am terrible about,  make notes about knitting with a handspun and maybe take notes about how long something takes.

First thing is an apology to Robynn  one of the great things about this pattern is how changes are encouraged but I am not sure this many changes are what she had in mind.

the yarn is my handspun, heavier than the yarn she recommends and more uneven. Certainly not getting gauge
Unwashed gauge square, the stockinette is a good firm thickness, excellent for shoulders and sleeves.  first sample of garter is thicker than I want for the body of the sweater which needs to flow and drape. Used Addi clicks Olive Wood my favorite needles 4.5 mm. and changed in the sample above the white row to a 5.5 mm metal.

Measuring the changes in gauge washed and unwashed is an excellent idea, thanks Robynn  but since I wash yarn in the skein before knitting it didn't make a difference.  Commercial yarn would bloom and change more.

this is Romney, washed and dyed but not processed, I combed it with my hackle

It makes the yarn fuzzy and uneven

This is the fiber for one of the plies, BFL from aandb fiberworks where I work one day a week, for softness and shine

My gauge is 14 st to 4 inches, the pattern calls for 21 st.  So I am just going to do the smallest size instead of a large.  But I am making a huge change, I am going to start the yoke at the middle of the back with a tentative cast so it will easier ( think) to get both sides the same.  So it's 60 st for the cast on.

It's Sunday and I'm off to spin and watch football.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Kadigan pattern, first post

Just bought a pattern, kadigan  that I saw on Rav.  This is notable because I seldom, almost never buy patterns, I make up my own, I have tons of books and the library has more, but this pattern is so good and so interesting that I Paid for it.

It is something I can wear, comes in multiple sizes and is very adaptable.  And it will be excellent for handspun.  Takes buttons, I need projects that take buttons, there are no pockets but I think those can be added.

Why is it so good for handspun?  It's multi coloured, if one runs out of a color using another is easy, it is plain knitting mostly garter stich which shows off handspun well but it will be interesting to knit. Currently I am bogged down in a commissioned sweater that is slow and dull to knit.

And it has an interesting back, so many patterns have dull backs.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Iron and Indigo 2

A large piece of probably cotton from the G to G Sale this spring, ripped into equal squares and 3 long pieces, bound with elastics and Indigo dyed.

Should have washed it more, to get out chemicals, not as dark as I hoped for.  Elastics are great for resist dyeing, they actually absorb the indigo dye.  Need to be cut off.

 Two of the squares.  a tool free from a garage sale and square nails from my 1904 house.

These are some of my favorite found, rusted objects, washers,

Most of the quilt lined up on my deck,  I want to wash them all one more time and then I need to learn to use the sewing machine I have owned for 20 years and never used.
Rail road ties are great found objects, they are fairly common along tracks, but they don't lie flat so the rust isn't picked up by the cloth in such a way as to be recognizable.

I am working on that.

Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Iron and Indigo, mostly indigo

Obsessed with Indigo dyeing since I took a course at Maiwa. I have done indigo dyeing before at various workshops and woad dyeing, even grew my own woad.  But it was always presented as harder than chemical dyeing or at least that is what I took from it.

The Maiwa vat is very simple and works.

Yarn, I was trying for a graduated look and got some but Indigo is such a strong dye it tends to go to the darkest colour.
This is a mohair boucle and it is lovely.  I dipped half the skein and draped it over the edge of the pail, took it out and let it change to blue, then put the whole skein in for a short time.

And I dyed cloth, one edge in each vat and move it back and forth.  This is a length of cotton from the Grandmothers to Grandmothers sale.  Think it's cotton might be a blend but indigo is very cooperative and seems to dye everthing

And Finn sheep fiber for spinning,  this worked as a graduated dyeing.  I want to try spining it to produce a very long graduated 2 ply,  It is  8 oz.
 A couple of experts (hey, they wrote a book) say that when overdying use the indigo last.  So far I have not found it makes a big differance with the rust dyeing.

This piece of fibre (again, probably but not provably cotton) dyed with found rusty objects then overdyed with Indigo
 These pictues are taken mostly on my clothes line.

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Moccasin Socks Part 2

Open the Knitter's Almanac to page 118, study the pictures, read the pattern,  do a diagram of the leg part.

look at the picture of the half finished sock, the wide part is around the calf, the decreasing part is the sides of the heel, the small bit is the top of the foot.

I'd do a diagram if I could figure out a way to draw and post, I can't.

Then measure your leg, or the leg of happy recipient, or some passing stranger.

Length from the back of the knee to the top of your heel, where the Achilles tendon mets the calf,  my measurement is 10 inches,  err on the side of less this length is easy to add to by adjusting the ribbing. much later

Pinned to the apron of a loom

Saturday, November 26, 2016

EZ and me, the Moccasin Sock Part One

I have a huge admiration for Elisabeth Zimmerman ( and copies of all her books) which are available from Schoolhouse Press.  She shaped the wild and woolly way I knit, and sometimes I am a blind follower, the Baby Surprise Jacket for example.

These knee socks are a variation of the Moccasin Sock from The Knitters Almanac.

Available from Schoolhouse.Knitter's AlmanacI am asked in person when wearing them and on Ravelry when I post pictures and I always say they are EZ's pattern,  Copyright, intellectual property is very important, this is a issue of justice for creative people.  So I have never written notes that amount to a pattern or my version of the full pattern.  Buy the book, it's an incredible value.

But I was asked again, and the knitter is buying the book, so these are my variations on one of the best sock patterns ever, it's the only one I knit.  Because I don't actually like knitting socks, I love wearing hand-knit socks but I don't delight in the process.  Read the Yarn Harlot she is both poetic and interesting on the subject of socks.

Buy the book, read the pattern, maybe knit it as EZ writes it,  but visualize carefully what is going on.  Oddly because EZ was passionate about knitting in the round this sock is knit flat.  It is two quite separate pieces, the leg and the top of the foot are one piece and the heel, toe and bottom are then knitted on.  This was designed so that nylon could be added to the parts that wear and so that the whole bottom could be ripped off and completely re-knitted, which works by the way.  It is a very adaptable by size pattern too, there are parts where one just knits until it long enough.

Like EZ I cannot remember the series of mental fireworks I went though but the first is that there is no good reason to knit the leg flat,  knit in the round, magic loop or double points to the point on page 121 that she says put 3 stitches on holders, put 6 stitches on a bit of string and proceed.  I've asked and no one how was close to EZ has any idea why she choose to knit flat and sew up the back.  If you do please comment on it.

The Second is the knitter can create that flat piece vertically, IE around the leg from a back seam.  I want to use Noro Silk Garden but I did not want this.  Those are nice socks but I don't like horizontal stripes.
Image result for noro silk garden sock

I want my socks to look like this, these are the first pair knitted this way many year ago.

The colour variations show the different parts .

Here is one leg. Using a tentative case on around string.

Search You Tube for Invisible Provisional Cast by Beth Brown-Reinsal, 

The calf is shaped by short rows, the 2 sides are grafted together, then knit the foot.

Pick up stitches around the top, a multiple of 4, and rib 2 X 2 until it right up to the knee.

Foot modifications to come.