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. 

Sunday, October 30, 2016

I am a socialist, an NDPer from way back, what does this have to do with textile arts?   I believe that creativity, and the expression of creativity should be available to everyone, meaning that not everybody can afford a loom or has a place to put it.  I also think it's a waste of resources for individuals to own a lot of equipment though vital and enjoyable to have.  Joint ownership, that's the thing.

 This is the latest price of equipment that I am using at the Calgary guild  . It's a rag cutter, I am doing a saori weaving on a rigid heddle loom.

The guild has a lot resources for it's members.  Either free with membership or for rent.

This is a beautiful warp, hand dyed by a member on a 100 inch Leclerc loom.  Not something that most people have room for.  and it is available with membership.

I am moving to a very small space in the not to distant future so shared useful space is an important thing to me personally but it is also something we need to have more of as a culture.

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Weaving and other things

 I am now a weaver, not yet on a floor loom or doing anything but plain weave.  The theory is weaving uses yarn up faster than knitting.

For those who like to know exactly what they are looking at, the loom is a Schacht flip, the widest model.  I am using my Ashford country spinner 2 to hold it comfortably, the yarn is Briggs and Little in 2 different weights.  In the bottom left is adding machine tape used to measure the length of the scarf.
I love the Country Spinner, mostly I ply on it cause I only have one bobbin,  but what a bobbin it is, there is more than 700 gr and room for more on it.This is the yarn.  The crocheted table runner was done by my Grandmother in the 1940's.  She also made at least 2 tablecloths about 6 by 9 feet.  I have some of her crochet hooks, I can't see the hook it's so small.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

20 lb challenge revisited

Thrummed mitts
 Last summer I resolved to spin 20 lb before next summer,  I am doing quite well on that.

I also resolved not to buy yarn and apart from a bender at Stash Lounge, totally not my fault,  I had to spend a gift certificate,  I am doing quite well on that.

What I failed on was not buying more fibre.  I blame the thrummed mitts.

Mohair Wool blend

How can I resist locally produced fibre sold at my farmer's market by A and B Fiberworks of Linden Alberta
Super wash Merino
How can I resist just the right colours and fibre for baby knitting, local market and local dyer.
This mohair is produced and dyed in southern Alberta and will make lovely thrumms.

Merino Medley from Shuttleworks,

It was on sale, it is just what I need for a class about thrumming.

And it's all Mary J.'s fault she dragged me to the store.  Cal and Diane are having a going out of business sale,

So I have a couple of new resolutions,  I am of the age and location that is betwixt and between on the Metric and Imperial systems but I am going firmly metric.

It is now the 9.071kg. challenge, plus all the fibre I have bought since.

I like to keep my fibre stored neatly in tubs in the basement, but that leads to out of sight out of mind syndrome, so I want to browse my stash more, look at all the pictures in Ravelry so I remember that I have Stash beyond life expectancy.  And I just added 3 more kg according to weight on the bag,  but Shuttleworks is getting very generous and there was more than the stated wight in every bag I weighted.