Subscribe: Bitten by Knittin'...
http://bittenbyknittin.blogspot.com/feeds/posts/default
Added By: Feedage Forager Feedage Grade A rated
Language: English
Tags:
angora  bit  color  colors  fiber  fleece  heel  knit  knitting  row  sock  socks  spinning  swatch  weaving  wool  yarn 
Rate this Feed
Rate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feedRate this feed
Rate this feed 1 starRate this feed 2 starRate this feed 3 starRate this feed 4 starRate this feed 5 star

Comments (0)

Feed Details and Statistics Feed Statistics
Preview: Bitten by Knittin'...

Bitten by Knittin'...



... and other fiber arts, too!



Updated: 2018-02-23T12:07:33.535-05:00

 



Daffodil scarf

2018-02-20T13:18:08.446-05:00

While I have a regular method for reporting on knitted FOs, I am still struggling a bit with woven goods. It would help if I kept some notes as I go along. Usually I do this in Ravelry for knitting; now I can do the same for weaving AND spinning, if I just get into the habit.

My goals with this scarf were to explore color and color inspiration (hence the "daffodil" theme) and to play with plaid. I think I achieved these goals. An ongoing goal is to create even selvages; while there is less pull-in with this project, the selvages are still rather raggedy.


Loom: Ashford Samplet 10"
EPI: 10
PPI: 10 (actual around 15)
Dimensions: Before fulling: ? x ?; after fulling: 4" x 80" (not including fringe)
Yarn: Valley Yarn Valley Superwash DK, in 'Red', 'Soft Yellow', 'Spring Leaf', 'Green'


I am still beating too hard, so the goal of 10 ppi was not met. I also was a bit confused over which heddle I was using, as at first I thought it was the 7.5 epi one. Like I said, I need to keep better notes, from step 1 on.


Personally, I prefer worsted weight yarn for scarves, be they knit or woven. I just happen to have a fair amount of DK superwash on hand, so that is what I am playing with.



Blew out my felted slipper

2018-02-19T11:19:06.811-05:00

I made these felted slippers in 2009. They were for my SO, but for some reason he left them at my house and rarely wore them. This past winter, I reclaimed them. It didn't take long for a hole to open up in the heel.


In a way, I am glad this happened, as I have been contemplating stash busting by making more of these. Now I know that I need to double up on the heels and/or add a sole of some sort.


I've also been contemplating how to fix these or at least repurpose them. Any suggestions?



Bookmark experiment

2018-02-18T11:13:43.497-05:00

I belong to a rigid heddle group on FB. This is a great way to get fresh ideas about weaving. Suzanne de Lugo tried painting the emerging cloth on her loom with fabric ink pens, working on a neutral colored, plain weave, acrylic "canvas". She is quite the artist to begin with, and her experiment was inspiring.


So I wove up an experiment of my own, on the 3-in-1 Swatchmaker. I used wool, linen, and cotton as my yarn and created three pieces for my granddaughter to draw on, figuring if nothing else the objects could become bookmarks.


The linen worked the best, as it creates a fairly flat fabric. Cotton was a close second and probably would work better with a tighter weave. Wool was too fuzzy to work on.


I thought it might be fun to weave up some linen or cotlin towels for Nora to draw on and color. However, her interest in this activity waned rather rapidly. I keep trying to encourage her craftiness but so far no luck.



Haste makes wasted time

2018-02-03T18:18:41.090-05:00

Today I decided to re-scour the two-pound hunks of fleece, as they just did not look very clean. I was aware of my impatience at the time, otherwise I might have picked at the fleece more before scouring and/or stuck with processing one pound at a time and/or soaked the two-pound hunks one or two more times in Power Scour. Today, while I was more patient, I also treated the fleece a bit more roughly, trying to dislodge more of the dirt. Fingers crossed that the fiber did not felt at all.

There was a one-pound batch that I pre-treated by teasing the locks apart before scouring. That bit looked pretty good, so I put some of it through the drum carder. I quickly learned not to feed too much in at a time. Also, expecting to process even one ounce at a go is a bit optimistic, as my drum carder is only 4 inches wide.


The color above is not accurate - the fiber is white. There are also pills or nepps in the fiber, presumably because I did not sort out the second cuts (shorter fibers caused by the shearer making a second pass over a part of the sheep).

Earlier this week, I also hand carded some of the fiber, just for fun. Some people think hand carding is faster than drum carding, and I can see why, but each has its place in the process. I also have a blending board, but I think that works better with fiber that is already carded.


There is more, much more, to do before I am done with this fleece. And by "done", I mean carded and ready to spin. It's a lot of work, but I'm enjoying it. So far.



Scouring raw fiber

2018-01-30T14:42:55.260-05:00

Last October, I posted about being gifted three bags of raw wool. I decided that mid-winter was a fine time to process one of those bags. Not one of my better decisions.I selected the bag labeled "Lazarus 2015" and dumped the contents onto my dining room table (after covering the table with an old sheet). Each bag must hold an entire fleece, and an entire fleece is ginormous. It is also kind of stinky. I decided the other fleeces can wait until it is warm enough to work on them outside or at least in the garage.This fleece (and I assume the others) was filthy. There wasn't much sheep dung or vegetable matter (VM) in the fleece, but there was a LOT of caked on mud. The underside looked fairly clean, but the ends of the locks were solid dirt.Sometimes a fleece is not worth processing (there is a reason it is free), but the fiber had a nice crimp. I showed it to my fiber friend Betty and her opinion is the source may be merino because the fiber is very fine. And soft.I took a look at a YouTube video on skirting a fleece, which was helpful in deciding what to just discard. I also performed the "ping" or "snap" test - hold a lock of fiber at each end and tug, to make sure the fiber is strong and has no weak spots. This fiber passed the test.For the actual scouring, I relied a lot on this post by Beth Smith. While the directions on the bottle of Power Scour recommended 2T per pound of wool, Beth uses half that. I followed her example and that seemed to do the trick. I also started out processing just one pound at a time, but by the end, I was working two pounds per soak. On the one hand, one pound is easier to handle; on the other, there is a lot of fiber to process and I became impatient to get that fleece off my dining room table.Needless to say, my house is not really set up for processing a fleece. Many years ago I purchased some aluminum screens from the local ReStore shop (for a gardening idea that never came to fruition). They are handy for drying wool even though they don't really fit anywhere convenient. Again, if it were warm outside, they could be in the garage.I'll post separately about subsequent processing steps. Needless to say, ALL my fiber tools are going to get a work out and I will get LOTS of practice using them. Quite the learning experience![...]



Gap prevention for top-down gusset-heel socks

2018-01-29T14:36:10.078-05:00

I know I knit top-down socks with a gap solution other than the usual pick-up-stitches-below one, but I did not quite understand what I was doing nor did I take very good notes. So I knit up a quick sample sock in worsted weight yarn, to try to figure things out.

I think the most important step is to start heel flap on the wrong side, slipping the first stitch purlwise. This makes the first stitch a continuation of the last round, which in turn prevents the creation of an extra row.

For this sample sock, I slipped a stitch purlwise with the yarn in front and purled the WS rows of the heel flap, and (sl1 purlwise with the yarn in back, k1) repeat across the RS.

When the heel flap was long enough, I ended with the WS.

When working the heel turn, I STOPPED before last purl row. I've always had trouble getting the same number of gusset stitches on each side of the sock. I think not working the final back-and-forth on the heel turn helps prevent this. I'm not sure it is necessary regarding the sock gap, though.

Then I picked up gusset stitches, worked across the instep, picked up the same number of gusset stitches on other side of sock. Crossing the heel turn, I K2tog the remaining "gap" there before continuing across the heel.

Finally, I worked the gusset as I would normally, decreasing one stitch on each side every other round.



Depending on your sock pattern, you may have to adjust these instructions. Remember: the important thing is to not create an extra row.

My current pair of socks on the needles are toe-up, but I'll knit the following pair top-down and update this post if necessary. Again, if you have questions, please leave a comment and I will try to make this more clear. Hope this helps!



Joy, joy, said Mrs. Malloy

2018-01-28T14:18:27.619-05:00

As I mentioned in a previous post, I was in the market for a portable spinning wheel. I went down to my neighborhood enabler spinning shop and tried out both the Ashford Joy2 and the Kromski Minstrel, both double treadle. I would have been happy with either as far as "feel" goes, but I decided to stick with the Ashford because 1) it seemed simpler to assemble/disassemble, 2) the bobbins from my Kiwi2 fit it so I wouldn't need to buy separate ones, 3) the design is more familiar.The package includes a carrying case, a threading hook (which has its own hole in the frame), three bobbins, and some sample fiber as well as spinning instructions.The wheel comes finished and (mostly) assembled. The only thing I had to do was fiddle with the flyer and Scotch tension.Folded, the wheel takes up very little space. The flyer fits into the middle of it all, nestling into that opening.Here we are, all ready to go. I did spin the two fiber samples, then plied them together, just to try the wheel out. (I forgot to take photos, though.)One difference between the Kiwi2 and the Joy2 is the number of ratios. The Kiwi2 has two: 5.57:1 and 7.25:1. The Joy2 has four: 6, 8, 12, 14 to 1. I have never played around with the different ratios, but my understanding is the higher ratios are for finer fibers. At the angora spinning workshop, I had trouble getting enough twist into the fiber; maybe this wheel is the solution.When I purchased my first wheel, I never imagined I would want to haul it around. Now that I am doing just that and now that I understand more about spinning, if I could have only one wheel, I would go with the Joy2 over the Kiwi2.[...]



Avoiding the dreaded sock gap redux

2018-01-25T12:50:26.875-05:00

(Ed. note: I modified this post to limit the fix to toe-up short-row heel socks. I will write a separate post for top-down gusset socks. Sorry for the confusion.)

A while back (March 18, 2014, to be exact), I wrote a post about a technique I created to avoid the dreaded sock gap that invariably appears when turning a heel. That was a so-so solution. Now I have a better one, at least for toe-up socks, if I can explain it in a way that makes sense.

What causes the sock gap is the final purl-back-knit-forward of the short-row heel turn. This creates an extra row, which creates a gap, which leaves a hole if one doesn't pick up some stitches from below. This solution is to not create that extra row. I accomplish this by not purling back to pick up the final wrap but knitting forward and picking up the wrap on the next go round.

Picking up that final wrap going forward can be fiddly and you may decide it's not worth it, but it satisfies my need for a logical and balanced solution. Left brained and a Libra am I. Also, some say wraps don't need to be picked up, but since the heel receives so much wear, I'm afraid to skip picking up wraps.

When knitting a short-row toe for a toe-up sock, the toe always seemed a bit skewed to me. Not enough to make a big difference, but just enough to bug me. It turns out the same trick may be applied here: instead of purling back to pick up the last wrap, knit forward and pick it up when you get to it. Now my short-row toes lie flat.

(image)
Flat toe!

If you try this trick on either heels or toes, let me know whether it works for you or if I can explain it better.



Tools new and used

2018-01-22T10:38:36.405-05:00

I stopped by the Little Shop of Spinning to try out a couple of portable spinning wheels (more on that later). Since I was there, I purchased an Ashford lazy Kate. The shoe box solution was fine in an emergency but there was no easy way to add tension to the bobbins. Also, I am attending Ply Away in March and need a lazy Kate for 3-plying in one of my classes. The tension system on this model is just like the Scotch tension on my spinning wheel, so no learning curve there. A little bit of tension keeps the bobbins from over spinning and tangling the yarn. I think this new tool will do nicely.The lazy Kate was brand new, still in the box. Not so the mini-standard Clemes & Clemes drum carder that just happened to be for sale in the shop. Betty had posted it on FB earlier, but so far no takers. That meant is was for me.We ran a little Romney fiber through it to make sure it worked okay and for me to learn some tips on how to get the best results from this device. Betty threw in a doffer, a tool for removing the batt from the drum.Betty recommended removing the belt when not in use, BUT FIRST take a photo of the belt configuration. This sounded like excellent advice, one learned from experience. Since this item is pre-owned, there was no documentation with it.I have used drum carders in several workshops, but didn't feel the need to spend $500-$650 for one. But I now have three bags of fiber sitting in the garage, just waiting to be processed. That is a lot to hand card, so this used mini is just the ticket. And at a reduced price.[...]



Oops

2018-01-20T14:49:28.887-05:00

I finished the Pine Forest baby blanket. While photographing it, I thought something was wrong with the light in the room. Alas, it was not the light but me. I neglected to check dye lots, so the first third or so of the blanket is a bit lighter than the rest.


Pattern: Pine Forest Baby Blanket, by Ingrid Aartun Bøe
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash, in colorway 905 ('Celery')
Needles: US8
Modifications: None except to slip the first stitch of each row knitwise


While one might expect a major yarn manufacturer to have their process down pat and produce more consistent colors, I should know better than to ignore the dye lots when selecting yarn. I feel compelled to point out this flaw to the recipient, as I don't want her to notice it later and think it was something she did. And once this blanket is wrapped around an adorable baby, who is going to notice?



Nothing lasts forever

2018-01-18T11:28:23.942-05:00

Despite my knitting attempts, the sock collection is becoming depleted. It seems the life span of a pair of knit socks is directly related to the yarn used. Lesson learned!

The yarn for these baby cable socks consisted of wool, bamboo, and nylon. I liked the gradient color so am disappointed they are wearing out, not just at the toes but across the soles as well. My SO has a pair like these, same pattern, same yarn, that are also fading.

(image)
Knit in 2011

I liked knitting socks with Cherry Tree Hill sock yarn because of the stitch definition. BUT the yarn is 100% merino wool, no nylon or other reinforcing fiber, so the fabric doesn't just wear out, it rips. There are two other pairs that also have died, one remaining. Since the tops are still good, I may recycle parts of these socks.

(image)
Knit in 2009
I can't find a reference to these socks in Ravelry, but I think they are the "Clara Barton" socks. The yarn is merino, silk, and nylon. The red color runs when wet, even after years of washing. There is no way I will try to salvage any of it.

(image)
Knit 2007

Most of my remaining socks are self-striping, which means they look great with jeans or solid colored pants but not so much with colorful leggings. The self-striping sock yarns lends itself well to knitting plain socks, but I think I'll knit some solid colored socks in more interesting patterns. At least, that is the plan.



A WIP

2017-12-31T10:33:10.005-05:00

And a helpful knitting cat.


The knitting is a Pine Forest Baby Blanket, for my SO's daughter and hubby who are adopting an infant in February. The cat is Beau, the Feline Destroyer of all Things Nice. At least he did not do any damage here.



The last swatch (for now)

2018-01-03T12:22:20.356-05:00

It took me some research to understand what "twill" is when it comes to handweaving. Basically, you are creating staggered floats across the fabric, with the back being the reverse of the front. If using a rigid heddle loom, this is more easily accomplished using two (or more) heddles. Since I am swatching on a swatch maker, I did it by hand, which helped me understand just what twill is.


The warp is in light gray, the weft in dark gray, both are Cascade 220. If I understand the nomenclature correctly, this would be a 3/1 twill: over three threads, under one, repeat. On the front, the light gray barely shows.


The back is dramatically different. This is a good example of how swatching can help determine the results. If I had thought of it, I could have done a variety of twills in the swatch - 1/1, 2/1, 3/1, 4/1 - to see how the two colors work together.


When weaving in ends, I was careful enough that they don't show... much. The hemstitching really shows on the back, of course. That would be something to keep in mind when working something reversible.


Now that I have my four swatches completed, I'm eager to hear the guild presentation and see what other examples there are. Swatching has also taught me that I don't need to always be creating a finished object to enjoy weaving - or knitting, for that matter.



Swatch #3

2017-12-28T17:10:52.511-05:00

Here is the third swatch, in checks, in preparation of the next weaving guild meeting. The colors are what I might call wine and rose, in Valley Yarns Valley Superwash DK. The selvages look better; I just carried the yarns up one side.


I still haven't marked any vertical lines on the swatch maker. However, I am getting better at warping through the holes. My method involves wrapping the yarn around two chairs as I go, to keep the yarn from snarling. Kind of annoying but effective.


I'm still color-challenged, but I am working on it. Converting a color photo to black and white helps determine contrast. I think these two colors are okay in that department despite being in the same hue family.


One more swatch to go, in twill. That will be a bit challenging on the swatch maker, but doable. I'm getting more comfortable with hemstitching.



Another homework swatch

2017-12-23T19:59:35.553-05:00

My goal is to complete four swatches before the next weavers guild meeting, plus do xmas. This is swatch number two, a log cabin pattern, in dark brown and tan. If you ignore the selvages, it turned out okay.


The pulling in of the selvages is a common problem when weaving by hand. I think adding some more lines to the swatch maker should help, two vertical ones where the selvages should be.


My SO found this design so dramatic that he wants a log cabin scarf in the same colors. I will hemstitch it, like I did here, but not do the lattice fringe.



Big hat for a big head

2017-12-19T15:25:14.035-05:00

My goal in knitting this watch cap was to end up with a hat long enough to fold up a lot (if that makes any sense). I wanted the brim to look fat and to cover my ears and keep them warm. I got that, and more.


Pattern: Watch Cap, by Judith Durant
Yarn: my homespun, from Butterball
Needles: US8 and US7
Modifications: Knit first 3" with US8, switched to US7 for the rest; deeper than called for


The hat stretched out a bit from the blocking, so now it is too deep. I can barely keep it above my eyes. So I may remove an inch or so from the crown, sometime.



Self-imposed homework on a swatch maker

2017-12-15T13:36:03.517-05:00

I belong to the Fort Wayne Spinning Guild, which has been an enlightening and inspiring experience. Such a welcoming, talented, and encouraging group! At each meeting, when business is taken care of and show-and-tell is over, there is a program. This year, several of the programs are about color. I swear I must be missing some cones and rods in my eyeballs because I find myself color-challenged. I can't tell the difference between navy and black unless they are side by side. When choosing colors to knit or weave, I tend to go for tried-and-true basics like red-black-gray or primary colors, or I let the yarn manufacturer decide for me (e.g. self-striping sock yarn). When I knit my SO a vest of many colors, I let him do the picking AND the ordering of the thirteen colors.The last meeting's program was on color theory for weaving, and it was very helpful. Sara is our current president and a college professor and now a blogger. She presented a mini-lecture on color theory which helped my left brain understand, or at least begin to.The next guild program is the first of three on color and weave, with 2-color examples on a 4 harness loom. Everyone in the guild uses harness looms for most if not all of their weaving. I am the lone holdout, not because I am anti-harness but because I like my rigid heddle looms and pin looms and toy looms. Someday I may graduate to a harness loom, but for right now, I am happy with what I have.I am also one of the newest weavers in the guild, and one of the most distracted. I don't always have weaving to share at show-and-tell because there is knitting and spinning and dyeing to do, too. The examples for the next presentation are going to be in log cabin, straight twill, hounds tooth, and checks. I decided in order to get the most out of the program, I should work up some examples of each of these design patterns.Not wanting to create anything big, I turned to my Swatch Maker 3-in-1 Weaving Loom. I have not used this nifty little device much, so creating some samples on it kills two birds with one stone.Already I have an idea for an improvement to this device. The weft is "beat" with a comb or fork, so getting a straight line is not easy. After creating one swatch, I penciled in lines to help me get a straight weft in the future. I would also recommend they replace their needles with ones with curved points.For a hounds tooth pattern, the warp consists of two threads of one color, then two threads of another, repeated across the board. Likewise, the weft is two picks of one color followed by two picks of the other color. The weaving action then creates the design. Simple, no?I've tried hounds tooth before, with unsatisfactory results because I beat the weft too hard, squishing the pattern. This time I made sure to not repeat the same mistake. I also hemstitched, something I think almost every woven object needs, and tried something a little different for the fringe. Besides being a tidy little example for show-and-tell, this can then be used as a mug rug. Weaving is so practical! [...]



A spinning experiement

2017-12-14T12:52:09.845-05:00

Recently I purchased some dyed roving in what we will call turquoise and chartreuse. I had seen these colors together elsewhere and wanted to spin them together. My idea was to spin singles in each color, then a single with both colors combined, ending with a three-ply yarn.I was somewhat disappointed in the quality of the yarn. It felt overly processed and stiff, and it was not much fun to spin. Looking back, I should have teased the fibers apart before spinning, to see if I could get them to draft better into the twist.To blend the two colors, I used my blending board, layering one color, then the other, then rolling them together to create a rolag.If I were to do this again (and I just might!), I would take the rolag and reblend it, as the colors were not actually mixed. The resulting single was mostly one color or the other or the two "barber poled" around each other. Not exactly what I was aiming for.My spinning wheel has two spindles on it, but for a three-ply, I needed a lazy kate. I don't currently have one, so I rigged one up with US8 knitting needles and a shoe box. This worked fine, although a little drag on the bobbins would have been helpful.I like the colors, but the result was not quite what I was aiming for. I like the bulky three-ply yarn, but there isn't enough to do anything with it. These are both good excuses to get more roving and give it another whirl. Right?[...]



And there were bunnies, too!

2017-12-13T14:20:39.073-05:00

Last Saturday I attended a workshop on how to spin angora. For those of you who don't know, angora does NOT come from angora goats - that's mohair. Angora fiber comes from angora rabbits. According to the instructor, Peggy Coffey, angora is nine times warmer than wool, which is one reason few garments are made exclusively from angora.

Another reason not to use 100% angora is the fiber does not have scales like wool. It is slippery and needs a LOT of twist to hold together. Mixing angora with wool helps alleviate both the issue of the fiber being too warm and too slick.

Some breeds of angora rabbits are sheared or clipped, but the ones Peggy brought are plucked. Several times a year, they "blow" their coats, which means they start to shed heavily. That is when it is time to harvest the fur.

We sampled fur from different breeds of angora rabbits and in different blends. I'm not sure yet how I feel about spinning angora. The tight twist gets kinky very easily. Also, the yarn has a "halo" - hairs that stick out. Although very soft, this halo can also tickle.

My primary reason for attending this workshop was to learn what to do with the sheddings from Hip Hop, an angora-minilop mix rabbit I owned many years ago. Peggy suggested I sandwich the angora between layers of mohair on my blending board since my angora has a rather short staple.

The workshop was held at MoonTree Studios. This was my first visit to this venue, which is a bit off the beaten track. While I was there, about six inches of snow fell, with more coming down as I was leaving. Fortunately, I was able to make it to US30 without trouble and eastward there was less snow even though driving conditions deteriorated periodically. There was so much slush on the front of my car, some of the driver assist technology didn't work. So much for self-driving cars in an Indiana winter!



One pair of xmas socks

2017-12-06T16:55:24.180-05:00

In (some) previous years, I have knit xmas socks for those near and dear to me. Not this year, as I find myself distracted by multiple fiber projects - dyeing, weaving, spinning, etc. However, my son relayed a request from his SO for a pair. I complied.


Pattern: Sock Recipe by Stephanie Pearl-McPhee, short-row heel courtesy of Short-Row Toe and Heel Basic Socks by Wendy D. Johnson
Yarn: Austermann Step, colorway 23, Simply Sock Yarn in black for toes, heels, and cuffs
Needles: US1
Modifications: Besides the short-row heel (to maintain the striping), I rounded the toe by decreasing every other round until 40 stitches remained, then decreased every round until 28 stitches remained


This colorway looked better in the skein than it does knitted, IMO. It's also not very festive. The wide stripes worked out for the length, though.



Still a little tight

2017-12-04T14:32:08.336-05:00

As a palate cleanser, I decided to spin the alpaca/merino blend I purchased from the Natural Fiber and Yarn Co. Mindful of the shorter staple, I carefully used the inch-worm method of spinning in hopes of improving the consistency of my spinning. Still not there, but getting closer.


After a previous episode of plying, where I tried to ply from a too large center-pull ball, I had the sense to divide this roving into two parts by weight and to spin each on a separate bobbin. But then I tried to ply it all onto one bobbin. It didn't quite work out.


I told myself I could use the mini skein for swatching, but it is pretty messed up. There is always something new to learn, but sometimes I get tired of these learning experiences.



Angry yarn

2017-12-03T14:24:33.079-05:00

I specifically purchased some Cormo top with a plan to spin it worsted, to see how it compared with roving spun worsted. This was the yarn on my wheel when I went to a spin-in. Someone at the spin-in took it upon themselves to tell me what I was doing wrong. And then this person commandeered my wheel to show me the right way to do it. The problem was, she was spinning woolen instead of worsted.

I said something to that affect, but it fell on deaf ears. Which resulted on her advice falling on my deaf ears. Later, when I thought about what she said, I actually found it helpful. However, it took a while for me to not get angry all over again every time I sat down at the wheel because my inner child was whining, She ruined my experiment! Consequently, I spun the Cormo too tightly, then plied it too tightly.


One may not be able to tell from this photo the result of this tight spinning, but one can feel it when one touches the yarn. It feels textured. Nubby. Tense.

My first inclination is to swear to NEVER, EVER spin in public again. At least, not until I am a better spinner. But my better self knows a more mature reaction is to remain open to learning from others, regardless of the situation and the outcome. Besides learning what to do, sometimes one learns what NOT to do.



Shetland

2017-11-26T17:59:40.686-05:00

I started watching Shetland, a British TV series that takes place in the Shetland Islands (duh). I'm not sure which I like better, the accents or the knitwear.

Classic ribbed turtleneck pullover.


Shawl collar, drop sleeve cardigan.


Crew neck, raglan sleeve pullover. With cables!


I'm a little confused about what may be called a "jumper" or "Gansey" or "Guernsey" in the UK. No matter, I like all these sweaters. The show is pretty good, too.



Absorba the Great (sort of)

2017-11-16T12:46:16.733-05:00

I got this idea to weave a bathroom rug out of super bulky yarn from here. JoAnn had some super bulky yarn on clearance, so it seemed ordained that I would try this out. Well, after warping, I was not excited by the weaving.


I also wanted thicker material than this was turning out to be. Mason Dixon Knitting to the rescue! Unfortunately, this is one rug that looks better in real life than it does in a photo.


Pattern: Absorba, the Great Bathmat
Yarn: Big Twist Yarns Natural Blend Ombres, colorway 11001 (black and white and grays)
Needles: US17
Final size: 31" x 22"
Modifications: Different yarn, different needles, held two strands instead of three, fewer "logs", picked up more stitches

Knitting super bulky yarn doubled was really hard on my hands (and arms and shoulders), but thankfully it didn't take long. The rug is about a half inch thick and squooshy under foot. Mostly acrylic with some wool, we shall see how absorbent the yarn is.

Now I'm wondering what to do with the warped bit. Maybe unweave the weft and replace it with a contrasting color, like pink or yellow? Stick with super bulky or try something thinner? Hmmm.



Where do you keep your hand knits?

2017-11-12T19:23:21.079-05:00

Besides the fiber arts studio conundrum, I also have an issue with managing all my hand knits. A friend suggested rugged antique-ish ladders for blankets. I found some at a new local consignment shop, Rekindle.


I don't like to hang scarves because they tend to stretch. But folded and hung, again on an old ladder, works just fine. (Hats and handwear go into some baskets.)


My wool socks get washed but once a year, just before I put them away for the season. The rest of the time they air out on a drying rack in my bedroom. This takes up a bit of room, but is doable.

But SWEATERS. My hand knit sweaters are too bulky for drawers and too heavy for hangers. During the off season, they rest in a big plastic tub in my closet. But I can't figure out how to manage them during sweater-wearing season besides draping them over a rocking chair in my bedroom.

How do you manage your hand knits?