Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for the ‘knitting’ Category

Handspun, Handknit

Methow Valley Spinners & Weavers annual show and sale was the weekend before Thanksgiving.  I sometimes put some handspun yarn in the sale, but hadn’t put any knitted items in for a while.  Since the focus is on spinning and weaving, our “rule” is that knitted items (or crocheted, or other crafts) have to be done with handspun yarn.

So I went to work on some of my Mosaic Mojo Hats (pattern available on Ravelry.com).  I wound up finishing six of them, and three sold at the guild sale.  The others went to Winthrop Gallery for the holiday gift show.

BFL roving in blue tones, polwarth/silk roving in greens, both dyed by Judith MacKenzie

Brownish yarn created at spinning camp with Judith Feb 2017 from grab-bag of different colors & fibers, plus blue BFL

Another hat with same fibers

Yet another hat with same fibers

Green polwarth/silk and some natural gray handspun from years ago

Reddish polwarth/silk roving I dyed at spinning camp Feb 2016, plus some leftover purple handspun from Taylored Fibers roving

I also had some handspun polwarth/silk from three rovings I bought a few years ago.  They were dyed by Abstract Fiber in Portland, Oregon.  Each 4-oz roving was a different colorway, but they went well together, so I spun singles from each one and then made a 3-ply yarn.  It came out more or less a worsted weight and I didn’t have enough to knit a garment, so it was just sitting there for a while deciding what it wanted to be.

I wound up knitting two cowls based on my Squirrel Cowl pattern (written for fingering weight yarn).  This is a sequence knitting project and uses a multiple of 12 + 1 stitches.   I used a size 9 needle and 228 + 1 sts and it came out a good length for wrapping around twice.  One went into the guild sale and then on to the Winthrop Gallery, and the other I am keeping for me!

Abstract Fiber cowl #1

Abstract Fiber cowl #2

The second one (the one I am keeping) is actually a little different.  I ran out of one of the singles but had more of another one, so I had a small skein of 3-ply with 2 singles of the latter and none of the former.  It was more blue.  I started the cowl with that color, then blended into the main yarn which had all three colors.

By the way, I think Abstract Fiber will be one of the vendors again at the 2018 Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat in Tacoma, WA  (Feb 15-18, 2018).  She really does beautiful work.

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

Exit 4

About this time last year, at a knitting event I have attended for many years, I was the big winner of a raffle prize.  It was 5 skeins of yarns from The Plucky Knitter (a very popular indie dyer) on their Snug Worsted yarn base (70% merino, 20% cashmere, 10% alpaca – a very yummy feeling blend).  They had picked the 3 colors and it came with one of their scarf patterns and was packaged in a Field Bag from Fringe Supply!

I had hit the jackpot, although the colors might not have been what I would have chosen.  There were 2 skeins of “Utility” (gray) 1 skein of “Take a Hike” (pine green) and 2 skeins of “Glamping” (cream with spreckles of orange and green), each about 230 yds.

That time of year is rolling around again and last month I decided I should do something with the yarn so I could take it to show off.  I started the scarf pattern they had provided, but became disenchanted with it when partway into the second color.  I was afraid I would never wear it (too heavy, I like knitted scarves from lighter weight yarn) and it wasn’t going to make good use of the yarn, especially the first color which is used very little.  So I tore it out and went on a search for another project.

This is where good old Ravelry really shines!  I searched for a vest made out of Snug Worsted and lo and behold, found someone had made Exit 4 by Bonnie Sennot from this yarn and used 4-1/2 skeins all in one color.  I had 5 skeins in 3 colors, but figured I could make it work.  It’s more of a poncho than a vest, being open at the sides and held together with 2 buttons on each side.

Exit 4 by Bonnie Sennott in Plucky Knitter Snug Worsted

But wait, there’s more!  When I was done I had enough yarn left to make a hat, or so I thought.  19 gms of the Utiity, and about 35 gms each of the other 2 colors.  So I went back to an old favorite I have knit a couple of times:  Crown of Leaves by Faina Goberstein.  This is written for a lighter weight DK yarn but I had notes from knitting it from worsted weight before.  So I did the decorative cast on over a US 10, then changed to a US 4 (instead of US 2) for the twisted rib, then a US 7 (instead of US 5) for the body of the hat.  I cast on for the middle size, then increased only 24 instead of 36 to knit the body in the smallest size.  And it fits!  I had enough gray to do the ribbing, green to do Chart A, and the confetti color to almost finish the top, although I ran out and switched back to the green and gray bits of leftover to finish it off.

And this is how much yarn I had left over from the 5 skeins:

and I still have my new Fringe Supply Field Bag for future knitting projects!

Read Full Post »

We are leaving tomorrow on a road trip to Oregon in the Airstream, with our 2 cats – Juno & Stormy.  This will be their third trailer trip!  We are so looking forward to having a vacation.  Everyone asks if we are going down the Oregon coast.  I am sure that would be lovely, and cooler, but we chose instead to visit family in the Medford/Ashland area, and then head east into central and northeastern Oregon to visit various wildlife and mountainous areas.  I am not sure how much blogging I will do when away from the home computer, but we will see.

I started the Windfeather pattern from the prolific and talented Carol Sunday, of Sunday Knits.  It is the High Country colorway and I am knitting the medium (stole) size.  Lots of colors and stitch pattern interest – I think it will be a good road trip project.

I recently found out that Sheila of Material Thoughts blog is also knitting this, but in a different colorway.  So we have a friendly competition going to see who finishes first!

I finished 3 rugs and took them to the Winthrop Gallery last evening.

R313

R314

R315

Rick finished up two projects and is delivering the last one, a work table for a local quilt shop, as I write.  The one delivered yesterday was a concession case for The Barnyard Cinema that is nearing completion in Winthrop – it’s going to be cool!  So today will be devoted to getting the trailer ready to go tomorrow morning.

Save

Read Full Post »

Two Knitted Scarves

I have been away from home quite a bit so wanted some small knitting projects to have with me.  Plus, I just didn’t feel like launching into another sweater right away, although I have the patterns and yarn selected for a couple that I want to do.

First up was another Squirrel Cowl, which is my own pattern and available on Ravelry.  I used some hand dyed yarn that I bought a couple of years ago up in Vancouver BC at Sweet Georgia Yarns.  This is the dyers’ studio and operations office, but they do have a retail storefront there as well.  You can also get their yarns at many retailers in the U.S. and Canada.

The pattern calls for fingering/4-ply yarn on a US 5 needle.  I wanted to verify that the yardage I used was consistent with the pattern (as well as to have another cowl to wear), so I weighed the balls of yarn before and after and used that to calculate the yardage used.  I wound up using about 260 yd/75 gm of their Cashluxe Fine as color A – 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere and 10% nylon in a dark teal semi-solid called “Riptide”.  For color B I used about 200 yd/62 gm of their Silk Crush – 50% superwash merino, 50% silk in a variegated colorway called “Stormchaser”.  So I think I am safe to stick with the requirement of 250 yds of each color for yarns with about 180 yds to 50 gm in the pattern.  This was Variation 2 of the pattern charts.

I also wanted to make the Reverse Psychology scarf by Mindy Ross after seeing the one a friend made.  It is written for a color gradient yarn and has bead placement on both edges and sometimes across the scarf.  My friend just used 3 different colors of fingering weight yarn and no beads, and it looks great.  So I did the same, using 3 colors of Koigu PPM that I had in stash.  Just change to a new color when running low on the old one (we both did this after doing one of the partial bind-offs with the old color, and then joining in the new color to finish that row).

Very fun and interestingly shaped scarf, here it is on the blocking mats and then draped on a mannequin.  It seems to drape a little differently depending on what edge you put against your neck, but I think they both look good!

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

Knitting FO’s

Finished Objects, that is.

I have had a run on my Mosaic Mojo hats up at the Winthrop Gallery, so decided to dig into the box of miscellaneous hat knitting yarn and whip out a couple more.  I knit all 3 of these in the last week or so (they take me about 6 hours each).

These have been kind of fun to do again so I may have a couple more in me before winter is completely over.

The big project last month was finishing a sweater before I went to spinning camp on Orcas Island.  Even though it wasn’t knit from handspun yarn!  I bought the yarn 10 years ago from Island Fibers on Lopez Island (part of the San Juan Islands chain in Washington State, along with Orcas Island).  Maxine always has a selection of spinning fiber and yarn at our event.  The wool was from local sheep on Lopez and had been spun at Taos Wool Mill to a woolen 3-ply.   Then it sat in storage until last year – 2016 spinning camp – when Judith helped me dye it a wonderful moss/lichen green color.  So I was determined to make a sweater out of it before this year’s camp.  I quite literally finished it the day before we left.

The Rainforest Sweater 2017

I didn’t have enough of my green yarn to do the whole thing, so I knit the bottom and sleeve borders with some Koigu sock yarn I had in stash, held with a strand of Jaggerspun Zephyr wool/silk to beef it up a bit.

The pattern is from a new electronic publication from Interweave Knits – knit.wear Wool Studio.  You buy the pattern collection as a PDF file and then can download and print whatever you want.  There are several patterns in there that I like, and this one is called “Truro Pullover” by Amanda Scheuzger.  It is knit in one piece from the bottom up, and the most fiddly bits are up around the short rows for the front neck and beyond.  One thing I really liked about this pattern is the shoulder shaping – besides the raglan line, there are decreases along the top of the sleeve from just below the shoulder up to the neck.  This makes it sit very nicely over the shoulder and is an idea I plan to incorporate into my next top-down raglan.

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

When it snows…

In a push to finish UFO’s, I completed a knitted scarf that I started sometime last year.  It was about 2/3 done but falling farther and farther towards the bottom of the knitting bag.  The pattern is Noro Knots by the Irish designer Kieran Foley.  I knit one of these about 3 years ago using Noro Kureyon Sock and have found it to be very wearable, so I decided to make another one using Noro Silk Garden Sock in a colorway I really liked (#272).  For both of these I did 6 repeats of the charts, not 5 (well actually, on this one I worked only through chart C on the 6th repeat).  Very happy with it!

p1010336

In January I bought a WooLee Winder for my Jensen Tina II spinning wheel.  I like the wheel but was having trouble getting used to having to move the spun singles from hook to hook on the flyer.  I haven’t had a wheel with hooks for a long time.  The Majacraft Little Gem has a sliding eyelet, much like a Lendrum, and for the Hansencraft Minispinner the standard flyers have a sliding eyelet (you don’t even need to pinch and slide, just give it a little nudge with your finger).  I also have the WooLee Winder for the Hansencraft spinner and love it, especially for plying.

I was kind of on the fence about ordering this for the Jensen wheel, as it had gotten mixed reviews on the Jensen Ravelry group.  Some people love it and others have had trouble getting it to work right.  The flyer has a level-wind mechanism in one arm, much like a fishing reel, and it moves up and down evenly feeding singles onto the bobbin as you spin.

Anyway, mine works great in both double-drive and Scotch tension modes and it is making the eternal spinning project go much faster and more enjoyably!  I only bought 2 bobbins as I always wind the singles off onto plastic storage bobbins anyway, for later plying.

p1010340

We got a lot of snow the last couple of days, at least 10 inches I would say.

feb-9-snow

p1010342

Cats roasting by the (not so) open fire….

by-the-fire-feb-2017

I decided to put a short warp on my 32″ Macomber and do our weaving guild annual “challenge” project just to put it behind me and be ready when we share our efforts at the April meeting.  The theme this year is Lace and everyone signed up for a different kind of woven lace, breaking into study groups.  Three of us chose to do a project based on an article by Jane Evans in the May/June 2000 Handwoven magazine.  It allows you to weave motifs in Bronson lace using a “split shed” technique on 3 shafts, instead of pickup sticks.  You can either weave a lace motif against a plain weave background, or a plain weave motif embedded in a lace background.

It sounds intriguing and definitely a challenge!  But after reading through the method again I realized I will never in a million years actually choose to use this for a project, so have decided to do just a small sample to try it out and fulfill my obligation for this year’s challenge.  That meant putting on only a 1-yard warp in 20/2 pearl cotton.

These days I almost always warp my looms using my AVL Warping Wheel, which allows me to put a warp on the sectional beam with even tension, and without needing a tension box and multiple spools, then thread and sley from back to front.  But I can’t do that for a warp shorter than a couple of yards.  So I decided to try out Laura Fry’s method for putting a warp (wound on a conventional warping board or reel) onto the back beam under even tension, then threading and sleying from the front as I am used to.  This is shown in her DVD The Efficient Weaver.

Quickly realized that this warp is too short even for that, as it will not be wound onto the back beam at all.  So there seemed no point in trying out her way of rough-sleying a reed to act as a raddle and warp spreader at the front of the loom as you wind on.  I wound up just tieing the cross end onto the back apron rod so I could pull on it as I thread.  The lease sticks are suspended from two string cradles – actually the stick closest to the back rod is suspended, then the two are fastened together so as not to fall out.  Got this idea from Nadine Sanders’ “Warping on a Shoestring” DVD.

p1010345

p1010346

 

Save

Save

Read Full Post »

Wow, I can’t believe it’s already January 31.  It has been a productive month in the studio for me, so here are the things I have been working on.  Warning, this is a weaving-centric post!

Weaving

I finished the first set of “mixed warp” scarves using a discontinued Missoni yarn called Bombay which I picked up in a stash reduction sale, who knows how long ago!  I only had enough for about half the warp so I alternated 2 strands of Bombay with 2 strands of coned rayon Rik-Rak in 2 colors.  Here is the warp as it shows in the fringe:

Bombay 1 fringeand the 9 scarves that were woven using a variety of DK weight handknitting yarns and rayon chenilles.  These are all out at the Confluence Gallery in Twisp and the Winthrop Gallery.  There was a 10th scarf at the end of the warp that came out shorter (about 54″ not including the fringe) and I am keeping that one.  It was woven with Elspeth Lavold Baby Llama, and is quite yummy feeling

Bombay 2 Bombay 3 Bombay 4I put a second warp on using 16 different yarns in reds, browns and some gold.  I am weaving these 8″ wide at 8 epi so I need 16 ends (threads) in each 2″ section on the warping beam.  I rotated through groups of 4 yarns in each section to mix up the colors and textures some.  The warp is 24 yards long and I can comfortably get 11 scarves woven to 70″ under tension from that.  They shrink about 10% in each direction once off the loom and washed and pressed.  There is a 4″ unwoven section at each end of each scarf for the fringe, and I am hemstitching the ends in groups of 3 or so threads to keep the edge wefts in place.

Red Brown warpI used a lot of Henry’s Attic natural color superfine alpaca as weft on these, as well as some rayon chenilles.  Here is the first one being woven, using black alpaca and beat gently (more of a press, really) to get about 8 ppi.  I also used a light gray, light camel, and chocolate brown in the alpaca.

Red Brown black alpaca Here they are drying on the rack yesterday.  Today I will trim and press and label and then they will be ready to go out to the galleries.

Red Brown scarvesNow I have put on a third warp using blues and greens and again a mix of 16 yarns in a variety of textures.  I am finding it is best to put a thinner smooth yarn in between the stickier and larger mohairs and boucles.

cobalt warp Jan 2016

Cobalt warp on loomI wove the first one yesterday afternoon using a teal Rowan DDK wool and it is really pretty!

Cobalt underway

Ah, almost forgot.  A couple of weeks ago I finished 4 more rugs using Pendleton selvages, to re-supply the galleries.

R245

R245

R246 & R247 (two alike)

R246 & R247 (two alike)

R248

R248

Knitting

Here are the most recent Mosaic Mojo hats.  I have knitted 22 of these since early November and am now ready to give it a rest!

These 2 were done using a solid Cascade 220 wool yarn paired with Noro “Haniwa”, which is 50% silk and makes for a nice, light-weight but warm hat.

16 - 1535

21 - 1541These two were done with some yarn I got in a door prize drawing at spinning camp on Orcas Island last year.  It is a handpainted Clun Forest (sheep breed) from Solitude Wool in Virginia.  They had a booth at the Madrona Fiberarts Winter Retreat in Tacoma last February, and will be there again this year.  The Clun Forest is a little scratchy but I paired it with Cascade 220 for the solid color, and using that for the rolled edge worked really well to keep it soft against your forehead.

19 - 1539

20 - 1540

This last one I made for myself!  I used 2 colors of Cascade 220 for the solid color, and Noro Silk Garden Sock held with a strand of Rowan Kidsilk Haze for the variegated yarn.  I picked through the Noro yarn to pull only colors I wanted in this hat.

22a - mine

22b - mine

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »