Wednesday, August 29, 2012

sample knitting

it's that time of year again.... sample knitting time! last year i knit several for robin nistock ( and she still puts them up in her booth... what a compliment! ) and of course, stone edge fibers. i've been knitting big things, little things, ridiculously involved things, warm things, lacy things.... you've seen it all. so this year i've been waiting to see what amythefibergoddess will request.
something small..... wearable..... with colorwork........a quick (ish) knit..... A Tam.
i made one years ago for my sister, so it should be just like riding a bike, the pattern will be easy to pick up. i hope.
next was the color scheme. she gave me a handpainted yarn and two coordinating colors, then told me to choose.

so which was it?

i'm going with the green.

Sunday, August 26, 2012

a fool for wool

i acquired several fleeces while in maryland and just finished washing the lot! a stunning black romney fleece (natalie) was made into roving you'll be hearing more about her in the future :)

a white romney ( ryanne ) was dyed and i'm slowly carding it into batts. i split a moorit colored fleece with joan, and i'm s l o w l y getting her carded. in fact, i pleaded spoke with amythefibergoddess to use her picker to make the process easier. finally, there was the coopworth fleece that i purchased in the fleece sale and split with joan. i had 3 pounds of raw wool and it was painful to have these lovely summer days end without finishing her up. by that i mean, i decided to dye her and card her into lovely fiber. the plans always seem so realistic when i start, then they just snowball into..... life!
it was my first attempt at oven-dyeing and it worked! i washed the coop, soaked it in vinegar and then layered it into the pan. i used cheap foil roasting pans and cushings dye in old gold, plum and bronze green. it all fit in two roasters and into the oven it went.
temperature was set at 350 degrees for about an hour. when i checked it there was still a lot of color in the water, so i added a huge dollop of vinegar and reduced the heat to 300. after 30 minutes, it turned the oven off and let it set overnight. the water was clear when i drained it and after about 10 hours still warm. i rinsed it well, then onto a sheet in the driveway to dry in the sun.

notice anything about the color? it seems that  i 'like what i like' as these are the same colors that i got from sandy to knit my sweater last year. i was anxious to see what it would look like, so i carded some up....

stunning! it really makes me appreciate all the work that goes into this process.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

scarves galore

it seems that rolling the entire ball of yarn stretched onto a paper towel roll really does help. i didn't go much faster, but having it ready to use was less annoying. i also found that you could make it ruffle more if you spaced the stitches out, but that also made it droopier. i finished the adult scarf, sewed in the ends and promptly recruited a model.
she was a bit of a diva at first......
but with some encouragement she found her groove.....
as i was picking up, there was still a ton left and as i gleefully started to toss it in the trash.... i realized that it would make a beautiful accessory for josephina.
she was thrilled!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

this is NOT a quick knit

so that ruffle scarf? the 'quick knit' project? it is such a pain in the *&%^ ! first, this is not a zippy, quick knit. the yarn is fussy, you need to separate the ribbon to locate the wee little 'railroad tracks' that you are knitting in. okay, did that. well as you are knitting along you must continue to stretch this out..... over and over through the entire thirty yards. held it up, tried it on.... too short. i did read the band and wanted the wider ruffle so that it wouldn't look anemic on. back to joann's, coupon in hand to find another ball.
at this point, i decided to use all the electronic media at my disposal to find a better way. a trip to you-tube and i was set. i'm rolling the entire ball onto the cardboard from a roll of paper towel.
and while this is tedious i'm hopeful that it will be easier to work with when i actually start knitting.
so i'm $6 into this with yarn,  time spent?  priceless :)

Saturday, August 4, 2012

new projects

okay, so it's not like i don't have a house full of crap planned projects and for some crazy reason i'm onto something new.
first, the yarn. yes.... it's decorative yarn. when i was in maryland, several of the gals were knitting with this yarn (sashay, from joann's) making these fun scarves. it reminds me of the swirling peel that you can get when you pare an apple. long and curly. so while in the store today (getting supplies for the next project) i found the yarn and was requested to knit a scarf.
i found out that it is a bit harder than it looks.
the yarn must be pulled apart to find the selvage edge to knit into. so you knit (slowly), open the yarn, knit a bit more, open yarn..... you get my drift. it's the perfect project to do while watching the olympics.
the next hole that i've fallen into.... needle punching. it was another trip to a fiber festival with those folks i call enablers friends that i saw this for the first time. i thought you only used wool fabric, but guess what you can use yarn. and i have lots of that. amythefibergoddess set me up with a practice piece and sent me home with a punch and monk's clothe to keep going. i needed to make the pattern my own, so i've been playing around with different designs and i think i've got one.
i'm keeping with the star theme, adding a few design elements that will hopefully make this work. i've got the backing fabric and pillow form so i better get this going. perfect indoor projects as the temperatures climb into the nineties today!