Posted by caroline in Family, hats, Knitting, Weaving on March 24th, 2013
This is the first year that we’ve seen snow on D’s birthday. I’d like to think that in years to come we’ll be trying to remember that one freak year where there was snow on the ground because I’d hate for this to be a regular thing. I thought that this was maybe down to the curse of the thrummed hat and that if I finished that then there would be no more snow this year. I’ll let you know how that one works out for me. It’s taken so long to finish because knitting thrums has the same appeal for me as adding beads with a crochet hook, it makes knitting into a stop-start process and is no fun at all. I might have stuck it out if I had thought that I’d look stunning in it but I don’t care how cold it gets I’m never wearing it. This does not matter as it was immediately taken from my hands and adopted. I did try to take another photo showing the flaps up but that resulted in a continuous cry of “coldearscoldearscoldears” so I gave up on that one. It’s not entirely finished, I still have to trim the fluff bits and then bash them with a brush to encourage felting. Should you want to knit one of your very own it’s the Cocoknits fleeced earflap hat except that I knitted mine top down in doubled handspun with a blatant disregard for the stated tension. As an aside – see how much lighter the thrums look than the sweater – they are both from the same bag of fibre.
There was a setback with the cake. I’d planned to make a square cake then cut it and reassemble it into the shape of a creeper. The key element to this was the purchase of green and black ready to roll icing but the only colours I could find were white and pink which made the whole thing a non starter. This required a fast switch to Plan B which I’m calling “Minecraft Inspired”, the translation of which is “bears no relation to that thing that you were aiming at”. It was a chocolate and mint sponge cake and tasted very good even though it didn’t bear much resemblance to grass. We had a major icing fail, the plan was for the three shades of green frosting to emerge randomly from the icing bag but that didn’t happen, if I could turn back time I’d have frosted the top and covered it with the same crumbs as the sides thereby making it a dirt block cake. The good thing that came out of this was that I learned that freezing sponge cake makes it much easier to cut into shape and to frost and that if you bash chocolate coated chocolate chip biscuits they make a beautifully textured coating. The trick with freezing the cake is something I wish I’d known years ago – how could I get to my age without knowing that?
It looks as if the purple gradient yarn will indeed show a gradient once on the loom, this is the wound warp with the weft yarn sitting across the top. It’s been sitting on top of the loom for a couple of days now and it is showing no sign of threading itself so I suppose I’ll have to do it. It’s not made it onto my to do list though so officially it doesn’t exist.
Posted by caroline in Family, Knitting, Weaving on March 14th, 2013
My knitting time has been much reduced this week, someone here has a birthday coming up soon and I’ve been spending my evenings doing extensive present research. I could confidently represent my country on my current specialist subject of refilleable pens for the left handed. I have researched rollerballs that run on fountain pen ink, the drying speeds of various inks and the most suitable fountain pen nibs for the left handed underwriter (an underwriter meaning that you have your hand under the script, nothing at all to do with insurance). I didn’t have to research the effect of paper on drying time because when you’re at school you write on what you’re given so paper selection doesn’t come into it. I think I’m done now, decisions have been made and orders placed. The deciding factor in whether junior could successfully use a fountain pen without inking his hand was having him test drive my old fountain pen. It’s been neglected for at least ten years but a quick rinse and fill restored it to perfect working order. You will notice the lack of smudges in his writing which means that I think he will be fine with a fountain pen of his own. It was pronounced to be “less smudgy than a gel pen” which sounds fine to me given that I’m the one that buys gel pens on an all too frequent basis. My timing is spot on seeing that he has homework this week on being ecofriendly, the example of disposable gel pens versus ink balls versus fountain pens is rather more interesting to the twelve year old male than consideration of nappies.
I had fully intended to rip the Victorian Christmas stocking but when I came to take a final photo to document it the camera said that it didn’t look as shabby as I’d thought it did. It was regraded to “meets expectations” and promoted to main project although this may have had something to do with the only alternative knitting being the thrummed hat. The stocking is ok but the two sock yarns I’m using are a little thinner than the yarns I used when I made this before and the knitted fabric is on the thin side of acceptable. The red is a bit too bright and I’m not sold on the beads so overall this is not shaping up to be my most favourite thing ever. It will make an acceptable stocking but I could have done better. I know it doesn’t really matter because the only time anyone gets a mark for knitting is if it’s entered for competition but I know that it’s never going to be the best it could be. The real reason that it doesn’t really matter is that this will be leaving the house and I won’t have to see it again so it won’t have the opportunity to bug me.
I scored better with the socks and scarf from the last post. It has turned cold here and there have been mutterings in the school bus queue about how cold it is, some people are wearing two pairs of socks in an effort to keep some feeling in their toes. Those people wearing hand knitted uniform socks have toasty toes and have been very appreciative of that, so much so that I would immediately have knitted him another pair if the memory of what long feet he has wasn’t so clear in my mind. The blue scarf went off to school, I had a thank you card and a letter come home so full marks there too. I’m less thrilled with the second version, if I’d stuck to the same draft (pattern) as the last one then I think I would have had a better result. This is a more complex pattern but you’ll have to take my word for that because the warp is too busy for you to be able to see the diagonal moving the other way. I thought I might pull off the multicoloured warp by using a plain yarn for the weft but it looks like it is not to be. It still has the chance to magically redeem itself in the wash but I’m not holding my breath. I may have the fallback of making it into a bag but because I failed to write down the length of the warp I’m not altogether sure about that, it may have to end up as a rather plain scarf. Again, it doesn’t really matter because there’s only me that knows what I intended it to look like. I have learned something, produced a useable object, used some yarn from the scrap bag and enjoyed the process. “Failure to meet expectations” isn’t so damning if your expectations were unreasonably high to start with.
Posted by caroline in Family, Knitting, socks on February 16th, 2013
It’s been a funny week, more beef products unmasked as horsemeat, snow closures and the non-appearance of the school bus again. Mr WFB has been in Paris all week and my original plan was to open out the loom on Monday, bring the carder downstairs, ignore all the housework and play with wool until I was sick of the sight of it or until he came home on Friday. I still can’t see any flaws in that as a plan but it didn’t happen at all. I got as far as combing 20g of Oxford Down before it all went wrong
This is a photographic record of my achievements for the week. There’s no Ophidian, no Victorian Stocking, no carding, it is altogether a total failure when measured against my grand plan. What I do have is a pair of stealth socks and a freshly decorated dining room. I’d planned to redecorate the dining room after I did the kitchen in September but I kept putting it off until suddenly the Christmas tree went up. I never intended to be painting this week and I can’t work out now how it was that I came to fall into doing it. At least it is a chore that stays done, unlike dusting or ironing, so although it was a big job I can now forget all about it for another mumblemumble years. I managed to avoid painting the dog, it was a close thing and it took a volley of “nononoNO” repeated at least twice a day for him to get the message that there was nothing interesting to be found in the roller tray. I wouldn’t have minded him getting paint on his nose except that he would have immediately wiped it off on the carpet which would have been a bad thing. He seemed to think that I put the dust cloths down for him to hide his breakfast dog biscuit under, the hiding was fine but I could have done without him digging it back up again while I was above on the ladder.
I have enough black and green yarn (originally from the creeper mitts) to make another pair of band socks which is lucky because there was some serious begging being done and I have promised to make a similar pair for the junior bandsman before next Saturday. All I’m saying is that you need to love someone very much to be knitting black socks in February. I ordered some more black sock yarn (it was on sale, I was weak from the paint fumes) but I’ll be saving it for the summer when I can actually see it. This is not such a big purchase as it looks because they are 50g balls so you need two balls for a pair of socks. If you’re knitting stealth socks then you only need one ball for a pair and that’s what I’ll be doing with the black. I have a lot of leftover sock yarn to use up and I’m hoping that six pairs of socks with contrasting feet will make me feel like I’m winning the battle with the leftovers.
The sock yarn wasn’t my only reward for my week of being chained to a paint roller, I got a new sock knitting bag which came free with some very high class artisan macarons (being French they end with a ron rather than a roon). I believe that the macarons cost about the same as the sock yarn, the sock yarn will last longer but it’s nowhere near as indulgent. My favourite so far has been the white one in the right hand column, the filling was a chocolate and hazelnut paste that was unbelievably tasty. They are not something that I’ve ever made seeing as they fall under the heading of “too much messing about” but I’d be tempted to make plain ones and sandwich them together with Nutella and chopped nuts.
I have the carder out now, instead of having wool week I’m having a wool day. I’ll enjoy it much more now that I’m not looking at what needs to be done and feeling guilty.
Posted by caroline in Family, Knitting on February 9th, 2013
I’m through with plain grey stockinette for a while so I had a poke through the stash to see what I had that was most unlike a sweater. This is another Victorian Christmas stocking on the left and another Ophidian on the right. I was hunting for the red beads when I found a full packet of brown ones so it seemed a good idea to look in the sock drawer to see if I had yarn to match. This is all from stash, the red beads came from a ripped project but I have no idea what I originally bought the brown ones for. Yarn selection had to wait until I was finished with this week’s big event, the one that had been derailed by my unplanned sweater finishing on Tuesday.
I’ve come clean before about my boxes full of quilt tops and at the time I did say that I thought that there were more of them somewhere. Whatever number I have, I now have one less. These are four inch paper pieced log cabin blocks made from the scrap boxes. I have two plastic boxes that live near the sewing machine that collect all the leftovers, edges trimmed off quilt backing and odd shapes straightened off yardage. I usually have to add some lights to the mix because there’s never enough of those in the boxes. You can add the theme from Jaws yourself, the shadow at the top left tells you that Something Is Coming (da dum, da dum, da dumdumdum)
It was a small quilt top so I was finished before the approaching menace inched close enough to drop his toy on it. On Monday I got about half of it quilted and on Wednesday I finished the quilting and sewed the binding on. I took the time to clean the machine properly, taking the bobbin race out and chasing out the fluff mice and it was time well spent. It’s needed cleaning for a while but because I sew for ten minutes here and fifteen minutes there it never seems worth the effort. Sewing is more of a pleasure when you’re not having to ignore the noises that the machine is making, the ones that shouldn’t be there that you don’t want to hear. Quilting this was a trip down memory lane because I kept seeing fabrics that I recognised, spotting the little pieces of fabric reminded me of the original project. That’s probably why it seemed to take no time at all, that and the fact that it was less than a quarter of the size of a full size quilt.
My last job on Wednesday night was to make two batches of muffins and then I could think about playing in the yarn drawers. It may not be a croquembouche but in some respects it is better because it will freeze and so you don’t need to eat it all at once.
Posted by caroline in Family, Knitting, socks, sweaters on January 4th, 2013
I like starting the New Year with nothing on the needles and an empty loom, I don’t always manage it but this year I did. I made another pair of the Either/Or mitts, this pair I made a little smaller now that I can see which bit goes where. The first ones were a tiny bit long over my knuckles, once I’d knitted them I could see that it was the first part of the pattern which is knit in the round from the thumb that determines the length so I stopped that part a bit earlier. That affects the width as well so I added a few more rows in the middle garter section in the second pair because otherwise they’d have been shorter and narrower rather than just shorter. I could knit these from the scrap bag from now to the end of the world (whenever that falls this year) except that I need to refer to the pattern for establishing the increases and the set up rows when the knitting changes direction. I didn’t print it off because it was very long which means I’m faffing around turning the computer on and off and that’s not what I want in an evening’s knitting. I did try writing out the bits I needed, twice, but seeing as I immediately lost the directions (twice) that wasn’t particularly successful either.
This was the husband’s New Year’s Eve project. It had potential for disaster (first choux pastry, first day with hot sugar syrup) but he pulled it off. We bought him a croquembouche mould for his birthday because we’re subtle like that and this was the first opportunity he had to use it seeing as it needs more than three people to eat it. The small one is built inside the mould, so it ends up being worked top down, and that means that the caramel is at its best right at the top where you don’t need its structural properties quite so much. Next year he’ll making it on the outside of the mould, bottom up, which should make it more stable and also bigger which is good because there wasn’t quite enough of it to go around. It leaned a bit from the outset and that crack on the right hand side got progressively larger which meant that it was put in a bowl in case the whole lot went over. It was still standing when we came to eat it which counts as a win in my book.
The caramel used to hold the choux buns together was his second use of hot sugar, building on the experience gleaned from his first ever sugar project an hour earlier. I’m all for using leftovers and this marshmallow used the egg white that was left over from the creme anglais in the choux buns and the gelatine sheets left over from the packet I used to set the jelly in the pork pie. That was a reprise of the brown sock incident – I made the stock earlier in the year, strained it, reduced it until it stood up by itself, congratulated myself on planning ahead and then the smugness fairies spirited it away. Somewhere in the freezer was a bag labelled “pork pie stock” but I had two sessions looking for it without success. (I found it on January 3rd while looking for something for dinner) I am told that the marshmallow is perfect, I poked it with a finger and it is as fluffy and bouncy as shop bought but for me it ranks alongside candy floss under the heading “things I can’t bring myself to eat”.
I’m at the stage of planning to knit, this sketch is about as far as I’ve got. I weighed the fibre I had (it’s what I used to knit my Celtic Dreams) and there probably isn’t quite enough to make Dan a sweater so I’ve ordered more. I can’t start spinning the first lot until the second batch lands because it’s although it’s the same fibre from the same supplier there’s no guarantee that it will be exactly the same colour. The next step is to write the child’s measurements on the sketch, spin and knit a couple of yarn samples and then convert the sketch into something more resembling a pattern whilst at the same time making a pile of yarn. I’m hoping that the rib means that he’ll get some wear out of it, if he wears it at all of course because it could fit perfectly and not be right for some reason only discernible to a twelve year old.
In the meantime there are always socks. I’ve been looking at the overflowing sock scrap bag and feeling guilty even though I’ve recently made a pair of socks and two pairs of fingerless gloves out of it. I should have been knitting another pair of socks from the scraps but I wanted to play with the new shiny yarn that I found under the tree. The guilt lost out this time, these are Apple Laine Apple Pie in “Best Friends”. It’s 65% wool, 20% mohair, 10% nylon and 5% silk and I have the yarn for another two pairs of socks after these. The first pair is going to be toe up so I can see just how much less there is in a ball, after which I may revert to cuff down. The sock yarn bag will be meeting the loom just as soon as the tree comes out of the space where the loom should be, that way I get to knit the new stuff and still feel good about catching up with the scraps.
Posted by caroline in Bohusish, Family, Knitting, Spinning on November 8th, 2012
I must admit that recently my sampling programme had turned into more of a fleece collecting activity. The sprawling heap in the front bedroom had spawned from lots of plastic bags all with small amounts of fleece in them. Plastic bags do not stack well, it’s not hard to work out that the lack of friction and weird shape make them poor substitutes for bricks so I don’t know why I kept on trying to build them into a neat pile. Eventually I stopped repeating the same doomed behaviour and tried corralling them in a bag but they escaped whenever I rummaged in the heap for something else. During the period when I was a slave to the todo list the task of “card white wool” was right up there in the top five (along with “tidy wool heap”) until I realised that it was never going to happen until I felt like it and I just crossed it off the list rather than letting it nag me. There was always going to be a day when I felt like it and it turned out to be Saturday.
I gathered up all the bags I could find (which I know isn’t all of them because I can remember some of the breeds that I’m missing), cleaned the carder really well and set to work. As usual with things that I keep putting off it turned out to be a much smaller job than I had anticipated. If I’d opened the bags and seen that some of them were commercial roving then I could have spun them months ago rather than waiting until the carder was really clean. I spun all ten samples on Saturday after carding about half of them. In no particular order these are Navajo Churro, California Variegated Mutant, California Red, Hog Island, East Fresian, Norfolk Horn, Charollais, Clun Forest, Rygja and Targhee. I’m certain that’s what they are even though I spun them all onto the same bobbin because of my rigorous labeling and because I was careful to alternate colours and fine/down/pan scrubber breeds. A bit of purple merino in between each one marked the transition so there was no chance of running two down breeds together. There’s not much Hog Island, I did have more but it was like spinning drier lint and I couldn’t work up any enthusiasm for carrying on with it. I understand that one fleece cannot represent a breed but on the basis of this one I hope they taste good. I split the leftovers into 20g chunks, listed them on Etsy and had them in the post on Monday which made this a very effective tidying up exercise.
I needed the distraction on Saturday because I was doing my best impression of an anxious parent and spinning seemed to be a better outlet than pacing the floor. I am having trouble accepting that my baby is old enough to audition for anything even though he’s shown that he’s old enough to make the decision, old enough to fill in the application form and old enough to knuckle down and practice. It will be nearly Christmas before we find out whether he’s got a place and there aren’t enough samples to see me through to then even if I do manage to find the remaining ones. I’m planning on forgetting all about it with the aid of a new book, I think that a dabble into Bohus knitwear will take my mind off the wait combining as it does the two major time sucks of spinning tiny yarn and knitting it on tiny needles. When I began writing this post I was anticipating being able to show you a photo of the front cover now but although I was expecting it yesterday it’s still not arrived. It’s still providing a distraction though, while I’m muttering about postal delays I’m not calculating the chances of junior getting a place.
Posted by caroline in Family, Knitting, socks, Stashbash on August 19th, 2012
It turned out that I’m not sick of pink baby jackets just yet although I have to admit that the shine is wearing off a bit now and this might be the last one for a while. This was my holiday knitting and I had hoped to bring it home finished but the weather conspired against me, that and the two pairs of socks that were fighting for my knitting time. The jacket is another one of the DROPS two piece productions in left over sock yarn. I’m currently at the stage of knitting along the mitre at the front, across the shoulder and down the back (the backs are squashed together in the middle of the needle). In another few inches I have the exciting part where I reach the neck, abandon the fronts and just knit on across the back. I know that part grows really quickly and I get to use up those odd bits of yarn that are now too small to go far enough on the long rows. After I’m finished with the back the rows start getting longer again as the mitre on the fronts gets larger but by then I will know that I’m knitting downhill and I’m near the end.
Despite the title we did not pop to New Zealand for the week, the long white clouds were made closer to home. I didn’t get a photo of the best ones because at that point I hadn’t unearthed my camera but for the first two days a steady stream of cloud rolled off every cliff and headland. Inland, downwind of the cloud factories, it was grey and grim but we got the sun because we were on an estuary at sea level with nothing in front of us to generate cloud. If that had kept up all week I might have got my jacket finished (if I’d managed to keep my hands off the socks) but the weather changed to include a howling wind and occasional rain that sounded like gravel thrown against the windows. There was nothing between us and the waves except a small wall and a road and the wind never stopped howling all night and then the next night and the one after that. I was so tired that I scrapped the idea of a blog post, forgot I owned a camera and put the knitting down. I was so tired that I wanted to come home early but I stuck it out to the end of the week.
The weather was “unsettled” which is a lovely way of saying that you could be baked and drenched in the same day. Luckily we managed to mostly be in the right place at the right time, to the left is Bicton Park where the weather was picking up, to the right Babbacombe model village where it had not long since stopped raining. Both mornings had started wet and windy and then we ended up looking for shade. (Both photos taken by my husband who slept better than I did and so didn’t forget he had a camera) ETA – Mr Indignant would like to point out that the Bicton Park photo is too wonky to be one of his and was clearly taken by our son who is not that concerned about a level horizon.
The sock in progress (both of them) did get out and about but I know that knitting with wet wool throws my tension off so they got a lot of mileage without getting out of my bag much. This is a holiday sock right at the beginning of the week before the wind put paid to sitting out on the balcony with a coffee. I still haven’t reached the heel but seeing as I have a sock and a half of the other pair done there’s a good chance that there might be something finished for the next post.
Posted by caroline in Family, Knitting, socks, Weaving on July 29th, 2012
There’s been a lot finished this week and a bit of knitting started. Item one – one pair of socks. They need the toes grafting but that’s a tv watching job. I tend to put it off until I need the needles for something else and as I’m not feeling the need to knit socks at the minute they could be hanging around on the coffee table for some time. These are Opal with bamboo/tencel/viscose of some description, intended for summer socks for the husband-feet. It’s cold enough to still be wearing wool so that could also be the reason I don’t feel inclined to get on with finishing them. The colours weren’t particularly inspiring and the remnants will be hitting the dye bath before going into the bit bag.
I have photos of two baby jackets using the same yarn, very literally. The one on the left used the leftovers from my Nine Tailors socks together with odd balls from the sock yarn bit bag. I got nearly to the centre back before deciding that I didn’t really like it and ripping it back. I like version two much more, I took the light yarn out altogether, that will heading to a dye bath before going back in the bag. It’s all crammed onto a small circular needle so I can’t spread it out to show you that there are two matching sleeves, two backs and part of two fronts on the go. It’s another two piece jacket like this one but as the last one got boring before the end this time I’m knitting the smallest size. It’s not quite that simple, I’m using the lengths of the smallest size and the stitch count for two sizes bigger because my tension is 7 spi rather than the 6 the pattern calls for.
For the number three I’m trebling up with three bags, three scarves and three blog posts. The bags have been waiting to be sewn and lined for a while (two years in one case) and I had plenty of time this week to set up the ironing board and the sewing machine and get on with it. This time I even remembered to slip the plastic stopper onto the cords before adding the tassel. The two scarves at the bottom (eyes right) are the rainbow stash wool again, this time paired with some form of Noro as weft. It changed colour in a pleasing manner and pleased me more by changing from two big balls to one small one. The top scarf is some pink yarn whose crime was not changing colour as I thought it would paired with some grey polwarth/tencel handspun that happened to fall into my hand. The grey yarn was lovely, the pink will probably be overdyed before hitting the bit bag (can you see a recurring theme here?)
I seem to have got a lot done this week and that’s because I did get a lot done this week. It’s been the first week of the school holidays and also a week of actual holidays although we’ve all been sleeping at home. I hosted my own personal wool retreat while the rest of the household went off each day to a brass summer school. They left immediately after breakfast and didn’t come home until 9pm. This meant that I had no meals to get ready (mine doesn’t count because I’ve been eating salad+something or forageing in the freezer), which meant no grocery shopping, no need to put my stuff away and I had great big swathes of time to play with. I did wonder if I might get bored with playing with wool all day but to be honest a week wasn’t long enough.
Posted by caroline in Family, Knitting, lace, Spinning on July 4th, 2012
I was expecting to have a nicely hemmed tiny teatowel today but that isn’t happening. When I anticipated that I would get it finished in a week I hadn’t allowed for two Olympic torch processions or foreseen two days lost to a streaming cold. The cold was particularly trying, it was impossible to get under the loom to tie up the treadles because whenever I looked down I thought my face would fall off. I was fit enough to face the world on Friday and to go and stand in the rain to see the torch pass by. Having negotiated for junior to have the day off school he was going even if I had to lay down under a hedge when I got there. It rained, then the sun came out just in time to dry everything off before the torchbearer appeared. I did not have to lay under the hedge but I was in bed before 9pm.
I couldn’t set the loom up to weave due to the likelihood of my face dropping off into the treadles so there was more time for knitting. This is a shop sample, it shows what you could make with the three colour Shetland blend that I’ve been carding. I started with just over 600 yards of yarn which is my default spinning for three ply sock yarn made into a two ply. There was enough left for another few rows but the edging was so mind numbingly boring that I couldn’t bring myself to knit another row. I told myself that the leftovers would come in for something and cast off. It started and ended as a Zetor but I changed to leaves in the middle. It came out just as I thought it would, the colours merge one into another without a hard line and I’m pleased with the result. I know, it’s not often I say that but just for once I got exactly what I wanted. Maybe the transition between the white and grey could have been softer but that would be nit picking of the highest order.
This is Shetland too aklthough I can’t say that it was what I wanted because what I set out to spin was a laceweight silk. I sat down with a bag of silk brick that I’d bought some time ago but it was hard to draft, I had to wrench it apart. That makes for an uneven yarn and a pain in my thumb, both of which were good reasons to pack it away. The reason I bought it rather than dyeing it for myself is that the last one I dyed had spots that were hard and wouldn’t easily pull apart. I thought I’d buy one from another dyer and see how far I was off the mark in terms of the condition of the silk. It appears that my dyeing is no worse than other people’s, there was nothing to chose between them in terms of hard spots. This gave me over 200g of lovely unspinneable silk, I could make silk paper with it but I don’t have that much need for it (although the end of term is coming..new school, new teachers who don’t have silk paper pen holders already)
I found some black Shetland which was genuine black rather than the usual dark brown and carded that with the naughty silk. I spun it worsted with no attempt to take out the silk chunks, this is going to be a weft yarn and the lumps will add interest to plain weave. I now have just over 210 yards of interesting yarn and 30g less silk. More importantly the rest of the silk just escaped from the “useless” category. I have enough of the Shetland to make another skein the same and by then I’ll have woven it to see if it looks like I imagine. If it turns out to be a thing of beauty then I can buy black merino and make as much as I like.
Next time I’ll have hemmed the teatowel and have had time to decide why it is that it’s failed to meet expectations.
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Family, Weaving on June 14th, 2012
Strangely enough my idea worked, winding the next warp really did get me moving. My feet knew the patterns they needed to be making and so it was much faster to weave the second time around. I came to the end of the warp before I’d done the last repeat of the pattern because my keys are bigger than they ought to be. It doesn’t really matter that it’s not the same size as the keyboard it’s covering, I’ll cut off the bit I don’t need and it will come in for something. I’ve been pleased with both of these pieces, the Rennie behaved impeccably at both 12 and 15 epi and the one thing I was worried about didn’t happen. I was really concerned that when I dropped it into hot water (it needs to be hot to get the spinning oil out) it would shed the black dye and make the white keys grey. There was a bit of colour loss but not as much as I’d feared and the white is still white.
The lace is still grey, that would be because it hasn’t moved at all since last we saw it. I am going to change the pattern into something leafy but that requires five minutes concentration and some graph paper. When I sit down to knit at night I realise that I haven’t charted the transition and so I put it aside in favour of something else. During the day I don’t knit so don’t think about sitting down to work out the chart. I need to pick a leaf of some sort and then get down to making one pattern move into the other. It should be a one cup (of tea) project once I actually get to start it.
In other not-knitting news I ripped the orange and brown baby jacket, it wasn’t really talking to me. I’m glad that I found that out on a small scale rather than being half way up an adult sweater before boredom set in. The horrid socks are still horrid but closer to the toe. I know I go through a knitting slump every summer so I’m not bothered that I’m not feeling the love for knitting at the moment. It will return with the long nights because it always does.
The final monkey update – they’ve all left home. He sold ten at school, two went into a raffle and one came home to be sold to the chief monkey stuffer. As well as making monkeys we aimed for the pocket money market and made nineteen crochet bookmarks, little bookworms with googly eyes. He sold all but one of those, I’m sure he could have sold more if he’d had them because it was the grey one that didn’t sell, grey not being a terribly popular colour with the average twelve year old. It’s also cross eyed in the photo but that was just a temporary affliction. It’s now the end of the year’s fundraising at school so I now can stand down from making odd stuff and go back to playing with wool.
While writing this I have assembled the graph paper, “Heirloom Knitting”, a pencil, a rubber and the pattern for Zetor. Today the blog has made me think about why the pattern isn’t drafting itself, that it needs some thinking time which doesn’t generally happen during knitting time. Once I’d explained it to the blog it was clear to me as well, I’m never going to play with numbers and graph paper at night sitting in my favourite knitting spot at the end of the settee. It’s never going to happen, I’ll just pick up a sock (even if it is an ugly one) rather than a pencil. Tomorrow I’ll make a cup of tea, find a leaf of the right size and morph Zetor into something else. Tonight it’s back to the ugly sock.