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.
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, hats, Knitting, Stashbash, Weaving on May 23rd, 2012
I live with two musicians, it should be no surprise that I pick something up along the way. It’s nice that there is a phrase for when you’ve got to the end and then go back and start the whole thing again because that is exactly what I’ll be doing here. This is the first of the piano keyboards, sett at 12 epi and intended for a scarf. It finished at 78″ long, I’d estimated that it would be 79″ so I got that bang on target. The yarn is JC Rennie 2/11.3nm, it comes in big cones, oiled for machine knitters. I’ve picked up quite a few cones cheaply on Ebay so I already had a kilo of the white but I did have to buy the black.
The draft is from Handwoven of November/December 2011, it has a scarf in laceweight sett at 20epi for each layer and one in chenille sett at 15. I was reluctant to trim the pattern down to get the same size scarf at 12 epi because the gap between the keys is already as narrow as it can be. If I made the keys narrower and shorter to allow for the thicker yarn then the gaps would be proportionately bigger. I decided to just make a scarf that would be longer and wider than a piano keyboard but would have the right proportions. The second piece is destined to become part of a cover for a digital piano and with that I’m going to sett it at 15 epi and generate a keyboard that’s the right size and stiff as a board. It would have been nice to have woven the first piece at the right sett and got a scarf the same size as a keyboard but I’m all about using what I have where I can.
I’m still not knitting, this week while not knitting I’ve made another three hats and started a pair of socks. The four hats and the piano scarf weigh more than the cone of black I bought to make the scarf so I’m still on target with my stashbusting exercise. I also whipped up a little sleeveless number in blue, when I cast on it was going to be a sweater but the more I thought about it the more I realised that getting those long spindly arms into sleeves was going to be more trouble than it was worth. Having no shoulders and your chin lower than your arms does pose some interesting fitting challenges. He needs a hat and possibly a scarf but I can slack off for the moment as he’s nowhere to be seen and I can claim that I forgot all about him. At least the hat and scarf won’t be difficult to fit.
I might be on the brink of a return to the needles, we’re having some warm and sunny weather at the moment so why I should be thinking about cardigans is beyond me. I don’t know yet whether this is The One, the sign is when I start dreaming about it and I’m not there yet. It also depends on whether there’s enough of the Ryeland, the coloured bands can be larger but there’s a limit to how far you can stretch “not enough” yarn. I don’t know what colour the bands are or how they are worked, I’ve left that with my inner knitter to work out while I get on with other things. I haven’t thought about a collar or the bottom edges but just for once I know exactly what the buttons should look like. I’m not sure that buttons are the best place to start but I might well be building a cardigan around them.
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Dyeing, hats, Knitting, socks, Spinning, Weaving on May 18th, 2012
You’re going to be looking at this for a while, I’m still totally enthralled by it which is good because I have just got to the halfway point on the first one. I’ve set myself a target of an octave a day, which isn’t very much, less than an hour’s weaving time. Some days I do two octaves, some days I do one and a half and some days I don’t put the loom up at all. At the moment there is a clear difference between the leading edge (bottom of the black key) and the trailing edge (top) on the keys but this yarn is oiled on the cone and I know when the wool hits water and blooms the nasty gap will disappear. I can be pretty confident about this because I’ve used the same yarn before for doubleweave and had the same effect on the loom. After washing, the gaps in the weaving will fill up and the white will look white because you’ll not be seeing the black layer through it. I’m not convinced that hot water will do anything at all for my edges but I can hope. In general the less I mess with them the better they get but I can’t help but fiddle.
Knitting is still blah but socks are pretty essential, especially if you have only one pair of hand knit socks. I made a pair for someone we know after she’d noticed that when the band was playing my husband didn’t get cold feet while she was freezing. Once she had her pair of socks she knew the reason why (“and they don’t fall down”). One pair isn’t enough to see you through the week so she asked me for another pair. These are Opal something or other from a Ravelry destash, which seems to be the source of all my sock yarn these days. I like them but my sock drawer is full and her need is greater.
I did also manage a hat this week. It’s Tychus again in a mixture of handspun yarns. One runs green-purple-grey and that was my first attempt at carding a three colour gradient. I wanted to see whether I could diz the batt off in one piece in a reasonable time and whether it spun into the yarn that I thought it would. The other is something that was sold to me as Whitefaced Woodland but wasn’t, it was very soft and wrong for the breed. I can’t sell it so it had to stop home and be play yarn. I need to catch up with some stashbashing this month because I bought a 500g cone of black yarn for the piano scarves and then immediately stopped knitting. The hat weighs 114g and there’s a chance that I’ll weigh in a piano scarf before the end of the month so I might yet end up level.
I’m still playing with colour changes. This yarn is Black Welsh Mountain, Manx Loaghtan and grey falkland. As it doesn’t have white in it that means that it would work with white as a contrast colour. My plan for this (if I had a loom free) would be to weave it in a nice simple log cabin with some white falkland. It’s not all shades of grey this week, I’m having an experiment with superwash and sparkle for socks. The main question was whether I could handle slippery superwash successfully because it wasn’t not going to behave the same way as nice grippy wool-from-sheep, it doesn’t hang together in the same way and I thought that it would be more difficult to diz off in one piece. It appears that I’m up to the job after all as exhibit A proves that I can take it off in one length and I have witnesses to the fact that there was no swearing involved.
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Other fibre stuff, Spinning, Weaving on May 12th, 2012
I’ve been busy non stop all week but I don’t have a lot to show for it. Well, I do in that I have some sparkling windows, cobweb free ceilings and a few shiny door frames but spring cleaning is not exactly the most exciting subject matter for a blog post. It seems that everything woolly I do have to show is black, white or the colours in between.
I did warp the loom, I had to do it in the end as it was stubbornly refusing to thread itself. You don’t have to be a weaver to spot one of my errors in this picture because the two white threads showing in among the black are so obviously wrong. There’s another mistake – the gap in the middle is down to a crossed pair of threads, that one is more obvious if you peer in from the side. When it’s threaded properly I can weave a layer of black fabric and a separate layer of white which on the face of it doesn’t sound particularly thrilling as a project. In reality it is totally enthralling. Maybe doubleweave gets old after a while but I haven’t done enough of it yet for it to have lost its magic. It looks to be plain black but sometimes I’m weaving with white on the sneaky underneath layer. This bit doesn’t have to be exciting, its future is to be folded inwards and sewn because it’s a hem.
Once the layers start interchanging then the black and white layers resolve themselves into a piano keyboard. I’m working my way down from the top, four keys done and eighty four to go. The plan is that the first piece is a scarf for the piano teacher then I change the sett (knitting equivalent – change to smaller needles) and weave a piece of stiffer fabric that will become part of a cover for the digital piano. I’m not entirely sure how the wool I’m using will behave for the second piece at 15 epi, so far I’ve woven it at 10 and 12 for plain weave but I’ll look at that when the time comes. If I end up weaving it all at 12 epi it’s no big deal although the fabric keyboard will be bigger than the real one and I won’t need all eighty eight keys. The draft is from the December 2011 issue of Handwoven but I’m using different yarn and a different sett.
It’s not all black and white, I also have shades of grey. This is the other rabbit hole I fell down, if I hadn’t have run out of natural coloured wool after the second batch then there would have been no spring cleaning done this week because I would have spent every waking minute fastened to the carder or the wheel. I love these, natural sheep colours of black welsh at one end moving through grey falkland or shetland into white falkland. There’s some overlap between the colours so there’s not a clearly defined change between the three shades. If I had a loom free I would have woven it into a scarf that changed colour across the width and the length but I don’t so it will have to wait. When I made it I could think of so many things to do with the yarn, mittens, a multidirectional scarf or knitted alongside a mustard or red in a simple stranded pattern. That was last week though, this week I’m seeing it with a single colour change along the length, spun fine and knitted into a triangular shawl. The double knit yarn is so last week, so Etsy it is.
The postman has brought me a big batch of naturally coloured wool so between the carder, the wheel, the loom and spring cleaning I have a full couple of weeks ahead. The wool may not be colourful but it’s fun. The cleaning is not so fun but it needs to be done and if I keep slipping a bit in between the fun stuff it doesn’t seem so much of a chore. No, that didn’t sound convincing to me either.
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Family, Weaving on May 4th, 2012
I think I may be starting my summer knitting slump even though it’s still the right weather for hats and gloves and I’m wearing socks every day. Nothing in my five page queue of projects really grabs me, there’s nothing that’s shouting “knit me now”, not even anything that is whispering “hello”. I’m not worried about this because I know it will pass and in the meantime there’s always lace to be knitted and given away.
I do have some non-wool interests although admittedly probably not as many as a well rounded individual should demonstrate. Exhibit A is my husband’s birthday cake from earlier in the week, there’s a fruit cake hiding under the icing that’s been maturing in greaseproof paper for the last two months. The little man would have been hammering the letters into place if we could have found a hammer, as it was a wrench had to do. I also found the time to use up some of the egg whites from the freezer and the first rhubarb from the garden by making some friands. The recipe would have you put some of the rhubarb in the middle and a bit on top which sounds delicious. The little problem with that is that the fruit layer made a fault line through the middle so when I turned them out the bottom part stuck in the pan. I had three whole friands out of the tray of eight, I won’t be doing that again. (Yes, I had brushed the tin with melted butter and yes, I did leave them to set a while in the tin before I attempted to get them out)
The purple and grey wool from last time spun itself and then threw itself onto the loom. I dyed the sock yarn that was left over from the run of baby jackets, it ended up a lovely rich aubergine with subtle shading that you can’t see now. It would have looked lovely as socks though and I’m telling myself that I can always make more. Some of the light part of the scarf is grey, some light purple and some purple/grey, the shrieking gold is happily not much in evidence. In a good light the light grey trilobal nylon makes the yarn look metallic silver but you’ll have to take my word for that because it’s raining and good light is in short supply. There is plenty of the pale yarn left for another scarf but very little of the sock yarn so the leftovers are going in the leftover bag and I’ve moved on to something else.
The something else is black and white and is currently stubbornly refusing to thread itself. I’ve counted out the heddles ready to go and I’m waiting to walk past it and find it sitting there, done. At some point I’ll pull up a chair and a cup of tea and see how many I can thread before I get so bored that I mess up counting to four.
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Knitting, socks, Weaving on June 19th, 2011
This week sees another set of three finished things, a baby jacket, a pair of cotton socks and a length of fabric. It all seems terribly familiar.
I don’t think I’m stuck in an endless loop with these, admittedly I had started a third one that got as far as the centre back before I ripped it. This is a Baby Kendyl again, in a smaller size, I’ve put the pattern away now so couldn’t say which one I knitted but it looks as if it would fit a 20″ chest. I didn’t do the icord edging on this one, I picked up and knitted along the edges and then immediately cast off. I still like the pattern, the problem with the third one was that it had a unattractive blotchy pooling thing going on with the sleeves. I can cure that by giving the yarn a soak in a dark pink dye bath to even out the colours or I could just weave it. I don’t feel like casting on for another straight away but I’m sure that there are more of these in my future.
These are the next pair of cotton socks, I think I’m done knitting these for a while too. The yarn is Opal Cotton, it was fine although I wasn’t sold on the colours. I should really check out what they look like knitted before I buy the yarn but these don’t live here so it doesn’t really matter. I had planned for the leftovers from these to go into the next Baby Kendyl but as that is not happening at the moment they went into another mixed warp instead. This might be the one that bites me, I used up an aran weight silk single that I had no love for. It’s very soft and fluffy and might not last the course but on the other hand I might just get lucky. There aren’t many ends to replace if it all goes wrong and I was going to throw the silk away anyway so it’s not as if I will have lost anything. (If you think it sounds like I’m getting ready for the silk to fail then you’d be right)
This week’s big loom weaving was long and green. It’s doubleweave again and looks very similar to the mug rugs because it was tied on to the end of that warp. I resleyed it to 10 dpi and when it came off the loom the pale side had obvious reed marks and looked very mesh like. I was fairly confident that it would all come out in the wash, the pale yarn is JC Rennie supersoft and it’s oiled on the cone. After a hot wash with some Fairy the skinny yarn fluffed up, filling in the gaps. The dark green is a two ply handspun, I’d aimed to use it all up to avoid leftovers but I had a third skein hidden away so I could have made a longer warp after all. This means that the next mixed warp may well be green to use up the yarn that I was supposed to be using up with this.
The bag of fabric is not yet full and heaped up to the extent that it topples over so I don’t feel guilty enough to set off making bags. I don’t think I’m very many yards away from that stage although I suppose I could just start packing it into another bag. I have to be in the mood for sewing and it’s not happening often enough.
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Knitting, lace, Weaving on May 29th, 2011
I don’t like the finishing stages of a project, I know you have to do it to get to the end result but I have little or no interest in the end result, I’m just along for the process. This means that as soon as I’m done with the fun part I’m done altogether. For years my preferred method of finishing was to stick the item in a bag and hide it in the bottom of the wardobe. Now that I’ve grown up a bit and can recognise my weaknesses I tend to choose patterns that have minimal sewing up. I really like things that only have two ends to weave in (socks, shawls) because I know that anything that needs embroidery or anything sewing on is not going to happen.
I need a push to finish, it could be an impending gift giving occasion, the guilt of seeing the thing hanging around for months or the bottom of the wardrobe getting rather full. With this it’s been the constant nagging of seeing them in my Ravelry queue as a work in progress. This is the bit I cut off from the naughty/boring teatowel warp. The fabric just needed a good press and four hems before it counted as finished. I zapped the hems on the machine (stitch 17 for when I want it again), both the front (bottom in photo) and the back look respectable and it took me next to no time at all. Hemmed, finished, given away.
The push for finishing these was me not wanting to lose my chance to get them out of the house. These are more mug rugs, woven as a length of twelve set two side by side (the colours is not true, the grey is more solid than the photo shows). I ran out of the original red and orange very quickly and had to raid the scrap bag for something to finish the rest of the warp with. What I found was originally pink but that was easily cured with red dye. It was a good idea to weave two sets together, it took the same time to make 24 as to make 12 and being wider it meant that I had somewhere to set the shuttle down. What I would do next time would be to add a few ends of a sacrificial sticky yarn at all four selvedges in an attempt to stop them splaying out. I managed to beat them back into some semblence of order with a table fork but I would rather not have had to do that (especially after I dropped the fork down the back of the sewing table and had to get down on hands and knees for a voyage of discovery). I used 125g of the grey and odd bits of red and orange out of the scrap bag. These will be leaving the house in sets of four as tombola prizes.
The blog made me finish this, I expected to have nothing else to show this week so I set to and blocked the lace. There was no chance of blocking any points, I tried and failed and then went back and steamed the edge straight. I’ll stick with my original thought, I love it apart from the last few rows. (Windsbraut-Abendwind, two ply mystery handspun, probably tencel). You might be able to see the dangling ends, this is not me avoiding weaving them in but it’s a sign that it’s not been worn. This will be a gift/swap and if I leave the ends loose then I know that I haven’t worn it.
The only seams on this are the sleeve seams and you have to sew those to be able to pick up and knit the body so it’s fair to say that the pattern is making me finish this. This is Baby Kendyl in a 12-18 month size. At the moment the sleeves are looking a little long but it’s difficult to tell until I’ve finished the body. I have the yarn picked out for a second one but I think I’ll be making that in a smaller size as my love for miles of garter is starting to wane. I like plain knitting but there’s a part of me that’s saying if I’d knitted it smaller I could have been done by now and busy knitting something else. That’s not to say that it would be finished, I think there’s some icord involved at the end that might consign it to a spell down the back of the settee. At the moment I’m loving it, although I’m sure that I would have loved a smaller one just as much
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Knitting, lace, socks, Weaving on May 22nd, 2011
Last week I had four projects in progress so it would be reasonable to expect at least one of them to have shuffled along to completion. As it happens I do have four projects off the needles and loom but they’re not the same ones in last week’s line up because that would just be too methodical by far.
This is nearly finished rather than really finished, you can see that I have some sewing and trimming to do yet. I’ll bore you with the details when they’re done but this time I managed to get twelve mug rugs from the same length as the one I previously got eleven from, I just cut the spacers slightly smaller. Faced with a choice between a slightly smaller fringe or an extra pair of mug rugs it was not a difficult decision. These will be back for their beauty shots when they’ve had a wash and trim. Don’t hold your breath.
This also falls into the category of nearly finished, I cast off last night and have been waiting for it to block itself. Sadly it looks as if that isn’t going to happen and I’ll have to do it myself. I’m hoping that I feel better about it once it’s blocked, I loved it right up until the last few rows. I’m used to seeing the last few rows knitted to encourage points so that you knit a piece that wants to go up alternating with one that wants to go down. This doesn’t do that but there again now that I look at the pattern it’s not all that pointy anyway.
Last week junior had a school trip to the coast which involved rock pools and therefore required wellies. I dug around for the perfect deep plastic bag for holding the wellies and found three balls of wool lurking in the bottom of it, two of which were attached to a lump of knitting. Once it had been shown the light of day it turned out to need under five minutes of knitting to finish it off. I do vaguely remember starting this, it was a stash buster made to use up the yarn. I don’t know how long it’s been living in the bag or why I set it aside so close to a finish. It might have another run through the washer this week, I think it’s reached the point where it won’t shrunk any further but there’s the chance that I’ll get a bit more firmness out of it. I’m looking at it and remembering how much fun it was to knit so there’s a chance that there might be a few more of these coming along shortly.
These didn’t feature in last week’s line up because socks never feel like they’ve eaten much of my time. I knit them waiting for school to turn out, watching tv at night and in snatched minutes of time here and there. They never feel as if I’ve put any effort into them, I just carry them around for a month and as if by magic a pair of socks appear. These are a cotton blend for summer, DGB Confetti superwash (49% wool, 34% cotton, 16% nylon) and I had hoped to get two pairs from the three 50g balls. That’s not going to happen because I have very little yarn left over from the first pair of socks. I do have some cotton blend sock leftovers so I might be able to use the third ball to construct something wildly striped.
The loom is currently sitting empty. I still don’t have the next warp wound because I can’t decide what to weave. There are so many things I want to do and I can only do one at a time. This week might turn out to be a spinning week, one where I sit and look at the loom and try to pick just one project to go with. I have this thought that if I took out one wide stripe from the centre I could run the two pieces together and make one wider piece. I certainly could do that but I’m not sure that I want to because I can’t think whether I have a use for a piece of fabric that wide. I could use thinner yarn but the most likely candidates for that make a piece of fabric that’s too narrow to be good for anything (and also too narrow to balance the shuttles on, I am capable of learning after all) It just seems a shame to waste the threading when I could whip along it with some knots and make something new with very little effort.
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Knitting, lace, Weaving on May 15th, 2011
You’re safe, this post has nothing at all to do with Eurovision. This should by rights be a photograph of a set of finished mug rugs. The last set flew along, this warp is the same length but progress is slow. I’m not feeling the drive to get them done firstly because I don’t have another warp wound and ready to go and also because this week I have found more entertaining things to spend my time on. Last week the doubleweave coasters were the only game in town, this week they only just managed to squeak into my top five time sucks.
At number four, with a solid Saturday morning of effort putting them just ahead of the coasters is the start of two bags (the colours are much richer, the flash washed them away). I know that there doesn’t look a lot of output for the effort but there was much time spent pressing and picking fabrics before I got as far as the sixteen seams. This would have been the start of three bags had some nitwit not carefully measured and then cut a piece exactly one inch shorter than needed but let’s not talk about that.
Coming in at number three was an exercise in stash reduction started at the beginning of the week. I pulled together lots of little balls of different things that are now mostly gone. The first weft was a wool single that I dyed a greenish colour, when that ran out I switched to a turquoise bfl that I’d spun with no purpose in mind. I feel like I’ve made something out of nothing with this, I took a pile of odd bits of wool that had no purpose and made two useable lengths of fabric. If I was ranking solely in terms of time spent this should be higher up the list but it is finished now and that means that my burning love for it has faded, it can line up behind the wips.
I liked that piece so much that I started another one, more odd bits of this and that in various weights and a big (150g) skein of yarn that I dyed for the weft. I like this piece even more than the last one even though I’ve had to deal with two knots in the warp that I didn’t notice when I warped the loom. The thick blue is Colinette Iona and it wants to stick to itself and everything else but it looks lovely in the fabric with its chunky bumps so I’m happy to unstick it every pick. My love for it may have diminished by next week in which case I’ll be experimenting with switching warp threads halfway through a project.
In the top spot, the winner of the all consuming project of the week is a rank outsider, something that came out of nowhere. During the week I had a frantic search for an elusive skein of yarn that I was supposed to be swapping and while I hunted for that I turned up several skeins that I’d forgotten all about. This yarn is a two ply tencel (it could possibly be bamboo but I think it’s more shiney than that so I’m going with tencel) that I spun sometime or other, there’s no record of it on the blog or on Ravelry so I’m a bit vague about the timeline. When I spun it I intended to weave with it and that’s what I’ll be doing with the leftovers. I wasn’t sure what it would be like knitted, in general I’m not a lover of knitting with inelastic yarns but the colours are lovely and it’s so shiney so I gave it a try. I’m using smaller needles and I test blocked the start of the piece to avoid nasty surprises later, you might be able to see where the dark middle part is sitting flatter than the rest. The pattern is Windsbraut-Abendwind (which I think is Bride of the Wind-Evening Wind for those of us knitting in English) and you’ll be seeing it again. I’m scheduled for a spot of foster knitting and the pattern arrived in advance of the yarn. Clearly I’ve not been sidetracked by the chance finding of the pretty yarn, I’m just testing out the pattern so I don’t mess up the commission which is a sensible and mature thing to do. It’s a pity that I can’t come up with a similar rationalisation that covers cutting my handwoven fabric to the wrong length.
Posted by caroline in doubleweave, Dyeing, Knitting, socks, Weaving on May 8th, 2011
As promised last time, some actual knitting. It’s getting to the time of year where my knitting slows and socks are the first thing that I drop from the knitting bag so it may be a while until you see another pair. I can’t work up any enthusiasm for knitting socks when I’m living in sandals. This was knitted as a long tube that I then cut up and added heels, toes and cuffs to. This is an attempt to reduce the volume of yarn going into the sock scraps bag. Normally I would have knitted one pair of socks and tossed the rest of the ball into the bag of leftovers and as you can see that’s a lot left over. By knitting two pairs I have less than 10g left over. Mine are the frilly ones on the left, the others are for my mother.
The green that I used for heels and toes was also a leftover, I’ve been using the rigid heddle loom to weave a narrow strip that will become the middle panel of some bags (it’s not very narrow at the moment but it will be when I’ve cut it down the middle). I ran out of the main yarn about halfway along and dredged the sock yarn drawer for a replacement weft, it just happened to be the right colour for the socks too. I had 12g of that left so with this and the socks I’ve taken two balls out of the sock yarn drawer and added 20g to the scraps bag. It feels like a win but clearly it isn’t.
I made these this week, mug rugs or drinks coasters or whatever you want to call them. They are all the same, cream on one side and dark grey on the other. I can’t get over how they are different colours on each side, I know that’s what doubleweave does but it’s like some sort of a magic trick. Flip – cream, flip – grey. The main reason I bought an eight shaft loom was for block doubleweave but I’ve been putting it off because I couldn’t visualise the warping. I understood how the layers were woven, just not how they came into being. I have been sketching grand plans for some fancy shrinking doubleweave scarves but rather than jumping straight in with those I thought it would be best to start with something small and simple where I followed a pattern and did what I was told. These are the checkerboard mug rugs from Jennifer Moore’s “Doubleweave”, except that I used a different yarn at a different sett and rejigged the pattern to work with the different number of threads. These are made from sock yarn, each layer sett at 12 epi so 24 epi in a 12 dent reed. Expert opinion is that I’d have been better with a 6 dent reed but seeing as I don’t have one that wasn’t an option. Even thought they are small they’ve taught me a lot including square hemstitching (I unpicked it because I didn’t like the look in such thick thread). This was just under a three yard warp and I got eleven coasters, if I’d have persevered against the shrinking shed I might have managed twelve. This took two balls out of the sock yarn drawer and put 60g into the scrap bag and I am unrepentent because I thought the two colours would work well together and they did.
They were so much fun that I’m making more, this time I’ll be having fringe on all four sides because I’ll be weaving two sets side by side. This is because one of the things I learned from the first set is that I don’t have anywhere to rest the shuttle with a 5″ weaving width. The grey warp is overdyed Regia sock yarn, the black dye has killed the contrast in the yarn so it now reads as a solid. The red and orange are from the scrap bag, leftovers from a pinwheel scarf and a pair of mittens. This project should lead to a net reduction on the scrap pile, there will be some of the grey going in when I’m done but there’s a lot of colour coming out. This weaving thing is starting to have an impact on the sock yarn leftovers, I can now get them all in one bag. Give me a year and I’ll have it all under control (who laughed?)