Posts categorized "Weaving"

Submersion

I have been playing with all the yarn.

The last two weekends I have spun, knit, wove, finished some handspan, finished something for my nephew, finished a sock, started the second sock, started new handspun and made significant progress on my Occam scarf. 

I feel like I'm back to my old crafty self and I feel great.

Here's what I've been up to...

Fitzcarraldo Knee Sock number one. It's *almost perfect. After what felt like months of knitting the twisted ribbed cuff, I think the part just before the cuff is a touch too tight. 

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I'm putting it in the time out corner while I work on the second sock.

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I will tackle the problem on both socks at the same time. This is mostly because I can't face ripping out all that ribbing. Maybe my calves will slim down or I'll get taller or something.

It will totally be worth fixing; these socks are a thing of beauty.

I also finished something for the wee baby Mitchell for Christmas, but wish to avoid spoilers so no photos yet. Trust me, it is the height of CUTENESS.

Occam is almost done. I really like it. I decided to do the medium width and the longer length and I'm going to run out of blue yarn, so I'm modifying. If you notice, don't say anything okay ;)

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Last weekend I also decided to weave. Check out this fabulous pooled warp (Indigodragonfly Wingenhooven in Dminion Unhinged). I ran into a bit of trouble by warping the loom backwards (which took some fixing, let me tell you...) so I'm not sure how pooled it'll be when it's done. I think the merino, yak, silk around my neck will solve any issues with the colour.

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And lastly I've been continuing with Spinning Sundays. Last week I plied the last of a big project using beautiful Lisa Souza BFL I bought not long after getting my first wheel. The yarn is big and fat and squishy. It's drying now and looks amazing. Photos to come. 

Today I pulled out a 4oz braid and set to work on making some worsted spun yarn for mittens.

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The colour is Captain Tightpants, fibre is yak and merino from Into The Whirled and nothing about this project is bad.

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Catching Up, #WomanWhoGetsShitDone Style

One of the greatest things about my job is that we close for two weeks over Christmas.  Not only do I have two weeks off (on top of my holiday allotment) everyone else does too--I get nothing but spam in my inbox while I'm away and there's no work piling up.  Everyone returns pretty happy and refreshed and it's probably the BEST benefit ever.

The first week does tend to get sucked up by the run up to Christmas--shopping, cleaning or travelling, parties, and that initial need to sleep as much as possible.  

It was worth it for looks like this:

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Santa Meme and Memere got him the WiiU he's been wanting since they came out.

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The time after Christmas is far far better in my mind.  It's quiet. We're all home (Craig gets almost the same time off from his employer) and while we're a bit lazy, we also catch up.  We have pyjama days, movie nights, lots of computer game time, and for me, a whole lot of fibre fun.

I finished a few things.  Sallah Cowl in Indigodragonfly Rock Paper Scissors Lizard Spock

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A Frankensweater in Collinette Tagliatelli.  It used to be this sweater that I frogged.  And then it was supposed to be a proper Collinette pattern but everything went wrong so I winged it.  The collar and cuffs are some leftovers from my Carnaby Street sweater and it's a super jaunty oversized sweater on Emma (I may borrow it, but fear my jaunty days are long passed).

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I even warped the loom!

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In between all this, I got crazy and catalogued my entire stash of yarn and fibre--it's now all photographed and logged on Ravelry.  Tomorrow I'll probably download and see if I hit "stash neutral" for 2014 (where I used at least the same amount of yarn that I brought in).  I put a few things in the goodwill pile and had a nice hard look at what I have. 

I love it all.  But I should probably knit, spin and weave from what I have for a bit.

I went for a few runs--that felt good.  I will say that I don't think the TVT surgery worked as well as I hoped--I still leak a bit.  It's MUCH better than before, but I was hoping for perfection and well, that may take a bit more time.  At least I can cough and sneeze and stay dry.  

I saw some friends, had some beers, read a book, took a long bath, and baked.

Then I went into full #womanwhogetsshitdone mode and finally filed all the kids school memories and report cards into their memory books--I was about two years behind.  And all of our Epic Road Trip photos are now downloaded, put on Flickr and backed up on the external drive.

Like I said, this break is for Catching Up--I don't fool around.


Achievement Unlocked: Weaving something spectacular

I've had my riddle-heddle loom for a good number of years now and I've dabbled at weaving every so often when something pretty someone else made caught my eye, or when I needed a quick gift. I consider myself just Okay at weaving--I still struggle with getting my selvedges consistently straight and working with colour can be tricky since things look quite different after they're off the loom and washed.  I confess I haven't done much experimenting and I know there's a lot I can do with this simple machine if I want to jump in and try stuff out.

My knit-pal Therese recently got a loom and jumped in with both feet and her stash.  She's making lovely things.  And she's very good at documenting her ideas, the sources of the techniques and her finished objects.  Her recent scarf really inspired me and I tossed the stash, found some yarn and got warping.

The technique described by Syne Mitchell here as The Painted Skein Warp, really maximizes the qualities of some handpainted yarns.  I say "some" because it all depends on how the dyer adds colour to yarn and the article describes what to look for in your stash.  The idea is that the colours are added in a particular sequence and by warping them a certain way, you can create an ikat-like effect on your piece.  Weavers sometimes achieve this look by painting the yarn once it's warped on the loom.  It's really pretty.

It turns out Blue Moon Fiber Arts uses this technique and I have a fair bit of it hanging around.  I dug out some very pretty Malabrigo Sock in Violeta Africana for the weft which matched nicely with the Socks that Rock Silkie Sock in Alley Oop!.

It took me a bit of figuring and some help from Craig to get the warp started right so that the colours pooled the way I wanted.  But when it was finished, it was WOW:

Awesome warp

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The colours lined up nicely (maybe a bit too nicely--note for the next time) and were just so vivid and lovely.

Then I started weaving.

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I wasn't certain that I picked the right colour for the weft.  I worried it was too similar to the warp and the stripes would disappear.  It's really hard to tell since the yarn is under tension and most of it is wound up on the beams.  I just plunged forward and waited.

I chose the right yarn.

It was pretty nice once I got it off the loom.  It needed a wash, but first I had to twist 270 ends.  I love the look, but the twisting is mighty boring.

Twisting fringe takes forever.

Then I gave the scarf a long soak in Eucalan and warm water and hung it to dry.

It's the nicest thing I've ever woven.  The yarn does most of the heavy lifting, but I'm pretty pleased with my selvedges and the drape and overall look.

Finished painted skein scarf

Even with Emma's new DSLR, this scarf was being tricky with the camera.  It doesn't pick up the subtle bleeds of colours as they transition and the slight tweediness of the Silkie Sock.

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I love the twisted fringe and that strange little dark stripe of purple at the bottom left near the edge.  I must have beat the weft too much, and yet it adds interest.

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I'm already planning my next one.


Doing it all (fibre-fun edition)

There aren't a lot of weekends where I get to do it all.

I just about always knit:

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That's the second sleeve of my Tangled Yoke Cardi in Bugga (Lubber Grasshopper).

A few weeks ago I literally washed the dust off poor Martha Matchless and resumed spinning up some superwash merino destined to be 3 ply sock yarn.

This is the last 3rd of the batt

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And, I found time to warp the loom.  Here's a peek.  This warp is so nifty it deserves it's own post.

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And we were dog sitting Ruby.  Who got lonely and wanted to be right on me while I wove.  She wasn't even very upset about all the movement, she just kept muscling her way back in.

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I didn't get much accomplished on any of these things, but I got to do them ALL so it was a great weekend.


Colourful Finishing

I've been on a bit of a finishing frenzy the last few weeks. 

Colour Affection is done!

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It's a beautiful shawl.  The colours are soft and subtle and the yarn is amazing!  After a nice bath in some Soak, everything softened and bloomed and it's all stretchy garter stitch goodness.

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I've only worn it once because we're in the middle of a heat wave but know Colour Affection will be in heavy rotation once the weather cools.

Kimuro Handspun Woven Scarf is done!

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I started the spinning Easter weekend and finished the scarf in June.  That's not too shabby. It's really pretty and soft, but I'm still not happy with my edges.   Untitled I'm not sure what I'm doing wrong, but in some ways I don't care since the bumpy yarn compliments the bumpy edges (and may in fact be contributing to the bumpiness). 

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The scarf is a gift for Xander's super awesome teacher.  She's an appreciator of art and craft and I know she'll be pleased with it.

Pioneer is Done!

I haven't blogged much about this top.  I started it last summer, worked on it here and there and finally got around to finishing it last weekend.  I'm a bit meh about it.  The Artfibres Golden Chai silk yarn is AMAZING, but I'm not sure if I like the look of the top on me.  I haven't got any finished shots or modelled shots yet--here's a link to my out of date Ravelry page--(and it's too hot to try today).  I find the deep vee neck is complicated to wear and it grew a bit in length when I washed it. 

If I don't wear it, Emma will (she takes many of my knit cast-offs) and I'm happy to have it complete.

What's next?  Socks.  I started a pair of toe-up socks using my handspun from a few years ago.  They're turning out well and sometimes it's nice to have some unchallenging socks on the needles.  

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Once it's a bit cooler out I'll plot my next big project.

 


Logical Progression

I bought this at Rhinebeck (lovely Into the Whirled targhee top colour Kimuro).

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Spun it into this.  (Which was supposed to stripe, but I messed something up, but then it was so soft and squooshy and pretty that I didn't care.)

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And now, I'm weaving it into this (Warp is Indigodragonfly Polwarth Silk in Chewing the Plasterscenery and Young helpless damsels in damp climates--it's all I had left of either, hence the skinny scarf.)

Weaving handspun

Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?


Happy New Year! (with some goal setting mixed in)

I hope everyone has a wonderful 2012.  For those of you doing the 12 knitted things in '12 may your needles be swift and your projects delightful.  For everyone, I wish health, happiness and a stash that makes you happy.

Me, I'm not any more reflective than I usually am about stuff.  But since this blog has always been intended as a space to say what I like, I'll put forth a few goal like things:

Running:  I want to match my 1000km running goal (btw I ran 1036km in total over 150 runs!!!) and I'm considering entering a 1/2 marathon this year.  Truth be told, I will be 42 in July and a full marathon is 42km, so I'm stewing over the idea of doing a full, where perhaps I will discover the meaning of life, the universe and everything in my exercise induced euphoria.  (See what I mean about my self-reflexivity?)

Spinning: It's like many people's get healthy goals.  I once again vow to spin more often.  I haven't done more than dust my wheels since the summer.  Must try to develop a more regular practice and improve my spinning.

Weaving: This winter I need to weave Craig the scarf I promised two winters ago.  Maybe I'll warp the loom today just to get things started.  This is one craft I feel I have balance with.  I pull out the loom when I want a scarf and put it away when I'm done.  I could learn more about it, but I don't feel any burning desire to tackle it now (saving it for my retirement).

Knitting: It was a good year for me.  I completed 6 sweaters, 2 pairs of socks, 7 accessories (hats, scarves etc) and a blanket.  I have a few FO's on the go and don't like to over plan my knitting life since well, other life does tend to get in the way.  I would like to tackle some stashed projects, knit some knee socks with some handspun sock yarn (already spun) and make stuff that makes me happy since that's really what it's all about.

Finished objects, 2011

(I love these mosaics!)

Stash: My stash is healthy.  It doesn't really give me much stress until it moves beyond the furniture I have to contain it in.  Right now, I actually have empty storage spaces so I'm pretty content.  The biggest problem is that I have so many nice yarns and fibres and not enough time to play with them all.  For 2012 I will continue to add to the stash wisely, sell or give away what doesn't give me pleasure and keep working on getting the yearly kilometers of yarn equal or less than the 2011 number of: 57.14km.  (I like how that sounds much better than in metres!)  That's down from 65km last year so that ain't bad.  One way I do this is by making sure my stash is up to date in Ravelry.  Then I can shop in my "personal yarn store" before I venture out and buy yarn.

Career: This was a good and bad year for me at my job. I don't blog about work much because I don't think my big boss likes it very much (because I've been chastised for my time online in the past).  Even saying that might be too much, but really, I do feel that I should be able to write about my work in a general way (ie not blog the content of my work, but what I'm working on) and how I FEEL ABOUT my work.  (That felt good to say).

I was fortunate to be selected into a mentorship program in 2011 and it was a great opportunity for me to make connections in the University, learn from someone who does a very different job than me and to spend time thinking about what I want to do next in my career.  I have some good ideas and I'm thinking about what I might do to get there, like... 

  • Project management courses with possibility of getting PMP certification
  • Talking to more people at the University to learn about their work and their career paths
  • Thinking about work outside the University.  I really like academia as a place to work but wonder if I'm limiting myself by trying to carve out a career in one place (which has fantastic benefits and good work/life balance).  I plan to do a bit more exploring of the world outside the ivory tower and see what other opportunities Toronto has to offer me.

Wow, that's a lot more goal setting than I planned when I started this post.  But there it is.  I am still the #womanwhogetsshitdone and now I'm going to have a nice long bubble bath!

I would love to hear your goals too!

 


End of 2011 Knitting Frenzy

I don't have a lot of unfinished knitted things taking up space in my yarn credenza (yep, I have my own yarn storage furniture), but there are a few things I want to get off the needles by the end of the year.  I like the idea of knocking down my stash a few kilometres (I love the downloadable excel spreadsheet on Ravelry!) and also having a relatively clean slate for the new year so I can cast on a whole bunch of new things.

I also don't do a lot of Christmas knitting, but always cave at the last minute and decide to make a few things.

This year I wove a scarf for my brother Mike.  He made a request on his birthday, went through the stash with me and well, said it would complement his rather expensive hipster coat--how can a big sister refuse?

I didn't get good photos as I finished it a few hours before we had our Christmas celebration.  But here's Mike happy with his scarf.

The warp was Indigodragonfly sock in Shadows and Fog and leftovers of Bugga and Tanis.  Yum.

I also decided to knit both kids socks for Christmas.  My children have size 9 feet.  Not my best plan.  I realized I wouldn't finish Emma's so I'll shoot for her birthday in January.  The pattern is Tiara from Indigodragonfly and the yarn is MCN in Now accepting applications for Minions.  It was a Smart-Ass/World Domination One Skein club offering in 2010.  Here's the first sock.  Not bad being 50% of the way there.

I did manage to finish Xander's sock.  I used the Velodrome pattern by Natalie Selles and Socks that Rock Lightweight in a one-off colourway.  It was a tight timeline--I finished them December 24th at 8pm.  The funniest part was him not noticing while I knit them in the car on the way to Mom's!

They were put on the second after he opened them--the finest compliment one can give a knitter.

With all that Christmas knitting out of the way, I decided something for me was in order. I went with the easy win: Momentum Cowl in vintage stash Colinette Point 5. Started at lunch on Christmas, was done before bed. Emma is stealing borrowing it for now.

Now that those things are out of the way, my plan is to finish that Tiara sock and finally finish the Hanami Stole I started in 2009. Probably not doable in the next 2 days, but it's good to have goals!


Vacation weaving

I spent the last week at home, off work, being deliciously lazy with the kids. I felt a bit bad about not getting a lot accomplished but cut myself some slack; it's a holiday, and I don't need to be productive every. Minute. Of. The. Day. And yet, I did get something done. On a whim, I took out my neglected rigid heddle loom, pulled out some yarn and got it warped. A couple of days later, with minimal effort, I had a nice little scarf. Sparkle Handspun scarf

The warp: Dream in Colour Shiny (it has sparkles). The weft: handspun given to me by my pal Laura.

Sparkle Handspun scarf

I tried a float pattern for the first time. I don't think I did the right thing on the edges though. But I bet you can't see it.

Sparkle Handspun scarf

I think it's a bit bright for me, but Emma is already eyeing it.  Or I could say I was very productive this vacation and put it aside for a Christmas present.


I Love Summer

I'm on week 2 of a 2 week holiday and am in a wonderfully lazy mood.  Last week it was me and the kids and no car (Craig's started a new job which involves a bit of a commute and no holiday time for a while) and we had a whole bunch of fun on a staycation: beach, inline skating, Ontario Place (waterslides!), hanging around loafing (not to be underrated), local pool swimming--all good.

Then we went to Tweed to visit the kids' Grandfather and we got to do some more swimming, fireworks, hanging out by the fire and just relaxing.

This morning I did the laundry, repacked our cottage bags and we headed up to Oro-Medonte to my SIL's parents cottage to do more lazing.  

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It's a fabulous place right on Lake Simcoe which we snagged in exchange for watching Ms Ruby Puppy for 10 days while their whole family went off to England.

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I say puppy watching for lake front property is a fair trade.

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Of course as a knitter, loafing time can be productive.  The loom is warped with yummy BFL from Briar Rose Fibers:

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And I've got some very easy and fun knitting with me.

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The pattern is Bellevue and the yarn, Lorna's Laces Sock in Satsuma.  I'm a few rows away from the armholes and hope that I can have this finished to wear to work.  

That is, unless I win the lottery and can spend most of my time like this.