Friday, February 12, 2016

Feisty Range

As the third and final Lilli Pilli is coming to an end (more on that this weekend) and the third and final Maxfield Cardigan is languishing, I bought more yarn (surprise!).

to begin a new shawl that was just released the other day called Range.

The color combination in the original is neutral and gorgeous, but I wanted something a little brighter and more fun to showcase the textured stitch and color combinations.

The yarns I chose are Baah Shasta in Maldives and Lilac, as well as.Malabrigo Rios in Teal Feather and Purple Mystery.

As I shall be casting on later today, I hope to have some updates over the long weekend!

Sunday, January 31, 2016


As I noted in the previous post, while shopping for yarn a couple of weeks ago, I came across a pair of skeins of yarn that sparked the desire to create something new!

Pattern:  Emerson by me.  As this is the prototype, it will be test knit before it is released. Details to follow.

Yarn:  Handmaiden Fine Yarn Mini Maiden, a single ply fingering made of merino and silk: Charcoal and Moss

Hope you like it!!

Friday, January 29, 2016

Sneak peek!

Two week's ago tomorrow, I was in Tinsmith's Wife in Comfort, Texas. Several of my lovely friends agreed to meet there, as two of them are rather new to knitting and had never been to this shop.

We visited while we browsed the fantastic assortment of yarns they have.  On the first walk-through, I discovered some Handmaiden Fine Yarn Mini Maiden, a single ply fingering made of merino and silk. Two of the colors seemed destined for one another, Charcoal and Moss. I spent the remainder of the afternoon walking around with them in my hand, dreaming of what they were to become.

With each skein containing 546 yards, I knew they would make a lovely shawl of some sort. While it has been a year or so, since I have designed something new, these two were instant inspiration.

Stripes have been my thing lately, so I started with the idea of stripes in my head, along with a lace panel and lace edging, but I did not want a rectangular shawl.  I almost went with a circular one (that may well be next), but ultimately decided on a sweet, sophisticated triangular one.

I have 252 live stitches in green left on my needles, as I knit-on a lace edging in grey. Each lace edging repeat uses two of the live green stitches, and it takes me an hour to knit 25 lace edging repeats. So, I think I have a little over five hours left of knitting!

I am so excited to show her to you all finished and after she has been properly soaked and blocked!!


Friday, January 15, 2016

Adventures in Weaving

A couple of months ago, I ordered some Brassard 8/2 Cottolin in brown and navy. After Christmas, I spent a long afternoon dressing the LeClerc 36" loom with 435 warp threads in the brown Cottolin.

I say this was an experiment because there were several different warp threads that I had wanted to use:  more Cottolin, as well as merino wool in worsted, sport, and fingering weights, just to see what type of fabric each made and to have some idea of how much yarn each would use as weft.

For the non-weaver, the warp threads comprise the very long vertical threads and the wefts make up the horizontal threads.

The 435 warp threads gave me a finished fabric about 33" wide.  Multiple different skeins of weft threads combined to give me a piece of fabric 75" long.

The whole of the fabric ended up looking like this:

This picture, however, does not do the fabric justice at all.

I played with a couple of different weaving drafts (patterns). The first one was a diamond shape with the worsted weight weft:

This is a shot while it was still on the loom.  This color and pattern make up the bottom part of the first picture.

From there, I used some of the wonderful Vice Yarns Blurred Lines in Avocado in a different pattern:

Up close and in person, the pattern is very distinct, but the photo above features the wonderful gradient colors of the Blurred Lines. If you are interested, one 500 yard skein of fingering weight Blurred Lines as weft only, gave me a piece of fabric 33" wide and 22" long.  Not bad!

From the Blurred Lines, I moved onto Freia Handpaints Ombre Sock in Grapevine and finished with some Lorna's Laces in sport.

As to the finished fabric, I am of two minds at the moment. The first is to cut it up and make some cool knitting project bags and the second is to fashion it into a sarong skirt, which is my outfit of choice around the house.

The worsted weight fabric would make a stunning suit-like pencil skirt, and I think I may well weave some fabric just for that purpose.  Lined and with a zipper, it would be beautiful!

Think something like this:

The fingering and sport weight fabrics would lend themselves quite well to be sewn into easy-to-wear fall and winter tops; however, I think an evenweave would be preferable to a patterned weave. Something with relatively simple lines.

With that in mind, I have been eyeing some patterns over at Hot Patterns.

The first part of my plan was to test drive some different threads on the loom.  

The second part of the plan is to sew a pattern with muslin, so I can make whatever modifications needed to achieve the fit and look I seek. Then, weave the fabric and sew the top.

Yes, it would be much easier just to skip the whole weaving part and just buy fabric, but where is the fun in that?

In the meantime, I have another test to run, this time using the same warp, but pairing it with linen threads for the weft, instead of wool...

I shall keep you posted!

Monday, January 11, 2016

January already?

The sweaters were a hit for Christmas!

They are going to hate me for posting that shot from Christmas morning, but it is the only one I have of them together.

On the left, Sweet One's sweater was a little big in the neck.  I ended up pulling out the neckline and redoing it, which also served to draw up the sleeves.  It took an hour or so, and we were able to get another shot of a much better fitting sweater:

This fit made me happy.

Sweet One ended up trying on Wee One's Maxfield Cardigan...she loved it, so much so, I cast on one for her birthday, which is in about three weeks or less:

It would appear I have a fair bit of knitting to do.

For those who are counting, this will be the third time I have knit this pattern in less than one year.

Tuesday, December 29, 2015

The Last

The last of the Universal Yarn Bamboo Bloom is gone..

This one came out 9" wide and 72" long!

Yarn:  Two-thirds of the warp was a fingering weight from Spinning Colors in Regal:

The remaining warp was some leftover Wollmeise 100% in Ein Klein Wenig Verrucht. It looks kind of blue here, but it is really a deep purple:

The weft was a combination of two colors of the Universal Yarn Bamboo Bloom in Seafoam and my favorite Kanji!  The Bamboo Bloom I picked up from my local yarn shop, Lucky Ewe!

If anyone is really interested, my warp was 164" long, but I ran out of weft at 82", There were a total of 123 warps on a 12 dent reed,

From the even-weave scarves in the funky novelty yarn, I spent all of Boxing Day preparing 435 warp threads, sleying the reed, and dressing the loom for a much larger project:

This is a four harness diamond design. I bought several tubes of Brassard 8/2 Cotolin from Webs in a dark brown and deep Marine blue.  I used the brown for the warp; however, I was surprised at how many of the warps snapped in the dressing and have snapped with the weaving.  I don't know if it is something I am doing wrong because this thread is made for weaving.  The only thing that comes to mind is that people often use this for tea towels that are much narrower than the 34 inches at which I am weaving.

The weft shown above is some worsted weight I dyed a couple of years ago.  As this is a test weave to help me figure out how far different weights will go as weft and how well they will drape, etc., I have also used some glorious Vice Yarns Blurred Lines, as well as a few other things.

This has been a lot of fun to weave.  I suspect, it will come off the loom in a few days, as I already have fabric 32" wide and 72" long.  (I attached a sewing tape to the beginning of the fabric to keep track of my length.)

So, it looks like I will ring in the New Year with very little knitting and a whole lot of weaving!!

Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 24, 2015

That's a wrap

As soon as it completely dries, it will be wrapped!

I thought I would be knitting on this all of Christmas Eve and well into Christmas morning, but about 8:00 last night, it fell off the needles.  There was another half hour of seaming the underarms and weaving the ends before it could soak.  As of early this morning, it was only very slightly damp.

Pattern: Bedford by Michelle Wang
Yarn:  Waterlily by Classic Elite (now discontinued) in Azalea. 

The pattern was well written and not difficult, but there seemed to be a heck of a lot of knitting with it.  I actually started this project back in April.  I picked it up often, but never seemed to get more than a handful of rounds done at a time.  

The issue with the row gauge was entirely my own fault, as it was an inattention to detail. I knew my row gauge was off, but I was unconcerned because the first two thirds of the pattern was written to inches, not a specific row/round number, as the yoke was.  Once I ripped back to where the sleeves joined the body and went down a needle size, everything worked out well.  I can see the difference in gauge when I look at the sweater, but with wear and additional washings, that will go away.

Now, anyone who knows me should be well aware I have a love/HATE thing with Classic Elite's Waterlily. I love the colors and the bouncy feel of the yarn, but this was the fifth or sixth sweater I have knitted with this stuff, and EVERY.SINGLE.ONE. has required significantly more yardage than called for in the pattern.  

I discovered, upon weighing some 25 balls of it last year that not one was even close to 50 grams as called for on the ball.  Moreover, upon pulling out a yardstick and measuring several of the balls with my engineer friend from MIT, they were short a good 20% in length.  Add to that equation, each ball had, at least two, thinning spots where the yarn just came apart, which effectively further reduced the usable yardage, and one can see the cause of my disgust.

The pattern for the size I was making called for 1,325 yards of yarn. I used close to 1,600 yards out of the 1,700 I had.  Enough said.

Bottom line:  I had wanted a sweatshirt-type sweater for my older daughter. The pattern was perfect, the yarn is gorgeous, and I got what I wanted.  

Bonus: Despite my own shortcomings, it is completed before Christmas and will be wrapped and ready to go by nightfall!

Let's hope she likes it as well!

Merry Christmas!