Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Spinning down the st*sh...

I've been doing some spinning and plying during the current cold snap.

First up some Polwarth which was spun in 2014, plyed in 2015:
This is about 10 oz of Polwarth, two ply.  It wraps at about 18 epi.  It's been washed but not re-skeined, so it's a bit untidy looking.  This is about 1/3 of the roving that I have to spin.  I'm thinking that I'll weave with this.

Next some Pygora:

This is about 4 oz and 550 yds. all spindle spun in 2014.  Wheel plied in 2015.  In real life the blue is a little more saturated.  I'm thinking shawlette for this yarn.

And this North Ronaldsay was spun and plied in the past couple days:
It's 100 grams and about 275 yarns.  The fiber was purchased when we were on Orkney in 2011.  I'm thinking this will be a hat, something like this.

My apologies for the picture quality above, but it is January in Michigan....low light prevails.

Also there's some knitting happening:
More socks, and believe me it is wool sock weather!  This is Paton's Kroy yarn and these were started in the new year.  I was all the way to the ribbing on the left sock last night when I finally saw how I was missing a stitch in the pattern...I had been thinking there was a problem all evening.  Once I found it. there was nothing to do but rip back.  Otherwise I would be looking for that error every time I put on the sock.  So in two evenings these should be done.

One more thing to show that was completed in 2014, but I had to keep it under my hat until gift giving was done (pun intended):
This was for my sister...and completed before the ground was covered in snow.  The yarn is Galway.  the pattern is Cloche Divine by Meghan Jones.  I made the crown a little deeper than what the pattern called for.

And that's what I've been doing to stay warm.  You?

Thursday, January 01, 2015

Looms Day

Meg at Unraveling posts a New Year's Day challenge to post photo's of what's on the loom.

Here's my entry.

On the Macomber:

A 12 shaft version of circles and stars in a combination of 10/2's mercerized and unmercerized cotton. 

Here's another view:

And on the Compact:

Trees...evergreens.  They were started for Christmas. but I'm thinking that evergreens will always work up at the cabin in the woods.

Happy New Year, everyone!

Sunday, December 21, 2014

A Rose Path for the Solstice....

You know the kind of rosepath I mean:
Years ago Margaret Windeknecht did a workshop for our guild based on the above monograph.  I did not yet have a workshop loom so I borrowed a table loom that had been sitting in someone's basement for years.  Uhm...that loom was not worth the powder to blow it to ....well you know where...and I was a very unsuccessful workshop participant.  Margaret was so kind and I felt so bad to not really be able to take advantage of her generous sharing  that I promised I would work my way through this booklet.  I have not done so systematically.  But in fits and starts I have played around with her thinking on the motif.

Then came Lisa Hill's workshop this past April (whoops..I never did a good blog post about that.) This month I started looking through my notes and samples from the workshop and decided to test myself to see if I really understood her concepts on deflected double weave.  Hence the Rosepath motif put into deflected double weave. So I've been standing on the shoulders of two great weaving teachers at one time:
In the process I achieved another objective of cleaning out my yarns and such for the winter solstice.  Of course, this only used up two little, miserable orphan hanks of a mohair-linen yarn, (yeah...I know: mohair and linen?!  The result of stopping at a yarn store while traveling and trying to find something..anything that I didn't already have.)  So that is the red pattern yarn.  The ground yarn is 8/2 tencel and the quantity involved did not make a dent in the inventory.

At the current rate of usage, I don't think there are enough solstices remaining in my life to use up the yarns on my shelves.  Must weave faster (and smarter), I think.

I know from experience that brushed mohair yarns in the warp are a weaver's folly...and yet I threw caution to the winds.  The cost was to clear every single mohair shed manually.  But it did come out quite nice in the end with surprisingly few repairs required.

Actually, there has been a flurry of finishing around here as the solstice approached:
A third orange hat (pattern heavily modified and modeled for this photo on a sour dough pretzel jar, which also works pretty well for blocking hats) with a pair of scrunchie hand warmers to go with.  Actually, there were a total of three pairs of Scrunchie Handwarmers in this yarn because one skein made 3 two skeins made 6 mitts...or three pairs: two gifts and one for me.  I should add that no two of the mitts were alike, tho' all 6 of the mitts were fraternal.  And now we are done with the higher math of mitts.

There were two other orange hats this fall for the males in the household:

The hat on the right is knit from this pattern and the one on the left from this one.
 The fourth hat of the season is double thickness, knit in Elizabeth Zimmerman fashion from Cascade Heritage Paints yarn  color 9824.  This is for DS.  I knit the same hat for DH earlier this year in a different colorway which is in this post:

And a fifth hat has been completed, but it's a surprise.  So you'll have to wait until after gift giving season for a photo of that.  Hmmm...I have knit a lot of hats this year.  Hats don't use up that much yarn....

One more finished item to share are these socks:
Despite that photo, they are complete, have been worn and are in the laundry.  You'll have to trust me on this.  That yarn....has probably been in my stash for about 20 years.  And again...socks don't use up that much yarn.

So now we know:
My solstice theme has been to finish things that use up yarns from the stash.  And I have found ways to defeat myself by completing projects that use the smallest amounts of yarns (and in weaving) in the slowest means possible.  Clearly I need to work on goal setting.

Wishing all those who have stopped by the very best of the holiday season and may 2015 bring much health, wealth, and happiness into your lives.