Friday, February 29, 2008

Leap Day...

If you live in SE Michigan, this could be another weather post. What is the point in having an extra day in February this year if it's going to be another "Four inches of snow, followed by rain, followed by extreme drop in temperatures, chisel yourself out of the ice" kind of Friday? So in the spirit of the day, we'll just "leap" right over my complaining rant and head for the fiber.

I spent last week doing the "knitter's time travel" thing. You know how this goes. You take something that looks like this:
You then travel back in time by unraveling to make it look like this:
(This is/was AS's Fulmar which I've modified to knit from the top down and for a fitted armscye and sleeve cap. The armholes were about 2.5" too long, which defeated the whole purpose of my revisions. I knew I would never wear it like this, so it's languished in a knitting basket for 3(?!) years. I'm back up to the point of making the underarm shaping and have new enthusiasm for the project.)

Or here's another example. You start with this:

And you take it back to this:
(This was a lace cardigan from INKnitters a while back. The sweater was working up to be freakin' HUGE. The yarn will make a much better shawl.....perhaps either Pacific Northwest or Creatures of the Sea.)

You get the idea. By simply pulling a thread and winding it into a ball the knitter can go back in time and undo past mistakes, errors in judgment, and exorcise the demons which plague a stalled knitting project.

It's one of the beauties of knitting that spinning and weaving do not share. There are those who would argue that you can unspin fiber, but that's not something I care to attempt. One can go back and apply more spin or ply twist, but that's as far as I'll go.

And unweaving....anything more than an inch or two is sheer madness.

However, I'm discovering that this knitting time travel stuff is unbelievably freeing to the imagination! The simple process of setting free the stalled UFO's also seems to set free a plethora of creative ideas and energy in almost every other fiber pursuit.

There are two of my own designs on the knitting needles right now. Neither involves the liberated "time travel" yarn.

And I have been playing with a combined overshot/twill weaving draft similar to King's Puzzle:

But the new fabric would be in blue/greens and more suitable to garment fabric.

Then yesterday, the warping instructions arrived for the Taquete' workshop with Jason Collingwood, just one short month from now. Hmm...the suggested weft yarn is not like anything from my yarn stash. Well...there's is some natural cream colored yarn that would work. But I need at least 4 colors.

Not to worry! I have a stash of medium grey Masham wool top to spin which will make a lovely rug-type yarn for the class. Between the two natural colors and a dye pot, I should be able to come up with 4 new colors for the workshop.

So after months of lull, here I am with big plans for knitting, weaving and spinning.

BTW...that knitting time travel thing? It only works one way....going backward. As yet, I've found no way to leap forward from yarn to finished project without putting in the requisite time with "sticks and string". However, since it is a pleasurable activity, that's a leap I'd rather not make.


  1. That is a great way to look at ripping out what isn't working, and you're right, it is a great advantage of knitting.

    Fulmar has been on my I'll-Get-to-it-Someday list for a very long time. And I will, someday.

  2. I agree about the ripping what doesn't work. Looking forward to your designs.

  3. wendy e7:03 PM

    Rolling back time - what a wonderful way to look at it! I never thought about the forgiveness of knitting. Maybe that's why knitters get so nervous about steeks.

    I remember, we both started Fulmar about the same time. Mine is completely frogged, and will become something else eventually.

  4. (ah, leap day, tis a paradox....)

    ...and I really like your concept of knitter's time travel!

    Your twill weaving is beautiful.

  5. I like that application of time travel, and in that case, time traveled twice last year, with completely satisfactory results both times. I recommend it.

  6. Your weaving is so intricate and splendid. How many harnesses did you use? Blue and green would look smashing in that pattern(s).

    Will you be doing the rug workshop with Jason Collingwood? I've been considering the one he'll be teaching the end of May in this area but haven't made up my mind, though I'm edging closer to signing up.

    You are so right about the time travel ability of knitting.


tie in the loose ends...