Saturday, March 27, 2010

easily distracted again

- which is apparently a blog post title that I have used before, this I know from the auto-complete suggestion Blogger offered me. Two things have distracted me, and whilst they have done so the Green sweater languishes. First I decided belatedly to knit a gift, so cast on for that Thursday and knew the best moment to give the gift was going to be the following Monday (tomorrow) .. so there has been frantic knitting in all the spaces of the day suitable for knitting. What is it about knitting that we post when projects are started and when they finish, and we know knitting takes time, and yet as knitters we somehow commence gift knitting (the more complex or finer the gauge the better to show value and worth and ability) with scant hours or days to complete it in.
So, the gift, the lecturer I share my office with, M (the first of two M's in this post), is going on study leave, to write up her PdD thesis. Recently her life has been rather full .. she is on the iD Dunedin committee, and academic leader, and there have been several family events and illnesses. Each of those alone would be enough to tip me up, but not M .. she copes and copes admirably well .. but the thesis gets pushed to the back of the desk while she copes. Now she has organized leave to write up and I want to make sure that happens, now I can't shut her in a locked and phoneless room with no internet (email) until she has it done, nor can I prevent friends, family and work from needing her .. but I can knit. So I decided that I would knit her 'write-up wristers'. I have no idea if these will work, but I did bounce the idea to her and received an enthusiastic reply, and I hope they will become a ritual, don the wristers and be in lets-gets-serious-write- up mode.

Here they are, cast on Thursday, signature 2.25 mm dpn needles (my favorite ones) 60 stitches, worked mostly in 2x2 rib with my 'wrister-cable' pattern and some openwork lace between the central ribs. Second to last round worked by adding a YO into the middle of each 'rib' (2 become 3), last round worked twisting the YO to close it up, and then cast off in pattern. I used the left over Malabrigo(Tortuga), from my Whisper cardigan, and it is soft, so soft that it probably isn't a great choice for wristers, but these are fine, and super soft, and light and will go with her wardrobe. Besides if they do become part of a ritual for writing up - then M may not want them to last beyond submitting. I cast off earlier today.

The other distraction is a loom, a table loom, with four shafts, and a beater, is that the right term? Correct me please if it is not. I'm talking about a comb like thing that moves the thread just woven into place in the weave? This was a gift, a loom inherited by M(different M) who works with bear, it was her mothers, a master weaver in the US who mostly wove Navajo style, but bought this to work the samples for her journey-man stage. She needed a loom that would handle complex weaves and the simple Navajo loom she preferred wasn't quite enough. M inherited this and brought it with her to NZ, but weaving is not her thing, so this loom needed a new home, and look! It comes warped and ready to run! I have no idea what weave it is set to work, but I can play, there is also a bag of extra bits, shuttles, and spools, and a spare wind on bar, and more of the metal spools that the the warp is wound onto at the back. Its old, and worn, and could use a clean but works, and is built to last and all the loom needed by this house. I'm not sure if its Bears or mine, he often voices the thought that of all the fibre arts weaving is the one that he thinks he might like to try.

In return I found the perfect thank you, we visited to look over the loom and decide if we wanted it, a politeness really as I had already decided a four shaft was an improvement over my rigid heddle and then when I saw it had a beater thingie, there was no turning it down. During our visit I admired a rather weathered Singer treadle sewing machine and heard how it was intended to replace the one she didn't inherit from her grandmother, she had wanted her grandmothers but it was long gone when time came to sort homes for things. I decided right there and then to exchange my collection of singer treadle sewing machine books, accessories feed and attachments and button hole/zig zag attachments for the loom. A a child I had a treadle and used it and over the years built up and then let go a collection of treadle sewing machines, they take up more room than we can spare, but I kept the boxes of bits, and know that M who wants to restore and use a treadle is the right person to take them home.

One knitters junk is another stitchers treasure!

take care
na Stella
so that

1 comment:

KathyR said...

A very thoughtful, and useful, gift for your work colleague. I'm so glad to hear that you decide to make last-minute gifts as well! I thought it was just me.

The loom is very interesting. How wide is it? The "spools" on the back beam are not what we usually see here on table looms. In my limited experience, any way. Yes, you are correct, it is a beater! I think it looks like it is warped with a weft-faced weave but maybe Pamela, or someone else familiar with weaving, could advise better. Do you have any books to help you out? Anne Field's the Four Shaft Table Loom is quite good - you may be able to find one for a reasonable price on Trade Me or somewhere.