Sunday, June 06, 2010

It seems I may indeed be a lace knitter,

Indeed, a lace knitter, me? I'm the knitter who would speak in online forum threads with the explanation that if I wanted holes in my knitting .. well, I'd not put holes in my knitting to start with, deliberately anyway. I was a a colour work knitter, an EZ fan, a knit in the round and re-gauge it, a explore techniques knitter .. but lace left me cold. And then ... I find my self casting on for an Ishbel, a little lace wrap with a few repeats of lace, nothing major, just 3 charts. Some where between casting on Ishbel and finishing Ishbel I realized I had become a lace knitter, one who could read lace, work without lifelines and frog whole 8 row charts, several times .. and it didn't bother me. More than that I actually cared and wanted to frog and rework the lace, and add more lace. At the other end of the knit spectrum I'm also a graffiti knitter with an installation. What do I talk about first?

Ishbel, all finished and done, from 342m of cashmere silk I handspun badly into 2 ply lace weight from fibre that was gifted to me. There was considerable frogging in this project, not because I got it wrong, but because I realized I would have 23g of the 89g of yarn left over. That seemed like a waste, so as I worked the final row of the small size I decided to frog the past 3 charts of lace knitting and work the shawl to the larger size - hoping I had enough yarn to do that. I did - I have 6.9g left! It was at the point that I happily frogged 3 charts, some 20+ rows that I realized that I had become a lace knitter, I slipped the work from the needles and pulled it back one row at at time. Unfortunately I got it wrong and frogged 3 rows to many .. which meant that I had to work out where in the chart I was, but I did manage to interpret what was on the needles to what was on the chart and identify the row I had on the needles.

So all done now, I started 31st May 2010, and finished today, June 7th 2010. 4mm needles with 6mm tips used for the cast off to keep it loose. I'd have to say this is is a design that seems to suit the unique colour changes that come with handspun yarn. No skein dyed yarn allows the slow and gradual colour shifts the way that hand spun creates .... I know Ysolda instructs one to block Ishbel with the long edge flat, but mine wanted to be a curve, to better drape over the body.

Then as I said at the other end of the knitting spectrum, there is the acrylic knit graffiti. Here it is all ready to go, 3m of multi colour mostly garter stitch knitting.

And installed out side work, bam on state highway one. Yes I work in a building that is routed on both sides by state highway one, the road that travels from the very north to the very south of New Zealand. Bear and the cubs headed down with me Sunday morning, and in return for helping hands I shouted them breakfast in town. Installed it looks tiny, thin, and insignificant .. I am in awe of the larger installations that others have done and have a new-found respect. The actual installation takes time. My knitting elective starts tomorrow, 3 weeks of full time degree students learning about knitting and designing something knitted .. should be fun and full on.

That all really, I'm away next weekend at a conference, not the Lerwick one, the Wellington one but still talking about knitting, so the next post could be more than a week away. I get a chance to catch up with a friend, and her family, and see Craft 2.0 (the fair not the blogger). I think I need the break but not the conference stress .....

take care
(oh and its raining again ....enough to make one want to sit and knit)
Stella now,


Suzanne said...

That is some very beautiful first lace. Well done! You just never know what technique will call next.

I was very dubious about your acrylic handrail cozy (monumental waste of time and effort?), but must admit that it looks pretty spiffy in place. When first you spoke of it, I was thinking that knitted lace squares, hanging prayer flag style from the handrail, might have more visual impact from a distance. You were already well under way at the time, so I kept my mouth shut.

Perhaps you could get the students to knit the squares to add to it?

Stay warm and dry; and remember to carve out some quiet time for yourself.

Knitting Linguist said...

That's some gorgeous lace! Ishbel has been on my "to-knit" list for far too long (and the skein of silk/merino handspun I have earmarked for it has been hanging on my rocking chair for far too long). You may have inspired me to cast on sooner rather than later.

Your installation is wonderful! Inquiring minds want to know: how did you get it on? Did you sew it in place? I hope your class is going beautifully!

Dianne Dudfield said...

Love the lace - handspun colour does what nothing else can.
I was watching an episode of the Australian program "Underbelly" recently and the two major crims of The Cross were having a fisticuffs and in the background was a tree covered in knit graffiti, I smiled at the contrast.

KathyR said...

Your handspun looks lovely as "Ishbel". Lace knitting is rather fun once you get into it.

The graffiti looks great on the handrail! I hope that your students appreciate it. Have you caught up with the story of the knit graffiti in Berkeley/Oakland in California? Complete with protests and calls from local government to remove it!

Shirley Goodwin said...

The lace is gorgeous! I am making Clapotis (not exactly lace stitches, but lace effect) with 100 grams of lovely hand dyed and possibly hand spun yarn I bought in England and justified to myself that it would add practically nothing to the weight of my luggage.

As for the knitting elective - lucky you! Look forward to hearing all about it.