Saturday, October 09, 2010

Getting things done,

There is a particularly nice feeling that comes when something one has promised to do, or something one is obligated to do is finally done. Those obligation-tasks never seem as exciting, never as inspiring as other self selected projects. This week I finished two of the tasks that hung over my head, with deadlines, the first was the Wall hanging gift/charity project which needed to be away by the 12th of October, and the second was a seemingly never ending pile of essays by first year students.

Both are done, done, done, done, and ready to go, leaving me with more interesting things to work on.

The wall hanging is now done, all I need to do is hand it over. This was finished on Friday night, and blocked on Saturday, in the small portion of the day where we had sun and warmth. Like all colour work it wasn't completely flat when it was first off the needles .. but unlike most of my colour work this did pull in a bit in the middle. As I knit this using a different manner of knitting (Andrea Wongs two colour method) I really didn't mind the pucker, in fact I was surprised at how little there was.

Most of the distortion was at the edges, giving my wall hanging a waist, not ideal. I also noticed that I might have to practice how to twist in a colour at the edge of a colour work section - my intarsia skills do seem to need polishing to get the tension and lay of the yarn just right.

But any lace knitter and colour work knitter will tell you that blocking is a wonderous transformative method for improving knits. So I blocked, I ran blocking wires along the loops on each edge and pinned the knitting out square. I noticed that the inner band of the garter stitch boarder needed a little help to stay straight so I ran blocking wires up those stitches as well.

Now it is dry and flat and neat and tidy. I think this is the way up it should go, with bubbles drifting up - but there has been discussion here and it looks equally nice the other way up - with bubbles floating down ... or even sideways, with bubbles floating off to the side. I will leave the final decision up to those that hang them.

The other finished obligation is the pile of essays - all marked with a page of comments to go with each. I decided this time to mark using a fountain pen, and to select a nice ink, this time saddle brown by Diamine, but I have my eye on new inks. I've recently become aware of Lexington Gray by Noodlers, which is a close approximation of graphite, yes that is right, it is a fountain pen ink that looks like it was written with pencil ! That is seriously cool for a geeky knitter like me. I've also fallen in love with Diamine Pumpkin ....... which I am going to have to order(scroll down here to find it, but there is a much better image here of it in use and being tested, but I'm not sure if non-fpn members can view it). There are I'm afraid at the present time one mechanical pencil and two fountain pens on their way to me somewhere in the global mail system, and while I wait for them to arrive here in my far flung corner of the globe ... I find my time looking for inks that will suit those pens, and there so much choice, 80 colours of Diamine and the stories behind the Noodles are enough to make me want most of them. I wonder if they can be used to dye yarn?


Knitting Linguist said...

Now there's an interesting thing to experiment with! Fountain pen ink as a dye. Congratulations on finishing that pile of essays, I do know just what a relief it is to get through one (and I've got another coming in on Tuesday!); having a nice pen to write with really helps. The wall hanging looks wonderful, too - and I love all the options for hanging it :)

KathyR said...

Your wall hanging does look lovely, especially now it has been blocked. It certainly is flexible - I do like the idea of the bubbles going downwards, not so sure of acrosswise, though.

I rather like the idea of the pumpkin-coloured ink - I believe I know what the saddle ink looks like. :-) Nice! No good me getting involved with pens and inks, though, as my penmanship is rather shabby. I can understand your fascination with all the different ink colours, though, as I've been trolling around looking at different dye colours lately. Fun!

sam said...

hi its nice post...

Julia said...

Thanks for posting the photos on your blocking - not being too familiar with it I was intrigued with your use of the wires - very effective