Tuesday, September 20, 2011

New project - old project, both going well

Yes, a new project, and one that has been lingering on the needles has been 'reactivated', although I might have stalled on that one again. Interesting invites at work, and lovely things in the mail box. Things I knew about (as in I have ordered), and things that I didn't know about and were surprise gifts.

First the new project, because that is how it is, new stuff just seems to get more shelf space. I knew the next sock project after Bears Bunker socks would have to use my handspun sock yarn, and that I wanted something that didn't involve being welded to a knitting chart. Not mindless but memorable, not boring but portable. The sock yarn had been calling me, it was handspun earlier this year using a new product, Vintage Purls Sock pencil roving, a super wash merino blend with 25% nylon to withstand the rigors of sock life. The 100g of pencil roving spun up into 420m - pretty much perfect for a sock yarn. After a bit of to-ing and froe-ing with my Barbara Walker treasuries I settled on a round mock cable, worked with traveling stitches. I'm working on my standard 2.25mm sock needles, and so far it is working up nicely.

So nicely in fact that I'm already up to the gusset increases. I'd have to say that the yarn knitted looks 'handspun' but knitted looks surprisingly even. And I'm loving the way the colour changes are resulting n stripes unlike any that you would get with a dyed-in-the yarn yarn. I briefly thought this should be for the youngest cub, with her pink and purple preferences, but nah - its for me!

The 'other' project on the needles, a colour work tam, started way back in January of this year (and its now September!) finally made its way out of the project basket and into my hands. I sat down and knit the wee people I had charted out. Now I was totally inspired by Kate Davies Paper Dolls and used the idea of paper dolls as a starting point. I found a chart for girls and boys holding hands, in McGregor's Traditional Scandinavian Knitting on page 99. I charted this out way back at the beginning of the year to use the Shetland yarns I had bought while in Shetland - and realize it has been a whole year since then. I keep looking at this and wanting to show anyone who is around my 'little people' !

Instead of working the dancing couples in one colour I worked mine in several colours like the Fair Isle colour work but I kept the background unchanged. As I worked the wee people I made minor modifications to what I had charted. Sometimes what is planned doesn't work as well as imagined and needs tweaking. I went for a darker colour for the little sweaters and for the faces than I had originally planned - just to get more contrast. I've marked my changes in pencil on the graph but will rework the chart once I decide what to do with the crown. That is my sticking point right now, as I'm looking for something in keeping with the little dancing people.

During the week a few parcels arrived at home, one is tucked away for eldest cubs Christmas - its a 1940's USA vintage plane spotting manual from ebay that fits well with his current interest of all things to do with WWII aircraft. I just hope I remember that I've bought it and where I've hidden it when Christmas finally comes. The next was a book that I ordered, Shaping Sustainable Fashion edited by Alison Gwilt and Timo Rissanen. This is fantastic, I was lent it by a colleague and by the end of the first day had placed an order for my own copy. Finally a book that goes beyond the green-message of that we have to do 'something' but fails to say what that could be. Shaping Sustainable Fashion is divided into four sections - source, make, use and last. In each a variety of workable options are reviewed and balanced up. Finally - there was a wonderful surprise in my letter box from J, a Peruvian Spindle and pencil cases. Shown is mine, the cubs have theirs in use, and Bear had a packet of McIlhenny Co Hot Cinnamon Candies with Tabasco which he shared but the littlest cub found far to hot and spicy! The pencil cases amaze me, the embroidery is a straight stitch machine and free form, and the effect is spectacular considering the utilitarian nature of the equipment used. I want to take this to work and show everyone what can be done with a simple sewing machine and reinforce that complex embroidery machines and computer control systems are not the only solution.

And I have been spinning, but its all blue grey and looks the same ...so I'll spare you more photos of blue grey singles on the bobbin.

na Stella


Knitting Linguist said...

The sock yarn is absolutely gorgeous - I love the colorway, and your spinning is so even! Handspun sock are great fun to wear, too, you'll get a lot of use out of those. I haven't dug into my VP pencil roving yet; I think that may need to be the next thing to go on my Pipy...

I'm glad you all enjoyed the box! I, too, was absolutely impressed with what could be done with a simple (often food-treadled) sewing machine. I'll have to send you a picture of the hat I bought - felt, stitched all over in the same way that these pencil bags were done. Fabulous.

RMott said...

Your yarns and projects are beautiful! I found your site when I was looking up Nagy wheels. I just inherited one two years older than the one you posted about.
I've cleaned it and am about to go get oil for its moving parts. I have some limited experience with spindle spinning, but none with wheels. I can't wait to get started!
Would you be willing to answer some questions to help me get started with my new machine?

Stell said...

Happy to, there is also a wealth of info at the NZ Spinning history site, contact me thru ravelry if you need to - cheers - stella