Saturday, October 01, 2011

Project monogomy

I'm open to distractions, in fact some times I am amazed that I have been able to maintain a blog on knitting for nearly 6 years. Then of course I realize that knitting isn't a single thing, its a wide range of activities, from actually performing the stitches to imagining something and working through how it could be achieved, not to mention seeing all the amazing things that people do with knitting. Given how open to distractions I am when I practice project-monogamy it surprises me how fast progress can be. Take this week, my knitting has been on my Bubbles sock and progress has been rapid, so rapid in fact that I cast on the toe of number two at the Creative Fibre South Canterbuy 40th Birthday Open Day Celebrations. The Open day was fantastic, my talk was on how I teach Design, particularly Fashion design at our school of design, and seemed to go well with questions that indicated interest. The trades hall at the open day was fabulous - with lots to select from.

My plans for the leg of Bubbles worked out, I had charted the leg but not really made any decision about the cuff. As the bubbles dissipated up the leg the sock background of reverse stocking stitch became more dominant and I wasn't sure what sort of cuff would work best. I decided to try a garter stitch cuff - and it worked brilliantly, an almost invisible transition from reverse-stocking stitch to garter. Sock number two has started and is going fast, I'm nearly done on the heel flap and need to decide if the foot is long enough. The second sock feels shorter than the first - and I suspect the handspun is finer for this sock, so I might just frog back and add a wee bit more length after the gusset. I'll try both socks on before I commence knitting any more and make a decision.

The open day was fabulous, Fiona and Kathy and their team had sorted everything, including a lovely parcel of fibre and fruit as a thank you, the fiber is the large pale grey bundle at the back of this image. I couldn't help but exclaim 'Fibre! My favorite!' This is just over 200gms (7 oz) of light grey natural half-breed combed top. The fruit is in the fruit bowl and has mostly gone as my standard answer to cubs that ask for biscuits is 'no but you can have a banana (or whatever it in the bowl). That generally sorts the real hunger from the boredom peckish. In front of the fibre is a copy of Are you ready to dye by Sandra Dain, my copy was loaned to certificate student two years ago has never been returend so I replace it. Sandra's book has one of the most comprehensive coverage of dye methods I've ever seen, everything from dyepot and microwave to using syringes and dying yarn in the ball with different colours, in bags, in pots, in the oven, in sunlight, fleece, fibre, yarn, projects - a huge range of options all clearly explained with photos and clear instructions.

To the front of the book are two wee parcels of Alpaca, during my talk I explained how our students are expected to identify the designers (fashion or not) whose work they like and why, and whose work or process is the most like theirs and why. Doing so it intended to help our students work out where they fit into the world of design and design ideas and processes. As part of that I highlighted three designers whose work inspires me and explained what I understood about their process that I liked. My first two were Claire McCardell and Isobel Toledo's early work, and my last example was Schiaparelli. I included images of her shoe hat, her classic
Trompe-l'œil sweater(on my do knit list), and her skeleton dress. Afterwards I was alerted to alpaca for sale from an Alpaca named Schiaparelli from Otago Bridge Alapacs - so of course some of that had to go home. One in Pink (Schiaparelli Pink) and one in grey blue. I've already started to spindle spin the pink.

The table that distracted me the most at the trade hall was the one with vintage buttons. I was enthralled, and took home these few. Ten small glass black buttons, Victorian, circa 1880, about 13mm across. One larger flower button, also black glass, one purple turtle button in Moonglow glass, and one glass dragonfly (3cm across). The 10 small black glass buttons are destined to dress up a black or charcoal cardigan, the others are just to have until i find a use for them.

These new acquisitions go well with the vintage buttons I bought in Napier a few weeks back ... seems that I might have a new thing to stash. As I said easily distracted, but I never said that was a bad thing.

take care
na Stella


Knitting Linguist said...

So many wonderful things in this post! I love the way your socks are turning out - you've gotten the random bubbles thing perfectly in the upper half. Are you thinking of writing this pattern out? And I can see how you'd get distracted by buttons that beautiful - how could you not bring them home? (Also, love the fruit bowl answer - that is EXACTLY what I say to my cubs, and for exactly the same reasons. But you should see my friends' kids when I say it! I often think I'm the only mom who uses that line. It's good to know I'm not.)

adriene said...

So many pretties to look at! You have a talent for randomness... I can never get things to look random. They always look so contrived! Beautiful!