Monday, April 21, 2014

This year Easter is school holidays

Which in this case means a full two weeks off work, at home, with cubs, and the kind of weather that means staying indoors is a good plan. I've been knitting, even finishing a body of knitting, done some frogging - because knitting seamless means you can and should try things on - and adjust for size before a whole sleeve is knit. And I've also been adding to my embroidery kit ...finally making some sturdy legs to hold my slate frame up off the table in an elegant way. And there has been a new project started - but it's a secret, for the local mid-winter swap, so I can't tell you about that in too much detail.


This is the knitters study group hat, constructed sideways with short rows, and the seam covered by a leaf motif. The leaves are also worked as the lower edge of the hat. Iover the years I've worked my way through a variety of short row techniques, starting with classic wrap and turn, in all its forms - lifting the wrap and knitting it, lifting the wrap and adjusting the mount so the resultant knit stitch lays flatter. I've also been a big fan of Japanese short rows, and never really mastered yarn over short rows which some call German short rows. More recently I think I have found my holy grail of short rows, the paired, shadow or twin stitch. I first discovered these in the FLKH sock pattern, where they are called twinned stitch honors rows, but have since come across the. Under many names. I love these, they are easy to work easy to see when worked, and melt into the fabric like - well a shadow on a dull day. When ever I worked wraped stitches there was always some little hint of the working, a looser stitch or a bump in the work - no so with shadow wraps.

So the hat, it's soft as only something with 20% cashmere can be and in blocking it fuzzed delightfully. I worked the full eight leaves /short row wedges, and after initial tussles with the chart on the first leaf found the pattern quite straightforward. The chart does have an error, which is listed as errata on the ravelry page - but for a chart it is not very visual. None of the increases or decreases line up, which is weird, when knit they do, and the chart has lines which are offset as the leaf increases and decreases - so there is no reason the pattern should visually line up.

This is the hat blocking, on a hand blow glass bowl that upside down is just is perfect for blocking hats. When worn the hat has a nice amount of slouch ...and matches both cubs eyes nicely ... so I assume it matches mine. Blue eyes run in the family, bear has them as well.

Folded the hat makes a lovely shape, it's long rather than round ...which I guess is how the slouch happens. Before blocking the leaves were bowed, concave, cupped, post blocking they were much more relaxed, nice and flat.

Not sure if you remember these, the remains of Bears grandmas dining table, I think these were the tips of turned table legs. In this condition they are about 50 years old, as far as we know, and the table would have been older than that. We found them twenty years ago tucked away against the wall if the carport, saved for some future use. Last year I rediscovered them and realised that they would make excellent legs for supporting a slate embroidery frame above the table. Yesterday bear drilled out holes in the tops and I added cork to the bases.

The cork was to provide a slightly soft, and grippy stable base to the turned wood bits. I want to call them legs but as they have been trimmed to wee short things stumps seems a better term. So yesterday I sanded, trimmed cork, sanded the edges, glued cork to the bases, and rubbed the wood with a wax and linseed oil polish. Today I plan to set up the frame, and test it by working on my circle beaded sampler ... and knit a little on my secret swap knitting, and make bread, and hang out washing, and keep the cat company, and make a lunch that doesn't need to be transported easily to work, and all the things that I can't do when work looms large in my day.

Take care, I know there are more things to blog about ... So all going well another post might happen this week.




Shirlee Fassell said...

Love the hat! Can't wait to see how these legs work!!

paces said...

I have been browsing your blog-where did you buy your mats you use for blocking, Mothers day is approaching and I am going to be given mats, pins and wires for blocking, (no secrets-2 teenage boys and ad need all the hints they can get!)
I am in Rotorua so can access most shops.

Stella Lange said...

Hi paces, I'm not sure the best way to message you but I got the large blocking mats at a hardware store, like bunnings or miter10, they are sold as playroom or soft interlocking mats in the flooring sections, usually in packs of four ....hope this reaches you and helps

paces said...

Thank you!