Saturday, July 18, 2015

Holidays are

Weird, at some level they are relaxing and fun and a complete break from the demands of work and timelines outside of ones own making. On the other hand holidays are so filled with potential they can be both paralyzingly confuing and filled with too much choice - and filled with a sense of dread that the days will slip away with nothing to show for the time off work, I'm aware of that - and I try not to plan to much, but still the sense making the most of the time persists, I've been on leave for two weeks - and there isn't much to show.

Firstly - or rather lastly in time order, as I finished these a few days ago. These are arm warmers knit, Vörå-Inspired Arm Warmers, Knit for K, aka Otagogirl on ravelry. These were a fast knit, but a slow decision, there were so many lovely things in her queue for her family - and it seemed wrong to knit something not for her. Then inspiration came in the form of her admiring this pattern knit in these colours by Zoomer also on ravelry. I am happy shamelessly copying inspired knitters.

I was also inspired by these lovely mittens, mitaines rainbow, So much so that this morning I decided to do more than just admire - I would divide a skein of blank yarn into smaller skeins and set about dying yarn for the fingers. I set my swift on top of my scales and would off 5 gram balls, the scales kept going to sleep so I ended up just waking it up and weighing the balls directly. Then I turned each small ball into a mini skies using half the ninny noddy.

Then I dyed each one, I kettle dyed, and ran two dye pots for speed, mixing the dye up first, adding a preloaded skeins and then lifting the skein from the dye bath if it colour looked right. My 'natural' tendency is towards blue greys - so I deliberately pushed myself to add in yellow and orange and apricot. There is something nice about having the ingredients to hand - not having to go buy everything.

Right now the skeins are dyed, rinsed, cooled and laid out to dry on an oil column heater, later tonight I will make little cute center pull balls and maybe even begin the fingers. In this pattern the fingers are knit from base to top, using a provisional cast on, and then the provisional cast on is picked up and used to knit down to form the hand of the mitten. The pattern appeals as it is both cute and clever. As for colours - the original is knit with a 'warm' hand and a ' cool' hand, myself I think I wil mix the colours up a little more. It all looks like lots was done - it in reality it was about 90 minutes - maybe two hours counting the skeining. Having no work meant I could devote the morning to dying without worrying that other things wouldn't be done.

This is the grey I plan to use for the body of the mittens, a little darker than the original - it's Ngaire, a club colour from Vintage Purls 2013. I have been saving it for something special - the original pattern was also for mitts - but I always wanted to knit them in something pinker or browner or greener, as the design seems botanical.



My holiday began with a warp, I made a warp for more tea towels, and began to install it on the loom. Then snow and ice hit and the back end of the house became too cold to work in. I enjoy my interests but not enough to freeze in the pursuit of them.





So I abandoned the loom at this stage - and I think I will replace the heddles with texsolv ones before I complete the threading. The thread is a soft spun cottolin - a bit slubby - but ok for practice in warping and weaving, I hope that using texsolv will even up the shed somewhat, and make for a neater shed. For now I think I will cover the warp so it doesn't fade - winter sun is wimpy but can still fade textiles. I find because we don't have a dishwasher we go through tea towels daily, and they get grubby, white tea towels end up stained with the evidence of food and cooking. My hope is red and blue won't show that quite so much and will look cleaner longer.

The dish clothes were made from stashed yarn, four in total - photo shows three as one is in use. My own pattern, blocks of stocking stitch and reverse sticking stitch, five stitches wide by seven stitches tall. This yarn is thicker than I usually use, almost dk - so makes a thick cloth if any more textured pattern is used. The last. Lots I knit in double moss stitch - but I prefer my standard checker board pattern - simple and not too thick, that way they dry faster. Nothing worse than an old wet dish cloth when you want to wipe the table down.


So that was my holiday in review, there was a bit of drawing, and some waiting for repair people to service the stove and fix some electrical wall sockets ... And some to-ing and fro-ing Cubs to their grandad and airports and dental appointments. While there is not much to show - what is there is all good stuff, and I'm all relaxed, which is the important bit.

Na Stella


1 comment:

Rachelle said...

I've recently upgraded my loom to texsolv as well, got fed up with a shed that looked like a wonky road. I'm in the process of warping at the moment, with about the most challenging yarn possible to test them on (brushed mohair)