Saturday, March 12, 2016

Small things

This year there has been knitting, last weekend was Unwind 2016, for the first time in years I didn't teach so had time to enjoy the event as a student instead of being on high alert about my classes being organized. I attended bookbinding with Jan who had completed a proper bookbinding apprenticeship - she was good and I learned little interesting details. I took a blending fibre class - with Suzie (deepcreek on Ravelry) who shared some rather wonderful insights into how to make small amounts of lovely fibre go further, and what to do with ugly colour of fibre too good to discard.


This was my all time favorite revelation, mixing a small amount of georgous-ness with a background colour to create a yarn with subtle variation and hints of the colour in different amounts. It looks like the stirations that occur in cliffs and other geographical landscapes. Just a note - that as all Suzies work not mine.

We also looked at gradients - of course. These I have done before but not from light to dark - my previous ones have been from shade to shade.

I have to say the samples are all Suzies, my own play was with a dark green that I had dyed but didn't speak to me in a lovely way. The rolags aure perhaps prettier in real life than the photo shows ... Mixed with a natural pale grey and a hint of sparkle there might be some promise in the green.

I also went shopping, and on Friday spotted some lovely buttons. On Saturday I brought with me all the yarn that was destined to become cardigans - and sorted buttons for each future cardigan. I cheated a little, as when I had matched all the potential cardigan yarn in stash to buttons - I bought another supply of cardigan yarn. From Dark Habour, the gradient pink called Mary Tudor, and went back for mor buttons. The soft blue green is also a cheat - I had one skein but ordered several more skeins from Holland Road Yarn to make a linen cardigan - I love the idea of a soft floppy linen cardigan that will be perfect for summer days. The buttons are from Buttons by Benji - Nicola Duffy, I also bought some in the Chinese style willow pattern becasue I have a soft spot for blue and white and beautiful, no cardigan planned for them but I suspect that won't be a problem for long.

In the goodie bag were tiaras - rather lovely ones, all metal and sparkle gifted by the lovelies at Outlaw yarns and which were worn most of the weekend by most of the delegates - I have never seen so many lovely Divas in one place before, and almost none acted like divas. Day one I lunched with Angela and her mum on the local organic health food shop cafe, all whole meal and healthy, think shades of natural dyes, - and overheard a wistful 'I have never seen so many tiaras in the shop before' from one of the staff. Also stashed was 220 grams of 50/50 blend of organic dark merino and alpaca lace weight (another featherweight cardigan), filla di cross linen cotton blend (swap shop goodness), the Mary Rose gradient (with two more skeins ordered to make a cardigan amount), a braid of sock blend fibre to spin from Vintage Purls, more 3mm needles (almost go to size for knitting with fingering weight if not making socks).

And then this last weekend there was knitting study group - where we were steeking using the crochet method. The sample was a mini cardigan/sweater - which I finished as a vest for Kit from American Girl Doll. The steek method was ok - but won't replace my hand sewn steek which I prefer. The pattern was for long sleeves - but I didn't know if I had enough yarn left (probably did) and thought it would be cute as a vest - besides I wanted it off the needles - it was a one day project. The yarn was from Skeinz, a lovely heritage merino 8ply, that was in my goodie bag. It was so nice I might have to aquir more to knit myself something.

Also on scored by Kit is a hat, this year the ongoing knitters study group project is a tubular fair isle or colourwork scarf. Lorna leads the group and after visiting Shetland earlier in the year she is working hers on long dpns with a knitting belt - I decided to join her. My colourwork with a left hand yarn carry is good - and I don't need to improve it but it is always good to practice new or different techniques. So I dug out my kniting belt, bought in Shetland in 2011, and my long stainless steel dpns and knit Kit a hat. I didn't know it was for Kit, but she fits it so she gets it.

The hat is a little large, hasn't been blocked and is probably a little firm as too gauge. I only had 2mm and 2.5mm 40 cm long dpns to hand but have ordered a set from eBay (free shipping and stainless steel) so can soon play with th yarn I bought for the scarfs. I knit the hat with what is called 2+1, so had the stitches on two dpns and used a third, beginning and ending each row were a tad tricky but not impossible. This differs to most dpn configurations where stitches are on three or four dpns and another is sued to knit. The old school was was apparently with three - but off course people are different so that is not to say some didn't knit with three+one, or four+one. I tried three. It found that two made for a less sticky out and pointy sharp dangerous arrangement - so for now I will work with two+one,


And the scarf, the idea is we meet up every month to work on a technique and also to share progress on our scarves and maybe inspiration or charts, and at the end of the year at the Christmas lunch/last class for the year we show off our projects. I bought a lovely pair of schoppelwool yarns, Admiral in plain dusky blue and zauberball 100 in Villa Rose.

As soon as the new needles arrive I can begin to play...

Take care. Na stella


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