Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Tonight is New Year's Eve, Wednesday the 31st of December 2014, and there is not much knitting to show, a ittle weaving prep, and lots of excitement with knitting plans for tomorrow. The sweater for bear is done, and was done Christmas Day, my dad came and so did my brother, so there were six of us, and with the meals being summery (cause it's Summer where we live in December) and four of the six being adults - there was lots of talking and knitting time.


Given the summer weather, hot days, it was not appropriate for me to ask bear to model the sweater, so I thought a few photos will have to do, and then I remembered it was a plain grey weather in stocking stitch - so no much to show.



The sleeves worked well, and we're done quickly, much as I love dpns and Magic loop - I don't enjoy knitting sleeves in the round. All that twisting and turning, with the body of the garment flopping around in my lap - not fun. I know I can do the sleeves first - perhaps I should?

Meanwhile I've been warping my loom, after a small delay when I had to add heddles to some shafts to accommodate my plans. I found answers of a sort on Ravelry, and my dad the visiting mechanic was observant. He didn't do any loom work but did point out a possible method which proved fruitful.





After working out how to add extra heddles (hint you have to undo some of the countermarch tie up and remove the shafts from the loom), I was able to finish warping up. Having to remove the shafts made me much mor confident about working with th loom. This time I was inspired by books and blogs where weavers sley the reed While it is out of the beater. I undid the nuts and bolts and removed the reed and sat it along two support rods. This was fantastic, I didn't have to reach behind the beater to find the next threads and I was able to see what I was doing. With the reed in the beater - the hanging beater and reed assembly blocks the view and creates all sorts of access problems. This was so much easier and neater.


For now it's all tied off and I've checked the threading, only two errors - and not so much threading errors as places where the threading was correct but the warp yarn was wrapped around a adjacent heddles so its path was disturbed. All sorted now and ready to weave eight dish towels. As a bonus today we took a trailer load of green waste to the 'til' and scored a wooden Venetian blind in perfect condition. I've been informed the wooden Venetian blinds make great warp sticks - and this provided 42 sticks for $3! Even better the sticks are twice as long as they need to be, so once cut in half to fit my loom will provide 84 warp sticks. And they seem to be mahogany - which is reddish so match the red jarah of the loom beautifully.

And tomorrow, I cast on for Enchanted Mesa, (EM) quite frankly it's a sweater that intrigues and scares me a little. It's not fitted, beyond not fitted, pushing not fitted to the limits. Now most sweaters and cardigans skim the body they are knit for, sometimes the designer adds flare, or ease so the garment is larger than the body, like a swing skirt or a draped nck cowl, And there are sweaters that bend body proportions, batwing springs to mind where the sleeves blend with the body. Enchantd Mesa takes sweater fitting further, and presents a design that no only messes with the propitious and shape of the human body then deliberately exaggerates asymmetry of the underarm placement. I love it, I'm not sure it will flatter - but I'm knitting it to see how far I can be pushed in the body distortion scheme of things. I'm not the slim bodies thing of my youth - and I'm planning to work this as a a loosely fitted sweater, oversized. I have to add lots of people knit it with the sleeves and underarm in the right places, or should I say conventional places.

I'm casting on tomorrow, and surprisingly I've convinced a few local knitters to join me, some in a KAL of enchanted Mesa, some in another sweater or cardigan of their choosing,


In preparation I've switched, on 2.75, 3, 3.25, & 3.75 mm needles, in the round. I've drawn up a schematic showing the stitch counts of EM for you see - I'm wanting to knit this in finer yarn, and the pattern is written so that changing the gauge changes the finished size (as opposed to the more conventional changing the stitch count changing the size). Which means regauging - which I've also planned. But I'm out on a limb here, I hope I've thought it through in a way that works when knit.

And I'm not knitkng it in blue, the yarn I've chosen is actually grey - I just have some of the same in blue that I swatched in.

I have this grey gradient, in merino silk, from Spinning a Yarn, designed to be knit into a shawl that transitions from pale grey to dark grey so there are varying amonts of each grey, some less to more - and I have a dark grey BFL sock yarn from Veranda yarns that is perfect to work the sweater body in.



Like this, so that's my 2015 off to a knitting start - what about yours?

Hope your year both ends and begins well, and the bits in between match

Na Stella.


Monday, December 22, 2014

Not for Christmas

When a knitter is knitting close to Christmas - people assume what they are knitting is a gift and must be done for Christmas. I am a knitter, and I'm knitting before Christmas - and not its not a Christmas present. I do want it done, so I can cast on something new for nw year.


I'm making good progress on bears sweater, but it won't be done on Christmas, although I might knit on it for Christmas. I've worked almost all of the first sleeve, picked up the finished shoulder saddle. And the underarm gusset, and added stitches to the front and back armscye.


Once I had the saddles done, I worked the neckline. Often patterns have you do this last but I think the neckline band stabilizes the opening and so when I knit the sleeves I can see where they will sit. If I worked the neckband last - I might find the sleeves pulled up a little and nearly too short.


When I say nearly done on the sleeve, the ribbing cuff is half done. Today I should start the other sleeve. And it may be done Boxing Day. Then again it may not,


There are other projects afoot, this is half a warp for eight cotton linen tea towels. I'm further ahead than the photo suggests - both warps are done and have been wound on the loom. There it is paused as I work out how to add more heddles. A small. It important step that I hoped question posted to Ravelry and my visiting dad can sort.


For now it is make some sort of impact on the weeds in the garden, make pastry for Christmas mince tarts and various other things that need to be done for Christmas,

Take care, hope the upcoming festivities bring calm and relaxation despite all the turmoil that seems to go with the season.



Monday, December 01, 2014



This is a sheep, or maybe I should clarify, this will be a sheep puppet. There is a sort of a deadline, the puppet was started four weeks ago, and the deal is it should be finished next weekend and be shown along with the rest of its flock at the year end lunch of the local Knitters Study Group.

The pattern is Estonian hand puppet, and I'm finding it challenging. The challenge surprises me, I'm used to knowing ahead of time what a pattern involves and being able to judge where I will need to focus and where I can relax and just knit. With this pattern I feel in should be able to knit it, after all I've used most of the techniques many many time before. I've done corrugated rib, Estonian braided cast ins, colour work working with dons, and the like before, many times before. I thought it would be easy, The pattern is written for experienced knitters, so the instructions are broad, providing for at four different charts for the body pattern. That's not unusual, there are other patterns that offer that kind of choice. Where this pattern differs is that each chart is for a different stitch count, and so the maths to work the number of repeats and the stitches to cast on, increase and work differs - and the calculations are trusted to the knitter.

The complications caused by charts that repeat over different stitch counts extends to affect the arms. Because each possible variation involves a different number of stitches - the palcement of the arms is estimated - loosely. And that's where I got lost, I read and re-read the instructions again and again and could not make sense of them. So I did what any sensible knitter would do - I headed over to ravelry.com and looked at projects knit using the pattern. I listed the projects by 'most helpful', Ravelry users who look at projects can tag as helpful those they find useful. By the second and third listing I found instructions on how some one else had worked the arms. I love that Ravelry offers a space for knitters to share what they do and to offer solutions for problems they have encountered.

My weekly weaving class finally finished, it was on a Monday so clashed with the spinning (and knitting) group I hang with. This past Monday I finally caught up with the group and with all that had happened since my last meet up. Because one of the spinner/knitters is M from VintagePurls and I am frugal and never pay for shipping on her fiber and yarn clubs - I opt for delivery via spin/knit night. That works fine usually - but not when I sign up for fibre club and then head off for a ten week weaving class. So last night there were two fiber clubs waiting for me - first 100 grams of gradient dyed polworth.

And then in a second bag - 100 grams of merino/bamboo, 80% and 20% respectively. I love these - maybe the gradient a little more, but the merino bamboo blend is so so soft and icy in colour I suspect I will spin it first. I finish work for the year on the 19th December, and have a out five weeks of leave - so I see some spinning time!

Take care, Stella