Tag Archives: knit picks

In Which A New Obsession Looms

My Kromski Harp arrived on October 25th, a day later and a part brokener than expected. One of the ratchets had been cracked in half when it was attached to its beam, making it entirely impossible to assemble,  let alone use.

I called the Woolery the next day (Saturday), and they told me to email them a picture. On Monday, they emailed back saying they would pass it along to the Kromski distributor, who would send a replacement.

I was antsy about it all week. On Thursday (Halloween), the new piece arrived, and within two hours the loom was assembled and within three I was winding a warp. On Friday, it looked like this:

A critical observer may note that the edges are a bit rough and a bit strange. Fear not, critical observer!

They got a little better when I was weaving without paying much attention.

Above, you can see just how wobbly the selvedges were at the beginning, and below, the slightly improved end. They look best around the middle, really, but I’ll show that when I unveil the washed and pressed results (it’s already done, I just need to take pictures).

The whole set-up, there. Note the very wide heddle and the very long stick shuttle on the right side. The upshot here is that I can definitely weave yardage on this baby. Downside? I am short, that stick shuttle is very long, and because I’m dragging it through the shed instead of throwing, it contributes to the strangeness of my selvedges.

No matter, the Husband Creature has offered to make me a fringe twister and some boat shuttles. We shall see how that goes. Might be good to have a model on hand to replicate, though.

From warping to cutting it off the loom, this whole thing took just 4 days.

Straight off the loom, the texture is odd: rough and stiff, in spite of the very soft warp (Knit Picks Stroll Fingering in Aurora Heather). The weft is handspun New Zealand Merino in the colorway “Fangorn” from Lanitium ex Machina, which at 23 microns is on the coarse end of the merino spectrum (but still at the fine end of the wool spectrum).

Since I don’t yet have a fringe twister, I used a binder clip attached to the leader on my Stella to twist my fringe. Here’s that set-up:

I’m already scheming about my next project. And, I don’t want to say too much yet because then I can’t do a dramatic reveal later, but tomorrow, I’m off to Chico to look at (and probably bring home) a potential new addition to my odd little fibery family.

Aside from the weaving, I’ve finished a couple other things. The singles for my “Qarth” gradient are done and rewound for plying. I finished my Rock Island shawl, and it is big and lovely.

The edges aren’t as pointy as I’d have liked, but I expected that, using bamboo instead of wool.

It’s soft and cozy and I adore it.

(Not trying to look “artistic” or anything like the model for the pattern, I swear! Trillian was headed out onto the balcony and I was greeting her.)

I also finished some yarn for my shop!

Just a quick peek for now, I’ll talk more about it in a later post. I have another bobbin already filled for a coordinating yarn, and at least one more to go. Once I’ve wrapped that up, I’ll talk about successes (and sad, disastrous failures) in making coils!

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A Finger in Every Fire, Irons in Every Pie

I have a confession.

I have Too Many Things in progress. Too many things a-spinning, too many things on the needles, and let’s not talk about the sewing projects that I’m trying to, not ignore, but…yeah, ignore, actually.

And lots of those Too Many Things in question? So close to being finished. Just shamefully close. A few fingers and a billion ends on a pair of mitts. Some simple garter stitch. A bit of ribbing. Beads and plying. A little hemming.

I like making things, I like the planning and the process. I like having the finished objects in hand. I just don’t like wrapping things up: the tedious jobs like rewinding washed skeins and taking an accurate count of wraps per inch, or sewing in ends, picking up stitches, finishing seams; the jobs that go against my nature a little bit like writing item descriptions and setting prices for the shop. (The casual self-promotion, too. I’m a very uncomfortable capitalist.)

But I’m working on it. I’ve even taken pictures of some things–I’m trying to get my fiber stash photographed before I spin any of it, but it’s slow going trying to catch enough light on my north-facing balcony with days getting shorter (and as it cools off, Trillflower like to be out there to watch and smell and lounge and otherwise get underfoot).

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I’ve got three active knitting projects going right now. I won’t be able to photograph the Rock Island until I’m much farther along in the garter stitch body.

This sweater vest started out as a heavily-modified Hilja, but with all the modifications for gauge, I kind of stopped caring about pattern instructions around the neck shaping and made things up as I went. It needs ribbing at the arms and neck, and then it’ll be done. I’ve even seen to all of the ends so far. It fits well, with just enough ease to go nicely over a button-down shirt.

These are Little Cable Knee Highs, sort of, except I used my standard wedge toe and placed the gusset at the soles instead of the instep, and ignored the instructions for the heel turn because those yarn-overs really make no sense to me, and, you know what? It’s a pair of knee highs with little cables up the back and custom calf shaping. They’re a long-overdue gift for my mom (hi, mom!) in Knit Picks Capretta, which is lovely to work with and very reasonably priced.

I’ll have to untangle and wind the third ball soon, but I’m definitely going to have enough yarn. These are worked two at a time on one long circular needle, which is my current favorite method (although somewhat discouraging at times as it takes twice as long to see any decent progress). I like to wind two separate balls and then when the socks are big enough, I can tuck each ball into its sock and the whole thing is very portable.

In my last post, I mentioned a new fiber club and a new spindle coming into my possession. The August installment of the Enchanted Knoll Farm Happy Hooves Batt Club showed up at the beginning of August looking like this:

Now, in addition to the corespun also mentioned in my last post, it looks like this:

I wanted to make a fat singles art yarn with lots of cocoons, but after about 5 tries I changed my plans. Half of this will be strung with glass beads, then I’ll make a 2-ply gradient. It’s on hold for now though, because I finally started plying my “Tuscadero” spin.

I can’t believe how delicate and muted this is turning out. By the time I finished all the singles, I was sick of it, but I’m charmed again in the plying.

The spindle, a Jenkins Delight, is a wonderfully balanced, tiny, adorable Turkish number. It came with a sample of 50/50 merino/bamboo, which I started playing with immediately. In the car on the way to pick up vegetables.

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That sample, about 7 grams or a quarter of an ounce, turned into about 49 yards of light fingering weight 2-ply.

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Now it’s occupied with some cormo top I combed myself.

Big plans for this. Big secret plans.

Speaking of big plans, I also have big plans for the July 2013 Into the Whirled club fiber. It’s “Qarth” on Falkland.

I’m spinning it as a 2-ply laceweight gradient, to become a S[c]heherazade shawl. This colorway is magic. See those sort of dull tan-olive sections in the fiber? Well, that’s a deception. I started spinning, and it’s really strange.

It’s not dull or tan-olive at all. Here, a closer look:

I love it.

So I should have some finished things to show off soon.

 

FO: Extremely Belated Christmas 2012 Gifts

My holiday knitting got away from me last year. Something about ten thousand miles of garter stitch just takes an unimaginably long time.

This was my break from Garter Stitch Hell. A cabled hat for my dad in Knit Picks Biggo, cut down to four chart repeats to account for the larger yarn and needles. It worked up in under 24 hours, and I learned to cable without a cable needle. Biggo is nice, very soft, but it does split quite a lot, even with fairly dull needles.

Good stitch definition though, and the cables were so welcome to break up the monotony of the original Tom Baker scarf I was making for my father-in-law and the lace-edged garter stitch shawl for my sister-in-law.

What all this means though, is that this hat? It was done well before Christmas. So why so late?

Well, that’ll be because I didn’t have anything done for my dad’s girlfriend. I had an idea. And I started it. Then I restarted it with the yarn held double for better stitch definition and warmth (winters are pretty brutal in upstate New York, after all). Then I realized that there was no way I was going to finish that thing before August and went to my LYS for a backup plan. The backup plan ended up being two skeins of Malabrigo Silky Merino in Zarzamora, which took a couple of months to become a Honey Cowl.

Generally I dislike the bias that singles create in stockinette, but the slipped and purled stitches are much more prominent features in the fabric. I was utterly charmed, and oh! the drape!

I might be just a little bit in love.

There were only a couple of yards of yarn left after the bind-off. Pretty perfect, in spite of being sent at the end of June when it is spectacularly useless (and in spite of how utterly sick of it I was by the time I finished).