Saturday, January 7, 2017

Knitting for Syria in 2016

I did a fair amount of knitting to donate to Syria in 2016 and posted on some of it before.  Since then, I have completed two more sweaters and a blanket.  The Ravelry group "Hats and more for war-torn Syria" was my happy find.  These sweaters are collected by the Salaam Cultural Center in Seattle and distributed to Syrian refugees abroad. 

Elizabeth Zimmerman's baby surprise jacket has been my touchstone for these sweaters. 

Here are a few more completed this year

The yarn in this one is Harrisville Shetland

This one is larger, knit from Studio Donegal Tweed in worsted weight, acquired during my trip to Ireland. It wasn't wide enough so I added a crocheted band for the buttons which turned out to look really good!

And this is a wool blanket done in squares from the last of the yarn from a friend. Two friends and I dyed the yarns at different times, some synthetic dyes and some natural, as the yarn was white which is not practical. I was not the only knitter so I can't take full credit. It's about 5' x 5'. There are different gauges but all squares are 6" x  6". I alternated directions of the garter stitch in sewing it up, thinking that that might make it a bit sturdier. 

Saturday, December 24, 2016

Christmas Making 2016

(Threading lights  through a wheel is harder than it looks!

Well, it's been a low production year for gifts knitted or otherwise, but here the few that I did

I knit these at the last minute for my niece who loves the bunnies, they are mitts that I spun and knit from my white angora then dipped in a dyepot of a leftover brew that contained cochineal, madder, and some indigo (from something else that had been overdyed in it). I am still working on spinning even yarn with my angora but I kind of like the bumps...

This habotai silk scarf from Dharma was dyed in indigo, then I dyed some primarily wool sock yarn in the same vat. I did an overcast stitche with the yarn then picked up and knit a lace border. I really like this but it went to Susanne.  I'll do more...

This is Evelyn A Clark's shawl, "Ripple."  I am a huge fan of Evelyn's, perhaps because one of her lace shawl patterns was one of the first I knit. This is done in Noro Silk Garden sock, and  goes to Beth. 

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!!

Sunday, November 27, 2016

SAFF 2016 part two

Here are a few  more  photos from my SAFF journey this year. First, one of my favorite views every autumn

This little black lamb's ewe rejected him, he was being bottle fed by the owner and got lots of attention

My friend the amazingly talented Milissa Dewey working  on a loom from the 1850's from Kentucky which had not been used for 100 years 

And here is Alan Dewey and his bowler hat behind a lovely old walking wheel and another barn loom, this one from Ashe County NC dated 1830. The original owner wove her son's confederate uniform on this loom...

and here is my new loom,  hand created for me by an old friend. It is a 7 foot triloom but adjustable. I'm having great fun with it!

And here are some animal photos

The horns on this ram were impressive,  we actually did see one back up and "ram" another cage, quite scary (see the next photo down)

The sign below reads "stay  back please"

I did a class on knitting from silk hankies, here are some coccoons

Here is a large mound of silk caps from China

I stayed with my brother who lives in Campobello "Beautiful Field" South Carolina

Part of my brother's "Stable" of Corvairs


 Max loves to chew socks but the ones made of rabbit fur are particularly enticing...

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Madder workshop at SAFF

I went to SAFF, the Southeastern Animal Fiber Fest, at the end of October. It was Hallowe'en weekend, well timed. There were some costumes on view.

A highlight of the weekend was a madder workshop put on by Jackie of Forage Color.

The process was outlined in this book, and actually is illustrated on the cover:

We each had 20 samples, a generous 90 yards each. We used a superwash merino. Apparently the superwash takes dye well. Jackie dyed them all together, with us helping and a couple of guys serving as "water bearers." 

There were four pre dyeing options: no mordant, alum, copper, and iron.  Jackie had done the mordanting ahead of time. 

We used a different madder dyepot, heated to 160 then left to cool,  for each pre dyeing option so as not to "muddy" the results. 

Skeins soaked for an hour and then were removed. At this point there was lots of labelling going on to identify which treatment each skein got.

Skeins were then looking lovely but there was another step: an afterbath:  each of the four predyed options was then "separated" into another five options:  no after bath, an alkaline afterbath, an acidic afterbath, or another dip in alum or iron.  

Here Jackie tests the acidity and alkalinity of those two afterbath options

They were left to soak for an hour. 

There was then a really good rinse, and thus, we had 20 different shades.   

 Jackie had some dyekits for sale and I took advantage!

 Lovely Hallowe'eny colors!

Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Some scarves and a bit on Nuno'ing my knitting

I have finished some neckwear...

I learned nuno felting a couple of years ago. At some point I said to myself...couldn't I "nuno" a hand knit lace scarf ? About 2 years ago my friend J was trying to knit herself some window treatments, and she had found a nice openwork lace pattern from Barbara Walker. I knit up a scarf and tried it out. Pictured below is NOT the first one. It is a kid silk haze knockoff yarn nuno'd together with that wonderful  Merino Silk Sliver, the latter purchased from Dharma

I love this  colorway which I think is "pomegranite." The white is the silky bits.

The next one was done as a part of a trade, more on that in another post. It was done for a friend's wife who loves purple. Again, the same sliver only in purple blend, this time the knitting bit is white Kid Silk Haze together with a purple strand of Habu Silk Wrapped Stainless. I love in this one the way the white silk echoes the white KidSilk Haze on the opposite side. I do have the tendency to use too much roving so I will need to work on this to get a more drape-y garment in the future.

I Really like the way the knitting pulls in and wriggles as the roving felts to it...

The last creation was done via an impulse purchase. I was at Frayed Knot; my friend picked up a magazine showing an artist who used Noro Pencil Roving to make a scarf. I purchased some and got to work. So this was wet felting and not nuno.