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. 

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Danish Tie Shawl Number One and Return to the Low Country

I finished a Danish Tie Shawl...I am planning a series of these..wanting to do a bit more "historical" Danish knitting.

This sweet thing, which would complement a slimmer figure than mine a bit better, is knit from yarns purchased in Denmark. 

I used  a combination of Hjelholt's Dansk Pelsuld (the lighter orange) purchased in Roskilde at Rok og Uld ("Spindle and Wool" I believe is the translation, no website but a lovely shop). The Dansk Pelsuld is lovely and springy, and reminded me of working with Classic Elite's "tapestry" which I LOVED and has not been available for a long time.  The Tapestry is 75 wool and 25 mohair, a great blend for lace; the Dansk Pelsuld is 100% wool. It was produced at Hjelholt's Uldspinneri in Svendborg, not far from where my family lived. 

I also used  3 colors of natural dyed yarns purchased at  the museum shop at  Lindholm Hoye, in Denmark from tansy (the very light color) St. John's Wort (the yellow) and madder (the darker orange) which is very hard to see at the border. 

The pattern is at this point a bit of a classic,   Dorothea Fischer's "Traditional Danish Tie Shawl" from the Spring 2008 issue of SpinOff. Saved mine and I have the original article to read!

I am not a big stripes person but don't like a sudden transition to another color, and the gradual stripes  soften it. I do love the right angles of color as seen in the back view above, and also how the stripes of different colors seem to meet, as in the photo below.

In other news,  why yes, I did evacuate. Made it into the car with 2 cats and both rabbits, up to my son Ben's in Clemson SC.  My parents and sister and her family all evacuated as well to different locations in the "upstate" as we call it. Ben's housemates were very accommodating and at least did not remark on how allergic to cats they might have been or how gross they thought the stray bunny poop was on the floor of the garage. (No matter what you do there is stray bunny poop, the nice thing is that it's well, umm, in little egg shaped pellets that are easy to scoop up.)

At any rate, here is Rosa ready to return (Blanca is behind her) 

And, here is Ben saying goodbye to Fiona and Samantha. Ben scooped up Samantha to put her in the crate before I showed him how to do it without getting scratched so there was some learning involved. (Put her up by the scruff and gently lower feet first, same as a rabbit).  All animals did fine, I put hay in the bottom of the crates to absorb...and we had a water break for cats halfway through the 7 hour trip. Rabbits are easier to travel with I learned, they don't meow with complaints when you stop the car, are easier to get into crates, and you can hang a water bottle for them. 

My house sustained no damage, lots of leaves and pinecones down, here is the front. 

We all got home safely to electricity and water. My parents lost trees in the backyard: thanks be to the positive forces in the universe that none fell in the direction of their new house!! This was a typical sight on our return trip on back roads, many trees down, often over power lines.

We are all home now, safe and sound!