Lab Cat

29 Oct 2010

FO Friday: First Handspun Knitted Project

Filed under: Fiber Arts, Knitting, Spinning — Tags: , , , , , , — Cat @ 7:55 am
Shell Scarf

Shell Scarf

 

Project Details

Pattern: Adapted from Gail Tanquary’s Fan Shawl.
Yarn: Hand spun
Fiber: Susan’s Kitchen FiberArts BFL Groovy
Needles: US 6/4.00 mm
Started: March 18 2010
Finished: October 20 2010 if you count blocking

Comments

I finished knitting my Shell Shawl back in May, but did not have the space to block it as the spare bed was covered with boxes. Even though the boxes have been gone from the bed for a while, I only found the time to block it last week.

I purchased the fiber at Sock Summit last year directly after Abby’s intro to spinning class.  After all she had said to buy something that you love and want to spin.   I spun the fiber with both a Saacht Hi-lo and a Wildcraft Chillis spindle as they have the same weight.  The singles were chain plied to maintain the colors.

Shell Scarf close up of first shell

Shell Close Up

 

The shell patterns were adapted from Gail Tanquary’s Fan Shawl.

25 Sep 2009

FO Friday – EZ’s Wearable Art Stockings

Filed under: Knitting — Tags: , , , — Cat @ 7:54 am
EZs Wearable Art Stockings

EZ's Wearable Art Stockings

At Sock Summit, I took another class with Meg and Amy and finally finished these stockings.  Not to be worn with shoes however as those toes would get in the way.

I had some issues with the front increases and sole decreases.  On the first stocking I increased either side of three center stitches.  I changed this for the second stocking to four center stitches which fits with the pattern better, as you can see below.

First stocking knitted is on the left

First stocking knitted is on the left

For decreasing on the sole at first I had the decreases side by side but this left a gap which I filled with an afterthought stitch – so it looks as if I have three stitches in the center:

Wearable art stocking with three stitches centering base

Wearable art stocking with three stitches centering base

For the second stocking, I knitted two stitches between the decreases, so I have four center stitches.  This matches the four center stitches on the front/top of the foot:

Wearable Art Stocking 4 center base stitches

Wearable Art Stocking 4 center base stitches

To make these more practical, I am going cover the soles with slipper soles.  Then I can at least wear them around the house and not have to clean them every time.

31 Aug 2009

Spinning

Filed under: Yarn — Tags: , , , — Cat @ 8:23 pm
I made yarn!

I made yarn!

I’ve really got into spinning fiber this summer.  It started back in May when the Knitting Knutz, my knitting guild, had a two hour workshop about the basics of spinning which spent a lot of time teaching us how to draft.  I practiced a bit after this but not really seriously.

At Sock Summit, I took Abby and Denny’s Basic Spindle Spinning class and that was great.  Before even using the spindle we were shown how easy it was to make yarn from fiber:

Plied Yarn

Plied Yarn

Denny and Abby are funny together making the class very enjoyable.  They showed us how to make fiber using a spindle by wrapping and turning, it was a revelation as it was so easy. We learned how to adapt that technique to use the spin of the spindle.  It was very interesting to see the twist in a short piece of spun fiber move up into the unspun fiber making a thread.   One of the students near me caught her twist in a whole chunk (technical term here) of fiber and Abby stretched out across the room, the twist traveled up about 6 feet of fiber. It was very impressive and yet,  I didn’t even think of taking a picture.

The key point for me getting hooked on spinning was Abby saying that you would be a good spinner after 3 – 6 weeks if you practice daily. As that is how long as it takes me to learn new scientific techniques, so it really stuck as doable.

I made yarn

I made yarn

The photos are from the first week after Sock Summit and now, three weeks later I have got it and can almost relax while spinning. I’ve even did some spinning this afternoon with the Murphy-cat on my lap.  I’m not quite confident about drop spinning, I like to park and draft especially if I am using the spindle we got in our class kit (and if the cat is on my lap).  I’ve made quite a bit of yarn and I am ready to try plying when I have enough.

I did make some fiber purchases at Sock Summit and I am sure there will be many many more in my future:

Purple Yarn: Merino and Bamboo

Purple Yarn: Merino and Bamboo

I’ve started spinning with this one because I felt with one color I couldn’t really make too many mistakes.

Susans Kitchen Yarns

Susan's Kitchen Yarns

Susan was great at the Sock Summit, very helpful in giving me suggestions of starting yarn and I love the colors in this roving.  I was not brave enough to start spinning it two weeks ago but now I wish I had more than two spindles so that I could just try it.  Just what I need, another hobby that costs money.  Especially as I have already been told by a friend who also knits and spins that I must now need to buy a spinning wheel. What, huh? Sounds good to me.

28 Aug 2009

Arch-Shaped Stockings

Filed under: Knitting — Tags: , , , — Cat @ 8:03 am

My second class at Sock Summit was with Meg Swansen and Amy Detjen.

Meg and Amy

Meg and Amy

Admittedly by this time, even though it is the first afternoon of the conference, I was feeling  wiped out and a headache was beginning.  I had eaten lunch at the convention center buffer, the food was great, but I really needed my afternoon nap.  So my photographs are limited to the one above, even though I did get to try on one of the samples of arch-shaped socks.  Despite how I felt, I’ll try to share some of what I learned in this great class.

Firstly, it is hard to knit and pick up stitches and count while listening to Amy and Meg pass on their fabulous tips. This also influenced my Wearable Art Stockings class.

Secondly, I did learn some knitting tips, but I can’t remember them all. There was a new to me method of picking up stitches along the side of the heel flap. Once the stitches are picked up, this method makes a nice edge without holes.  I have to work this out before I can share it. I’ve used it on, and adapted it for, that cotton project I keep teasing you with.

Once home I was able to concentrate much better and last week I finished my pair:

Archshaped stockings

As well as the information above, we were shown three ways of how to make one (M1).  Well, six ways actually because each way has an opposite so that you can mirror your pick ups. As an aside, I found it amusing that Meg wanted to have her M1 paired but didn’t seem to mind if her twisted knit stitch was twisted or not every row! The three M1 were (Knitting Help has a swatch with links to videos showing these):

  1. Twisted yarn over AKA e-stitch AKA, on knitting help  M1A/M1T
  2. Pick up strand from row below aka M1R or M1L
  3. Pick up thread from stitch below aka daughter/grand-daughter stitch aka, on video KRL and KLL

On the first sock I did increases using my preferred method which is (2) above but with this yarn it left holes:

First Food

First Foot

So on the second sock I tried increases number 3 and it looks much better:

Second foot from arch-shaped socks

Second Foot

BTW The socks are too small for me to model, but my spectacle case makes a good model, doncha think?

We also found out that even experienced knitterati types need to test their patterns and if they make errors on their patterns you, the knitter, needs to be easy and take control of your knitting and don’t follow a pattern blindly.   Be willing to change and adapt as you go.

If you look back at the above pictures you will see that the increases behave a little differently.  On the first sock, I have two extra stitches on the left side.  On the second sock, I was very careful to have the same number of stitches on each side so I ended up with three knit stitches together.  When it came for decreasing for the toe, I didn’t want to have a purl stitch as the main decrease stitch so on the first decrease row I increased again at the middle.  Here is a picture of them side by side with bits marked.

Arch Shaped Stockings Side by Side

Toes side by side

Part of this, apparently, was adapting the pattern for a child size sock. They didn’t want us to do too much knitting. But while adapting some errors crept in. Oh, yes, we were the pattern testers.

I am going to knit an adult-sized arch-shaped stocking some day. I am also interested to see if the pattern can be reversed and knit as a toe-up sock.

26 Aug 2009

Sock Summit: Turkish Stitches

Filed under: Knitting — Tags: , , , — Cat @ 8:20 am
Anna Zilboorg

Anna Zilboorg

Turkish Socks

Turkish Socks

Another Pair of Turkish Socks

Another Pair of Turkish Socks

And another pair of Turkish Socks

And another pair of Turkish Socks

Lots of Turkish Socks

Lots of Turkish Socks

Star Toe

Star Toe - yes, toe, not hat top.

My Turkish stitches sampler

My Turkish stitches sampler

Turkish socks were made with the left over yarns from rug making, so they were not soft.  The patterns came from the rugs too. The socks were knit to a very tight gauge with the purl on the outside.  They were knitted from the toe up and there were different kinds of toes, including the one that looks like it has a bobble,  I’m calling it a star toe, but that is probably the wrong name.

So after this class, I want to try lots of different color combinations, including those in the examples of Turkish stitches that Anna bought along.  I  also want to try knitting with the purl stitch on the outside.  I also need to try the star toe.   For this one, I seem to remember that with your yarn you make a figure eight and wrap the middle. Fold in half and pick up the stitches for the toe from the wrap.

14 Aug 2009

Friday Flowers: International Rose Garden, Portland, OR.

Filed under: flowers, Garden, Photo, Travel — Tags: , , , — Cat @ 5:56 pm

On Sunday morning, Jean and I escaped from the Sock Summit, yes they let us go, and headed out to the International Rose Test Garden.  We were obviously there at the right time of the year, as there were rows of roses:

Roses as far as the eye could see

Roses as far as the eye could see

Hadn’t I had enough sensory overload from the Sock Summit Market?  The roses seemed to smell nice too; I let Jean do the smell testing but I tell there was a nice rosey smell without sniffing individual roses closely.

There were yellow roses,

Yellow Rose Bud

Yellow Rose Bud

light pink roses,

Pink Rose with Bee

Pink Rose with Bee

and dark pink roses.

Dark Pink Rose

Dark Pink Rose

Red roses

Red Roses

Red Roses

and orange roses.

Orange Rose

Orange Rose

White roses

White Roses

White Roses

and cream roses.

Cream Rose

Cream Rose

Lavender roses

Lavender Roses

Lavender Roses

and roses that dramatically changed color as they aged.

Yellow to red roses

Yellow to red roses

These last are my favorite and yes, they start yellow and turn pink.  It was quite stunning.  Hmm, I wonder how many roses I can fit in my garden.

More pictures if you click on the RED rose photo.

Copyright © 2009 cdavies. Please ask permission to use my photographs.  Thank you

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