Category Archives: knit

This Saturday Night!

Hi knitters and textile fans!

I’m having a show at Shaika this Saturday, April 14th, at 8 pm.  I would love to see everyone there with pointy sticks and string.

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Gryphon D’or Tearoom October 7th @ 8 pm!

Hey!

I’m having a show at the charming Griffon D’or Tearoom this Tuesday! I hope to see you there. It’s gonna be awesome.

I Can’t Be-weave it!

Look what I’ve got!

ignore the obvious error; ain't it grand?

Yes, I did manage to not tie the warp to the apron rod properly (hint:  it’s supposed to wrap around the top bar) but that is the first warping I’ve ever done all by myself.

Last Friday, I went to the marvelous Colette’s weaving studio, Interstitial Spaces.  Her studio is a magical playground with looms and spinning wheels galore in a formerly industrial space.  I highly recommend it – and I have to say that Colette is a really awesome person, and that hanging out with her was one of the highlights of my week.

Actually, I’m going to back up and tell you a bit about my week.  On Monday, I had my first day off in about two weeks – pyjamas were busted out, and I was cozy.  Tuesday, I was at Ariadne, which just happens to be one of the best places in the world.  Wednesday and Thursday, I worked – and I worked nights, which I hate.  I’m a sleepy kind of person and I need a regular schedule in order to keep going.  Once I’ve established a good schedule I have as much energy as the next person, but if I’m dithering around late at night I know I’ll sleep in way to late.  I hate working nights.  So, on Thursday, I got home at midnight and then got up early enough to visit Colette on Friday morning.  Friday afternoon, I went to work and when I got home (at frigging half past midnight) I assembled my brand new loom.  I even survived this obstacle:

Luckily, my partner had a similar screw to replace the one pictured above.  Isn’t that bizarre?  I don’t think I’ve ever seen a screw borked that badly.

Regardless, I had to work again on Saturday, so I got up early and warped my loom.  I got everything wound up and cut properly so I could weave after work.  And then, again, after freaking midnight, I got home and decided to go crazy.

I wove a strip that Colette set up for me on Friday so I wasn’t a complete beginner.

I was pretty pleased with that mini-scarf.  It hasn’t been blocked (or fulled?) so it’s still not finished, but it does look mighty spiffy.  And yes, the colours aren’t my usual palate, but those are the colours that come free with the kit in Brown Sheep Nature Spun.  It’s 100% superwash wool.  My hypothesis is that the colours were chosen for contrast and so that beginner weavers won’t be shy in ‘wasting’ the yarn.  In terms of my first solo project, I’m anticipating that the scarf-like thing I wove will make the best cat blanket ever.

This is a picture of me weaving in action.  My partner took the picture, and I’m sort of glad that it highlights how I’m learning to change yarns.  See that big thick blue stripe smack dab in the middle?  That’s because I didn’t move the rigid heddle when I was packing the end of one length of blue yarn.

There it is!  It hasn’t been blocked (or fulled?) in these pictures.  It is dripping in my bathtub right now, but I wanted to get some before and after pictures.  I’m sorry that I didn’t get the snaps done in the bald light of day;  I was practicing the piano and got sidetracked.

I experimented a lot last night.  I don’t know if it was the exhaustion from working or the exhilaration of weaving, but I felt like a master of creation as I wove.  Of course, my edges are messy and my tension ain’t perfect, but I’m mighty pleased with the results.  Take the the picture above:  I wanted to replicate a pattern on a beautiful hemp scarf Colette had woven in silvery blue hemp.  I don’t know if I did it, but I really like the results.

I slipped some stitches as well.  Rather, I did something similar to slipping stitches;  I maneuvered the shuttle underneath the lower part of the shed so I could see what would happen.  Apparently, the warp gets longer and stripier.

This is when I maneuvered the shuttle over top the shed.  I also started playing with that haystack effect.  See how I wrapped smaller amounts of warp in the green part in the lower part of the picture?  It’s really cool, what you can do with this kind of medication.  I’m really excited to learn more about manipulating these effects.

And last but not least, some plain tabi weave.

Oh, dear.  I’m really tired and think I should rest up for tomorrow.  I’m going to rummage through my stash and find my next weaving project.  I see visions of plaid rumbling behind my eyes.

Looming Ahead

Hello internet!

I’ve not been posting properly lately.  I used to think that posting every three days was reasonable, and I really got it done – but then, the past two weeks happened.  I got a job serving, and wouldn’t you know that I worked 97 hours last week (plus other commitments doing other things).  Not only did I not knit very much, but I also barely managed to keep eating properly.  It wasn’t a winning couple of weeks chez nous.  But!  I did finish those Belle Epoque socks.

I decided to disregard the pattern instructions and knit the lace pattern down to the toe.  I did that by decreasing until the 1×1 rib was used up, and then I started decreasing the faux cable.  I think it worked out really nicely, and I’m glad I listened to my gut.  They fit perfectly, and the yarn is really nice and light.

I’m pretty pleased with the finished project regardless of my previous grumpiness.  I’m pleased I don’t have to knit on it anymore!

In other super exciting news, guess what I’m going to do with this yarn after Friday?

Why, yes!  That is Hemp for Knitting from Lana Knits in Sprout and Olive colourways!  How did you know?

I’m going to purchase (get this) a Cricket loom this Friday.  Come hell or high water – I’m so, so excited!  I’m going to use the lighter green for the warp and the darker green for the weft.

Sample Swatch

Yesterday (err, Tuesday) I knit a large gauge swatch for my dream 70s cardigan.  I knit it in the orange because I was headed to Ariadne regardless and needed to wind that enormous skein into a ball.

I cast on about 40 stitches and then knit about two inches each of stitch patterns that refuse to be forgotten.  That slipped stitch pattern?  My friend Lisa told me about it in 2007.  That star stitch?  I saw that last fall on ravelry.  That fisherman’s rib?  Mollyann from Ariadne told me about months ago.   The coolest aspect of all of this is that I haven’t ever really knit any of these stitch patterns.

And interestingly enough, the gauges are really different:  from 3 stitches per inch to 6.  But my friend Mitali can attest to that!  I certainly was having enough trouble getting the star stitch to behave.  I’m a notoriously tight knitter so any pattern that requires that I knit through anything three times is a bit above and beyond my capabilities.  I think I may have to find a charming (yet identical in every way) sort of alternative.  That saying, I’m not sure if using a substitute will get this bug out of my ear.

In other news, my cat Patrick Purrswayze fell yesterday and twisted one of his hind legs a bit.  I know it’s not too serious because he’s still jumping from the floor to the windowsill with no problems (and also, because he sometimes forgets that it hurts and runs around like a totally healthy pussy cat) but his expression is the most tragic thing I think I’ve ever seen.

Doesn’t he look disgusted, yet contemplative, yet very sorry for himself?  Poor fella.

And without further ado (and from a special request from Princess Sonya via Mitali)…

It’s perfect:  a cat sleeping on drying hand knit socks that have been well loved on a beautiful spring day.

Old/New Ideas

I’m still chugging away at those socks.  Those Belle Epoque socks are going to be completed this week I (foolishly) swear, come hell or high water.  I just want them out of the way so I can get onto something that I’m excited about.

I’ve finished the gusset and am just knitting onto the foot.  I’ve got 4 inches past the heel flap and I’m planning on knitting about 7.25 inches total until I start decreasing for the toe.  Pet peeve alert:  I kind of loathe that no sock pattern I’ve ever met has the negative ease of the length of the foot listed.  Because of that, I’m a bit concerned about when to start decreasing.  On the one hand (foot?) I don’t want the foot to be too short, and on the other, I hate that extra quarter of an inch that can end up flopping around if I knit for too long.  This is therefore the most trepidacious part of sock knitting.

Knitting on the terrace has been awesome.  I love my apartment because it’s such a typical Montreal apartment;  the terrace is so perfect, and I love sitting in the sunshine.  The weather has been great lately.  Sunshine makes any project more enjoyable.

I’ve been experiencing a bit of a knitting slump as of late; but you know what’s making me more excited about fibre arts is this yarn.  Cascade Eco in brown and orange seems like it’d make the best 70s style zip-up cardigan.  Don’t you think?

I’m super excited about knitting with this yarn!  I’ve seen so many cool things come out of Cascade Eco, and I really like the colours I picked out (with Mollyann’s help, of course.)

I had been waiting for a third skein of the Cascade Ecological wool in brown to come from the company, but I’m relatively pleased about the contrast from the orange to the brown, so I don’t mind mixing it all in.

Ahh.  Orange you glad I took all these pictures?

Sunset on my Insteps

There it is, folks:  my gusset decreases.  By my (rough) calculations, I have about 8 rounds until I can stop decreasing and start knitting the rest of the foot.

I am (in my most secret of hearts) an enormous and fierce complainasaurus, and I’m not loving the pattern.  It’s kind of like that part in The Fighter when those over educated folks tell Amy Adams and Mark Wahlberg’s characters about the cinematography in Belle Epoque (1992); over my head and wildly fruitless.

It’s not that it’s complicated.  In fact, the pattern could fairly easily be changed into a 2 row repeat with a lil’ something extra every 8 rows.  It’s the thoughtless editing that kills me.  I get exactly what Morgan-Oakes was going for:  a nice faux cable with a bit of faggoting on ‘ere side with lots of 1×1 ribbing for stretchiness and fit.  I get it, and I do think that the finished product would look sweet if it were written out exactly the way I wanted it to be.  In all fairness, the pictures in the book do show the sock as written;  there are just some odd bits that, in a parallel universe, I would fix.

You see, I made a (futile) commitment to myself at the top of the year to start knitting other people’s patterns.  I have a square head, and I know that, and so, most of the time I make up what I’m doing.  I have many calculators for that reason.  I have a colouring book for that reason.  I even have lead pencils for that reason.  But in music, in knitting, and in life, sometimes you have to concede that there is a lot to learn from what other people are doing, so I elected to knit 11 patterns that I didn’t design.

I’ve cheated remorselessly on this commitment.  For instance, I’ve added 1×1 ribbing to this sock, and I’ve ignored gauge because I’m a maverick and sometimes mavericks can’t help but maverick.  But the cast on number of stitches needs to be right!  And by right, I mean that the stitch pattern shouldn’t require that there be a strip of two knit stitches on ‘ere side of the sock legs.  That’s right:  on both sides of each sock there is a strip of two knit stitches where there should be a 1×1 rib.  See that seam-like thing in the picture below?

The fastest way I can amend this problem is to cast on two fewer stitches per sock;  that way, the k1,p1 rib which is then followed by the p1,k1 rib will stay constant by ending with a purl stitch and everything would remain beautiful and perfect in the entire word.  The slightly slower way would be to add another stitch to the faux cable.  I can slip four stitches!  I can!  I swear I can!  I have lots of faults, but dishonesty isn’t one of them.  And again, the picture in the book does show the same seam.  I had just assumed that it was due to a tension issue.

I guess my biggest regret isn’t cheating on my commitment one more time.  This is causing me so much disatisfaction that I’m near to ripping the whole thing out and starting over.

One think that’s keeping me content is this yarn.  Why oh why was it discontinued?

100% wool… ah.