Thursday, 27 August 2009

Weaving way too slowly

Early this year I applied to have an exhibition at the Bolin Bolin gallery at Bulleen Art and Garden, a nursery not far from me that has resisted the temptation to put in a coffee shop, but has a really lovely gallery instead. The exhibition is in October, and while that seems along way away, it's not!

I am going to do a series of three woven structures, this is the first. They should have been completed. I will get this off in the next couple of days, and hopefully the next two (copper wire and plastic piping) will be quicker. At least I don't have to collect my insert supplies.

I am, however, very pleased with the way it is weaving up. Using fine nylon wire can be annoying as it does like to do its own thing, but the effect is fine and ethereal.

Tuesday, 18 August 2009

It's all about the socks

Just arrived back from a busy session at Snb. Isn't it amazing how you can sit around with your knitting and spend most of the time talking about knitting. We did have a little drama with one of the children, I do hope she's OK.

I managed to finish my socks last night, so I could show them off today and, more importantly, start the next pair of socks. You may notice that one foot is bigger than the other. One of the joys of knitting your own is that you can tailor them to your own unique feet!

Aren't they lovely and bright.

The new pair are in the Noro Kureyon sock yarn I bought, on special from Morris & Sons. The pattern is the Lacy Arrow-patterned socks from 'Socks' from Spin-off and Interweave Press, edited by Rita Buchanan & Deborah Robson.
I've done the swatch and the pattern works very nicely. The only weirdness, is that when I started knitting from the centre the first green is quite different from anything that can be easily seen from the outside of the ball. The Noro is supposed to wash nicely, right now it feels a bit firm. Quite alot to think about, really.

Friday, 7 August 2009

Experiments with singles and colour

Experimental Spinning, last Saturday, was alot of fun. We managed to sit in the middle of the room surrounded by weavers. It was lovely to have both spinners and weavers together at the Handweavers and Spinners guild!

(I do think we were a bit noisy, so I hope the weavers didn't mind too much?)

As usual, the experiments had to continue at home, so, here are three different skeins before dyeing.

Then, I followed the same procedure, as before, basically boiling the yarn to death!

1. (middle skein) I used the same top, as before, and selected a different colour. Beautiful blue.

2.This was an attempt to use fleece. I prepared it roughly on the drum carder, surprise....not good enough. I spent a little more effort and predrafted as well, still very difficult to get an even result. It just turns into a more slubby yarn.

I then tried preparing the fibre on my wool combs. This was better, but being only little ones, they didn't really help prepare the single well.

This has showed me that there is more experimenting to do: different fleece, this was a good length but a bit fine, I think; bigger wool combs.......

I still achieved a yarn I like that says to me 'hat'!

3. The last experiment was a little disappointing. I mixed the machine washable and non-treated wool top. I like the colour and how the grey affects the colour and overall effect, but while there are fluffy areas and felted areas, they don't stand out.

I think that I'll try again, adding more machine washable top and being careful about how I split the top up and how I combine them.

Finally, I decided I would knit up the first skein I did to see how far it would go. I chose 20mm needles which made quite a thick fabric, which isn't quite a scarf, more a neck warmer length. Larger needle sizes would probably yield a scarf, but I'll have to try another time.

I am very happy with the texture and feel of the knitted fabric, and I think I have a new product!

Tuesday, 4 August 2009

Finally finished!

I've been knitting this blanket for absolutely ages.
I had far too much of this Shadow Tweed yarn from Australian Country Spinners and while it's an interesting yarn I was well over it, well I certainly am now!
Lorraine at Woolybutt has been collecting squares for blankets to send up to Marysville for the fire victims, and as it's August I thought I'd better finish it.
The blanket is knitted in one piece and I picked up, increased and decreased down the centre diagonal of each square, so it's not in any particular sequence and has a really appealing effect.
I hope it finds a good home.

Sunday, 2 August 2009

Rhythms of the day

Having embarked on studies again, committing somewhere around 3 days a week has meant that I've needed to rearrange my week. Having had particular rhythms to the week for so long, it's been difficult to change my habits and enlist the help of the household. It's slowly getting there, but it's been an interesting challenge.

This might explain why I've only finished two fingerless mittens this week when I need to make quite a few for the next market, but here they are: