Sunday, May 31, 2009

More Teasing

Here's another little peek at the mystery project.

I've actually got more done than I'm showing, but until it's completely ready for the big reveal it's more fun to keep you guessing.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Cactus? Fungus?

Curious? More details in a future post.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Better Idea

I've decided on a different stitch pattern and now I'm much happier with the vest project!

I'm stranding two balls of the same "W-EC" colourway of Kauni against one another, just starting each ball in a different section of the colour sequence. I'm using Knitpicks Palette yarn in "Heathered Garnet" as the fleck of contrast. If you look closely at the picture (clicking on it will enlarge it a bit) you can see how the patterning is gradually getting darker. That is not just a trick of the light. The background and foreground are both getting darker in this section.

There are mistakes. I'll use duplicate stitch to camouflage them when I am done.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Having Second Thoughts

Now that I've got a fairly good start on the vest I'm making, I'm not so sure about the patterning. I L-O-V-E the way the Kauni yarn in the ribbing and background is progressing smoothly from one shade of grey to the next, but the stranded patterning?-----Meh.

When I did my swatching for this pattern I was working with a section of the Kauni that was dark. (The pattern I ended up choosing is everything above the line of gold.)

I really liked the way the Garnet Heather colour looked muted yet rich against the dark background and how the gold colour became little flecks of interest. I knew that the effect would be different and would contrast more against the light grey sections of the Kauni yarn, but----well, I didn't expect it to be so drastic! I didn't swatch that part and I'm more than a bit disappointed in how it looks. I also think that the small oval pattern looks fine on the small sample but when placed on a larger sweater it becomes too much, ya know? Kind of like a speckled disease or something?

So now I'm back to the drawing board. I love the ribbing, I'm keeping that, but I've got to come up with a new choice for the patterning. Should I go back to my original plan to put the patterning from Knitpicks Ladies Jacquard Sweater Vest in there?

My fear, with this large floral pattern, is that the outer motifs may end up landing in a target like fashion right over my boobs. Not so great hmmm? I guess I could count rows and estimate where the flowers truly would land, and then adjust if necessary, but----well, maybe I'm not so in love with that floral as I at first thought. I'm really not much of a floral or wild print kind of gal anyway. I'm not even one for wearing t-shirts with pictures or sayings on them. Honestly, most of my wardrobe is plain, solid colours. I can't think of a single thing that has any kind of print let alone a floral.

Hmmmm, now there's a thought. Maybe I should knit just with the Kauni, no patterning at all? What do you think? Chime in in the comments. I'd like to have your opinion. I'll also take it to Knitters' Circle tonight and get the other knitter's opinions.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Designing With Kauni

Originally this:

was purchased to make the "Ladies Jacquard Vest" from, but using Kauni 8/2 for the background. I thought the softly varied light grey to black shading would look more interesting under the Burgundy tweed patterning. Unfortunately the Kauni is a bit thicker than the Knitpicks Palette yarn that is called for in the pattern and I wasn't able to achieve gauge and still maintain a soft, drapable fabric.

So I have designed an entirely different vest for myself using Sweater Wizard. This vest will still have the varying greys/black background and the burgundy tweed patterning but the stitch pattern and neckline will be different. I'm hoping it will actually look better than the original plan. At least I won't end up with flowers planted directly over the...ahem..."girls".

Thursday, May 07, 2009

Guild Challenge Met

All the bits and pieces I've shown over the past week are now assembled into something useful and worthwhile. A project tote, or perhaps a bag for yarn stash. It's 10" high, not including the handles, and a little over 24" around, about an 8" diameter.

  • I took the handwoven fabric from the mystery bag given out by the guild for the year end challenge
  • embellished it with embroidery
  • crocheted over the wonky selvedges
  • cut off the portion with the threading mistakes
  • crocheted a circular bottom piece
  • constructed a plastic canvas support
  • used an inkle loom to weave bands for the handles
  • sewed a lining (no raw seam edges anywhere) with a channel for a pull cord closure
  • made a coordinating Kumihimo drawstring
  • added a cord lock to gather and close the lining.

I left the fuzzy fringe end of the original weaving because I felt it added texture and interest to the bag.

All and all a very successful project, I think! I'll be proud to hand it in at the year end potluck.

Monday, May 04, 2009

Playing With the Band

Another chapter in the story of the Guild Challenge.

I'm putting a lot more work into this challenge than I need to, but I'm having a lot of fun doing it. I'm even learning a thing or two. For instance, I have finally got around to trying the little Kumihimo kit I bought at the last Fibres West.

I found that the long lengths of yarn needed kept getting tangled as I was weaving the narrow band so I first tried bobbin lace bobbins. I know there is supposed to be a way of using these for Kumihimo and also as bobbins when doing intarsia, I've seen it done, but even with a half hitch over the top they keep unwinding on me. Frequently!

So I've switched to the only other thing I could readily find, what I'm calling my "IKEA bobbins". I wound the yarn around the outside of the little bag clips and then just tucked the end into the clip before I closed it. It's working very well actually, and I may just use the idea for knitting intarsia as well.

So here's a close-up of my little braid. I'm finding that Kumihimo braiding takes a long, long time to produce any length.

The braid pictured above is shown much larger than life. In reality it is only about the width of a shoe lace for a sports shoe. That was a bit of a disappointment. There are eight strands of reasonably thick yarn in there! I thought the braid would be much wider. With it being so narrow, it isn't going to work for my original purpose, BUT I can still use it for this project, just not where I originally intended.

Of course that means I had to come up with another idea for the wider bands I will still need. In waltzes another new-to-me project. This is the first time I've warped my larger, chair height inkle loom. I've used table top inkle looms before, but this is the first time for the big guy.

Wondering where all this is going? Stay tuned. More will be forthcoming as it is worked out and worked on.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Adding a Framework

Further work on the guild's challenge project I introduced in the last two posts:

I stitched the ends of a strip of plastic canvas together. Don't worry, this will be a hidden support system.

I'm now in the process of adding a bottom piece. I'm crocheting it from more of that handspun. The centre portion of an ice-cream lid will provide additional strength and shape to the bottom.

Bottom of what? Wait and see. It's still a work in progress.

Saturday, May 02, 2009

First Thoughts

Continuing from yesterday's post about the guild's year end challenge:

I originally thought I'd make a soft, lined, knitting bag. I even had wooden handles much like this that I could use. That fringe looked lovely folded down through the sewing slot in the handles. But after I dealt with that threading mistake 2.5" in from the selvedge the piece became too narrow for the wooden handles and I had to move on to Plan B.

I'm quite excited about my new idea. I'll give you more details about it tomorrow but for now I'll show this image of the work in progress and tell you a bit about what I'm doing.

Using dark brown handspun I've crocheted over those pesky selvedges to cover the floats while at the same time dealing with the raw edge on the side where there was a mistake. It's one row of single crochet finished with a row of crab stitch. By itself that very dark handspun stood out too much in contrast so I'm adding a bit of creative embroidery to bring the dark brown into the rest of the bag and at the same time liven up that otherwise ho-hum pink accent.

Friday, May 01, 2009

Rising to the Challenge

Every year the Chilliwack Spinners and Weavers Guild has a year end challenge for its members. This year paper bags with mystery contents were handed out earlier in the year. The bags held either yarn or a piece of handwoven fabric. We've been asked to take the whatever we find in the bag to make something from it that can be sold at the Christmas Craft Fair next November.

The two mystery bags I was given both held handwoven cloth. One of the pieces was a mistake free, and rather attractive weaving. I have ideas for that which I'll work on later.

The second bag contained a more challenging piece. It's a 26"L x 11.5"W piece of grey and dark brown plain weave done in handspun wool with a rather uninspiring, hot pink accent. Only one end has fringe.

The other end is cut off and machine sewn. Both selvages have long floats where the colours were loosely carried up the sides.

One side of the weaving has a threading mistake 2.5" from the selvedge that renders it unusable within guild standards for shows and sales, so I have to either cut it off and use the narrower width, or find a way of creatively covering the mistake.

Stay tuned. After some creative calisthenics I'll be back tomorrow with the day's developments.