Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Stewed Tomatoes

This scarf has a story. A story so ridiculous, that I can't do it justice here in blogland. You can't see how ridiculous I looked hauling this fleece in my leaf-filled backyard and then dropping it as it was larger than me. You didn't see how it looked like I had some strange creature in my backyard as the fleece dried on my chaise lounges, and then get snowed on. You didn't see me try to wash the fleece in my kids old sandbox and dump the water out only to give up and try doing it on the picnic table with the hose. You didn't see the washing machine full of grime after the 5th washing. But you can see the finished object of the picking, picking, washing, picking, carding, dying, spinning and knitting. One completed scarf. The fiber is actually Columbian, very soft, except for all the dirt in it. The sheep didn't get their usual sheering time due to the drought. My MIL promises me that the next batch will be cleaner. She promised.

My SIL and I named this colorway stewed tomatoes as that is exactly what it looks like. It was a gift for my FIL for Christmas. He can wear it and think of me while he is feeding the sheep. Maybe the occasional remaining pokey will serve as a reminder to keep my sheep clean.

There is still another fleece in the garage, untouched. Ho hum.

Sunday, January 28, 2007

Down to the Line!

I had given up on being able to submit something to the Red Scarf Project for this year. I connected to this project becuase of the death of my mother at the end of my freshman year in college. My mailbox was never the same after that. I had been working on a cotton accent scarf that was using a painted red warp and solid red weft. It just wasn't meant to be as it was taking me forever to finish it and ultimately the preschooler took the scissors to the warp. I guess she was trying to tell me something. I went to SnB last week (about 45 minutes away) and was inspired by the scarves the shop owner had been weaving out of novelty yarns. Open new life for these yarns for me! They had left a bad taste in my mouth after all the scarves. It intrigued me how the appearance and texture changed with weaving vs. knitting.

The warp yarns are 2 skeins of FurReal by Southwest Trading Co., Incredible ribbon yarn from Lion, and some generic black mohair. Weft is RedHeart (gulp) Plush, which is a loopy yarn, and I really like this yarn. I know, I know. Not only did I get one scarf finished, I got TWO done!!

Anyway, I did happen to stop at my LYS, which specializes in man-made fibers and a whole bunch of ribbon yarn was marked down to $3.00/ball. I stocked up. Does it count as stash enrichment if you are purchasing to help you get rid of what's in your stash? I thought not.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Tuesday = Toes

Socks! These are both done with a mix of dyes--Cushings and RIT. The yarn is KnitPicks Bare, which is a warm, soft yarn. It has no nylon, but I kinda like the felting on the bottom a bit. I had some problems with all of my socks and pilling, but my sweater stone worked miracles! All the people who get handknits from me got one as part of their gift at Christmas.

The bottom pair was for MIL. The top pair ended up for me. I wish the stripes would have been smaller, but it was my first. Both were done with preknitted blanks. Below is a close-up:

Monday, January 22, 2007

Monday Mittens

These were finished awhile back, but the cord for my camera seems to have gone missing. Many moons later I remember that the computer does have a card reader in the front and maybe I could just stick the card in the front.....

These are from IWK 2004 Nordic Mittens. Have been admiring them for some time and finally got around to making them. The owner does apporve as well, says that his hands are never cold. I did enjoy making them, they are knit in Pallette from KnitPicks.

Currently working on another pair for myself. I am really liking the stranding part, finally getting the hang of things I think. Is this a new trend? I did also try the Pirate mittens from HelloKnitty.com, but I really prefer the thumb gusset over the afterthought thumb.

The Pattern

We went to a concert yesterday by Willson and McKee, a duo that specializes in Celtic music. They are here with our schools for an artist in residence program. She wrote a lovely prize-winning song called "The Pattern" which is about the ladies of Aran and the purpose of the patterns in the fisherman's sweaters. I had already known about how the pattern was like an identification card in case the fisherman was lost at sea or would wash up on the shores of Galway, where they would be unknown, but she did a wonderful job of singing and writing such a poignant song. Truly a moving song.

It is a continual source of amazement for me to discover how often the fiber arts is embedded into a culture and especially how it crosses cultures as well. Yesterday it was Celtic, but I am also preparing for a demo for women's getaway at church that is themed around the book "The Red Tent".

Friday, January 19, 2007

More Shawl Blues

The shawl is now part of a divorce settlement. The wedding was in October and divorce proceedings began in December. Apparently the new bride didn't know what the word "faithful" meant. Before and after the wedding.

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