I usually would describe myself as someone who would prefer to be challenged and try/learn something new as often as possible rather than sticking with the tried and true. And yet here I am on my third – yep, that’s mythird! Vertices Unite. I’ve surprised myself.
There are a couple of differences, the first one was the smallest, and the second one was a size in between the small and large, and now I’m on the large. The other difference is, of course the colours 🙂
And if that wasn’t enough of a shock, I’ve just finished my second Way Out West Bandana Cowl, the second one was made with some of my handspun.
It’s a strange thing to have expectations about who you are and then surprise yourself…
I am lucky that I work with people who recognise that if I’m knitting it doesn’t mean I’m not working.
When I have to think about a piece of work I’m putting together, and I need that moment of peace to gather my thoughts I pick up my knitting and the next minute the keyboard is rattling away. I also knit in meetings, i feel it helps me to concentrate.
Researchers theorise that doodling helps the brain remain active compared to the strain of paying single-minded continuous attention.
So, if the knitting is an easy project then taking the research and swapping the word doodling to knitting is really not a stretch. Don’t you think?
There are so many things I want to make at the moment.
There are gorgeous frocks and skirts that I want to try sewing, weaving ideas I want to do, spinning some alpaca that my sister just bought for me, and then to top it off I received this in the post with even more lovely things:
I am extremely aware of how lucky we are right now. I am so very grateful to still have my job, and even more so to have some spare $$s to spend on making. And of course lucky to be able to roam freely around the country without worrying about the virus.
And whilst the guilty thought of a few months off sounds tempting, it is just as rewarding to pop the lovely things to one side until the weekend when there is an opportunity for them to get added to the rest of the pile of WIPs.
This week I’ve been playing. I’m expecting some 5gram minis and was looking for something to make with them. I love this which I have on my Pinterest ‘knitting things’ board
I tried smerging a Baktus pattern with the Sonnentau which I’d had in my library for yonks.
Then I realised why I hadn’t ever got past the first few rows of the Sonnentau, the dangles did my head in, it takes alot of concentration for me especially if I want all the dangles to be the same (one day it will happen….).
To replace the dangles I tried casting on a few stitches and then knitting a bobble on the end, then casting off, it just didn’t give me the look I wanted. Then I fell out with the shape of the Baktus.
Enter the Smash and Puny shawl one that I’ve used as a base for asymmetrical shawls in the past because I love the edges. And my crochet hook for spirals.
I had a magic ball of mostly green so I did a bit to see how it went… Then more inspiration struck and I decided to do a rainbow one with a mini skein set I had, and a couple of extra bits. And that’s where I am now.
It’s been a pretty wet long weekend. I also took a couple of days off to make it extra long. So it’s been great to have loads of crafty time, to play and to go for nice bracing walks inbetween showers.
I finished my first proper weaving project and I’m totally stoked at how it’s turned out.
The edges were way more consistent and the start and the end are even the same width! I ended up using about 20grams of the purple merino sock yarn and 2 of the batts that I’d spun from Twisted Zisters. It probably took about 16 hours of weaving time all together, not including the hour or so to thread it up.
I have no idea what I’ll do with it – for now I’m just enjoying looking at it 🙂
I also spent a day spinning some fiber that I’d got from Anna Gratton Ltd, it’s a mix of Corridale, Mohair, Silk and Nylon Glitter.
The glitter was a bit hard on my fingers which were a bit tender by the end of the day, and the mohair got up my nose just a bit, it looks really pretty though, so I’m glad I persevered. I think it’s about a sport weight, I haven’t given it it’s bath yet, so it may or may not fluff up a bit more.
Then lastly the embroidery… this was supposed to be my main project for the weekend, and I’d organised in my head that I’d go and get my supplies on Friday and then get started on Saturday. But, best laid plans and all that… Seems that 20cm embroidery hoops have been in big demand because after lots of hunting around shops I didn’t find the right sized hoop until Tuesday, and by then I’d kind of lost motivation. So I started it, but only because I felt like I had to, rather than wanted to.
The carbon paper tracing was kind of fun and I thought I’d made a pretty good start – then I went wrong and had to unpick a bit, which meant un-threading my needle – and do you think I could re-thread it? I lost patience after the 5th attempt and put the whole thing away for another day!
I decided to try and make a ‘thing’ maybe a wrap or maybe material for a bag or something, anyway I started it.
One thing I wasn’t sure of (and have no idea how to find out yet – though I’m sure there are websites) is to work out how much yarn I need to do the weaving bit (the weft) to get what I want, so it will be a bit of trial and error.
I have three of these fabulous batts from Twisted Zisters, I’d spun two of them so I spun the last one and ended up with about 550 meters of a sport/DK weight yarn with some thick and thin bits (not quite art yarn, more like some lumpy spinning) I also had some nice purply merino 4ply from one of our wonderful NZ Indy Dyers (I can’t credit the right one though since I’ve annoyingly lost the tag!)
I ordered some 50 % merino / 50% rayon from Anna Gratton Ltd to use as my warp and got started.
And here it is so far….
In hindsight I think the warp might be a little thin for my inexperience and it took a long time and heaps of patience for me to thread the loom up without having loads of twisted threads, though now it’s on it’s way I’m really loving how it’s looking and that my handspun is looking pretty good.
I think the fabric might end up being a bit gappy (I think that’s called open-weave) and I’m so excited to see how it all looks at the end that I’m powering through and making great progress.
After this project I’m going to have to invest in some online learning, or try getting up to Auckland to a Handweavers Guild class so I can make the most of my wee loom and learn how to do patterns and stuff. Exciting!!
Kia ora. A couple of weeks ago I decided to treat myself to a loom. We don’t have a heap of space, and I lost my craft room when we moved to Tauranga which meant I needed something small. I chose the Ashford Knitters Loom because I can fold it up and pop it away under the bed or in the cupboard whenever it isn’t being used.
I’m not sure why I wanted to have a go at weaving really. I’d made myself a pin loom a few years ago and played with some tapestry weaving which was fun (but fiddly!) but I didn’t have the ‘weaving bug’.
But I do now!
It took me a couple of goes to get going. I found that the yarn picked for warping is really important because it can stick together and get all tangled, or it’s not strong enough and breaks (I tried not to cry as I had to unwrap all of those 1.5 meter lengths and put them in the scraps box)
I’m a bit of a trial and error learner so just kind of made it up as I went along and went looking for help when things weren’t working as planned. (Ashford have some great video tutorials!)
This is my first go, hopefully you can see how I got a bit better as I went along – the blue bit is where I started, and my tension is all over the place. I gave myself permission just to play and have no outcome in mind, so I used scraps of yarn with lots of different colours and weights so I could get the feel for what it might turn out like. Once I got used to the beating bit, I found the edges (I think it’s called the selvage) hard to get consistent and I think that might be a work in progress….
I’m really proud of my first lump of fabric. It won’t become anything. It’s too short to be a wrap and too fat to be a scarf, and I don’t trust my weaving not to fall apart if I sew it into a bag, but it’s pretty 🙂 maybe it’ll be a table runner…