Tubular Top

My first tubular cast on.

Just when I think I’m getting past beginner knitter stage I learn another technique. It’s like knitting is the crafting rainbow, you think you’re getting closer to the pot of gold and it’s always just out of reach. 😁

It only took 4 goes to get it right… It probably didn’t help that the yarn is so beautifully silky and the needles are pretty big and both of those things are outside my comfort zone.

The yarn is a gorgeous 50 percent merino 50 percent silk from New Zealand indy dyer and designer Harnie Hoolie that I got at Unwind in Dunedin earlier in the year. And the cast on is the Ranunculus sweater (this link opens in Ravelry)

I’ve cast on as part of a small knit along I’ve joined. I’m unsure about the top, I have a feeling it might not suit me, but I hear its a really quick knit so I’m giving it a go.

The Weaving Bug

Gill here again….

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!!

I bought an Ashford Knitters Loom

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…

Dye Day!

Last weekend we went to the dye day that was held at the Auckland Creative Fibre club rooms. Our tutor was the amazing Annette Montgomery from Twisted Zisters.

We dyed 2 pieces of roving – one by adding dye to the pot and another by ‘hand painting’ the roving. I put hand painting in ” because we didn’t really paint it (you can’t really unless you want it felted).

We dyed silk, silk hankies, superwash roving, plain hanks and also played with overdying.

We used pots on the hob, slow cookers, microwaves and also talked about dyeing using the sun

It was a fantastic learning atmosphere – nothing we did was wrong, it was all part of the process of learning what we liked and what we didn’t, what worked and what didn’t. And it was great to see what colours other people put together.

I feel another new fibre hobby coming on……..