Visit us in the quaint hamlet of Myrtle Station, ON at: 9585 Baldwin St. N. (905)655-4858
(17.8km north of 401 exit 410. Look for the green house with the red roof a few doors north of the Myrtle Station railroad tracks)

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Cable, Cable and Cable

For the past 2 years, off and on, I have been knitting the Cabled Jacket design by Debbie Bliss. The shawl style of the collar is a variation of a favourite of mine.
The entire front edges of the jacket are a cable set, with a reverse stocking stitch facing added in as you work towards the shoulders
I measured the collar as I worked to fit correctly into the back neck space.
Just that little bit shorter than the neck edge itself.
Cast off and fixed in place with slip stitch.
I haven't made a heavily cabled sweater in years and now how engrossing the rhythmic twists and turns can become whilst knitting. I worked on the cardigan with the help of Netflix in the evenings and made myself a map to follow using coloured pens and my travel Clover row counter. This strategy really helped me nail down the shaping/pattern combination.
I  keep hearing "Cable, cable and cable" as an earworm from the film version of  "South Pacific".
After I completed the final right sided row of the shoulder, I decreased/pinched about a third of the purl stitches together on the wrong side to slightly gather the seam. This is because cables are a form of rib and stretch after completion. Not a good look for a tailored shoulder.
My preferred method of seaming shoulders (and the mid collar) is to pair the live stitches right sides facing and cast them off together, matching the pattern of course.
Within the design, Debbie put the cable pattern down the center of the sleeve, meaning the reverse stocking stitch has the increases. I have also been doing a relay race with the sleeves, 48 rows on one, then 48 rows on the other, etc. etc. In between, I park the live stitches on the nice long double pointed needles Byron made me using a dowel similar in diameter to my needles, so I can easily knit right back onto the main circulars
I worked lifted increases 2 stitches in from the edge, to allow for seaming. It is something I learned from my long and happy relationship with Japanese knitting practices. I plan to slip stitch crochet the sleeve head in place and mattress stitch the side and underarm seams.

Friday, December 29, 2017

Pretty in Pink

Early in 2017, the Clover company came out with a perfect, petit, pretty in pink hand loom.
You may remember our January knit club meeting experimented with hand weaving using small cardboard looms. I am a number one fan of Clover tools, and was quite keen to play on it, anticipating tiny, perfect weaving Zen.
Alas, however as the days rolled by, the box sat, and sat, waiting patiently for the correct moment, so now, on the eve of a new year, the moment is come!
It is so cold, and yet sunny and fresh. I am inspired by the look of snow outside my window and the shadow of the tree trunks and branches on the pristine white surface.
They look a sort of blue to periwinkle shade to me. What colour do you see?
I pulled out the hatbox of whites and naturals, and did a fibre vision edit.
There is shiny mercerized cotton, and I added some icy blue chenille and a treasured scrap of dove grey kid mohair as well as vintage paper yarn. The snow is super sparkly, because of the cold, so in want threaded sequins to the mix.
Detailed and clear documentation came with the loom including full instructions in no less than 4 languages, and a plethora of drawn diagrams and pictures.
The instruction precision is remarkable, for example need exactly "4.2 meters" of warp yarn to thread the "5mm intervals" (warp spacing comb). Clover truly shines in their provision of support to the artist and craftperson. I have "4.2 meters yarn, no problem.
The accessories are elegant. The shuttle and shed stick are perfectly proportioned and smooth.
Best of all, in my opinion is the weaving needle. Not only is it the right length for the loom, but it has a curved tip, making it a pleasure to rock up and down as you place the weft over and under alternating alternating warp threads.
The eye of the needle is very thoughtfully designed. There is a wide space narrowing to a v shape at the end, which "friction" holds the yarn tail. This is especially helpful when working to tidy up the beginning and end of a chosen weft yarn. I weave the empty needle partially through the warp and then thread the eye with the short yarn tucking it into the narrow v shape for grip.
The snow is so light and fluffy right now, because of the low teperature I guess. Ploughing through the snow (to the compost heap), in my tall winter boots is a great pleasure.
A winter textile moment, a tribute to a bright shiny day. I will look for a twig to thread as the last shot of weft, and make a wall hanging.

Friday, December 15, 2017

Yikes! Stripes

There are a lot of lovely striped sweaters around these days, so I decided to knit one myself. I used Sisu for the colour, a sturdy Norwegian sock weight yarn, a lightweight acrylic DK and a 3.75 needle.
It is size 7/8 for my grandson Max. The stripes stop just before the raglan shaping. This is not only attractive, but much easier to knit, as you are working "one technique" as it were, at a time. After completion, I realized the purl side looks just as nice as the knit side, however, the deed was done.
Sewing up the seams with the mattress stitch worked very well. The 2 by 2 rib is a multiple of 4 plus 2 so the ribbing seam matches properly. I used a 3 mm needle for the rib.
Matching stripes under the sleeves went very well. I used a blunt plastic tapestry (wool) needle. Very satisfactory.
The raglan shaping is worked 3 stitches in from the edge, to add the Marks and Spencer fully fashioned look.
The neckline is short rowed in order to keep the opening as stretchy as possible. Nobody likes a lot of friction on their ears when you pull over a pullover.
Nice to work with such a jolly green colour these snowy days and bonus, one ball of Sisu did the entire sweater with a bit left over, wow! All machine washable.

Friday, December 1, 2017

cashmere cowl combinations

Our Kim has completed the 3 colour cashmere cowl by Joji Locatelli using Zealana Kiwi, a blend of merino, cotton and possum and Zealana Air Special Edition by Koigu, cashmere, possum and silk. Woo and wow!
We chose these Zealana Kiwi colours to harmonize in both weight and shades with the hand-painted yarn.
I blocked it and brought it back to the table for tea and a long breath of appreciation.
We weighed each yarn remainder and discovered that there is more than enough Air to make another one, 32 grams in fact!
To keep things interesting we chose the gold Kiwi and like it very much. I think it enhances the suede feel of this colour. Too me, as an accessory, it is more in the nature of a fine piece of jewellery. Thanks, Joji and Kim, for giving us this pleasure to share.