Two More

These endless scarves are probably getting a bit boring, but at the moment I’m not really up to much more than basic weaving, crochet and knitting. I went to the doc after my ears started to hurt a LOT, and she decided that I don’t have the flu, but a bad sinus infection led to the fever, aches, sore throat, lung congestion, runny nose and infected ears. But I’m not arguing. She gave me antibiotics. And pain killers.

(I now have an infected eye, too. And I can tell you, weaving when you have no depth perception is tricky, especially with black warp yarn.)

Anyway, here’s the painted warp scarf:

And one in black with a few stripes of green, burgundy and blue:

That’s scarves #6 and #7. Three to go. I’m still waiting for the Eco Yarns order to arrive so I can weave up the organic cotton, so the next one is a toss up between another Bendy Neon scarf, a black and red Bendy alpaca scarf, some grey Country Silk scarves, or a handspun scarf. In the spirit of keeping it fun, I’d rather not repeat myself with the Neon, or the grey yarn, whereas I haven’t woven with Bendy alpaca before, and the handspun could be fun.

Weaving Update

During the week I finished the Bendigo Neon scarf:

Then I put on a double length warp of sock yarn to weave the two hand dyed yarns shown below.

I wove one scarf:

Which I must admit was a bit boring to weave. I started on the brown-blue version and it just didn’t excite me. The idea then came that I could do a painted warp scarf with this yarn. So I unwove what I’d done. That left me with a scarf’s worth of blue warp still on the loom. I looked at what was left over from previous scarves, picked up a ball of grey yarn and decided to weave it in alternate shots with the warp yarn.

Thick and thin. It makes an interesting grid pattern. This made scarf #5.

I finished it yesterday. I’d already wound the hand dyed yarn onto the warping board to line up the colour changes.

It was in danger of being a rather short scarf, however, once it was cut from the loom. So I used a little trick I’d seen on another blog to reduce loom waste.

And then I got weaving.

But slowly, as I have the flu and it’s so unpleasant that I’m doing something I almost never do: taking the full dose of Codral. My body tends to overreact to mediations, you see. So I’d definitely not in any shape to operate heavy machinery right now.

Update

A stitch here, a stitch there. A bit of frogging and a bit of weaving. That’s what it’s been like around here this week.

My latest personal sock club socks haven’t been progressing much. I’d only managed to get a short way along the foot of the first one. Last night I tried it on, found it was too big anyway, so frogged it back to the toe.

Then I decided that maybe I was a little tired of plain socks. But I still wanted them to be stocking stitch for easy transportable knitting. My mind kept going to That Book. You know, the one that drove me nuts and resulted in socks that won’t go over my heels after a few wears and washes. Yep, the New Pathways book. What if I kept to stocking stitch, but tried a different construction?

So I fetched the book and flicked through. No way was I going to try and follow a pattern again. It would be easier to just look at a sock, work out how it was done, then just knit. I settled on a sock that has the decreases along the sole. And it turns out that means following my usual pattern, but flipping it over when I get to the heel.

I’ve also started a crochet project. It’s a biggie: a sampler blanket. I’ve made three squares so far:

It’s supposed to be a project that I pick up now and then, when I’m feeling like a bit of crochet. Knowing me, I’ll suddenly get finishitis and do most of it in one hit.

My main project, Alex, is coming along nicely:

I’ve knit the fronts and back and sleeves, and I’m up to the collar. But the collar is huge and will take while, and I’m not in the mood to rush it.

The charity scarf weaving continues. I’m onto my fifth, and keep finding more yarn to use up, including some handspun and leftover Bendigo Alpaca. I’ve also ordered some organic cotton from Eco Yarns that will hopefully work as warp for the organic cotton in my last post (and some other yarns might have jumped into my cart, too). I’ll report on that, and my weaving progress, in another blog post.

Charity Weaving = Freedom!

I’ve been meaning to weave scarves for charity for a while now. Partly because I had read that people who lost their belongings in the bushfires would start wanting winter accessories once the weather started to turn cold, partly because weaving is so much faster than knitting and very suited to making scarves, and partly because it would be a great way to use those odd balls of yarn in my stash without ending up with a gadzillion more scarves, hats and gloves for myself.

Then on the Packages Down Under forum in Ravelry a request went out for new (no second hand) winter woollies, and since I hadn’t made up my mind what to do yesterday, having decided I best skip the s’n'b dyeing day since I was still suffering a bit from vertigo, I decided to get weaving.

Turned out there was an unexpected benefit. Suddenly I wasn’t under pressure from myself to only add to my collection of scarves if there is some new method to try that can’t be used to make something else. I could try things that weren’t necessarily clever, just fun. I was free to play with yarn.

First I made one of the simpler scarves from The Ashford Book of Rigid Heddle Weaving. (The scarf on the right.) When I had started weaving I’d automatically used plain thin warp and only played with the weft. Now I wanted to play with multicoloured warp.

I used white, grey, black and burgundy Cleckheaton Country instead of neutrals and aqua. I’m hoping this would be considered non-gender-specific.

Then I did my own thing, weaving with mostly grey since it’s been a fashionable colour recently and also suit a male or female recipient.

And lastly I started what was going to be a pretty plain and boring scarf to weave out of a subtlely graduating colourway of Bendy Neon, except that another pattern in the Ashford book inspired me to put a shot of brown alpaca boucle in at 10cm intervals. I love how this is coming out. (I may make another to keep for myself.)

I have plenty more odd balls of yarn and ideas for scarves. There’s enough Cleckheaton Country Silk in grey and green to make a few, the yarn I dyed at the first s’n'b dyeing day will hopefully make two scarves, and there’s enough of the first yarns I used to make a black scarf with stripes of burgundy, green and grey.

I’m also considering weaving up the organic cotton shown above. Though the request for accessories specifies they be woollen, there will be people needing scarves who are allergic to wool.

If I do all ten scarves it’ll take a couple of weeks. While there’s a chance the charity will be overwhelmed by donations by then, I’m sure there’ll be another requesting them. At this time of year there’s always a need for warm winter woollies.

Canadian Yarn Crawl?

I must be a glutton for punishment. Somehow all those plane flights I’ve been on haven’t deterred me. Or maybe this cold/flu we picked up in Perth has addled our brains.

The beau and I are planning a trip to Canada.

Worldcon in Montreal is the main reason for the trip, but you know how it goes: break the long flight over by stopping in Hawaii for a few days, spend some time in New York so I can visit my publisher’s office there and perhaps do a bit of publicity, join friends who are organising the driving tour in New Brunswick and Nova Scotia, may as well duck down to Toronto and Niagra Falls… next thing you have quite a trip planned. But when you have to endure sitting in a plane for 24 hours to get somewhere, you may as well see a few things while you’re there.

Unfortunately, or perhaps fortunately, the Sock Summit is on the same weekend as Worldcon. I did get all excited when I realised there was a knitting cruise in Alaska that I could have tacked on the end. But when the travel agent made enquiries it turned out you have to book into the cruise and then hope you manage to get a place in the classes once you get on board. Forget that! I’m not travelling halfway around the globe for a knitting cruise if there’s a risk I’ll miss out on the knitting part!

So… anybody got any recommendations for a) hotels in New York and Toronto, b) not-to-be-missed yarn stores?

A Week In Perth

I was right: I did run out of socks #3 to knit while I was out of town.

Personal Sock Club Sock #3 was knit with Lang Jawoll yarn, which came with spools of reinforcing thread. The thread, knit doubled with the sock yarn, made the toe and heel extra squishy. I like it. (But I bet when I wear though these socks it’ll be in the foot section.)

Sock Club Socks #4 only got to the toe of the first sock, however. It was a pretty hectic trip. There wasn’t much opportunity for shopping, either. No yarn store visits, I’m afraid, but I did pick up this book in Boffins:

I like Wendy’s sense of style. I like methods that eliminate seaming, and allow a garment to be tried on as you make it. I also like a book that encourages customisation. This scores a tick in all three boxes.

When I got home this year’s Bendigo Woollen Mills shade card was waiting for me. They’ve replaced the old non-machine washable colonial and the machine-washable baby yarn with a new ‘Luxury’ yarn that is machine washable, comes in 4 and 8ply (and 3 and 10ply in limited colours), and is a twist construction rather than a cable. It’s a big change for Bendy and the only down side I can see is that a good felting yarn with a wide range of colours has been lost. (But I don’t knit things to felt very often anyway.)

Now that I’m home I’m looking forward to quiet nights of knitting and relaxing weekends of weaving. But I’m not sure how long I’ll get away with that, as do have a looming work deadline. And another trip coming up in June. This year has certainly been a busy one travel-wise!

Hope you had a great long weekend filled with crafty goodness.

My Sock Club Parcel Came Early

I honestly don’t know how they do it. Those personal sock club organisers must be psychic. I mean, look at where I’m up to on pair #3:

I have a heel to do (probably tonight) and then a mere leg and cuff. Which put me in somewhat of a dilemma. I’m heading off for another week of work interstate today. Sock knitting will be perfect travel knitting. But the #3 socks won’t last me the whole trip! What do to?

Thankfully, I was saved from my dilemma by this:

My personal sock club parcel #4 arrived early, just in time to accompany me on my trip, and be ready to jump on my needles as soon as #3 socks are done.

What excellent timing!

(And what a relief it wasn’t the second scrappy socks package, as all the little balls of yarn would be a tad fiddly to deal with.)

Leftovers Blanket

D’ya know what this means?

It means I finally reached the end of the warp. It has unwound as far as it can. Which means…

Chop chop!

And pulling the warp out of the heddles and reed.

Then I had to decide how to finish the ends. Knot or twisted fringe? I tried a bit of both.

And decided that I like the mass of undiluted rainbow colour emerging from the twill weave. A twisted fringe would mingle the colours. So knots it was.

I have still to wet finish, but it won’t make a big difference to the look of it. The fabric came out a bit denser than I planned, so I won’t want to make it more so by felting it.

I’m pretty chuffed with it. There are some mistakes where one of the yarns was too thick and sticky to form clean sheds, but I decided not to unweave and fix them. It’s a test piece, really. But a test piece that I love – and I can’t believe something that looks so sophisticated was so easy!