An additional step…

Yesterday I decided to wet the Ruffles Scarf and block it. You see, the ruffles were a bit lost in the general crumpled texture of the scarf, and I suspected that was because there were a lot of spin cycle creases in the fabric.

Turned out I was right. After blocking the ruffles were the main textural feature. It was also interesting to find that one of the handspun stripes had felted and shrunk a bit more than the other. I was able to even them out a little, too. Much better! I’ve added a photo to the last post to show the difference.

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The beau just came upstairs with a parcel. I felt a half second of hope that my new toy had arrived at last. But no, I could see straight away that the parcel was too small.

It’s 18 days since I ordered it. The site says it ships after 7-10 days. I’m guessing that means it takes 7-10 days to get to the shop, plus local interstate delivery to here. Should I be worried? How long would you wait before you sent a query email?

Mind you, once it does get here the anxiety over whether it’s been lost or something will be replaced by wanting to play with it when I have to work. At least while it’s not here I can’t be tempted!

Ruffles Scarf

The scarf I’ve been trying to felt went in a hot wash with the sheets yesterday, and that seemed to do the trick.

Here’s the Bendy yarn I ordered when I ran out of yarn, along with an extra cone of ‘almond’ for another project:

Here’s the scarf fresh off the loom:

Here’s a close up of the weave, showing the handspun stripes in the warp:

Here’s how the fabric looked after felting. The handspun felted and shrank, causing the superwash Bendy yarn to form ruffles:

And here’s the finished scarf:

And then, suspecting that a lot of the creases were caused by the spin cycle, I blocked it. This made the ruffles more discernable, instead of a bit lost among the general crumpliness:

It’s a wonderfully tactile scarf. The ruffles give an otherwise thin fabric some dimension and body, so the general feel is cushy. I’m happy with how this turned out, and I’d like to try it again with different colours for the feltable and superwash yarn. I reckon it would felt faster if the feltable yarn was fuzzy or a boucle yarn. And I’m picturing a scarf with black feltable yarn matched with a glittery superwash yarn.

I’ve been meaning to post…

… but everything I’ve been meaning to post about still isn’t ready to be posted about!

- The new toy hasn’t arrived. Which I’m a bit sad about, as today is the last day I’ll have for a long while that I might have been able to find time to try it out.

- The Ruffle Scarf is felting at a snail’s pace. I’ve put it in with three loads of washing so far. The ruffles are slowly forming, though, so I’m going to keep putting it through washes until it’s ruffly enough.

- Amethyst is slowly growing, but not in a way worthy of photographing.

- Dad’s Birthday Socks aren’t much beyond the toe. I’m about to start working evenings as well as weekends, so I suspect they’re going to become Dad’s Christmas Socks.

- I haven’t had time to set up either loom with a new project.

Bear with me, though. Soon I’ll be posting from the other side of the globe. It’s so nice to have that to look forward to, after all the work craziness is over.

In the meantime, here’s a photo demonstrating how my cat hints to me that it’s time to turn the heater on:

He has a point. It certainly gets chilly in here.

Tassle

There weren’t any silver beads in my bead stash and I don’t have time to go shopping, so I stuck with a plain tassle on each end. I was impressed that I could remember how to make a tassle! I don’t think I’ve made one since I was a teenager.

Counting Down

I know from past experience that, if I don’t finish a project before I leave for a trip longer than two weeks, when I get back I’ll find I’ve forgotten what I was doing and why I was so enchanted with the pattern in the first place. With such a trip coming up soon, I’ve decided that I won’t start any new knitting projects until I finish everything on the needles.

This could be quite a challenge as it is, with my knitting time shrinking as the race to the work deadline eats up all my spare time.

So what is there to finish?

The Tassle Scarf, which is nearly done thanks to some unexpected sitting-in-the-audience knitting last night.

Amethyst (the top-down raglan). I’ve put the arm stitches onto a holding thread and started the decreases to the waist.

Dad’s Birthday Socks. Which I have to start again.

Why start again? Well, as I’ve knit them a memory has been slowly floating to the surface. A memory of showing the yarn to Dad, and Dad going ‘yurk!’. I’m not sure if this memory is correct. Maybe it was a different yarn. But the more I knit the more I was sure this yarn isn’t right for Dad. I kept knitting, thinking that I’d overdye the yarn. But that would be a shame, and I don’t think it would be enough to make them more Dad-like.

So I’ve selected some grey Patonyle. I’m going to use a simple stitch pattern to make the knitting more interesting without making it too time-consuming. And I’ll finish the socks I’ve started… some time. I’ll use them to check the fit for Dad, and tell him they’re not the ones he’s getting, then eventually find another home for them.

Swine Flu Masque

The beau and I went to Adelaide for the recent long weekend, to a convention where one of the events is a masquerade, which is usually a disco plus costume sort of thing. The theme of the masquerade was ‘the future of the future’.

That put me in mind of robots and lycra bodysuits, which really isn’t my thing, so I’d decided not to dress up. It’s not compulsary. But then, at the last moment I spotted this:

Swine Flu Masque by Homero Luna & David Castillo. (Unfortunately, when I washed it after the event, the blue cotton of the nostrils bled, but I doubt I’ll get a second chance to wear it – swine flu is already becoming Old News.)

It was a bit hit and got many laughs.

And had a special irony for me, as I suspect I would have been better off catching swine flu than the flu/cold/whatever I did catch. From what I’ve heard and read, it takes a couple of weeks to get over swine flu if you’re ‘young’ and healthy. I’ve lost five weeks because of the bug I had, and though I managed to gain a three week extension to my work deadline I’m going to have to work weekends and evenings until the end of July to make it.

My back is already acting up, and RSI would be a disaster right now. So there may not be much knitting, crochet or weaving going on around here. But there may be lots of stress-relieving stash aquisition.

And I’ve ordered something special and a bit indulgent to cheer myself up, that should arrive late next week. I can’t wait to show you!

Socks For Others Club Preparation

Last Thursday I ordered some sock yarn and it arrived on Tuesday. First there was a batch of 4 skeins from The Bead and Opal Wool Queen. Then from the Yarn Market I got another four socks worth of yarn, several reels of reinforcement thread, and an extra little something.

They’re mostly Lang Jawoll, Regia and Opal sock yarn because those have stood up to washing and wear the best or got good reviews for resilience on the net. Not all these will be used for my Socks For Others Club. I couldn’t resist adding a couple of extras. It turned out to be a boon, as when I laid eyes on one skein I knew it suited one of the recipients perfectly. (There’s also some Regia in there that I picked up a few weeks back.)

The extra something is a test ball of Bamboozle. I’ve been keeping an eye out for non-wool yarns that might work for Tubey for ages. I figured some sort of cotton or plant fibre with elastic would be needed. Cascade Fixation was a possibility, but it’s been discontinued. This might do the trick. I plan to try Colorimetry again with this skein. If the yarn works I’ll start hunting for it on sale.

I was amazed that the two batches of yarn, which were ordered on the same day, arrived on the same day, yet one came from Australia and the other from the US. Mind you, the postage from the US was considerably pricier.

The order I placed with Bendigo Woollen Mills so I could finish the Ruffles Scarf was on the same day as the others, but it hasn’t arrived yet. Ah, long gone are the days when Bendy yarn would arrive the next day. But if that’s a sign of their growing popularity, I’m definitely not complaining.

Celtic Cable Neck Warmer

Hey look! A FO!

It’s the Celtic Cable Neckwarmer by Lindsay Henricks, knit with Eki Riva Casual. The alpaca yarn works for this, despite the lack of memory, because the neckwarmer sits in place and doesn’t require elasticity to stay put.

After I finished this I started another scarf, which I’m calling “Tassle”.


Not following any pattern, but it’s inspired by Donyale’s Silky Scarf which was her take on Jonna by Norah Gaughan. The basic scarf is such a simple and basic shape, it’s probably been done many times before, but a good idea is worth repeating, right? I cast on four stitches and kept increasing every second row until I was satisfied with the width, then it’s just ribbing until it’s time to start decreasing.

I’m going to put a single tassle on each point. Maybe with a bead. We’ll see.

Margaret Scarf

I just tidied up my list of FOs for the year. The last few charity scarves weren’t there, and though I’d already posted a pic of this one I hadn’t listed it as a charity scarf because I’d decided to keep it.

I’ve decided to call it the Margaret Scarf. The sock yarn and laceweight that I used in the project had the most amazing dye job, and it turns out it was done by a friend of Caroline, who gave me the yarn. Margaret passed away a while ago and I never met her, but I admire her cleverness and love the way her yarn works in this scarf.

Where Art Thou, Weaving Mojo?

I sent off my second batch of woven scarves to the Bushfire Relief Centre last week, along with the crochet Meltwater Hat and Scarf and a knitted hat I made ages ago that’s a bit too big for me so it was in my ‘potential gifts’ bag.

I’d decided it was time for a break and to try a few new techniques with the loom. A while back I bought the second heddle kit and installed it, but hadn’t got around to trying it out. I wanted to try making tubes using double weave that I’d make into wine bottle carrier/cosies.

I was a bit worried about the warping, as I’d read of other weavers having trouble.

Hooking the threads to pull through the front heddle was a bit awkward, and the instructions have you work from right to left which is opposite to what I’m used to, but in comparison to warping up the table loom it’s still pretty straight forward.

I wound some yarn onto a shuttle to play with and started experimenting. Getting a tabby/plain weave happening wasn’t hard – and there are instructions for that in the Ashford Book of Rigid Heddle Weaving. But then I tried to do a twill and found that, even with a pick up stick, I couldn’t quite get the full pattern happening. I figured if I couldn’t get the four positions needed for twill I wouldn’t be able to do double weave.

I began to wonder where I’d go the idea I could do double weave with a second heddle. There were no instructions for it in the book. I searched the internet. I browsed forums. Eventually I gave up and cut the warp from the loom, deciding I’d just do the bottle cosies on the table loom instead.

Then I read on Weavolution that there were supposed to be instructions on double weave included with the second heddle kit. Following a link to the Ashford site, I found a pdf that I’d actually downloaded ages ago. So that’s where I got the idea is was possible! But I’d forgotten about it, and no instructions had come with my kit. Too late now!

In the meantime, I warped up the loom to try another technique. Using handspun as warp for the first time, I put stripes of it and machine washable Bendy classic 3ply on the loom, then started weaving a very loose weft of the Bendy. The idea is, you throw the scarf in the wash, the handspun felts and the machine washable wool doesn’t shink, instead forming ruffles.

Except, well, that I ran out of Bendy for the weft mid-way. I have some more on order, but it looks like this project is on hiatus for now. All of which has me thinking two things: my weaving mojo in on holidays, and Ashford need to put out a book of projects to try using the second heddle.