September 2008

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This is my version of calorimetry by

The gauge on mine was really far from that of the original as is the size (I have a large head), and it kind of makes me wonder how much you can modify a pattern before is is no longer that pattern, but I love the original and mine, and mine used the yarn I had.

The yarn was this one I spun myself, and I am very happy with it. I think I will always wear it with my red scarf because one of my mother’s best friends used to wear red and purple together, and I always thought it was the more glamorous thing ever, and in my heart I still do.

Kathryn was right — it is wonderful to have something to wear to keep warm with my hair up that is not those ear pocket things, which are ear muffs without the band.

Pixie scarf

Here are some pictures of the scarf I knit with the yarn I spun from the Pixie batts from Evonne Wee’s Etsy shop:

I am very pleased with it. I have listed it in my new Parallax Knitting Etsy store (here).

I didn’t realize that usernames mattered on Etsy, so I created a new one (my old one is still there too).

I am starting to list some of the things I make as there are really only so many scarves / hats / sweaters / gloves / etc. a person can reasonably have.

It’s beautiful and squidgy, if no one buys it I will definately not feel bad about adding it to the rotation.

When I was walking through the Calgary airport on Wednesday I was completely stopped in my tracks by the picture of Rachel Weisz in the most fantastic sweater on the cover of American Vogue:

I of course cracked out the wallet immediately.

I want that sweater — well to be accurate I want to make such a sweater. The combination of really loose stitches and slightly fuzzy yarn and colour is just fantastic.

A close up:

I can’t really imagine ever doing a straight knock off, as I perceive the whole point of making my own clothes to be that I can make them however I want to. I plan to do something like this. I have a skein of multicoloured mohair from Colinette that I bought off Ebay, which I think I will use. I never could bring myself to pay new prices, but really what do you do with one skein of mohair (well besides this, which I did with a different skein from the same lot).

I am working out exactly how I want mine to look.

The sweater is by Rodarte. I am completely smitten with the tights he made with loose knitting too. I think I just need to have some, and I know just the person to make that happen.

Isn’t Vancouver beautiful?

On the needles is a scarf of a sort. I need to use up a ball of yarn that I made up when I started knitting. I wanted to do a project like Kaffe Fassett’s Persian poppies waistcoat (non-Ravelry link for an idea of what I mean).

I really didn’t understand about concepts like gauge or yarn weight or anything, so I just used bits of all the yarns I liked. The project did not really turn out like I expected it to (try not to be surprised), and the ball of bits of yarn sat in my basket for several years.

I had a bit of a brainwave after I made a design for a knit boa, and decided to make a multi-coloured one:

I quite like it. If anyone has any great ideas about what to do with the corresponding blue one, please share.

Pattern for the boa will be forthcoming soon.

My glamourous life

I just got back from Vancouver, and I will be posting pics of what I was knitting and what fibre I bought shortly.

What I would really like to say now is that though jetsetting all over the place is supposed to be very glamourous and I do enjoy it overall, it involves an unreasonable amount of getting up at 4:30 in the morning.

Because if winter is coming can spring be far behind?

The winter solstice is the time when light and summer start coming back into the world. The solstice of course happens in midwinter, but, especially in more northern (or southern) climes, the return of the light can seem to take an inordinately long time. Sometimes it makes us feel better to wear clothing that anticipates the season, but it is still too cold to benefit from the convenient resort collections in the stores – for those in that situation I offer the West Wind Gloves.

Knit in a spring like green and twined in vine-like cables these gloves will keep you warm and help you imagine tendrils and vines growing in your garden, and unlike wisteria there is no need to keep an eye on them as they will not overgrow your house or take over disused rooms when you aren’t paying attention.

This pattern is knit on two needles with the gauntlet length version shown in the photos. The pattern also includes an option for a wrist length version.

(please note that this version of this pattern is knit on straight needles, a version knit in the round will be posted soon)

Difficult

Intermediate

Size

One size

Finished measurements

Palm circumference: 7.5 inches[19cm]

Gauntlet length from cuff to end of middle finger: 12 inches[30cm]

Wrist length from cuff to end of middle finger: 8 inches[20cm]

Materials

Brooklyn Handspun Instant Gratification [100% superwash merino wool; 280 yards/256m per approx. 100g skein]; color: Kinda Camo; 1 [2] skeins

1 set US #2/2.75mm straight needles

Cable needle

Stitch markers

Gauge

25 sts/35 rows = 4 inches[10cm] in stockinette stitch

Here is the earthworm scarf with the knitting completed, but the seams not sewn:

I plan to sew it up as I designed it in Debbie New’s labyrinth knitting technique, but I am quite smitten with it as is and kind of wish I could keep it like this.

My Ravelry store

On this bright Saturday morning I got up and populated my Ravelry store.

All my designs will continue to be available through my blog, but if you prefer to purchase patterns through Ravelry, please see it here.

If you would just like to visit me on Ravelry, my username is SSutherland.

I have some time now to work on whatever my little heart desires, and my heart has alighted on this scarf, which I haven’t had a chance to work on in several months.

I have swatched with this yarn several times now, and I wasn’t sure exactly how to make the most of it.

I was frustrated with with working the stripes in intarsia and wasn’t really pleased with the results, so I ripped it out and tried again:

I like this so much better. It compliments the texture of the yarn better somehow.


I have had some errata on the previous errata for the large size of this pattern. The rows are numbered incorrectly again, so here is the corrected pattern: Russian Princess in Exile.

My first boucle

I have been sick for a couple weeks now and nothing much has been getting done, except things that can be done from the couch. This skein has taken me several days to complete, but I am very happy with the results.

I bought this mohair roving from Inger Maaike’s Etsy store a few weeks ago:

I wasn’t sure what to do with it, as it was so dense I think I could probably have beaten someone with it. There was no way I could have drafted it as I spun. I did have it suggested to me that I could predraft it, but that is singularly unappealing to me.

This makes my drum carder perfect:

Isn’t it pretty, like mermaids tresses:

I would like to say that the sign that says to keep hands clear means it:

I don’t think I would trust a motorized one of these, and I really wouldn’t recommend one to anyone with problems with depth perception.

Finally the batts were done:

I have never spun mohair before. I thought I would attempt my first lace weight with it, but mohair is slippery and this was not going to happen, so I just started spinning a single.

It’s so shiny.

I thought back to Diane Varney’s Spinning Designer Yarns and decided this would be the perfect time to try boucle. I did the tricky plying as directed and came up with this:

It is a little odd, but I think it will be fine when knit — curly.

Back in February I decided to embark on an adventure in crafting, crochet particularly. I ordered a crochet and knitting book with patterns for slippers, leg warmers, and a couple blankets in Japanese and decided I would see what I could do. I got busy with other things and that didn’t happen when planned, but I have gotten quite sick and am not able to do much in the way of much this weekend, so I have decided that crocheting myself some slippers in Japanese might be just the ticket.

Originally, I was trying to work out the yardage and weight per length of the yarn used and needle size etc., and if I understand correctly, the pattern calls for wool at 83m to 50g, but working out everything else seemed like more effort than it was worth, so at this point, I just took out some likely looking yarn and a likely looking crochet hook from my very small collection of hooks and started swatching.

The 5mm hook was too large, so I ran off to get another (4mm). It cost $2.29 — apparently the crochet hook manufacturers have not attained the same level of premiumisation as the knitting needle manufacturers, because I don’t think I ever paid anything near that little for needles.

The new swatch seemed more or less okay and crochet is stretchy, so I just started. They went like a whiz and here they are:

My feet aren’t actually that blue — my camera was trying to help by stopping me from taking an overly orange photo, and I can’t be bothered to get out the manual and figure out how to turn off the automatic colour adjust.

I am quite smitten with the slippers. I think I would have all my shoes be Mary Janes or at least have ankle straps if I could. Somehow it just makes them feel more like mine.

The pattern is available in this book:

ISBN: 4529042952.

I recently spun these batts I bought on Etsy from Evonne Wee (her blog is here):

I was quite smitten with the colour and texture and wanted to see how it would spin up and how it was put together. I also commissioned some red batts, about which more later.

I spun up the fibre by pulling off strips as Jess Rollar suggested in her guest post on her guest post here, and I spun it up thick and thin, which approximately filled three bobbins (I have learned not to fill the bobbins completely as the yarn is thicker when plied and you end up with even short lengths than you would otherwise).

I then checked out the yarn I bought from Jess to see what she did with hers, and it appears she plied it with sewing thread, which I thought would likely be just the ticket for me too.

This is what I ended up with:

I am completely smitten with the results. I think I will try to knit Urchin by Ysolda Teague with it.

I think these kind of batts would be good for a beginning spinner as you don’t need to do anything fancy to make something unusual and there is no reason to ruin the texture by trying to spin something smooth. The fibre is also sticky and is not as prone to breaking if your yarn gets too thin.

I have had two projects in my knitting basket for several years. One I recently finished while on a stupidly long car trip — flying would have been a better choice, but we really knew we had gone somewhere (see here). The other is this:

It was going to be the Union Square Market Pullover by Kate Gilbert from Interweave Knits, fall 2005 (Ravelry link). The sweater is beautiful, and a quick Google search reveals that Eunny Jang did a beautiful rendition (here). This sweater really is gorgeous and there is nothing wrong with the pattern, but I simply don’t think I will ever finish it.

There are several reasons for this:

  • I was only able to get gauge with a needle size that bamboo doesn’t come in, and I hate metal needles.
  • The knitting goes very slowly.
  • I have changed my clothing preferences and now now I only want to wear tops that are hip length or longer.
  • Finally, when I started this project I was having health problems, and I really shouldn’t have been knitting at all (I had problems picking up a full mug with one hand at the time), and the project makes my hands hurt just by thinking about it.

I also don’t think this is a good candidate for unraveling as the yarn is sticky and falls in love with itself and would be ruined in the process.

The reason this has come to a head is that I have recently discovered that Kristina Wong is soliciting unfinished knitting and crochet projects for her performance art piece “Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” to be performed in Santa Monica this fall.

This is brilliant. I can separate myself from my failure to finish the piece and help further the cause of art and social awareness.

I will send it off tomorrow.

Here is the information Kristina has put out in her call for contributions (sourced from the Crochet Me blog):

Here’s how you can participate:

1) We love yarn and knitting projects that come in any color OTHER than black and white.
2) Remove your needle or hook from the piece. If possible run some waste yarn through the loops. No need to bind off. I’d prefer if it wasn’t!
3) Write a note describing yourself, why you knit, and what the project was supposed to be and why it never came to be.
4) Send your unfinished knitting projects by SEPTEMBER 15, 2008 to:

Wong Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest
C/O Kristina Wong
PO Box 251664
Los Angeles, CA 90025

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