Random thoughts of a fiber enthusiast - mostly fiber related, sometimes coherent

Month: October 2007 Page 1 of 3

Kathryn Alexander

I took a three hour workshop with Kathryn Alexander at SOAR on Knit Surface with Entrelac’s Shapes. I have to say, 3 hours is not enough. Even though it was the last session of the retreat, Kathryn was still able to energize and fascinate us.

We learned to purl back from the knit side (according to Kathryn, commonly misnamed “knitting backwards”). We learned to knit back on the purl side. We played with short rows. We played with triangles. We played with squares. We learned to increase in entrelac. We played with 3-dimensional squares (peaks). We learned to weave in ends with very little yarn waste.

Kathryn Alexander Sampler

I consider the sample we made in class as the swatch for this:

Kathryn Alexander Sweater Front

Yes, I bought one of Kathryn’s sweater kits. I had been seeing Kathryn’s sweaters, vests, and hats throughout the week, and I had to have one. They were intriguing on so many aspects. The shapes. the colors. Yum.

Armed with her insights and my swatch, I am ready to go.

Except I’m not.

I currently have 3 sweaters on the needles: Anne Bolelyn, Anarchy Sweater, and Tangled Yoke. I need to finish some of these projects before I will allow myself to cast on for yet another sweater.

So, here’s the challenge. I will finish Anarchy Sweater and Tangled Yoke before I cast on for the KA kit. (I’ve always considered Anne to be a long term commitment, so it isn’t part of this challenge.) And I really, really want to have the KA sweater finished by Madrona Fiber Arts Winter Retreat in February. So, obviously, I have a lot of knitting to do.

Wait, do I hear a Bohus sweater calling my name?

Finished Socks

AnkletsI showed off these anklets to Abby during SOAR. They were made with the Batt Club offering for July. I think she said that these were the first finished objects from the Batt Club. Please say it ain’t so! There has got to be others who have spun up and made something from those beautiful batts!

I received 3 or 4 batts (sorry, I was so anxious to spin them, I didn’t take notes). One definitely had more turquoise than the others. I toyed with the idea of separating that section out and spin it for the heels. I quickly tossed that aside to let chance happen. I used Abby’s recommendation for preparing the batts for spinning. Once I had all the little chucks of fiber, I tossed them (gently) into a box, and mixed them all up (again, gently). Then I dipped my hand into the box and pulled out each section at random. You can see the splotch of turquoise at the bottom of the toe of one of the socks. The resulting yarn was 2 ply light worsted weight.

The socks were made with my generic top-down sock recipe, using 48 sts on US #2 needles. Ribbing for 2″. Plain st st for 1″. Short rowed heels and toes. The toes were then grafted together at the top of the toe.

Super fast. Super easy. Super cushy. I love them. I have enough leftover for some wristlets.

Project Notebook – Reason #2298

I came home this week to find some silk singles on the bobbin in my spinning wheel. There’s a little ziploc bag with the rest of the silk. It’s Chasing Rainbow Valley Fog colorway. That, I could figure out because I kept the tag next to the bag.

What I couldn’t figure out was what I was doing with the silk.

Was I planning a 2 ply silk yarn? Did I plan to ply from a center pulled ball? I’m pretty sure that wasn’t it. Plying silk from a center pull ball is not a pretty picture. Did I plan to spin onto 2 separate bobbins? If so, did I split the roving in half lengthwise, or just in half at midpoint? Where was the repeat? Or did I plan to spin this as a single to ply with something else? Some mohair, perhaps? Nope, I don’t have any mohair in a compatible color. Another fiber? Nope, don’t have anything sitting out near the fiber to show that I visually planned anything. Did I plan to chain ply it?

Just what did I have in mind for this silk?

Could it be that I just had an urge to spin silk? That‘s been known to happen.

Hence, the title of this post. Yet another reason that you should keep a project notebook nearby to jot these things down. There is no guarantee that you’ll remember what you planned 6 weeks down the road (or tomorrow morning, for that matter!). I normally wrap a sample on a small card and scribble something on it: fiber content, fiber source, wpi of singles and finished yarn. Obviously, I didn’t do it this time around.

By the way. See that square whorled drop spindle there? Martin made it for me years ago with some Brazilian Rosewood he had in his wood stash. I always knew he was ahead of the times. Square whorled drop spindles are all the rage these days. (here for some samples)

(Yes, I collect fiber. Martin collected exotic wood scraps for his wood boat building. These days, I collect drop spindles in exotic woods.)

Page 1 of 3

Powered by WordPress & Theme by Anders Norén