Sunday, August 15, 2010

A Good Bath
It sucks when you work on a project and the whole time you feel it's a disaster. Such was my experience weaving my second project - an undulating twill blanket. The yarn choice, pattern choice and sett were not "in sympatico" so I had lots of slippage. It was a rookie mistake. I powered through with some coaching from the amazing Jane Stafford who gave me some advice. The best advice she gave was to reserve judgement until the finished cloth hit the water. "A good bath often turns an ugly duckling into a swan," she counselled. She was right.

Here is the finished blanket. It was designed to act like a runner on a leather chair in our living room. Colours were chartreuse and taupe. The pattern I chose was an undulating twill which has long floats. The yarn was a silk-superwash merino blend which I thought would wear well. However, it makes it more slippery and less forgiving when it comes to fluffing up during washing to stabilize it.

When I found big gaps in my sample weaving because the yarn slipped around I panicked and e mailed Jane. She recommended a pick of plain weave 100% wool (very fine) between the picks of twill to stabilize it. Here on the close up you can see the wool picks and it certainly did the trick! The final blanket was more than 5 feet long so I was very glad to finish it off.

I washed it in warm water with Soak soap and spun it dry This was my first time using a floating selvedge and I love the way it makes everything so neat and tidy.

It looks great on the chair and I'm still amazed at how a little bath saved the day.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Summertime: Livin Easy, Fish Jumping and Cotton is on the Needles

In spite of the fact that I'm delving into other fibrey pursuits - knitting remains my fist love (rest assured). There are many projects in the queue and a couple that will make it to finished object status soon.

Here in wine country, we've been enjoying an amazing summer. Our winemakers are grinning ear to ear and they say it'll hopefully be the best vintage ever. We've been renovating here at chez veritas. The new roof was last November and now it's time for all new windows. What a difference it makes! Of course - it ain't cheap so thank goodness that most of the fall projects I'm lovin can come from stash (more on that later).

First up is a cardigan I started a few seasons ago - Maritime from Rowan 43 in Cotton Glace . I'm finally on the last sleeve so here's a sneak peek of the pieces tacked to Judy (she's such a trooper). The button band is done in a lovely lilac shade and I have funky lilac buttons with white trim to finish it off. This is very "Anthroplogie" to me. I got a navy ribbon for the waist trim.

Also chugging along is my submission for this year's spinning/weaving competition for September. It's Sleepy Monkey. Our colours are pumpkin and sage green so I'm doing the monkeys in the pumpkin and the edging will incorporate the green. I can add as many other colours as I want - just 50% of the item has to be a combo of pumpkin and green. It's a merino superwash that I've spun to worsted weight and Navajo plied.

I'm hoping to post a final review of my woven blanket once it's off the loom and washed - we'll see if a good bath can save it.

I'll leave you with a lovely glamour shot of Phoebe. She actually looks regal! You'd never know she was such a goof-ball.