Sunday, March 21, 2010

Knitting Samples

I don't consider myself a spinner, even though I got sucked into the wonderful world of weaving via the orifice of a spinning wheel. :} (See my earliest posts for the story.)

I only ever learned how to spin woollen, not worsted, and I've not spun nearly enough to become proficient at it or taken the time to really learn the craft. OTOH, I'm grateful I came to weaving through spinning because I learned so much about fibre characteristics which made choosing appropriately for weaving much easier.

That said, becoming a dealer for spinning fibres sent me back to my wheels (how on earth a non-spinner acquired 3 of them in the first place is beyond me - guess the Universe knew what it was doing!)

With our first show as Ashford and Ashland Bay dealers coming up rather rapidly, most of my productive time the last week has been spent wet finishing the skeins of handspun (some done by me, some by a local spindler - thank you Margaret!) and knitting up some samples.

I'd hoped to have some woven examples too, but needless to say - that ain't gonna happen. :(

The beige sample is a blend of merino and nylon. I'd intended to knit a toque, but didn't have a pattern handy, so just did a seed stitch scarf. The fibre was blended on Ashford's Wild Card, about 90 merino, 10% nylon. Adding a little nylon will make the wool wear better, especially for socks. But I'm not much of a knitter these days, either, so I didn't try for sock yarn. I'm just not consistent enough for that. After it was spun I Navaho plied it. Someone sent me another video clip of Navaho plying that I'd like to study more because it looks much more efficient than the clip I'd found on my own.

The other sample, still on the needles and which I'm hoping to finish knitting today, is a merino silk blend. It was absolutely wonderful to spin! Since I spin woollen, Judith MacKenzie told me to spin off the fold and this blend was just lovely. I expect that if I spin for my own enjoyment this will be the top I choose.

This yarn was not plied, so again I used a seed stitch to prevent the yarn from torquing along the bias.

Doug has spent most of his free time gathering up and boxing the product for the show. He's got Tuesday off work to take me to the hospital to have the staples removed, after which I'm hoping I'll feel a lot more adventurous (and less pain). Then he'll load the van and he and his friend will leave early-ish Wed. am.

Set up is Thursday at 5 pm but they have other errands to run during the day so getting there a day 'early' is working out well for them.

I'm looking forward to a few days without pathways through the piles of boxes, and a dining room table on which I can lay out a jigsaw puzzle. :)

Doug has also suggested delaying doing the floors until I'm mobile again, and I can certainly see the wisdom of that. In fact, it turns out that I may be out of town for the rug removal, now, which suits me just fine!

If you enjoy books with music (and even a few mentions of weaving) as an integral part of the plot, Sharon Shinn's book Archangel might be a good read. It's a 'fantasy' and a romance (think of The Taming of the Shrew set in an alternate universe) but the author obviously knows a lot about music and a little about weaving.

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