Posts tagged ‘Yarn’

Color Study

Equipment: 15″ wide rigid heddle loom and 10 dent rigid heddle.

Yarns; warp and weft: 10 skeins Handwerks So-Soft Sock, 80% superwash merino/10% cashmere/ 10% nylon, 435 yds/100 gram skein. Colors used are listed below in warping order.

Warp length: 3 yards, allowing for 12″ loom waste and 12″for fringe. Warp the loom with 14 ends of each color in the following order: Desert Sands, Peach Blush, Pyracantha, Heirloom Tomato, Lavender, Twilight Dance, Sage, Bodega Bay, Winged Teal and Bay Blues.

Tie the warp on, leaving 6″ for fringe at the beginning of your weaving. Spread the warp with 4 picks of a smooth fingering weight waste yarn. Begin weaving with weft yarns.

Weave a total of 80″ as measured on the loom, end with 4 picks of waste yarn, cut off leaving 6″ for fringe. Finish fringe by twisting or knotting. Wash by hand to lightly full and hand to dry.

Weaving Suggestions:

1. Weave 8″ of each color in the same order as the warp colors.

2. Weave 2″ of each color in warp color sequence and repeat 4 times.

3. Weave 2″ of each color in the warp color sequence then repeat the sequence but in reverse order. Repeat again.

4. Weave 2″ of each color in the warp color sequence and then experiment with color sequences and size of stripes, leaving enough warp to finish with 2″ of each color at the end. Use the Fibonacci series to design the size of stripes, playing with wide and narrow stripes next to each other, reversing the color order.

5. Play with color sequences to see what patterns can be created by varying color order. Notice how the stripes stand out as well as blend because of the value of the color, i.e. how light or dark they are. Look at the grey scale scan of the yarns used to see the value of the colors. Try weaving the colors from lightest to darkest or vice versa.

6. Try weaving a few picks of fingering weight yarns that are in the same color families as the warp yarns. For example, weave Tide Pools adjacent to Winged Teal, Violet Asters next to Bay Blues and Fir before Sage.

7. Experiment!

 

Here is a grey scale scan of the yarns I used:

color study grey scale scan 001labels

And the finished scarf/wrap:

color study scarf web

Reinvention

Dictionary.com says: To re·in·vent:

1.to invent again or anew, especially without knowing that the invention already exists.

2.to remake or make over, as in a different form: At 60, he reinvented himself as a volunteer. We have an opportunity to reinvent government.

3.to bring back; revive: to reinvent trust and accountability.

“Women’s lives are about redefinition”, excerpt paraphrased from Anna Quindlen’s book,  Lots of Candles, Plenty of Cake. How does reinvention differ from redefinition? Maybe they are variations on the same idea or theme. It seems to me like it is about making something old anew.

Are we reinventing or inventing or creating or borrowing ideas from others or just doing what we do when we make things? Here is what I’m working on; I have all of this swirling around in my head, mixing together ideas, colors and techniques that I’ve tried and seen before. It pours out it in all these forms and somehow its related and makes sense.

More Pick-Up

I had so much fun with my pick-up samples on the rigid heddle loom I wove off a scarf. I designed this simple pattern to pick-up the ribbon yarns in the warp and let them show more prominently on the surface of the scarf. I also picked up some contrasting yarns to complement the ribbon. I’m on a roll.. as I’m sure I’ll do more of this kind of structure. I especially like playing with color and texture.  (Class schedule is on my website if you are local and interested.)

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Double Two-Tie Twill Blanket

I’m getting down to my last few pounds (!) of Angora yarn. Years ago I raised Angora rabbits. (Before Handwerks was officially a business.) I was going to insert a picture here but it was before I had a digital camera, yes back in the dark ages… so you will have to imagine what they look like. I had 4 white Giant/German hybrids (Fluffernutter, Harvey, Marshmallow and Snowball), one dark grey French (Midnight) and one English (Einstein) Angora rabbit. They are great animals but require a lot of care and attention as they are prone to some breed specific health problems. The Giant/Germans are big commercial sized rabbits and I would shear them periodically and save their silky long white hair. The French and English rabbits shed seasonally so I harvested their hair by a combination of plucking and combing. Within a short period of time I had more pounds of  fur than rabbits! (and I also discovered that I had more rabbits on the way too…such as it is with rabbits) I soon found that my time was being taken up by tending the herd and I didn’t have enough time to spin up the fiber as well as take care of everything else. In 2002, I packaged up and sent off several large boxes of Angora fiber and merino fleeces to a wonderful business, http://www.fantasyfibers.com/ to have them process the fiber into yarn for me.  I’ve been using the yarns since then.

I just pulled out the last skeins from Midnight blended with natural black merino in a 1:3 ratio.

It’s a nice charcoal color and you can see the French Angora guard hairs poking out. Its soft and will full nicely when it’s washed. The yarn is 2 ply and about sport weight, 1220 yards/pound.  I’m going to use it for weft. I could have used it for warp but I thought it might fuzz too much and I didn’t want to fiddle with sticky sheds.

I warped the Gilmore, 46″ wide, 12 epi, with a commercial wool/alpaca DK weight yarn in a double two-tie threading.

and here it is close up:

and my progress so far,  just beginning:

The warp is 3 1/4 yards long and I’ve left 8″ at the beginning to tie on and make into fringe at the end. I’ll just weave it off and leave enough warp for fringe at the other end.

The rabbits are long gone but it will be nice to remember and enjoy the memory of them when I have this blanket finished and want to curl up on the couch next Fall and WInter with a good book ar a fun knitting project.  I’m enjoying weaving this and it’s exciting to have the bottom of the “Angora Yarn Box” in sight!

………Sock Scarves (part 2)

6.  After you have knitted a series of heels and toes end with knitting a toe.  Knit a few rows of waste yarn and remove it from the sock machine.  You will have something that looks like this:

7. I turn the whole thing inside out so that I can weave in ends as well as close the foot by grafting on the wrong side. Here:

For handknitting I close the foot from the right side of the fabric with the knitting still on the needles. With most traditional sock patterns  you  close the toe at the tip of the toe. Since I’m doing short row toes I close the toe at the ball of the foot instead. You graft it the same way but you have more stitches and the grafting is under your foot when you are done. It looks like this on the needles:

8. I usually steam block my scarves to straighten them out and make all the heels and toes lie flat.

That’s it! Its fun to dress up your sock scarves with beads on the picot hem or change colors randomly or at the heels and toes. You can make them wider by using a larger csm cylinder, and longer or shorter by changing your row count. Its fun to experiment with the way the heels and toes create curves in the scarf.  Instructions will be on my website under Patterns. Here’s a few  from my collection:

What do you get when…..(part 1)

What do you get when … you get carried away with heels and toes? Whimsy, a sock scarf. I used to demonstrate antique circular sock machines at fiber and knitting events. I found that like at most public demonstrations you get many of the same questions over and over from each group of people passing by. On a sock machine most people really want to see how you knit a heel or a toe. After many hours of knitting heels and toes you end up with a wonderful Dr Suess-ish scarf. I can’t tell you how many of these I have made over the years but I can share with you how I knit them. After repeated requests for a pattern, I’ve finally written it out so you can hand knit along with me. Whimsy  If you happen to have an antique circular sock machine, here’s my method: (written csm instructions in a pdf format will be available soon too!)

1. Make a cup of tea, choose carefully.

2. Set up your sock machine and cast on in the usual way. I’ve got my Money Maker A right here:

3. Knit 5-7 rows, turn a picot row, knit 5-7 more rows and rehang your hem.

4. Start knitting again. Knit as you would for the leg of a sock.  Then you are going to turn a heel.

5. Now after your heel, knit some more rounds for the foot of the sock. Make toe but don’t csat off.

That’s the basic idea. Heels and toes, toes and heels, on and on.  Stay tuned for part 2 for details and the finished results.

Trunk Show this week at Uncommon Threads

Trunk Show! Saturday, Feb 25, 6:30-9pm

 

 

Uncommon Threads, 293 State St., Los Altos, 94022

(Just 15 minutes from Stitches West, lots of free parking)   10% off all Handwerks yarns this evening

 

Join us for a great evening enjoying hand dyed yarns, silk, cashmere blends, superwash merino, sock yarns, lace, refreshments and more with local dyer Laura Schickli of Handwerks! Enter to win a gift basket and meet designer Jocelyn Blair with her patterns and many gorgeous samples.  

No reservation necessary, just come and join the fun!

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