Monday, October 28, 2013

Ivy League Vest Ribbing

I'm knitting away on my Ivy League Vest. The colorwork is very addictive, as each row brings something new. Here is the ribbing and first few rows of the chart.

Ivy League Ribbing

Because I'm at a different gauge and also want to make it a bit longer, I'm calculating my own shaping. I just put in the first decrease row.

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Swatch Cap

As part of Tour de Fleece this year, I spun my Ivy League Vest Kit. While these six yarns will make a lovely vest, I also included some of my Submerge/Cuttlefish combo in the hat, just because I wanted some blue for the pattern. The pattern is the blue/green star pattern from the cover of Nordic Knitting Traditions.

star beret 2

star beret 3

Because I was swatching for the vest, I was on a larger needle (US 4) than called for in the hat (US 2), and eliminated two repeats of the pattern, making it a seven-point star instead of nine. The hat is 25 stitches and 29 rows to four inches.

I have also cast on the vest. The gauge is even a bit larger than called for in the vest pattern (28sts/32rows), so I cast on a smaller size (34 3/4), to get a 38. I'm not quite a 38, but the pattern says it accommodates up to 5 inches negative ease. Also, I'm about to start a fitness challenge...

Ivy League Cast On

Ivy League Cast On - Close up

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Iris IV

A few weeks ago, I mentioned beginning to spin "Marine Predator," and now, I can tell you what I've been doing with it! First of all, here is the finished yarn.

Marine Predator-plied

It is Navajo-plied, or "n-plied" or "chain-plied," as they say. I split the roving into eighths, length-wise, because I wanted fairly short repeats for stripes (for a small project...).

I don't normally "cake" may yarns right away, because the cakes are sometimes fairly tight, and I think it may "stretch" the yarn a bit. I try not to store them for long periods in cakes. Since I planned to use this one for a project with a deadline, I caked it up. I took a picture of it because I thought the colors played very nicely across the ball.

Marine Predator-plied and caked

The intended purpose of this yarn was to make a monster for my younger nephew, Reese's, second birthday. Iris IV was the result, an erstwhile sister for Iris III, my older nephew, Dane's, monster, which I made for him on his second birthday.

Iris for Reese

I think that perhaps Iris IV came out a bit smaller than Iris III, because the yarn is a smaller gauge. Still, the two will be quite alike, in somewhat coordinating blues. With them in the same household, hopefully there won't be territorial monster issues! I realized I forgot Iris IV's belly button, after she was already sent, and I suppose the lack of a belly button will be the subject of great teasing from her sister. I'm sure my brother would have gleefully informed me of my alien origins if I had somehow arrived sans belly button. I suppose Iris IV will simply have to figure out a way to hold her own. Perhaps she can reply, "Oh, yeah? Well you're made with commercial yarn!" ...not that I would have instilled any sense of pride in her handspun origins, or anything of the sort...

This all presumes, of course, that Iris III hasn't met some sad demise, perhaps in the jaws of a four-legged critter. Canines are formidable foes of small, chewy (I mean,... ahem,... plush) monsters, you know... (I can only imagine that the long arms and legs would swing back and forth in an extremely satisfying fashion while being shaken by an attacking dog. But I digress...)

Happy Birthday, Reese!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, October 13, 2013

Wicked Blossom

I used the Wicked pattern again, this time using handspun from Hello Yarn's "Blossom" on Finn, a club color. I spun it this year during Tour de Fleece.

Wicked Blossom - Front

Wicked Blossom - Back

I have 1 3/8 ounces (40 grams) left of four bumps of fiber (about a pound).

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Ocean Towel Weaving

I've woven the first few inches on the Ocean Towels. You can just see the knots of the beginning of the warp over the end of the front beam.

Ocean Towels - Weaving Started

I still have a few loose beats, but I'm getting it figured out.

Ocean Towels - Weaving Closeup

Off to work!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ocean Towels Warped

Mitchell has been fighting a throat virus off and on for a couple of weeks, and he came down with a high fever again last night. I stayed home with him today and took him to the doctor, who gave him an anti-biotic for a secondary tonsillitis problem. Other than that, we're hanging out and watching movies. I took the opportunity to wind on the warp for the Ocean Towels.

Ocean Towels Threaded and Beamed

You can see where the color repeats re-start, which I had to do because the length of the color repeat grew through the cone. I think it is pretty, though. In fact, it may end up prettier than if the colors were fully-aligned all the way across. (I guess we'll never know!)

Ready to start weaving!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Weaving Update

The Green Fiesta Towels are done. The warp yielded six towels, with about six inches of warp left that could have been woven. I managed about sixteen inches of loom waste, almost ten less inches than when I tied onto the apron rods instead of using leaders.

Green Towels - Hemmed

I hemmed by machine this time, and the plain weave hem edge is also different. I can see why people use a smaller yarn for the plain weave hem... it wove wider than the twill.

Green Towels - Hem close up

I also sleyed the Ocean Towels, and I've threaded the first five repeats (of 26). Note the loom sprite.

Ocean Towels Sleyed

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Green Towel Weaving Done

I finished weaving the Green Fiesta Towels.

Green Towels - Off the Loom

Now, i just need to serge the edges, wash, and hem. I may warp the Ocean Towels, first!

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay

American Hand-Woven Coverlets

This is a copy of a post I put in the "The Weaving Thread" in the Southern Cross Fibre forum on Ravelry, but I am just so distracted by this idea that I wanted to post it over here, too...

I've become rather intrigued by the notion of hand-woven coverlets. I was at the "Daniel Boone Home," this summer, and they had some reproduction coverlets for sale in the gift shop. I think they were actually manufactured copies, because they were so inexpensive... only a couple hundred dollars. (Which scandalized my husband with how high it was, but struck me as too much of a pittance for hand-woven... Plus, they were suspiciously perfect-looking. I think you probably know what I mean.)

Anyway, the idea stuck in the back of my mind. My loom was ordered and on the way at the time...

More recently, I ordered some books that I was very excited to receive, so much so that I wanted to "share."

I was blown away when I received my two-volume set of "The Coverlet Book: Early American Handwoven Coverlets." The author, Helene Bress, has analyzed a huge number of old coverlets and charted the drafts for them! There are pictures of the actual coverlets as well as the drafts. (There is a disk as well as the two books.) The two books together are about five inches thick, like two encyclopedias. The books cover various techniques, including a large amount of overshot, as well as twills and Summer-and-Winter. There are also instruction sections. For example, if you look at the cover picture on the link, above, you can see in the bottom/left of the cover photo that there is a year and initials woven into the coverlet. There are instructions in the book for how to do that. Very clever!!! There is a whole section/chapter of "Dated Overshot Coverlets." They are late 1700 to early 1800 dates. How cool is that??? There are varying prices, but I spent about $65 with shipping for a brand-spanking-new set. (It seems high, but when it arrived, I thought it was a steal and wondered if they printed more than they could sell...)

I also got my hands on a used copy of "Weaving a Traditional Coverlet," though new ones are still available, apparently. This book is an extremely thorough treatment, step-by-step, of how to weave a specific overshot coverlet design. It even includes a rather large fold-out print of the draft. There are detailed sections on how to get good results, including how to seam. In the most basic sense, the tabby is hand seamed at a point on the edge of the weaving where the pattern thread is "missing" in the middle of a block, and then the pattern threads are embroidered by hand over the seam so that they look exactly like the woven pattern threads of adjacent blocks. Genius!!!

I'm not sure how long it will be before I take on the ambitious task of making a coverlet, but it seems like such a cool thing...

Happy Knitting,
Lisa Kay