Saturday, February 10, 2018

Star Mat Finished and Thrifty Ankle Socks


I had a little hand-dyed meringue/silk yarn left - too nice to discard. So I decided to squeeze out a pair of socks using it and some other left-over yarn from my stash.
Turned out I had enough for just two ankles and heels so I added in some cotton yarn which is of roughly the same weight for the insteps and soles.

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Star crochet mat and dyed Alpaca

I ripped it!!
I just didn't really like my previous attempt at crocheting the iCor mat.
It was not as pleasing to me as the plat-knit one I made before.

So rip, rip, think, think and start again.
This time, I changed the beginning to the piece to a magic ring commencement the stitch to full Double Crochet (DC) and the texture was much more to my liking. I also started with the lighter, warmer colour at the centre and I think this gives a much more attractive effect. I changed the number of stitches I began the loop with three times to get the one that allowed the subsequent DC's to like flat. Turns out this was 10 stitches. I worked regular increases i.e. 2 DC's every stitch, chained threes as first DC then DC in first stitch each tine and in subsequent rounds, every 2nd had 2 DC's then every 3rd etc.
As I progressed, a mind-worm surfaced saying "I want this to be star shaped or octagonal" . I could not ignore this so changed my increments to three DC's in seven "corners" - of course this meant an increase of 2 stitches every round per side. (Simple maths and counting made this fairly intuitive).

I'm glad I did since I like this iteration much more and almost as much as the knitted mat.

I'm now making a deep red solid-colour cord to crochet around the edge.


Lydia does not have an Alpaca but she knew a lady who did own one so some time ago she procures some of it's white fleece.
It was not all that white when it arrived. In common with any Alpaca I've obtained from lone owners, it was full of grit and grime. (Do these animals roll in the dirt all the time??).

I washed and dyed it in clumps using graduated dye from deep green through blue-green to blue white to un-dyed white/natural.
It looks and feels lovely. Now I have to make batts using the drum carder.
The decisions will mostly be whether or not to include the shorter second-cut bits. I don't want ti too fuzzy - so perhaps I'll have to be brutal about discarding theses shorter tips etc even if dyed.

These photos give a general idea of the colours - one of the interim blues is missing .

 It has a nice hand when opened out.

Must get carding.

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Crochet iCord Rug progresses

Been making more cord (idiot cord?) on the knitting machine.
This chunky Knitmaster model 155 has made this a lot less tedious than knitting same on needles.

So far, I'm finding the result quite appealing - two more balls of my hand knitted chunky to cord then I've to decide on a solid colour to make an edging.

OK for now. Good luck.

Saturday, January 13, 2018

A Feather and Fan Cowl

I acquired some Merino Tensil blended roving and spun it into a sport-weight balanced 2-ply yarn las November.

I've knitted it in the round into a long cowl, designed to wrap twice around the neck.

It is made from a Feather and Fan pattern between garter stitch edges

It's quite a nice thing - I need better photos though.

Washing my Rim & Button Hothead hat

I don't recall what the original patternI for this little knitted hat came from, but I liked how it came out when applied to some lightweight hand spun wool I had.
So I applied the same general idea to some more hand spun wool I had dyed with graduated colours, interspersed with some grey alpaca singles.

This post itemises how to wash and dry a finished hand knitted woollen hat.

Add some washing up liquid or shampoo to warm water in a bowl and sink the wooden down in it.

Let it sit for 30 minutes or so

Squeeze it out, refill the bowl with clean warm water and soak again

Repeat if necessary and squeeze out.
Roll up in a towel to remove excess water

After maybe 10 - 30 minutes, unroll and either lie flat to dry:

or hag in the hot press to dry:

Nice and dry now:

The grey alpaca (from Waterford as it happens) is a single spun on a drop spindle. Because of that, stocking stitches twist. I let it twist for the first band I introduced after the dyed wool yarn sectionsbut then made it straight by knitting into the back leg of the stitches in later bands of grey. 

Who knew there could be so much interest(well for me anyway) knitting up one woolly Hothead hat.

The Knitting Machine

I was the amazed and overjoyed recipient of a knitting machine, donated to me by a very nice lady whose mother can no longer make use of it.
That was at the end of November last, 2017.

I was flummoxed at first - I had no idea ho big it was going to be - big as a piano keyboard - nor did I understand how the carriage or needles got together to form a piece of fabric.
I was much relieved to find that the original manual was present and correct.
It is a Mnit Master Model 155 and there are still many in active use out there.
I was particularly fortunate to find youtube videos by "theanswerlary' who is an expert in all thing knitted including the workings of knitting machines.

I made my first swatch on this chunky version of its king in December -

I don't have punch cards yet to avail of it's capacity to do a form of fair isle or intarsia but no doubt in time I will get some.
Meanwhile, I'm using it mainly to knit iCord (aka Idiot Cord). Turns out that knitting, in sucking stitch, strips just 3 or 4 stitches wide causes them to curl up into pseudo-iCord, thus saving me the trouble of knitting and knitting massively long stretches of garter stitch strips to bind plat into my knitted rugs. 
Thanks to theAnswerLady again, I decided to try crochet rather than platting these strips which I can produce in a much shorter time than by knitting them 
The result is interesting - not quite as elegant as my platted rug technique, but I'm warming to it.
Glad it handles my hand spun sheep wool very well!

Will see how it goes.

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

December 2017

Busy putting non-fiber things on the other blog, Love The Seasons

                    Seasons Greetings!