Wednesday, December 14, 2005

No Vacuum Here

Nothing is created in a vacuum. We are inspired by what is around us, and influenced by thoughts, comments and ideas of others, and other's work. I need all the help I can get, and I've gotten some really great help lately from my imaginary internet friends.

First, here's a shot of the finished, but not yet blocked, Leaf Lace Shawl:

leaf shawl2

Specs: angora/silk/merino handspun yarn, 2 ply, knit on size 5 needles. Interesting side note: I started on Bates brand needles, switched to Addi Turbos, influenced by the positive raves from other knitters, and didn't like them, for this project. I switched back to the Bates, because the tips are sharper, easier with which to *scoop* stitches. I'm as surprised as anybody that I even have an *opinion* about this, non-knitter that I am.

Well, knitting the Leaf Shawl was too fun, and I wanted to do more. I have the Flower Basket Shawl pattern, but had heard of Birch, and wanted to branch out (ha ha), so I went looking for the pattern. Now, Birch is a different orientation of lace: a shawl shape, with a lace pattern super-imposed over it (if that makes sense: the lace is not oriented to the shape of the garment). I like the architectural-ness of the Leaf Lace patterning.

But, aha! I found, yes, on the internet, someone unknown to me, who had taken the Birch pattern and re-oriented it in a manner similar to the Leaf Lace pattern (see the pattern here). She calls this shawl Kiri. I happily printed out this pattern, and hunted in the studio for a suitable yarn.

Kiri would also be a gift, and a scarf size rather than a full shawl, so it was not hard to find a skein of suitable yarn: a 2 ply merino. It was originally spun for weaving, so it's plied a little tighter than I would a knitting yarn, but *any port in the storm* of Christmas knitting: it would do.

Then, in an email conversation with Judy, she mentioned she wanted to try Nancy's dyeing technique (knit, dye then re-knit) in a shawl pattern. Woot! What a great idea. I sent a missive to Nancy, and she was willing to be a pieceworker this one time, and knit up the merino into a fabric so I could dye it:

dyed merino

Reds. Not so very surprising, eh? Graded from pink to dark red, pink at the neckline, and darks as we progress.

And now I've started on Kiri, using the merino straight from the dyed fabric. The little kinks in the yarn are actually helpful: the slippery yarn doesn't slide so easily off the needles when it is not wanted to slide, it acts like a little spring, wrapping itself around the needle:

kiri shawl1

Details? Size 7 needle this time, still the Bates, and the finished size will be whatever the dyed fabric will give me.

And last, I did block the Leaf Lace:

leaf lace shawl

Whoops, it must've fallen into the dyepot while I was blocking it. You knew didn't you? White? Maybe not so practical for a scarf that would travel, red is much better! And the dye just happened to be all mixed up and ready to go.

And that other kind of vacuum? Yeah, not so much of that going on around here, as I knit myself towards Christmas. Am I still scaring you Marcy?


Blogger June said...

How can you call yourself a nonknitter and produce such lovely lace?!

The knit-dye-reknit is driving me crazy - in a good way - I have the yarn, knitting machine, dyes, and a plan/pattern! Now I just need the time. You inspire!@!

12:37 PM  
Blogger Katherine said...

I'm going to have to try that dyeing trick, too. I also have a knitting machine sitting there unused.

I've made the Kiri twice now. It's a really nice shawl.

1:28 PM  
Blogger Charleen said...

Nonknitter? If it quacks like a duck ...

2:42 PM  
Blogger Juno said...

I just arranged to buy a knitting machine after christmas - and I blame you (in a good way - *g*), because that knit, dye and re-knit thing has been haunting me.

5:12 PM  
Blogger Cassie said...

I'm just sitting here pondering the irony of you calling yourself a "non-knitter".

6:23 PM  
Blogger Cathy said...

oooohhhhhh reds. very nice. think you and Nancy are owed commissions by the knitting machine manufacturers.
BTW, how's the kitty... I always expect to see it show up with a red bow. With beads.

6:54 PM  
Blogger judy said...

Oooh.. I am so jealous. I started my piece that I was going to dye before Thanksgiving. But, my old knitting machine died before I had knit a piece long enough for the shawl. My sample is still hanging from it. You, however, have done it! I'll be watching for progress shots. GREAT reds.

7:50 PM  
Blogger Spindlers2 said...

All these inaccuracies in your post! Non-knitter, indeed! And *we* are not *imaginary* - at least, I'm not. Am I?? Eh?
Love the transformation of the Leaf. Must be autumn....

3:06 AM  
Blogger Marcy said...

Speak for yourself, Granny. Me, I *am* imaginary, and I dare you to prove otherwise. And, hless! A. Red. Shawl. Wow. Whatta stroke of genius! I never would have expected it of you. :D
And, yes, as long as you asked, I even more scared than ever. This is getting just plain weird. Next thing we know you'll be teaching knitting. ~~~rumble~~~ What? What was that? The earth shaking on its foundations? Heeeeellllllllpppppppp!

5:17 AM  
Blogger claudia said...

Both Marcy and I are absolutely imaginary. Nightmare imaginary? Well, that is for you to decide.


As for the falling into the dyepot, was it the crockpot or your big-ass pot? Looks like a nice even dye job from here.

6:32 AM  
Blogger beadlizard said...

I *knew* the white wouldn't last. I love the red, and the pink/red gradation will be lovely as Kiri, which is one of my favorite quick knits. I know what you mean about not being a knitter. I'm not a weaver. Same dif.

6:55 AM  
Blogger Leisel said...

Ohhhhh! I've loved the idea of knit-dye-reknit since you first posted it, but I'm even more excited about the idea of doing it like this to make a nice graduated shawl, rather than one that ends up stripey, like most multi-colored yarns end up doing in a pattern that's wide like shawls are.

- Leisel

8:13 AM  
Blogger Marcy said...

I hate to tell you Claudia, but I'm waaaaaaay more imaginary than you are. You only *wish* you were as imaginary as I am.

2:49 PM  
Blogger Freyalyn said...

Pretty. It's a good red, which is saying something, from me. I'm currently knitting one of my neck down basic g-st cinema shawls, in brown, to be embellished with green (of course). I want to have a go at Kiri, but internet connection won't let me re-download Adobe at moment. Newest thing on needles is Slytherin sweater.

3:20 AM  
Blogger Amy K said...

Are we imaginary because we don't exist or because we're not really your friends? Sometimes I'm invisible, but usually only when I've been drinking tequila.

11:22 PM  

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