Monday, September 03, 2007

Whoops Post II

This might be Whoops post number 46, but we'll just leave it at 2, shall we?

You all seemed to so enjoy the last post, a minor comedy of errors, that I thought I might as well go ahead and post another whoops or two.

First up:

silk scarf yarns
Some handspun silk, 2 painted warps, two smaller immersion warps and a skein.

Nice colors, eh? I thought so too when I dyed them. But, apparently I lost my mind for a little while there.

I knew I wanted a monochromatic or analogous set of colors for this project. There was to be some weave structure involved, and I don't like the color to overwhelm the structure. I wanted the structure to show, as it were. I knew I wanted reds, I had all that red silk camel for weft, and I thought about which colors would go with the red: magenta, wine, orange, etc.

I ruminated for a day or two, not really settled on any series of colors. Dye day dawned (dye days are arbitrary, they can come at any time), and I had the brilliant idea to add brown, and then gold. How nice, I thought. I mixed up dyes, I painted warps, I wrapped and steamed. I rinsed the yarns, and hung them to dry, then it hit me: too much color.

Oxymoron, you say? Normally, so would I. However, that structure issue: these colors would dominate, preventing the structure from being the dominant element in the fabric. In knitting, it's like knitting a complicated Aran with variegated yarn. The elements fight each other.

I had several options: remove the color (Thiox), overdye the yarns before weaving, or weave, and change plans. I opted for #3. I wove a plain weave scarf, very nice, handspun painted warp, just not what I had planned:

silk scarf2 Sept 2007

I love weaving this kind of cloth:

silk scarf Sept 2007

and it will make a very nice scarf. I may even overdye the fabric once it is finished, we'll see.

Now I need to spin more silk and actually weave the cloth I planned to weave, ahem.

Whoops number two for today is this tussah/silk yarn:

tussah cashmere

I want to knit Frost Flowers Shawl from A Gathering of Lace, which needs 3600 yards of yarn.

I have a pound of this blend, and sat down to spin a sample. Now, when I start a largish project, I want the steps to be easy, intuitive, accessible, so I don't have to struggle with the process. So I spun a comfortable size, plied it, then measured. It's running about 3500 yards per pound. I like to have extra when I am knitting (not being very big on the measuring and the gauge issues). So you see the problem.

I also didn't like the way the fiber was drafting: there are places where there is tussah, and places where there is cashmere, and places where they are blended. The yarn washed up fine, but I think this might be a problem with wear over time.

I have choices here: buy more tussah/cashmere (yikes). Spin finer yarn (might exacerbate the blending issue). I don't like either of those, so I will rummage around for another fiber. I'm sure something appropriate is hiding in the bins somewhere.

Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Nothing really lost in these two projects, but not hit-the-bell grand either. We move on.

I'll leave you with a shot of the final felted version of Hagrid's boots:

Hagrid's boots4

They have been felted again, and are quite solid, but still two different sizes. And perhaps just a bit large. They do stand on their own though, perhaps they could become planters??


Blogger Donna said...

Your musings caution me to think what if I decided to dye my own yarn -- surely and certainly there would be more problems than your short list. Then, reading on, I'm thoroughly enjoying your wit and humor; I have so say that it's a good thing you have wit and humor, otherwise sanity would just evaporate into thin air!! In the hot, hot heat of late summer, I was doing just fine following along with your trials and tribs when lo! there are THOSE boots again!!! Do you know how taxing it is to be caught up in hysterical laughter in this heat?? You are So-o-o C-o-o-ol!! Planters! what a fantastic idea!! Thanks for the uplifting read; we all profit from your sharing.

2:14 PM  
Blogger Charleen said...

#3 turned out to be an excellent choice - I just hope you're not on a deadline for the structure project. I can't imagine having to spin the silk first.

The boots could turn into a wildlife refuge for some deserving chipmunks. Winter will fast be approaching! Hagrid would approve, I'm sure.

2:36 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Perhaps the boots are actually troll's-foot umbrella stands, suitable for placing in #12 Grimmauld Place......

2:56 PM  
Blogger claudia said...

Readers love it when you screw up. Ask me how I know.


That fabric is really beautiful.

5:49 PM  
Blogger DEEP END OF THE LOOM said...

You might think you screwed up, but really too much color is an oxymoron. The fabric is beautiful and the color just pop. My advice is to keep screwing up you do a wonderful job at it hehehe. If you need a donor for your screw ups let me know.

8:38 AM  
Blogger soxchik said...

Some nasturtiums climbing out of a giant's boot next summer would be so whimsical. I love your planter idea.

10:43 AM  
Blogger Deanna said...

This is a mistake??!! Nope, just fibers in gorgeous colors overriding human plans to declare what they want to become. Yeaaa for the wisdom of fiber freedom. :-)

10:51 AM  
Blogger kim said...

You could fill them with rocks and make them into door stops or book ends. It would certainly be a conversation item.

12:20 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

The yarn just didn't want you to use a pattern.

8:14 PM  
Blogger KnitterBunny said...

I'm sorry, but I have to comment. I popped over from Ravelry and that last thought on the boots about did me in. Yes, I think the large one would make a glorious planter, especially with some English Ivy in it. ;)

12:31 PM  
Blogger Leigh said...

That was a glorious save on the autumn colored silk yarns. The scarf is stunning. Too funny about the felted boots. That's the kind of thing that would happen to me.

7:49 PM  
Blogger Sharon said...

Hagrid's boots - how about an umbrella stand? I've seen them made from elephant feet (ugh) and no one died in the process of making your boots. I'm sure you could stash quite a few umbrellas in those boots - call it an organic pseudo-elephant foot umbrella stand.

3:12 PM  

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