Monday, June 28, 2010

Zoom Zoom

Travel Season.
First, the mountains:
cabin 2010

Spinning, knitting, listening to books on tape, a few casual walks, but mostly good friends, good food and several sunny days:

That's some of Lindsey's yarn, Sue's bobbin with wool in progress, Eileen's bag of knitting notions, some wolf lichen we collected for dyeing, and, ahem, one of the several bottles of wine consumed. I don't remember this particular one, but they went by quickly. It was hot. It was 7000 feet. It was vacation.

It is advisable when traveling, to make sure you have all the parts for your spinning wheel. See that nice big round knob, under the flyer on Lindsey's wheel?
Lendrum folding

Oops. My wheel is the one with the duct tape fix:
lendrum fix

Thankfully, duct tape, a nail and a clothespin block did the trick. Luckily, these are not the pretty face, furniture grade spinning wheels but actual useful spinning tools, which can take a fix or two and keep on spinning. It spun silk just fine:
lendrum fix2

And now is home, cleaned of all duct tape residue, and reunited with its proper knob.

Travel is good time for small projects, but alas, I finished these just before leaving:
white socks

I knit these as samples, using some commercial yarn to see if I could get gauge:
sock yarn

Which I did (get gauge) but it hurt my hands to do the knitting. I'll be altering the pattern for a larger needle and fewer stitches, but that's a project for home, when I can concentrate with paper and pencil, not a project for summer travel.

White socks?? Not anymore:
green socks

They got plopped into a crockpot, and are now a more practical green.

What I am planning to take with me this week:

My new spindles, from Golding, ebony and silver:
silk spindles

They spin silk just fine too!

Now, off to get packing.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Grandma? Nana?

I have not decided (or it has not been decided for me) what I will be called when I grow up (early September. Nice to have a handle on when I will finally be grown up, eh?). Be that as it may, I have been busy with small things for several months. They were Secret From the Blog small things, but we had the shower for the baby and her mama yesterday.

I'll start with the knitting, since that is most accessible to most readers. First up, the ubiquitous (but still cute) fruit cap:

strawberry hat

My granddaughter will be a strawberry :). This is Cascade 220 Superwash, the pattern was on Ravelry.

Next, the first hat and booties I made (March) before we knew the baby will be a girl:
baby hat and booties

This is handspun superwash merino, in a color I thought would be gender neutral. When we found out she will be a girl, I used pink ribbons for the booties and hat ties. The hat is Norwegian Sweet Baby cap from Ravelry, and the booties are from the book 50 Baby Booties to Knit.

Next up, the consummate girly set:
pink hat and booties

Superwash wool (I forget the name of the yarn but I bought it at my LYS), in the Simple Hat pattern from Itty Bitty Hats, and the booties are Saartje's Booties from Ravelry.

Also from Itty Bitty Hats:
easter hat

An Easter bonnet! in Superwash Cascade 220. This is just way too cute.... :)

The last knitted hat:
silk baby hat

A silk bonnet from Knitting for Two. The silk is naturally dyed with pomegranate from Tactile Fibers, bought at SOAR last Fall. I have more of this silk, so there may be a matching sweater forthcoming ......

Which brings us to the sweaters....(you can see that I am worried this baby might be cold. She will live in Colorado. Her parents have a place in the mountains. I think they will take her up into the snow.....sigh). Anyway, first up, the Five Hour Baby Sweater (they lied, it took me more than five hours):

baby sweater five hour

Once again in Cascade 220 Superwash that I bought at Meadowfarm (I might just as well purchase all the colors: loved the yarn, loved the color range, will be useful for the I-bet-I-will-be-knitting-more future baby and child projects).

Then there is the handspun superwash BFL Knitting Pure and Simple hooded baby cardigan, which I call the Cutest Sweater Ever:

ps sweater

ps sweaterr  back

I bought superwash BFL roving from my friend BJ (Lola's Looms), dyed it in one pot:

SW wool in pot

I spun it into a three-ply yarn. There is some left, which might someday become mittens and a hat for a bigger girl :).

The last knitted gift is a baby bunting (repeat after me: Cascade 220 Superwash purchased at Meadowfarm, pattern from Knitting Pure and Simple. I am nothing if not consistent):

bunting and onsies w blanket

I dyed some Onesies in newborn and 6 month old sizes to go with the bunting, and embroidered a little on the neckline edge. Many of these gifts were photographed on an heirloom blanket the baby will have too: first used by the new papa's grandfather (1915), then used by the new papa's father (1948) and the new papa (1976), and now the new baby (2010). I washed it and added new blanket binding, and hope the baby will use it to death: almost one hundred years of use is enough for any textile!

Then we have the woven gifts :). First, a Very Pink cotton baby bonnet:
pink baby bonnet

I sewed this using a commercial pattern and it is big!, probably a three-year-old size or better. It is lined in flannel (consistent, consistent, and worried about cold ears).

Then we have rompers:
baby romper 2

baby romper

These are about 6 month size, lined in (heh) cotton flannel, sewn using a commercial sewing pattern, handwoven cotton cloth, with purchased t-shirts. The second one is the only fabric I wove with a specific project in mind:

romper fabric

This is various cotton yarns (mostly 5/2 and 8/2) in a narrow fabric sett at 24 epi. The rest of the fabric used for these projects was just woven (at 20 epi, same yarns: a range of cottons and rayons between 2000 and 3000 ypp) and then I decided what to make with it.

The new baby will have her own silk dress, using a leftover piece of fabric from the new mama's wedding shawl four years ago:

baby dress

Sorry for the blurry photo, here's a better one of the back:

baby dress back

I dyed the fabric red, and used a commercial sewing pattern for a dress of about a one-year old size. I say about because the armholes are large, and it looks to me like this could be worn as a smock-top over pants well into her third year. I used almost every scrap of the silk fabric I had saved:

silk scraps

Last, the booties and knitted cotton blanket I posted months ago, when I found out I would be a grandma? Nana? Time will tell:

red shoes

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Celia's Wedding

Celia is getting married!

Celia's Mom will have a new shawl to wear:

Deb's shawl

Deb dyed this silk yarn:

Deb's shawl2

The colors will be a little muted by the weft:

deb's shawl4

But it will still be a bright spot of color for the Mother of the Bride to wear. Details: 30/2 silk from Treenway, dyed with Lanaset dyes, sett at 48 epi, woven plain weave, with 30/2 silk weft.

The weaving is done, now to the finishing. It will take a bit of time to twist the fringes: good airplane work, and I have a few planes in my future....

Best wishes to Celia, and congratulations to Matt: have a fun wedding! and a glorious life together :).

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Moving Out Into The World

I mostly think of the projects that I make as singular: I make one, move on and make something else.

Sometimes, though, the process of making includes writing up the pattern, and in those cases, the projects move out into the world and can show up again. I'm always surprised, and very pleased, when someone likes what I have done enough to make one of their own.

Several months ago, on Ravelry, I saw a photo of this bag:
donna's first bag

I did a double take. My first impression was that someone had altered a photo of the colors of my bag from Woven Treasures:

1st bag

But no! This was Donna's bag. She wove it from the instructions, changing the colors, adding her own embellishments. It was so nice to see how the design and instructions had made their way out into the wide world :).

Then Donna wove several more bags, changing the colors and some of the construction.
donna's pickup tote

My bag colors:
pick up tote

Donna also used her own design for the soumak bagfaces:
donna's soumak bag front

donna's soumak bag back


Pinwheel back

It's gratifying and exciting to get independent corroboration that the instructions work, and work well enough that Donna could alter them to suit her own design and color choices!

Then the other day at knitting, Dee held up a bag and asked if I recognized it? No, I said, but I wanted it:

dee's bag

dee's bag back

She then told me it was a variation on my design for the New Homespun Handknit:

homespun handknit bag

The color choices change things so very much! There are a few construction details that each of these women changed, too, which is one of the best parts of this whole process: they are not following a pattern, but they are using the instructions or charts and making something new.

Last, also on Ravelry, I saw another version of the Lace-up Mittens from Homespun Handknit:
Jen's mittens

Jen's in her handspun Spirit Trail cashmere.

Everyone who uses handspun yarns in a pattern knows the next person who makes the project will change it somehow: handspun is necessarily individual. This was a very fun pattern for me to make up, and to knit, but I am jealous I did not think of using cashmere yarns: I may just have to make up another pair..... :)

There are at least two kinds of creators: those who wish to keep all of the details of creation to themselves, making their projects unique in the world, and those who send out the patterns for others to use, make things with, make personal, and change. I've been both, at different times and for different projects.

For me, now, the pleasure of seeing how things evolve is far greater than the pride in having made something one-of-a-kind, never-to-be-repeated. The pleasure of the shared community, the shared effort, and the common goal: the work of our hands, to keep us warm, to keep us entertained, to make things that are useful and ours and yet are part of the greater community, all of this is very gratifying.