Exploring the world of fiber, one draft at a time

My posting can be as frequent or infrequent as my spinning, so be as patient as that fiber, sitting in my stash.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Blue Thingy?

I spent several hours browsing in our local Peddlers Mall, a large building full of booths rented by vendors selling just about anything. Lots of flea market type items. While going through a stack of linens (where I found a lovely linen/lace hanky for .50) I came across this:

The seller had only marked the tag as "Blue Thing .50" At first glance of course I thought napkin or doily. It's made of a stiff linen fabric. But after playing with it, I discovered it did this:

OK I know in my years of perusing woman's craft magazines, or mail order catalogs, I have seen this, but right now I am clueless as to what it is for! I am sure there is someone out there in blogland that knows, however, that someone probably is not reading my blog LOL.
However, if you think you know it's purpose in life, or better yet, have an internet link to an explanation, please leave me a comment with that information. For once in my life, I am not going to just google it, I do not even want to think what hits I would get for a 'blue thing' search.

Friday, November 16, 2007

New Podcast is available

I have posted the November Spin In podcast and it is available here

The spin in podcasts, which will alternate with the technical spinning podcasts, have music and stories for you to listen to while you spin. So grab your favorite spinning tool and fiber and join me as I spin some yarn and tell you some tales.

Hopefully the subscribe button on the website is working also, which will allow you to subscribe to ITunes and all sorts of other podcast catching software. Give it a try and let me know if there are any problems.


Monday, November 12, 2007

Dyeing inspirations

The colors around me this time of the year always make me want to dye yarn. So I thought I would include a few photos here for inspiration.

These are the leaves on my smoke tree:

I think what I really want is a knitted fabric that looks like these leaves. Not in an intarsia sort of design, where the colors are in specific shapes, but in a mottled blending of the greens and purples. I think those vivid stripes of leaf veins would need to be part of the concept too.

Here's just a general autumn color photo.

There's something about that maple tree that appeals to my dyer's eye. In real life, the coloration is very pastel which I liked even better. Here in the photo, I have darkened the color to be more visible.
Finally, wouldn't this vivid black be a great color to contrast with all those fall tones:

I love the black wooly worms found in my area. Don't ask me what that predicts for the winter! I can see no difference in the thickness of their coats from one fall to the next. Given that our winter weather can vary wildly, somehow I do not think these are 'official' winter predicting wooly worms. Nice color though, that's for sure.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Sock club and naked necks

My one LYS is hosting a sock knitting club once a month and I got to go for the first time on Thursday. We paid a small fee for the 2 hours of instruction, and pattern, plus a discount on the required yarn. I got to meet about 15 new knitters and really enjoyed the opportunity for a knitting night out.

The designer of the sock, and instructor is Elise Williams. I know she has a blog, but did not put that on the design page, maybe I will get the link at another time. She is really doing this very locally, although a few of her closer friends there are goading her to put the socks into a pattern book. The pattern is held exclusive to the sock club members for three months and then put for sale at the yarn shop. I love the fact that here and probably all over the world there are knitters doing exactly this same thing, designing and teaching small projects locally. They get the self esteem boost of seeing something they created enjoyed by other knitters, and we get the fun of yet another wonderful sock pattern.

I have realized that although a sock can be knitted from a basic pattern, the fun of knitting socks comes from two things, variations in the sock pattern, and a lovely yarn. Since the yarn companies have caught on to knitters love of sock yarn, the supply of yummy yarn for socks is now amazing. I think knitting socks is here for the long haul, and not just a knitting whim and I think as long as there are knitters making socks, there will be new and interesting patterns evolving also.

So Novembers sock club sock is called the Bramble Soxx. Here is a photo of the very tiny beginning achieved while I was there:

The yarn is really interesting. As you can see in the photo it is called Soxx Appeal and is by Knit One Crochet Too. It is 96% superwash merino, 3% nylon and 1% elastic. That 1% makes the yarn surprisingly springy and it is also very soft. It's going to be a very comfortable pair of socks.

The pattern shows the sock knitted in stripes, achieved by using three colors of the yarn and changing periodically to create the look of self striping yarn. I choose however to buy one ball of variegated and will use that in the cuff, heel and toe and knit the main body of the sock in the solid green. I really like the green color, I usually do not care for lighter shades of green, being more of a forest green type of girl, but this soft light moss stays far enough away from glaring lime green or pastel baby green for me to really like it.

The bramble part of the pattern is on the cuff and is an alternating groups of make 3 bumps. This also then involves the slow process of K3 together, so knitting the pattern on the cuff is challenging. However that is perfect for this sock knitter, it gives me the challenge right up front while I am still thrilled with starting a new pattern and using a new yarn. After that thrill is gone, laugh, I get to zoom through regular knitting of the sock. I will even avoid one sock syndrom, by putting the regular knitting part on two circs, once the cuff is complete.

We discovered while knitting that the pattern was emerging on the 'inside' of the sock, which really worried a few of the knitters. Elise explained that once the cuff was complete, the sock should be turned inside out and the rest of the knitted worked (after all, the mind boggles at trying to turn a heel, inside out) I can not resist though a slight change in the pattern and plan to knit the sock with extra length right after the cuff and then wear the sock with the cuff turned down. I think it will be really cute that way.

Now my challenge is to try and finish the socks before Dec 13th, the date of the next sock club meeting.

I am sure the naked neck part of the title caught a few eyes. I have a totally non fiber bit of news to share, and that is I got my long hair cut on Thursday, and had enough length to donate it to the Locks for Love wig program. My hair is shorter than I have had it for almost 20 years! But it was worth it. I laughed though that evening, walking out of the knit shop and realizing for the first time in years, my neck was cold! All to better, because that means I will enjoy my knit scarves all the more this winter.