Sunday, August 27, 2006

Light at the end of the Plaza

so after one year of slogging intermittently on this project I can finally say that the knit part of it is done. And all I have to do is crochet the bobbly bits of the collar.

This is a sneak preview only - more pics will arrive once I have done the crocheted bobbly bits which is probably the only interesting feature of this knit.

This is the only pattern in this book that doesn't have a full length picture. And I had to choose this one to do for my sister. Be warned the body is very short - almost bolero short and the collars do not seem to be as big as in the picture.

This will be the 1st and last time I'll be working with Cleakheaton Country 8 ply. It's very "country"- it's already pilling.

BUT I'm soooooo glad this one's done.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Albany Bodice

As you might know the Stitch Diva Knitted Bodice calls for a mucho expensive 100% silk yarn from Tilli Tomas. As usual, there are plenty of discussion over the Net, particularly in the Knitty and in Craftster on various yarn substitutes.

Now to me the beauty of this pattern has to be in the yarn - the subtle colours and slight nubby texture helps to bring out what is essentially a simple but stylish cut. I did do my share of surfing around to find a reasonably priced sub until I looked into my wallet. Then I had a look at my yarn cabinet and found .....
Jaeger Albany.

It's a discontinued cotton tape yarn from Jaeger and it was the just right gauge.

And here what it looks knitted up -

Or if you want to look closer

It's NOT the most perfect of subs BUT it works for me.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

More Weaving

Just a quick post to show you the second weaving project off the loom.

It's supposed to be enough for two cushion covers but I underestimated the width. it's a funny piece, enough for one funny shape oblong pillow (and I have to make up the pillow myself) or two tiny tiny cushions (I have to make that up myself too). I haven't decided - I might just line it and just leave it as a table runner.

As you can see the selvedges are still pretty messy but improving.

Tonight I'll be using my mum's dining table to warp my next project - yes another table runner. This time in novelty threads. And then after that, I intend to pick up some some pick-up techniques and do something different.

Have a look at what sweetgeorgia is doing! Giving me all kinds of ideas tsk tsk tsk.

There has been some knitting going on - truly! Just don't have any FO pics to show. I'm almost at the finish line with RYC Plaza - having one half of a collar to do. Notice my sis has come and gone - but she took Samus as compensation - so she can't complain.

Also almost to the cuff with Heels and Toes and still some lace on the side.

And... and started this new project too.

I really need to sleep less.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Beads and Pieces

The great thing about having my sister around is that we can go bead stashing !

The great thing about bead stashing with my sister is that I don't get to spend any money and I get free beaded jewellery to wear

The great thing about having a sister around is that she can model your finished knitwear.

That's Samus from the Knitty.

And since it fits her so perfectly - she's taking it back. It seems that I should resign myself to the fact that I have been making knitwear that fits my sister better than me.

So the great thing about having a sister who looks better in my knitwear than me and lives in a temperate climate is that I can buy wool again!!!!


Guess who's been stashing on wool....

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Weaving around the bend

Yeap that’s what I’ve been doing these past two nights. I got myself a very simple rigid heddle loom – the Ashford Knitters Loom which my sister brought back from NZ for me.

It’s a gorgeous lightweight little number that’s a perfect start up at a reasonable price. Now I’m sure you’re thinking “new hobby, new stash” but that’s the beauty of weaving is that I can basically use almost the same stash as I do in knitting.

My first effort - a 60 inch scarf woven with golf rayon thread as the warp and variagated Rayon flakes as weft.

Here's a closer look - My DH says it looks like mud, but I think the gold thread gives it a cool accent.

My first experience in weaving was when I was a unemployed bum (right after graduation) and I was flatting with some textile design students for the local polytech. This was during my knitting for sale days so it was quite a perfect arrangement for me. One of the girls bought back a table loom all warped and ready to go. She was supposed to weave this piece of cloth to make a vest but she had other more social things to do so she paid me to do it.

If warping is a huge tangled mess with 80 warp ends - how bad do you think it will be at 200-300?

She had done all the dyeing of the thread (a gorgeous pink and blue) and warping, showed me which lever to pull, when and away I went. I slaved over that thing for 2 weeks.

Hope this second project will take me less than 2 weeks. Cushion cover in a check pattern with Butterfly Super 8 Cotton (DK weight)

I did want to sign up for a weaving class after that but the complexity of planning and warping of the loom put me off. Even now, the words “multiharness’ and “treadles” and the cryptic image of a weave pattern draft is sending signals to brain to “Keep Out!”.

Weaving, however, is a local art cottage industry in Malaysia. Weavers (mostly women co-ops) weave a much sought after cloth with gold threads and patterns called songket. Songket is used in many wedding attires and ceremonial functions and many of the patterns are handed down from generation to generation. Click Here and Here for more information and some gorgeous samples.

What the local weavers here do not have are the fancy technologically advanced looms of the west and still, they can produce such lovely complex fabric with the same two harness loom they used for hundreds of years.

No harnesses just one reed that goes up or down. And already I'm searching the net for more patterns.

My journey into weaving is going to start small. With little baby steps. With the objective to reduce the huge oddball collection in my yarn stash. So tell me why am I starting to dream of having my own weaving studio??

With DK weight, you can see the fabric is quite open - MUST get more worsted weight or reeds with more teeth.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Autumn offerings

Can't resist drooling over the new autumn releases from RYC - quite a few new books and the release of the Silk and Wool yarn in soft muted colours and the brochure RYC Classic Style


Oddly enough the main RYC site doesn't have the latest information, so click over to English Yarn for detailed descriptions.

Then there's Fall Interweave which also has some drool-worthy designs

Gatsby Girl

Bianca's Jacket