Friday, 29 August 2008

Knitting Stuff

Lately I've been pretty preoccupied with trying to come up with patterns that would really highlight my hand dyed yarns. My intent is to design my own original patterns for my yarns, but I'm not quite a designer yet, I'm working on it. Right now though I'm practicing by knitting other people's designs. This is Ilga Leja's Diamonds on the Diagonal Scarf. I'm knitting it in Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 in the Tangerine colourway. I know it doesn't make any sense that I'm knitting it in Fleece Artist since the whole point is that I'm looking for way's to highlight MY YARN, but I had this skein of Tangerine, and I've never actually knit with Fleece Artist before, and I lost focus and on impulse cast on with it. I love the pattern! It's simple and crisp and clean and exactly the kind of thing that would suit my tonal colourways. I'm not nuts about this Tangerine though, first of all, since when am I so in to orange? I think that I just try so hard to branch out and expand my colour spectrum that I've ended up going way too far in the opposite direction from what I naturally gravitate towards. Typically, I would always chose blues, but because I'm trying to diversify I'm doing a total 180 and knitting with orange. Go figure. When I knit this pattern with my own yarn I'll have to chose a blue. Besides the colour, I've also noticed that this skein contains quite a few un-dyed spots, can you see the white spaces creating a sort of "V" on the top of the photo? I'm not a big fan of that, I may end up over-dyeing the whole thing when I'm done.

Today my best friend Lydia and I decided that it was about time that I teach her how to knit! She's almost 25 for crying out loud! All those years she could have been knitting but didn't know how! I really hope she gets addicted! I think that this scarf pattern would make a great second or third project for her, it's simple, but impressive, and teaches a lot of knitting basics. 

So, speaking of me trying to become a knitwear designer, I'm working on my first original fair-isle mitt pattern. The work in progress is pictured bellow. I've worked out a lot of the kinks and by the time it's done it will most probably look completely different (I'm now not sure about the colours or the pattern!) but at least I've worked out guage, length, width and thumb placement, which are all big things. I'm going to rip the whole mitten out and start again, hopefully it'll only take one more try.

last but not least, here are some pictures of my rovings! Remember how I mentioned in my last post that I wanted to become a spinner? Well, I've taken the first step and started a fiber stash! I still don't have a spinning wheel, or a particularly firm grasp on how to turn fiber into actual yarn, but I'm heading in that general direction.

I bought this lovely 1/4 lb roving at London-Wul in Lakeburn, NB on a recent rip to the maritimes. It doesn't have a name, but it's got lovely tones of navy, purple, rose and even a hint of shimmery turquoise that doesn't really come through in the photo. (Those are the types of colours I usually chose, no orange in sight!)

Then in a moment of weakness I logged on to Coloursongs yarn and pruchased these six 50g Fleece Artist slivers. Just enough of each to hopefully make a bit of pretty yarn to stripe a hat or add detail to a scarf project. From left to right we have Silk Merino sliver in Cosmic Dawn, Peridot and Hercules, Wenleydale Teeswater Sliver in Mermaid and Blue Face Leicester Sliver in Seashore and Peridot (Notice how different Peridot looks in Silk Merino versus Blue Face Leicester!) I'm very excited to work with all these fibers. The silk merino feels like a dream and confirms to me that the next yarn I add to Tanis Fiber Arts collection (after the worsted weight merino that's coming any day now) has got to have silk in it! Or at least something luxurious and shiny like bamboo or soy. I'd better learn how to spin soon!