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Catching up

My mind hasn’t been on textile activities a great deal lately, as I’ve been distracted by other developments – like selling two novels to a major Australian publisher!

However, I have been working on a few bits and pieces in amongst other aspects of life, writing, and working:

My friends Michelle and Matthew have a new baby daughter, Saoirse. I’ve had this pattern for about 20 years – it’s from an Anny Blatt book I bought somewhere in my travels. I’ve knitted it a few times before, including at least twice in different sizes for my niece – who is now 16! It’s in 8ply (DK), so it’s a relatively quick knit. As can be seen, I just have to knit the bands and sew the side seams, which I may work on tonight.

I finished these socks a few weeks ago – using the standard sock pattern that I can knit almost from memory. Now I’m working on the next pair:

handknitted blue and gray socks

These will probably be for my Dad for Christmas. I’ve knitted him a couple of pairs of socks already, and he apparently wears them quite a lot. Dad’s got a small foot, so if he doesn’t like them, I’ll have them 🙂

Yes, the sock is sitting on my laptop. I often knit while I’m trying to write, but it has to be something simple, like a plain sock. Having the needles in my hands keeps the part of the brain busy that would otherwise want to go off and play on the internet, but I can put the needles down in my lap quickly when I think of words to write.

Now I’m back to working part-time, it’s giving me not just time to write, but a little brain-space and time to think about weaving again. Sitting at the loom makes for great plotting time, but first there needs to be something on the loom, which requires a design, planning and preparation process.

warps wound

The blue warp will be for a length of plain, plain weave, destined to become bands on a jacket made from an overshot fabric I wove some years ago. It needs something solid and simple to complement the pattern, so I’ve finally wound a warp to weave that contrast. The yarn is the blue cotton that I used as the warp and tabby weft in the overshot – the pattern weft is a light green. This will go on my baby 2-shaft loom, which is quite portable, so i can take it to the spinners and weavers meeting next week and weave while I’m there.

The white warp is a fine wool one for two scarves. I’m probably going to paint the warp, maybe tomorrow if I get myself organised enough to take the dyes and miscellaneous equipment into the guild rooms when I go into town. There’s a microwave for dyeing there, and long tables covered in thick plastic, so it’s a good place to paint warps!

3 Responses to Catching up

  • Kimberly says:

    What lovely socks!

    I’d love to see the painted warps. I’ve tried doing my own a few times and still don’t have a successful process. I end up using too much liquid. Any helpful hints?

  • Bron says:

    Kimberly, thanks for dropping in and commenting!

    I have only painted a couple of warps, so I’m really a novice. I’m also very unscientific when it comes to dyeing, so I don;t tend to weigh or measure much.

    The rainbow warp I painted last year – which came out quite well – I used a paintbrush to apply the dye. I had to make sure it soaked right through, so there was a little bit of runoff here and there, but I sopped that up mostly straight away. I wrapped the warp in plastic wrap, and cooked it in the microwave; there was a bit of leakage from one end of the package, as I hadn’t sealed it up properly, but that only resulted in an ‘artistic’ few blotches of contrast colour on the fringe 🙂

  • Kimberly says:

    Thanks for the paintbrush idea. I’ve been using small squirt bottles and while it looks like the yarn picks up all the liquid dye, it obviously doesn’t. I’ll get some of those foam brushes for my next attempt.

    In the meantime, I think I’ll do a gradient color gamp with dyed skeins. To do this, I pick 3 colors and then mix (very approximately! LOL) them together to get grades in between. In my last one, I did red, blue, and brown. For the intermediate colors, I did 50/50 red+brown, 50/50 blue+red, and 20/80 blue+red. It worked well because the intermediate colors were a function of the original colors so everything coordinated. And I didn’t have to worry about the amount of liquid because everything was skein dyed!