Friday, May 29, 2020

Mourning dove nest

Here's the pin in action. A mourning dove's nest with the usual clutch of two eggs.

There's leftover material which may end up in another destination! 

Back to weaving hats and stitching constellations.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Constellation piece

The first part of the constellation is completed, with windows of organdie inserted by reverse applique.

Not sure if the drawn-on hexies of the next section show up.  They're a bit faint. It that vanishing pen which will disappear when it's pressed.

But I'm getting quite pleased with this.

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Cashmere and silk pin components

The long piece,  5-stitch Icord, soaked and rolled by hand, now hanging with a weight on the end to stabilize the length.  Other pieces stitched with silk thread, seems appropriate.

Tomorrow I'll assemble these doings. There's still a bit of yarn left over. And with any luck, better light and better pix.

This bit of work today pulled me out of a bit of despond.    A slough, you might say.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

PostScript, wonderful blog for you

This is a lyrical and poetic blog. He posts infrequently, but it's worth the wait. Today there's a new post.

Just go there!

Reverse applique

So here are the first few of the constellation of hexies, reverse appliqued using organdie from a wedding sari.

 They work like windows, and I'm feeling hopeful about the progress of this one.  Selecting the exact part and direction of the fabric that shows through is like moving matboard around to shape an artwork. And each hexie is a separate artwork, but carries on the movement of the last one.

When I pick up needle and thread to work on these, tricky bits, a great sense of peace and continuity comes down.

 I stitched  for a little while last evening on these. Accompanied by audiobook Venetia by Georgette Heyer. Quite a good combo.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Current state of cashmere play

So here's where we are. All the cashmere fluff dizzed and spun, with some nubs discarded, and hair and bits of grasses and seeds picked out.

And I've been knitting it. My smallest needle is a size 2, bamboo, very good material for this purpose. A size one would have been even better but I didn't have one.

And here's what's up. I knit and think, knit and think.. and what, you ask, is this going to BE? You see the pinback there ready to be stitched on when the knitting is done and played with a bit? That's a clue.

Beyond that, don't ask me, I only work here!

Thursday, May 21, 2020

Cashmere fluff is now yarn

Here's the result of the dizzing and picking and spinning

The tools: fine crochet hook to draw the fiber through the diz, here a button, before setting the hook aside to continue with fingers, smallest spindle I have, though there are smaller ones in existence, and the resulting two cards of laceweight cashmere yarn

That was a great interlude. I realized a bit late that it would have been good to wear a mask, since the fibers were making me cough a bit. But it didn't affect my eyes at all, unlike spinning sheep fiber.

I learned such a lot about estimating the draw, getting a fairly consistent yarn, and remembering that you can't actually feel the fiber passing through your hand when you diz, unlike sheep fiber which is  coarser.

All in all an adventure. Thank you, goats and goatherder.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Knitting is programming

In the course of a convo on Twitter about women programming while knitting, someone posted a scrap of pattern*

And I thought I'd try it. Old motifs didn't always keep to the same number of stitches bper row, and this one, following the pattern meticulously, went from 12 to 8 in the course of the 18 row motif. Every row fitted the pattern, no extra nor missing stitches.

 It creates a wedge shape, but I think this would fit into a bigger work, with tge lines traveling more or less diagonally,  in a series of wedges. This might have been a pattern panel, too, with stockinette around it. Anyway, I thought it was fun to try.

If you want to, cast on 12 and go!

I have one quibble with this line of argument, which is that programmers are not following instructions, they're creating them for the computer to follow.  I'd say that knitting designers are programmers. The rest of us are more data entry people.

*Terrible photo quality, because I was following Twitter on tablet, had to take pic of pic on tablet via phone, which refused to upload to blogger,  which meant I had to take the pic on the phone with the tablet, then upload. The condition of the camera operator not much better than pic at this point, but I mean well!

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Cashmere Caper Two

I wound off the spinning from yesterday, and measured the wpi, that's wraps per inch, the way you measure various yarn weights.  This is 24 wpi, laceweight, I told you it was fine.

Then I went on to the darker fleece, slightly different texture, and harder to see dark guard hairs on dark fiber.  I dizzed this then spun from the fiber bunched up in my hand, i expect there's a technical term for this that I don't know. Dizzing dealt with a lot of hairs, but there are still a few. I can pull them as I go.

And I will soon have a tiny quantity of laceweight cashmere yarn and a question to self about what to make with it. Eggcosy? Dolliver scarf? Pin for self? Suggestions warmly received.

The Goat and I

So here's yesterday's foray into working with goat cashmere.

It was so good to handle, and, a bonus, since I never touched goat cashmere before, I found I'm not allergic to it. You never know. What a pleasure to handle. I had wondered about carding then decided it might be too harsh, so I just dizzed. See the tiny button, even tinier hole to pass the fiber through.

It worked fine, fibers going into place, easy to remove the few remaining guard hairs and bits of grass as I went. And it made the best spinning evah. This is my smallest spindle, but the fibers don't tend to separate anyway, so I could probably have gone heavier. The spinning motion is very good with this fiber, much less resistance than with other fibers I've used. So you can keep drafting, trusting that the spin is still happening.

Here's it's making a visit to local plant life, cameo appearance

It's five star. I'll diz more today if my fingers are agreeable, and spin, then we'll see what to make next with the resulting yarn.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

State of play in three acts

Since like most people, my concentration is shorter these days, I'm working on these three fronts more or less in turn:

The Dolliver Hat Project

Two done. The second is a bit different, the point flattened in to make a different shape, same procedure

This weaving, a lot of firm pulling in the process, is quite hard on your fingers, so it needs to switch to this

I've changed from the bright green fabric behind the yellow, too shouty, and replaced it with fussycut Indian sari organdy. Fussy cut is a silly term meaning cut so that a specific part of the fabric design is shown. Much happier with this, though it's a good bit harder to work with.  There may be beading, too.

And here's the latest arrival on the fiber front, with a portrait of the source

Cashmere, raw fiber, combed off a goat, wonderful surprise present, and ready to make its acquaintance with the diz. This is so soft you pick it up and have to check there's something in your hand. It smells very subtle, different from sheep fiber. You need to enjoy handling and smelling and knowing the source to really get the most from this experience. Which I plan to.

So that's  the current state of play around here. Play being the operative word.

Saturday, May 9, 2020

Hats beta version

So CallMeMichelle and NameMe modeled the beta testing hats. And they turned out a bit small, too fragile, too ready to fray. So more thinking needed.

And I concluded that several changes had to happen: different weft material, tougher, more vivid colors, springtime after all, different, bigger, loom, different warping so as to achieve fringeless finish. I learned all this from Hats One and Two. Sounds like Dr Seuss.

And the result was this setup

Ribbons, same warp thread, cotton, and a round loom that allows for warping with loops at warp ends. Yes, it's a circular saw blade, donated along with a couple of others to the studio by my contractor who thought they might work in mixed media. They're a bit heavy for that, but they're great looms. I made my entire Planet Series on them, most of which lives in collections now.

Anyway, back to hats.

This is the new weaving under way, with a section left unworked as before. I should explain this -- it's so that the two sides can be drawn and stitched together, to form a cone, which you can then manipulate further to a hat shape.

Here's the back of the loom, showing you the loops, the tape being what holds the warp ends im place until you're ready to remove the weaving.

Then the last band of color. This is really for CallMeMichelle because it's her sorority colors, the pink and green, but she's holding on to the test hat for now. You see the first loop released, ready to be drawn through till it snugs into the center.

So Blondie Firstborn generously (!) offered to model Hat Three.


And I'm now instructed to make four more, all different. So this little idea to whip up a few hats has now become seven hats, two looms, all the ribbon, tape, tiny tools.

But first I'm going for a walk.

Wednesday, May 6, 2020

Hat Two under way

Hat One, the weaving is done. After it's off the loom, more things will happen to it. For now it stays put, because on the other side of the loom is, ta-daaaaa Hat Two.

I stuck the scissors in so you can see that it's two works on one loom. Notice the change of color and stitching here? We're getting a bit fancy.

When this side is finished, I can cut the warp threads at the outside of the green binding, and there will be two separate pieces to work with.

At least that's the plan.

Monday, May 4, 2020

Hat One, Nearly Done

Here's the essential steel wire ready to weave in, so I can shape the brim.

 And after a few more rows, it vanishes.

 The ends you see can wait till it's off the loom to be pushed in.

I think I can ease a couple more rounds before I declare this bit done. I can't take it off, though, because I need the warp for Hat Two on the other side.

 After that we'll find out if it worked.

Hat Two will benefit from what I learned doing Hat One, and might be a bit fancier. I never make all the Dolliver kit the same, they being individuals and all.

So tomorrow, a new color or two, maybe a bit fancier stitching. If you're a longtime blogista around here, you'll have noticed that this is really just a big Dorset button.

Sunday, May 3, 2020

Weaving returns, going in circles

Since I carelessly mentioned hats and weaving recently, I've been thinking about a purely frivolous foray into Woven Hats for Dollivers.

 The only drawback is that I have to make five if I make one. But if we say nothing, I can see how one goes before plunging in.

I considered using spun paper, but that's a bigger project than I fancy, taking a lot of time. And a lot of spinning. So I thought natural dyed cotton in pale, summery colors might do it.

 Also it will withstand pulling to keep it firm.

I found a small hoop to use as a loom. I can do two hats on one warp, weaving each side of the warp.

 And as you see, I'm leaving a gap in the warp to allow for shaping. I'm starting with a green iris dyed thread.

We'll see how this goes. If successful it will quiet the Ds. anyway.