FOFriday 8-31-18

We are finally nearly moved in to our new house and working on figuring out what our new weekly schedule will look like (things like baby-sitting youngest niece on Mondays) and how to work a re-opened shop into that.

CIG_IMG001.jpg

Basket for outgoing items. The base is a ramen box and the covering is essentially a sock. I used one of the Joseph's Coat balls, knit a rectangular bottom, and then picked up stitches and knit in the rounds until the tube was long enough to go up the inside, over, and down to the base. I finished off with single crochet. This was a good project for watching videos as it was pretty basic.

CIG_IMG002.jpg

Basket for bits and ends. This idea still needs some work as I'm not really satisfied with the finishing on top (like that the plastic base is visible where the body of the work ends and the edging begins. This started life as a large yogurt container. I cut the solid rim off and made 37 ribs (I didn't count when cutting, just wanted them about equal) and then wove manufactured yarn through the plastic warp. The plain weave areas needed an odd number of ribs and the squares needed an even number so I overlapped the same two ribs when ever I needed to make the number even. I finished the edges by folding and tucking them under the weft on the inside of the basket and then crocheted in a manner that was intended to attach to the weft and *not* show the base, but  couldn't find a way that really accomplished that.

FOFriday 7-6-18

This is a Noreen Crone-Findlay Friday since both projects were inspired by her videos on YouTube.

CIG_IMG004.jpg

The completed Tenerife lace. I used a standard sized crochet cotton that I had tea dyed a couple of years ago. The color change from the tea doesn't show up much any more, there are just a few small patches that are more brown than the rest. The thin cotton gives the finished piece more "body" than I'd anticipated. I'd expected it to be extremely floppy and it's only about half-floppy. Whether or not I starch it will depend on what I decide its final use is. If I use it in a beach-cover or other garment it won't need starched at all.

I liked the idea from the video of only putting in half of the spokes to start with so that the center isn't too dense to work easily. Adding spokes when the space between gets to wide for tidy work makes the darning stitches more effective as well as giving wider design scope. I'm quite happy to have found another possible use for the knitting looms since I really do prefer to do my knitting on needles.

CIG_IMG005.jpg

The plan for this bag came from another of Crone-Findlay's videos. I only watched it once and that led me to make a couple mistakes in construction that meant one of the possible pockets had to be on the outside or else closed all together. Making a wider crochet border that starts a little above the bottom corner was my answer to try to secure any items that would be in that pocket. Over all I'm not dis-satisfied with the final item, but there are definite changes I would make to bring any subsequent items more into line with the one from the video. 

If I were to line the bag I might *need* to put the pockets on the outsides, so I'm not sure if I would line it.

WIPWednesday 7-4-18

Happy and blessed Independence Day

CIG_IMG002.jpg

I'm trying to average a four-row repeat every day on this shawl. I changed my mind on the secondary yarn. I found some of my  white handspun silk so that only the spin texture changed. That was important because the other yarn ended at almost exactly the same spot so having as little change in the second yarn as possible helped keep continuity. Once the white handspun was gone I used some Koolaid dyed handspun silk. I used Grape flavor which means that it isn't actually purple but shades of blue, pink, and grey. I'd like to use the pastel soy-silk next to continue the sheen and increase the purple, but it's very fine so I don't know if I can. After that I have a light purple kid mohair that seems like a good candidate.

CIG_IMG003.jpg

Actually getting close to finished. I have hopes of getting done by next week, although probably not in time for Friday's post. The edging makes a huge difference in the look. It doesn't do anything to regularize the shape though.

CIG_IMG001.jpg

Approximately the sixth start of what is intended to be a Faroese style shawl using recycled cashmere yarn. Faroese shawls have a unique shape that somewhat resembles a butterfly.  They are traditionally worked from the bottom up, but I never know if I'll have enough yarn so I play it safe and work from the top.

WIPWednesday 6-27-18

CIG_IMG002.jpg

Moving along on the shawl. The silk secondary thread is almost gone and I decided to use the pastel soy-silk that was the main handspun at the beginning of the shawl.

CIG_IMG005.jpg

Nearly finished with second triangle. I think I'll just make the two and use them in a mini-bag instead of making several triangles into large triangles and then a full-size bag.

CIG_IMG003.jpg

Combining the ideas of the Dutch channel on weaving with a knitting loom and Noreen Crone-Findlay's video on using a hexagonal pin loom to make Teneriffe lace led to this sample. It seems to work pretty well, although I think I may work any subsequent pieces with the pegs facing the other direction since the working thread keeps getting caught on them.

FOFriday 6-22-18

IMG_2648.jpg
IMG_2649.jpg

Saori-style Magic Ball vest is finished. I did a single crochet border on all edges to make them less likely to stretch out of shape due to the varying thicknesses and textures of yarn. Victoria doesn't approve of this random approach *at all* and I have to admit that I'd rather so much of the heavily textured novelty yarn hadn't ended up on the left shoulder. Over all, I do think that the shape and general idea works pretty well but I'm not sure about this particular example.

IMG_2647.jpg

A continuous weave sample using a large circular knitting loom as the frame. The idea was from a Dutch (I think) YouTube account. I had to watch a few times to get the hang of it, but that was my own fault because the demonstrator does a very good job of showing exactly what she's doing at every step. This was made with two strands of worsted weight yarn that I wove double, as with the triangle, and I don't think anything thinner would work and the doubled weaving was also necessary or the final piece would be much to floppy (I believe the weaving term is "sleazy"). Nearly the entire edge is securely fastened during the weaving, but there is a bit on one side that needs secured in some manner, in this case a knotted loop of yarn. That is because of the back-and-forth weaving in the middle of the piece but if I'd been willing to cut the yarn I could have made sure that was secure as well. Because I didn't want to cut the yarn used in the sample I used a crochet hook to draw loops to the far side. The edge the loops were drawn from is secure because it is still interwoven with other strand, but the edge they were drawn *to* needed to be secured.

WIPWednesday 6-20-18

CIG_IMG006.jpg

The new pattern for the brioche bag. I think the braids work pretty well.

CIG_IMG001.jpg

Decided that the two panels would be sufficient. They will be seamed half way for the back and then the front angles will be seamed to continue the angle of the back points.

CIG_IMG004.jpg

Took this out and completely restarted it because the slip-stitch outer edge wasn't expanding fast enough to keep up with the inside edge and was going to cause pucker. Went the opposite direction by adding a seed stitch band with an extra chain stitch at the end of every row.

FOFriday 6-8-18

CIG_IMG002.jpg

Bias-lace knitted blanket with crocheted border. 

CIG_IMG004.jpg

Knitting loom brioche sample. I accidentally changed something a few rows in that reversed the angle. Although it is very much like a needle-worked brioche I think the final product is too loose for most of the things I make and that, combined with not knowing what made the angle change, makes me think that I will probably stick to regular brioche. 

WIPWednesday 6-6-18

CIG_IMG009.jpg

Handspun combined in a Magic ball along with a thin manufactured silk are being run together, instead of trading rows like with the other Magic Ball projects, using an Afghan Ripple stitch to make a shawl. Not sure what I'll do when I run out of the silk. Fortunately there's a lot of it for how tiny the ball is.

CIG_IMG001.jpg

The tutorial I linked Sunday mentioned weaving a denser fabric by having two loops on each nail, so I'm seeing how that works. I'm using cotton yarn that was originally intended, and cut for, washcloth warp so there are a lot of tiny knots. I'm not quite sure what I'm going to do with the piece when finished, but I'm considering making the triangle bag that Doreen Crone-Finely showed on YouTube.

CIG_IMG006.jpg

This is intended to be a knitted kurti made with a number of strips seamed together. The very different thicknesses of the cotton strands make the motifs much flatter and lighter than if I just used the thick pink yarn, but also gives body and speed of work that it wouldn't have if using only the light thread. This is experimental, but I've wanted to use the pink cotton yarn for a tunic ever since it was given to me and I'm hopeful this will be a good way to do so. Iris Schrier's book Modular Knitting has a scarf that gave me the general idea as it is made of two rows of the knitted squares that are seamed together.

CIG_IMG007.jpg

The brioche shell for a bag with a light sage green lining that has been on my mind for about a year. I've actually restarted the base since this photo was taken and will now be working a braided-look stitch pattern. Hopefully this will be the last restart though.

CIG_IMG008.jpg

The saori inspired Magic Ball vest is on to the second wide panel.

FTS Congo radio spot leads to freedom

A radio was one of the few contacts with the outside world for three Congolese village girls who had been lured with the promise of jobs as waitresses only to find that the cafe was actually a brothel. Along with many general ads was one from Free the Slaves alerting the girls that there was a Community Protection Committee in that area. Somehow one of the girls was able to contact a member of the committee who called the police.  The girls were freed and their rescue led to the closure of not only the place they were held at but also six others. It is very heartening to see these community based organizations really stepping up and producing results around the world.

Textile Sunday 6-3-18

CIG_IMG005.jpg

Since I mentioned continuous strand weaving last week when talking about my sister's blanket I need to repair, I thought I'd do a post about that. This YouTube video gives a good explanation of the mechanics of the weaving as well as some tips on how to handle different thicknesses and textures of yarn. There are also videos on weaving using square, rectangle, and hexagon looms that I've spent a lot of time checking out this last week.

FOFriday 6-1-18

CIG_IMG014.jpg

A Magic Ball of handspun and one of manufactured yarn. The one made of handspun has no other criteria so the yarn is of many lengths, thicknesses, and colors. The one made from manufactured yarn has the Painted Desert colorway between each of the other colors which are all hues found in the colorway. The Warm Brown colorway will be the contrast color in this case.

IMG_2626.jpg

The knitted portion of the blanket is now finished. I will add a crocheted border using a baby-weight yarn that has pink, white, blue, and yellow to bring all the colors and textures together.

WIPWednesday 5-30-18

Photos that went with last week's post now that the camera is working again.

CIG_IMG004.jpg
CIG_IMG005.jpg

And now for this week's projects. There are a lot of them because I had a bit of a brain-storm late last week and started a bunch of new projects that are somewhat experimental.

CIG_IMG012.jpg

The first edge of the carpet is wrapped and the only thing needed is to use a needle to hide the ends of the yarn joins. Looking up ways to make the joins without long ends is what led me to making a bunch of "magic balls" and prevented my getting any further on the carpet.

CIG_IMG013.jpg

One of those Magic Ball projects. The plan is for there to be three center-increase panels of this width, two for the front and one for the back, and two narrower ones for the sides to make a vest. I made this ball random other than needing to have a smooth yarn between every heavily textured yarn so as to make the joins easier. The product reminds me a bit of SAORI weaving (link goes to YouTube playlist since Wikipedia didn't recognize the term) with its combination of yarns and textures balanced by a plain warp, or in this case the cotton yarn.

CIG_IMG015.jpg

A slightly rectangle lace baby blanket knit on the bias. I separated each length of colored baby-weight yarn with a white yarn and then used pale pink as the balance yarn so that the blanket could be used for either a boy or girl. I will add a border when the knitting is done.

CIG_IMG017.jpg

There's not enough on the finished side to show what's going on here so I just had EK get a photo from the top. This is a sock knitting loom that I don't really use because I've found it easier to just knit the socks on needles. I found a YouTube video on loom knitting brioche and decided to try it since brioche on needles is very time consuming. This is pretty much experimental right now as I will have to see what the finished product is like before I can decide if it is better or worse than what I currently make.

WIPWednesday 5-23-18 (late)

This is late because EK has spent the last two days trying to get the camera to connect to the cloud to upload the project photos she took. I hope the issue isn't that the connectivity hardware/software in the computer is going bad, although a major electronics manufacturer having their servers down for a couple days isn't good either, as wireless is the only way provided to upload photos. In the future I may consider it worthwhile to pay extra for direct-connect capacity through the computer, if that's even still available.

So, although there's no photographic proof, I have finished the weaving-in of ends for the carpet and have now moved on to the edging. I did start the herringbone as threatened, but my yarn seems a little too thin to get complete coverage of the edges so I moved to doing crochet after all. I do owe a debt of gratitude to the YouTube video that showed the herringbone edge because I hadn't realized I needed to fold the edge *towards the front* and would have done it incorrectly.

I am also starting work on repairing, as much as I can which is uncertain, a blanket that I wove for my sister about ten years ago. The repair is complicated by many factors. There is both old and new damage, her "bugs" (Boston Terrier/Pug mixes) chewed it almost as soon as I gave it to her and, although they never purposefully damaged it since, get their chew toys and such caught in it and, being dogs, aren't careful in freeing them. That would be a problem no matter what, but the blanket's construction is what creates the level of difficulty. It was woven as a 3-color tartan twill on a triangle loom and then all the triangles were seamed to make a rectangle. The different colors would make the thing interesting enough in terms of finding ends and trying to keep the pattern reasonable but the triangle weaving, where the warp is integral to the weft and is done as the work progresses, means that the yarn changes direction repeatedly. It is especially interesting whenever a direction change indicates the edge of a triangular piece since the seam with the adjacent piece must be carefully negotiated to not cause further damage. Over-all I'm fairly sure I can improve the condition of the piece, but I'm also quite confident that it is impossible to entirely repair.

Sunday textiles 5-20-18: wedding edition

I realized this morning that I didn't have anything for a post, mostly because the entire fiber world seemed taken up by a certain wedding in Britain that I didn't care about particularly. Fortunately I remembered a Twitter series by Fashion historian Kate Strasdin that was interesting. It was a fantasy 40's era wedding with examples from all the top designers of the day and Kate's reason for why she had chosen each sample for the character (Bride, Mother-of-the-Bride, etc.). The 40s are more modern than my preferred styles, although I don't hate them like some even more modern "ironic" styles that I feel are an insult to both fabric and wearer, so the thread was very educational. Hopefully at some point the entire thing will have the "thread unroll" done to it, I don't know how, and it will be even easier to read.

FOFriday 5-18-18

No photos again this week. I made a couple more flavors of "mochi chews". The watermelon pickle brine was a surprising success. Sweet and tangy with a hint of baking spices. The lychee syrup would probably have been a success if I had put the fruit and liquid into another container in the fridge instead of leaving them in the can. It ended up causing a "tinny" flavor that comes through in the sweets. The flavors I want to try next are matcha tea, I will probably use the prepared tea as the water for the mochi, and pandan which is an extract of the screw-pine plant and apparently is used in Asia much as vanilla is used in the west.

The other thing finished is much less satisfying. The board has voted to shut down Knit'n Kitten Fiber Arts, Inc. due to problems with the formation papers and a misunderstanding on my part about public vs. private charities when the organization was formed. I will continue maintaining this website, donating to abolition organizations and generally supporting needlework and liberty in my capacity as a private person. I still hope to see a strong organization in the future, but it is important that it have the right foundations and what we had didn't qualify. 

Former victim helping others learn to recognize trafficking.

It is definitely worthwhile to read the entire story of Tebby Kaisara's journey from Botswana to what she thought was to be a university education and part-time job, to abused and unpaid domestic help for another student from Africa, and eventually to not just freedom for herself but helping others learn how to avoid trafficking situations. Her life will probably never be simple or easy, and there will always be both physical and emotional scars, but she is moving forward in a life of liberty with the help of others who walk alongside her and offer support on a path that, although not of her choosing, she has made the decision to face with courage and hope.

Follow @Knitn_Kitten