Thursday, July 30, 2015

Flatstock Dyeing, Anyone?

You know, no matter how much you know about a craft, there's always something else you can learn.

Last Sunday, I joined some of my colleagues from the Severn-Muskoka Knitting Guild for a flatstock dyeing workshop with Lynda Gemmell of Shelridge Yarns

In the interest of full-disclosure, dyeing isn't "my gig". It's too much like cooking, to me, but when we do it in a workshop setting, I can play along.  This is the second dye workshop I've taken with Lynda -- the first was hand-painting skeins.

The results of the day turned out like this:

My pieces are the ones with the pink in the foreground over the middle bar and the purple/iris blue over the back bar. 

Workshops are amazing things to go to with a group of creative people in your circle.  I can't recall who made the two pieces in the middle, but I know that Denise made the piece on the bottom left of the photo.  By Lynda's guidance and Denise's colour-sense, these will make some great socks!

Terry did the piece in the background with the sunset tones.  Like me, she did two pieces, and plans to make a sunset-themed piece.

The day after the workshop, once my work had dried, I unravelled the dyed blanks to create skeins.  This is how they turned out (forgive the low light of the photo):

After that, I washed the skeins to relax the yarn, then, after they were dry,  I wound them into cakes so that I can do centre-pull balls.  Because of the way I chose to paint the knitted blanks,  I got this cool-looking knitted cake that looks like a very expensive yarn kit that is currently on the market:

I'm pretty pleased with the result, and am currently working on a pattern to make a stole from the centre-back outward to the ends using a provisional cast-on.  Stay tuned to this blog.  I'll let you know what happens.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Weaving in Ends

To  me, weaving in ends are part of the process of knitting.  Sometimes, they are a little more than that.

Several times in my life, now, I've been graced to receive the nearly-finished articles made by another knitter who has passed away.  When an aunt passed away in 2000, I received two unfinished sweaters, one of which only needed the pocket bands and button bands.  Well, Canadian Guild of Knitters, a full-time job, and my own knitting projects kept me away from completing that one for a long time, but I did eventually get it done.  The bonus was that it fit my father (Aunt Linda's brother-in-law) perfectly.

Several months ago, a lady contacted me with some "scraps of yarn" she had received for me to donate on to another cause.  Yesterday, I took some time to go through the bag, and discovered this partially finished pair of booties and a matching bonnet. The yarn was cushy old Paton's Carefree Baby Sayelle.  If you've never had the chance to work with Sayelle from the 1970s, you've missed out on a soft, comfortable knitting experience.

This morning, as I threaded my tapestry needle and started to sew up these wee articles of clothing, I wondered about the lady who had done the knitting.  Was this set for the hospital gift shop?  Were they for a specific baby?  Was she just using up yarn, as I myself have done with so many baby things?  Was she older? (the style of the garments would suggest that she was probably a little older than myself.) Did she intend to make a matching coat for this?  There was an extra ball of yarn, but only one -- not quite enough for a jacket.

Just as happened when I worked on the final stages of Aunt Linda's cardigan, these questions floated through my mind.  All the while, I knew that I wasn't only weaving in the ends of this project, I was helping to weave in some of the ends of another knitter's earthly existence.  It felt good.

And, as if finishing these items weren't enough, once I've added the ribbons (I think white, don't you?), I will donate them to charity.  I think the knitter, whoever she is, will be pleased.

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

It was a rainy day...

However, instead of sitting under the shelter of the front porch, knitting, I was inside with my laptop, updating a bunch of things while sipping a nice cup of tea.

Yesterday I had a great meeting with Carla Canonico of A Needle Pulling Thread.  We talked about information she plans to include in upcoming issues, and things I could be doing to "spread the word" for her, as it were.

First on the list is blog more.  This was my commitment to myself this year, and, to have this be only  my third post of 2015, I am clearly being lax about it, so I promise, dear reader, to do better.

The second was to upload some information on Ravelry about recent knitting patterns that have appeared in the magazine.  The editors of the magazine have created a store with patterns for all kinds of projects that have appeared in the magazine.  My humble offerings are there, too.

So, this early afternoon, I spent some time on Ravelry, creating posts on the ANPT group (Yes, there is an ANPT mag group on Ravelry) and some links to various patterns.

There is a lot going on at ANPT, including KnitMuch, an on-line presence just for knitters that complements both the magazine and their other on-line initiative, QuiltSocial.

I just love the swirly heart logo on the KnitMuch website.  It reminds me of my own tag line "For The Love of Knit".  The KnitMuch tag line is "to k is to love", and both sentiments sum up my feelings nicely.

Do you want to know a secret?  The inspiration for this logo actually comes from a beautiful hand-hooked heart that Carla made years ago that graces the door to a room off her entryway.  If, like me, you think this logo is pretty, you should see her original piece!

The summer issue of A Needle Pulling Thread is nearly ready to hit the mail and newsstands.  It's always exciting to see the colourful offerings each new issue brings.

Now, I think I will go and sit on the porch, and work on some knitting.  Enjoy the day.