Monday, March 17, 2008

From Fleece to Skein

The fiber is Blue Faced Leicester, a part of a fleece dyed in osage orange at a workshop in Peters Valley in 2003, after scouring and mordanting it in alum. To process it, I combed the locks on English hand-held combs and then spun and plied it. This week we had a combing demonstration at North Country Spinners, given by MaryLou. At Soar in 2004 I took Robin Russo's excellent Fiber Prep workshop and learned to use the various combs and diz. I'm still working on my plying, tho. I really love the way it turned out.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Socks in the Works

After breaking quite a few of my beloved wooden #1 and #0 needles, losing them on the bus and knitting more slowly for fear of both reasons above, I decided to give the magic loop another try.

Friday, March 07, 2008

Birthday Present for The D.B.

This is one of those wonderful projects that just sort of designed itself. And, one inspired by Ravelry. What a difference it makes to go through the stash, as embarrassing as the totals turned out to be. But, I found a baggie with Lopi, 1 skein of recycled sari silk and a swatch I'd felted.

I started out thinking I'd make a pillow to felt. As I cast on -- again and again -- it just didn't feel right. I kept frogging it. Next I tried to make a bag but the fabric didn't feel right. Finally, I remembered I wanted to make the nested boxes for The D.B. (The Dearly Beloved) who just adores containers for emptying her pockets and bags into.

It just so happens that The D.B. has a birthday this coming Monday. So, I'm making a small table mat and a box from Lopi (see photo) and Himalaya Yarns recycled sari silk. I'm going to knit the mat until the Lopi is finished.

The inspiration for the box is, of course, from Mason-Dixon Knitting -- the nested boxes. My variations: I used one strand of Lopi with one strand of the silk. And, I won't be felting it.

A test swatch I did some time ago was lovely but it muted the silk. The D.B. loves the vibrancy of the colors as they are. I used #11 needles so the fabric is tight enough now to hold its shape, albeit softly. I also only but handles in the two small sides. Next time I won't put in any handles as the somewhat compromise the stiffness of the sides.
I've used two whole skeins of the silk and will use about 1/4 of this third one in the photo. The colorway doesn't seem to matter as the purple unifies them all.

The finished dimensions:
Box: 4" deep and 6"x7"