Friday, 4 April 2008


I finished the Spun Swing Jacket. No photos since it's well after dark, but I just had to share. More to come!

I'm now plotting what to do with all the other Spun I have. A felted bag perhaps?

And I did a spot of dying as promised And as promised it was indeed much fun. I am now obsessively scouring the op shop and my stash for yarns I could dye. I've even been eyeing off 2 balls of white alpaca I bought specifically for knitting a white bunny. Talk about desperate. I bought out the local supermarket of black food colour and the local spotlight of concentrated dye pastes. I have no idea what I will do with all these odds - most of the skeins are too small for anything much - but the process is so interesting that I can't stop. I love how fluid the whole thing is, and how unexpected the results can be. The yarn you start with has a tremendous influence and since I have no idea what most of it is I'm starting from a pretty loose base. Add to that the way things look different wet and before cooking and cooling and the way the colours all cross infect in the cooking and really, it's total pot luck. Love it!

I gave Amy free reign on this skein of about 70gms of 8 ply with the promise of making her a new winter hat, and I actually love the way her colour combinations are so bold and yet totally askew. I can't wait to see how it looks after it's been on the ball winder and then how it knits!

But right now I am wading through the kusha kusha scarf. This is not at all pleasant to knit, the super fine stands tangle really easily and I find the stitches very hard to keep in the right tension. I have to fight against my natural inclination to be tight because it makes it impossible to move the itty bitty stitches on the needles, and when I knit unnaturally loose, I find it really hard to hold the yarn. But I absolutely love the utterly bizarre fabric that it coming out the other end of this uncomfortable process. As D said, kind of like steel wool but soft. I'll update you a little further on with some pics.

And the start back at work was great. Not least of all because I got to listen to two whole podcasts during the commute - Y knit with an interview with Jess and Casey from Ravelry and Cast On with a whole section on the Monmoth cap pattern. So loving the podcast thing.

The latter was very topical because I'm currently preparing two new classes I'm teaching for winter - one on knitted hats and another on crochet toys and afghans. I've been thinking a lot about patterns I like on these two topics, and thinking beyond the patterns too. Thinking about underlying principles and conceptual approaches and how to empower absolute beginners to take a pattern as a starting point for an adventure, not a script they have to fret over.

So I'd love to hear from anyone about recommendations for knit hat and crochet toy patterns they like, or think are interesting, or which taught them something or set them free.


Suse said...

They're gorgeous! It's so addictive, isn't it? Did you use the microwave method for the food colour dyes, or cauldron?

le chat qui coud said...

looks great!

sexy said...