Sunday, January 27, 2008

Fearless Knitting

I have been reading the "Handweaver's Pattern Directory" by Anne Dixon. The first time through I was amazed. The second time through (ok. I'm not reading all the text each time, but I'm looking through it for inspiration and instruction) I was inspired. By the third time through, fear had gripped me. --I don't know how to use color. I am the colorless queen. I'm the girl who sends pink and variegated pink yarn to her grandmother to make a baby blanket...and the grandmother comments under her breath about the lack of color sense and then proceeds to add two more yarns(blue and turquoise) and make a blanket that is gorgeous!

I read the "Knitting Daily" site hosted by Interweave press and they recently talked about "fearless knitting". One of the comments was something to the effect of "it's just yarn and sticks, knit stitches and purl stitches. What is so scary about that!?"

That's when I decided it was time to conquer my fear. I know nothing about color. And I am still a bit intimidated by the color work in the pattern directory, but I now know how my eight colors of 10/2 cotton work together.

I warped an 8" x 2 yard sampler. Each color was one inch in the reed with a sett of 30 epi. I played around with the color order on a little card before I warped the loom, so I knew I liked this color order better than others I had tried.

The first thing I learned was that a twill sett (30 epi) and tabby weaving produce a warp faced fabric. Actually, I "knew" that. But maybe this time I will remember it! The twill weaving 1/3 and then 2/2 worked just great at the twill sett.

I tried some of the weft color changes suggested in the pattern directory. They worked just fine. I'm not sure that I'm in love with any of the patterns yet, but it was good to try them and do some work with two shuttles.

Near the end of my warp I cut the sample off and re-sleyed the reed at 23 epi and did a second section of tabby. What a difference! I actually wove a balanced tabby!

The pictures from top to bottom in the post are 1)twill sett tabby, 2) tabby sett tabby, 3)twill sett stripes, and 4) a bobbin wound with four different bits of yarn. The bobbin worked just fine when I tucked the tail from each color in under the last wrap to keep it from unwinding while I wove with a different color.


nikko said...

This looks very cool! What a fun hobby you have.

Ritsumei said...

The one at the top is very pretty!