Saturday, June 30, 2012

Progress--Knitted Lace Blanket Edging

Remember this piece of handspun knitted lace?  It just got a new home--on the edge of the handspun, handwoven blanket I made! 

I machine stitched two rows of straight stitching across the top of the blanket, cut the fringe close and carefully turned it to the back and sewed it down.  Then I added the knitted lace and carefully sewed it to the seam, making sure to cover the trimmed warp ends.

The blanket is pinned to the ironing board cover and each of the tips of the lace have been stretched (2.5" from the blanket) to show the pattern.  I had sprayed the lace edge with water before I pinned it out and sprayed it again once I finished pinning.  Now it's back to knitting while the lace dries.  I have a bottom edge that needs covering too!

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Color and Dye Class with Robin Edmundson

Shetland wool
 Robin Edmundson gave a class on color theory and acid dyeing last weekend at St. Mary of the Wood's White Violet Center.    I had a great time!

My favorite part of the class is the way my brain started to reel as I tried to grasp some of Albert Munsell's color theory.  The main idea is to imagine a sphere with the named colors (red, yellow, green, etc.) running around the equator.  At the top of the sphere the colors fade to white.  At the bottom, they fade to black.  From the skin of the sphere towards the center line the colors loose intensity, fading to greys.  I got most of that.  It was when they skewed the sphere that my brain started to hurt! (At some point I'll get a copy of "The New Munsell Student Color Set" and work on that skewing some more!

In the mean time, I have been merrily cutting photos out of magazines and pasting them onto color scheme pages.  Deciding what to do with the color schemes and my dyes is yet to come!

Cascade 220--not quite cardboard-esq
 This skein of yarn (cascade 220) and the shetland roving above were both dyed with stripes of intense color unevenly mixed with stripes of less intense color.  I was aiming to reproduce the shadow effects in a photograph of a stack of corrugated cardboard.  Both dye jobs failed.  Drat!

The shetland is a very orange, almost coppery.  It's actually a pretty color and I like's just not cardboard-esq.  The skein of yarn suffered from an overfull dye pot.  It had to sit on the counter for 30 minutes or more and the colors wicked at different rates, breakin the brown into yellows and greens. Dooh!  It's a great chromatography experiment and maybe a bit like camouflage, but not cardboard colored.  I'll have to try again later!

 Robin gave each of the students a few extras to play with.  This is some firestar, a nylon fiber that shimmers.  I dyed it with red, orange and yellow.  It's pretty!  I also have some nylon ribbon that I dyed in the same colorway.  Yum!
Mohair/acrylic blend

This was a test dye job.  I have some leftover cones of acrylic/mohair yarn.  I wanted to see if they would take the dye.  They did!  The yellow in the center of the photo is the original color of the yarn.  The orange/red is the dyed mohair.  The black...well, that's dye from the dark blue sample I was trying to overdye.  Now I know that I can dye the mohair blend...and I should not trust the dark blue dye!

gradient in blues and greens

This last skein, also Cascade 220, was dyed twice.  In class I used green and blue green, a bit of yellow and a touch of light blue.  I also intentionally kept a section of the skein undyed.  After it came out of the dye pot, it looked awful!  There was such contrast between the deep greens and blue-greens and the natural yarn!  Yuck!

When I got home I set up a sun dye pot and added some dilute "brillant blue" and black.  The result was a lovely dusty blue on the natural section of the skein which is significantly less jarring that the natural was!

What a fun and informative class!  Many thanks to Robin and the folks at the White Violet Center!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Hanspun Wool--Bits and Pieces

 Summer is in full swing here at my house.  My kids are staying up late and getting up late and my quiet project time seems to have disappeared!

This bit of lace edging is one of my new projects.  I was able to knit during an episode of StarTrekVoyager last night (we've been watching them regularly as a family.  It's kind of fun to watch a show like this all together!).  I have to keep track of my progress row by row or else I get distracted and am lost.  I've also been using a "life-line" (it's the blue cord in the photo).  At the end of every complete pattern in the lace, I pull out the cord and thread it back into the new starting point.  So far I've only had to rip back to the life line once!

The edging pattern is from the book "The Best of Knitter's Magazine, Shawls and Scarves".  It was designed as part of a christening blanket by Priscilla Gibson-Roberts.  I'm using handspun, brownish-grey wool on Brittany 3.5 mm straight needles.  The lace is springy, stretchy, and as you can see in the photo, shows the lace stitches beautifully (even without blocking!).

The goal is to knit two forty inch long strips of the lace and use it as a blanket edging.  I wove two greens and a grey into some striped yardage recently and want to turn it into a throw blanket. 
The plan is to cut the yardage into two strips and to piece them together (dark green as the outer edges).  The knitted lace will help hide the raw warp ends at the top and bottom edges of the blanket.

We'll see how it turns out.  Right now they are just bits and pieces of a project in the works!