Friday, December 19, 2014

Fire & Water

I started just playing around with different colour combinations, since I have a lot of colours to work with, this year, so I made a scarf with a combination of red/orange/yellow in the warp.  I was going to do the whole weft in a lighter yellow (as you see in the bottom right of the photo) but decided that the light colour was washing out all of the vibrancy of the warp.  I plopped some orange stripes in there, and that helped, so then I switched to some darker paprika stripes and liked that too.  For the darkest colour, I also shrunk the width of the stripe, just to keep things interesting.  I think the way it changes looks pretty cool.

Then I decided to try something with a greenier tone, so I put a couple of pale greens and a yellow in the next warp and wove it with a light blue and a darker blue/green, in an unequal ratio.  The combination of colours makes me think of Aquaman, though I'm sure no kids today would even know who that is.

Friday, December 12, 2014

It's Time to Light the Lights

Two more scarves for the kids:

I was looking at an example of the clasped weft technique in one of my old weaving magazines, a while ago, and had an epiphany, that I could use it to make a cool zig-zag scarf.  It didn't take long to get from there to the idea of a Kermit the Frog scarf, emulating the little green pointy collar he has around his neck.  The technique worked perfectly and was so easy!  Maybe I'll use it again sometime to do something more harlequin-y.

Having done a Kermie scarf, I thought the pink and purple one I followed up with might suit Miss Piggy, since it made me think of her purple opera gloves.  I chose a bunch of colours for evenly spaced stripes in the warp and then did a two-colour stripe for the weft.  It's nicer than this, in person, I just couldn't get the colours right in the photo.

More to come!

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Season for Scarves

So it's that time of year again, where I occupy my weaving loom (Miss Bennet) with a whole series of quick and fun and colourful scarves for donation.  This year I inadvertently started out with a bit of a Disney theme, since my first inspiration was to weave a scarf for all the little girls who want to be Elsa, from Frozen.  I just picked a handful of representative colours and did the warp randomly, and the weft in little stripes of two colours.

Then my next thought was of a recent favourite Disney lady of mine, Merida, from Brave.  I did a tartan-ish design (she's Scottish, so duh) and used the colours of her dress and hair to weave it.  I really love how it turned out, particularly since I was lazy about it and just used two of the colours for weft, when there were so many more in the warp.

My third inspiration was Maleficent, from the recent movie version with Angelina Jolie.  I used a bunch of darker colours in the warp (and again two in stripes in the weft) but this time did an inlay technique with a couple of shades of green (like green misty magic.)  Well, the two shades of green turned out to be a bit too close, since they look pretty much like the same yarn, and the mist might look more like PacMan, but I still think it's really cool how it turned out.

I have another scarf on the loom right now, but am always looking for inspiration, if you have any ideas...

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Ariel Socks

Even though I put a great deal of effort into knitting up my whole variegated sock yarn stash, last year, there are still times when seeing a particularly beautiful skein makes me weak in the knees.  When I saw this yarn at the Loopy Ewe, a fuzzy warm BFL called Willow, from Huckleberry Knits, I noticed not only the amazing colours but that the colourway was named Little Mermaid.  How could I resist that?

I started out using a 2.25 mm birch circular, on the first sock, but somewhere around the heel of that sock, the needle tip broke off (ugh) so I transferred everything to a 2.25 mm steel circular.  Being as the needles were the same measurement, I never imagined that the two socks would turn out so different!  You can clearly see the different ways the colours stack on each foot, and somehow it even looks like there's a limey green in the right foot (there isn't.)  It turns out that my stitches are a wee bit snugger and tidier on a steel circular.  This may change everything.

I have another variegated sock yarn on the needles right now, and it's doing something even crazier, but that will be a topic for another day.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Jollyoly Hat

A couple of weeks ago, my HLM realized it's autumn.  Soon after, he realized that his Opie Hat has gone missing, and requested another one.  I told him that I'd get around to knitting him one, soon, and then, as I was motoring through the mall on the way to an appointment, I came upon a little craft store that had some yarn in the window.  I popped in and grabbed a ball of some nice-ish acrylic to make his Opie Hat.  Then I spotted a ball of lovely soft silvery nylon/acrylic sportweight and fell in love with it.

I decided it needed to be a hat, and once I got home I started scrolling through the patterns on Ravelry to find something great.  I found the Jollyoly hat and thought that it would marry up well with this particular yarn, so I started it as soon as I was done the Opie Hat.

I got gauge right away and began to knit, only to discover after a few inches that it seemed a bit tight.  Now, if you look at the original pattern photos, they show a loose, slouchy, chic hat.  I scrolled through some of the finished projects and found a lot of snug toques.  Not exactly what I wanted.  So I improvised.  I ripped it all back to naught and cast on again, this time for one size bigger, using a size bigger needles, as well.  This time, the hat seemed loose enough for the fit I wanted.  I added an extra repeat of the design, as well, to add some length, and was mostly happy with how it fit.  Then I added the pom pom (made from a bunch of leftover madtosh tosh merino light, a pretty posh pom pom for an acrylic hat) and the weight of it helps the hat to hang just right.

Ready for autumn.

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Porthos Socks

There's this great designer on Ravelry that goes by the name "Caoua Coffee" - this person cranks out beautiful patterns, mostly for socks and little accessories, and gives them all away for free!  As someone always on the hunt for fabulous and fun things to make, I certainly won't even try to resist a whole flock of well-designed patterns that are free for me to enjoy.

This time I chose a simple knit/purl design, no cables or lace or anything fancy at all.  I matched it up with a lovely shade of Knit Picks Stroll sock.  The photos really don't do this colour justice - it's called Jackrabbit Heather, and it's the prettiest grey brown heather.

The socks were a lot of fun to knit, and looked really cool on the needles, the way the knit columns sway back and forth, based on the tension of the ribbing/garter stitch surrounding them.  Once they're on the foot, the swaying is less pronounced, but they do make a nice manly lattice.  Yep, they're for gifting, to one lucky dude.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Snowflakes in Red

Every serious crafter knows you'd better have your holiday ducks in a row by the time the leaves start changing, or you'll be caught in a mad panic, come December.

I'm pretty well on top of things this year (it helps that I don't really participate much in exchanging gifts at the holidays) and am just enjoying this cute set of striped towels before I get serious about working on my charity weaving.

Don't you just love 'em?

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fair Isle Hood

Throughout my years of making things, people have sometimes called me an artist, and I balk at the term, as I've usually considered myself a crafter, not an artist.  It is something that has dogged me, actually - the dividing line between art and craft - and there are only a couple of times that I've made something that I might actually consider art.

This is one of those times.

I had an idea spark in my mind one day, and the more I thought about it, the more I was amused and entertained by that idea.  The more I thought about it, the more I thought of little details (fair isle, buttons, short row shaping) that would make it perfect.  And the more I thought about it, the more I really wanted to make it.

It's wool, it's not really practical, and the button is purely decorative, since it doesn't even have a buttonhole under there, so it's not really a useful object in the end (is that what makes it art?)  But it's awesome and I love it.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Celebratory Towels

So it's just another photo-heavy post to show off the completed, washed & dried & ironed towels, because I'm so delighted with how they look, both individually and as a set.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

More Twill Towels

For the fourth towel, I changed to a different set of weft colours.  This one had less contrast again, with a blue and black weft.  What a change in tone from the previous three towels!  All the colours are still there, but much more muted.

Then I brought in the brightest colour of them all, the light green, and made the fifth towel with all the contrast, in black and green.

Then I did the last one in green and blue, a little less contrast and tonally more similar.

But wait!  I finished the sixth and final towel only to realize I had tons of warp left on the loom.  When I initially planned out the pattern, I thought the magazine allowed for an unnecessarily long warp, and upon getting to this point in the weaving, I realized that I easily had room for another towel.  My first thought was to use the last of each colour to do a really variegated stripey weft, but I was sort of done with swapping shuttles and winding bobbins.  I couldn't bear to waste such a pretty warp, though, all ready to go.  I decided I'd use some spare 10/2 cotton I had, in white, without any stripes at all.  This made something completely different and a bit unexpected and I really really like it.  The colours are softened a bit, and the blocks look like changing transparencies of glass over the stripes of colours.

Now to finish them up!