The weather is perfect for some photography today – cloudy and bright with a soft even light. I’m taking photos of Shelridge Farm’s beautiful Soft Touch DK weight wool for the BKK website. I’ve recently discovered the Shelridge Farm line of beautiful wools. They call it Soft Touch and they aren’t kidding. After it’s been washed it blooms and becomes incredibly soft. I’m very excited about it also because of the lovely range of colours. It is hand dyed and the read more
I like to have a simple stocking stitch sock on the needles and I keep it beside my computer. When I’m reading blogs or email or waiting for pages to load I pick it up and knit a few more stitches. It’s amazing how quickly it grows. I’ve just finished my latest pair. This is a toe-up sock à la Cat Bordhi. I took a workshop with her last fall which you can read about here and she gave some of us a sneak preview read more
I teach a Strategies for Knitting with Self-Patterning Sock Yarns class. How’s that for a mouthful! One of the points I like to make is that your stitch pattern has to be really simple in order to do both the stitch pattern and the self-patterning yarn justice. The standards such as stocking stitch, garter stitch, reverse stocking stitch, and ribbing all look great. If you choose a really intricate stitch pattern it will probably get lost in the patterned yarn. Take a look at these cable and lace patterns and you’ll probably read more
As one of the contributing designers, I received my copy of Amy Singer‘s new book No Sheep For You in the mail today. Let me tell you, what a thrill! While I have self-published a number of patterns and I’ve had some on Knitty.com (Devan and Drunken Argyle for him) and in the Accord Knitting Pattern-a-Day calendars since 2005, this is my first design published in a book. I got goosebumps when I turned read more
After carefully bundling the slippers in a pillowcase and then subjecting them to the hot water cycle in the washing machine, they started to shrink and felt. It took two or three cycles and they are somewhat uneven – I even tried to hand felt the sections that didn’t seem to be felting as quickly as the rest. All in all, I managed to felt them down to my size and the felted fabric is nice and dense without any stitch definition – just like my swatch. It actually worked! read more
The knitting is done. A quick knit although a little fiddly with the sewing together afterwards. I’m sure there must be a way to avoid that. I’ll save figuring that out for a future pair of slippers maybe if this felting thing works out. My happy model was willing to put on Mama’s ridiculously large slippers to show some scale.
The knitting for the felted clog is coming along quickly. I’m happy with my colour selection although I realised that I goofed with the amounts. The sole (orange) takes twice as much yarn as the upper (pink). I had one ball of orange and two of pink. Woops! A quick stop at my LYS one day and the project continues. I’m pleased with the difference between the felted swatch and my knitting. It looks like there’ll be hope for this project as long as I have faith in my swatch.
I’ve decided to brave the felted project again. After my past disasters I’ve decided to choose a yarn that has a good reputation for felting – Patons Classic Wool. I have some leftover from a bag workshop I took last year (well I ripped out the unfinished project and reclaimed the wool). I’ve also chosen another good standby for this project: Fiber Trends’ Felted Clogs. I need a new pair of slippers after the last fiasco (wish I had taken photos of the holes – oh well, that was pre-blog). read more
I’ve tried felting in the past without much success. My first attempt was a Cat Bordhi moebius bag. I had some undyed Condon’s on hand (woolen mill from the Maritimes that’s long gone out of business). To digress, when I was first weaving at art college the college bookstore sold skeins of Condon’s. I came across it again at the Co-op Store in Taloyoak when I was teaching jewellery in the high Arctic for Arctic College. I knew the mill had closed down quite some time back and that the stock had been on read more
Every year the West Coast Knitters’ Guild knits mittens for a kindergarten or grade one class in New York City. One of our members has a daughter who teaches at an inner city NYC public school. These little kids go to school without proper clothing in the winter and it’s the least our membership can do to help out. Last month when Laura went to visit her daughter Annie for Christmas she was able to bring enough mittens for two grade one classes, thanks to our efforts. In addition to read more