Tuesday, July 08, 2008

I promised an update on some projects. Well, they aren't all here but I can show a couple right now and I'll get caught up in a couple of days.

Lace Blocking
I added a lace blocking service to the shop a few months ago. I love blocking lace because of the transformation that happens. A lot of people don't like it because it takes a lot of time and sometimes can be difficult. So here is my method for a circular shawl.
I run a nylon cord through the edging. It varies, depending on the shawl, how close together my running stitches are. For this shawl I went into each loop. I always go the same way with the cording. In this case I went from under neath on each loop. I run the cording before I soak the shawl because it's easier to do when the shawl is dry.
Here's the shawl after soaking. This is knitted in Jaggerspun Zephyr and, as expected with red yarns, it ran a lot. I lay a sheet down on the floor on top of a carpet or heavy rug.
Then I start pinning with T-Pins on four opposite sides so that I can try to be as even as possible from the start. With a square or triangle shawl I use a T-Square and yard stick to help get straight lines.
So here I'm just working my way around the shawl little by little trying to get the pins evenly round.
Once I get all of the rounded points pinned I begin measuring from the center point out to the pin to make sure it will be as perfectly round as I can make it.
Her is the shawl all pinned and drying. This process from start to finish took me just under two hours. Then I let it be for at least 8 hours to make sure the shawl is completely dry before unpinning.

The shawl was delivered to it's owner yesterday and everybody was very happy.

A delivery from Franquemont Fibers
Two pounds of hand dyed Tussah silk. All I have are on the webstore but they have already been very popular. The colors are fantastic and I didn't even save one ounce for myself - though I wanted all of them.

Easter Egg Dyeing
So I began with some BFL top. So lovely in it's natural white. But I have about 50 packages of Easter Egg Dyes and so I thought I'd start experimenting a little with the microwave.
I filled wide mouth mason jars about halfway with hot water and vinegar and dropped in one tablet and let it dissolve. At the same time there were four ounce bits of blue face soaking in the sink.
After the wool had soaked for 20 minutes or so I squeezed out as much water as I could and then stuck the fiber into the jar.

I microwaved the jars for about 8 minutes and then let them sit until they were almost to room temperature...I say almost because of impatience.

Much of the dye was taken up and probably all of it would have been if I had been able to wait longer.

Then I removed the fiber and rinsed it and set it out on the porch to dry
I love them. The colors are very springy. There is that uneven kettle dyed look I was looking for. I think I will keep this up for a while...at least til I run out of dye tablets.

I'm playing with my new Schacht rigid heddle loom.
I'm doing a direct warp here using a peg. My skein of yarn is on the swift behind the loom. This is hand spun merino I'm using but I think I could have used a little more twist in the ply. We'll see what happens when I get to weaving. I've got the yarn almost ready for weaving - half of it is still on the wheel.

A New Toy
It's right there in those boxes. Big, right?
Here's what I saw when I opened the larger box. Right on top is a bag of merino top and yes, those are balloons. Party in a box...at least that's what Maggie thought.
Here she is all unpacked and ready to work. 28" Cherry Lendrum Saxony. Spins beautifully. She's coming to my house. This was a lucky find on Ravelry and I have my friend Abby to thank for pointing her out for me and sending the reserving email for me as I was on the road when she was listed. No name for her yet so if you have any suggestions...

July Lace Knitters
Two shawls from Sharon Winsauer. The above shawl is finished and is in testing stage and so I'm sure will be available for sale shortly alongside another famous dragon shawl.
This is the one I've been watching come to life over the last couple of months. It now has two square corners. After all four corners are done there will be a flat border knitted on and it will be added to the collection of genius creations. I apologize in public for saying it was impossible.

O.K I promise next to post photos of the Abby Shawl under slow construction:-)

1 comment:

Kate Hussein A. said...

Ooh ooh ooh! Is that my (new) BFL that was pseudo-kettle dyed in the photo?? I can attest to its fabulousness in person! I wouldn't have thought you could fit that much fiber into a mason jar. Now I just need to get a microwave, dammit...steaming on the stove isn't nearly as fun and easy....