Year Of Projects: week 32

It is surely possible to have too many fibre craft interests, by which I mean enough of them that you cannot keep up – and while it is most definitely the case for me already with knitting, weaving (a true addiction!) and spinning, why stop?

And so it was that I added tatting to the mix this week, of the shuttle type. The word “shuttle” is important here, as there are so many and so pretty, from cheap and not so cheap plastic to metal and wood, that collecting shuttles can easily become a new addiction. As can getting lost in tatting threads, which are (of course!) different from crochet threads, which in turn are (of course!) different from weaving threads. Ah, a full maze of rabbit holes!

Mind you, I am not the doily type, but there are many less “frilly” and more “square” patterns, and of course my ultimate goal once I get a bit of practice is garments – at lest I can think of light scarves and shawls, in practice anything you can do with conventional granny squares you can do with tatted blocks, with the advantage that with tatting you are most definitely not confined to squares. True, you aren’t confined to squares with knitting and crochet either, but with tatting shapes are very very easy to change. It is addictive, and once I get a bit more into it I will compile some resources. For the moment Jane Eborall’s website might not be the most sophisticated looking in terms of web design, but it is a goldmine of tatting knowledge and patterns. She also has a companion site, Tat It And See (TIAS) which is a sort of mystery tat along, which I am hoping to join soon (need a bit more techniques, but it easy enough to learn, it just need patience).

It is as slow as you can imagine (in essence it is a collection of knots, so to make even very lacy fabric you need a heck of a lot of them), but it is very very portable, and can be picked up and put down very easily to fill any spare minute. I am taking a course organised by the UK Online Guild of weavers, Dyers and Spinners and is run by Katy Barret.

I also took my spindle up this week, and got almost a second bout of singles done, but not enough progress to warrant a picture!

No knitting at all, though my mouse keeps wandering back to Linda Marveng’s beautiful Eah, test knitting starting the week after the next on Ravelry- a lot of stocking stitch in a worsted-like gauge (two strands held together of sports and lace), but can I commit? Here it is:

I do find it absolutely gorgeous, and the test knit is also to improve the depth of the hood, really very tempted (by the way, open to anyone who wishes to join, the list to sign up for Linda’s test knits is here, and she has no limits on the number of test knitters she accepts – she is also very generous, so on top of the pattern for the test knit, she also gifts her test knitters a pattern of their choice from her many designs).

The design being tested next is also very very tempting, a stylish overrides hooded poncho, here is a sneak peek:

In fact I like all the patterns coming up for testing, and I’ve tested quite a bit for her, as well as knitting her patterns at my own pace – in fact she also has a KAL with prizes running until the end of June, you can sign up here. As you can tell, I am a fan 😍

If you like cables and you do not know Linda, you must definitely check her out!

This week I have also started a most wonderful online weaving course by Cally Booker, Understand Double Weave. Not only Cally is an experienced wonderful weaver, she has the gift of clarity! The course is organised in pre-recorded instructions, downloadable instruction materials and exercises, and live zoom sessions, and a community forum. Cally is extremely generous with her time (I had 2 and a half hours with her yesterday!), and it is a lot of fun. Above all, what I like enormously is that this is not a “project” course, but one where participants have to use the principles taught in order to design their own double weave sampler. I had come across Cally’s blog many times before when searching for information on weaving in general and double weave in particular, and when I saw the opportunity to take a remote class with her, I jumped on it – the course sold out in half an hour, but she will have more. If you have the chance, do take it. It will develop over six weeks, and here is a bit of playing around with colour palettes.

I extracted colours from a picture from the times when I could still hike in the Alps from Canva, and just in case I find Paletton another useful software to play around with colours – here is the original picture, the palette, and some yarn wraps:

A lovely crafty week to you all!

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts.

Year Of Projects: week 29

This week has been a bit of an all rounder: I managed to knit, spin and weave!

On knitting, I’ve done some more progress on the sleeves of my second version of Michele Wang’s Squall, though not enough to warrant an update on the pictures posted in a previous update – and it struck me that I started knitting this sweater in April last year! This is unconscionable! It generally takes me 6 weeks to knit a cabled sweater, so you see what weaving does to you!

Talking of which, I took the twill Gamp from Janet Phillips‘ ” Designing Woven Fabric” off the loom – it will go in the wash today, and then it will be a matter of studying it! I ended up with 3.15m/3’4″ of sample, 46cm/18″ wide, though no doubt dimensions will change after washing, and I am contemplating using it as a light “comfort blanket” when working from home, so that in idle times my eye can wander over the 500 patterns!

Twill gamp off the loom – before wet finishing and pressing

Indeed, I will have to inspect them very closely, as I have now yarn for yardage for a summer dress! The current plan is for a cotton warp and a linen singles weft. The yarn will be very fine (the 16/2 cotton, which is about cobweb weight yarn, it has 1,300m per 100g weight, and similarly the linen), and I hope to turn it into a flowing dress, though it will be quite a while before I’ll be able to travel to somewhere where I can wear it, but hey, we could always get a scorching summer in Scotland! These are the beauties, beautifully packaged and arrived quickly from My Fine Weaving Yarn, aka my favourite yarn pusher!

16/2 organic mercerised cotton by Garnhuset I Kinna and and 16/1 linen by Växbo Lin

The yarns are really lovely, both by Swedish companies – and they are quite a bit cheaper than knitting yarns, so something for lovers of fine yarn to consider.

I’ve also progressed with my spinning – here is the first single off the spindle and ready to ply, and the spindle filling up again:

From my absolute beginner position, I have found the two videos by Anita Osterhaug (former Handwoven Magazine editor), Drop Spinning 101 and Drop Spinning 102 really very very good, I’ve watched both three times already, and I think I am not finished yet! I am sure there are other excellent resources out there, but these come with an “all access subscription” to Handwoven magazine, which I have. Incidentally, Handwoven offers a free trial month (you have to start a subscription and then cancel it I think), and they have countless videos on weaving, spinning, dying.

One final point to note: I want to warmly recommend the free series of Handweavers’s Guild of America interviews to fibre artists, taking place every Tuesday that I mentioned last week – really interesting. If you can’t get into the live event on Zoom, you can follow from Facebook (and do not need a Facebook account).

Hope you have a very crafty week!

This is a year of projects (YOP) update. YOP is a Ravelry Group, and an idea – make a plan for the year ahead for all your fibre activities, then update your blog every week if you manage. The objective is to keep track of progress on any fiber crafts with maximum flexibility: post, don’t post, follow your list, change it – so really it is just an opportunity to get to know of more blogs and activities of those who share a passion for anything fibre crafts.

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