Rainy April Monday

April 29, 2013 - 7:37 am

Rainy morning

It’s dreary out there right now, but supposed to get nicer as the day goes on. I’m looking forward to a quiet and productive day, and a busy evening at Metrix.

I have these two pieces on which to weave in ends:

Knitting to finish

The scarf I showed blocking yesterday and a sweater I made on the knitting machine. I’m absurdly proud of the sweater. I made it without a pattern, just a knowledge of standard sweater ratios, my measurements, the gauge of the fabric, and some guesses. I love how it fits! Some of that is silk being drapey and forgiving, but truly it’s a good fit. I’m pleased that I’m getting enough of a feel for sweater construction that I can just make one up spontaneously.  

This is made with Urban Silk from Little Knits; it’s 80% off on clearance, and as of this writing they still have it in stock in several colors. I bought ~1000 yds of Aran weight silk for $33, which was more than enough for this long, loose sweater. $33. Silk. Sweater. Run, don’t walk. 🙂

Does anyone out there in blog land know about italic handwriting? I’m realizing I would like to have a better hand so I could annotate illustrations more legibly without having to go back and type stuff in. It would shorten the cycle from sketch to release. Once upon a time I had a lovely calligraphic hand, but that was before I broke my wrist and more or less stopped using a pen for 20 years. I’d like to get it back, and I expect it would help my drawing as well.

Yesterday’s goals were:

  • Illustrator Class
  • Write up backlog of textile work
  • Organize upstairs with David

Yesterday’s extra accomplishments were:

Organizing was the must happen, so I’m fairly well pleased that was done. I had forgotten the poor sad plants waiting for me in pots, and was appalled by the state of the beds in the backyard, so those were good tasks as well. By the time I sat down to do the planned desk work I wasn’t braining well enough to be effective, so I had a quiet evening of pleasure reading instead. I hadn’t put the zentangle in my planned activities, but that’s a daily goal.

Today’s goals:

  • Laundry
  • Weave in ends in projects
  • Illustrator class- at least 1 hour, preferably more
  • First draft of tee shirt tutorial
  • Daily zentangle
  • Metrix textile night

Morning stretches

April 28, 2013 - 6:51 am

New lace scarf giving its all

It’s 7:30am. Showered, puttered, tea made, meditated, and now writing.  Check!

The puttering this morning took rather a long time, because I was blocking the ends of a scarf I’ve been knitting on the machine. I blocked the body before vacation, but decided it wasn’t finished enough, so created a border chart. I knit the first end, which is on the right in the picture below, by hand. The second end last night by machine. I definitely could have knit the second end faster by hand than by manipulating the stitches on the machine, but I learned a lot, so perhaps it was worth it. I certainly now have more motivation to figure out how to use the lace carriage!

New lace scarf giving its all

When blocking lace I believe a harsh blocking is best, no matter how the lace screams, particularly when blocking silk.  This is Handmaiden Sea Silk in colorway Boreal. The iPad camera doesn’t do it justice; photos later when it’s off the rack. Note the hand weights to help keep the mat flat- it’s not really blocking if I don’t need at least 10 lbs. This one used 18, but I probably could have gotten away with a little less. 😉

Also, pro tip: when pinning on the dining table, be VERY CAREFUL that the pins don’t go through the mat. Perhaps avoid this all together in the future, and pin on the floor, then check for pins sticking through before moving the lace to the table for photos.

There are some errors in the pattern on the machine knit side, but I declare it Good Enough.

Yesterday was spent continuing to get acquainted with my wacom tablet, working on the Illustrator course on, and napping, glorious napping. I feel more well rested today. David and I also took photos of some FO’s I need to post, including the sweater I finished at the Visionaries retreat and a skirt I made on the knitting machine.

Today there will be more illustrator class, and writing. I’ve cleared all the nagging UFO’s out of my backlog in the past week or so, but am not starting anything new until the documentation is complete.

We are also having an extreme low tide again, so may take a little jaunt down to the beach with our cameras for that.

Finally, I’ll be taking advantage of David being home to complete the sorting and rearranging of Stuff on the main floor of the house.  The remainder of what needs to be sorted is joint property, and I want to be certain the putting away of Stuff is satisfactory to all. I’m determined the dining table will be empty of clutter 100% of the time. I like sitting here looking out over the bay, and I like having a nice table for eating, rather than plopping down on the couch as has become our habit.

Next up: exercise! Yesterday I had to abort the morning routine after an upper body twisting stretch triggered some sort of stomach spasm that had me heaving for half an hour or so. I’m working on strengthening and mobilizing my scalenes. The stretches I’ve found to help are uncommon yoga poses that I don’t know the names for. If anyone has suggestions, please share.

And there’s a goldfinch on the bird feeder.  It really is spring.

2 hour knitted skirt

April 8, 2013 - 9:13 pm

Tonight at Metrix I knit a skirt in two hours. Which is kind of awesome.  It was my first time using the bulky knitting machine for an actual project.

I started with a bag of Nashua Handknits Geologie wool in Citrine:

Nashua Geologie Citrine

And knit through one skein across the full bed of needles on the bulky machine at tension 5. It was about the perfect length for a skirt, which was my dream for this yarn. I had seen this skirt:

And wanted to try something similar.

So I joined on another ball, put 10 std in hold, and began short rowing, adding two needles per pair of rows to the hold position until I had worked across the bed, then shifting all the needles back into work at once and picking up the short rows. The triangle was just about one more ball.

I continued working a plain panel for one ball and a short rowed panel for one ball, working through 8 balls total.

The skirt is gorgeous.  I need to kitchener the seam together, add an elastic waistband and lining, and decide how I want to finish the hem, but I’m ecstatic. Pictures tomorrow. Everyone at Metrix was gobsmacked that I churned out yards and yards of fabric in two hours.