Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Forward Movement

Some of you may wonder if I ever DO anything with all the yarn and fiber I buy (sometimes I wonder that myself).

Why, of course, I do!

Recent progress on several fronts:

First, spinning. Here you have a perfectly lovely bobbin half-full of a single spun from pencil roving I bought at the Elegant Ewe just last week. (No, I don't remember what kind of fiber - basic wool, I think.) I'm in loooove with pencil roving!!

I'll have you know that I now have two such lovely bobbins' full, and shortly plying will commence. Anybody got any hints on how to ply correctly, other than ply in the opposite direction than the singles were spun? I'd like to know how much twist I should be putting into the plying.

Second, felting for my footsies. No, not fuzzy feet sorts of things - I've started a felted rug. Well, technically, I've started a rug that will be felted, supposing it turns out OK and that I can figure out how to felt a small rug. Anybody up for stomping on wet wool come the next heat wave, a la wine-making?

Anyway, I made up the design for the rug, based on a black-and-white photo of a quilt I love, from the book Quilts of Illusion by Laura Fisher. Here's a photo of the quilt in the book:

[Blogger won't let me post this photo; I'll try again tomorrow]

This quilt was made in Ohio in about 1925; the maker is unknown. The pattern is called Roman Square (Basketweave variation).

Here's my sketch of the rug as I envision it. I don't intend to follow this color placement exactly; these colors just reflect what colors of markers I had handy. I do intend to use dark colors as the outside stripes of each block, which I think enhances the hoped-for three-dimensional quality. I'm using various colors of Cascade 220, bought on sale at WEBS, and the rug will be garter-stitch throughout, with two strands of yarn held together on size 13 needles.

And here are the first two blocks of the rug, plus a tad. I'm picking up for the second block along the side of the first block, and so on. It'll be interesting to see what happens when I go to knit the fourth block - picking up from the third block will be easy, but I'm hoping to attach the side of the fourth block to the side of the first block as I knit, so I don't have to seam the sides together. After that challenge, then I get to figure out how to create triangles of several sizes in garter stitch.

Finally, I've made considerable progress on the Einstein Coat, kid size, that I'm making to give to Afghans for Afghans. The body is done (minus buttons and end-weaving-in), and I've started the first sleeve.

[Yet another photo censored or, more likely, ignored, by Blogger; anybody want to suggest a better blogging platform?]



Abigale said...


First - I've discovered that if I upload the pics that I want to feature on my blog to Flikr and then upload the url that they load with no difficulty at all (quickly even!)... It's free unless you want ginormous space to play with, and it's working very nicely for me - also nice for my family to have all my pics in one place...

Second - plying - a good trick is to take a short length of both of your singles that you are going to ply together, and tie them together at both ends - spritz them or get them wet to reactivate the twist, and it will twist together in a balanced kind of a way. I still think of plying as my biggest shortcoming in spinning - as with everything else, a lot of it is just practice.

Third - I'm jealous! That rug is going to be beautiful! The dark colors are going to set off the bright jewel tones wonderfully. I've been wanting a knit rug for years now - but I haven't gotten around to it yet.

Fourth - the confetti wool that you commented on is wonderfully soft - and though the colour is a bit grey - I've been thinking of overdyeing it. Have fun!!


Brittany said...

A few days late but hopefully this helps... The best trick I know for plying is that when you ply, the fibres you spun in the singles should line up parallel to the length of the yarn. Make sense or no? Let me know if you need clarification!