Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Dolman Sweater

This sweater began with an award from a Michigan League of Handweavers Fiber Art Exhibit during the last Conference. My award was a gift certificate from Threadbender Yarn Shop. I decided to peruse the selection they had at the vendor's market.  I kept eyeing this yellow and fuchsia yarn, I had no idea what I wanted to make with it, and usually it just ends up in my stash as some sort of accent yarn to use for tapestry or Theo Moorman inlay.  Rather than adding this yarn to my stash I obsessed over it. I looked through hundreds of Ravelry patterns and against better judgement I decided I couldn't find a pattern I liked so I'd make one up as I went along. I had the idea in mind and I have just enough knitting knowledge to be dangerous. 

I knit samples for the first time ever, just to check gauge and make sure my yarn blending was going to be about what I imagined in my head. I had decided to knit a dolman style sweater; I kept being attracted to this style at Talbots and figured the slow increase would be simple enough to make up as I knit.  I had been knitting a lot of socks at AA meetings and I thought it was time to make something larger for myself. As this piece grew I realized I needed more yarn, I picked some up at Woven Art to blend in, but as I got to the yellow top I started to panic.  Thankfully I found some left in a yarn shop that posted on Amazon.  I could have made this a little bit longer now that I'm looking at the finished piece but I was too nervous that I'd run out of the yarn again and I wanted the sleeves/cuffs to be a solid yellow. 

I thought for sure that I'd have to flip this piece inside out and stitch the side seams up for a better fit, but as it turns out it's the perfect comfy, slouchy weight that I wanted.  I knitted this sweater using 2 strands of Manos Del Uruguay lace weight yarn on a size 4 needle. I'm guessing it took me just over a year to finish, I kept putting it down to think it over, wait for yarn, or I just wasn't into knitting in the evenings. With this quarantine all I have wanted to do is knit and hand stitch.  There's something really soothing about knitting, it's good for the soul while the world spins outside.  Which I need because I spiked a fever yesterday, freaked out, had to call in to work and go get tested. So now I wait. I am hoping it's just a seasonal cold because from what I've read the symptoms of COVID are similar. Let's hope that's all it is. I'm very thankful that I love hunkering down and being home with Bryan and the kitties. 

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Off the loom: Leaf Me Alone (Full Sized) Update

I posted to my social media on Tuesday that I was becoming entranced with the beauty of simple plain weaving with hand-dyed threads as I wove off the last couple feet of the Leaf Me Alone (full size) warp.  Usually plain weave seems boring to me at this point but I think I was jsut happy to be back to my weaving since mask-making has taken over my year.  Even though I had no intention of getting on to the finishing portion of this piece, I still chose to cut it off the loom. Cutting a weaving off the loom to get a good full look at the final product tends to be a big deal.  Tuesday I cut it off, fixed a threading error from the warp so it won't happen if I decide to use it to tie the next warp to it and I threw it over the front beam, walked out the studio and closed the door.  I opened up the draft of the next design I'm working on and spent the remainder of the day working on that between chores. 

It wasn't until the evening that I really realized I hadn't taken a good look at the weaving I had just cut off and left. I had no clue why I was so lack-luster about getting to see the double weave and why I had started dreaming of things to make with the plain weave portion instead of staying focused on Leaf Me Alone.  It's this:  I've already woven this piece, smaller versions, but the same colors, same words.  I'm so bored with the colors! I think I need to leave this one lie for a bit before I can get back to it.  It will have a leaf panel with beaded and stitched pieces, so I'm working on that too, but here I am, completely over a piece before it's even done.  

In the meantime, I'm really really excited about this next piece, I finally have an idea of colors which I may be needing to dye for it (yay!).  It's going to be a similar look or feel to my other work but it's more for the times so I have to get it done before certain things, such as logos, become obsolete. The title of it came to me on an episode of Live From Here with Chris Thile, it's called "Is There A Thing To Which Brings Us Less Joy" More about that to come later. 

Until then, I'm finalizing the next design and the cats are stacking up around here. :)

Lois and Clark, 2 of our 3 kitties

Weaving and Life Update

I'm close to the end of my "Yes And" weaving commission. I can see the end of the cartoon and the warp. I was on a roll weavin...