Wednesday, April 22, 2020

What We've Been Doing At Home

knitting triangles
Knitters have a great advantage over weavers in that you can knit anywhere and almost any time.  Of course there are portable looms but they are awkward to use while watching TV and they rarely fit into a purse or small bag like a ball of yarn and a pair of knitting needles.

It seems that both the spinners and  the knitters in our guild have been busy either creating yarn or making something with it.  Many of them are using either fibre or yarn that came from our gigantic stash sale.

Terry's hat

Terry used this lovely hand spun wool yarn from the stash sale to make a warm winter toque with exuberant pompoms to top it off.  The pompoms attach with snaps so they can be removed for washing.  Terry found them on Amazon.
Jan purchased some of the dyed and blended fibres from the stash and set to work spinning it.  Now she has a stock of yarn to weave or knit with.

Jan's hand spun yarn
Caron's bear
 In keeping with the times Caron knitted the Teddy Bear for her soon to be born grandchild but since the bear has to travel via Canada Post to reach its new home she added a mask.
detail of caplet pattern
Take a good look at the pillow that the bear is resting on.  It is a lovely example of double weave blocks.

Janet decided to challenge herself by doing something she hadn't done before, knitting an elaborate pattern from a graph.  The caplet shown in the photograph is the result and I think you'll agree it certainly is a success.  The yarn also came from the gigantic stash.

One photo shows a close up of the pattern and the other the shape of caplet.

Janet's caplet

sylvia's triangles 
Sylvia is knitting colourful triangles in hand spun romney and silk yarn.  The picture shows two unfinished fronts of a sweater that she is building.  It is knitted in segments that are then put together in the required size.  Need a bigger version, knit more triangles.  If you view the picture sideways you can imagine the vest front.

And last but not least we have more fun weaving with the colossal stash.  Gitte used the mixed yarns she bought to weave this scarf.

Gitte's mixed scarf

Monday, April 13, 2020

The Show (and Tell) Goes On

While spring is reminding us that hard times don't last forever, we are still spending most of our time in physical isolation.  Since many of our social activities have been suspended we have more time to spend on creative activities.  Some members are working on our guild challenge, some are working on study group projects and some are just playing around. 

Last year the guild bought the equipment and materials of a former member.  She had been an active member of the group, who served in the guild in many roles including president.  The guild challenged members to make something from the materials in her stash as a way of remembering her.  Below are a few of the items.

Evelyn's Baby Blanket
Pat's mixed yarn scarf
A new grandchild was the inspiration for this baby blanket.  The warp is soft cotton in beige and green that came from the above mentioned stash.  The weft is a mix of nylon and acrylic yarns in pink, light brown and green.  The pattern is a point twill.  This is Evelyn's second project on her Fanny loom.

The stash had an abundance of different natural and synthetic yarns.  Pat M created this textured scarf with subtle stripes out of a mixture of synthetic yarns.  You will also find a trace of mohair in the mix.  Blending miscellaneous yarns can be a challenge but a lot of fun when you "get it right".

The following is a tale of caution when you are tempted to pick up that unknown cone of yarn even though it is a bargain.  Many of the yarns in "the stash" were unlabelled.  Pat C was looking for some wool in brown shades to make yardage for a man's vest.  She wanted something that would felt to create a firm thick cloth.  The dark brown yarn with flecks of a orange/brown mix was the perfect colour.  Below is the sample she wove and attempted to felt.  That effort resulted in a hairy, scratchy cloth that simply would not felt in spite of all those hairy bits that fulling seemed to multiply.  The sample would have made a great scrubber but certainly not a vest.  So, if your yarn is a mystery then sample before you invest your time.

Sandra fell in love with a snowflake twill pattern.  She set up her (new to her) Gertrude loom and began to explore the possibilities of a draft from Thrums.  Some set backs and some victories later she decided to use her investment in time and effort to weave a series of scarves by tying on warp after warp.  A classic example of one weave leads to another.  She knows the treadling by heart now.  The scarves are mixes of tencil or bamboo rayon and silk. When we last heard from her she had yet another idea and had tied on yet another warp to make a scarf for herself.  So who will get the beauties pictured here?

snowflake scarf with border
Lynnette's scarf
 The Exploring More study group is still working through double weave.  Deflected double weave has turned out to be more interesting and varied that first thought with some of the group trying multiple approaches.
For more information on Lynnette's scarf check out Dust Bunnies

Mary took a different approach and wove samples of deflected double weave in the guild colours

Mary's sample front

Mary's sample back
That's all for now.  Next time we'll share some tips and tricks.