Thursday, August 28, 2014

Rigid Heddle Weaving

In my last post I mentioned the Craftsy classes that I had bought.  One was a weaving class for beginners on rigid heddle looms. 

About 4 years ago Kev gave me a loom for my birthday. It was a little rigid heddle loom called a cricket.  I loved it and wove about 4 scarves on it right away. Then I put it away and haven't used it much since.  

I purchased an e book a while back called Kismet from Hill Country Weavers. The premise of this book is simple weaving on rigid heddle looms combining knitting, crochet and sewing. It's a great book with some really cute and interesting patterns. There are about 7 projects here that I'd like to make.  

Like so many books and magazines I buy, I put it aside for later and I kind of forgot it about. Then one of my favorite video podcasters showed a finished object from this little book and I decided to get out my cricket. 

The project is called Wine and Roses.  You really should check out Steph's (from Must Stash Podcast) version here. Its really cute and so wearable. I think these would make great gifts for Christmas. 

My poor little loom hasn't seen much action in recent years. Immediately after the fire I cleaned it but even today 2 years after the fire it still smells of smoke. 

Also, the two apron rods were gone. I have no idea what happened to them. In the chaos after the fire and the subsequent cleaning I can only assume they've been misplaced. So I improvised and used two large DPNs.  So far it's working out good. 

You can see the straight knitting needle here. This was too long to wind the warp around so I found the shorter DPNs. 

If you look real close here you can see the DPN. The fringe is tied around the it. I am a little nervous that the strands will slide off the ends of the double pointed needle. 

Here is the weaving so far. I've always loved this combination of colours. When I'm done with the weaving I'll pick up stitches and knit in a solid color for 15 inches or so. I'm not sure the best color to use. I'm thinking a charcoal color perhaps. The entire piece is finished with
A crocheted edging and buttonholes. Perhaps I'll use some of the buttons from the order that I placed from etsy last week.  

Stay tuned to see me complete this piece. My tension sucks so far and you can really see this when you look closely at the edge of the weaving. I plan on making more of these or perhaps others from this book. I can only improve right? 

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Top Down Icelandic Cardigan

There is this online learning tool called Craftsy. They offer many types of classes in a great format. Some of the classes are free but the more involved ones have a fee. 

I've taken several classes. Rigid heddle weaving, spinning dyed fibers are two of the paid classes that  I've taken so far. 

Recently I signed up for a class by Icelandic phenom Ragga Eiriksdottir called Top Down Icelandic Cardigan. Check her out here.

I'm obsessed with the pattern and the class.  I'm not using the recommended Lopi yarn. I'm using Berrocco Peruvia which is very similar to Lopi in my opinion. I can honestly say that I could probably knit this pattern without taking the class. There aren't any new to me techniques but there is just something about knitting along with Ragga that is so enjoyable. 

I knit the yoke up lickedy split. I chose a cream colour for the contrast and a deep chocolate brown for the main colour.  There also is a tiny amount of a 'pop' colour used. For this I chose a bright blue. I love this combination of colours. 

I'm currently at the point where I've already separated for the sleeves. From here on out I'll be knitting with the brown only. While this may get a little boring at times I want this sweater so badly that I really think I'll push through. 

I'm actually looking forward to the steeking believe it or not. And I've already ordered buttons. That's how much I need this sweater. I should also order some gros grain ribbon. Ragga goes over all of this in her class. The steeking, the sewing  on of the grosgrain ribbon, and even crocheting the button loops. 

I've already watched the class straight through. I rewatch each section as I get to it on my sweater. 

I'm am really hoping that I will enjoy wearing this sweater as much as I've enjoyed knitting it. 

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Influential Knitter

A few months ago I posted on Instagram a photo of a lace shawl that I had inprogress. It garnered quite a few likes and some questions. The next day the pattern for this shawl was number one on Ravelry's 'Hot Right Now' list.  It's called sweet dreams. 

I was shocked. I have more influence on the knitting community than I realized. I must admit to being a little proud too. The timing of the thing was too perfect for it to have been a coincidence. 

Then when I visited the Yarn Harlots website I realized how delusional I could be.  She was knitting this shawl too. Independent of what I was doing, she had cast on for the exact shawl.   The Yarn Harlot! What was I thinking. Of course the 60 likes I had gotten on Instagram (still impressive in my books) couldn't be enough to influence the top 10 Hot Right Now on Ravelry. But it was really nice for that brief moment.  

I was inspired to cast this on after seeing it knit up in 100% mink yarn at Dartmouth Yarns in Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.  It was gorgeous. I purchased the exact same yarn. It was a little darker colour but that didn't matter. I also purchased the same colour glass beads from a store here in town. (There are several stores here that sell beads. We are lucky that way). 

I have no recipient in mind for this little shawl. It is so unbelievably perfect though. The mink. The colour. The beading. And of course the lace. Just look those points. 

The bindoff - as the yarn harlot noted - took forever.  But it was so worth it. 

I had purchased this little shawl pin from an etsy seller out of Montreal called Every Day Peacock.  It is so beautiful!!
And it suits this little shawl so very perfectly. It is the cherry on top of you will. 

By the way if you are in the market for shawl pins or even some very special stitch markers - do check this guy out. His packaging alone made the purchase worth it. I also purchased a really unique music themed pin as a gift for my daughter. It is so beautiful. 

The funny thing was both the Yarn Harlot and I cast on for these shawls about 18 weeks ago (according to Instagram)

And we are both finishing up at the same time even though this shawl didn't take that long to knit. She made many mods to her version making it much larger. I knit mine exactly as the pattern suggested. I did worry about running out of yarn towards the end but it all worked out. 

I wonder what this knitter will be casting on next? Keep looking at Ravelry's top ten. You never know what might show up next.