Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Myrtle Leaf Close-up Before Blocking


Myrtle Leaf Shawl- Halfway Done!

22 repeats out of 40 completed!
4oz ball of Zephyr is still huge, but somewhat hollow.

Bobbin Full of BFL Singles


Bobbin Full of BFL Singles
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.

BFL Singles


BFL Singles
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
First full bobbin from the Kool Aid/Easter egg dyed roving. I'm trying to match the sample that ended up as the lovely 3-ply swatch in diameter and twist.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Secret Project Snippet


Secret Project Snippet
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
Just a tiny hint at something I've been spending a lot of time on. It's a gift and I wouldn't want to spoil the surprise.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Online Lace Symposium

Just found the Knitting Beyond the Hebrides Online Lace Symposium from May 2006. Lots of nifty little articles, tips, interviews, and fun stuff. Includes an interview with Meg Swansen and a look at the design process for the popular Peacock Shawl.

Book Notes: Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook

Lynne Vogel's Twisted Sisters Sock Workbook lived up to my expectations in some areas, but not others. It aims to be a guide through the process of dyeing, spinning, designing, and knitting socks. I found the dyeing section highly useful. The differences between hot pour and cold pour dyeing are clearly discussed with large, clear step by step photos. In general, the photography in this book is one of its best attributes. I also learned a lot in the section discussing how to manipulate a painted roving to obtain a wide variety of effects in the finished yarn. I was a bit disappointed in the scant coverage of the technical aspects of spinning. Vogel prefers singles or 2-ply yarns, while I was looking for advice on how to spin a sturdy 3-ply for durable socks. The sock knitting section contains pretty standard info, but may be more complete than other books. Short-row, heel flap, and several types of afterthought heel are discussed, with information on mending and reknitting each type.

Book Notes: Natural Dyeing

A Dyer's Garden, Rita Buchanan: This book focuses mainly on the home growing and use of dye plants. There is even a section devoted to the layout of the home dye garden. General mordanting and dye bath info is given at the beginning of the book. In the "Portfolio of Dye Plants" which follows, two pages are devoted to each dye plant. For each plant, 4-10 color photos illustrate the results obtained with various mordants on different fibers. The instructions for using different plants are not in traditional recipe form. Instead, Buchanan indicates how much plant material is generally required for a given amount of fiber ("flowers from 8 plants," etc). This fits in with Buchanan's emphasis on diversity of color over reproducibility, but it could be troublesome for users of purchased dyestuffs. In short, this book is nice to look at, easy to use, and appears to contain highly useful information for dyer/gardeners.
I'll be buying this book right after I buy a house :)

The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing, J.N. Liles: This book is geared more toward precise recipes and reproducability. It does not discuss the growing of dye plants, but is aimed at those using purchased dyestuffs. The recipes are organized by color instead of by plant, with some interesting discussion of historical colors (the author is involved in historical reenactments). A few color plates are relegated to the middle of the book. Getting an idea of the finished product for a given recipe required a lot of hunting around and digging through captions. I did appreciate the historical and biochemical information given for many of the plant dyes, though. Although this book was less enjoyable to leaf through than Buchanan's book, it seems very well-researched and practical.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Spinning Progress!


Spinning progress
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
I really like spinning BFL. It seems pretty easy to get fine singles. I played around with different amounts of twist in the singles and different plying methods. What I originally had in mind was a DK or worsted weight 2-ply cause I always think other people's barberpole effects are neat. By doing what felt right, I ended up with finer singles and didn't like the 2-ply look after all. So now I'm going for a 3-ply appropriate for socks. This swatch is on size 3 needles, but I would probably use size 2 for socks in this yarn.
I haven't done a traditional (unchained) 3-ply before. I'm loving how the colors are blended together in a harmonious way. I'm not seeing any "muddying." I also really dig the circular cross-section you get with a 3-ply that gives that "real yarn" look.

Monday, April 02, 2007

Stitch Markers


Stitch Markers
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
These are the stitch markers I got from my PRGE pal. Now my single ladybug stitch marker (given to me by someone at last fall's Knit-Out) won't be lonely anymore!

First PRGE gift!


Punk Rock Gift Exchange Gift
Originally uploaded by Buxtrosion.
I just got my first gift from my Punk Rock Gift Exchange pal! I got Jelly Bellys, some swanky black cat swizzle sticks, and 25!! stitch markers with ladybugs, butterflies, and funky green beads. Thank you secret pal!