Thursday, October 30, 2008

In the studio - green heather

Scarf, wool, seed stitch, size 7 wood needles.

More simple fabric with fantasies of good embellishment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In the studio - red heather

Scarf, wool, rib stitch, size 9 wood needles

This is part of series of rather simple fabrics. I'm streaking through the projects and thinking about interesting finishing touches. Like for this one I'm thinking about white pom poms for the ends. Or maybe some other kind of finish that isn't fringe.

But on the "knitting trips" score: I went to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival again this year. Sunday I got up early in Bennington, Vermont after a wonderful day of knitting with Allison and Julia and headed out towards Rhinebeck. I wandered down the western edge of Massachusettes, then switched over the to Taconic Parkway around Great Barrington. Ooooohhh, Aaaaahhhh! what divine scenery!

The traffic started getting heavy right in the middle of Rhinebeck, with cars lined up all the way to the Duchess County Fairgrounds. It was great to see so many knitters, weavers, sheep farmers, vendors and fellow travelers.

In past years I've swerved around the Great Adirondack Yarn Company's booth, sometimes because it has been too packed, but other times because I think of my budget and shrink back. But this year I made a straight path right to it, thinking I'd buy a skein and devil take the hindmost. Well...I found that they had "bundles" of 500-800 yards for $25 - $30. Aiigh! So I did the reasonable thing and got three bundles of what I. Just. Couldn't. Resist. Extremely yummy.

With that swiftly stashed in my tote bag I commenced strolling around and looking at what great things people were wearing, the fiddling contest, the sheepies and goaties. I found a little bit more mohair that I couldn't seem to be able to leave there, and then it was time to get back home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In the studio - black with copper

Rectangle shawl, mixed fibers: silk, metallic, simple lace stitch, size 10 wood needles.

Putting this up against the black staircase shows the depth of the black, which is intriguing. The copper makes it a little glitzy but not too much. This whizzes along because of the larger needle size.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Finished shaw - parti

Triangle Shawl, mixed fibers: nylon, cotton, silk, polyester; size 11 cable needle, 24 in.

I was just about to take this off the needles in this photo.

So this is what it looks like in all its glory.

The eariler entry was a modest beginning, but all in all I think it went along quickly.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In the studio - gray fluff shawl

Triangle shawl, mixed fibers: mohair, nylon, rayon, acrylic; size 10 wood cable needle, 24 in.

After working with strong colors for quite awhile, I've acquired a taste for more neutral colors and I'm starting many experiments with them. This is the most fuzzy or furry looking.

I'm trying to work out my philosophy of textile design, since that is what I keep claiming is my "art". So far I think that my simple working methods are fascinating because they give me considerable control over the density and texture of the fabric. So I work with various needle sizes and yarn gauges to produce an array of fabrics that are very loose and light to fabrics that are very dense and heavy. This work is very loosely loomed and would be very light, however the nylon and mohair are quite heavy yarns, so it has a nice heft to it. the drape has a considerable amount of stretch, so it holds to the curves of the shoulders nicely. The fibers that form the knap of this fabric are extremely long - almost one inch for most of the fluffy yarns.
This could make the fabric very fur-like, however, I'm not in favor of trying to imitate animal fur with synthetic yarns, so I have broken the surface with a "railroad" yarn which has shiny rayon squares. So while there's a hint of furishness, it's interrupted with dots of subtle colors.

Well, that's some noodling that may eventually get me to a philosophy, anyway.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Finished shawl - dark

Triangle shawl, mixed fibers: nylon, rayon, mohair, lurex, garter stitch, size 9 aluminum cable needle, 24 in.

I ran into this gorgeous black/brown "fluff" yarn in the Orphan Room at the yarn shop in Great Barrington Mass. I think it's called Wonderful Things. I have a hard time shopping there because they have mold in the ceiling and they just put out those bathroom crystal deodorizers. So after about five minutes my whole respiratory system just wants to crawl up and out. But this yarn sang to me, so I got it. I had to air it out for several days. It's been a great pleasure to mix it with various railroad yarns I have and to stay in the very dark value range. Yum! It's very slinky.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

In the studio - mohair and railroad

Triangle shawl, stockinette stitch, mixed fibers: mohair, nylon, rayon; size 6 bamboo cable needle, 24 in.

I like the reverse stockinett side the best because it shows off the little rayon shiny squares in the railroad "yarn". I pulled out all my railroad colors and several of my mohair colors and decided to make a go of them. I'm liking the results, but it's tricky to keep up the good color combinations.