Sunday, January 13, 2019

The Winter of my Discontent


The Morton’s neuroma in my left foot has become so painful in the last couple of weeks that I have to limit walking to what’s absolutely necessary.  Which means I’ve been doing a lot of knitting and reading.  This is the sweater I’ll give at my granddaughter-to-be’s shower.  I’m pleased with how it went through the washer and dryer - Malabrigo Rios.

I’ve started another sweater from Swans Island wool which is machine washable in cool water but the instructions say to dry flat.  I’m disappointment and would not have bought it had I realized that ahead of time.  I’ve decided to dry it on low and accept the results.  A baby sweater needs to be easy care.

I got the Bartlett yarn skeined and washed.  This is actually weaving yarn so you can see the spinning oil on the skein in back makes the yarn look like linen or twine.  After washing it blooms and doubles in the volume.

I’m in the process of swatching now.

The first week of my drawing class is over and we have nine weeks left.  It seems like a tall order to become proficient in that short space of time but Bill Hoppe assures us we’ll be happily drawing by the time the class ends.  Last Wednesday we drew lilies and our shoes.  I was wearing snow boots that day as you can see  The hike up to Pence Hall is murder on my foot.  I have an appointment with an orthopedic surgeon this Thursday and hope he’ll at least give me another cortisone shot for some temporary relief.

I’ve finished the Classic Drall towels which is simply Turned Twill in little squares.  They seem drab compared to the turned taquete towels I like to weave.  I think I’m going to use a profile draft and come up with another configuration of them.  The towel on the right is variegated yarn that I bought when I first started weaving.  I bought three cones thinking they’d be so useful and versatile.  I have yet to find a way to use variegated yarn in a way that I find pleasing.  I still have two partial cones left and they’re going to the thrift store.  The dust on top tells the story.

This Christmas cactus didn’t bloom in December, but it did bloom like this in October for my birthday and now again for the new year.  My son was impressed and wanted to know the secret to my success.  I have no idea.  It’s lucky to be alive given how often I forget to water it. It’s so pretty.  I really need to be nicer to it.
We’re going to see the matinee showing of Kiss of Spiderwoman at the theater where we have season tickets.  None of our friends want to see it and I’m not sure I do but it won six Tonys so it did something right.  This is the theater company’s most ambitious production to date.  They’re even going to have a ten-piece orchestra - don’t know where they’re going to put them in that little space but it’ll be memorable for sure.

Tuesday, January 08, 2019

Much better!


Our weave/study group is studying block weaves which was our topic of study about two years ago. Many of us, myself included, still couldn’t claim to have a clear understanding. At our last meeting we submitted for comment our profile draft, weave structure and choice of yarns to Patty, our study leader. I chose 8/2 Tencel and turned twill for my project. She said she thought it would be pretty, but when I came home and put the profile draft in my weaving software, it was absolutely too busy to be an attractive scarf. I was stumped and that’s when I decided to weave the overshot table runners.
This last month has been pretty busy but our group is meeting this week, tomorrow in fact, and I don’t want to lose to opportunity to solidify my understanding of block weaves, so Saturday I found a profile draft in Strickler’s eight-shaft book and put it in my software. Then I wound a dark purple warp and got it beamed on.  Sunday I threaded and sleyed the reed and by then it was too dark to see. Monday morning I wove this far and I absolutely love it! II had to idea what it would look like.

I had some time this afternoon so started on a new towel.  I chose a weft with the exact same value instead of a lighter one, and these are much more pleasing to my eye.  I might even try orange on the third towel!

Monday afternoon I went up to the local community college to attend an art class. I knew it was full and I was five on the wait-list but I just threw myself on the instructor’s mercy, and hallelujah, I’m in! For the first time in twenty years I am attending college, and I even have a parking permit to keep tickets off my windshield. Yes, I got one.  The class is Drawing 1.  I’ve put off learning to draw long enough. The next ten weeks are going to be very busy.

I finished this sweater for my granddaughter-to-be and will gift it at the baby shower next month.  It’s Malabrigo Rios and while I love the look of the yarn and enjoy working with it, it seems too heavy for a baby sweater.  The yarn I’m knitting now is from Swans Island, gauge 25 stitches to 4” and I like it much better.

I just ordered another cone from Bartlett Yarns in Maine.  I like the hand of the cloth when it’s finished and I like the feel of the wool in my fingers.  The hitch is that I have to skein and wash all of the yarn before I can start knitting.

This is the sweater I’ll knit with it, another Heidi Kirrmaier design.  I’ve gotten spoiled with the perfection of her patterns so when I first started knitting the Swans Island yarn, I chose a sweater pattern from Ravelry.  It was cute and seemed to have a lot of happy knitters.  The errors by the time I had knit 2” made me throw in the towel.  Instead I’m going with a pattern from Garn Studio called Baby Fir Jacket.

It’s much easier to follow and this is how far I got starting this morning.  Much better when the instructions are better!
Tomorrow is going to be a full day, weave/study in the morning in Redmond and art class in Bend in the afternoon.  I’m going to eat cold pizza in the car for lunch, I hope it doen’t snow!