Our life, our choices in our life; influence everything we do. Inspiration comes from our choices, and the consequences of those choices. Inspiration is also all around us. Sometimes it is blatant and unmistakable, sometimes it sneaks up and when we look at what we created and realize – so that is where the idea came from!
Ongoing – Abbott and the Double Knit Scarf
Right now I am working on the Sample Scarf for the Retreat. It is a wondrous double-knit scarf, completely reversible and not my pattern. It was designed by Abbott Smith. He will be teaching at the retreat this year.
It is worked in Rowan Fine Tweed and the sample colourway that I am working in is the dark, rich Autumn colours. You are thinking, what is she talking about I have seen the pictures; well, what you saw was me cutting yarn, and changing colours right before bedtime – I was anxious to see how the colours would work!
Well – I cut the wrong colour and it took me a few days to figure that out! So now we have a swatch of what not to do and a much nicer scarf underway.
I put the yarn away for a couple of days before I started the second version, shaming it or me!
This – Franklin and the Pineapple Bag
I read Franklin Habit’s Blog – The Panopticon. Last Spring he blogged about this gorgeous pineapple bag, a vintage pattern that he had reknit and rewritten for Knitty. The pattern came out in the Spring 2012 Knitty.
I wanted to knit that bag; I yearned to knit that bag; I had yarn to knit that bag, beautiful Handmaiden Silk; but I did not have time to knit that bag; between knitting and writing patterns for Vogue and my own stuff for classes for work; I had no time.
In the fall I started working on the samples for this Springs’ Classes. I wanted to do a new felted bag and I love the combination of Entrelac and felting. The results are always great! The bag was going to be circular, and would feature some fun ways to play with I-cord.
As I knit the bag and as I got further into the knitting of the that bag I realized that I was not knitting just a circular bag – I was knitting a pineapple shaped circular bag.
Franklin’s Pineapple Bag had snuck up on me, in my unconscious mind and caused me to create a modern version. Larger, and felted, with a “Shabby Chic” feel to it, but a pineapple bag! The resemblance is unmistakable!
Before felting the bag and tassel were 35 inches long, with the tassel being 12 inches long. After felting te bag and tassel are 26 inches long, with the tassel being about 7 inches long. Entrelac felts to a different ratio than a straight knit – it’s all those angles. It remains closer to the original size.
That – Clara and the Great White Bale
Late last fall an opportunity came my way. Clara Parkes was starting a new project, and was looking for interested explorers to join her on the journey. I had some money saved – I really wanted a new wide-angle lens for my camera – but this project was too interesting to pass up – the lens could wait. I wanted to do it all – I wanted the yarn and the experience so I spent the money on the journey.
And what a journey it already has been. I have learned more about the business of yarn creation, and the steps taken before the yarn even hits the mill than I had dreamed possible.
No yarn yet, the bale is still in Texas, where it was being scoured. Why Texas? Texas is the only place in the US where a sheep farmer can get large quantities of fibre scoured for a reasonable cost. Scouring is not even the main event at this facility. It’s main job is to make hats, the scouring of yarn is just secondary. Check out Bollman’s Hats. Clara has made a short Video of the scouring process for us to share.
So far the main message I have taken from what I have learned is that yarn production, like any business, is fraught with logistics, costs; economics of scale, basically the smaller the production the higher the costs! Also learned, small operations don’t work with the modern business model. Is it time to change the model?
The Next Thing – Lynette and Handpainting More Lace With Dyes
As I work through the scarf I know that I cannot work on it alone. It is not me; It is hard on my hands: I am not being creative; etc; so I started a new painting project.
I hope to create quite a few painting projects this year. Some with Clara’s yarn and a few others as well.
I am ordering some yarn from Handmaiden to try out for Mad About Ewe’s Summer Painting Class – a two-ply Blue Faced Leicester. It will knit like a four-ply yarn; I can hardly wait until it arrives!
I am working with some Lush, by Classic Elite. This is a yarn from my stash and is unfortunately discontinued; I love the yarn, fabulous hand and so soft. I do have a couple of reservations though – to make it the yarn so white it must have been bleached. How will the bleaching effect the dyes? Something new for me to learn.
The wrap will feature a snowflake style pattern on the back with open lace for the side panels. The center motif is six sided just like a snowflake an the side panels will each go off on an angle. The edging is still under consideration.
I have another painting project on hold that I am going to resurrect as well.
La Belle Epoche
A large triangle with a ruched, mohair/silk blend center, Montague by Handmaiden and miles of edging, also in a silk/mohair blend, Maidenhair by Handmaiden. I am working on the miles of edging that encompasses that ruched triangle center! Then maybe I will add some beaded roses and leaves. I do love to embellish!
What are your projects right now? Do you have lots on the go? Or are you a one project style of knitter?