Sunday, September 28, 2008

Move over, baby!

This week has been about finishing big projects (or at least trying...) As you might have figured out, I have been busy preparing a special warp. That warp is spun and dyed, but wait! Before it can go on the loom, another warp must move over (and off.) The tale behind this "other" warp is a good one. Some time ago, as a gift to my friend Mary, a bunch of us got this warp together. That included designing a shawl, spinning the warp yarn, dyeing the warp and getting the warp on the loom. Mary spun some yarn for the weft, but never managed to find the time to weave it off. Enter BadKitten. She can weave 72 inches in 2 hours... Here you see BadKitten tying off the knots for the fringe, and a close-up of the fabric. It is 15 ends to the inch, with a Cormo warp and an Alpaca blend weft. I dyed the warp with acid dyes and the weft is a natural dark brown.
And here you can see Mary, showing off the shawl. It came out just as she had imagined it. She calls it "A rainbow over storm clouds." Thanks go to all the "SpinAndEats" who helped with this project.
And on my needles, another larger project I am getting close on. Here is Lyra, coming down the home stretch. I just can't wait to block this one. Very soon...
And finally, here is LucyFur, pondering how to talk to BadKitten about life. While LucyFur was pondering, The Kitten just read the articles, snorted and left the room.
I might have warp progress to show you next week, not to mention Lyra progress!!?? I can certainly dream! Until then, knit on!

Sunday, September 21, 2008

And the beat goes on...

I dyed some of that lovely fleece, using natural stuff...that would be cochineal, turmeric, walnuts and goldenrod.
I dyed some of my hand spun yarn too...
Here you can see the fleece drying...
And the yarn drying, left to right...goldenrod, tint of turmeric and cochineal (3 skeins), tint of walnut, cochineal, turmeric with a hint of cochineal. I just LOVE color.
Darling nephew, playing the accordion and doing a color dance.

And there is more to come...I hope some of you are weavers, because I will share the entire project once I am done. Until then, knit on (or weave on.)

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Madness and mayhem...what is she doing?

1000 yards of hand spun yarn from this roving, fingering weight, washed and soaked in alum and cream of tartar. I spun this on my wheel last week. I usually use a drop spindle, but not for this much yardage... Big pot of simmering water and Dawn dish soap...
Little baskets of this fleece (belonging to a sheep named Pretty Girl) from Pitchfork Ranch, soaking in hot, Dawny water...

What in the world am I up to?? More later!

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Workshop Alert!

I will be speaking at The Westchester Knitting Guild meeting, on September 22nd, 2008 at 7pm. The guild meets at the Chappaqua library. If you are interested and you're not a member, you can come as a guest and maybe join while you're there! I will be discussing lace traditions across both time (a few centuries) and space (a few countries.) I will bring charts to share. You can knit while I chat. The small pink and white sampler below is what we'll use, so bring needles and smooth, skinny yarn. I will also be teaching a lace workshop at Knitting Nation, in Nyack, New York, in October. This workshop will use a set of my special charts to explore a variety of lace techniques. The picture below and the pink and green swatches above will be part of the plan. Read more about it at the Knitting Nation website. I'll post a reminder and more details in October, but consider holding a spot for yourself now if you are interested. The workshop is two Sunday afternoons, but you can join for either or both Sundays, and you can choose to work on my special swatches or one of two projects you can knit using the same charts.
I have some other crazy stuff to share, but I deleted the pictures by accident so it will have to wait...until then, knit on!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

And the winners are...

As promised, the first two knitters who sent me finished Summer Sampler photos are getting goodies. The first and fastest knitter is Mary, who finished the same weekend that I posted the final chart. Needles on fire, I tell you! Mary knit her Summer Sampler and sent me the following information:
1) She used JaggerSpun Zephyr in white, size 1US (2.25mm) needles
2) Her blocked gauge was 22 stitches to 4 inches (5.5 per inch) with final dimensions of 22.5 by 72 inches point to point. (Not including the longer point of the corners)
3) She added the extra twist in the corner like Kim did. To make it easier to graft, on the final corner she put the cable in one row early. Mary says: "This was the most fun pattern that I have worked on in a long time. Usually I stop part way through the edging because I am just bored of it, this one I was so excited to see what it would look like all together that I couldn't leave it unfinished." Didn't she do an amazing job???

The next gorgeous photo to arrive was from Michele, a week later (still pretty darn fast!)

Michele sent me the following information:
1) She used Cashwool #987 and Addi lace needle.
2) Her finished size was 18" by 72"
3) Her favorite pattern was "Spiders."
Michele says : "Just wanted to thank you for sharing your design with me all summer long.
I looked forward to each installment and enjoyed each pattern." The cat says "You are so welcome!"

Mary and Michele will both be getting two balls of Lacey Lamb, in this lovely color, thanks to my Friend Jane at Jade Sapphire Yarn Company. THANK YOU, JANE! That way at least these two knitters will be totally ready for our Summer Sampler 2009, right?? (just kidding, I think...)

Please continue to send me pictures of your work, and I'll post another group of your Summer Samplers once I have a few collected. No more prizes except the joy of sharing your pictures!

I'll be back in a few days with some madness and mayhem. Until then, knit on!

Friday, September 5, 2008

"New" patterns now available!

I have been busy ... Driftwood Victorian Shoulder Shawl...
Plum Lotus...along with Fern Garden and Queen Anne's Lace.

I have recently added several of my older patterns to the list of available downloads from Ravelry. You can see the full selection along the left edge of my blog. These older patterns are revised, and some include expanded charts. They will also continue to be available printed on lovely card-stock, through Jade Sapphire. I hope these new electronic versions will allow those of you outside the USA to have more of my patterns easily available.
If there are any other patterns you would like me to add, please let me know!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Well thank-you!

I have been gifted with this lovely blog award from two directions. First I would like to thank GJabouri, and second I would like to thank Fleegle. I am very honored. I was told to pass it on, but there are so many wonderful blogs out there I just can't choose, so I send this award off to my list of "daily reading." Knit on!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Summer Sampler Study: A Done Deal

I bid a fond farewell to my summer project, just in time for the first day back to school.
To review my blocking procedure, I soaked the piece in cool water for at least 30 minutes. I rolled it in a small towel to get the extra water out. I put some big towels down on my old rug. I used many pins to pin The Sampler out, one pin for each scallop.
It was hot and I was still sore from back-packing, so my pinning job is not perfect. Wool is so forgiving! And of course, the gorgeous daughter shots....

If you send me your finished pictures I will have one final Summer Sampler post, showing off your work, gifting a few balls of Lacey Lamb and in general celebrating ourselves.

Between that post and today, I have a slew on new things to share with you, from new designs, to the PDF release of old designs, to workshops, to crazy happenings Chez BadCat. Hint: one item involves a fleece, a loom, 3 hours, and some wild women (and maybe one man...) Good grief! I will be back with details tomorrow. Until then, knit on!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Kim's Corner and a brief on blocking

Kim, who is a member of my Yahoo Group, has been working her Summer Sampler in a heavier yarn. She wasn't digging the asymmetry of my corner and added a cable twist on row 48 of the corner chart. I think it looks very good and is an option for those of you who are using heavier yarn or who just can't do asymmetry! Thank-you, Kim, for sharing your idea and picture Now you can see my corner, blocking (or maybe not...) The towel isn't helping, I know.
To block The Summer Sampler:
Once you complete the final corner, weave in your ends, but don't cut them.
Soak your piece in cool water for at least 30 minutes (it must be fully wet.)
Roll it in a towel to remove extra water.
Lay it flat on a few towels over a blocking board or old rug.
Pin out each corner to about 25 inches by 72 inches.
Pin out each point of the edging (I used a total of 166 pins.)
Leave it alone until it is totally dry.
Remove the pins, clip the ends and take a nice picture!

To earn two balls of Lacey Lamb yarn:
Be the first two people to send me finished photos of your Summer Sampler! The fine print is that is has to really be the full pattern and it has to be blocked and photographed with care. If you didn't do all 12 patterns or did fewer repeats, or you didn't do the full edging it doesn't count. If you did minor modifications (like Kim's Corner or an alternate Grande Spiders) you are welcome to join the game! If you live outside the USA, only play if you are willing to pay postage. Look for the original comments about the Lacey Lamb game! (Maybe Canada if the postage is really the same, but I retain the right to verify that:)

I'll be back tomorrow with blocked pictures of my Summer Sampler and more! Until then, Knit on!