Thursday, February 05, 2015

The Finishing Has Begun!

First, I have a couple FOs to report:

 This is the younger, more attractive brother to the first blue silk hanky: 100% silk, upcycled from a skirt, with hand-rolled hems and hand embroidered sashiko style in circular Gallifreyan that reads "Bad Wolf." More about this little gem when I talk about this week's technique.

I believe my French knots turned out better on this one than on the first one and I like the outer circle rather better in the running stitch than in chain stitch. I have yet more of this fabric and I may do a little bag or something out of the scraps that are the wrong shape and size for hankies. How fancy would a little blue silk bag be?

These have been sitting around, waiting for me to learn about afterthought heels. I absolutely love how they look, but I'm not a hundred percent happy with the fit of this particular heel. I want to try some different ones before I give them up, but I have learned that this one isn't my favorite.

These are Maryvillian Blue Heelers in Studio Avenue Six Self Striping Yarn (discontinued), colorways Just for Jess (she dyed it for me!) and 2 Lt. Blue, 2 Dk. Blue. The pattern is a modified Chevron out of Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch.

Other than the afterthought heel shenanigans, I loved this pattern and it was perfect for this yarn. It's really too bad that the yarn is discontinued because my other socks, OSU socks, have worn really well in the time I've had them with little to no felting in the heels and no fading through many washings.

I haven't picked up Ms. Summer's hanky this week, but I did make significant progress on my proto-neice's sweater. It needs sleeves, a button band, and a collar, which should all go pretty quickly, barring any knitting disasters. It's such a quick, satisfying knit. I love everything about it. I've started the sleeves, so it should be done by next week.

I've also been working on the privet dyeing experiment with the SoUP batts. They're out of the dye bath and currently drying in my bedroom. I'm not really convinced about the color, though. I'll have to see it in daylight when it's dry, but from what I can tell, the color is very subtle and in shades of blue to green to yellow.

They're still wet here and have since been washed. 
This has been a really good learning experience, if nothing else. Dyeing batts is a pain in the rear end and I'm still a little worried I've felted it, so I'm going to be dyeing either fiber still in locks or already spun into yarn. I've also learned that I could really use bigger pots and more than one pot. Stainless steel should be non-reactive and I should be able to pick a couple big ones up for not very much at a place like Big Lots. More plans for dyeing are in the works and it's going to be a lot of fun playing with colors. I was daydreaming about lichens and oak galls the other day and thinking about planting a dyer's garden.

Most of my other daydreams lately have been about garage doors, more gardening, and what life would be like if I lived on Sesame Street.

This week's Technique is:


The link will take you to a very good tutorial on how to do traditional sashiko. Because it is my way, I only sort of followed some of the instructions and ended up not really doing what you might call traditional sashiko on the silk hanky at the top of the page. It's sashiko-ish. Instead of the fat thread usually used, I used a single strand of regular embroidery cotton. Rather than a geometric all-over design, I did something in circular Gallifreyan. I did pay close attention to how the threads met at corners and sharp turns, however, because I wanted it to look tidy and professional. Over all, I'm very pleased with how the second hanky came out and I may do more sashiko in the future.

And in honor of February is for Finishing, the Airing of the WIPs (a few days late):

  1. Fork in the Garbage Disposal socks: One sock knit to just past the heel
  2. Baby Ruth's Classy Sweater: See above
  3. Louise, a seamless saddle shoulder pullover: Part of the body knit. Still love the Dickens out of it.
  4. Besties 4-eva: One link "done," but really needs a couple more repeats, at least. 
  5. Meditations on the Holy Mother: A "process" knit rather than a "product" knit. I'm not overly worried about finishing this one in February. 
  6. Mr. Rippley, my coffee friend: Actually pretty close to finishing this one. Maybe a couple stripes of each color to go.

I won't finish everything this February, but it's nice that all the projects are things I love working on and I'm sure I'll finish quite a bit before it's all said and done. Nothing got frogged or flung this year. It's a nice knitting place to be, but I think it might be nicer if I lived on Sesame Street.

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