Monday, March 14, 2011

Stitches West, Birthday, FO's

What a great tradition this is turning into, going to Stitches West on my birthday weekend.

Friday I took a great class on Swedish twined knitting, Tvåänddsstickning, by Beth Brown-Reinsel. It is done by working from both ends of a ball of yarn, twisting the yarn every stitch for a firm fabric. It can be done in one color or two, and is in the round. I found it quite challenging. You twist one way for knit, the other for purl. I kept getting confused. I left class a little early because my hands hurt, so I didn't get one of those cool photos of all the student projects, but here is the progress I made in class.

Once I do a little practice I will switch to a new pair of wristlets. Most commercial yarn is plyed in the S or counter-clockwise direction. If you use it while twined knitting it comes untwisted. Black Water Abbey yarn, from Ireland, is plyed Z, or clock-wise. Handily they were at Stitches.

So, yes, I broke my over year-long spell and bought yarn. Hey, I need it for a Scandinavian technique. It was birthday money. I also bought a book about twined knitting and sock blockers! I didn't go back to the market on Saturday, I felt quite satisfied with my purchases. I would have liked to look at a lot of things again, but it wasn't worth the drive back down. I had the worst commute ever Friday, the just normally just over and hour drive took over two-and-a-half. At a couple points I was sitting still on the freeway in the rain in the dark.

Side note, I got a glass head from Pier One for blocking and photographing hats last month. I love it.

I also received lovely fiber-y gifts for my birthday. A Will Taylor Lazy Kate. A lovely nostepinne.

Yarn and (not pictured) three kinds of wool to spin from my kin.

Time to catch up on knitting. I got my Bohus Nye Azalea hat done!! Here's a close-up.

The photo way up top was taken by Tracey who apparently is a reader of this blog. I also got her to take pictures of my Waving Lace socks, knit in Wollmeise.

I finished another pair of Wollmeise socks, pattern Shur'tugal late last year. I've got a third WM pair almost done.

The very popular One-Sock-A-Month group is doing argyles next. I'm all set to go.

The preschool held it's annual auction and I donated a few handmade things, including the handspun knit hat and mitts up there with the glass head.

I received some Coopworth wool. I've been wanting to try dyeing multicolors and free fiber and a sick day home with the kid seemed like the perfect opportunity for playing. I had him in a mask and safety glasses as we carefully put Jacquard Acid dyes in the hot water/vinegar/wool bath.

I was amazed that the colors actually soaked right in instead of migrating throughout the water. In the past I've been working for the opposite, dye throughout the water to get even color. We got the distinct colors, and then played a bit with blending.

I spun it up for the auction.

Late last year the kid wanted to make his teacher "Iguana yarn" it had to be green and shiny. Okay. So he picked out green dye and Angelina fibers. I dyed the wool, spun it up S and plied it Z because she's a crocheter. I had heard that yarn specifically for crochet is spun like that.

I know a bunch of ladies having babies, so I've been busy knitting little things that I can't post about.