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  • knitting1105 3:09 pm on October 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Two Nancies 

    After a weekend at Vogue Knitting Live, our local yarn shop Knit Nirvana hosted Nancy Bush and Nancy Marchant on Monday evening for show and tell, wine and book signing.  Nancy and Nancy both showed examples from their books in a mini fashion show.  I forgot to take my camera, so consequently these photos are with my cell phone, I took more of people’s feet than anything else!

    Nancy Bush is the Estonian expert; lace, socks and history.  She is a great teacher I have taken classes from her in the past.  Some of these models I have seen prior, but always so worth seeing again.  These are mostly from her book Knitted Lace of Estonia:

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    Nancy Marchant is the Brioche lady.  I was not familiar with her, or her books, but as I was leaving, the thought came to me that I had knit a Brioche hat, and sure enough it was a Nancy Marchant pattern from the Vogue Hats book. ultimate-hat-book

     

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    Brioche is essentially Fisherman’s rib, but with a pattern attached.  Consequently it is very soft and squishy, warm but light weight, and most importantly reversible.  This was made with 2 very different handspun yarns.  I like the purple side facing the best.

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    Here is Nancy showing one of her lovely scarves.  Apologies again for the very poor photo.

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    She has her first book,  Knitting Brioche that was previously published,

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    and a new hot off the presses one that was at the store.  I gave the copy I had in hand to someone else, always other opportunities.

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    Nancy M also has a Brioche scarf in the upcoming Holiday issue of Vogue.  Applying Brioche to lace knitting.

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    A couple of her scarves were with gradients, which got me to thinking….

     
  • knitting1105 8:52 pm on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Just for Ria 

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    I was going to title this Baby Ria, as that is what we all called her this summer on vacation.  But, she is no longer a baby, and that is a title that I think that she would like to not have carry over.  So, I finally finished the sweater for Toddler Ria, and sent it off last week.  It arrived, and I received a lovely video of her trying to put it over her head.

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    Totem jacket with handspun yarn…

     
  • knitting1105 11:45 am on October 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Laundry Day 

     

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    25 Pairs.  Mostly Dan’s.

    I need more clothes pins!

     
    • andresue 7:53 am on October 18, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      That is a glorious sight!!

      • knitting1105 7:48 pm on October 22, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! Lots of hours there. Luckily, my husband really really appreciates hand knit socks.

  • knitting1105 8:55 am on October 6, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    For Mom 

    My mother was  great crafter, sewer, quilter and crocheter.  In addition to making all of us beautiful quilts, scrubbies to use in the kitchen, and painting objects, she loved to make crocheted snowflakes for the Christmas tree.  I have many of her  snowflakes, so when I saw this book at the Japanese grocery store the other day, I knew that I had to have it.

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    Lovely colors and shapes.

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    This idea of putting a snowflake on a pair of felted mittens really appeals to me.

     

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    Hopefully the class that I took from Donna Druchanus on knitting with Japanese pattern books will help me to decipher these patterns also.

     
    • Manning 1:31 pm on October 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Those are great! And I love that they all seem to actually have 6 sides! Most knitted “snowflakes” have four or eight sides/points, which always drives me nuts because I’m kind of a snowflake nerd and of course snowflakes always have six sides because of the triangular nature of the h20 bonds. https://www.google.com/search?q=knitting+snowflake+pattern&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=nYI1VJO0PIixogSX3IDYBQ&ved=0CB8QsAQ&biw=1338&bih=762

      • knitting1105 11:39 am on October 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        The first snowflakes that my mom made had 8 sides, as she read the pattern wrong. She wanted them all thrown out, luckily I kept some. Thanks for the knitting link. And I don’t know what an h20 bond is exactly, but I appreciate that all of nature makes sense. Check out the book The Power of Limits

    • Helen 5:21 am on October 11, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I bought a copy of this also. And I also like that these are ‘anatomically correct’ snowflakes! :)

  • knitting1105 8:34 am on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Experimenting 


    After seeing how easy maggie’s dyeing was, and also seeing samples from another friend Kate, I was anxious to try something myself at home.  My collection of marigolds is not quite big enough, but the front yard was bursting with Black-eyed Susans.  Reading about them, it looked as if they would give some good color.  First I set about collecting the flowers and boiling them, letting them set all night, then simmering for 2 hours.

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    Next, I did the same with the leaves

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    Before dyeing the skein of yarn, and later 2 sections of  fiber (unfortunately I had not marked the fiber content, so do not know what kind of wool it was), each group was soaked for 20 minutes in an Alum bath.  Then soaked in the dye bath.

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    Here are my results from the skein of ear, using the flower tops.  Kind of bland, especially compared to what I dyed earlier in the week.

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    This photo is of the 2 sections of roving one dyed with the flowers, and one with the leaves.  Negligible difference in either, and again, kind of bland looking.  I believe that the roving on the right was from the leaves, just a tad bit more yellow in it.  I am thinking that I will spin this test up, and then overdye it later.

     

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    Moral of the story is that it is not as simple as I thought.   I have some books on order from the library.  Also, will be taking a natural dyeing class this month at Vogue Knitting Live.

     
    • Manning 10:26 pm on October 8, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Do you follow the Finnish user leena on ravelry (http://www.ravelry.com/people/leena). She does a LOT of experiments with natural dyes and I have been following her blog for years. I long for both her garden and one of her mitten kits. (She also has a store here: http://www.riihivilla.com/)

      • knitting1105 11:36 am on October 17, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Now you have expanded my wish list! She gets beautiful colors.

  • knitting1105 12:18 pm on October 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: natural dyeing   

    Dyeing Part II 

    After last weekend dyeing at the soon-to-be Sugar Beet Coop, Maggie invited a few people over to her house to dye some yarn, and use more of the Indigo.  First I took some lovely angora blend sock yarn, and dyed it in the Indigo. I love this color, the look of blue jeans in the softest of sock yarns.

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    Unfortunately, the color is rubbing off on my hands, and has diluted a bit.  I need to see if I can overdye it again, and get something to set the color better.

    The other yarn that I took to dye was some nondescript  Merino, imported from China, that was given to me years ago.  I never had much interest in working with it.

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    That is until now!  Here is one of the skeins dyed in Weld I think, again thanks to Maggie.  Look at that beautiful, rich color.

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    Next, my own experiments.

     
    • Deb 11:29 pm on October 4, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      At some point I heard someone mention vinegar can help set the indigo when it is rubbing off. It might be worth researching.

      • knitting1105 1:06 pm on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I tried vinegar, but perhaps my solution was too weak.

    • Marjo 6:32 am on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Beautiful colours! I really need to try indigo at some point as well.

      • knitting1105 1:05 pm on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! My little foray into Indigo dyeing has me wanting more also. Perhaps next summer, as it seems like a good outdoors project.

  • knitting1105 1:45 pm on September 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Prepping my first fiber 

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    It is not that I do not have enough yarn, or already prepared fiber.  3 years ago, I went to the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival, and I stayed overnight in Grayslake, with the intention of visiting Gretta’s Goats at Prairie Crossing, where they part of an incubator farm at the time.  They have since purchased a new farm, a couple of hours west of here, with a lot more goats too.  While getting the tour of the goats, Gretta had this fiber for sale, 1st lamp clipping from Violet, a Pygora (Pygme/Angora cross breed) who produced the wonderfully soft fiber that I will process and spin (hopefully)..  I purchased it, and it has been sitting in a bag ever since.

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    Last year I took a spinning class from Deb Robson in Wisconsin, and she gave us this scouring and wool wash.  I have been keeping it until I could put it to good use.

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    So, I know that I most likely did many things wrong thus far.  I did have the fiber pulled away from the running water, but now know that I should have had multiple bins of water and transferred the fiber over.  The scouring soap worked well, getting out a ton of dirt.  There is still some VM in there, but carding will hopefully take care of that.

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    When I set it outside to dry, I was afraid that I had totally ruined it, seemed felted.   I tried pulling the fiber masses out.  We left for dinner, and I woke up this morning thinking that this was an expensive mistake.

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    However, it is a gorgeous day, probably the last really warm day of this year.  The sun and air are drying it nicely and it seems to be fluffing up.

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    My drying rack is my sweater screen suspended between 2 outdoor chairs.  If I do pursue this again, something more suited would be good.  PVC rack perhaps?  I do have my Mom’s old PVC quilting frame in the attic, that just might work…

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    I also need to make a plug for Gretta’s Soaps.  I absolutely love them, and often gift them to others.  Give them a try, check out her Etsy shop.

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    • Diane Hamilton 10:36 pm on September 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      I am so amazed how much work goes into dying and spinning the wool. Thanks for sharing and I hope this turns out the way you want!

      • knitting1105 1:07 pm on October 5, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        I now know why people only had 2-3 outfits at at time! And fax to linen, that is even more complicated!

  • knitting1105 12:48 pm on September 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: dyeing, marigolds   

    Inspiration 

    My mild foray into dyeing yesterday inspired me to look at what I had in my own back yard.

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    This was not the year for tomatoes.  But kale, green beans, swiss chard, and our Heritage Marigolds all did splendidly.  My husband is a sucker for a plant that says heritage, and planted these marigolds to help with keeping the bad bugs at bay.

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    Normally, they would be the small version, these top out at about 4′ tall! Beautiful, but they are shading my tomatoes and peppers.

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    We have had such great pollinators visiting first the native plant gardens, and now the marigolds.  The Monarch butterflies have loved the marigolds also.  Notice the pollinator on the left side in the next photo.

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    So, when you have lots of lemons, make lemonade.  When you have lots of marigolds, cut the flowers for a future dyeing experiment.

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    I have some others drying in the sun right now.

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    Taking advantage of the now open space in the back planters for this experiment.

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    I will continue to collect them for the rest of the Fall, dry them, and save them in a paper bag for a winter dyeing project.  Hopefully with a little help from Maggie!

     
    • Deb 10:57 pm on September 28, 2014 Permalink | Reply

      Marigold makes a lovely dye; one of my favorites. Enjoy your dyeing.

      • knitting1105 1:12 pm on September 29, 2014 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks, I will be collecting the flowers the rest of the season, then trying it. I was also looking at Black-eyed Susan’s, of which I have many, may try that too!

        • Deb 1:14 pm on September 29, 2014 Permalink

          If you have tansy or goldenrod in your area they dye wonderfully as well.

  • knitting1105 1:47 pm on September 27, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Dyeing Naturally 

    My friend Maggie, of Industrious Anarchy was demonstrating natural dying of fabrics and yarn at the location of the soon-to-be Sugar Beet Coop.

    Dye Pot-Luck

     

    She had a great board showing natural dyes on different fabrics.

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    People brought in fabrics and clothing to be dyed.  First the fabric was wetted.

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    Then immersed in the indigo dye vat.

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    It comes out looking green, but as she let the areas become exposed to oxygen, they turned the beautiful indigo color.

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    Here is the raw silk fabric that I dyed, we used clips to keep parts of it from accepting the dye.

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    And also at the event was Martha, whom I had met at YarnCon earlier in the year, teaching about spinning and fibers.

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    If you want to find out more about what Maggie is working on, check out this exhibit that she is working on.

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  • knitting1105 5:33 pm on September 25, 2014 Permalink | Reply  

    Poodles and Paris 

    A great birthday this week, including 3 dinners out, 3 lunches with friends and this great collection of gifts.

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    My husband got me this lovely sheep pin:

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    A friend gave me these plates (Michigan is my beloved home state), these will become our regular appetizer plates.

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    And another friend gave me these beautiful soap, lotion and lavender from France of course!

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    Poodles and Paris are two of my favorite things, my birthday twin from Ravelry got it spot on.  Every year a group of knitters born on September 22nd come together to trade names and buy each other gifts.  These are my favorite packages to open, as other knitters truly get it.  This year was very special indeed, my partner zeroed in on the theme of Poodles and Paris.

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    This pattern for Poodle themed mittens

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    This pattern for Eiffel Tower mittens (along with an Eiffel Tower miniature and Eiffel Tower note cards).  Both mittens came with Daletta yarn from Dale of Norway to knit them up with (one of my favorite yarns).

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    And then there were 2 skeins of sock yarn, a skein of lace weight yarn, almonds, and chocolates of course.  No need to ask why I love opening these presents.

     

     
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