Here are a few examples from my current studio photography class. The assignment was called “Freezing a Moment in Time”.
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I finally have spun up the Reef Gradient from Fiber Optic.
This was the first of Kimber’s gradients that I purchased (I was already a fan, and had been in her club for 1 year). This sat on the shelf, as I felt while the colors were beautiful, that it was too bright and just not ME. Well, times have changed, and this long long winter has me looking for bright and sunny and anything that feels like warmth everywhere.
I have also come to appreciated the bright colored shawls and how striking they actually are.
My spinning was not as even as normal, so I had to pull it out a few times to bring the colors back into closer alignment. I do like some overlap to transition, but a couple of times it was too much. After plying it was washed and set on the bathroom radiator to dry. 990 yards of 2ply.
And then the photographs. The colors were so beautiful and intense that I took tons of photos. Enjoy the splash of brightness!
Now, I really want to knit this into a shawl quickly. I have a couple of ideas…
I had several questions asking to see what the back of this shawl looked like, so here are some more details, and a full shot showing how the gradient evokes from Honey to Fig. Enjoy the blast of color.
I cannot believe that I have not posted for 2 weeks! Must be that all of my energy is going into shoveling snow and attempting to stay warm. We are on the 3rd snowiest winter ever, and it is not yet halfway through February. Everyone is hoping that we do not break the record books.
During this hibernation phase, I have finished up my Semele shawl using the Honey to Fig gradient from Fiber Optic that I spun last Fall. There were several false starts with various patterns, so the real knitting with the final pattern chose actually was only about 2 weeks.
Having a pattern that was knit from side to side for this gradient became an obsession with me, not quite sure why. Three different patterns were tried before I settled on Semele, and I couldn’t be happier with the results. This pattern allowed me to knit 1/2 of the shawl increasing and then start to decrease. Either my calculations were incorrect, or the 2nd half of the braids were spun thinner. In either case, I am still happy and I have some leftover deep purple for future use.
Here is a photo blast for this yet again cold day. Colors were hard to capture, as it went from a golden-yellow to a very deep purple.
Pattern Source: Downloaded pattern
Yarn: Handspun gradient Honey to Fig from Fiber Optic
Needles: US 6
Date Started: 1/9/14
Date Finished: 2/8/14
Finished Dimensions: 68″ wide x 37″ deep
Knitting is the new yoga is a phrase often heard amongst knitters, and we like to point out that we accomplish things at the same time. As a yoga student, it has the meditative properties, but my abs and triceps benefit little from my knitting, try as I might. Today I was watching a talk show and they were taking about Transcendental Meditation and the associated health benefits. I was working on my current shawl, at a point in the middle of each row, where it is mindless stockinette stitch, and thought this is TM also. A quick google turned up this yoga retreat site that taught knitting as a meditative part of the retreat.
Knitting relieves stress for me, and comes out in times of crisis to keep me centered. It always is my solution for people going through difficult times in their lives, whether they be personal or physical. Some heed my advise, most look at me as if I were crazy.
This is my current shawl, Semele. I have added extra increases to make it a true shawl, you all know my less than passionate feelings towards “shawlettes”. Seems like any “ettes” are simply excuses for not having the completed full thing. The other rational was to use all of the yarn that I have, this is a handspun gradient from Fiber Optic, Honey to Fig. There were many false starts to this shawl, as I was determined that this gradient wanted to go side to side. This pattern was perfect, as you knit increasing until you have used almost 1/2 the yarn, then start decreasing. I might have pushed the envelope a bit on this one, but I do have a back-up plan in my head if I run out of yarn at the end.
Here is my progress, I am approaching the end quickly, having knit the majority of the body. I was in a fog, took me quite awhile to get the hang of the pattern repeat. And the cast-on befuddled me, as the first leaf is backwards, I kept thinking that I had made a mistake. It is advisable to read all the directions for a pattern first prior to starting to knit!
“Like the counting of the rosary, the motions of needlework are singularly well suited to the practice of contemplation” –From The Knitting Sutra by Susan Gordon Lydon
I just realized that I have not posted in almost 3 weeks. I am not really sure where the time has gone, I have been spinning and knitting and trying to stay warm. School closed today and tomorrow and most people working from home, although it is not as cold as it was 3 weeks ago.
As part of a Ravelry Challenge, I chose 12 different fibers to spin over the course of the year. When I saw the challenge, I knew that I wanted to participate, I just was having the dickens of a time choosing what I would like to work on for the next year. This does not preclude adding things to the pile, it is just that if you take one item out, you must put 2 back in. Good stash busting theory, let’s hope it works.
Here is my selection:
1. Loop batt, washed ashore. 4 oz.
2. Julie Spins, Amish, 6.1 oz.
3. Fiber Optic, Raspberry to Cream Gradient, 4 oz.
4. Fiber Optic, Dusty Plum to Olive Gradient, 8 oz.
5. River’s Edge, The Monkey’s Uncle, color Maple Leaf, 4 oz.
6. Gales’s Art, Red Red, 4 oz (CTA color)
7. Fiber Optic, Once in a Lifetime color, merino, camel and silk, 4 oz.
8. Western Sky Knits, Poppy, 8 oz.
9. Fiber Optic, Reef Gradient, 8 oz. (CTA color)
10. Gale’s Art, Brave, 4 oz. (CTA color)
11. Shetland tricolor from farmer in Wisconsin, 8 oz.
12. Cashmere from Illinois, to be washed, processed and spun, 10 oz
The Reef Gradient was the first to make it off the list, this was my first gradient purchase and I felt not up to the challenge for quite a while. The bright colors are perfect for this house-bound weather.
The fiber seemed a bit compressed, so I ran it across the tea kettle and let the steam open it up.
Notice the difference!
Those of you who know me are aware that my favorite needle sizes are 1 & 2′s with an occasional 3 or 4 (American sizes) thrown in. I love tight-knit, small stitch knitting. So, only for precious Sofia would I pull out my size 13′s and double an already bulky for me yarn.
Remember this book that I got at Vogue for free? I was sure that some of the sweaters would be right up her alley.
I was right, and she chose this one. Basically a tube with a reversed large cable on one side. Also, not my detailed, fitted pattern preference.
This was yarn that I had purchased from a woman’s destash of her mother’s knitting. Again, not my style, but I already had Sofia in the back of my head when I bought this.
I had 2 skeins of this yarn, and it filled my skein winder. It was way to big for even my special heavy-duty ball winder, so I wound it by hand. It was difficult as the ball quickly became larger than my large mitts. (Phone for scale)
Then I started knitting.
This weekend I need to pull it off the needles and put on a string and have her make sure that it is big enough and that she would actually wear it if I finish it.
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That is the air temperature this afternoon, not including the wind chill. Me, and everyone that I know is staying home, hunkering down. All my knitting and spinning friends are embracing the wonders of wool today, both in the wearing apparel and in the execution. Even our weekly Stitch-n-Bitch group has thrown down the knitted gauntlet and abandoned meeting tonight. Just too cold to go out for a minute, let alone start-up the car. Our house however is staying nice and toasty. The energy work that we have done over the past few years, in particular insulating the walls last year, is paying off well.
Today I have been spinning on some Fiber Optic roving, Reef Gradient which was custom dyed a couple of years ago for Completely Twisted and Arbitrary Spin-Along on Ravelry, I was not ready to tackle a beautiful gradient at the time, and since then have successfully spun several. This color way always just seemed too bright for me, then after wearing this shawl and getting compliments everywhere, I realized that I could pop the color intensity up a bit. And, it has been a dreary cold winter thus far, this seemed like the best cheer me up spinning I could think of.
Work on it is going slowly, as I think that I am spinning my finest to date. The color gradations make the slow spinning so much more interesting.
And on the knitting front, this Hanne Falkenberg sweater, Butterfly, has languished for 3-4 years, just missing its sleeves. Progress is slow and I had to figure out where I was in the pattern, but I am back in the groove. Will fill good to get another UFO out of the closet. I am a bit concerned about having enough yarn, so I think that I will switch over to the second sleeve and work on that so at least they match. If I run out, it will be shorter Kimono style.
Here are the Ravelry notes from when I first started it. Funny, and thanks Ravelry for keeping me honest about length of time to knit. People often ask me how long it takes to make something, and with this sweater I can truly say 5 years!!!
6-23-09 Still knitting. Finished the back, and 1/2 way through the front. Slow go, but I am determined to be loyal to this project to the end. Although it is 90 today, and humid.
I received this in the mail the day after Christmas.
Honey from my brother’s new hobby. I was so excited, and love, love, love the label. This is a photo of the barn doors from my parents farm where we all grew up. Even though my mother sold the farm years ago, the Figg name still remains on the barn door. My nephew Caleb captured this great photo when we were all in Michigan for my mother’s funeral last summer.
Sadly, I read on FB that all of my brother’s bees from both colonies had died . I know that he had moved them, not sure if he has figured out yet what happened. Hopefully he will have better luck with them this year. In the meantime, we are all gong to enjoy this honey. Thanks Karl!
Tudor Roses, I have both. The first by Alice Starmore (1998) has become an icon in the knitting book world, and commanding many times over the original $24 price tag. I have yet to knit anything from this, although it is definitely on my upcoming list to knit a Starmore sweater. All of the sweaters were inspired by members of the Tudor Dynasty, each comes with a brief bio of the person, and the necessary charts, etc for those who wish to actually knit them up rather than just drooling through the pages.
A couple of selections from the original book:
So when a new version of this book was issued (2013), I was not sure that it was necessary. How wrong could I be. This was an early Christmas present to myself, and well worth the current price of about $27 (list is $40). As described in the review: Part fashion, part photography, part English history, and all knitting. There are a few new patterns, and many reknit in a different color way, so they look totally different. Most important is the quality of this book, it is a lovely cloth covered hardcover, and has the look and feel of a beautiful coffee table book.
All of the photography is totally new, not set in scenes, but rather studio shots. Each sweater is on a different model, ones that Starmore chose to reflect her vision of the woman for whom the sweater is thus named. There are a few new patterns not found in the original book, at the expense of the Tudor men. Katherine was a color change, whereas Anne got a whole new look.
Here are some side by side comparisons of an original pattern to the new. The subtle color differences of the blue version here are more appealing to me.
The accessories in this book are really interesting, made specifically for the book.
No men in the new version, for that you need to look for the original.
A new version of Aran Knitting was also published recently, but I think that it is a Dover edition. Still, are there patterns there that I would need? How many duplicate book copies are truly necessary?!!!
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