Saturday, January 28, 2012

Playing with patterns: Log Cabin

The thing with a small loom like the Cricket is that you're kind of limited in what you can weave -- but then again, you're only limited by your imagination in what you can do with the narrow strips that come off of the loom. A thousand scarves? Stitch the strips together to make an afghan? Heck, weave them together, maybe? There's a carry bag for the Cricket that I've seen that's made with long strips cleverly arranged and sewn together that I hope to make when I can find suitable yarn at a decent price. I'd like to use linen for durability, but may settle for bright cotton.

In the meantime, I'm playing with patterns from The Weaver's Idea Book by Jane Patrick. It has dozens of patterns for rigid heddle looms, and I plan on playing with lots of them.

I warped the loom for a log cabin design, which was pretty simple, but took careful attention to the order of the colors as I wove, as well as twining the two colors together at the edges:

But the final scarf was worth the extra attention, I think:

The warp is:
1 dark
1 light
1 dark
1 light
1 dark
1 light
1 light
1 dark
1 light
1 dark
1 light
1 dark
repeated across. The order of colors when weaving is the same.

This scarf is another that's destined for the Pine Ridge Reservation. They often need things for men, and that looks pretty manly to me.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Knitting blogs, post-SOPA/PIPA

Hey, did you see this gorgeous new sweater on Here's a linked image:

Oh, and did you see that wonderful cable design in the new afghan from DROPS? Here's a detail:

The cats were particularly adorable today, so adorable I captioned the photo and posted it on the I Can Has Cheeseburger site. Cute, huh?

And I finally finished that Alice Starmore aran sweater that took forEVER! Here's my own photo of my own rendition of Starmore's gorgeous design:

There you have it, blogging post-SOPA/PIPA. The idea was good -- stop internet piracy -- but the actual documents only hand control of the internet over to corporate interests. Readers in the U.S., please write to your senators and representatives to oppose these two bills. The internet is still the one form of media not entirely under corporate control -- yet.

Do you want "fair and balanced?" Okay. Here's a short video from YouTube titled "Why you SHOULD support SOPA/PIPA." Give it a click. I think you'll like it.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

The Cricket is chirping along

I'm simply enchanted with how magically this houndstooth check appears as I weave on the Cricket:

I would never have imagined it was that simple. The warp is 2 gray, 2 black all the way across. I weave 2 picks with gray, 2 with black, careful to pick up each new color by passing it under the one I just put down, so they twine together at the selvage. That's it. The houndstooth check just appears as I weave.

There's a charitable group on Ravelry, For the Children of Pine Ridge, that knits for the people of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. The poverty there is gut-wrenching, with about an 80% unemployment rate. (All those companies sending manufacturing jobs overseas really need to rethink that when there are parts of this country in desperate need of meaningful employment.) The group is doing a "Babies and Elders" campaign this month and next. I thought I'd put my Cricket to work making wooly scarves. I ordered some closeout washable wool blend yarn from WEBS, but accidentally bought the fingering weight instead of the worsted weight I had intended. Instead of waiting for the 12-dent heddle that I ordered to get here, I doubled the yarn. It seems to be working well, and in fact, I like the fabric that it's making. I chose black and gray (and have tan and brown as well) because the group says they don't get a lot of things for men, and the men there tend to prefer conservative colors.

The one thing I worried about in getting a Cricket was, "What else can I make besides scarves? How many scarves can I really use?" I might not need many, but there are others in the world who can use a warm scarf. I'll get to practice different weave patterns, and other people will get warm woolies.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Last FO of 2011

Sometimes it takes a while to get the project photographed, the photos off of the camera, and then put them out where others can see them, but... finally, here is the last FO of last year:

The pattern is Silk Shimmer Scarf, which came free with a skein of Silk Shimmer yarn from Blue Ridge Yarns. It's 100% silk in DK weight, soft and luscious.

Hard to get the colors just right in a photo, but that's pretty darn close. The pattern is a simple knit-purl texture that produces a twill look.

Now, what will the first FO of 2012 be? Here are the current contenders:

First up is the Vest in a Jiffy pattern from Lion Brand Yarns, done in the Eco+ wool that I had left from my Iced cardigan. I'm making this for someone at the Pine Ridge Reservation, as part of a campaign by the For the Children of Pine Ridge group on Ravelry. With harsh South Dakota winters to contend with, and an 80% unemployment rate, the people of Pine Ridge need all the help they can get.

Next up, is a Morgan hat for me, which will be an English driving cap style of hat, done in Lorna's Laces Swirl DK that I got in a swap:

Back from a long time-out is a pair of Sailor's Delight socks, a pattern in 2-At-A-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes. The two-at-a-time on circulars thing wasn't working for me. I kept going around both socks with the same yarn and got so frustrated that I set them aside. I guess I'm a DPN gal all the way. After I put both socks on DPNs, they've sped right along.

And I'm taking a stab at knitting mitts straight from silk hankies without spinning. It's taking a bit to figure out how much -- or rather, how little -- to draft out the hankies. The mitts are soft, but started out pretty floppy, and my laddering is awfully obvious.

Have I had a touch of start-itis? Why, yes, I have, in spite of my good resolutions, but hey, I'm being good and trying to finish at least one project that's been on the needles for a long time.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Knitters are superheroes!

But you already knew that, didn't you?

For more evidence of superhero-ish-ness of knitters, watch this delightful little video, Aleksandr the Last Knitter.

Crafty New Year 2011

Hello, 2012! May this year defy all dire predictions and be the best one ever, for everyone, in every way. (I mean really, just because the Mayan calendar supposedly runs out this year is no reason to panic. What do you do when your calendar runs out? You buy a new one, right?)

Continuing the tradition begun last year, the Salem Area Ravelers got together for a craft-a-long at the IKE Box. Most folks came with their knitting. I brought my spinning. We had a raffle and raised $186 for Isaac's Room Foundation, which helps us feel like we're paying our fair rent for the space that we get to use free.

It's hard to get good candid shots indoors with the kind of lighting that's in the ballroom. Besides, when people are bent over their work, they tend to look serious. We were having fun. Really we were.


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