Deep sea swamp thing

February 24, 2014 § Leave a comment

deep sea swamp thing scarf

My WIP pile is getting out of control (well, more than usual), so I finally got around to tackling it, by adding fringe to a woven scarf. (Never mind the four WIP quilts and six WIP cardigans and jumpers…)

I called this scarf the Deep Sea Swamp Thing because that’s the name of both the colorways used. The yarn is a New England-spun and -bred Tunis intended for sock knitting, but I liked it woven. Dan, the owner of Gnomespun Yarn, helped me pick out colors at Rhinebeck this past fall, where the yarn debuted.

deep sea swamp thing scarf edges

Since I am not a sock knitter, the next project for the leftovers will probably be for a hat. I’m not particularly sensitive to wools, especially when it’s cold, so I think it’s perfect for many fingering/4 ply applications, but if you’re really sensitive do note that Tunis will never be as soft as Merino.

Here’s Deep Sea:

deep sea tunis yarn by gnomespun yarn

and Swamp Thing:

swamp thing tunis yarn by gnomespun yarn

I also particularly liked the reds so eventually I hope to get a skein or two of those colors for a similar scarf.

This one was woven on my Cricket loom with a 12 dent reed, using the teal as the warp and the forest green as the weft as I was inspired by some Oakshott shot cottons that I’ve been hoarding in my quilting fabric stash for quite a while.

I once read that there are two types of weavers: those who play with texture and those who play with color. In knitting I’m definitely more fascinated by texture, so I guess it makes sense that in weaving, where I often work with variegateds that are fussy knit up, I work more with color. It’s possible that one day, when wool mountain (a.k.a. my stash) has been conquered, I could become a texture weaver.

woven tunis scarf

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Woven scarves

March 5, 2013 § 5 Comments

bfl scarf 1

So after a long time, I finally pulled my Cricket out from the basement and successfully wove a scarf on it. Our long standoff has come to an end, and a beautiful British wool scarf is complete. I have no idea why I thought making a plaid pattern was a good idea, but I’m pleased that my foolhardiness did work out in my favor, at least this one time.

I used almost two full skeins of DK weight BFL yarn, both dyed in Wales. The green wool was dyed by Squeaky Elliot on Etsy, and the orange Bonnie DK yarn was dyed by Posh Yarn. They’re quite possibly the same base; the Squeaky Elliot BFL felt a little thinner when weaving, but once I soaked the scarf and let everything sort of bloom fully, I can’t really see a difference. In any case it’s so soft, as one would expect from BFL. Plus it is perfect for the Knit Brit 2013 personal challenge thread on Ravelry, where you can also check out a lot of other wonderful projects using British wool. Currently I have a bulky cardi on the needles using Rowan Purelife British Breeds Chunky, which I’ll share there eventually when it’s finished.

bfl scarf 2

To make the plaid pattern, here’s how I warped the loom:

16 orange (8 slots), 6 green (3 slots), 16 orange, 6 green, 16 orange

90.5” of warp

Then when it was time to weave, I weighed out the remaining yarn for the weft and decided on a 7:3 ratio of green to orange.

Orange yarn remaining for weft: 43 grams (31.6%)
Green yarn remaining for weft: 93 grams (68.4%)

Striping pattern:

14 green 6 orange

Orange yarn remaining after scarf is complete: 21 grams
Green yarn remaining after scarf is complete: 40 grams

After finishing the scarf (soaking it for a half hour in Soak wool wash and then rinsing clear, and letting it air dry), the dimensions were 75” long, plus 4.5” of fringe at each end, and 6.5” wide. It turns out that our dining table, fully extended, is the perfect warping length for scarves for people of my height. Yay!

The total scarf weight is 136 grams.

bfl scarf 3 « Read the rest of this entry »

The monster mash

February 12, 2013 § 2 Comments

It’s been pretty quiet for the past few weeks, thank goodness, since before that I was swamped with an awful cold/flu/both? that really sucked the life out of me for about two weeks in the middle of January. I was so sick that even picking up knitting needles seemed exhausting. Then of course I spent a few days trying to get organized before school started again, which it (ugggggh) has. However, I did accomplish a few of my goals for this year, or at least got moving on them.

First, I got all (ok, probably most) of my charity knitting done for the year. I made four monsters for the 600 Monsters Strong project on Ravelry. Actually, I technically made 5, but the first one was too short to make the grade. And it also wouldn’t fit in the priority mailing box I sent out today. Maybe it’ll be a baby gift or something? Or I might just keep it since it’s so cute.

Anyway, the monsters are all made from STASH YARN! One of the skeins even dates back to 2010. Some of them are made from fingering or sport-weight held double, which I really like for variegateds since it seems to blend the colors really well. The pattern is Iris the Gourmet Monster by Rebecca Danger, which you can purchase on Ravelry now – it was originally released as a kit, though perhaps it may still be available that way too, through Lorna’s Laces. There were a few mods to the pattern to meet 600 Monsters height requirements; I lengthened and widened the torsos though the limbs are still the same.

It seems silly, but while intellectually I understood that yarn is sold by weight, not length, for some reason it seemed like cheating to use the yarn held double. Then when faced with the option of buying yarn to knit monsters, or using up single skeins of variegated that are, frankly, perfect monster colors, I finally caved. Nothing like an idea working out well to inspire happiness and even more multiple-yarns projects; I’m knitting a cardigan with worsted held triple to make super-bulky.

I also got going on my scarf of the month project, though naturally I fell behind in January. Made from 100% British BFL wool, this scarf is really soft and hopefully going to meet my expectations, which are admittedly pretty high since it looks so good on the loom. (I say that because the last time I tried to weave, it went really well until it really, really didn’t, and I had to cut everything off the loom. We needed some space after that.) (Also I figured ou that using strips from a paper bag are what caused my warp to mess up, since the bits of paper on the bottom of the bag probably tangled the warp. This time I used brown craft paper from a roll, except not straight from the roll since it’s reused from its first life as packing materials from drugstore.com.)

The yarn is Posh Yarn Bonnie DK, in orange/tan, and Squeaky Elliot BFL DK in green. Both are from Wales, actually, now that I think about it, and both companies I found through Ravelry, which has been both a curse and a blessing for my stash!

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