Tuesday, February 19, 2008

If nothing else, it will look cute on your head.

The first issue of WeaveZine is out!

A few months ago, Syne told me about starting up this new fiber arts magazine. Not being a weaver, I felt bad that there wasn't any way for me to contribute. Then we realized that I could contribute by helping combine knitting and weaving. We devised the basic project idea, and then I immediately got the cold sweats when I realized that I have very little lace design experience, and struggled a bit with the ins and outs of the one and only lace edging I'd done before.

Needless to say, I was as nervous as I was excited, at first. I mean, Syne is a superstar. I'm fairly certain that all of the Chuck Norris facts apply to her as well, with the bonus that she knows a lot more about weaving and knitting than Chuck ever could aspire to. So I looked through a bunch of edging patterns, to get my bearings. I didn't want to copy or emulate anything, but just get a better feel for my options in terms of construction and attachment to a piece of fabric.

I ended up going with plain and simple, with a design that looked nice with (I think) the woven fabric Syne whipped up. (And if you've never handled handwoven fabric, you don't know what you're missing. It definitely has magic in it, just like handspun yarn does.) Here's the result of our combined efforts:



The pattern for the weaving and the knitting can be found here. We used a 20/2 silk yarn, but if you don't have access to that, just think laceweight. If you aren't lucky enough to have access to hand woven fabric, you can still attach the edging from something store-bought.

If delicate white lacy Antimacassars don't interest you, how about some incredibly bright handspun?

handspun merino rainbow

85 grams, 443 yards, 22 wpi
2 ply, singles spun at a 15.5:1 ratio

Believe it or not, that's a bit underplied. I've learned that I naturally treadle a bit fast, so I probably added a bit more twist to the singles than would have been ideal. I'd hoped to be able to overply a bit, because I've heard that's good for sock yarn, but I wonder if slightly overspun and underplied (but still tightly plied) works well, too.

This yarn is not exactly what I planned to make with the roving. I had 7 somewhat equal amounts of merino roving in rainbow colors, totalling 100 grams. I wanted each single to have 3 rainbow repeats in it, with the second single slightly staggered (by ripping off a bit of red roving from the beginning and saving it for the very end), so my 2 ply yarn would have 3 rainbow repeats in it, with a bit of barberpoling at the color transitions. Have you noticed that that's no even close to what I got? What I did spin is the result of my second bobbin being slightly thicker than my first bobbin, completely throwing everything off. And I like it. It's a bit more frantic than I would have chosen, but was a great learning experience, and will make some truly funky socks. The yarn also ended up a bit thinner than I hoped, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I'll be able to get a decent sock fabric on size 0 needles. If only I spun that first bobbin slightly thicker! It would have solved both my problems!

And of course I have a bunch of that first bobbin remaining. I'm not sure what to do with it, so maybe I'll wind it off into a ball until I decide. I just ordered a Spinner's Control Card, which I hope will help me stay more on track in the future.

The pattern writing is almost done (just need to do a few dozen more read throughs...), and I have another gorgeous spinning project on the wheel. More to come soon!

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Blogger KnitItBlack said...

That yarn is AMAZING! I love it. I don't know that I've ever commented here, but I read your blog all the time and I'm always impressed. :) I love the woven/knit piece too - incredible!

2/20/2008 4:02 PM  
Blogger Tora said...

That woven/knit piece is AWESOME! The combination of the two crafts is so harmonic. Wow!

2/20/2008 4:27 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


2/20/2008 5:47 PM  
Blogger Happily Knit said...

That really is a fantastic idea combining the two together like that, what a stunning final product! Seriously gorgeous.

2/20/2008 6:06 PM  
Blogger Beverly said...

I love when fiber arts are combined. The woven/knitted piece is beautiful.

2/20/2008 7:10 PM  
Blogger marisa said...

I understand what you mean about wanting the roving to ply up as a rainbow, but I really like the way it turned out. It has all the best qualities of rainbow colours without being too Rainbow Brite, y'know? Can't wait to see the socks that come from it!

2/20/2008 8:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That handspun is to die for!


2/20/2008 9:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much beauty here today! And so much contrast--the simple, elegant white lace and the insistently cheerful sock yarn! I had to do a double-take when you mentioned using size 0 needles--without a scale object I couldn't tell that the yarn was so fine! I can't wait to see what you'll make with it.

2/21/2008 1:50 PM  
Blogger Linda said...

Beautiful yarn and lace.

2/22/2008 4:30 AM  

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