Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Glentrekker by Jennifer Hagan, and it only took as long as it did because I worked on other things at the same time. It was endlessly interesting and engaging as a project, and while there were moments where I needed complete silence in order to concentrate on the different rates of decreasing at the armhole, raglans, and neckline all at once, it was never difficult. And, well, just looooook at the finished result. Guys, I want to wear this, I want to wear this right now, and every day. The yarn (oh man, this is the best part) is an unknown who-knows-what, bought at the thrift store, ten long sausage-shaped vintage skeins of it for four dollars. It is creamy, natural, DK-weight wool, and probably came as part of a kit for either a pretty big sweater or possibly a blanket--somebody had rolled some of it into a ball, probably in an unravel, and then gave up on the whole thing. For four dollars, I was willing to gamble that it would be wool, so when I got it home, I tested it by setting the end of a piece of it on fire. Wait! Hold on! Safety first! If you're going to do this, do it over the sink: take a three-inch length of the yarn in question, and light one end of it. Let it catch and burn for a second, then blow it out. If what's left on the end of the yarn is a hard ball of melted plastic that doesn't easily break off, you have acrylic (or maybe a mostly-acrylic blend). If what's left looks like a ball, but crumbles away when you touch it, you've got wool. (Another way to tell is to try felting it--I did this too, eventually, when joining one skein to the next. If it felts together with any kind of alacrity, it's wool. Plastic won't felt.) I love this thing, so much. Normally, the beginning of Pumpkin Spice Season makes this beach-loving summer girl a little bit sad, but whoo! This cardigan. I can see how a chilly day might not be so bad.
Monday, September 18, 2017
Ann Weaver was having a destash on Instagram, and for one lot of random chunks of spinning fiber from her collection, pieces of who knew what all sorts of sheep or wool or states of prep, I got there first and bought it. So there was this peach and gray and cream fiber from Carodan Farm with no color name, so I spun it all fluffy and gave it a name: "Grilled Salmon." It is as soft as butter. Spunky Eclectic--it is pink and purple and more pink, with a little bit of yellow, possibly accidentally. I called this one "Plastic Pony." (I love good color names. Why wouldn't you give it a great name?) Look. Dyed here, and spun into a two-ply, it looked less like me and more like tourmaline. More jewels. Jill Draper told me it was beautiful and that she loved it, and that I had done a good job. I folded that moment into a little origami heart and tucked it away for a rainy day. Then I took off the sweater and stuffed it in a bag because it was a gorgeous 81 degrees, and bought a whole bunch more yarn. And a fleece. For more spinning.
Tuesday, September 12, 2017
these kilt hose, and a new, near-perfect, but not-quite-perfect sweater. Who knows what I'll be wearing. There's a month to go! I'm still knitting.
Tuesday, September 5, 2017
Alabama Chanin right now, I will wait. The concept is basically jersey knits + handstitching + texture + no rules, ya'll. I made this one double-layered (the outer layer is from a piece of jersey I found at the thrift store, and the lining is made from two men's XL t-shirts from Target) because I hadn't yet decided whether or not to cut out the stenciled shapes--in the end I decided that this stencil pattern (AC's Magdalena) was a little too fine for me to tackle on the first try. I'm glad I did, though, because the double-thickness of this skirt feels really substantial, and like it might be nice and warm for winter. Which is coming. We will not think about that right now. I feel completely het up about this concept--jersey + handwork + do whatever you want--and I want to make All The Things out of jersey knits and paint and stitch them all up with a needle and thread and wear cottony clothes all day every day. I will wear this with boots and black tights and black or blue sweaters--up there is my Folded, all fixed and fitting me just like it should, hooray! I think my Stormtracker will work with this skirt, too. It's just so good. So satisfying, that it fits so well and comfortably, that it has a place in my wardrobe, and that it was tremendously fun to work on. You can do this too, try it. Just scrounge up a few big t-shirts, borrow one of the Alabama Chanin books from your public library, and make something. I want to make another, longer skirt, with a different stencil and maybe cut out the shapes this time, and then a long-sleeve t-shirt (double-thick, and embellished like crazy) and then a tunic dress, oh, friends, there are so many things to make. I want to show you this, too: