Thursday, May 25, 2006

oooh, shiny

See? A shadow: the sun is shining! It's glittering off an array of markers, nearly 40 of them so far in silver-coated copper wire (I'm not good enough to deserve real silver :-), amber and... damn, I've forgotten what the green stone is. I had to think of something to do while scanning stuff yesterday. I hesitate to continue with work that matters just in case the machine decides I'm asking too much of it and lets an application die. InDesign does its own backups, but everything else requires me to do it and I rarely remember at the right times. I'm thinking of lace, Sivia Harding's Diamond Fantasy Shawl and, of course Birch. Handmaiden Sea Silk colourway 'Ivory' is swatching on 3.75mm in the DFS pattern; I love silk, but in the last week or so I've begun to understand why one might want to use it spun with at least a little wool. Its lack of elasticity is very unforgiving, but I almost got that 'this is Right' feeling knitting after lunch today. When I finally decide if I got gauge on the Enigma (those blobs confuse the issue) I'll cast on my first try at a proper *fitted* t-shirt. I bet rain descends again as I do so.
The post this morning delivered two 60cm 2.25mm Inox circulars, so I did the figure-8 cast-on for my first proper pair of socks in the Blueberry Hill. Woot! (I believe that's the appropriate exclamation to describe my excitement.)

What else... ah, you might want to see the weaving. I keep admiring it, well, bits of it. Note that the neat Really Twilly bit at the bottom of the picture is not correctly aligned (at 45°). I corrected my tension after the first lavender insertion. That vertical band was an attempt to be very, very clever. It would work if I could keep track of the pattern in it hasn't worked. My thought was that the scarf would be very, er, horizontal with all those horizontal bands of twill and various wefts, so I set up four shafts I just happened to have spare to produce a diamond pattern that would repeat up the length of the scarf to give it some verticality. Problem is that, with other plans not yet visible in that sample, I am working 12 shafts and with only an hour or 90 minutes at most to spare in the average day, I just can't establish a rhythm and spend ages writting stuff down, or working knitting row counters to keep track of what each set of four shafts has to do when I get back. Basket weave is easy (and absolutely GORGEOUS in that silk) but inappropriate. Grrrr. Another lesson learned. Annoyance made worse because the nice smooth silk becomes quite hairy with the wear from the heddles (I am not overworking the reed, honest, I'm being extremely careful), and it's sticking. I'm having to clear the shed manually each time I pass the weft. Someone suggested hairspray; you can't see it, but I've bought some to try. I also briefly considered a quick pass with a blowtorch to scorch the offending haze, but that might have been from annoyance. We'll see... Silk's lack of elasticity is a minor annoyance here, too. It contributes to the thread binding. On the other hand, as the tension evens out further down in the weaving the twill design slowly pops out. I love it.

ps. Notice that plastic drinking straws make perfectly acceptable bobbins/shuttles for short lengths of string. I just wish I'd wound that lavender onto the hot pink straw!


Dawn said...

Wow, those stitch markers are beautiful!!!!

sarah said...

(blush) They're easy to make if you want (and have time) to add *another* craft to your list (I do read your blog, you know :-) I learned the techniques from 'All Wired Up' by Mark Lareau. The wire is cheap, the beads can be cheap (, but you'll need the best pliers you can find/afford. I've only got two pairs, a round-nose and a flat-nose, both intended for electrical engineers.

Dawn said...

I'm one of those people that buy the equipment whether I'm doing the craft or not! I have got tons of wouldn't believe!!! I'll have to have a go. I've ordered some from a girl just to see how a "professional" makes theirs. I had some cheap ones that caught on everything I did! I don't want that to happen! Can you ever have enough crafts???