Saturday, March 13, 2010

Saturday Daydreaming: Or a Nighmare??

There is one thing I have kept up, in terms of playing with yarns, even this past week, and that has been knitting. I said I learned to cable-knit (is that the right way to say it?) from Mom in January, and I've been knitting and unraveling one ball of yarn since the start of February.

It's become a tad easier to keep the same tension in one sitting, as long as I don't knit for too long, but the next time I pick it up, the tension is all too different. And if I'm watching an interesting TV program at the same time, the knitting gets even more wobbly.

I am enjoying designing as I go, and knitting for the sake of knitting, rather than to work on a project. In fact, I like this tree trunk so much, I think I will keep it as is for the time being. I'm honestly taken aback by how much I'm enjoying the act of knitting, and how carefree I feel, and how that freedom allows me to make non-utilitarian object, not as preparation or study for the future, but just for the sake of making it. And I so understand knitters' temptation to make three-dimensional... stuff. So you have been warned.

Ben and I talked about more spontaneity in my weaving, but I have such a mental block about that still I need to ease myself into it. I'm also amazed that there is no wet-finishing for knitting, so I think the only thing remaining with this tree trunk is to steam press, with a wet cloth in between?

11 comments:

  1. That piece is cool -- cable knitting is a blast!

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  2. Yes, it is. It was far easier than I had expected. And again, I'm amazed at how much I already knew just by watching Mom. I wished she had started weaving when I was little!

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  3. Meg, I actually do something like wet finishing with my knitting. I soak the piece in really warm water and then roll it in a towel to blot the water out. (does this sound familar?) Lots of people steam their knitting and block it. If you follow this link: http://www.flickr.com/photos/felted-bags/sets/72157605977435833/ you will see alot of my hats. I get them completely wet, blot the moisture and stretch them over a plate to dry.
    Love your tree trunk!

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  4. I would actually feel much better by finishing pieces the way you describe, Holly. On the other hand, I'm a bit unsure how much to felt, as knitting yarns are strange beasts to me, and you know, my friend Megg Hewlett used to use the washing machine to completely felt her knitted bags. I guess sampling and experimentation is the key here, again!

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  5. Blocking is the word for it. Felting is something else. Most knitting yarn don't felt. But by stretching the knitted piece gets is form.

    Knittings need stretch, weaves need to relax. (And no, I'm most definitely do not wet finish my rag rugs. The wet finish-thing must be an American thing, not common in Sweden.)

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  6. Blocking. There must be tools for that, as I've seen in the Halcyon catalogs. For tonight, I steam-pressed it from the reverse side, with a wet cloth between the iron and the tree-trunk as well.

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  7. Meg, as long as there isn't any agitation, your yarn won't felt. Just let it soak and don't swish it around -- don't do this in the washing machine. The Yarn Harlot calls this process wet blocking. But steaming work fine too.
    PS Superwash yarns won't felt.

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  8. Desiree, my biggest question for the past few years - what do you pin it against? I've been looking for a suitable board forever - large cork boards, sturdy foam boards, but I haven't found anything I like yet! What do you use?

    Holly, I knew that about Superwash, though I am still going to samples with them and try boiling water, just to see what happens. But the rest, I'll just have to experiment.

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  9. A spare bed (or mattress) is the best I've used. A sturdy rug (under a table) is also fine. And then I have a kind of children's puzzle with big pieces, thats good to. The ironing board, if you have a small thing....

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  10. Gosh, some great ideas, Desiree, thanks a bunch! I have pins, and I have spare rugs. I guess I don't need new backing boards!

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