Monday, April 30, 2018

Unreal Knitting / Culling

I'm not a real knitter and sometimes folks misunderstand this to be false humility, but let me explain. I know there is the kind of knitting many folks do, that Mom did voraciously all my childhood, and then there's my kind of knitting; I don't think in terms of shapes or finished product, a usable garment, but as a  square/rectangular/tubular canvas on which to play with shapes and 3D-ness within the viewfinder. Colors so far have been are accidental.

Knitting can start the moment I decide to start, and I have only two sets of needles so I make the yarns fit the needles. I only play with cables. Everything is so simple and it's instant gratification compared to weaving. Except when I get the crazy idea I want to make something. I managed 60cm of Ben's scarf after a week/10 days. The last couple of days I started making mistakes and have been spending a lot of time remedying.

I culled yarns Friday. It helps to have a criteria, so though with great regret, I donated big cones of puffy, slubby wool, one in all kinds of gray, and another in terribly beautiful late-autumnal colors. Both sat on my "display" shelf from time to time because they were excruciatingly beautiful, and sampled a few times, but were much too coarse after wet-finishing. I was more successful with culling silks, cottons and unknowns, with some exceptions: I saved some plant-dyed fat single silks because I've never woven with then, the colors are lovely spring meadow colors in harmony, (although a couple have started fading,) and I'd like to try them in tapestries or bag material in tapestry-like style. I also saved rug warp cottons. I saved two huge cones of synthetic chenille because of the fabulous mid/dark purple; I might knit with it. Wool is harder to cull as what's left are lovely and there's always that chance of magical transformation after washing. I saved massive amounts of Mom's hand-dyed handspuns, all in old NZ wool, possibly from two or three different breeds, (though it could be that some colors feel coarser?) in fabulous array of blues, some peach/oranges, and some undyed, all meant to look lovely together. They are not merino, quite coarse, so I might make picnic blankets, for example. (We still use wool picnic blankets here.) And it's the last big lot of Mom's hand-dyed handspuns, so of course I'll give it a go before parting with them.

We took them to the Hospice shop on Saturday. I was slightly embarrassed about the amount; the duty staff was terribly appreciative at first, but slightly mortified when I told here there may be more. I probably gave three large rubbish bags full? It made a noticeable dent at home, but still only a dent.

The books, though, around which I've been piling up ever higher and gingerly walking around so as not to topple them, worry me. The Fear of Missing Out is greater - I want to read them all and then reread them. That's going to be a whole other post.
It's taken me so long to weave the second and third pieces on the current cashmere warp I can't remember what they look like, except the second was utterly random, third had a bit of color scheme. I simplified the visual on the fourth: two colors and changing the direction of the twill a lot less often. It's true, simple can pack a punch; I can concentrate on the lines better. I love the last bit of curve I managed to make, and in the future I might actually make a template of pleasing lines.

Or not. Who am I kidding. Right?

3 comments:

  1. Beautiful piece there on the loom! I'm impressed with your edges!! Re: the books, unless they're art books, you can always borrow them from the library when you intend to read, no? And meanwhile pass them on?? xx

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    1. Not our library, unfortunately. I have a lot of odd/quirky or old books, as well as American and UK books which weren't big hits here. Which is why I have to buy them.

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    2. The one on the loom is much simplified compared to the past 3 from the same warp, and it was shocking to see how simplifying gave it more punch than the others, especially the last two where I got quite lost. :-D

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