Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Evidence of Fiber Manipulation

Every so often I do remember to post pictures of what I've been working on, to remind you (and myself) that one of the key topics around here is knitting.

Exhibit A: My First Niddy Noddy, in Use.

It contains 44 yards of my first yarn, spun from the corriedale/montadale fiber I got from Susan, who got it from the school janitor/shepherd she knows in Maine. I only had one bobbin, and wanted to empty the bobbin, so I used Navajo ply to turn it into a 3-ply. Dashed clever people, the Navajos. As yarn, it sucks. But it's my first yarn, and I love it for that reason.

Exhibit B: My First Yarn, in Ball Format

Because I just can't stop looking at it. I mean–it's yarn! And I made it! In comparison, the thrill of graduating from Harvard was minimal. (The little sheep are a present from C, who found them in New York City. They glow in the dark.)

Exhibit C: The Glencora Baby Shawl, Edging in Progress

Glencora started off as the February baby shawl in Elizabeth Zimmermann's Knitter's Almanac. She said I'd get bored with the plain stitching and she was darn tootin.' So I threw in the tulip, which is Tulip Lace II from Barbara Walker Volume I. Then I added the rosebuds, which are from Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting, a book I have come to love more than some of my previous boyfriends.

I'm slightly disturbed by the proximity of the outer rosebuds to the edge of the shawl, but am pretending I can ameliorate this in blocking.

Exhibit D: Close-Up of a Screw-Up

The edging on Glencora is the Wave Edging from Heirloom Knitting. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this edging–it's enjoyable to work, looks pretty, and is far simpler than the uninitiated would imagine.

On my first go at it, I was attaching it with the usual k2tog. It looked like rubbish. So I switched to s1, k1, psso. This I liked - it gave a cute little plait along the joined edge. When I got the corners and began to insert extra rows for fullness, I considered what to do, and tried it out, and found it wasn't working properly. There's an apparent difference, as you can see. I toyed with undoing all those rows and starting the corner over.

And then I decided to just repeat the mistake equally on all four corners and call it a design feature.

Forgive me, Jean Miles, for I have sinned.

Shop Note

Yesterday's full-length portrait of Dolores in her traveling couture drew requests for a shirt. So I put one up, with what I think is an appropriate caption. Click here.


Ryan said...

Is it just me, or do the little sheep look as if they each have one leg raised and are peeing on your tabletop and your hard-won, homespun yarn? How rude. Perhaps they are related to Dolores?

Sally said...

The caption on the new shirt is perfect! I hope Dolores is pleased? Your first yarn is lovely---I know you will treasure it!

Vintageme said...

I see what Ryan means ..maybe if they light up Dolores could wear as as earrings when clubbing.The yarn is ...errr yarn but I can imagine how you feel as the first thing I knitted made me feel great .It is exactly the colour Dad needs for the background of the bland "Persian Poppies" he wants Mum to make .Now we know what a niddy-noddy is ..thanks. Holly

Lucia said...

That baby shawl is stunning. You do great work. Obviously I need Heirloom Knitting, because I don't have enough knitting books already. OK, maybe I do, but I don't have that one.

Your first handspun looks like mine. I think everyone's does. I still keep mine around for sentimental reasons and spinning demos. (Q: How can you spin so evenly? A: Practice. This is what it used to look like.)

(Is it just me, or is "how do you do that?" kind of a stupid question? Like anything else, I practiced, I read, I practiced, I got a little help, I practiced, I practiced.)

Mom said...

I love the saying on the shirt. I might have to purchase a tank top.

Are you going to make something out of the your first spun yarn? I really like the baby shawl it is so pretty. Are you making it for someone?

Sarah R said...

Curses, Franklin! I finally decide which shirts I want, place my order, get the shirts (the sheep chorus line and the Venus de Milo) and have only a day or two of gloating over them before you put up another shirt I want.

I plan to wear one of the shirts to the MD S& daughter is lobbying for the Venus one.

Carol said...

Love the shirt.
Love the shawl.
Love the handspun. You are a natural spinner, boyo. My handspun still looks rather lumpy and fuzzy, like something the cat threw up.

Lisa said...

The yarn is fab.

Nelly O said...

hmmmm ... I'm pondering your comment of loving Heirloom Knitting more than some previous boyfriends. I imagine there may be one or two you'd like to throw the book at.

Nice niddy noddy you have there, btw. How about a pic of your orifice hook next?

JoVE said...

I think your yarn looks great for a first one. Knit yourself one of those little bunnies that Lee Ann makes (the pattern is over on Heartstrings under Free Patterns). It can live with the sheep, then.

I was in the folklore centre today for my daughter's violin lesson and amongst the CDs I saw one on the theme of spinning. Shubert (with words from Goethe) and a few other things. I immediately thought of you. Let me know if you want details.

PuppyMomma said...

I wants me some glow in the dark sheepies! Must find...must find...

Keiko said...

Franklin, you are a true Renaissance man. Is there any way that Dolores, in her lovely traveling couture outfit, be also on a knitting bag?

Marilyn said...

The spun yarn is a very good first effort. You should see mine--I think I posted a picture of it some time back on the blog.

You may be right about blocking fixing the rosebud proximity to edging. No matter. I can't imagine Ted will have to coach you much in either spinning or lace when he shows up in Chi.

If only I could break loose from the Slovenians. Sigh. I would be out there to see you two in a heartbeat.

FiberQat said...

Hmm....glow in the dark sheep..... what was C thinking? I'd buy them in a heartbeat because I'm nuts, but somehow I don't see you as a glow-in-the-dark sheep kind of guy. I of course can be wrong and will duly accept any retorts.

My first handspun was full of lumps and bumps and looked like a hairball. But it was my first handspun! Don't make anything out of it. Treasure it as your first, warts and all.

Jean said...

You think I don't fudge corners, young man? You're wrong. Your difficulty here is that you're using such heavy wool that it'll be hard to block it savagely enough to obscure all faults.

I like the new shirts a lot, although I hate to think of you sitting up all night with the sewing machine.

Love Jean

Sean said...

Isn't it amazing the feeling it gives you when you create yarn. The un-initiated simply just don't "get it." I've been trolling websites for places to start ordering fiber for the shop.

I love the baby shawl. It's wonderful.

DianeS said...

Very impressive! I know many experienced spinners that are quite frightened at the prospect of Navajo plying.

Your artwork and the continuing adventures of Dolores continue to make me smile.

Lee Ann said...

It's beautiful, that yarn. And now you are utterly sunk, my sweet: "can't stop looking at it" is a well-known symptom of Secret Spinner Syndrome. I fully expect tales of public spinning in the near future, because your yarn will only get better, which means you'll want to look at it more, make more, buy a fleece...

Knit something with it. You'll fall completely in love.

Carol said...

Oh my, Lee Ann, for a minute, I thought you were talking about pubic spinning.

I need another cup of coffee.

Liz said...

Agree, love the caption! I wish she was bigger on the shirt.

Good job on the first yarn, I totally understand the exhilleration!

Rabbitch said...

Your first yarn is something precious. Make sure you knit with it and keep it! I knit with mine. It is a combination lace-to-bulky pile of crap, knit on needles at least five sizes too small. I'm going to buy a shadow box and frame it, complete with needle, on the wall of my new studio.

iowakitkat said...


Your blog, your sense of humor and whimsy make me smile...glad I stumbled onto it.

A'tuin said...

Oh, the baby shawl! It is too lovely. I was wondering though, what size are you expecting once it is blocked? I've never actually heard of a baby shawl, so I was wondering how big its supposed to be.

Tallguy said...

Wonderful yarn! So glad you went with the Navajo ply -- and for your first time! Nothing to fear now.

Well, now, don't you think you should have done a couple more rounds after that last rose? Yes, I think you should just rip out that edging, and do that right now. Add a couple more rounds; you'll be glad you did!

Those corners? Were you doing a couple of short rows in there? That should help out and you will still be able to continue that braided edge! Yes, you will just have to start over, I think! ;-)

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