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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Qiviut Lace and Adventures in Boucle!

I'M DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Whew, now that I got that out of my system! I'm super excited. I finally completed the qiviut lace scarf I have been working on. I blocked it and everything! As it turns out, qiviut single-ply doesn't have the memory that I might like, so rewetting the scarf undid some of the work, but the person to whom it belongs will not be repinning it every time he needs to wash it. Without further ado, pictures!!

Laid out on a chair.

Another chair angle! But, very crooked.

Working on blocking the scarf. For the record, this was my first lace project, my first blocking, and so there you have it. If you've never blocked before, it's much easier to do it once, instead of pinning and unpinning and repinning. So, here's a good(ish) way to do it:

1. Lay some straight lines out for yourself.
2. Use a marked board, or measure constantly as you go along to ensure the width is consistent.
3. Pin down one end and work your way toward the other (evenly on both sides).
4. ???
5. Profit!

Okay, kidding about the last two (I hope that joke wasn't lost competely). But I did none of the first three, and I should have. It would have made my life a lot easier.

So, more pictures:

All pinned down and waiting to dry.

Me wearing the scarf in one of many ways. Please excuse the mess -- we're packing everything up for the big move!

It ended up being approximately 7.5" X 70" after blocking. In the pictures, you can see that the weave is SUPER spread out, even for lace, but it's qiviut, and as such, it's PLENTY warm even that way. I've already decided that I am making myself a scarf similar to this one (different pattern for sure though) with my qiviut / black bear / dog hair batt.

Oh, and the boucle:

I'll dye it later, but I already packed my dyes. It's a mohair single plied with a commercial acrylic plied with a cotton thread as a binder. I can't decide if I like it or not, but it was a good first attempt.

I've also been working on making some stitch markers:

This isn't actually as good of a picture as I wanted to post here but I'm too lazy to fix it right now. These are punky stitch markers, good up to US size 4, with rainbow beats attached. I like them a lot. I am making other sets.

Also, did I post pictures of my two batts here? I finally gave in and rented the electric drum carder at my LYS a time or two and craked out a couple of fun batts.

"Trout Fishing"

"Autumn Rain"

You can see the batts in either my Etsy or my Artfire stores. The stitch markers have yet to be listed, and the scarf is obviously for someone (which is actually only obvious if you've read previous posts).

Anyway, hope this was a good update! I have bored hands and very little with which to fill them. Maybe I'll drag out some fiber...I just hate to since everything is packed up already!

Monday, July 6, 2009

More New Stuff

Okay, a list of things I want to post about today:
*Pictures of qiviut/scarf, socks, tencel, and skeinwinder/wheel
*Staining (and naming!) my wheel
*The skeinwinder I built

Here we go!

Here are two pictures of the qiviut scarf as it stands now. It's half done and quite obviously needs some blocking, but as you can see, the pattern is intact. I also finished the other half of the qiviut yarn this afternoon:

Also, I discovered that Joel's camera phone takes WAY better pictures than his digital camera:

(I have never gotten a good picture of this skein, with accurate colors and all. This is a fantastic discovery, and after we move, much re-shooting will be done!)

And, the tencel from NaturalObsessions on Etsy:

This is her "Lovebirds" colorway. The yarn has a slight amount of excess twist, but it will wear longer that way (and also makes it prepped for plying). I love the sheen of tencel. The colors are pretty fantastic, too. I just wish there were a little more blue and green (but then it'd be more like tropical birds than lovebirds, wouldn't it?). I haven't decided what to name this yarn yet but I'm leaning towards something with circus or clown in the name. We'll see. I'd better decide soon, because I want to list it on Artfire!

On another note, I can't believe I forgot to post about my wheel last time. After over two years of owning it, I decided to stain it! It's a gorgeous reddish-brown and it's dark and it makes me happy. I also painted the kiwi engraving with gold enamel paint. I may decide later to paint over it with white or bright green, but for now, I'm content with gold. Pictures:

I also got REALLY sick of not having a skeinwinder. A niddy noddy works alright for a certain amount of yarn, but I do so many bulky yarns that it was way too small, and my skeins looked like blobs of yarn. This skeinwinder is adjustable -- I can have skeins that are just under 4, 5, 6, and 7 feet in circumference. And, it attaches to my wheel! The first skeinwinder I ever used was one from Louet that was designed to attach to the wheel (thanks, Grandma!). I don't like floor skeinwinders for several reasons, including the need for more floor space, and the less optimal angle at which the yarn unwinds. This one isn't perfect, especially since we had no proper power tools (just a hand saw and a cordless drill), but it's functional, and I love it.

One more thing: Here's a picture of the socks I mentioned a couple of posts ago (mini mochi plus kid mohair from Crystal Palace Yarns).

That's all for now! I'm hoping to make one or two more posts before we skedadle to Washington.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Details on the Qiviut Scarf

I've set aside all my other projects for this scarf. Since I'm spending so much time already, I might as well record it, right? Plus, I'm going to make another one with my black bear / qiviut / husky blend batt after we move.

Speaking of moving, it's got everything messed up. I have lots of projects I want to do, but I know I won't even come close to getting them all done by the time we go, so I'm trying really hard to pick and choose the things to pack ahead of time.

So, the details of the scarf. As far as the yarn goes, I was spinning it right from the raw fiber at first. I decided before too long that carding it would work better (and it did). However, there were a few weak spots, so I've been knitting in the broken ends. Otherwise, so far so good. The pattern is complicated, especially since this is my first lace project, but as long as I pay attention and count stitches (which I tend to do obsessively anyway!) I have no problems. It takes me between 40 and 60 minutes to knit an inch on size 4 needles.

This particular pattern is knitted in two sections which are then grafted together in the center. I'm ten rows away from being half done. That means it will be time to head back to the wheel and hand cards long enough to get 125 more yards of laceweight qiviut. Oh, and this entire scarf is knitted from a single. Some call me brave -- I call me lazy :P Spinning this fiber more thinly than I am already spinning it would make this project immensely more difficult (for me, at least). I'll be sure to get pictures and wpi for this next batch of yarn. I'll also take a picture when I'm halfway done (which will be tomorrow, more than likely). The edges are a little curly, but nothing that blocking won't take care of. I'm super excited to see the finished product.