Thursday, September 24, 2009

A Little More WIP

Yesterday's post had some projects in progress from my studio. Okay, yes, there's more.

I'll show you a little more, but not too much. Otherwise you'll be assured that what I call a "little ADD problem" is perhaps something more akin to having a "little insanity problem".

This blocked, currently drying, and almost finished object is either a narrow wrap or a wide scarf that will get some fringe added as a final step. It was made on a mid-gauge knitting machine of which I am not a master. I have been teaching myself about hand manipulating stitches on the machine.

The little horizontal strips of faggot lace were painstakingly made by use of a multi-pronged transfer tool which lifts the stitches off of a group of hooks (needles) so that they can be transferred to adjacent hooks (needles).

You might think by looking at the finished product that this was an easy task. I know many people think that using a machine to knit is somehow cheating because it is so "easy" and fast. Lordy, if they only knew that hand knitting is so much easier!

Here's what I learned while making this project:

1. Choosing to make an item this large as a learning project was just plain dumb. Most of the time I was thinking that this scarf/wrap should just be called by the combination word scrap. There were times when I was dropping stitches like mad and swearing and thinking that even the letter "S" should go away because surely all I was going to get was crap.

2. For some types of machine knitting projects you need to have plenty of weights hanging on the finished part of the fabric. This weight holds the fabric down so that the loops of knitting will not jump off the machine's needles (a row of evil hook-ended things). Well, when knitting lace on the machine, too much weight causes you to drop stitches when transferring them.

Sometimes I didn't know that there were dropped stitches until I had merrily knit 20-30 rows past the point of dropping. I would cheerfully move the weights up the fabric closer to my live stitches and presto-expresso there would be a huge F*ing hole in the middle of the lace! I ripped out and re-knit as many stitches in this project as there are in the finished item.

3. When you are cursing and swearing at a project like that no one will approach the studio to see how things are going. Especially the cat.


For a change of color palette and a change from screaming at the knitting machine, I also was working with this box of goodies last weekend:

The four balls of yarn on the left were handspun by me. The two top ones are multicolored singles and the two lower ones are somewhat more monochrome 2-ply yarns. The two yarns on the left are commercial yarns. The top green one is some mystery yarn and the purple is Lamb's Pride worsted by Brown Sheep in the color, "Wild Violet".

This yarn is destined for a series of purses. Here's the first one started:

I love how the multi-colored single yarn worked up in the Victorian point neige stitch in the top band. This purse may end up with a large silk-ribbon bow and a hand-fashioned cord strap. We'll see.


Jane said...

That stitch is fabulous - great colors. I can't wait to see the finished purse!

planettreasures said...

I never knew you could do that with knitting machines!
I looks great.

Bri said...

That stitch in that colorway is simply beautiful. Nice work!

inkberryblue said...

The yarn that you've spun has gorgeous colours. It's worked up beautifully too. The machine knitting looks really looks like your pretty masterful to me!