Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Socks! These are a selection of models made for - and at - the "Sock Salad" workshop at the studio February 2. Two fabulous participants, great knitters who seemed to like each other as well as the class - and my cooking. There was a lot of preparation to create the workshop, but everyone, including me, learned a lot from it. Still not sure how I feel about toe-up socks, though starting them is literally neat. I don't like the heels though, they're a bit pointy for my taste, and too closely resemble commercially knit socks. Behind the socks is some just-finished handspun. Back in January, while I was a vendor at our area "Rock Day," repeating to myself, "Remember, you're a vendor, here to sell things, not to buy them," this affirmation was drowned out by a 4-ounce bump of "Blueberry Pie" merino-tencel. It was the kind of soft that makes you want to pet it, and of course, it followed me home. It wanted to be finely spun, a job for which the Majacraft Little Gem volunteered, and with one thing and another, the two half-filled bobbins seemed to have a lot of yardage on them - they took 2 hours to ply! At the moment, the yarn seems to want to be a scarf, but there's another one to do first. To the upper left, the blue scarf (Naturally Nazareth "Winter," a knitting worsted weight) was my first foray into knitting modular triangles. Enormous fun, so the next one, the rosy one in the center, was made on size three needles using my own hand-dyed tussah silk. I like the feel of this fiber, it's soft and tough at the same time; no silkworms died, also no child labor was invovled. And it takes the dye beautifully. I used some 6" needles - ones cut down by a friend who removed the end-caps from commercial needles, then hack-sawed off about 8" of upper needle before cleverly replacing the ends. Voila! Small and easy-to-pack needles. The dark Mardi-Gras colored scarf-in-progress is the final iteration, one I'll teach at a workshop in April. Instead of triangles, the modular pieces are sort of braided, and lace is also involved. I'm almost ready to write the pattern for this one. Lastly, there's the project that took much of late January and early February, a hand-made handkerchief for an on-line exchange. The tie-dyed cotton was chosen for my exchange partner, Bina, who loves purple. Of course she needed to also have a hanky-case (crocheted and felted wool). The edging is my original "Stand Up and Cheer" edge, a single shuttle edging I've had in Tatting Times and more recently put in "Tatting Elegant Edgings." Here's the pattern:
Ring A: 6-6-4-2-2-4
Ring B: 4±4-4
Leaving enough of a thread-space to prevent distortion, join to first p on Ring A.
Ring C: 4+ (to last p, Ring B) 2-2-2-2-2-2-4
Join to second p on Ring A
Repeat from beginning for length needed.

Tat last Ring A before corner: R: 6-6-4-6
Tat Rings B and C.
Then tat center corner R: 4+ (to last p, last
Ring C) 4-2-2-2-2-4-4
Tat second corner Ring A: 6-6-6+ (to corresponding
P of previous corner Ring A) 4
Tat Ring C, joining to center corner R
Resume tatting the usual Rings A, B and C