Sunday, March 05, 2006
The formation of the MDC knitting blog ring inspired me to start a knitting/mother's blog.
I'd like to share pictures and stories of my fiber projects- from beginning to end- my animals, shearing, spinning, dying and knitting - maybe even weaving as well as the adventures of an Activist mom of 3.
I taught myself to knit when I was about eight years old, using the ends of some paint brushes. My mother discovered me doing this and watched my technique in awe without correcting me- not having been instructed on purling- I was just knitting back and forth across the needles. I did eventually learn to knit the way other people do, but have recently gone back to my roots and knit randomly using a combination of the english and continental methods.
I designed my own knit items as a little girl knitting for my stuffed animals and only recently started following patterns when I started in with trying to knit lace. I also have some Elizabeth Zimmerman books and I really enjoy the way she writes patterns and I like her designs. In the past month I have made two "Baby Surprise Jackets" and they were so much fun. The "Angus edition" was done with some kool aid dyed 100% wool yarn I had in my stash- but the worsted weight yarn would not give me my guage so I split the 4 plys to 2 and went with that- it's striped blue, lime and pale lemonaide. The "Helena edition" is for a friend's baby girl expected to be born really soon- I purchased a sock yarn in a dark purple, lilac and pink- this sweater is very light and the yarn is very springy- the stitches didn't melt into eachother in the same way as the split yarn did- I think because it's very strong sock yarn and has some acrylic in it.
I have a long way to go with this but I would like to try to write down some of my knit designs to share or sell. Yesterday I knit a blanket with left over yarn for my daughter's My Little Pony, it's purple with a row of pink hearts, a seed stitch border, shaped rump and collar and a little hole for the tail. I'd like to try some more of those and I have lots of that yarn left over.
I have been spinning for about a year and am still very much of a beginner. Last weekend we had a spinning clinic at the local library (a miracle!- a spinning clinic!) and I learned how to set my wheel up to do scotch tension and I also learned how to do "the long draw" wow- that really speeds up my spinning! Then I got my mohair back from the mill in the mail this week- it was amazing to see 5 pounds of mohair inhale and expand from a small block jammed in that box- to a big poof the size of a beanbag chair. Also the transformation from the curly locks I'd sent to the uniform smooth roving that came back- neato! And compared to combing my own fleece with the viking combs- what a time (and allergy) saver! I spun one spool of mohair so far and I am a bit dissapointed by the texture of the yarn it produces... I knew it was going to be like this- I mean, my goats are old- and they weren't great quality to begin with, I had heard that mohair from old goats is pretty much just for rugs- and now I see that- the yarn is beautiful and glossy- I think it will dye beautifully- but it's certainly not going to make a baby sweater. I just have to swallow that pill... maybe learn how to hook rugs? weave horse saddle pads?
Last night we went to Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey circus I brought my binoculars- the camels were so beautifully groomed- I was having a fiber moment... when they brought in some performing goats I thought, "This I gotta see" I looked away for a moment and when I looked back there was a Lama and a pony in the ring... as I figured- goats, even circus goats... will be goats.
This picture is from last summer. I was pregnant with Angus. The kids and I had worked very hard on an entry for the Swiss Wine Festival Parade, we trained Nimbus, our Angora billy goat, to pull the cart. We made the cart from an old yard cart and put a lot of effort into the paint job. An Amish friend made the custom harness. Nimbus behaved! and the only downside of the whole thing is that my shy little girl would not crack a smile through the whole parade... maybe this year will be different