Monday, January 29, 2007

Columbia Sunsets, Silky Tofu, and a Word on Sock Knitting

As mentioned a couple posts ago, I have been playing with tying together random bits of yarn to make new and interesting yarns. I'm really enjoying this techinique- now I just have a big bag that I throw leftover bits in, and every now and then, sort through to find a combination that I like. This is also a nice way to think outside the box abit... I tend to be a rather linear thinker, so the notion of freeform knitting/crochet just doesn't work for me. The random appeal of these yarns gives me permission to shake things up a little... sometimes I just knit back and forth (often using moss stitch), but I will also throw in short rows to help give a special bit of yarn prominence.

So, after creating various swatches of organic random goodness, I was wondering what to do with the side with all of the knots in it. No, I was not going to weave them in. Puhleeze. So, I decided to needle-felt some roving to the backside, giving me little pieces like so (both are about 6" tall).

The swatch on the bottom reminded me of rivers and mountains and rolling hills- much like those of my native Pacific NW. I grew up a stone's throw from the Columbia River, and was often blessed with beautiful sunsets that illuminated the Cascade Mountains while sparkling on the river. So, I decided to embellish, just a little:

I beaded a river, embroidered a mountain and a tree, then added a button depicting Tsagaglalal ("She Who Watches"), one of the most famous petroglyphs of the NW, located just north of the river in central Washington. Click here for her story- it's a wonderful one!

After that, I affixed the piece to some fabric-covered Timtex with fusible web, then did a little embroidery to soften the edges a bit. I'm so proud of myself! Looking at this, I am reminded of hiking in the Columbia River Gorge, camping in the Cascades, fishing in that mighty river of the West... it's like being home in a 6.5" x 9" random collection of fibers, fabrics, and other stuff ;-)

In other news, a while back I knit a scarf for my friend Amy. She is a devout vegitarian, so I felt a little Soy Silk would be in order. I used Patons SWS. It's funny, this seems to be one of the yarns du jour right now, but I wouldn't knit with it again... it splits like a bitch, and has the texture of something like hay. It does look beautiful however, and softened a bit with washing. As Amy lives in Maine, I'm sure this scarf with be somewhere in the middle of all her layers, so I'm not too concerned about the lack of softness.

That's about it...I have a sock class coming up in a few days, so I am working on the final tweaking of my pattern for the class. It's just a sock worked in Peace Fleece, on 5 mm dpn's... some seriously old-school hiking boot socks. I figure starting out with worsted-weight yarn is a good way to teach people about sock construction without making them knit with toothpicks. Plus, Peace Fleece wear like a pair of jeans, and is just fuzzy enough to cover up any little mishaps along the way. And while on the subject of socks, why do people think that knitting them on two circulars is faster? It's not. I've tried both ways, and well, it's not. That's all I have to say about that.

1 comment:

Bezzie said...

Wow. I'm in awe. I love the artswatch.