Monday, February 26, 2007

Wip and Fo

I finished a pair of socks for Vikki, the wonderful woman who is teaching me wig making. She was really happy with them and thought I had made a perfect choice of design and fiber. I used Bare superwash Donegal yarn from Knitpicks and the Aran Braided Sock Pattern by Susan Lawerence. I really enjoyed making these and was so happy that Vikki was pleased.

Last Saturday I took a class at Black Sheep Knittery on 2-handed Fairisle. It was 'taught' by the owners of Philosopher's Wool, Eugene and Ann Bourgeois. I use the word 'taught' loosely because I could have learned this amazing technique in 5 minutes. The 3 hour class was mostly a long rambling autobiographical sketch, a'la Will Rogers. of Eugene's amazing success as a sheep farmer, carpenter and wool processor. I would have enjoyed it much more if I had brought my knitting!

The class write up said we would be given yarn and needles and didn't need to bring anything, but this didn't happen for nearly 2 hours so I sat there, stewing over the fact that I was wasting valuable knitting time. The rest of the class was basically a pitch to buy their kits, which are beautiful and colorful, but their wool is so coarse and scratchy, just knitting on the swatch made me fear my fingers would start bleeding.

Very nice sweaters for skiers, fishermen, or wool farmers in Nova Scotia.

But I am glad I learned the technique. I also feel that I understand steeking now and can take a scissors to my handknitting (I have done cut and sew on Machine knitting, no problem.)

I bought some lovely, soft, merino/cashmere/microfiber blend to make my own fairisle pattern and cast on as soon as I got home. I am just making up the pattern as I go.
Of course, I am adding some texture along with the color. I am using a little mohair, a little ribbon and a little grassy looking stuff from Habu textiles. There will also be embroidery and beads. By the time I get to the armpits, I may just stop, knit the sleeves, and finish the whole thing in the round, which I think gives a better fit than drop shoulders. so maybe it will be a vegetarian sweater - no steek.

Another thing about their technique that I like is the way you weave in the floats every 2nd stitch, so the back looks really beautiful - almost reversible.