Webs Wednesday, May 28 2008 

ETA: A title, for one–did you know that a definition of “web” is “a fabric, especially a fabric in the process of being woven”? Now I can say I’ve got a web on the loom and a UFO on the needles! I also forgot to include a totally cool weaving sample that Leslie-Ann (carpeyarnum wove for the store), details below!

SO, I <3 weaving! I wear this thing ALL the TIME. And this whole simple woven wrap thing is making the rounds in Blogland. Laura generously and wisely offers up the sort of info you need to make a nice stole of your own. My interest in rigid heddle weaving started with Kirsten and Mary’s beautiful pieces, with some help from the Rigid Heddle Looms group on Ravelry.

Paparazzi

I finished a second piece, a simple scarf in Elsebeth Lavold Silky Wool. It’s a gift and I’m not sure I love how it came out. Using my favorite Willy-Nilly methodology, I bought three skeins and definitely anticipated having to purchase a fourth. Sure, I could have done the warp and weft calculations but when you’re following the Willy-Nilly method…there’s something so gratifying about NOT being fastidious with this, I feel like it sort of flies in the face of a well-established “weaverly” persona.

Leslie-Ann, a co-worker at Webs, is teaching a rigid-heddle class this summer and it’s filling up like crazy. she weaves and/or designs a lot of the samples you see in the catalog and ads. She wove a sample for the class that is hanging in the store and it ROCKS. It’s just plain ole’ plain weave but check it out, it’s so PLAID!

Plaid Scarf

She used the gorgeous to begin with Misti Alpaca Handpaint Sock yarn, one skein of color #10. I’ve seen the sample sock we have an I hate to say, it doesn’t come close to how cool this scarf is. I think this yarn was made to be woven, especially at this width. Since I’m a total weaving copy-cat, you can bet you’ll be seeing a version of this project here. Thanks, Flip Loom early adopters!

My camera just doesn’t do red, so this picture is sorta useless. Note the crispness of the fabric–I think I beat a little too enthusiastically and it ended up a little stiff, even post blocking. The silk really dominates here, and it’s almost a little rough, much rougher than any knit-up piece I’ve ever felt in the Silky Wool. Not the soft drape-y wonder that is 2/14 Alpaca Silk. It’s fantastic to rediscover yarns this way, I have to say.

Red Red Scarf

Well, I’ve got to get back to my breakfast and Firefly…I’m finally watching it and it’s AWESOME!

CR

“You’re so beautiful… Thursday, Dec 6 2007 

you could be a part-time model, but you’d probably have to keep your day job…”

This is my theme song. It kills me when he says “spend part of your time modeling, and part of your time with me,” I would love to eat a kebab and take it slow with Gemaine, why does everyone prefer Brett, Gemaine is clearly the better man here!!

Anyhow, back to part time modeling! The latest Lexie photoshoot was really fun! She has given her site a makeover, it’s lovely! As always the new bags aren’t just in new prints, there are lots of cool new details. My favorite print is Pacifica, don’t know if it’s the colors I love or the fact that it was photographed with chocolates and a vanilla milkshake! There is also something very O’Keefe about the print, I love it. If you’re going to do floral, that’s my kind of floral.

My wardrobe for the day was…my wardrobe! Here it is resting on the radiator, which got rid of wrinkles and made outdoor shots a little easier.

Wardrobe on radiator

Lexie graciously provided a giant down parka which was so ANTM (btw, SO sad about Heather leaving last week). The location was an absolutely beautiful converted mill building. I’ve spent a lot of time in buildings like this–I earned my A.A. at Middlesex Community College which has a campus in Lowell, MA, a beautiful mill town and the home of Jack Keroauc (fun Skrilla fact: I used to write a column for the Lowell Sun and JK got his start writing for the sport’s pages there). I don’t know much about architecture but I love the feel of converted textile buildings. Plenty of exposed hardware that looks cold and heavy juxtaposed with worn brick and scuffed up hardwood flooring, plus tall, sectioned pane windows that let in tons of light and offer views of the rushing sparkling rivers that are always nearby. I love it!

The photographer is/was fantastic to work with. We’ve worked together on three or four Lexie shoots now and it’s always relaxing and fun–no barked orders, no impossible contortions (for ME at least!) just very thoughtful snapping. And unprofessional goofing off:

Flowers, for me?!

Lexie wisely chose this shot instead. I love this one, I wish I always looked that placid when communing with a laptop…

CR Laptop

Which I should actually be doing right now. I had a data disaster yesterday and I need to rectify the situation. Before I go, another finished object, the Girl Power shawl, details on Ravelry. This was nothing but fun and started a serious Spunky Eclectic addiction. Thank you again for spinning it, Jenna!

Girl Power Shawl

The FO parade will continue. Sorry to drag it out, but it’s really fun to give each item it’s own post. It’s also hard to coordinate good sun + me being showered/presentable. Heh. TMI?

CR

Pun time. Tuesday, Dec 4 2007 

I swear to Jeebus I wasn’t being clever when I took these. I really need a Gorilla. I won’t let the chimp I live with take FO pictures because he has an uncanny ability to capture ridiculously awful faces.

So this is the Tilted Duster! I did the best I could getting pictures of her. You’ll note that it is a bit snug. Andra, can you believe it, I’m TOO BOOBALICIOUS FOR MY DUSTER!! No, not really, I knew it would be too small. I knit the size 32″ assuming it’d stretch a little over time (I’m a 34″ usually). I could have wet blocked it to facilitate this but I just steamed it and I’m liking how it looks open, so I’m fine with the size it is.

Tilted Duster

Whoa, sun!

Tilted Duster

Tilted Duster

My mods were minor, I added garter stitch to the bottom to prevent curling and to the collar to sort of’ ‘ground’ that little design element. I happen to love when ribbing is juxtaposed with garter welts, a la Forecast, I think it works here.

Tilted Duster

I purposely knit the collar a little longer because I like it folded over. I stupidly forgot to knit the buttonholes on the other side of the collar, I might add Velcro or snaps or something.

I searched everywhere for buttons and finally found some winners at Jo-Ann’s. I think these are new JHBs, they are thin, light and they match the little strand of yellow heathering that runs throughout this Peruvia colorway 7183 Abusar, which everyone insists is gray, but is actually a nice steel blue. I love the Peruvia! It’s light, easy to knit and soft enough for me to wear the tightish sleeves on my bare skin with no problems. I didn’t encounter any shedding issues, and I’m really fussy about that. I knit it on a US8 and it looks beautiful, especially after the steam treatment.

Tilted Duster

I can’t think of anything else I want to mention. I’m wearing it now and it is very comfturbulhs! AND, it completely invalidates everything I said in my last post about hating to wear my handknits. I spent a lot of time finishing this sweater and I think it shows. I wore it to teach in today and no one asked if I had knit it (my students know I knit and even saw me working on this particular sweater during their presentations). One day and I’m already eating my words, sheesh!

As always, bigger pictures at Flickr and more details at Ravelry!

CR

!!! Wednesday, Nov 21 2007 

So I’ve decided to try and streamline my Internet life, and making the switch to WordPress seemed like a good idea. Can’t tell you why yet, still exploring, but so far so good!

I haven’t posted much new yarn lately…this is because I’m really not buying much (well, compared to what I usually do), but it’s also because entering it into Ravelry feels like enough. I purchased yarn for the Colette sweater in the new Interweave (I chose burgundy and grass green Whiskey). I special ordered an Autumn Rose kit. I got two Ravens:

J.Knits generously sent me a few skeins of her new spring yarns to sample. I’d never seen these yarns, but Andra reps them in New England and speaks highly of them. They are GORGEOUS, look at this Camel in Nebraska (it feels thick and luscious, yarn Haagen-Daaz):

jknitscamel

This is Charming in Iowa. The yardage and the fiber content are really excellent–300 yards of lambswool, cashmere and angora. I’m thinking ridiculously luxurious socks.

Charming

And speaking of socks I had to grab this skein of my favorite ice cream flavor from Keegan Lane Yarns (I love the realism of the chocolate ‘chips’:

Mint Chip Sock Yarn

In other news, a Ladybug has landed in my apartment! Jenna and Melissa graciously rang me up past the official Webs closing time so I could take my Ladybug home. Thank you both, ladies, I know it was an annoying sale on a few levels =/ I did assemble it and find my ladybug (she’s on the right side of the…the part the looks like a phallus, I’m sorry, it does).

I’ve decided to name the wheel Lexie Sedgwick, a double homage to how I earned it and a theorist I’m fond of who writes about gender, performance, deconstruction and textiles! I didn’t know naming wheels was a “thing” but I used to name my cars, so why not the wheel?And speaking of spinning, check out my first plied yarn, this was spun and plied on the drop spindle.

First plied yarn

I totally love it, flaws and all! Those fat fuzzy slubs (and the uh, unspun bits) are right up my alley. I couldn’t believe how cool plying was, it went from overspun, kinky singles to a relatively balanced, pretty yarn. I really think that this fiber (wish Foxhill Farm had a website to link to) is what prompted me to pick up the drop spindle again. As for the wheel, it was equal parts Adrian and Jenna. Again, it makes so much sense that my next fiber endeavor is spinning, I’m the sort of knitter who is somewhat ashamedly in love with miles of stockinette–I’m in it for the fabric, and beautiful yarns speak to me more than complicated stitch patterns or ambitious construction. There, I said it. I’m a knit simpleton, with expensive tastes.

CR

Post monster! Friday, Nov 2 2007 

I don’t know what has gotten into me, posting three times in one week. Maybe I’m inspired by the NaBloPoMo participants? Or maybe it’s that there are some exciting things happening. First one: Lexie is looking for ladies (actually, I’m sure dudes are welcome too, I just like alliteration!). She really means it when she says “All ages, ethnicities, shapes, and sizes are encouraged to submit an entry,” this is the woman who lets/loves for me come to photo shoots with chipped black nail polish and whatever Van’s slip-ons I’m wearing that day. You can probably tell from her bags but Lexie’s aesthetic is one of kind, and now you can be a part of it!

When I mentioned Norah Gaughan’s exclusive to Webs (for the next two weeks at least) Lotus Cardigan, I did NOT give it it’s due. Here is a better picture (still pretty bad though, photographing catalog paper is difficult and I struggle with digital photography in general):


It was knit by Andra Asars, a woman I’m proud to call my adopted yarn mentor. She is brilliant at what she does, including whipping out perfect, custom-sized garments like this one in about two weeks. Here is us at Stitches watching the Red Sox, fanciest fans ever! We look like a demure Betty and Veronica, no?

A sample garment of hers went missing at Stitches…if anyone has a friend who “whips up” a size 42″ red Chantal in a record amount of time…please let me know. It is sad to lose garments this way, and it happens way more than it should. You’d think fellow knitters would understand how many hours go into sample garments.

CR

P.S. If you’re watching the Office and you squeal at the amazingness of the Finer Things Club and your boyfriend immediately suggests “You should make a Ravelry group for it!” you MIGHT be addicted to Ravelry.

Grey area. Thursday, Nov 1 2007 

So I mentioned Fashion Plates in my last post and I’ve had a few questions about long sleeves on the Gallery Jacket. It was absolutely meant to be long-sleeved! I was basically trying to recreate a favorite sweater (seen here in all it’s ribby wrappy glory) and ran out of time. Luckily, the time constraint forced me to cut corners (in a good way, IMHO) by picking up stitches around the armsyce and knitting down until they yelled “CUT! Put it on. Look pretty!” I plan to make mine long-sleeved and it will be easy for all of you to do so–just keep knitting! It might make sense to work some decrease rows past the elbow. I’ll cast on for my version soon and share those numbers with you (and Webs, so they can put it on the pattern) soon.

About “re-interpreting” sweaters…a Ravelry thread about design/pattern theft got pretty heated recently. It’s always an interesting discussion and I’ve even taught a colloquium about the contested nature of originality. We explored the possibility that it might not be possible anymore, and looked at it from a number of angles (planned communities like Celebration, FL, media mash-ups, iconography and semiotics, mimicry and homage, etc.). You can read my thoughts on this here. For non-Ravelers, I will just say that letting go of a fetishized notion of “originality” was the first step I had to take before engaging design and setting my creative output loose into the world.

The store-bought sweater uses a different rib pattern and of course, a different sleeve. Mine is practically seamless, which the store version isn’t. It also incorporates some clunky, very visible decreases that I nixed. I would never claim to have dreamed up this sweater out of thin air–it’s more like a jazz standard. Fun fact about me–I used to work at the Acton Jazz Cafe and have heard approximately 312 versions of “Stella by Starlight.” Ooh, another–I still don’t know the words! My mother used to sing professionally and my father is a jazz drummer but I am notoriously bad at learning lyrics.

The STR Sock Club accepts enrollments today. Hate to say, it was easy to resist signing up. I’ve signed up for two, yes TWO seasons of the Sundara Season’s club and I have billion skeins of STR in my stash anyway. Working as a Stitches vendor is it’s own little sock club…you get to shop the amazing booth before the attendees! Heck, Deb and Kaci will tell you that I shop the booth while they’re UNPACKING. Yes, I am annoying. I can’t help it, look at this!!

Anyhow, I’m saving my BMFA $$ for the Raven series. I’m oh-so-curious to see the BMFA non-brights, and Kaci tells me that the patterns are fantastic.

It’s deliciously grey today. Does anyone else love these damp, foggy fall days? They get no love!

CR

P.S. Whoa. I just searched my blog to see if I’ve mentioned the colloquium before. I have–look at the title. SEE-nothing is original!

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.