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 ❤ 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.


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!



Conundrum! Friday, May 23 2008 

Decisions, decisions here at Chez Skrillaknits…

ETA: I’m just APPLYING, btw. The picture below is from a Stitches convention. I was pretty darn stoked to be standing with those ladies!

I’m thoroughly liminal these days. Not my favorite state of being but par for the quarterlife course, I’m told. The only things keeping me grounded are a) my very cute but messy bachelorette pad, still a little gem of a sublet, b) Webs, my yarn alma mater, my home nest in the Valley, c) my therapist! and d) last but not least, a certain level-headed hat wearing hottie.

Looks good, no?

Norah, Me, Margery

Thanks for all the weaving love! I officially have a new favorite comment. I’m thinking of coming up with some sort of formal “thing” for the No Dud Duds in 2008 idea. Sort of loose, like Project Spectrum. I’ve been wearing the crap out of that simple grey stole I made and it really has me thinking differently about what I’m knitting. I like to read a lot of dorky fashion self-help books like What Not to Wear, etc. because I am a real klutz at dressing myself and I also like to learn about proportions of other bodies (I’ve been training for this design position all my life, I’m telling you 😉

Anyhow, the same way Color Me Beautiful forced me to rethink and ultimately edit my closet and yarn stash, I’m hoping to knit judiciously in the future. Jenna would probably point out my lax commitment to this initiative so far as she practically begged me not to rescue this disheveled $2.00 bin ball for a Bandwagon Cowl.

P.S. Guess who was at Webs today? None other than Adrian, Jess and Jared. Practically the knitting A-Team!

Kool Thing Sunday, May 11 2008 

Did you know that Kim Gordon lives in Northampton? I had a spotting the other day between Haymarket and Masonic Street Laundry, it always tickles the crap out of me to see her or Thurston Moore just hanging around town.

I have a lot of kool things to show you. The first is a store sample, the Petal Tank knit in Terra by the Fibre Company. Good Lord, I love this yarn. It is so unspeakably pretty. This color is Cochineal, it looks like pink lemonade. It has all the rustic beauty of tweedy wool with the luster and softness of alpaca and silk. I wax rhapsodic about it more here. I will definitely be making one of these for myself.

Petal Tank

Petal Tank

Also, I wove something! It’s a very simple, gray scarf that I’m calling the Mithril Stole, yeah, I’m a big dork. I used Valley Yarns 2/14 Alpaca Silk and a bit of Rowan Kidsilk Haze Night, woven on a Schacht Rigid Heddle Flip Loom, 25″ with a 10-dent reed. Someone said it was very Banana Republic and I think that fits. I had a fun time weaving it, I love being a total beginner again. I can’t see myself getting really into the technical side of weaving (at least any more than I have to to wind warps and get a nice finished project), it’s the same way I feel about spinning. I’m very product driven at the wheel and the loom, not so for knitting. I’m still hoping this will be the year of boring, wearable, expertly executed classics. Call it No Dud Duds in ’08!

Ghost Stole

Ghost Stole

Me at the loom

I’ve also started a Shetland Triangle with some Sundara Yarn Silky Merino Aran in Ruby Port. This was Autumn’s Seasons Club offering. I love it! I was in Autumn and Spring this round; I’ve signed up for Winter for the next round. Good stuff.

Shetland Triangle in progress

Shetland Triangle Back


Update Friday, May 2 2008 

Hello, hello. I’ve published a post with some sizing information for the Nantucket Tank, please click here if you’re interested.

The blog silence is due to a lot of work I need to complete before the end of the semester. I’m working on getting myself back on track so I can return to my graduate studies with a bit of a cleared slate. I’m really looking forward to a television studies course with Shawn Shimpach, a hilariously dry scholar, still new to our department.

I have been knitting, a lot actually! We’re in the middle of a cold snap–49 and cloudy right now, it’s beautiful and I’m not being sarcastic, I love this weather. I dared myself to try to start and finish 28thirty before it warms up again, I think I’m on track to do it! Currer is very near completion, but I had a few false starts on the peplum (truly stupid mistakes) and decided to put it aside for a bit. I’m also zooming through a vest for the store, Petal knit it my absolute favorite yarn EVER, the Fibre Company’s Terra. I want to write a love letter to this yarn. I’ll tell you why when I finish the vest.

What else? Oh, I just discovered a knit-along for the Shetland Triangle and I conveniently received some Sundara Silky Merino Aran in Ruby Port (the last shipment for this round of the Season’s Club)…I’ll be directly ripping off Mr. Brooklyn Tweed, as so many before me have. All hail that dude and his amazing taste. Everyone keeps raving about how fast and easy this is…I am skeptical, it’s lace, lace usually flummoxes me. I’ll give it a shot at least!

I just relistened to Sweater Love, the episode where Nicole and Jenny declare their sweater fantasy lives AWESOME! Working at Webs is terrible for this. All we DO is fantasize about sweaters and what yarns we’re going to knit them in. Lately it’s been Tempest…let me tell you…I’m super excited to buy 14 buttons and use up some sock yarn. Because I have enough to knit probably 100 pairs and I’ve made maybe a dozen?

So yeah. That’s a lotta words. Here is a picture to balance it, I sort of can’t believe I took this:



Nantucket Island Tank Sizing Friday, May 2 2008 

Thank you so much for the lovely comments on the Nantucket Tank! I hope to have it back at Webs soon as a store sample, stop in and see it if you get a chance. There are some sizing questions that have cropped up and I want to address them here. I’ve been told that Classic Elite can field questions as well.

Nantucket Tank

The size range published in the pattern is as follows:

Finished measurements: 30.5/Extra Small (32/Small, 34.25/Medium, 35.5/Large, 37.75/Extra Large)”.

The gauge listed in both versions is 20 stitches and 28 rounds=4 inches in stockinette stitch. The cast-on numbers indicate “CO 186 (194, 206, 214, 226).” At a gauge of 5 stitches to the inch, the bottom of the tank should measure right around: 37.25 (38.75, 41.25, 42.75, 45.25)”. The tank is meant to have a loose A-line shape.

You then complete a series of decreases and end up with 170 (178, 190, 198, 210) stitches–85 (90, 94, 98, 104) on your needle for the front and 85 (90, 94, 98, 104) stitches on a holder for the back. This is pretty much where I determined the finished bust measurement and the final sizes. It should ideally hit the widest part of the bust.

The sloped dotted line in the schematic indicates a bit of short row shaping. I did this to gently slope the angle of the armholes before starting each “cup” (for lack of a better word) side. Better to hide a bra with, my dear!

According to the gauge and the number of stitches you have, the circumference here should measure about 34 (36, 38, 40, 42)”, I was planning about 2 inches of ease for a loose and breezy summer top.

I’m not really sure why the tech editors at Classic Elite would list the finished measurements they did. As for the bust measurements they list in the schematic (these numbers were NOT numbers I submitted), there are two: 13.5 (14.25, 15.25, 15.75, 16.75)” for the back and 17 (17.75, 19, 19.75, 21)” for the front. That adds up to the bust measurements they list in the finished measurements: 30.5/Extra Small (32/Small, 34.25/Medium, 35.5/Large, 37.75/Extra Large)”. The only thing I can think of is that they measured the back right at the bound-off edge which is preceded by a series of fairly drastic decreases (done to pull in the very loose bell of fabric and minimize gaping).

The garment is knit in the round from the bottom up and the beauty of that is that you can try it on as you’re knitting! Please feel free to do this, just slip some stitches to scrap yarn or a spare needle and carefully sidle into the tank. You can add length, or determine whether or not you need the decreases I’ve listed in the back–I think omitting or altering the decreases in the back could extend the size range by a lot. Experiment, and ask me if you run into any other issues!

Phew! I feel like Sandi Wiseheart!