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Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Experimentation

I got a little Zoom Loom to play around with, just because. I've seen some cute projects using one on Pinterest and while I don't have any definite plans for it, I wanted to get a feel for it and figure out what yarns work and what doesn't.  Unless I'm completely missing something I've seen yarn weight recommended anywhere from fingering to worsted and everything in between (although some sources say worsted is too heavy).  Since I wasn't sure what would work and what wouldn't, it was time to play around with leftovers in the stash!

First I tried a true worsted weight yarn.  (I'm pretty sure this is a Fleece Artist yarn but I can't remember what the base is, there is some mohair in it.)  Here it is straight off the loom:
Worsted- before
and here it is after washing:
Worsted - after
This was not an easy yarn to weave on this loom and I think it's just a little too heavy.  There's no change between the freshly woven square and the washed square because there's just no room for any additional fluffing.

Next I tried a DK weight yarn.  This is Cascade 220 Heathers.  The Heathers in the 220 line knit up at DK weight while the solids are more of a true worsted.  This was easier to weave than the first yarn, but it got more difficult at the end.  Here it is fresh off the loom:
DK - before
and washed:
DK - after
The square tightened up a bit as the yarns settled into each other after washing.  The finished square is nicely cohesive without being stiff.

The next yarn was a sport weight - Malabrigo Arroyo.  Sport weight and DK weight are very close size wise, with sport being just a little bit finer.  This was easy to weave and much more pleasant to work with than the first two yarns.  Here it is after weaving:
Sport - before
and after washing:
Sport - after
You can really see how the yarns plumped up and relaxed into the weaving.  This square has really nice drape even though it's pretty solid looking.

Finally, I tried a fingering weight yarn.  I don't remember the exact details of the yarn, but it's a Fleece Artist yarn again.  It was super easy to weave.  Here it is straight off the loom:
Fingering - before
and after washing:
Fingering - after
This started out very open and pretty much stayed that way.  This reminds me of those beautiful and ethereal art scarves that I love to look at, but I'm pretty sure I would snag it on something in under 10 minutes and kill it. 

After all of this, I can now say that I think worsted weight yarn is too heavy for this loom, and while the fingering weight is beautiful, it's not practical for anything I would use it for.  The sport weight yarn is my favorite, but the DK weight yarn was also nice and could be good for a project where I need a bit more firmness.  Just as a note, the edges on all four squares look looser than the middles - that's where the yarn wraps around the pegs and you use those loops to sew the squares together for your project, so I imagine they tighten up after joining.  Also, I should note that the sport and fingering weight yarns were superwash while the worsted and DK yarns were not.  All of the yarns were wool or wool blends but again, I wasn't 100% consistent.  I didn't follow perfect scientific method, but it told me what I wanted to know!

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Monday, January 23, 2017

Walking On

Sunwalker 
I'm in the middle of the lace section of my Sunwalker.  The lace is simple, but it is a bit slower than the double seed stitch was.  Or, it's possible it just feels that way because the rows are so long.  Maybe a combination of the two?  Anyway, I'm still working away on it.  I'm about finished with the second skein of Mechita and looking forward to starting the third.  I'd love to get this finished by the end of the month.

In random, unrelated news, Max likes to watch Craftsy classes.  He doesn't seem to care what the topic is, he just curls up with me and watches them on my iPad.  He honestly pays better attention to the Craftsy lessons than he does cat videos.  He'll sit through a 30 minute lesson and pay attention (purring softly) the whole time.  I have no explanation for this.

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Thursday, January 19, 2017

Weaving

Eighth weaving project 
I've gotten farther on my new weaving project.  I've kind of gotten into a rhythm with it and it doesn't feel so awkward working with two stick shuttles at once.  The pattern is clearer too, which is making me feel better about my last minute decision to change my weaving plans and do houndstooth.  It's fun watching all the colors appear in the multi colored Aniversario yarn, but the navy kind of grounds it and keeps it from going all clown barf on me.  Clown barf is never a good idea!

One of the things I like most about the weaving is watching how colors combine and play together.  I also love that weaving is friendly to the crazy beautiful hand painted skeins of yarn that are so much fun to buy.  I learned the hard way as a new knitter that those skeins don't always knit up the way I want them to, so I tend to focus on the more tonal or color washed types of hand dyes for knitting.  Weaving means I can buy those crazy skeins and be happy when I use them!

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Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Row 13

Meditative blanket 
I've completed the 13th row of my Meditative Blanket.  There's really not much to say about this project at this point.  In May (or maybe April) it will be two years old.  I've clearly been taking my sweet time with it.  I WILL finish it this year, but in the meantime, I'll keep showing you row by row.  Lucky you!

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Tuesday, January 17, 2017

The Word of the Day is Squishy

Sunwalker 
I've finished the main section of my Sunwalker!  I'm ready to begin the lace section now and then it finishes with the double seed stitch texture again at the end.  I've started the second skein of yarn and I'm probably about a third of the way into it at this point.  It was the perfect project to snuggle up with this weekend in the rainy fog.  The shawl itself is also nice and squishy and soft.  It's going to be huge when it's finished!

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Friday, January 13, 2017

Eyre

Eyre 
I've been knitting along on the back of Eyre and it's moving along nicely.  I love this yarn (Dream in Color Smooshy With Cashmere) and the way it feels.  The finished sweater will be soft and light.  The stitch pattern has lace things happening on both the right and wrong side rows, but it's intuitive and very easy to read.  Once you get a feel for it, it's simple to figure out if you've made a mistake.  Overall, despite the fact that it's not stockinette or garter stitch, this a relaxing knit and I can actually watch TV while I work on it.  I was not expecting this back section to be TV friendly when I started this sweater, so that was a nice surprise.

I've got to read the directions and start measuring soon because I'm not sure if I'm supposed to work to a certain measurement before or after blocking.  It would probably be a good idea to double check that before I knit it long enough to be a dress.

Have a great weekend!  It looks like it's going to be a messy one for most of the US, but we're just supposed to get a lot of rain here.  Sounds like knitting weather to me!

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Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Danger Is My Middle Name

Meditative blanket 
One of my goals for this year is to finish this blanket!  It's currently 24 squares wide by 12 rows high.  My tentative goal is for it to be 36 rows high, but that's also dependent on my yarn amounts.  I think I've got enough to go that big, but I'm too lazy to weigh things with the scale, so I'll just live dangerously.

Each square is about 2-1/4 inches square and you can see the size as it's draped over Fifi.  I do have some yarn set aside for borders, so I can use every inch of yarn in the squares.

2017 will be the year I finish this blanket or die trying!  (Hopefully it won't come to that.)

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