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Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Red Square

Yesterday, while Caleb napped like a tiny angel, I looked at my projects and tried to decide what I wanted to do. Did I want to work on my second Dr. Suess sock? No. Did I want to finish the back of Gryffindor Mourning? No. But it only has a couple more inches to go? No. Did I want to work on the lace Mobius I started ages ago? What lace Mobius?

I decided the best and most sensible thing to do was to start something new. I got out my Hazel Rose Loom (7" square, walnut) and some stray mohair yarn that had no purpose in my stash and went to town. The funny thing is, this isn't really even a project. I kinda had in my mind that I would make as many squares as I could out of this yarn (I have this dark burgundy - looks lighter with the flash, a creamy pale beige, black, and a tiny bit of periwinkle) then try to figure out what to do with squares. I would love an afghan type thing or maybe a crazy shawl/wrap creature so I don't freeze my patoot off all winter. This is the first square. I was a little freaked out that the edge loops would get lost and I wouldn't be able to connect them so I threaded some scrap cotton yarn through them to make them easier to pick up later. Then I realized that the fluff from the mohair held the edge loops open, so I stopped doing that on the other squares I made. I made 2 more last night while I watched Diamonds Are Forever. James Bond is great for knitting, since I've seen all of them 500 times, I don't have to watch to know what's going on. While I was doing this, I realized that what makes mohair so terrible to frog (unravel knitting for you nonknitters) also makes weaving "interesting." By interesting, I mean that it doesn't want to be woven at first. Then it doesn't want to be pulled through, it starts making friends with itself very quickly and gets happy where it is. On the other hand, once you get into a rhythm with it/beat it into submission, it keeps its tension very easily and doesn't try to relax on you and make part of your weaving looser than the rest which is kind of nice. This got me thinking about Angora Goats, the source of mohair. I realized that I have never seen more than one Angora Goat at a time. The pictures I've seen are of one goat. At fairs, one goat per pen. I think I know why this is: Mohair sticks to mohair. If the goats come into contact with each other, you probably get a clump of goats stuck together like Velcro. Mating season must be a real problem for Angora Goat farmers.

Once I decided that the farmers probably had ways of dealing with their own issues and didn't need my help, the muse kicked in and I thought of all kinds of things to do with these squares. The best idea I had (keeping "best idea" in the context of 10:00 pm, watching James Bond, and wondering how Angora Goats stay unclumped) was to put several squares (9 or 16) into a large square and then pick up the edge loops around the outside and knit a lace patterned border. You'd have to increase at the corners to keep the border laying flat, then do a decorative lace edge to bind off and you have a kind of Shetland Shawl woven hybrid. I might have to play with this idea more, when I have enough yarn to do it all in one color. In the meantime, for their own safety, please keep your goats separated.


Anonymous Robbyn said...

Oh my goodness; I'm still giggling at the mental image of a clump of angora goats. There's one at the top with his legs waving in the air - Hehehe...gasp, snort, giggle.

Okay, I'm done now. I love and loathe mohair for exactly the reasons you cited. It can be awkward to work with and frustrating to fix (read rip!) but once it's where you want it, it's there forever and you're home free. I've even dropped a stitch, working with the stuff and it doesn't go anywhere! Just sits there and waits for you to notice! Who knew mohair was also polite?

4:21 PM  
Blogger Micky said...

It's good to just do something that isn't really all mapped out just to see what happens. That is usually the most relaxing knitting you can do.
Gryffindor Mourning is looking very nice. I really need to do something Harry Potter, but it will have to wait till all this other stuff gets going.

7:57 AM  
Anonymous Janet said...

Oh yeah, the goat-clump mental image is too much! LOL.

I've wanted to get a Hazel Rose loom, but I didn't know what I would use it for. I like this "many squares, figure it out later" approach. Hmmm...!

2:03 PM  

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