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Spring sweater and new numbers

Look what I’m now wearing!

An emerald Mr. Bluejeans!

It’s Amy Swenson’s design Mr. Bluejeans from Knitty’s Deep Fall 2012 issue.  It’s roomy – see what I did there with the overlap?

Swing!

In it’s natural state this is a cardigan that would like to go for a whirl already.  So, we did.

Did my gauge swatch lie?  I don’t think so.  Well, 7 skeins of Sweet Georgia SW Worsted later…  Seriously though, I used the size small directions and needed 1,400 yds.  A whole 250 yards more!  The small grist variation doesn’t account for that.

Gorgeous semi-solid greens, Miss Sweet Georgia!

The sleeve cuffs on my cardigan are slightly shortened.  They also have Elizabeth Zimmerman’s i-cord bind-off.  In following her advice in Knitter’s Almanac to keep that loose, I got the interesting flare.  It’s a design element (ha!).

This was to match my fix for a very raw bottom edge.  Luckily I eeked out enough yarn to give that an applied i-cord.  Why?  Well, the edging pattern is not actual ribbing.  All things being equal I like a good ribbed edge on a garment.  Some knitters feel that its cinching action is unflattering.  There’s just something about a classic rib edge that I love.

 

Speaking of Pretty Canadian Yarn…

We are in a wonderful time for finding Canadian indie hand-dyed product in local yarn stores.

Turtlepurl’s Polly Wanna Cracker? yarn in Striped Turtle Toes

I first found Turtlepurl when her fibre seduced me at the 2010 Toronto Knitter’s Frolic, and have bought more from her store since.  It’s just wonderful to see her yarn carried locally!

A few days later, and we have a new sock project on the needles!  I am adjusting the Ampersand design for these.  It’s regulating my stress quite nicely, thank you.

A slow project Transformed

The SpinDoctor’s Podcast Listeners Group on Ravelry is spinning together in a Great Sock Yarn Experiment.  The inspiration is the new & very super Spinner’s Book of Yarn Designs by Sarah Anderson.

The slow project on my Jenkins Delight Turkish-style spindle

I started spinning this Sweet Georgia BFL/ silk top back in around January 2011.  In that time, I have made a 164 yard 2-ply skein, and 29 g of singles besides.

The hold-up is simple.  You haven’t seen that 2-ply skein because I think that it has fairly ugly barber-polling.  Also, I love the Jenkins Delight as a travel spindle but that knob slows me right down.  I cope but am annoyed by easing the half-hitch over.

Martha to the rescue!

Wouldn’t you know that was at exactly 1/3 of the remaining fibre?!  I am now well on my way to having 2 opposite-twist singles all spun up.  It takes enough twist to be very nice stress spinning too.

 

Now don’t let the shock hurt you but…

… yours truly has destashed a spindle.  And that is no lie.

Spindlewood square mini spindle in Olivewood

A very pretty, and well-made spindle at that.  I bought this Spindlewood from Morgaine’s shop at Stringtopia 2011.  No small amount of sentiment there but I really do have other spindles in this 22g bracket that I have used more often than this one.

Wildcraft spindle with Wisebatt

Nice timing for the return of my Wildcraft bracken spindle then, yes?!  It was just with a friend, and came back home this Tuesday.

The fibre is the other half of Sandi‘s drum-carded gift to me last fall.   It’s a joy to spin:  90% Falkland wool/ 10% silk.

Happy Easter when it comes!

Silly me, I didn’t realize how happy Melvin would be with that there chicken decal…

Cat toy in the wild!

 


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Pallashanin – Barbara Reid textiles collection auction

Pallashanin:  I am gathering; I am picking up, making or creating the design

Textile Traditions of Chinchero:  A Living Heritage, Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez/ CTTC, 2012:   Textile Terms Glossary, p. 165; p. 89

On Monday night, the Burlington Handweavers & Spinners Guild auctioned textiles from the private collection of Barbara Reid (1925 – 2012).  My spinning friend & inveterate enabler, Nancy, sent me the auction information months ago.  She had a hunch that I might be interested.

Um, yes!  The guild preview screamed Above-Average-for-the-‘burbs…  We are talking a weaver’s collection of objects on travels to Asia, Eastern Europe & South America.

Nancy had me at Turkish distaff.  Let alone the Andean weaving both large and small.  A girl can hope, can’t she?

Books by Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez

A girl can also read.  Just about everything I know about Andean weaving is from these Nilda Callanaupa Alvarez books, and conversations with Abby Franquemont.

My first jakima khipu – a bunch of cotton bands

In just 2 months, I will take Abby’s full-day backstrap weaving class at the Spring String Thing.

It’s simple.  I want to learn pallay: harvest, pick up, collect.  This post explains why one would.  And as I understand things, I really do not want to be called waylaka.

Cutting to the Chase

This beautiful puka (red) poncho now lives with us.  It was my last bid of the night.

Andean puka poncho

It hit me that the bidding was low enough for me to enter.  A single thought drove me:

This poncho is not going for a song.  Not tonight.  The market value is what the market pays tonight.

Dealers stayed out but a BHSG weaver was in big time.  We looked evenly at each other, and my bids came without blinking.  Another guild member marveled, “She really wants it.”  Yes, I did.

Andean poncho: front left pallay

What is the provenance?  The auction catalogue says the poncho was woven in “Chincero, Peru.”  It goes on to state:

Red wool man’s poncho woven on backstrap loom by Quechua Indian, Lake Titicaca area of Peru, purchased 1988. 46cm x 46cm

That raises a conflict.  Lake Titicaca is in Puno province.  Chinchero is a district in the province of Urubamba, Peru.

Poncho detail: front, lower left, 2nd pallay and sewn-on ley edge finish

The designs or pallayninkuna will speak for themselves.  I think that they were woven using the pata pallay technique, also called pebble weave.  It would be complementary warp – the back is reverse colours.

The above design is based on facing puma claws motif.  The centre green & gold motif looks like tanka ch’oro – shells side-by-side.  The weaver also incorporated birds into the puma claws pallayshin.

Andean poncho, centre

In “Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands“, 2007 Nilda says that pata pallay has typically been found in Pitumarca & the Urubamba cordillera.  The animal pata pallay dominate the design.  Does this point away from Puno & Lake Titicaca?  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Using both of Nilda’s books, I have identified these pictoral motifs with variations (in no grand order):

  • horse
  • pigeon
  • birds facing with cow eyes
  • puma
  • owl
  • llama
  • viscacha (chinchilla-like rodent), Chinchero
  • pato – duck
  • dismembered Tupac Amaru
  • arana – spider

Andean poncho: back, left

In “Textile Traditions of Chinchero“, Nilda classes many of these animal pallay as using the supplementary warp technique.  Although it comes from the Urubamba mountain communities, Chinchero region weavers have also incorporated them (see, p. 127, 130).  After receiving a weaving with the horse pallay from her father in the 1970s, Nilda introduced the technique to her area.

Andean poncho: back left, detail

I love this textile.  The sheer accomplishment of having spun, dyed and woven this for the man who wore this humbles me.  As Nilda quotes Lucio Ylla in “Weaving in the Peruvian Highlands,”:

Through their clothes and weavings, we can tell where the people come from who travel to our community.  We can identify them immediately, and many times we even know the purpose of their visit.

What I do know is that in 1988 when Peruvian weavers feared the loss of their traditional textiles, Barbara Reid brought this wool-not-synthetic, red poncho to Canada.  It may be a bridge from an older striped puka poncho or from an area that used a riot of animal designs.  Either way, it is woven with care and skill.

It’s a piece that brings not only warmth or beauty.  As I look hard, and re-read, I can feel myself lifted on those woven wings, and inspired to strive by the puma claws.

What were the first bids of the night, you ask?

To my early amazement, the guild auctioned both Turkish distaves as one lot.

Turkish distaves – small, flax (l); waist forked distaff (r)

Mine was the 1st & only bid!  They will aid & abet my flax spinning goal.  Just last weekend, I spun this dyed tow flax on the small antique wheel.

An insane amount of flax strick is also making its way to our house… maybe.

A kilim bag from Turkey’s Euphrates Basin area.  Not my best purchase ever but what’s a little guard hair to a spinner like me?

Bolivian chumpi (belt)

Such an interesting piece!  The weaver of this band varied the condor motif for both open and closed beaks.  I am not sure what the alternating design represents but the centre eye varies.

See the poor llama?  She lost her herd!

The last two were also a paired lot.

Forgive the pose, please.  Winter picture-taking was wearing thin with me…  This thin Andean chumpi or belt is as light as a ribbon.

An Andean design sampler!

My shadow box now sports an Andean hair comb, woven with reeds.  The catalogue listed it as being from the “jungle area east of Andes.”

Each of these textiles, and the many I saw but dared not bid on has lifted my spirits.  The Burlington guild put on a great auction.  It was a real tribute to their friend, Barbara Reid.

The long-suffering Toby

Someone please tell Toby that it’s in an effort to save the eye from the ravages of his own paw, and we love him.  Thank you.

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