This past month has been a very good one for my fibre work, seeing N recover from his lingering shingles pain, and the winter of fewer weather alerts.
The gloves came off the needles shortly after my last TKK post. They are for N but also were a great reminder that I miss the knits that teach me new skills.
In “Lithuanian Knitting: continuing traditions” the authors cite this motif as being common in Lithuania’s western coastal area, Mazoji Lietuva. As recently as last fall, I had finished a pair of fingerless mitts designed by Donna Druchunas, and so had a grasp of how fingers are placed. I will share that project & its matching hat soon.
A technical note is to say that I knit these with one yarn in each hand. The light “cold pressed” CC yarn was held to the left of the dark “prato” MC yarn. What dominates more to my eye in this pattern is the light value. The contrast & proportion of light value is what I think makes that pattern yarn dominate over the darker background yarn here.
It is as though the light pattern leaps forward in the hand. From what I know of colour theory this main hand pattern is a high-major key. The dark is dominated by the high-value. This was N’s colour choice, and he loves the gloves.
A traditional pairing is natural or white on a dark background for this motif (p. 165). Some were 11 stitch floats all across the round. One round is all light value. For any floating over 5 stitches, I caught them together. That extra manipulation was fiddly & slowed me down a ton.
What I am late to finding but would like to share is this guest post by Donna Druchunas on Deb Robson’s blog. In the post, Donna mentions the traditional crossed knit stitches. The twisting seems like a good help not just for warmth but also for shielding float colours. I will try that when knitting other patterns from the book.
For this year
In making the resolution to keep going in the direction of my crafts – spinning, knitting, weaving – I have looked carefully at how to improve the balance. Selecting what to share & when has proved more of a challenge as content gets ahead of posts.
The locks are 105 g of Gulf Coast Native wool hand-dyed by Sheepspot. These are Meck Russian paddle combs, and were from a birthday present – thank you, N’s Mum. They hold a lot, and are the in-between wool combs that I had long hoped to find.
The 1st mini-skein is from the Meck combs (winner!). Same locks but the more muted skein is spun from drum-carded rolag batts. This is thanks to another awesome new tool that I’ll be learning my way around, a Pat Green blender/carder.
This sampling run was a job for my Watson Martha wheel in the same afternoon last Friday.
New tools & materials are part of the mix this year. Even more importantly, I am solving the puzzle of how I can work more evenly; share more fully for TKK this year.
It’s happened because I decided to use a desk planner to you know, plan. Even simple daily entries since January 4th have given me a handle on how I work. There’s more spinning than anything & I can both weave & keep other projects going.
One big take-away – I knit too much for others now. It used to be my thing.
The hemp top spinning on this Tom Forrester supported spindle is an example. It was last spun around December 26, 2015. Here’s why my Planner shows:
This (to me) immensely full coin takhli was – as my new friend the desk planner says – wound-off on January 30th. That is 25 g of fine cotton spun in 6 months. Let’s see if I improve in the next few months. I like & am resolved to spin more cotton.
As I try to rein in how thinly the work/life gets spread this year, I will be remembering our Jamaican proverb. Old-time people seh:
One, one coco full basket
Keep gathering your ground provisions because that’s your way to a full basket. In other words – don’t expect to achieve success overnight.
Let’s not scare the nice kitty but we are also seriously thinking about adopting a dog again. Here’s to 2016!