Saturday, February 13, 2010

Mini Knitting

I really got into this mini-knitting thing.  Here's the tablecloth just after blocking. 

I'm actually a little surprised that it came out because there were a few challenges.  First of all, I was working on size 0000 needles and size 80 tatting thread.  Next, there was a mistake in the pattern - not huge but it did throw me.  Fortunately, the errata was posted on the Interweave website so it was easily fixed but it's not so easy to un-knit once, never mind un-knitting several times until it got through my thick skull that I should count stitches.

Next was the needle incident.  This involved one of the needles, which are quite small and light, getting caught in my sweater and pulling completely out.  Round 28 or so and I've got a whole bunch of stitches hanging out.  Not a pretty sight.  Fortunately cotton doesn't unravel as badly as some other fibers and I was able to pick the stitches up again.  I did have to unknit a row to fix it but, after some hyperventilation and naughty words, the mission was accomplished.

It looks pretty good on my made up table but I got a little tied up with the fact that it's not the thread and needles called for in the pattern.  So I hopped on the internet the other night and ordered some size 100 mercerized cotton and size 000000 needles.  I actually ordered size 00000 and size 000000 needles, but that's beside the point.  Once I get those, I'm going to do a picture putting the sizes into perspective.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Very Folk

Sometime late last year my friend, Karen, and I started going to some meetings at the Three Sisters Park up in Chillicothe, IL, where a group was working hard to establish a Folk Art School in the midwest. I've enjoyed this group so much.  It's made up of really talented artists in all sorts of genres from quilting to wood carving to doll making to knitting to jewelry making to goard carving to weaving to just about anything you can imagine.  There are people who grow things and cook.  A really talented, fun group.

They've already had a series of classes and have some more coming up that you should really check into.  There's a mountain dulicmer weekend coming up later this month and then a weekend of classes on April 23-25.  The class list will be posted soon on the Three Sisters Folk Art School home page pretty soon but here's a preview list of classes:
  • Beginning Tapestry Weaving
  • Hand Building Clay
  • Beginning Spinning
  • Sculpt a Garden Statue
  • Quilting
  • Copper Jewelry
  • Dogwood Flower Relief Carving
  • Autoharp
  • Create a Native American Flute
  • Gourd Decorating
I've got my eye on several of them, in fact!

One of the things we talked about yesterday was developing a group project that all of us could contribute to.  What we talked about developing was a representation of the school with rooms that contain miniatures of the various things that each of us do.  As we were talking about it, I remembered that a recent issue of PieceWork magazine was dedicated to miniature textiles.  I had a look at it last night and, sure enough, there are several patterns for a variety of textiles in miniature. 

I got so excited about it that I got it cast on this evening.

Doesn't look like much, does it?  It's actually 70 stitches around, 16 rounds completed (a third of the way) but made with 0000 needles and size 80 cotton.  The pattern calls for 000000 needles and size 100 silk but I think this will still work!

And we all love socks, right?  This sock represents the beginning of a master plan.  I bought one skein each of blue, white and wine.  I can't find my ball bands so have no idea what the yarn is but there's a little over 200 yards in the skein.  That's enough for me to make a pair of socks with each skein.  So here's the plan.  With these 3 skeins of yarn, I'm going to make 3 pairs of socks, each with a different base color and a little something different with the color accents for each one.  We'll see how that one works for me.