Wednesday, March 21, 2007

21 March: And here it is!

At last the brown waistcoat!

It's made of Manx Loghtan wool (hand spun, designed and hand knitted by me, of course) - the colour is not quite as grey as it looks in the photo. All finished, washed and carefully dried, and now on my back. After struggling with various bits of it, I am now very pleased with it, and it will probably get worn lots and lots, as brown goes with most of my clothes.

In designing it, I referred to Beth Brown-Reinsel's "Knitting Ganseys", and Montse Stanley's "Knitter's Handbook".

And as a special extra treat for you, since you waited so patiently for the final denouement of the waistcoat, here's some yarn I spun yesterday morning.

At the Guild workshop last week I used the drum carder to blend together some alpaca and some merino fibre. Although I thought I'd divided it neatly into 2, to make two bobbins of singles to ply together, it ended up with far more on one bobbin than the other. (Got the arithmetic right on all the fiddly bits of the waistcoat, then can't split something tidily in half!) So what was left over got plyed with an all-merino single - that's the brown and white skein.

I wonder if this is read by anyone who is in the slightest bit interested in wool, spinning , dyeing, and knitting. Do tell me if you are. And don't bother if you're not - I shall still go on wittering on about it.

P.S. I've removed the word verification from the comments. It will go back if spam arrives.


A wildlife gardener said...

Hello, Stitchwort,
Your blog interests me a lot. My grandmother used to card and spin the wool from her sheep, then use various vegetables to dye it. She and my mother were Fair Isle knitters and were the first ladies to use Lopi wool when it first became available; circular needles; knitted all my grandfather's and my dad's socks using four needles; and created their own patterns. In the evenings their needles were always clacking away, often sitting up till the wee small hours finishing a garment. They used to have knitting bees when all their friends would come for supper, and they all blethered away whilst knitting! In her time, my mother knitted coats and lined them, skirts, dresses, countless waistcoats, and shawls you could pull through a wedding ring. She was so adept at it, she had a contract with the Shetland Shop in Edinburgh, which gave her pocket-money...usually to buy more wool! I have knitted Fair Isle jumpers in my time, but knitting is not one of my hobbies. I think your work is fabulous! To start at the first process and work your way through all the various stages to the end must be a rewarding experience and give you a great sense of coming full circle. Well done you!

KAZ said...

AS you know - spinning and knitting is not really my thing and tempts me to be sarcastic. But I do find it quite interesting in a relaxing sort of way.
Anyway - I know you can cope with sarcasm.
I've also removed wv from my blog as it was annoying me.

stitchwort said...

Hello w-l g, and thank you. Your mother and grandmother must have been wonderful knitters. These days we call them "workshops" instead of "knitting bees", but it's just a group of us sitting in a church hall, spinning, knitting, whatever, and of course chatting.

kaz - as long as you're still coming to find out what's new!

Murph said...

That means I won’t be able to resort to the blogger’s favourite stand-by of interesting Word Verifications “WV=IMAPILLOCK Woohoo! etc”. Probably a good thing as it was about as interesting as Esther Rantzen’s mis-shapen rude carrots. At least you may have some serendipitious Google visitors now from “Rantzen’s rude carrots”.

stitchwort said...

Does the content of the comments box register with Google?

The vast majority of google-generated visitors I usually get are looking for Fred Knit*** of the Young@H**rt Chorus, or a pattern to make a string shopping bag.

tea and cake said...

Hi, I love reading about your knitting etc. I have knitted for over 30 years and, last year learned how to knit socks for the first time. I couldn't believe how easy it is.

I dusted down the spinning wheel I bought over a year ago, after a spinning workshop. I've now found somewhere to get lessons and look forward to learning, again. And, our neighbour farmers gave me a couple of fleeces last year - they are still waiting for their socks.

Very well done on your waistcoat, it is lovely. I was recently talking to a woman at our 'craft group' (cup of tea and a blether) who, having made a fair isle jumper wanted to turn it into a cardigan, by cutting it up the front. She said she was very professional about it and took a drink first! best wishes, kaz xx

stitchwort said...

Hello tea and cake kaz - hooray, another spinning and knitting blogger!
I've been spinning for just 2 years, and have to do lots of knitting to enable me to spin more.
Even before I spun, I started to make up my own knitting patterns - perhaps I should do a posting about some of them. Maybe tomorrow.

Granny J said...

Thanks for taking me back in time... I've loved needlework over the years, but have made nothing for maybe 10 or 12 years. Perhaps when I finish the dang-blasted data base I'm working on ... and get the slide scanner up and working ... and ... and

Simply too much to do and so little time!