Looming deadlines

For a while now I’ve been wanting to try the waffle weave on my loom, and my sisters soon-to-be born twins are a great excuse to learn how to do it, and so this week I warped up my loom in a waffle weave with multi-colored blue yarn and got to it.
It was a very easy and quick weave with a floating selvedge.

The heddles were set up 1,*2,3,4,3,2,1* with a repeat from *to*, and the foot pedals were set up and used *1,2,3,4,5,4,3,2* and repeated *to*

  1. 1
  2. 2
  3. 1 and 3
  4. 1, 2 and 4
  5. 1, 2 and 3
  6. 2 and 4
Waffle weave

Waffle weave

One of the things I enjoy most about weaving is the fact that I have boat shuttles and it makes weaving so much easier and quicker.

Warp and boat shuttle

Warp and boat shuttle

After I had woven enough for two blankets, I still had a few inches of warp left over, so I quickly wove off some plain weave with pink and blue.

Left over warp

Left over warp

Knitting socks for Emmaly

Emmaly playing with her sock

Emmaly playing with her sock

I knitted my first sock when I was 12, but after only knitting one, I gave up. I tried again in the next 10 years, but would only ever knit one, or the second sock that I knitted, while made using the same yarn, needles, pattern and knitter, inevitably looked much different from the first one leading to a world of dissatisfied feelings.

Socks, needles and yarn

Socks in progress with hand spun yarn and Addi Pro needles

From there I segued from knitting to spinning yarn with a homemade cd spindle, and then on to spinning yarn with a spinning wheel and then came full circle back to socks. But this time, I had a new trick to try, which has kept me knitting socks for the last 7 years!

I read on a pattern from the website Knitty – Blackrose that there was a technique called Magic Loop, and you could not only knit two at a time, but you could also use one circular knitting needle to do so. Ever since that moment I’ve been a fond knitter of socks, for a few reasons, the decisions you make while you knit are easier to remember from one sock to the next, and when you’re finished you have TWO instead of having to go and knit the second one, and they are an incredibly portable project and can be worked on anywhere. I’ve even knitted on planes post-9/11 (I do check with the airline in advance and again at check in, that I can use them onboard).

Ribbed tops

Socks, showing their ribbed tops

I’m knitting these socks for Emmaly to use this winter when she comes skiing with me. These socks have been knit from the toe up using the magic loop technique and then knit in the round until the heel which has been done in two lots of short rows and then knit in the round using a 2 x 1 rib (knit two, purl 1). This is my favourite method of knitting socks, but there are plenty to try with different combinations of toes and heels, and I’ve found that Knitty.com is an amazing source for inspiration, patterns and tips.

I spun the yarn using some lovely Possum and Merino wool that I bought online from Tally Ho Wool Carding which spins up so easily into fingering weight that I did several 100gm lots, and the knitting needles are 2mm Addi Pro that I purchased in store from Crafty Knitwits, which have been lovely to work with, other than the fact that apparently I am still a little too tense with knitting and have to keep straightening the needles and relaxing my hands.

Addi Pro Knitting Needles

Addi Pro Knitting Needles

I’m hoping that in the next week I will have knitted enough to come up her calf and being able to cast these off and get my loom back into my room!

Spinning yarn

Flyer and bobbin

The flyer and bobbin on my spinning wheel

I love to dabble in most crafts and felt an urge to do some knitting, which I normally “earn” by spinning yarn first. This way I don’t end up mid-project and find that I am short by 100 metres or so of yarn, which produces an endless amount of frustration, often to the point of abandoning the project until my annoyance has simmered to a reasonable level.

The project that I’m working on at the moment is socks for my daughter Emmaly to wear once the winter season has hit and her mean and dastardly mother has dragged her to the ski slopes to shiver her feet off, and a receiving blanket for each of my *soon-to-be* nephews.

Wool for spinning

Tally Ho Fibre

The socks are going to be knitted out of a random mixture of merino/possum and merino/silk which I happen to have on hand in 1.5kgs of fibre and 500 gms of fibre respectively that I am trying to spin fine but still durable, and the yarn for the receiving blankets is being done completely out of the merino/silk. The feeling of the merino and silk as it runs through my fingers is almost sumptuous, and sometimes a little too soft as it can catch on little bits of dried skin or any damp patches on my fingers (like when you take a sip of cold water and moisture has beaded on your fingers).

I purchased my fibre both in store and online/email from a company called Tally Ho, and it is an amazingly affordable compared to prices that you normally find in wool stores.  I first came across this company at the Creative Fibre Festivai in Timaru several years ago and loved their affordable prices and lovely range of  fibres.

Once I’ve spun my yarn, I wind it using my wool winder into cute little cakes. — Please note, that if you are learning to spin yarn/wool, the correct procedure is spin, wind into a skein, wash, lay flat or hang to dry, and THEN wind into a cute little cake.

Well, I’d better go and deal with my toddler who is screaming baby obscenities at me – Kayleigh.

Cakes of yarn

Little cakes of yarn all wound up

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