abendgules: (knitting)
It's just as well I work in the sticks. I'd never survive the temptation of regular exposure to good shops.

I had 1 day to attend meetings in S. London near Waterloo. Waterloo stn, as every London knitter knows, is dangerously close to I knit London.

And so it came to pass that I entered the shop in search of a single needle, tripped, and fell into their bargain bin, dislodging my wallet in the process.

Tripped & fell into I Knit London

The thick yarn is blue faced leicester roving, 100g. The pink and purple is silk 4ply (actually counted 7plies, but never mind), 100g each. The Addi needles, nuff said.

The DPNs are the smallest I now own, 2mm and 1.5, for trying fine stockings.

Thanks to [livejournal.com profile] zmiya_san's loan of a yarn winder and a ball winder, I've been skeining and winding a lot of yarn lately.

Here's A jersey project in process my 4kg of yarn now skeined, washed and wound, towards a major jumper project.

Thanks to my recent guest Gwendolyn, I now know how to wind silk successfully - on a toilet roll. Here's a couple I prepared earlier.

Lady Gwen is the EK visitor at DW last year, who did silk weaving, starting with growing the silkworms from scratch. When I first heard about her through Lia's posts and pictures I thought 'that's right off the scale' for craftiness. But Gwendolyn isn't mad...just really, really thorough. :-)

Today is hot for London, around 29 dec C apparently. Glorious, excellent for drying still more skeined and washed yarn.
abendgules: (knitting)
Last weekend, I dropped a wad of money on yarn for a long-term knitting project.

I've ordered 4kg of Shetland yarn; it will require hours of processing even before knitting.

It's 'yarn in oil' so you *can* knit it as-is, and wash it after knitting, but honestly it's not very nice to knit with as is, and much nicer after washing the skeins.

Said yarn is probably going to sit at Robert's office, while I'm in the colonies, yarnless and unable to reach it.

I can take another project, but with all the glitter of the new, it was the *new* project I wanted to take with me to the colonies.

First world problems.
abendgules: (knitting)
Well, finished making - now for the washing and fulling part.

This is the flat cap I started at Raglan, in 2 ply jumper weight, which is quite fine. Hence it took an age.

The next one in the same yarn will be with 2 strands and bigger needles.

In this house, it's hard to photograph anything without a measure of cat butt appearing alongside...


abendgules: (knitting)
My first big order from Shetland wool brokers arrived this week, necessitating finding the right post office for picking up oversize packages.

A half-kilo of yarn and half-kilo of unspun stuffing, plus a couple of sample skeins of different 'heritage' yarns don't fit throught he mailslot, no way, no how.

Cue a 'missing Hackney' moment, where our nearest depot was a 5 minute walk; the Hyde depot for NW London is either a treacherous 20 min cycle uphill, or a 5 min bus + 20 min walk, plus n mins standing in line behind people who are waiting anxiously on packages they have to collect before their flights...

The 2ply jumper weight is finer than I thought, but it's spun assuming you're making fair isle sweaters that carry 2 strands at a time, thus doubling the thickness of the sweater.

I'll be using most of it for Elizabethan or Tudor flat fulled hats, following [livejournal.com profile] xrian's pattern, though I may try one in the reverse direction, starting at the brim not the peak. There was a recent weekend session w/ a historic knitter who taught brim-to-peak method, based on MoL collections, and that's Sally Pointer's preference too, and she knits a lot.

These types are fulled, though I'll use the lazy modern method of washing machine and hot dryer rather than recreating the medieval washerwoman with lye-damaged hands, as charming as it sounds.

At the same time I'm browsing for potential yarns for multicolour jumpers that are not all-wool, that are blends that might be more washable. I now have a file on DK, 4ply and sport weight yarns that knit on 3mm needles to 25+ st/inch, that won't break either the planet or the bank.

I'm open to suggestions from knowledgable knitters and fibre folk for favourite yarns for multicolour jumper knitting, either washable or hand-wash only.

I'm fighting the temptation to abandon my current project which is getting dull (1/2 hour per row!) in favour of knitting swatches to test the newly arrived yarn for fulling...must not...must...nottttttt...no more than 2 projects at once, already at maxiumum...m-u-s-t-n-o-t-y-i-e-l-d...
abendgules: (knitting)
I have knitting on the brain.

I can do it without having to find all my craft supplies in our new place - just go with what is at hand. It's mindless and soothing.

Of course I've now just received both Kaffe Fassett books and a book about traditional sweater patterns, so I have slightly obsessive knitting-brain, and my plans are running miles ahead of my actual capacity and stash.

Ah yes the stash. I'm still trying to stick to my resolve to work from my stash. It doesn't always work, and I've stumbled and bought myself treats here and there, but I try to keep it to enough for a pair of socks at a time...

except last week I ordered 1/2 a kilo of black Shetland yarn for making Tudor flat hats. Whoops. Well, it's a commission.

So is the Kaffe Fassett, as it happens; the books are inspiration to make silly sweaters for a friend. But he'd better give me an idea of what he wants or I may run amok. It's hard to sit still reading a knitting book, my fingers begin to twitch. And Robert's taste does not run to Kaffe Fassett...

Slowly, the flat is looking more homey. We manage to empty a box or so a day, and have invited friends to come unbox our books with us tomorrow.

They're the biggest bibliophiles I know outside the SCA (we still have friends outside the SCA, it's allowed - I checked) and the best people to ask for help in reshelving.

Til now we've simply reshelved at random - truly at random, as in 'take out books and put on nearest shelf' so right now it's genuinely weird - there are' books on shelves but no discernible order. Even my self-help books are out on display.

It's a symptom of just how wearing the move was that we're not busy fixing it all RIGHT NOW MUST FIX and that we're simply ignoring it. But tomorrow we gird loins and fix it.

Yesterday for a laugh I fired up LibraryThing which I haven't touched in several years. I was keen to record all our books but mostly stopped after 2008, when I had most of them recorded at that point - probably in anticipation of our next move, and influenced by Terafan the raging keen got-a-database-for-everything guy. Har har! They've run away again.

Now is a good time, because the LT interface has improved, a lot, since I last used it. And I can tag stuff better now. I can even delete stuff, because we've parted with a lot of books - otherwise we'd have no room for the new ones.

I know that weeding out books is a rare things for a lot of bibliophiles. But I genuinely want a working library, one that I use, not one that just causes L-space, a la Discworld. I don't want bad books; I want things I read, that I re-read even.

Someday, I'll have to pack and leave again. I only want to take what I absolutely need, for wherever that next trip takes me.

And on that trip I don't need still more cat books or schlock paperbacks. The cats know I am a cat person, and I know, and that doesn't need a book collection to illustrate it. And paperbacks I vet carefully for 'will I really read this again?' And a lot of them don't pass.

Books are for the things I can't keep in my Sherlockian mind-palace, and that keep stuff together (stories, ideas, instructions) so I can find them again...YMMV.

Robert is on a mission to cross the city today to visit w/ Vitus, so I'm free to putter. So I think it's more exploring the neighbourhood - find the nearest Lidl, for one. Part of moving is finding the new 'local' stuff.

We've determined the local Aldi is crap; the local Sainsbury is ok, but not 'friendly' as a trip on the bike.

We don't visit Iceland, typically, b/c most of what they sell is not food as I know it. The Morrison's is ok but is on the other side of a tricky bike ride, or a tedious Tube+walking trip.

The truly local shops are excellent for food, so we're good there, but thin on some of our staples, that we used to get from Lidl in Hackney.

So today it's Lidl's turn, as it's listed as just over 1 mile away. And it's beautiful out.
abendgules: (knitting)
...Kaffe Fassett, to be exact.

And just subjected my plastic to three new-to-me books, having slipped in a puddle of internet shopping. Whoops.

Kaffe Fassett has mad mad mad mad designs, that cost the earth if you bought the recommended yarns. They're labours of love. He was huge in the 1980s, when everyone was wearing shoulderpads with everything, and sweaters down to your knees were cool, not a blocking mistake.

I'm hoping to shamelessly use the patterns to make sweaters that I can afford, with yarns I already have (well, at least one).

I blame Ravelry; not only thousands of patterns, but real live evidence that real people make stuff, and love doing it.
abendgules: (knitting)
Got a sweet card back from the former neighbours, who got the baby blanket and say they're delighted, totally different from the usual girly pink crap (no 2 is likely a girl).

And settling into Reading, for them, is working out, though their cats are enjoying a Dorset village holiday til they're permanently settled into a mortgaged house.

I miss them, and their cats both - they have a charming Laurel and Hardy pair of tuxedo cats with character.

For general springy cheer, see some lambs enjoying their trip up a mountain in Lombardy:

What's not to love?
abendgules: (knitting)
A Glasgow City of science is doing a health hygiene project for kids, and wants knitted microbes.

They are totally totally beautiful and cheaper than the stuffed ones you buy commercially.

This is courtesy of the craziest knitting blog I've ever seen - really. The unicorn dog harness, the Star Wars tapestry in crosstitch and the knitted wireframe webdesign is just amazing.

I'm passing the microbes round my work colleagues, so to speak, to see if anyone else wants to knit up some health protection germs.


Jan. 29th, 2014 02:21 pm
abendgules: (knitting)
Finished a scarf with the yarn left over from making Lady Anne's Bigger on the Inside shawl.

It includes Daleks! and the last of my Zauberball yarn from my longitudinal socks.

Details on Ravelry, for those keen on it.

Bigger on the inside scarf with Dalek friends


Sep. 29th, 2013 08:51 pm
abendgules: (knitting)
Really awesome Longitudinal socks - pattern from knitty They're splendidly cushiony.

Socks knitted along length, to preserve the stripes. All knit stitches makes it garter stitch throughout, with a clever kitchener stitch graft.

longitudinalin process

longit finished2
abendgules: (knitting)
I didn't expect my slippers to work - they were so huge and blobby and they weren't shrinking as quickly as I expected...but third wash and rinse was a charm.

Flat knitted pieces, before sewing up and felting.


Finished - sewn into footbags, and then felted. The lopi yarn is shedding a lot of longish hairs and fuzz, but I'm hoping that passes.

I can see the advantage of 'shearing' a felted fabric now (the way medieval cloth was felted, sheared, felted sheared again) in a way I hadn't before.

I posted them on Ravelry, if you're a Rav-ist (membership has its privileges).
abendgules: (knitting)
After seeking advice from HRH Isabel, I've finished knitting my first lopi yarn project in several years, but I fear I have made comedy Dr. Seuss slippers, rather than neatly fitting comfy slippers, in spite of doing a tension swatch AND felting it, in advance.

I'll keep washing and felting them, but I suspect in the end I may have to cut the knitted fabric (!) and sew them up again, to get a slipper that fits...or just make another set with different proportions. Evidently using the DROPS pattern with a nameless Icelandic lopi yarn wasn't a success. Sigh.

However, this leaves me free to start a long-planned pair of extremely nifty socks. My borrowed 2.5mm circ is too short for this pattern, so I had to shell out for longer one, and got a long 3.0mm while I was at it. I think I'll be purging my knitting needle supply before long...

The long needles will be useful if I end up trying any of these patterns - my copy arrived a couple of weeks ago. It might be a great way to use up still more of Master Paul's monster yarn stash.
abendgules: (knitting)
As an occasional knitter, I have an *ahem* small yarn hoard. 

A big chunk of it is made up of three weights of cream-white wool yarn I inherited from Master Paul's long-ago warp-weighted loom experiment.
I have several skeins of DK or fingering weight yarn, ideal for Society projects like hats, flat caps, gloves scoggers, and the like, and could also work for some wool-based tablet-weaving. I'm busiily using up the jumper-weight (2ply) but may have some left at the end.
I'm looking to swap: I'm in search of some aran weight/10ply (one of the heavier weights for sweaters) grey or charcoal, anything grey or tweedy, around 50-100g, for a specific project.
Happy to negotiate for other swap yarns, but I'm really after supplies for this one project that has been hanging on me for awhile.
I'll be at the coming revels, and the March scriptorium in Oxford. Please drop me a line to discuss!
abendgules: (maciejowski)
I staggered back to the office yesterday and am doing a passable impression of a human being, albeit one stuck with a bad case of January, which is accurate.

Tomorrow there's a forecast of snow in London, which would be charming. If there's more than 2 cm there's a good chance of all public transportation grinding to a halt, and school cancellations. I alternate between being amused and appalled by the English in winter, and wonder how they will cope with an increasingly extreme climate. More moaning, I suspect...

While laid-up on the sofa, I did get a chunk of knitting done - a cardigan for me is now well underway. It's a clever design for knitting from the neck down on circular needles, with an absolute minimum of sewing-up required (something I look for in a pattern).

I'm using some of the huge mass of yarn donated to me by Master Paul when he gave up on his warp-weighted loom project, plus a lilac varigated colour yarn carried alongside. 

Another kitty-pang: I had no 'help' in knitting this project, as I've sometimes enjoyed in the past. Sigh.

However, I should be back to the slope this evening with a couple of projects to start for Coronet.

Today I discovered that the whole of Jane Grey's prayerbook was online. It's not pristine, but it's clear enough to see the combination of very Renaissance capital letters (cutting-edge artwork), used alongside the more traditional secretary hand, that I associate with 15th c (think of Christine de Pisan's city of ladies, or other French 15th c MS). AND it's in English.


abendgules: (knitting)
Mostly a reminder for myself...


ETA: While 'taking a break' from work, I tripped and fell into an online yarnshop. I could only get out by a donation towards this yarn for the socks...plus another Addi circular needle.

I now have to stop stop STOP surfing other yarnshops, especially their sales pages. No, really, stop now. I mean it...
abendgules: (catching snowflakes)
...England is a awash with flooding. I'll have to watch the Peanuts Christmas special on YouTube, and the Grinch too, for any white Christmas fill.

Hoping to stop pretending to work and slip out of the office soon, and go shopping in person rather than online. 

For this holiday crafty wish list:
- get more gilding tools to improve gilding results, hopefully today
- finish lining a hood
- start a new cardigan on the needles
- make more smellies as gifts
- optional: start laying out new bodice for German undergown

I have to rein in my instinct to start a half-dozen new projects - I get so wound up at the prospect of a few days uninterrupted crafting that I tie myself in anxious knots over what I could do, and end up frozen, unable to decide what to do first, and only manage to do the boring routine stuff like housework.

If I can settle to just a handful of projects, I have more chance of actually finishing them, and thus avoiding further rebukes from UFOs round the house.

I've actually had some FO results - finished a smock, finished some knit garters - but somehow they're anticlimactic compared to starting new.
abendgules: (hot choc comfort)
There's been a 'cold weather alert' on this week - which our agency is reflecting with updates pointing to the Met Office.

Apparently there's a notable increase in 'excess deaths' in winter in this country, that doesn't occur to the same degree in colder Scandinavian countries.  It bascially boils down to old people and poor people living in old and drafty houses; some folks still live in houses without insulation, double glazing or effective heating systems. So they're actually more exposed to conditions that tax their bodies than in climates where people have figured out how to build and insulate homes.

With that in mind I'm thinking about this pattern - is this cool or what? Socks with a heel built for re-knitting!

Knitted with this yarn - a have a wool-avoiding friend that I had in mind for socks this winter. I've just taken delivery on six skeins, and am debating which ones become socks and which ones become baby clothes for fertile friends.

Worryingly, I also picked up a printed catalogue from Cornelissens at my last flying visit - now I know all the names of the madly obscure and specific art supplies that I didn't previously know I needed. Ox gall, anyone? Tracing-down paper (to avoid having to make my own with red bole and layout paper)? Sealer for silver leaf, to prevent tarnishing? Teh shiny is getting to me again...

Ok, illumination isn't exactly seaonal, but I do tend towards even more crafty stuff, when I don't want to go outside.

We're braving the cold to Mynydd Gwyn this weekend for the last revel of the season. Hoping to see lots of folk there for fencing, dancing and food.

abendgules: (Default)

Lovely Indian-summerish weekend in Thamesreach.
Started with shopping in Shepherd's Bush, meeting Dragana, a recent arrival to Thamesreach from the fair lands of Avacal, An Tir. Despite Tube 'planned engineering works', the biggest hassle was the football fans congregating at the station - fortunately less of an issue on the return trip.
As often happens, I didn't come home with what I planned to buy, but still managed to spend money on fabric - a beautiful light herringbone linen in a madder-orange-red, and an astonishing silver-and-blue diamond woven silk, which I think will make stunning trim on anything cool-coloured - white, blue, black. I bought the rest of the bolt. Dragana found a gorgeous burgundy wool which, if I didn't already have in spades, I'd consider buying myself. 
Happily, one of the favoured run of fabric shops now stocks haberdashery, which is a first - usually fabric and notions are separate in this corner of London.
We also stopped at the firetrap, to buy me some towels.
At my favourite shop, we found out that the properties along Goldhawk Road are being 'redeveloped' - the shop management is not keen on it. I found the relevant planning document on the Hammersmith and Fulham council website, which says (emphasis mine):

It is proposed that properties at 30-52 Goldhawk Road should be included in the development area. These are of poor visual quality and of a scale that is no longer appropriate for this part of the Goldhawk Road townscape. It is also important to include the frontage so that better access to the market and central part of the site can be provided, better connecting the regeneration area with Goldhawk Road. There should be opportunities to re-locate these businesses within the main development on suitable terms

Talk about being damned with faint praise - 'poor visual quality'?? Why not just say, 'ugly'?
But frankly, if you think Classic Textiles is ugly, you haven't looked at the rest of the market frontages. This is not Knightsbridge, for pete's sake.
Seems their resistance may be overruled - most recent chance to comment closed on 11th Oct.

Back home Robert was being clever with metal bits (photos to follow eventually), and we found a weekend-long Star Trek moviethon to pass the afternoon, puttering on our respective projects. HIGNFY has started a new season, but was slow to warm up

I've finally finished a couple of knitting projects enough to block them (one is still drying); stitching up is next.

Sunday was a lovely day, and I took a risk and headed to London Archers' range at Kensington Palace. Unfortunately, the club seems a bit shaky on communications - they're not very good at letting people know when outdoor shooting is on through the autumn and winter. It's usually on, unless it's off, sort of thing. It was so beautiful out, though, I felt safe taking the trip to find out.

Sure enough - sunshine, not a breath of wind, intermittent cloud. Spectacular for long-distance shooting, and I spent a very happy hour or so trying out Dad's bow. It's longer than mine, and is marked 38 on the handle, which is probably 38lbs at 28" (archery equipment uses a mix of Imperial and metric measurements, depending on what it's for). I very carefully strung it (don't know when it was last strung!) and took it for a spin.

Wow. I don't have a huge dataset for longbows, but this one is beautifully smooth to draw; the extra length means the sharp increase in draw weight towards the end of the draw doesn't happen to me. It's probaly lighter than my own (couldn't carry both to the range) but it was a joy to shoot.

Results at the other end, at 30m (see that outlier? I blame the arrow. Look at the rest of the group, it's near-perfect!).

While I didn't shoot for long (don't want to strain me or the bow)...it was one of those days when I feel centred and All There while shooting - fully in my body, in the experience of shooting, and have just a glimpse of what Buddist monks hanker after by taking up archery - moments of perfect stillness untroubled by anything outside the moment. 

I beamed all the way home, wrestling with the very long carrying tube on the Central line, and then on the bus - it's too long to stand upright on the Tube. It blocks traffic one way or another.

Afternoon and evening were quiet - laundering assorted fabrics and projects, more knitting, dinner with Robert, still more knitting while watching the new ITV 'Upstairs, downstairs' drama thingy, Downton Abbey. Beautifully made, and Maggie Smith is excellent. I love Edwardian fashions. I see ITV now has an online catchup player as well.
abendgules: (knitting)

(Also posted at Ravelry, and on historicknit LJ)
I had the happy opportunity to see the famous waistcoat yesterday on a visit to MoL - it's on temporary display in the 1660 War Plague and Fire area. Surprisingly balanced article from Daily Mail from February.

Getty also has several pictures

Things I noticed, that are well illustrated in the Getty photos, are

  • the buttons: photo of buttons are quite flat, perhaps formed over a firm disc to give them shape. They are of the same knit as the garment, which made me wonder if they’d been individually knit, or if they had been cut from a length of knitting and sewn on, as documented for cloth buttons in medieval period (MoL Clothing and Textiles book).

  • the button holes are edged with lovely tiny buttonhole stitches the way you would with cloth. I couldn’t tell if the buttonholes had been created in the knitting, or if the placket had been knitted flat, and then slits cut and finished the way you would in woven fabric.

  • the side ‘seams’ side seams You can just see one ‘seam’ in this pic, which looks like 3 ‘rows’ of garter stitch (p,k.p). I was puzzling over how the garment was assembled - was it knit in the round, with stitches to simulate the side seam on a fabric shirt? or was it knitted flat, front and back, starting each edge with p, and then knit together by picking up stitches on the inside and knitting them together? I leaned this way a little, because the bottom ‘hem’ of the garment is several rows of garter stitch, and lined up with the side ‘seam’ there is a slight distortion of the rows. Someone possibly had to work them together somehow. The knitting is unbelieveably fine (can’t even guess at a gauge, but picture knitting with 2-3 strands of silk embroidery floss), and the wobbles in the rows are tiny. OTOH, it’s possible the wobbles are an artifact of storage, if the garment has been laid flat (no padding as shown in the pictures) - this might create a crease in the garter stitch hem.

  • the knitting patterns imitate the way cloth would look when cut into a garment of the same shape. The waistcoat is flared, and as the flare widens, the pattern repeat continues to the edge, even though it’s half ‘cut off’ by the edge ‘seam’ - the same way you’d cut through a patterned fabric. If you were designing a knit garment to take full advantage of knitting’s strength patterning abilities, you could make sure you always got a full repeat in, before reaching the ‘edge’, either by spacing them differently, or scaling the pattern towards an edge.

I find it fascinating - knitted clothing that wants to look like brocade fabric, that is potentially still using a lot of ‘cloth’ techniques for finishing. My main interest is in medieval clothing, so this is a bit out of my range, but it's a beautiful piece, with workmanship and materials to die for.



abendgules: (Default)

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