09 December, 2009


Many, many months ago, I lost my knitting mojo. Every few weeks, I knit a few rows on the same sock I started back in January. I've only bought 4 skeins of yarn this year (well, maybe 6). But last week, two beautiful new pair of socks appeared in my house:

Socks by Rayleen

How could this be? Is it magic?

Socks by Rayleen

It is a kind of magic: the kindness of a fellow knitter. These socks, as my fellow Hazel Knits fans will guess, are the work of the incomparable Rayleen. I asked Ray a while ago if she'd be willing to knit me a pair of socks in trade for some wool, and she kindly agreed. But this week, she sent me not only the socks I'd asked for, but another lovely pair as well.

Brainless by Rayleen

These are Yarnissima's "Brainless" pattern, which despite its name looks quite brainy and refined to me. The yarn is Hazel Knits Artisan Sock in color Laguna.

Kai-Mei by Rayleen

And these sweet things are Cookie A's "Kai-Mei" from her "Sock Innovation" book, in Hazel Knits color Violetta. I love the frosted grape look of this colorway. I love the way the lace panel wraps gracefully around the top of each foot.

Kai-Mei by Rayleen

All the socks fit perfectly. I don't know how she does it. Thank you, Ray! World's best care package. I love them very much.

16 May, 2009

One lump or two?

I drink my tea and coffee black, but still could not resist this lovely little sugar bowl:

Brad Henry Pottery sugar bowl

It's (finally) a gorgeous sunny day here today, and I walked through the University District Fair (first street fair of the season in Seattle). The sugar pot above is from Brad Henry Pottery. I love the handle on the lid - it looks like the top of a beret.

18 April, 2009


I've finally finished my class project for the four harness loom class I took at Weaving Works.

Hazel Knits Woven Scarf

This scarf is woven from Hazel Knits Artisan Sock wool. The warp and fringe are Deep Peacock, and the weft is Grape Harvest. This yarn is from the 2009 HK Sock Club.

The loom sett was 9 epi (ends per inch) and my pattern is plain weave (tabby) with a basket weave stripe at each end. The blocked scarf is 52 inches (1 m 30 cm) long and 6 inches (16 cm) wide. The fabric drapes beautifully and is very soft.

05 April, 2009

Nordic Heritage

I spent a couple of days last month happily immersed in learning some traditional Estonian knitting techniques at the Nordic Heritage Museum in Ballard.

Kihnu Mitt Cuff

This fledgling mitten cuff samples techniques from Kihnu, a tiny island off the coast of Estonia. The two color cast-on is called Kihnu Troi, and there are also two lines of Kihnu Vits braid. The workshop, "Estonian Mittens" was taught by Nancy Bush, author of many inspiring knitting books including two studies of Estonian knitting traditions, "Folk Knitting in Estonia" and "Knitted Lace of Estonia." She is also proprietor of The Wooly West.

The class was terrific and much more comprehensive than other classes I've had recently. Along with teaching the techniques, Nancy narrated a slideshow about the history and traditions of Kihnu Island, and played Estonian music. She brought lots of samples of mittens and other knitted items,

Estonian Mittens

as well as books, fabric, woven belts, and many other Estonian fibery goodies. I found these patchwork bags especially appealing. They are for holding a work in progress:

Knit Bags

Nancy is a wonderful teacher - so full of ideas and history and stories from her trips to Estonia, and very very patient and thorough with students. It was a grand day out knitting.

Oh yes, the yarn in the Kihnu cuff sample at top is (of course) Hazel Knits Artisan Sock, in Plum and Laguna.

21 February, 2009

Sleying the Reed

Four Harness Loom

This little workhorse four harness loom was made by Dundas Loom Company of Missoula, Montana. It is residing with me for eight weeks while I take a beginning weaving class at Weaving Works. I've finished four weeks of the class, and this is my second warping of the loom but the first time without assistance.

This warp is for a sample project 5 inches wide and about 12 inches long. I'm using shetland wool yarn with 24 wraps per inch, which should yield 12 ends (threads) per inch (EPI). 5 inches times 12 EPI means I need 60 warp threads. I wound the warp threads in class last week, using a warping board to create a loop of 30 threads, with a cross in the loop to help keep the threads in order. When the loop is flattened out, it becomes a 60 thread warp.

Sleying the reed

The first step in warping the loom (I'm warping front to back) is to tie one end of the warp to the front (breast) beam, and feed each thread through the reed. This is called sleying the reed. The reed is the comblike part of the beater that keeps the warp spaced evenly, and that allows the beater to pack the weft. On this loom, the reed is made of metal. Each thread gets fed through a reed dent, using a tool called a sley hook.

Reed Hook

Close-up of the sley hook (or reed hook). Sleying is done left to right, one thread at a time. The hook fits between the reeds, front to back, and catches the thread to pull it through the reed. Every inch (12 threads) I tied the sleyed threads into a slip knot at the back of the beater, to secure the warp. It took me about an hour to sley 60 threads.

Sleying the reed

This view is from the left side of the loom. Here you see the sleyed warp hanging through the reed at the back of the beater. To the left are the heddles hanging from the four harnesses of the loom. The next step in warping is to put each of the 60 threads through a heddle on one of the harnesses. Only then can I tie the warp to the cloth beam (front) and warp beam (back) and start to weave.

15 February, 2009


valentine roses

This rose is one of a vase full of beautiful pale orange roses, purple mums and pink lilies, which was a gift from my sentimental northern friend.

Also, a finished object of which I knitted about one eighth:

boathouse baby blankie

This blankie was presented to the new owner, age 4 weeks, yesterday. She slept through the whole event so I can't say whether she likes the color. Her mom was happy with it, anyway, especially since it's washable. The blanket is made from Dream in Color Classy (worsted weight) color Go Go Grassy. It was a collaborative effort, knit by 8 different rower-knitters. Mom is our sculling coach.

31 December, 2008

FO 08

2008 Finished Objects

These are my projects that were started and (mostly) finished in 2008. The mosaic was made using Big Huge Lab's Mosaic Maker tool.

My one goal for fibery adventures in 2009 is to learn to weave on a four-harness loom. Oh, and maybe knit a few socks.

Happy New Year, everyone! and Good Luck!