I’ve started another swiggle piece (here’s the original design, the first swiggle jumper and its progress – one, two, three), this time a birthday present for my mum, who will be sixty in September. I went for Rowan tweed yarn in a mossy green and cream. Since the yarn is a bit thicker than what was used for this design before, the design is bigger and I’m reworking my original ‘pattern’ (I say ‘pattern’ because it’s shamefully strewn between various notebooks and sheafs of paper, many of which have uncertain whereabouts).
This time I’m making sure to remember exactly what’s already been done by literally attaching notes to the knitting on luggage labels. It’s the only way.
This weekend I helped out at my local community centre’s Midsomer Mill Garden Fete. With the theme of Midsummer Murders in mind, I put on my most saccharine sweet flowery dress (no pictures of that, thankfully). To the tunes of The Moodswingers, we sold plants and knitted goods, ate cakes, drank tea, painted faces, blindfolded local police officers (yep – and charged them 20p for it) and generally felt like we lived in a sweet little village. Thanks to Kate and Isabelle for masterminding the day!
This morning I’m busy sewing together our Softer Light group knitting piece. Over the past couple of months us knitters at The Mill have made squares for this ‘stained knit window’, to be featured in an upcoming textiles exhibition, Softer.
To do these beautiful squares full justice, I’m knitting a mile (well, not quite) of i-cord as ‘leading’ to hold the ‘panes’ of knitting in place.
The i-cord was made on two double-ended needles by casting on two stitches, knitting them, and, after knitting the second stitch, pushing the stitches from the left to the right-side end of the needle, transferring the needle back to the left-hand and continuing as a round by bringing the working yarn around the back. This forms a very tiny tube of knitting with four sides formed by the two stitches.
Finally! I’ve found some worthy tenants of my Christmas present, three pots made by Aunty Penny. In order of appearance: desert rose (from a cutting – hence the one massive leaf), aloe vera (offspring of our big plant which can’t stop cloning itself) and tiger begonia (also a present from Penny).
In my desperate attempt to find good things about having to undo a portion of the swiggle sweater, here is some beauty found in the two wiggly strands of yarn code that appeared as I pulled (and pulled). Does this make me an exonuclease..?
Talking of buttons.. these are the ultimate for me. Handmade true-to 18th century buttons with the best button name in the world.
Please take a look at the rest of Hannah’s blog – it shows all the other incredible things she does on her Costume Interpretation course, like recreating 1860s underwear and a 1770s French Sack Back (made with handprinted fabric).
My third and final uni project is a 1770s Sack Back with compere front. Like many 18th century buttons, the ones featured are known as “Deathshead” (or deaths head). These are created by winding lengths of thread/silk/yarn around a button mould. Today i got far too into trying to conquer the art, so i didn’t stop to take progress photos. I have 12 to make in total, so plenty of time for that. I’ll try and do it step-by-step as i found it really confusing trying to follow the written instructions i had initially. Thank God for YouTube!! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=deRMQ0I16TA
I’ve been experimenting with some designs for baby bootees, hopefully to sell in a friend’s local shop. This is my favourite so far, which also happens to me the most laborious and time-consuming design. Oh meow!
The swiggle sweater front and back are now settling into their new, better behaved shapes, thanks to my first attempt at blocking!
Blocking is great (why haven’t I done it before?!) because it allows you to have a bit of control of the size and shape of a piece of knitting after you’re done with the needles. It seems to help even out the tension a bit too.
I soaked the pieces in water, then rolled them up in a towel to spin on a low setting for a few minutes. Then I laid them out on dry towels and a cotton sheet and pinned them down, using a tape measure to make sure the sides were straight.
I ended up spraying them with a bit more water because the spin dry worked a bit too well, so took the opportunity to add a bit of rose water to the bottle for a sweeter, less damp wool smell.
The end of this sweater is starting to come into view.. nearly there!