Saturday, December 29, 2007

Silky drawers

Looking back at my knitting in 2007 I realize the funniest thing to come from my basket is definitely the knitted gitch. I got some silk fiber from a friend and gave it a spin. The fiber is amazingly strong and in my attempt at keeping the slippery stuff under control I actually got achy fingers. So, I had to learn some interesting spinning techniques to get my finished yarn. I learned to spin from the fold. This technique allowed a fine steady feed onto the bobbin which is excellent for alpaca too. I also attempted Navajo plying. This takes practice but it is fun and very practical for sock yarn making because you get a sturdy three ply from it. Then, I decided to dye my finished yarn. I used a navy coloured acid dye from Ashford using half the strength for a lighter saturation. I tied my skein too tightly and ended up with white flecks showing through where the dye didn't reach the fiber. But this produced a pretty knitted fabric. Que sera sera. I only had a small skein of 62 grams and decided to tackle the Lacey thong pattern by Laura Rintala in Interweave Knits Spring 2007. I battled with the gauge because my yarn was homespun and a little wonky in places. My HD raised eyebrows when he peeked at the pattern...I get lots of giggles when I demonstrate spinning silk and people ask me what have I knit from silk? And I point to the undies.
There is a last row of crochet to these babies which completely destroyed the elasticity and thus I cannot get them on...just as well because I much prefer showing them off then tucking them away. Not exactly knitted knickers...but close. Have you seen the article in the new Spin-Off about raising silk worms? Cool!

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