Monday, November 29, 2010

Radical Fringe Hat

Here's what happens when you get carried away with overtwisted yarns. This hat -- or fez, or toque, or product of a Rastafarian sheep, whatever -- combines knitting and weaving techniques. The band is handwoven in a honeycomb pattern, using orange and purple 2-ply yarns as pattern weft on a green foundation. The top was handknitted and the top-knot is a tassle of handspun singles that curl up playfully when left to their own devices. From the Ministry of Silly Hats, for sale in my Etsy shop.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Weaving Leaves of Grass

A child said What is the grass? fetching it to me with full hands;
How could I answer the child? I do not know what it is any more
         than he.

I guess it must be the flag of my disposition, out of hopeful green
         stuff woven.

Walt Whitman, Song of Myself

I wove this fabric from handspun cormo -- singles spun in both S & Z twist -- and a handspun merino/silk blend -- again, singles spun in both S & Z twist. Hopefully, it will become a garment -- but first I have to spin more weft!

On the loom, it looks like gauze, but when it's washed gently in hot water, the overtwisted yarns relax into a seersucker texture. I didn't do anything to create the fringe. The yarns do this all by themselves.

Today there's more color inspiration outside my window:

Friday, November 19, 2010

Candle Flame Hat in Kauni

Look closely: the ribs at the base are the candles. The diamonds are the flames, rising in color from blue at the wick to red to orange to yellow. A very warm hat indeed, knitted in Kauni Effektgarn, which has wonderful long color bands -- this particular yarn in rainbow shades of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and violet.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Switzerland (and knitting) in November

Lake Geneva: Vineyards on the hillside near Lausanne

Swans and sun on Lake Geneva

Zurich at night

And now, on to the important business: There is a wonderful yarn shop in Zurich's Old Town, at 10 Neumarket, called Hand-Art. You can find directions to this shop and others in Zurich at this website: 

Here's to what my husband calls "The Fiber Underground." We are everywhere!

We stayed in Kloten, a suburb of Zurich, in a Euro-modern hotel, the Allegra. The hotel's design was inspired by Mondrian, who lived in Zurich -- as did Le Corbusier and Giacometti. If you go, you must visit the Fraumunster Cathedral, which dates back to the 9th century. The stained-glass windows in the church were created by Giacometti and Chagall! And it's a short walk across the river to the Kunsthaus, the city's art museum, where there is currently a Picasso retrospective, a recreation of the very one he himself helped put together in 1932. If ever I can begin to understand Cubism, it's thanks to this exhibit and his painting, "Man with a Clarinet."

What's on the Loom?

More accurately, what's going on the loom? At this writing, I'm in the process of winding on a painted warp for a Jin design on 28 ...