Sunday, February 07, 2010


Had a good day at the show. Whitney went Best In Show. This was an easy show as far as getting there and getting home again. No 2am start today. Got up at 7am and left at 9am and were there for 10.30am.It was not our usual venue and the entry suffered as a result of this I think.

I have more or less worked out the design for my fine gauge Aran and I am using 2.75mm Addi Lace needles. 2.25 was too tight.

I bought the new

Twisted-Stitch Knitting—Maria Erlbacher

book a while ago as I love this type of stitching. However, I have to disagree with one piece of advice the writer gives. She says that one must either knit in the round or learn to twist and travel the stitches on purl rows too. She says one will be disappointed with the result if one doesn’t. Well, I followed that advice only to undo it and just do the work on the knit rows(I am working back and forth). It did not look good when done every row at all and not because I didn’t know how to do it. It is not that hard to do on the purl side what you do on the knit side. To be honest, even if the particular pattern I had used didn't look better with it done just on the knit rows, the extra work involved doing it also on the purl rows is just not worth it. I am all for doing things well and properly but not if the end result is not worth it.

I have had all sorts of advice about my dyeing. Some solicited and some not. More than one suggested something that I find quite astonishing. That is to keep written accounts of what I dye, how I dye it, and the precise recipes I used. Bollocks to that! That would leech all the art and fun out of it. For me. I dye the way I do most everything. Suck it and see. I do this, do that, a bit of the other and Hey Presto, there is the result. No way do I want to repeat, thank you very much. (Oh back when I knitted on the machines for money, it was TEDIUM to say the least. Week in week out, 18 sweaters a week, all the same style, just a few varying colours and patterns. Yukkety Yuk. NO MORE THANK YOU.) (I will add that of course I am grateful that people bothered to share their hints and tips me. )

Yarns I paint are unique. No two will ever be the same precisely because I dye as the mood takes me and do not keep track. Even the colours themselves will never, by design, be the same as I don’t even use the same amounts. So although I might well use the same colours in more than one hank, they will be painted on differently and also the colours themselves will differ in concentration. Really, I think it would be impossible, or at least a million to one chance, that any two hanks would end up being the same.

I do very much enjoy creating in this way. Now don’t laugh, but I feel slightly odd about letting the hanks go when they are sold. It’s a bit like selling one of my puppies. Sometimes I get the urge, when packing it to post it off, to change my mind and keep it because then I would be sure it had a good home and would be used well. Am I senile or just sad and pathetic. It is a hank of yarn, not a baby for goodness sake. Yet it is how I feel.


AR said...

I'm so glad you are ignoring those who think you should keep account of the 'How's , Why's and Wherefores etc. of your pieces of art.
They are all truly individual and beautiful. [as all babies are ;-)]

As a proud adoptee of some of your babies, [who are safe and happy and petted daily,] I look forward to further adoptions.

Take care

Knitting-twitter said...

hi Colin, I am glad, you dye as you do.. there is so much of the same tpye of colors around. you have very unique ones and I am glad, you keep it that way. I think,its normal to be a bit "sad" when you have to ship the "babies.. one thing for sure, I would have a hard time letting them you know.. one can never have enough shoes, enough hats and yarn... tata Christa.. congratulations to the show...

Yarnhog said...

Congratulations to you and to Whitney!

I don't think it's odd at all that you feel proprietary about your work. Each skein is an individual work of art. If you did them in large batches, you probably wouldn't feel as attached, but as it is, of course you feel they're "like puppies." (Which I can totally relate to. Giving up the puppies last summer was both wonderful and difficult for me.)

The Second Half said...

The fruit of your spontaneity is the wonderful skeins you produce, and in a world so full of sameness and clones, each of your skeins is a breath of freedom.
One day (when my yarn diet is over,) I am hoping to adopt one of your babies all the way to Oz !!

Sandy said...

Hi Colin, I just finished knitting a pair of socks with one of your babies. Even before I read this blog I looked at them and said (to myself)"I am the only person in the entire world with a pair of socks like this". Get that! Your babies are the greatest and I'll be back to adopt more. I have seen a few I like and while I'm thinking it over someone buys them. I'll have to move faster here.
Congratulations to you and Whitney. She is gorgeous!
Sandy in Pa.