Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Fabric, quilting, and knitting

Essex pullover - my current knitting project
Such a long time since I wrote anything on this blog. So much has happened over the past few months, but I won't bore you with any of it here. I am knitting, as usual and the photo above shows the current project, a cropped sleeve, fitted jumper with a fair-isle design around the picot edged sleeves, body and also the yoke. The mix of picot edged sleeves and body teamed with a fitted shape really intrigued me. So many of the jumpers and cardigans I have knitted over the years are rather shapeless. They are lovely to wear, and cosy, but it was time for a change. Not sure how this will work out, but this could be interesting.

The knitted body of my jumper
So far, I have completed the body, knitted in the round, up as far as the point at which the sleeves will be attached. The first sleeve has been started and I am in the process of knitting the fair-isle pattern. As you can see from the photo above, the picot edge to the body (and sleeves) is sewn after the whole jumper has been completed. I haven't done a picot edge in this way before, having knitted it into place in a previous project (a knitted bag). It will be interesting to see which of the two techniques I prefer.
Indigo dyeing
I was lucky enough to take part in an indigo dyeing session at a friends house a couple of weeks ago. These "flags" are my own pieces shown after washing. They are hanging in my friends garden on one of her trees. There were a number of us playing around with an indigo dye vat that morning. We were so lucky with the weather too. It can't be guaranteed that we get a bright sunny morning at this time of year, so we did give ourselves a backup plan, just in case we couldn't do any dyeing. Indigo dyeing really does have to be done outside. The pieces above are, from left to right - a tightly woven cotton, cotton lawn and two silk hankies. The first piece had been dyed after being folded into pleats and pinned using bulldog clips. The second was merely loosely pleated and knotted at intervals. The silk hankies were tie-dyed after being folded together and held in place using rubber bands. Great fun!

I'm not sure what I shall use these pieces for, but I really enjoyed the experience. I have also recently been experimenting with rust and tea dyeing.

Tea dyeing - the fabric was scrunched around the tea bags used.
Rust dyeing using tea.
Rust dyeing using a fruit tea wrapped around a scouring pad.
Last week I found myself having to replace the cover on my printing board. I shall be using the old cover since it just looks so interesting. Not sure what it will be used for, but I feel sure that I will find a use for it.
The under layer of my old print board cover.
The top layer - I just love the muddle of patterns
I am also quilting. The following photo shows the quilting in progress. This is a very simple pieced design made up of square blocks. The working title is "Spring Flowers" and uses some of Tracy Fox's gorgeous dyed fabrics.
Quilting in progress on "Spring Flowers"