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The Adventures of two Fibre Artists.



Contributing Artists

Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Cluster stitch

Once the holidays were behind us I decided I needed to focus my attention on the many fibre projects that I have been neglecting. I managed to get dh's hat finished before the cold weather but still had several other projects in the works, all not much further than the starting point, which included two headcoverings and Celtic cross tapestry. And if they weren't enough I decided I needed to begin a bedjacket using some lovely lavender cashmere, to wear as I sit in bed late at night knitting. This is a nightly activity, when the pain wakes me. Instead of lying in the dark obsessing about not being able to go back to sleep I grab my knitting needles and give myself something positive to focus on. Proof positive that fibre activity is very therapeutic.

So now I am working on 4 projects. One of which has a very unusual stitch. This cluster stitch comprises of a k5tog, which is tricky enought but before removing those 5 stitches from the needle you y/o, go back and knit the same 5 and repeat this process one more time before slipping them off the needle. The fact that you are using US size 8 needles, can make the work very frustrating, if not nearly impossible, unless the tips are accommodating. The bamboo needles I started with just did not offer enough of a point to make knitting this stitch enjoyable. In point of fact this project was proving to be a real chore and I was considering abandoning it all togther. While normally I like to use circular needles, they tend to be more comfortable to work with if you have painful hands as they distribute the weight of the project so that your needles are not bearing the bulk of the weight, The cord of the circular needles allows your project to rest in your lap instead of weighing your needles down and putting pressure on your wrists and hands. It occurred to me as I was struggling with one of the cluster stitches that this would be a good test for the fine points on a pair of "Monkey sticks" I had recently bought. One of the monkey sticks more unique qualities is that the points are very sharpe so they were ideal for this stitch.

Monkey sticks are made in Costa Rica from some of the native wood by women who were introduced to knitting as a way to bring money into the home and help support their family. Taking up this craft they began to make their own needles, to thier particular specifications, which may very well be another source of income as they, the knitting needles, are becoming quite popular.

As you can see the resulting stitch is quite unusual, not something you see often in other works, and the halo effect of mohair only adds to the aesthetics. I am really looking forward to wearing to finishing this project and wearing it, getting feedback on the uniqueness of the stitch from others.


Monday, February 12, 2007

Life goes on....

Recently I received the honour of becoming Godmother to one of the sweetest little boys. Though this is not fibre related it has to be one of the few events in my life that is easily more exciting that has nothing to do with fibre. We fibre enthusiasts can appreciate the magnitude of a statement like that :-) I have had this privilege before, as Godmother to one of my nieces, who is now grown with children of her own and it’s so cool to see one starting her own family and another starting his life. Nothing changes, life goes on.