Friday, May 22, 2015

A Spring Sweater

Here in Nebraska, it doesn't quite feel like spring yet. We've had two snow storms in May. . . but it will get warm and sunny soon, right?
For many people, knitting is a fall and winter activity. But for some of us, the yarn obsession carries over into all four seasons. It can be hard to find a project that's appealing to work on (and wear) in warm weather. Non-fuzzy yarn such as cotton is a must for spring/summer knitting. Here's a lovely spring sweater knit in Cotton Fine by my mom. (I'm tempted to "steal" this sweater like I often do with her knitting projects!)
If you're not familiar with Cotton Fine, it's a fingering-weight blend of 15% wool and 85% cotton. Did you know it's available in 1000 yard cones?!

Not only is the fiber nice to wear, lace work gives this sweater an airy, light feel. The pattern is called India Print Henley by Ann Hanson. It can be found in The Knitter's Handy Book of Top-Down Sweaters by Ann Budd.


May you be inspired to keep your knitting needles busy this summer. :)

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Scandinavian Band Weaving

Learning to weave has been on my bucket list for a long time--since way before I ever imagined I would live right next to a yarn factory. A small band weaving project seemed like a good way to dip my toes in to weaving. Especially since Nancy Shroyer, a fantastic teacher, was offering a workshop in German Pennsylvanian/Scandinavian band weaving at the Interweave Yarn Fest last month.
Admittedly I was exhausted after three days of selling yarn, so I was relieved to find band weaving relaxing and enjoyable, and not incredibly difficult. Nancy designed her method of band weaving to be portable--all you need is a clamp, a small rigid heddle, and a few odds and ends that can easily fit in a small bag. Plus, it's much less expensive than buying a loom.
Some of Nancy's examples, including a dog leash and keychain. Can't wait to make a leash for our dog Purl!

Students in action band weaving at the YarnFest

My first project had some sections with very uneven edges, so I decided to cut out the ugly parts and make a shorter headband.  I came to appreciate how sturdy woven fabric is--it's actually rather hard to undo weaving. I'm used to knitting which can easily come unraveled with a slight tug.

My first woven band with Cotton Fleece

Modeling my woven headband--excuse the dorky selfie

This method of band weaving is simple enough, it would be a great project for kids. I've already started weaving another band:

Setting up the warp takes the most time. The warp will also create the pattern.

Almost finished! I'm hoping to make this one a belt.

If you want to get started band weaving, here's a book recommended by Nancy:

 Until next time. . . happy making!