Tuesday, November 21, 2017

One Down

And many more to go! As you have probably noticed, I have an infinite knitting and sewing queue. Anyway this time it’s my Seagreen Seamus Tunic:

Well, you wanted to see it on me! I might add that this is the closest colour match I could get - at least on my screen. Such a lovely soft green. Why do natural dyers say that green is hard to get with plant dyes? I haven’t found it so. Even a good deep grass green just needs a light to medium indigo and a strong yellow overdye. Or weld yellow overdyed with woad blue which is how I did it before I read that it’s better the other way around. Regardless, that time I got a really nice green on rayon mordanted in alum acetate. In this case though, I used a medium yellow (dyers chamomile clippings) on alum/cream of tartar mordanted wool and modified it with a little iron sulphate (just enough to shift the colour). And it’s very stable. Not even a hint of colour leaked into the warm blocking bath.

Now I’m concentrating on the Combers Dress which I actually started before this tunic. All the excitement was in the beginning at the yoke and now it’s just around and around and around in stockinette. Until I get to the hem and get to do 6 rows of k1p1 rib. Oh boy! Great reading and TV knitting anyhow. I did start on the pockets - just for something interesting to alternate with - and I think it’s coming out OK:

I had to take a moment to figure out how to work the Salish Knitting technique in the flat but it wasn’t too hard. No, I’m not going to do these in the round and steek them! Do not even go there. I’ve decided I would rather work with two colours in purl than cut my knitting! Just a quirk of my personality.

However, I’m trying to decide if I should tink back the dark brown and cream part and reverse which hand I’m holding each colour in. You wouldn’t think but it makes a surprising difference! I knit this two-handed: one colour in each, Continental (picking) with the left and English (throwing) with the right. The right-hand colour recedes slightly so it becomes the background and the left-hand colour raises a little so it’s the motif/pattern. I noticed that I must have used the brown in my left hand on the sweater yoke but this time I used the cream in my left.

I don’t know if you can see the difference since the pocket is such a small sample and the older photo of the yoke isn’t a very good closeup. But on the yoke the cream lines are narrow and the brown lines are raised slightly above the surface as if they’re embossed. On the pocket the cream lines are wider and the brown sinks back a little. I kind of like the look of the pocket better but it’s far too late to change the yoke! Maybe I’ll just leave the “mistake” alone and use it as a lesson to myself. Or will it drive me crazy? I obviously worked the brown and green correctly since on both the yoke and pocket the trees/shrubs are slightly embossed. Aren’t these subtleties fascinating?

In other news, I’m still stitching away on my Boro Tea Cosy. I’ve finished the front and am about 1/3 of the way through the back section. I seem to be able to stitch for about 2 hours before my hand gets tired so it takes about 3 or 4 sessions to finish a piece. It’s fun though and really goes relatively quickly. I like that I don’t have to be too fussy about perfection. It’s “boro” after all, which is derived from the Japanese word “boroboro” and means tattered, mended and patched. The stitching is “sashiko” (little stabs) but much more loosely applied than the more formal decorative version. We don’t need no stinkin’ rules! Big stitches, thick threads and small scraps = fun! More details coming.


Sue said...

OMG -- that's amazing, don't change a thing! I've never seen a circular motif -- very cool!

Sharon in Surrey said...

OOOOOOKay. Whatever you say. I can't see any difference in the pictured samples although I'm a big supporter of more color. Maybe it's clearer in the 'flesh' so to speak. People tend to 'fade' as they age & I'm a big lover of more color - just look in MY closet. I like the green tunic & think both the color & shape look mighty fine on you. And it isn't black, brown or grey!!! haha