Monday, March 2, 2009

About the sash...

Hokay, so I was thinking about posting this yesterday, inside the spinning post, but I thought better of it, because what I'm going to post about now, while still having nothing to do with knitting, also has nothing to do with spinning, other than it uses yarn. Mostly because I am a little crazy with tracking who reads this thing (by location, and how they got here; I'm not crazy enough to need to know who you actually are) I've been noticing something of an odd trend in visitors. Probably once every week or so, someone stumbles in looking for information, or pictures, or instructions on how to make a Métis sash. Originally, I thought it was a little odd, but at this point I've gotten used to it; it's all because of this post almost a year ago. But now, I've decided to indulge all those people who patiently put up with a knitting blog in search of some kind of intellectual content. Well, maybe I can't promise intellectual content, but I can promise much sash. On to the pictures, shall we?

First of all, there's the sash I was wearing when I met the Lieutenant Governor in March last year. It's the most basic of the "Métis" sashes, and the most common. They're loom-woven, more than one sash wide, and cut and serged along what would normally be the selvedges. The ends are just knotted and left fringy.

Next, there's a variation on the basic, and it's one of Marksman's sashes; this one is the same pattern as the one above, but with blue in the weft instead of red. It's made the same way, though.

Now comes the fun part. When I was in Australia (of all places, I know) I got bored in the hostel in a small town in the Blue Mountains, during a rainy day. So I decided to make myself a hat band, and fingerwove it out of embroidery floss, in all the (Canadian) scout colours. I don't have a picture of it here, but when I got home, I started to do more weaving. In wool, this time, because it holds the weave better, unlike slippery cotton. So I have a couple of examples of finger weaving experiments and practice. First, the basic chevron. It's a simple V, but you can build a lot of things from just a V.

Next, comes the basis of the Assomption sash, the lightning pattern. This is not a good rendition of it, but I'm still learning.

And then I got bored, and started something a little different... This is (essentially) a chevron band, with simple diagonal bands to either side. Occasionally the two sections switch, and the outside becomes the inside. I like it. I want to to something similar, I think, on a larger scale. Now I just have to find the patience.

For anyone who's interested in learning how to finger weave, I have 2 books to suggest, both of which I've used. The best I've found so far is actually also the most compact, but it has the best illustrations and photos, with the clearest most concise directions. It's Carol James' Fingerweaving Untangled and while compact it's also brilliant, with tips about classic beginner mistakes. The other book is Gerald Findley's Fingerweaving Basics which is also a decent reference, again with colour pictures and illustrations, but some of them are less clear than Carol's. In any case, there's nothing to do bu try, right?

Sunday, March 1, 2009

In which I do not discuss knitting

I'm not talking about knitting, because I haven't really been doing any. I get up, go to work, come home from work, look at other people's knitting (aka Ravelry, and those blogs over there --> ) and troll the internet, and go to bed. Some days there are also other things, like going to Rovers or maybe spinning, or checking out other parts of the internet. But not a lot of knitting lately. So instead of continuing to blather, I will show you what I've been spinning.

This weekend I managed to finish some more yarn. (I started it at the beginning of the month, and then ignored it for a bit...) It's more wool (mmm, woolly goodness), from Fleece Artist in a nice colourway, that I didn't take a picture of before I pre-drafted it... Oops. Anyways, there was a single splodge of yellow in the whole braid, so I decided to pre-draft into chunks and save myself some swearing later because the colours weren't behaving... And then it looked like this:

I've been spinning fairly fine, and saw no reason to not continue to do so (I spin because I like to, not for any other reason, and I figure the longer I can make the fiber last, the better, so spinning fine is effective) and ended up with a bobbin full of this:

(I moved all but one of the hooks on my flyer to one side, so I can fill the bobbin more effectively. So far it's working. I just have to keep playing with the tension now)

Yesterday, I spun the last of the singles, and navajo plied it because the colours were so pretty, and I didn't want to make mud. Finished that, checked the... gauge? Is that what you call it when spinning? And it came up a lot finer than I expected. Because I decided I wanted something heavy enough to turn into a hat. So I threw the whole thing back through the wheel, and added more twist. Then went to bed. Got up this morning, navajo-plied the whole thing again (so that's now 9 plies, for anyone that's counting) and ended up with this.

It's about a sport weight, which will be excellent for the hat I've decided to turn it into. All told, it's 54 grams and a little over 100 yards. Just enough :)