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NGKG Toe-Up Sock Knit Along, part 2

If you are doing the sock knit along, hopefully you finished the toe and foot of your sock and are ready for the heel turn. I'm using a short row or hourglass heel. You can work this using whatever short row method you like. I'm using twin stitches, sometimes called shadow wraps or dopplegänger stitches. I haven't had time to run a proper short-row sock experiment. There are several parameters: Do I use clean up rows between the top and bottom of the hourglass or not? Which type of short rows do I use — wrap & turn, Japanese, German, or twin? Plus, I think there might be a couple different ways to work wrap & turn — one way throws the wraps to the private side of the work and the other leaves them as a decorative line. That looks like at least 10 different heel turns. For the moment, I think I will continue to work on the socks. By the way, I spent 2 months swatching for pattern. I cast on Monday and turned the heel Thursday. This is a good reminder to me that I am
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NGKG Toe-Up Sock Knit Along, part 1

I'm active in both of my local knitting guilds — Atlanta Knitting Guild and North Georgia Knitting Guild. Sibel, who is currently leading programs for North Georgia Knitting Guild, asked if I could please lead a knit along for socks. I have some sock yarn that has been languishing for awhile. This seemed like a good motivation to turn that yarn into socks. Initially, I thought I would demonstrate the techniques at consecutive guild meetings. After some thought, I decided it would be nice to have video members could watch ahead of time. That way, I don't need to take up a big chunk of a guild meeting. I want instead to concentrate on assisting members who are having difficulty. So, here are the first two videos as well as some instructions. To start your sock, please swatch. Swatch until you have achieved these things: You have produced a fabric you like for socks (dense for wear but stretchy). You have figured out which needles you like best for working this yarn. You have figu

To Dye For Part 2: Ice Dye

Having learned from the shibori experience (take pictures, document your work), I was better prepared for Jessica Kaufman's "Incredible Ice Dye" class at Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance last weekend. Jess is the owner of Waxon Studio in Asheville, North Carolina. Jess teaches dye techniques, sells materials, and sells finished dyed goods. This time, I took pictures in progress and afterwards. For our class Jess had five-gallon buckets of "mordant" ready — recipe is one cup of soda ash/washing soda to one gallon water. Jess said this mixture can be used repeatedly. As for any dyeing project, start with clean laundered fabric. We dunked our fabric in the soda ash water for at least 10 minutes. This makes the fabric ready to activate the dye by shifting the pH to alkaline. Jess mentioned soda ash is sometimes used in pool maintenance and comes in 50 pound bags. If you have a friend with a swimming pool, you might be able to &quo

To Dye For Part 1: Shibori

It seems 2022 is the Year of Learning. At least, that's been the start. In addition to some knitting classes, I've taken two dye classes already this year. The first was shibori and the second was ice dyeing. Both techniques are easy and fun. Both used cotton fabric. Both used fiber-reactive dyes . In January, Textile Appreciation Society of Atlanta held a shibori dye workshop at Southeast Fiber Arts Alliance . Our teacher was Sophie Monsibais. She was excellent — I definitely recommend her! She showed us three different techniques. The first is an accordion pleating technique which is the basis of many shibori patterns. The second was a twisting and binding technique that produces rings. The third — which I watched but didn't do — was binding rocks or pebbles. Sophie had the dye vats already prepared. Although we were using fiber-reactive dyes, Sophie heated them, because she said she gets better results if they "cook" for about 2


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Creative Therapy

This new year is starting off with promise. We shall see if it delivers. I spent the holiday break at the Maryland man cave, helping pack up. I spent three-quarters of December at home — repairing, reorganizing, recycling, donating. There will be more. This meant I did not spend the end-of-year break gaming or crafting much. Since I could see this was where the schedule was going, I decided to force myself to take a break. I signed up for Esther's "Sculptural Corespinning" class at STITCHES Expo at Home . You may remember I have taken art yarn classes from Esther before . Esther has fabulous creative energy which, of course, attracts other people with similar energy or a desire to have such. And this is one of the advantages of taking a class over watching a video or reading a book. There's interaction. Someone else in class does something that I wouldn't have done, but gets an intriguing result. There's a reason the history of gr

The Echo, The Change Wave, and the Reset

Sometimes I start a blog post but, for whatever reason, fail to publish it. This is one of those. But now seems like the time.   The Echo I started by writing this in the autumn 2019: Sometimes the universe is just . . . strange. That's what makes it interesting. I am coming out of one of the most tumultuous periods of my life. A quick run-down of what has happened in 2018-2019. September: the passing of my knitting mentor, Jan Stephens. October: both cats sick November: the passing of Brûlée December: father-in-law ill January: the passing of my father-in-law as well as members of knitting guilds; Cuddly Hubby moves back to Maryland February: The Whole Nine Yarns closes June: return of STITCHES to Atlanta after a long hiatus October through June: intense care giving for Vincent, followed by his passing June: arrival of new cats, Ozymandias and Ramses August: arrival of expensive piece of fiber arts equipment, an Ashford 16-shaft table loom . There was also a lot of expens