fredag 29 maj 2015

9/9 Yellow square mittens

Yarn: Mitten- unknown 2 ply wool yarn, dyed with onion peel and white Tuna filtgarn from Borgs vävgarner. Cuff – brown 2-ply wool yarn that I recieved as a present (made from Värmland sheep!) and grey 2 ply wool yarn from Filtmakeriet. Needle size 2.5 mm. 

I am very fond of simple geometrical shapes, like squares. The colour yellow is also a favourite. Here I wanted to combine them into a simple, easy-to-knit pattern. They were the last I had time to make for this project and also, I think, my personal favourite!

8/9 Meadow mittens

Yarn: Random two ply wool yarns. Yellow- tansy, goldenrod and oak. Beige – velvet roll rim, orange – blood red webcap, green – tansy on grey yarn. Needle size 2.5 mm. 

When you like to experiment with dyeing, you rather soon end up with lots of small balls of yarn that are almost to tiny to use. Here I try different yellows and beiges in a pattern inspired by a flowering meadow. If I work more on this pattern, I think I will change the 'inside' - I am not completely satisfied with the stripes.

These days I always light-test my natural dyeing experiments, but the scraps I used in this project are old and I don't really don't know what will happen. I will get the full picture first after the mittens have been used. In anything changes - I will post!

torsdag 28 maj 2015

7/9 Moon mittens

Yarn: Three-ply white wool yarn from Ullcentrum Öland, dyed with indigo after knitting. Needle size 2.5 mm.

I have experimented a lot to learn a more environmentally friendly way to dye with indigo. One way to do it is to make the dye vat with slaked lime and fructose, something I found work rather well (read more about my tries here). I have mostly experimented on cotton and linen fabric, but here I got the opportunity to try it's effect on wool yarn. I managed to keep the pH low
enough to not damage the wool. The mittens were dipped twice, but only for five minutes each, to cause as little damage as possible (low pH in a indigo vat is around 8-9, and that can still be bad for the wool if it is in the vat for a long time). 

The white moons were created with a clamp resist, and I really like that they became so exact, like a print.

onsdag 27 maj 2015

6/9 Red dip mittens

Yarn: Three ply white wool yarn from Ullcentrum Öland ullgarn dyed with madder after knitting. Needle size 2.5 mm.

Sometimes one just want to make something really simple. I had been knitting so much with two colours, and thinking so much about floats and construction problems that I really longed for making a simple one colour mitten. I choose a three ply yarn so the mittens would not be so thin. After knitting, I dyed them with madder – a small experiment with dyeing a ready made garment. It took two dips to make the colour really even. They really are crazy red and I love them!

5/9 Random squares

Yarn: Filtmakeriets klassiska ullgarn (Filtmakeriet's classic wool yarn), 2 ply natural white and dark greyish brown. Cast on edge in madder and indigo dyed pieces of yarn. Needle size 2.5 mm.

Last year I discovered the wonderful yarn from lovely small scale wool producers Filtmakeriet, but I never found time to knit with it until now (the dark yarn in my Sållväv shawl is the same as the dark in these mittens, but single). It turned out to be a lovely yarn to knit with, full of grease! 

The pattern is a development from the previous one, where the squares go crazy. I like the look, but it was horrible to knit, and did not block so well (I'll redo it as soon as I get them back from the exhibition). I also had to knit the first mitten twice, because I totally miscalculated when I cast on. I had planned for a thumb with a wedged increase (like in the Mirrored flowers mittens) but I cast on really late at night and totally forgot that the thumb stitches are created as you increase during knitting, thus making the wedge. I cast on all stitches from the beginning, and didn't notice anything peculiar (other than that the mitten seemed very big) until it was time to bind off (se picture below) and I had 13 extra stitches on the inside of the mitten. I frogged it, and angrily finished it at double speed, with a normal straight thumb so I did not have to re knit the cuff.

The yarn Is lovely though, I will definitely use it more in the future!

tisdag 26 maj 2015

4/9 Nisse's mittens

Yarn: Kampes 2-trådiga ullgarn(2 ply wool yarn from Kampes) in antracite gray and gray. Needle size 3 mm.

These were knit for my partner who really needed a new pair of mittens. He wanted muted colours and a geometric pattern. I took the opportunity to develop a men's size. I already had a pattern (see picture below) that I created for Capellagården's participation in the Swedish charity event "Musikhjälpen" autumn 2014 (Serious request in other countries) and I choose to work a bit further on that.

måndag 25 maj 2015

3/9 Birds eye

Yarn. White Tuna filtgarn from Borgs vävgarner (2 ply wool approx. 300m/100g). The reddish pink is an unknown yarn of similar quality, dyed with blood red webcap (Cortinarius sanguineus). Needle size 3mm.

I created the pattern for the student Christmas market at Capellagården in 2014, inspired by the weaving technique Birds eye twill. My goal was a simple and easy-to-knit pattern to help people get started knitting with two colours. The pattern is for sale (in Swedish -when I get time to translate it I think I'll try putting it up on Ravelry) this summer in the Capellagården summer shop. 

I am very pleased with this pattern, mainly because it is so simple and I am very fond of simple things. It IS also easy to knit, no long floats or tricky irregularities. I have only had time to knit two pairs yet, one that I traded with a friend for some ceramics, and the mittens in the picture. They have been my main mittens this winter, and I have used them A LOT The worst time so far was when I had to use them to wipe the windscreen of my car free of dirty, half melted ice when the car got deep frozen and the windscreen wipers stopped working one time around christmas. They got clean again when I washed them, but if they look a little fuzzy, that's why...

söndag 24 maj 2015

2/9 Mirrored flowers mitten

Yarn: Kampes2-trådiga ullgarn ( 2-ply wool yarn from Kampes) in antracite gray. Tuna filtgarn from Borgs vävgarner in white and red (dyed with madder at 70 degrees C, alum mordant). Needle size 2.5 mm.

These you might have seen in a post from earlier this year. I wanted to knit a mitten with a classical look and an inserted thumb wedge, and I was really, really happy with the fit. The motif was created an afternoon when I was sitting at the library, doodling on a squared paper, trying out different shapes and seeing how they change when they are mirrored and the colour change from black to white.

If I'd knit these again I'd swap the gray for a natural natural dark grey colour. When I chose the yarn, I thought it was natural grey, but come spring and more light I realized it is dyed, and compared to natural coloured yarn it looks a bit dead. It is still a nice yarn(Kampes 2 plied wool is my other staple for two-colour knitting together with Tuna from Borgs), but I have more and more come to prefer natural wool colour or natural dyed yarn over factory dyed yarn.

lördag 23 maj 2015

1/9 - Spring time at Capellagården

The first pair of mittens in my series of posts for the exhibition is the tulip mittens - Spring time at Capellagården.
Yarn: Tuna filtgarn from Borgs vävgarner, natural white, dyed with madder (red) and indigo (blue). Madder dyed at 70 degrees C with alum mordant. Needle size 3 mm. 

This pattern was created in spring 2014 and was for sale in the Capellagården summer shop 2014 (I am working on an english version..). The tulips growing abundantly in the school garden was my inspiration. It was a challenge making a pattern that continues unbroken on both sides of the mitten, and I'm not 100 % satisfied, but that's OK :).

Originally the cuff was green and the tulips in pink or orange, but I really wanted to knit a pair in yarn I dyed myself. I might look a tad unnatural, but I just love the indigo blue and madder red together!

The yarn I used (see link above) is sold as weaving yarn (vävgarn) but works fine for knitting. It is a classic Swedish wool two ply around 300 m/100g. It might not be the most luxurious and beautiful yarn, but it's reasonably soft and very durable, suitable for mittens. It also takes natural dyes in a nice way, and I use it as a staple yarn for dyeing and two colour knitting.

Upcoming exhibition and massive mitten posting

Long time, no see! This past month I have been crazy busy finishing my last big project at Capellagården.

Every year the students of the school finish the spring term with a joint exhibition. Most put a lot of effort in their project and I'm no exception. This week, a group of students under curator Carina Seth Andersson has been working very hard setting up the exhibition, and it looks very promising! The exhibition open next friday 29/5 2015 and stays open all summer. If you are visiting Öland this summer, come to Vickleby and Capellagården and have a look at all the amazing crafts and art!

This year my project is called 'I knit, therefore I am' (or 'Jag stickar, alltså finns jag', in Swedish) and I am exhibiting nine pairs of mittens, all designed and knitted by myself and dyed with natural dyes. I have also made a little booklet about my process and my thoughts around knitting and natural dyeing.

However, for some reasons (the most important being that I changed my mind) this booklet will not be exhibited or sold. Instead I will publish all the texts and photos, together with some additional material here on the blog. So, the coming week before exhibition will be full of mitten related posts. Stay tuned!