r-anne-dom : a place for me (anne) to leave random blog posts. Such as: ..knitting, sewing, and other random activities pursued ..Girl Guides of Canada : yep, Guiding Lives Here ..the 4 shops on Etsy : one features quality handmade items; the second has lots of patterns, & crafting supplies; the third is stocked with Vintage; and the fourth is guiding flowers. Enjoy the r-anne-domness!
When did you learn to knit?
When I was in elementary school - a couple years ago. ;-) I think I was right around 10 years old or so. It instantly became an obsession as long as I had yarn to work with.
Who taught you to knit?
My mom. She and my grandmother (her mother) took a class through the local library. They learned how to make mittens. I didn't knit my first pair of mittens until I had children in the 1980s. I instantly went right to making sweaters for myself and my Barbie. My paternal grandmother crocheted and always bought extra yarn which found it's way to me. Later, babysitting money funded my obsession with yarn and needles. I still have all the knitting needles that I bought in my early teens. My mom would actually drive me to a yarn store or to JCPenney when they still had a knitting department. Our dentist was next to a yarn store so we would stop there after getting our teeth cleaned.
My mom now knits tiny beaded purses for each granddaughter or niece as they get engaged. She's 80 years old and using size 00 knitting needles. My youngest daughter Karen will be the next recipient.
What or who inspires your projects?
Just about anything that catches my eye. I've also become addicted to dying yarns so I've got eBay searches set up so when white yarn becomes available I can try to add it to my collection. Flowers, weather, fabrics, and textures also are influences. When I see something I take a photo of it since I travel with a camera (I own over 40 cameras - mostly film).
What is your favorite thing to knit?
Cardigan sweaters. My favorite is to take two strands of different textures or fibers and different in color and knit them together. I've got 3 completed sweaters using this method. What I did was used my hand-dyed yarns (50 yards each) and worked 25 yards of one along with the entire skein of the next then adding additional yarns as one of the previous runs out. Two of the sweaters are a silk/wool blend and the colors worked together surprising well.
When I feel as if I need something more conservative I knit cardigans using size 1 & 2 needles and fingering weight yarns. I am not a fan of bulky yarns like I used to be. Due to my current job in a Ford plant I layer my clothing due to all the various temperatures that we encounter daily.
Are there yarns/wools you love?
All of them! I think my favorite of all time is a rayon/cotton blend that I purchased on a cone years ago. I have managed to find an occasional cone on eBay. When it's dyed the colors are so vivid with the rayon being brighter than the cotton. The eBay seller has been keeping me supplied for years as she seems to have it in stock in 1 lb. skeins.
My favorites for hand dying are rayons, silks, and cottons. Wool not so much, although, I have had fun with wool dying, I seem to enjoy the bast fibers more than the protein fibers. Linens also are a favorite and, if I could figure it out, I could spin my own with all the flax that I've got growing around my house.
Are there yarns/wools you don't like to work with?
Yes. Noro. It's beautiful but I don't like working with it. It felt rough to me but was so vivid with their colors.
What would you like to say about your creations?
My creations? Now, that has been on my mind quite a bit lately. For the most part, they've been unique and out of my own head - not following a pattern other than a schematic with basic measurements. Instead of using different stitches I prefer cardigans in color and textures. Buttons are all over the place as well since my cardigans need to have unique buttons. Now that I'm in my mid 50s - 55 years old - I have been dreaming of not having a day job that gets in the way of some serious dying and designing. I sold my first sweater one morning in high school to another student who just happened to have a $20 bill in her possession. That was a good profit for an acrylic zipper-front hand knit hoodie in 1973. After that, I knew I wanted to sell more hand knits.
I have colors and ideas stuck in my head that are inspired by photos that I have taken of scenes in nature.
My plan is also to get back into knitting doll clothes - it's as if I would be returning to my beginnings.
What other fiber arts do you enjoy?
I have a 4-heddle loom as well. Right now there isn't a project on it as I need to finish warping. Since I began sewing, knitting, and crocheting when I was a child my college education followed the same path. My degree is a BA in Fashion Merchandising and Design from Wayne State University. There are 4 sewing machines and 1 serger in my collection and piles of fabrics. Before I went back to work full time in the late 90s I made all of my clothing including jeans and jean jackets. No one had a clue that they weren't store bought. Lately, I don't have enough patience for sewing since I can't finish the projects as fast as I used to when I had all day with no interruptions.
I also enjoy dying fabrics for wall hangings and have a silk screen.
Is there another fiber art you'd like to learn?
Way back, a long time ago, I had some knitting books by the Pinguoin yarn company showing summer tops in filet crochet. More than once I tried to make one and couldn't seem to follow a crochet pattern. Now, when I see the lacy summer crochet tops I still would love to figure out why I can't get my brain around those patterns. Knitting lace is not a problem and I love it, but, that crochet just seems to make me crazy.
Spinning - now that's another challenge. I tried once. The woman who was teaching me told me to leave it to other spinners. I had twists and knots and a big mess.
There's still time for that - oh if I could only quit that day job.
And I hope that young man who was looking for a sewing machine - and found one! - in the thrift shop, will be sewing. He was looking at a very old black Singer but I noticed the bobbin case was missing. So we moved on to another machine and its bobbin case was missing too. Both were in tables and there is nothing to catch the case if it should be knocked loose and they were gone. Then we looked at a 3rd machine and the bobbin case was there but I forget why he wasn't really interested in that one. And there was a 4th machine in a different area - so we went to look at it. A Sears Kenmore. And the bobbin case was there so I showed him how to thread the thread through and how to catch the bobbin thread. And then I showed him how to put the bobbin thread in. And that the bobbins are all different sizes. So he went off to look for staff to ask to plug it in and test it, and I went off to finish my pattern shopping! And I saw him again near the checkouts - that is where the electrical outlet was! So we did a test sew on a fabric shopping bag and the tension looked great.
I think he bought it.
I hope he gets many years of sewing out of that machine.