Sunday, March 21, 2010

ignore the foreign country behind the curtain

fire and ice, originally uploaded by gradschoolknitter.

Hey look! A sock! Nevermind that I said that I would try to take pictures of knitting in interesting places around Madrid...

OK, so I said I would take pictures of knitting in interesting places around Madrid... but I was actually really sick this past week and spent a lot of time either in bed or seeing doctors. So most of the foot of this sock was finished up in waiting rooms. It was interesting to knit in public in Spain, actually... a lot of the elderly people were fascinated to see someone younger knitting. They seem to think that in Spain it is still mostly older women in little pueblos doing the handcrafting... although I think this group (whom I AM going to get to know at some point in the near future!) would have something to say to the contrary.

So, pictures of knitting hanging out around Madrid SOON. For now, the sock:

Pattern: Socks on fire! by.. me! rav link, or see sidebar for direct pdf download.
Yarn: Jojoland Melody Superwash
Needles: US 1

Mods: Added extra repeats (one I think) to the cuff.

I am feeling better and was going to try and do this in some interesting part of Madrid today... but it was raining and is still super overcast so I don't really want to get caught out in the rain... sorry!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

la historia del tejer

So I made it to Spain, safe and sound, and have begun to make the rounds to libraries and museums that I think will be good for my thesis research. I had some problems getting into the Biblioteca Nacional (National Library) at first, but all is well now.

Yesterday I went to two museums that are very close to where I am living and will hopefully be helpful for me research-wise (both have libraries as well as being museums). I went to the Museo de América and the Museo del Traje. (Museum of America and Museum of Clothing / Costumes)

Surprisingly, the Museo del América had quite a bit of fiber-related objects that I want to share. Unfortunately the Museo del Traje does not allow photography, so I don't have any pictures of that but they do have some AMAZING pieces of clothing that are more works of art than anything.

This is a drop spindle with yarn, from Peru, around 1400 I believe.

Click this picture to see notes on all the different knitting / fiber implements:

los textiles

agujas de oro
Knitting needles made out of gold. (I'd be worried about bending them...) Found in Columbia, dating from 200AD to 1000AD.

A sewing kit, with balls of yarn and knitting needles found buried with a mummy (who was also there but hard to photograph and somewhat grotesque... I have a hard time with dead things, ok?!) in Peru, dating to 400BC - 100AD.

I also tried to go to a knitting group last night which I'd like to join... but due to some annoyances trying to find the place and getting a call 5 mins after I got there which I had to leave right away to attend to, I guess I'll have to get to know them better next week!

Saturday, March 6, 2010


A while back the boy saw a picture of a mat made of felted wool balls that looked like river stones. It was really beautiful... and also REALLY expensive. So I did some quick internet searches and found this tutorial. Looks easy right? So we got some roving from a friend of mine who apparently has an attic full of roving, of the stashed-beyond-life-expectency quantity, and decided to try it out. Unfortunately we could only get undyed, naturally creamish coloured roving, but we thought we'd experiment anyway.

Warning: ours are NOT as beautiful as those portrayed in the tutorial:

felted... rocks?

Some of them turned out OK, once we got the hang of it. But they're not the right colour (although I think we could dye them post-felting). Anyway, it was a fun experiment to try out together! Also - large balls of felted roving take a LONG time to dry. I believe we worked on them either Wednesday or Thursday night and they're still wet as of this posting.

The only other fiber related thing I have to show right now is this:

blanket update

Remember this blanket? I posted this picture back in July:

checking it out...

There is maybe another foot or so of actual knitting on it... I work on it in my spare time when I have some extras bits of sock yarn left over and no other projects on the go. It's a slow knit but an enjoyable one when I get to it. I have no intentions of powering through it, and couldn't even if I wanted to as the yarn comes only when I've finished another project and have left overs.

I guess that's it for knitting related news... I leave for a research semester in Spain on Monday and will be there for four and a half months. I'll try to take pictures of knitting in front of interesting Spanish monuments! ;)

Thursday, March 4, 2010

sock contest

This is more of a reminder for myself, although if there are any budding designers out there you might be interested too... there is a sock design contest being hosted over at Exercise Before Knitting from now until mid-April!

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Knitters without Borders

Just made my donation of half my pattern sales from etsy and ravelry from Jan 15 - Feb 28 to Doctors without Borders via Knitters without Borders. If you want to know more about Knitters without Borders, check out the Yarn Harlot.