Lost Arts studio

A lot of the fiber arts I enjoy are things like tatting, netmaking, chair caning, and even weaving, where people will come up to me when I demonstrate and solemnly tell me, "That's a lost art."

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Location: SW Outer Nowhere, Michigan, United States

On the Internet, nobody knows you're a chicken. (With apologies to Peter Steiner.)

02 August 2007

Unravelling Socks, Off to the Beach

Instead of knitting yesterday, I spent part of it unravelling and analyzing these socks.

I bought them at a garage sale early last summer, thinking I might either recover the yarn and knit socks to fit, or unravel them partway and re-knit them shorter. I think they were ski socks. The tops are about 20 inches (50 cm) long. But when I examined the yarn, it was very thin, much thinner than my thinnest sock yarn, so I put them aside and forgot about them.

But now that I have a use for laceweight yarn, I'm unravelling them. Each sock turns into about 35 grams of purple and 4 grams of white lace weight wool (from the burn test, the chlorine bleach test, and the smell when wet).

I don't know what the knitting technique is called. I can see how it would be knitted on a double-ring knitting frame, or an offset double rake, and I can probably eventually write out directions for needles. It doesn't seem to be the technique called "two-end knitting", although it uses two strands of yarn, and it's not regular double knitting with a hollow space between color layers. It's not even Alasdair's different-on-either-side double knitting technique, because the yarn is never stranded.

It probably has a machine-knitting name. It's sort of a slip-stitch pattern, because there are two rows inside for each row outside. Another way of saying this is that a dark row and a light row is knitted for each pattern row, which you can see in the top photo where one sock is inside out.

I love puzzles like this.

The temperature got into the 90's F. yesterday, so in the evening we went to the beach. This is what we see from the end of our driveway: corn (maize) tasselling out, so tall you can hardly see the dwarf fruit trees behind it.

Some local areas got nothing, but we had about a quarter-inch of rain one week, and about four-tenths the next week, just enough to make the grass start growing again (which means mowing in the heat, bleh).

The common crops around here are soybeans and corn, soybeans and corn. This field is something else again, asparagus after it has developed into the fluffy, ferny stage.

Michigan has something like 12,000 acres of asparagus plantings. Sounds like a lot, but that's down from over 16,000 five years ago. Apparently Michigan is getting hurt by Peruvian imports and difficulty in hiring asparagus pickers.

The southwest part of Michigan is also a grape-growing area. This vineyard was just planted last year. Welch's (of grape juice fame) buys grapes for juice, plus there is a growing wine industry.

Our property has feral remnants of a vineyard, so in the fall I sometimes get Concord grapes, unsprayed except for whatever Roundup (glyphosate) has drifted from corn or soybean fields all around.

And finally, here we are at the Lake Michigan beach, looking down from the parking by the road. Nice and calm, water about 70 deg. F., lots of floaty green seaweed-y stuff pushed up all along the shore, so we had to wade through green soup to clear water.

We got there after 6pm, so the sun was not too hot, and the child played in the water for nearly two hours. I guess that was long enough, because when I said it was time to go home, he came. And he slept really well!

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Blogger tatt3r said...

Is it a machine form of mosaic knitting? Two rows inside for one row outside sounds just like mosaic to me.

What will you knit with your new lace weight yarn?

4:50 PM  
Blogger Tallguy said...

Yes, you will see this technique a lot in machine knit sweaters with "intarsia"-like patterns on the front. The back will reveal that ALL colours are knit, while the pattern colours are slipped on the front. They are usually two very fine strands since they cover more surface with less weight.

I've been meaning to do a study on that technique and write it up, one day, but just not right now! Haha... okay, so a lot of projects are "not right now".

What pretty country!! While it can be nice around here, it's always nicer to see what's in other parts of the world. Thanks for showing us your place!

2:49 AM  

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