I Stick a Needle in the Monster Head While Wearing New Socks

Way back in March I started a felted bag for knitting projects and then got stuck on the embellishment. I have lots of stuff for embellishment but it wasn’t coming together, I felt I needed more texture or three-dimensional flowers or something. I recently purchased the book Knitted Flowers by Nicky Epstein, and have done up some samples of the Florets pattern on page 48. They are easy to do but I have a limited amount of yarn, so I scrounged up some old tapestry yarn left over from a long-ago needlepoint project. I tried some leaves too but I need a firmer fabric so have to use smaller needles before continuing.

I recently taught myself how to knit socks. There is never enough time for learning new things I find. I get pain when I knit too much, but lately I have found myself able to do some smaller projects on finer needles without pain, so I feel the world opened up creatively. It gave me a happy feeling to uncover my old needles from 30 years ago. My mother used to knit so it gives me a nice connection to her even though she died many years ago.

I call these my Malachite Socks because they have the colour gradations of malachite, one of my favourite gemstones. I made some mistakes but practice will help with that and I managed to trade some old machine knitting magazines and a book for some sock yarn, so I’m ready to go on another pair.

Here is a shot of the yarn with a string of malachite chips. Absolutely yummy, maybe I should make myself jewellery to match my handmade socks?!

Then I decided to make myself some mittens and a cabled hat for my husband using some other yarn I traded two books for. I of course made the spouse his hat first. I am just coming up to the crown shaping now, and he already tried it on and it fits well and looks very nice. This was made of Patons Decor yarn which is a blend of acrylic with 25% wool.

I like hanging around with creative types in forums as they are so inspiring. Lately I have been interested in what people are doing with knitted patterns from Rebecca Danger. I bought The Big Book of Knitted Monsters by her and am planning a few projects from there.

This is not the sort of thing I usually make since I don’t have children, but I do like to tell a story about characters and pair them up with books and card draws just for fun. To practice some of the techniques for knitting in the round to make monsters I made some Owl Puffs from a free pattern designed by Jenna Krupar.

I call them Percy and Patty, the Parliament Twins since a group of owls is called a parliament of owls. I messed up my Kitchener stitch on the heads. I did the stitch flawlessly before but got mixed up here. Perhaps they have tufts on their heads? Maybe a woodpecker got confused one day and started hammering on Percy’s head? You know how that happens in the wild.

I started weaving these towels on May 1st. Here it is October and I finally got around to hemming them. I was trying for something different and using a thick cotton yarn called Sugar ‘n Cream by Lily. I used their Hot Lime, Hot Pink, and Tangerine colourways. I liked the lime and pink but orange is a colour I detest, so that was my first mistake. My second mistake was using a thick yarn as I don’t like bulky yarns for knitting or weaving. My third mistake was doing two long towels on the warp instead of dividing it up into three. These are a huge thirty-eight inches long, almost the size of bath towels, and they are for the kitchen.

This project languished while I reconciled myself to not having a perfect project, then I got busy and hemmed the towels yesterday so I could get them out of the way and warp up again.

It nearly put me off weaving. While I understand the need for artists to stretch out of their comfort zone and use different colours and techniques, the bloody ORANGE was never going to fly for me, I don’t know what possessed me.

While getting charged up about weaving again, I decided to spend some of my Christmas money this year buying a second heddle kit and two extra reeds for my Ashford 16-inch rigid heddle loom as well as two pick-up sticks. Up to now I have used a plastic ruler as a pick-up stick but it isn’t ideal. The kit is two blocks of wood that fit on the loom to allow you to place and rest an extra heddle and thus weave a finer fabric or double weave fabric with two heddles to double the sett.

The shop that ordered my loom for me usually doesn’t open on the weekends but they are doing so in November and part of December this year, so I shall be able to pick my loom parts up and talk to them about finer cotton yarns and buy some fibre to work with. I have decided that I love weaving towels and want to experiment with finer setts and different materials and patterns .

As long as I don’t buy orange I should be successful.

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4 Comments on “I Stick a Needle in the Monster Head While Wearing New Socks”

  1. Good heavens those sox are AMAZING! Judy you are always so neat and your work is always perfect.

    • JJ ColourArt Says:

      Thanks! They aren’t too bad, much better than my practice peice but still not perfect. My rampant perfectionism was a tad disappointed.

      I love the colour though, that makes them special. I will probably wear them on the weekend–give them a spin in shoes!

  2. ironwing Says:

    The socks are lovely. I was taught how to knit as a child but have long since forgotten how.
    I love handknitted socks, but have resisted the urge to learn how to make my own because I don’t really need another craft…another pile of materials…another set of tools. Too many unfinished projects already.

    • JJ ColourArt Says:

      I too have oodles of art and craft supplies and many, many unfinished projects. In the past couple of years I have been rooting them out and finishing them one by one, but then I start another. So, I started the knitting, made a few things, but now I’ve had to pull back and finish some art things, and some jewellery, and some weaving. Then I started a new weaving so I have to finish that. I also have 4 or 5 quilt to finish, so I tend to rotate through these things as the spirit moves me. Consequently some of the big ones, like the quilts, have been in progress since the 1990s. Hahaha–yeah I get you!!!!

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