It's been a few weeks now since my first design kits were launched by Renaissance Dyeing at Knit Nation 2010 in London. I believe the whole event was a huge success and many people are still settling down and gazing fondly at all the wool they bought and wondering what projects will be good enough to use it on. That's the nice thing about a kit, I suppose. It spares you the agony of wishing you'd made something else with that special skein.
I found the design process was less traumatic than I thought it would be but I also thought it might be an idea to make up some designs and kits for tams that many people have said they loved before designing anything new.
I've used Renaissance Dyeing wool to make up a couple of tams and am working on the patterns for them. So they should be available before too long. This first will be this Pink and Gold Tam in colours most suitable for the northern hemisphere autumn fast approaching.
Wednesday, July 21, 2010
Knit Nation this month. This is one I test knitted for Mary Lena Lynx in Belgium. It's the second of two colourways. This one is softer and brighter than the first - more feminine, Mary Lena says. The wool is all dyed with natural dyes by Renaissance Dyeing and the colours are really lovely. It will be going to live in the Blue Mountains when it returns from London.
And here are the original colours -
And here are the original colours -
Posted by 山頂２号 at 7:58 PM
We have a small flock of Wiltshire sheep. They are the darlings of lifestyle block owners because they don't need shearing. They either don't grow much wool or they shed it themselves all over the place. I chose them because of their hardiness and the fact that they don't need drenching. However, I do like sheep to have useable wool so I have them shorn and this year I decided to experiment with the wool. They don't have a great deal of fleece and what they have is rather coarse but open and springy. It's very easy to spin and looks fine when it's washed. These socks are test to see how it stands up to hard wear. I expect socks are not the best use for it but we'll see. It has to be better than some of the commercial sock yarns I've tried that go to holes if you walk to the letterbox.
Posted by 山頂２号 at 7:47 PM
Roman de la Rose Socks. This is the brunettes' version. The socks look rather nice with yellow roses but I wasn't too sure about making a matching tam because so much yellow in the centre might not be very successful. Anyway, both sock colours and the tam will be available from Renaissance Dyeing from the 29th July or thereabouts. I know Andie is taking them to Knit Nation then.
Posted by 山頂２号 at 7:35 PM
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
I had quite a lot of wool left over after I made the tam so naturally I made some matching socks. These will also be available as a kit from Renaissance Dyeing from July this year. They will be on display at Knit Nation 2010 if you happen to live in England. There are going to be several gorgeous designs on display at Renaissance Dyeing all using Andie's naturally dyed wools, some in lace weight, and mostly organically produced from a flock of Dorset sheep in France. The designers Andie has engaged come from all over the world and they have come up with some stunning work. Have a look at the website when you have a moment.
Here is the first design inspired by the beautiful naturally dyed wool from Renaissance Dyeing. As I said, the colours reminded me of medieval paintings and the story of the Romance of the Rose was what sprang to mind. I read the Chaucer translation at university and never forgot the image of the garden and its inhabitants. The tam is supposed to tell the story in wool, which is probably a bit ambitious but the colours certainly look right.
The kit for this design will be available from Renaissance Dyeing from July and the tam will be on display at Knit Nation 2010 in July along with some other marvellous creations using the Renaissance Dyeing wool from some very talented designers around the world.
Monday, May 3, 2010
Andie from Renaissance Dyeing asked me if I could come up with a design using her beautiful naturally dyed and organic wool for KnitNation 2010 in July. she gave me a free hand to choose the colours and what I wanted to design. I chose a traditional group of colours dyed with woad, madder, indigo, weld and cutch. When I saw the colours she had produced with these dyes I was struck with their resemblance to the brilliant colours in medieval paintings. Hence the inspiration for my design.
Over the next few weeks more will be revealed.
A few months ago I was writing to a Danish girl who was interested in designing a tam. Conventionally I thought of the little mermaid at Copenhagen and suggested a mermaid’s tail as a wheel motif. Then I thought what about the rest of the mermaid so I did a torso design. Afterwards I changed it to an almost complete mermaid - only the whole tail is not there.
We have a lighthouse nearby where the seals fish off the rocks. The mermaids probably live there and swim amongst the red parrot fish.
The dyes are red sandalwood, indigo, madder, poroporo, sticta coronata and safflower.
Another button, this time a pink pearl one with a petal pattern on it was the inspiration here. I’m not sure if I’ll attach it though. There are some pictures with and some without. What do you think? The pinks in the pearl shell don’t show up clearly unless the light is right.
The dyes were indigo, madder, red sandalwood and sticta coronata.
Saturday, February 20, 2010
The thistles are there because they're flowering everywhere I look and when I remove them my fingers get full of prickles and I end up knitting with the prickles still in place.
Posted by 山頂２号 at 4:10 PM
Sunday, February 14, 2010
The pattern uses a wool called May Queen but I don’t know what it was exactly. The design seems to be early 1950s and the needle size is quite small. I imagine May Queen was a fine 2-ply. I had to go down a needle size to get the correct tension.
The buttons were a problem and I never quite solved it. I wanted vintage shank buttons in pearl or diamante but finding twelve to match was too difficult and in the end I just used what I had.
I particularly like the little cabled collar.
Posted by 山頂２号 at 6:33 PM
The wool is from a fleece the same neighbour gave me last year. It’s Romney from a dry ewe, so it was quite lustrous and should be strong.
The dyes are two shades of madder, poroporo and brazilwood overdyed with indigo.
Posted by 山頂２号 at 6:29 PM
I used indigo, safflower, poroporo and a natural beige and black for the colours.
Posted by 山頂２号 at 6:26 PM
The dyes I used are logwood, madder and red sandalwood, so it was a restrained selection.
I’ve been a bit slow with the tams lately but we’ll be shearing the sheep tomorrow and there’ll be lots of fresh wool to work with.
Posted by 山頂２号 at 6:22 PM
The centre wheel is an asymmetrical design of leafless trees.
Posted by 山頂２号 at 6:19 PM
Please note, this is not a self striping yarn, but a controlled mix of colours.
Posted by 山頂２号 at 6:16 PM