I never did make it back to the barns where, unbeknownst to me, former student, longtime friend, and new alpaca farmer, Cathy Musselman was located. We do need to catch up on what's gone on in our lives the past 33 years so I do plan to visit her farm, Silver Birch Alpacas, in the near future. Jen, Barb, and I also hope to stop in there on our way to our knitting retreat in November.
But I digress...
At the Hooked on the Lake booth, punch needle kits were being sold. I finally decided on the Red Bird kit designed by Karla Gerard.
and the weaver's cloth with the design drawn on it.
I already owned the punch needle and threader which I've used for a couple of other projects. I like the Ultra-Punch because the loop sizes are easily adjusted. I am using #3 for the project and #5 for parts of the centre of the sunflowers. The proprietor, Loretta Moore, explained that this medium size with #8 perle cotton threads or 3 plies of floss is used almost exclusively as the small size that uses only one ply is too tedious, and the large size that accommodates 6 plies of floss or #5 threads damages the fabric too much. Weaver's cloth is a cotton/polyester blend. It allows the fabric to 'mend' around the thread. Pure cotton would just shred without the polyester to give it strength.
The Valdani threads are beautifully hand dyed so there is lots of depth to the colours. For the sky, I'm blending the two blues as the design moves from one corner downwards. I'm really liking the result.
When I googled the designer, Karla Gerard, I found lots of her whimsical designs that lend themselves to this technique. Then I realized a lot of Group of Seven paintings would, too. What do you think?
I finished a little baby cardigan I knit for my friends' granddaughter, due in September. I have knit this pattern, top-down Maile cardigan, at least 3 other times.
The yarn is some acrylic I had on hand - easy care for the new mom. However, I'd like to knit something else with some superwash merino - perhaps a yoked cardigan with little sheep on the yoke?