Wednesday 13 January 2010

The Milkweed Project

My first mention on this blog of The Milkweed Project was in January 2009.  I have only mentioned it twice more since then.  I am really bad with long deadlines.  I always have been and I acknowledge this fact.  Having a year to knit a strip of white fabric of indeterminate size was always asking for trouble.

I bought the yarn in February 2009, RYC Luxury Cotton DK, but didn't cast on until June 2009.  And then it sat in a bag...... for months.  I just couldn't seem to find the right stitch for what I wanted to produce.

My first efforts involved using large needles, which was very boring.  Then I tried randomly looping stitches and then dropping them on the next row.

Looking at this technique closely, I liked the effect, but looking from a distance is didn't seem right.  It just wasn't wispy enough to conjure up the image of milkweed seeds.

I'm afraid at this point I sort of gave up.  Then once the chaos of Christmas was passed, and I was searching around for something new to tackle, I received an email from Shan, the artist creating the project.  She was sending out an extension for submissions.  This gave me the kick up the backside I needed, plus I now had a SHORT DEADLINE, just what my adrenal glands needed. I needed to have posted my piece by 15th January 2010, almost exactly 12 months after deciding to take part in the project.

I spent some time looking through my craft library and found the perfect stitch.  It wasn't knitting at all, it was crochet.  It was Broomstick Crochet!

I used a 20mm needle and 4mm crochet hook, with a starting chain of 25 stitches.  I alternated rows of loops with a row of double crochet until I ran out of steam and time.

I finished off the piece and blocked it out to open up the loops a bit more and stretch the cotton and make it more even.  The size of the completed piece is 5" x 38" which I feel is a reasonable size.  I wish I had started it a few days earlier so I could have made a longer piece, but I was too busy working on the captivating Ishbel.  It is now too late for regrets, so I will just package up my drapey fabric and send it to the US to take part in a project that has pieces from all over the world.

I'm glad I didn't let this project beat me, I think I would have really regretted not completing what I set out to do and having my work join with others to produce something extraordinary and beautiful.  I can't wait to see what the finished construction looks like.  I hope you watch "The Pod" where Shan will be showing some of the pieces as they are received and the project as it is put together.

Now all I have to do is find an envelope and write up a label.


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