Monday, December 28, 2009

A Knitting Accident

As luck would have it, or rather, the lack of luck, I was knitting on my Hemlock Ring today (the last section, actually) and the 60" cable on my Harmony needles broke. I was on the knitted row just above the lace row, so you guessed it--I will have to tink back over 500 stitches once I can get another cable from KnitPicks. I normally don't have a problem with their needles and cables other than a little crimp in the cable join every now and then, but today was a whole different story. I understand that I am knitting with chunky yarn, and having to move it in a circular fashion just to keep it even and knittable, but I was still disappointed. I'm wondering if anyone else has ever had problems with Knitpicks cables?

I plan to call them tomorrow, but despite the fact that I never used this 60" cable, it is over a year old which is their guaranteed allowance on time. What's a body to do? Suggestions--anyone? Would I be happier with Addi Clicks?

An Invitation to a New Year

We are all at the same place--the end of an old year, the beginning of a new one. It's not like it hasn't happened before. Sure, we say we have new resolutions, that we intend to follow through in the new year on our plans, but in the past they may not have come to fruition. I am proposing something a bit different. Just try changing one or two small things rather than having a mile-long list with goals that are almost insurmountable. For me, I plan on trying to blog a bit more than the every 3-6 months. I plan to record my projects, whether they have photos or not, because sometimes, it's not the project that is important, but the lesson learned that is the most interesting.

Having said that, I will show you what I have been working on and my environment (which is very pleasant to me). I think it's important to have an area set aside for your fiber artistry. This way, you know that it is something special and not just another room with a table. Place inspirational photos or print quotes in large fonts so that you will always have something egging you on.

Take a look at my studio or at least part of it.

I like to save tidbits of yarn that I have tried, or some that I want to use again and this little vintage Coca-Cola case in just perfect. I actually look at it and am inspired sometimes. It doesn't even have my main color choices, but it works for me.

This year I will try to show more of my projects, no matter how simple some of them may be and I will relish in sharing my unique projects that are first time trials and designs of my own. My year is so full already and I am brimming with ideas, some I've had for quite awhile and some are rather new.

I started on Jared Flood's, OK, BrooklynTweed's, Hemlock Ring and I am knitting it in a color not too different than the color chosen by Jared--a deep chocolate which happens to go rather nicely with my King Size bed coverlet in a rather light coffee color. So far, it's been real fun knitting the Ring. I was intimidated at first, but once you read through the pattern and get the errata off the site noted in the above link, you're in business! Simply stated, the center of the round blanket is a vintage doily pattern and Jared added feather and fan in the round to create such an exquisite, and classic design quick to knit with chunky yarn. Or for those of you who like to be different, you can always knit it in laceweight for a beautiful dresser scarf or centerpiece for your dining room table.

Mine looked like this only a few days ago

Having almost finished the Ring, I am inspired to knit yet another piece in the round--feel free to give me suggestions for patterns.

Stay tuned for more of my projects, the latest of which is a nice little hat knit with one of my favorite colors, purple , but with a strand of mohair died with the rich colors of green, purple and lavender.

And just for fun, I'm cooking tomorrow. It will be a nice round casserole dish of au gratin potatoes. Prepared quite simply by cutting however many potatoes you want *very* thin and place in layers with Cream of Mushroom soup, onions cut in the style of onion rings and lots of cheese, the latter the preference of my other half. Place it in the oven on aout 350 degrees for a couple of hours or until it is one. It will melt in your mouth--promise. So easy! If you try it and like it, please let me know.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Out with the Old, In with the New

I've once again been busy with my loom. My most recent finished project is a shawl that I call my Purple Rose Shawl. It has rayon on the warp and the finest merino on the weft. The colors produced by this combination range from Blue to Rose and everything in between-mostly purple which of course, is my favorite color. It's also exquistely long. Every time I wear it, people stop to admire it. Oh My! Isn't that lovely. I think so.

My next project is going to be a bag with sherbert colored cotton, but it may take me awhile to get there as I promised myself to finish some of my projects before beginning new ones. Presently on the needles is a marketing bag for buying produce at the Farmer's Market. It's a big lacey string bag knit with cotton. It is hardly bearable to knit with wool these days as temperatures have been so incredibly hot! However, I did finish my landscape wall hanging which was knit with yarn spun just for me my Moonrover on etsy--check out her shop--she knows how to spin!

I am putting the finishing touches on the landscape right now and this was before it was felted, so stay tuned to see the finished project.

If all the finishing of projects and planning new ones were not enough, I have just ordered myself a spinning wheel. I can't wait to take up my new "habit." And I can't wait to spin with new and old friends at Yarnorama.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Precious Me

It is a beautiful day today, and after my trials and tribulations of yesterday I thought it would be good to do something positive. Sharing one of my latest creations might do. I saw a few needlefelted animals not long ago and simply fell in love. I wondered, to myself, of course, what my favorite animal was that I could possibly portray in wool roving that gets pummeled by a needle. A Pig. Yes, indeed. I love pigs--especially the pink ones. So my mission was to find some pink roving and I started envisioning what my pig would look like. So many artists give realistic versions of beagles and beavers and assorted animals, but I was thinking of my little pig in the abstract. This is the first one I've created--she thinks quite highly of herself, as you can see.

Ahhh, there, I have shared and I feel better already. As I said, yesterday was pretty horrendous. It was one of those days that you just feel out of kilter in everything you attempt. Nothing went smoothly, nor in the sequence it should have. I was preparing to knit my new lucious Ella Rae Lace Merino into a pair of socks I was going to knit on two circular needles. But first, I needed to put the yarn on the swift and wind it into a ball. Somehow, I managed to forget that I needed two separate balls of this beautiful yarn. Once it was in one ball, I thought I would simply pull out half of it (230 yards worth) and turn that into a new ball. In the course of measuring the yarn, it fell in on itself the way yarn does and loops around itself. As if I didn't know that's what would happen--what was I thinking? I ended up with a mess of yarn that needed to be unmangled. It took me about an hour. That's not bad, you say? I beg to differ. You see, after I got it wound up, I realized that I had not counted out 230 yards--it's more like 130 yards. How I made that mistake I will never know. The only thing I can think of doing is buying another hank of Ella Rae Lace merino. Pity the thought.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Life's Little Pleasures

So once again we meet at a date much later than what I had expected to post over two months ago. But much has happened since that time--the holidays for one, the passing of my dear cousin Bernice, my own herniated disc, and a variety of other ills and sordid moments that make up this life. However, I always turn to my knitting for comfort. Last weekend I taught a class at Hill Country Weavers on how to create a pillow and just had a great time with an exceptional group of knitters--I believe they had fun as well.

As I prepared for the class, I took the opportunity to rummage through my stash--I never like to pass up that particular delight and often look for reasons to do so. I pulled a few things out and that you can see here.

Included in tht nice little bundle is a yarn by Terra that is 60% Merino, 20% Baby Alpaca and 20% Silk that is a most unusual color of purple and steel blue. It is magnificent. And then I also saw a beautiful skein of 100% Mongolian Cashmere by Jade Saphire which is simply a very light lilac color. And last, I was surprised with a very red Blue Sky Alpaca skein that is 50% Alpaca and 50% Silk. I ask myself how such luxurious yarn has managed to escape me and am left with mouth agape and no answer. I do remember that I purchased them to knit flowers with. I have since knit a few flowers and will continue to do so, but I am not sure I will use these special skeins to knit flowers with. I guess I will have to hunt for projects to use them in. What a lovely diversion to all the turmoil of late.

And on another happy note, I've started needlefelting, so stay tuned for my first project which I am about to complete.