Tuesday, November 29, 2005
And Mom's (potentially mom's) scarf.
So, mom, its a choice you can make -
this is yarn I bought for you, most of it anyway, up at Yarn Quest in Traverse City several years ago. Was big fun knitting it up. Has some bling and texture. combination of Naturals, browns, coppers, golds, and black. But it is not a soft cuddly scarf. Definitely a wear it on the outside of a coat scarf.
So, would you rather have a red soft and cuddly scarf? or this? if you click on the pictures they will open in another window much larger and you'll see more detail. I have time for one or two more along with the rest of my projects - so if you'd rather have the red, I can do that.
Sunday, November 27, 2005
- If I wouldn't go into Nordstroms or Neimans or anyplace else, pick it off the rack, ohh and ahh and then shell out money for it, then I shouldn't make it either - no matter how cool the technique or interesting the pattern.
- Listen to the yarn, or your inner voice, or silent misgivings. If you think it's hinky, it probably is. If the yarn isn't knitting up the way you hoped it would, or it doesn't have the 'hand' or the look that you wanted - STOP! rip it out, change what needs to be changed - even if it is the pattern. Finally, this year I got that. It took ripping that whole Silk Garden sweater apart after it was half seamed, and choosing a different pattern for that yarn; It took ripping 2 finished fronts and half a back that is now 'yarn' again, because I knit a shiny slippery sport weight yarn in a pattern meant for worsted weight wool, on needles that were too big - the resulting knit fabric was horrid - and I never would have worn it. Sharron gave me a book a couple of weeks ago on sweater design. Great book BTW, and I started reading it while we were gone. In the first Chapter Margaret (I'll look up the book and the author soon, I promise) talked about letting the yarn tell you what it wants to be. Valuable lesson there.
- After doing my share of bashing novelty yarns, I recognized that I like some bling, and I have a fair amount of yarns that incorporate metallics, and I Like Them!
- I'm starting to get it that the yarn determines pattern and pattern dictates yarn. I love love love cables and popcorns and detail - detail that shows best in solid color plied yarns. Yarns that allow stitch definition to come through. Cables and bobbles and leaf patterns generally get lost behind the haze of mohair, and in the thick-n-thin of handspun, and often even get lost in the color gradations of handdyes and variegated. And I'm finally getting it that when using a really interesting yarn, let the yarn tell the story and keep the pattern Simple - KISS. I've been playing with yarns from my stash, lumpy, bumpy, shiny and fuzzy, in a scarf that is supposed to be for mom for Christmas, but I'm going to have a hard time letting this one go, And I actually resisted the temptation to devise some intricate pattern. I have been knitting in straight garter stitch - and I'm loving this. Having way too much fun. The yarns are so pretty, and I'm just letting them be. On the other hand, I'm still learing that one. The gloves I've got on the needles right now, the cables are totally lost in the color and shine. Sneak peek on the scarf
- I've learned that if fit matters SWATCH. Then wash and block that swatch. For real. If it's a scarf - forget it, but if it's a garment that needs to fit - swatch and measure. Got it!
- I've accepted that as much as I love the melting pot look of variegated yarns in the skein, I generally don't like the way they knit up, all stripey. I appreciated the dyeing techniques, I generally love the soft transitions in the skeins, but I guess that I am just a pretty stick straight type that wants my clothing to be solid or the colors more deliberate in prints, tweeds, ...less abstract. I love color - but it will save me lots of $ and time in the long run to finally accept that all those pretty skeins never deliver the look I'd hoped for.
- Overheard at the ASE conference in Sept: "People collect all sorts of things and don't feel the need to use them, or the need to apologize for owning them ( ie teapots, antique weapons, stamps). So Stop feeling guilty over owning stash of fabric (yarn, fiber etc) . Own it and enjoy it as a collection," and consider it a bonus when you use it to sew or knit with. (my editorializing in the added on end of that sentence).
- I have an incredibly wonderfully understanding and patient Husband when it comes to my projecting.
Just ripped this today. Same yarn as Ashlees scarf - another friend who saw it in progress loved it, loved the yarn. I thought I would make her a scarf, but wanted to do a different pattern - after all I'd just done 2 of those cabled scarves - so I started this twisting full cabled scarf - UGH. I kept forging ahead thinking it would get better, that I could fix it by sewing pearls at the twists - after finishing 3 29-row repeats, I gave in. This yarn is gorgeous knit into the Irish Hiking scarf - this yarn is ugly knit up like this. I'll knit the 3 cabled Irish Hiking Scarf again and my friend will love it and won't care that I've made several others.
Saturday, November 26, 2005
You are a siren. A siren is an
enchanting seductress that usually inhabits a
remote isle in the sea. The siren's voice is
beautiful and alluring. The siren's voice is
irresitible to all those who hear it. Upon
hearing her fatal melody the listener will
either plunge to their deaths in the icy ocean
waters or they will perhaps finally reach the
siren. Once the siren has hold of them they
have no chance. The siren represents sensuality
Which mythical creature resides in your soul? (11 Results + Pictures)
brought to you by
Friday, November 25, 2005
We just did another of those marathon driving trips - I'm flying the next place I go!
I had intended to get in lots of knitting time while Jeff and Katie were at the Georgia Football game on Saturday, but yours truly ended up with food poisoning, had to have been from eating at a McDonalds outside of Nashville, as that was the ONLY thing I ate all afternoon and evening last Friday. Very unpleasant 36 hours.
I did manage to finish up the next gift scarf in the car. I tried knitting on the front of the Irlandais, but I couldn't pay enough attention to that patterning and shaping in the car to be effective.
I'm making progress on my list of things to finish. Finally finished weaving in ends and knit on the last armhole ribbing. This will go with us on the cruise - maybe if I don't sleep at all I can finish the rest of my holiday projects and make the capris that go with this shell.
and yesterday I finally got back to the Silk Garden sweater, the one that I re-knit into VK11. Since I found the lace weight mohair in the right color for the ruffle in Lansing two weeks ago, I can finally finish this. So I seamed, unravelled 2" off the bottom of the body - it was going to be too long going over that skirt, and will block today before I knit the ruffle on.
A note regarding ripping up from the bottom: Don't, if you can avoid it. Going across a row of stockinette rips just fine, however when you reach a purl stitch on a cable band you must unwind the yarn from around the stitch, and at the end of every row there are about 4 unwinds that need to happen before going back the other way. Makes for very slow going. I did it only because I really needed it to be shorter for it to look right.
Lots to do today - it is my self-designated project day as I don't have to work for anyone else today. Yay!.
Hope everyone had a Happy Thanksgiving.
Friday, November 18, 2005
I got my Scarf Exchange pal. She lives in Australia and wants something lightweight, and blue, and not mohair. Hmmm... what to make a scarf from that is lacey but doesn't have any mohair in it? Ah, the Koigu KPPM.
We are leaving in an hour or so to go to GA and NC for a long weekend.
I intend to find some car knitting time and get the Irlandais front done, and the other scarf that is on the needles right now, then I'll cast on for this one. Or maybe I'll throw in another Christmas gift before casting on my exchange scarf. I feel good though, knowing what I'm going to be making.
Thursday, November 17, 2005
In the deals that I make with myself, I'd been promising that as soon as I finished the sleeves on the Irlandais Colchique I would allow myself to cast on for the gloves. Well, not only did I finish both sleeves, but I'm half way up the front, and I finished Ashlees scarf, and have started the holiday gift project #2, so last night, at knitting group at Myers House, I got anxious and started these cabled gloves.
They're going fast - relatively, considering my dps are too long and my first row was a disaster. There are four cable rows which will continue into each finger. I'm using the cable without a needle method and it is working really well.
I still really want to knit these Deborah Newton Gauntlet gloves out of the cashmere that I bought specifically for them, but I've gotten a little nervous about making those (esp using cashmere) for my first glove attempt
So this now means I have 4 projects on the needles, but I will try to rectify that this weekend.
The PLAN is in place (Posted on the UFO blog) and I expect to have a whole bunch of FO's (finished objects) to post before the end of the year.
So, what happened to What was I thinking Wednesdays ? Thankfully, I ran out of projects that were blatantly obviously meant to illustrate my questionable judgement. And there are enough sites out there questioning others design sensibilities, so I don't feel compelled to add to that genre.
I"ll be back later to finish todays post, wanted to get last nights glove progress up.
Saturday, November 12, 2005
Some interesting trends are to be noted here:
- people have very strong opinions about the color Pink. They either love it or detest it. Not much in-between room for pink. Me, I fall into the Love It category. In fact, I need to stop buying pink for awhile, I'm inundated with it.
- Most people profess to prefer what I will call traditional spun knitting yarns over the novelites. So, who are all the fans of the novelty yarns that are so prevalent in the stores?
- Most everyone who expresses any dislikes for certain fibers claim a dislike for acrylics, many on the basis that it is too "scratchy". Interesting, in light of the fact that the powers-that-be dictate acrylics be used for chemo caps because the fiber is so soft and non-irritating. I can understand not particularly liking acrylic, but not on the basis that it is scratchy.
Today was the monthly meeting of the St Louis Knitting Guild, and I went. Finally, I'm meeting some people in St Louis who have room in their lives for new friendships. Why didn't I resume knitting and start attending the small group knit-ins 2 years ago? (Hi Maureen, if you're reading this.) The program today was on putting zippers into knit garments. Carol Hurt did the lesson/lecture and had some good tips, but when I finally get around to knitting Bonnie Maries ribby cardi or its equivalent, and inserting that zipper, I think I'll use one of the tutorials found around the ribbi cardi blogs. Here is Bonnie Maries and exhibits great info served with her characteristic dollop of humor.
Speaking of the Ribbi Cardi, being one who can't just leave something alone, I've finally decided which yarn(s) I'm going to use for my first one. I love the sweater and think it's versatile enough that I'll probably end up making several. I have several bags of the old Rowanspun 4 ply (a tweedy, felty wool) in all sorts of colors. I'll need to strand 2 colors together to get gauge (I've already done my gauge swatch using 2 strands of one color and gauge is right on). So for my first one, I think that I'll strand the body with Holly and Midnight, then knit the sleeves and contrast holding 2 strands of just Holly or just Midnight. Or maybe I'll use the Lilac and Sugar. Or maybe mix up the deep red (It's called blood and that just doesn't sit right with me in describing something I want to knit with ...) with Sugar, or Jade....possibilities are endless.
Which brings me to the point of actually starting projects. Planning them is so much fun, and choosing yarns is so much fun. Stashing yarns is so much fun. and it all represents endless possibilities. Actually committing a yarn to a project and starting it is accomplishing something, but it all of a sudden removes the sense of all that possibility. Does anyone else keep some extra yarn in stash just because it represents so much potential? I recognize that I have difficulty with seeing potential in way too much. I've renovated 5 homes to varying degrees in my life - the last one a 100 yr old Victorian Lady in Traverse City MI, and each one progressively required more and more work. I was definitely guilty of having old house potentialitis. I've also been guilty of staying in relationships too long because I saw potential where there wasn't any, or it was highly unlikely to ever be realized.
Now I must recognize that SABLE (Stash Amassed Beyond Life Expectancy) is not a desirable state, no matter how much potential all that fiber has. (not in reference to you Eliz., but in reference to the sheer volume of fabric and yarn in my stash)
Now I will leave you with this thought: GO DAWGS
Thursday, November 10, 2005
But we all know that part of the idea of driving (1650 miles in 5 days - there had better be an upside to this!) was to get my Yarn Store fix.
And wow, did I
First stop: Thursday, in Saugatuck MI. What a great wonderful little tourist destination. Right on the shore of Lake Michigan, widely known for some of the best B&B's in the country, and a great artist community with some awesome galleries. I didn't make time to visit the James Brandess Gallery :( oh well, next time. The yarn store in Saugatuck is a satellite store of the Threadbender Yarn shop in Grand Rapids, and is called Juicy Yarns and Beads. Juicy yarns is very pleasing to the eye, with yarn bins all arranged by color and multitudes of shades and textures in each color in a bin. It is a delight for anyone who is looking for a fast knit vacation scarf - and for the lovers in this world of bumpy, slubby, furry, fuzzy, shiny, eyelashy and pompomy novelty yarns. Alas I am not one of them. It wouldn't be fair to say there was nary a sweater yarn in sight, but it wouldn't be too far off either. I did see the new Blue Sky Alpaca/Silk, which is a fabulous sportweight yarn in the most yummy of colors. I think I will have to have some of the Spring colorway of that, an incredible bright pale green. (did I just say that? - what is a bright pale?, let's try bright light)
On to Traverse City and dinner with my friend Jean at Scotts Harbor Grill, looking out over Harbor West marina and the Bay. Jacquie joined us after her long work day, and we closed the place.
Friday AM: A walk downtown where the shopping is everything that you want to find in a small town downtown area. Beautiful stores, Unique and out of the ordinary merchandise, and ambiance. We went to breakfast at the infamous Omelet Shop, then on to Miners Jewelers to say HI and see what is new in the world of pretty sparkly objects. Then on to Lost Art Yarn Shop. Here I first broke my no-buy pact with Laine (sorry girl, I didn 't even call to talk it over with you, but just did it). They have the complete line of Adrienne Vittadini yarns, which I've found to be incredibly hard to find, in stock. I picked up 3 balls of a teal colorway in Marina to replace a green that I have in a kit - I'm not wild about the brown/green color combo I bought, so I picked up the teal and will use the green for something else sometime - maybe! I also picked up a pair of Inox dp's. Time to inventory the needles so that I remember what the heck I have.
On to one of my all-time favorite yarn shops - YarnQuest in TC. I have to tell you, upon entering the shop, I was a little disappointed. They've always had a great selection of basic yarns with some of the trendy stuff around the edges. This time, I walked in to a big display of Rowan BIG. They seem to have given over a little more to some of the trends, or maybe it was just my impression. And they only had one person on the floor, with 4 groups of women shopping. She had a hard time juggling all the customers, but did an admirable job.
They still have the best selection anywhere I've been of Jaeger yarns, which I still love and wish they were more available. I bought 5 sk Jaeger Matchmaker Aran in Black to do the ribbing on a Debbie Bliss Lara wrap that I have a Vittadini black and white tweed for. Needed a basic black wool for the rib and this is perfect. I also found two of the three colors of Rowan Lurex that I need for the Zoe Sweater designed by Brandon Mably that I tried on in Novi last month. I'm planning on using some old Tahki Chelsea Silk that I already own for that cardi, but there isn't any substitute for the dots. Amazingly enough, they didn't have the midnight color, but had the berry and wine colors. hmmm. Found the midnight on Yarnela in Toronto and ordered it there yesterday. As long as I'm buying yarn again I might as well get it done with. !!
Friday afternoon, after spending a thoroughly enjoyable but not nearly long enough time with Jacquie, I got on the road heading towards the UP. (that is Upper Peninsula in Michiganspeak).
I stopped in Petoskey to say Hi to Gail at the Bristly Thistle, an incredible needlepoint shop that Gail has owned for the last 18 years or so. She pointed me in the direction of a little yarn store in Alanson that I didn't even know was there.
The Dutch Oven Yarn Shop is a yarn store that is accessed by walking into the Dutch Oven Bakery - oh, did I managae to bypass the cookies? No. then through the deli sandwhich shop, up a step, and into an amazing yarn studio. She has the equivalent of an old house worth, in two large rooms, of yarn, floor to ceiling. The most complete selection of Debbie Bliss yarns I've seen outside of the UK online shops, and a great huge selection of wools and tweeds and yarn for serious knitters. I got there just before closing time and was feeling the press of being late getting to the Soo, so didn't spend near enough time, but loved the shop.
I had a wonderful visit with Daniel and his roommates Adam and Dusty. Dusty's gf joined us Saturday night for dinner and then the kids included me in their evening plans. I couldn' t believe how clean and neat the boys house was too. These kids keep it clean. And I saw an amazing amount of studying going on. Lest we forget I was in the UP, where hunting reigns, note that I was greeted at the door by the mornings yield from the traps - a coyote ready to be skinned and tanned. A gun locker features prominently in the living room, and Dusty's wall art consists not of posters but a fishing pole rack complete with a variety of poles.
Dusty left early Saturday AM to go duck hunting. Another of Daniels friends came by Sunday AM looking for someone to go with him in the freezing rain/snow mix to check his traps - evidently a 4 to 5 hour process.
While there I mostly finished knitting Ashlees scarf, the Irish Hiking Scarf. (I'ts done now)
Monday: after leaving Dave and Wendy's in Midland I followed my Mapquest directions down county roads that inexplicably kept having 'road closed DETOUR' signs posted, so I ended up feeling my way southwest toward Lansing, to the ThreadBear Fiber Arts Store
This store is everything it is reputed to be and more. What an incredible store. What inventory. Complete color selections, with enough in each color to actually buy enough to complete a project. Sarina and Sue were helpful without being overbearing, there were tables and furniture groupings to encourage people to just come in and knit, which someone did while I was there, and there was coffee in the back - which I didn't even know about because I never quite got all the way to the back until after I'd checked out. And yes, I did check out. I bought some beautiful yarn for a 3 season cardi for the kind of weather we have here, so it is a cotton/viscose blend. I bought 3 intense saturated colors, and will figure out what to do with it in Feb, which is when I figure I will get to that. I also bought some balls of cashmere and some balls of mohair to make gloves with - they are diff boutique companies but the colors are so well matched that they could have come from the same dye bath. I'm thinking fuzzy cuff and cashmere hand on the gloves. Color is a deep deep almost brick red. And I finally found a mohair the weight of kidsilk haze that will work in a color that I need to finish up my VK11 pullover that I knit with the Silk Garden rescued from my BIG sweater disaster. Who knew that a mohair that color would be that hard to find.
I'll post pics of my haul when the camera returns. Meanwhile, I'm not doing another thing until those sleeves are off the needles for my Colchique.
And in another note altogether, the local SnB ladies have issued a call for preemie caps. Seems the woman who has been knitting them and coordinating knit donations for one of the hospitals here now has need for a chemo cap herself and isn't able to do it anymore.
I'm thinking that I will start inserting some interlude projects between each phase of my self-involved knitting, and knit up some preemie caps and some chemo caps. I derived a great deal of pleasure knitting up that little cable cap for Sharron, and think that it is something I will continue doing.
I found the greatest site today for preemie caps and bonnets.
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
No Camera this week, dsd#2, Lauren, has taken it with her to Chicago for a HS writers conference on journalism.
New projects: I finished the Irish Hiking Scarf for Ashlee for Christmas, and had so much fun knititng it, not to mention that it was a great way to use yarns that I have in less than sweater quantities - that I've joined the International Scarf Exchange. I also finished the rag quilt for her - have two seam repairs to make then I'll ship it.
Gloves - I want to get started on my gloves, but in the deals I make with myself, I decided that I had to finish the sleeves on the Irlandais before I cast on for the gloves - so I'm hurrying along on the sleeves - knitting as fast as I can. As an incentive to get there, I joined the Peaceful Palms KAL. Check out the gloves others are knitting as fast as I'm not.
And I've had such a grand time knitting the Irlandais in the Colchique Along that Julsey didn't have a really hard time dragging me into the next Phildar pattern KAL Tendaces. I'm waiting on the pattern, then will swatch it in the Jaeger Shetland Aran that I have in the Sage Colorway - from Jannette
Must go knit more on those sleeves, then come back and clean up this blog a bit. Put the buttons on the sidebar, add the links to Eunny Knits and several others who inspire me, impress me, push me, or amaze me.
and come back with a report on my yarn store hop that I did in my last 5 days travelling. Managed to put 1650 miles on the car in 5 days, and stop at 5 yarn stores along my way. Report to follow.
Happy Birthday to Daniel - 21 today. My babybug.
Thursday, November 03, 2005
Guess what came in the mail today?
Yup, the info packet Jeff ordered on this boat. It's the boat that is currently on the short list as a candidate for our new home. We've been on the boat, both at a boat show and in the water, although we havent' sailed one, but evidently we need a literature packet. The man is getting serious. Dave, the interior plans and layout and specs are all on the website if you want to check it out.
Doesn't look like there's much room for the old yarn stash does it?
hmmm, better get knitting. Got to use up some of that stash. Note to self: keep this No Buy contract with Lainey a little longer. Laine, I've done pretty good on resisting. Bought another book, but NO yarn. (Patting self on back)
Progress is being made on USMP - body is finished, have yet to cast on sleeves. The scarf for Ashlee is almost done, and the Irlandais is again seeing progress. Sleeves on that should be done by the next time I check in here. Tomorrow I'm leaving for the northern clime and a visit with Jacquie, Jean, assorted other friends I may see in Traverse City, then on to the Soo to see Daniel, then back downstate to Midland to see Dave, Wendy and crew, then home again home again jiggety jig. Have the mapquest maps printed, (am planning on stopping by Threadbear Fiberarts on the way through Lansing on the way out of Midland), the hotel reservations made, and the gas tank filled. Tell me again why I thought driving was a good idea?