Wednesday, September 28, 2005

On the Fringe

Yesterday Karen and I visited Blue Iris Beads in Kent. There I purchased beads to add to the points on the shawl. Here's a sample. It took me about two hours to do half of the shawl. I will finish today, while watching some fabulous TV, I hope!
I am flying to LA tomorrow morning, so I must dash. I have one more FO to post, and I'll try to get it up here later today.
Knit on.....

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Handpaint Hell

I guess it's Murphy's Law. Last year I bought some amazing Colinette Giotto. It is luxurious with a rich, deep, palate of purples, greens and blues. At least, it is SUPPOSED to be! I scoured yarn shops to find the Giotto book and selected a really nifty cardigan with a ruffle on the bottom, not fussy, just gorgeous. I knitted the back, dutifully following the mandate "use two skeins; alternate skeins every two rows". The back was lovely. I knit the left front, dutifully following the mandate "use two skeins; alternate skeins every two rows". Again, a lovely luscious left front. I knit the right front, dutifully following the mandate "use two skeins; alternate skeins every two rows."

NOW...these lovely skeins were all from ONE dye lot. They are the same color. I followed the directions. So WHY, WHY, WHY does the right front look like crap? Or, more specifically, why is there NO GREEN!!!!! and what do I do about it? Sure I can frog and use another skein and reknit; that would take about five minutes. Well, an hour anyway. But when I get to the sleeves, I will STILL have to use that *&#@@*&% ball of yarn with NO GREEN. Yes, I can distribute it all over the sleeves and have yucky ribbon ends to weave in, but I am NOT A HAPPY CAMPER!!! I think this is a "Curse of Colinette", of something.

One of these things is not like the others....You can clearly see, can you not, that the middle piece is DIFFERENT!!!!Geez....if anyone out there can help me, please, please, please suggest a cure. I really wanted to wear this sweater in two weeks.

OK, back to those LOVELY Fair Isle Gloves, which are giving me NO grief!!!

Lace I Love

I FINALLY, FINALLY finished "More Than Circular". I don't know why I waited so long. Actually, I do. I had a mistake in the last row and I just set it aside one day when I didn't want to deal with it. I got caught up with the Fair Isle gloves and never looked back. Until Thursday. I just tackled the thing and finished it. Now it is sitting on my floor while I block all those little points out.
Now this thing is a bear to block, because, as the title says, it has more than 360 degrees. It is impossible to stretch it all out flat, but the wonder is, it really does stay on my shoulders and won't fall off no matter what!

I do plan to add some beads, to the edge, I just haven't decided what yet.

So, of course, I am ready to make another lace shawl. I have a skein of Lorna's Laces "Helen's Lace" in Purple Iris and I found a lovely pattern that requires just the right amount of yarn. I hope to have it on the needles by this evening.

There is no knitting quite so thrilling to me as when I work on lace and it looks like a bag of messy yarn, and I can't really see it, and finally it is off the needles and I spread it out and, voila, it is a thing of beauty and magic.

Must knit more lace....

Monday, September 19, 2005

Fair Isle First

I finished the first of the Fair Isle gloves. I've never knitted a glove before. What a pain working with the dpns! I'm so much fonder of two circulars. Bear iin mind that this glove is unblocked. I expect it will look lots better after blocking. It was really fun to do the Fair Isle part. Can't wait to do the second, which is not typical of me!

Monday, September 12, 2005

Finished! Object and Level

Wow! I passed Level I of TKGA Master Handknitter Course! I'm so excited that I've already sent in my payment for Level II. Why wait? The best thing, I think, after achieving a goal is to set another. I can bask in my success until the next set of requirments arrives in the mail. I learned so much from having to re-submit ten (yes, ten!) swatches. My knitting has improved more than I thought it could in such a short time. After knitting for more than a "few" decades, it improved markedly in just a few weeks. It gives me a good model for success in other areas. Effort can, in fact, be rewarded, something we parents don't always realize.

And onto a mixed success. The Flower Basket Bag. It's finally completely finished! I still don't like it. It's so big and heavy, I can't imagine actually carrying anything in it. Maybe I'll try it as a carry on on my next plane trip; that would be kinda cute. Even so, I am going to make this bag again. A glutton for punishment? No, I want to make it the way I imagine it SHOULD be. It will be smaller, the colors will be more to my liking, and it will be lighter and more user-friendly. I am going to knit it in the round. I still haven't decided whether to make it a backpack or a shoulder bag so I won't start until I have that detail worked out. Watch this space for my progress on "redesigning" a pattern.

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Two Swans and some ferals

I had the pleasure of meeting up with Karen C, proprietress of Two Swans Yarn ( I have been tempted by Fair Isle knitting for a while and the web pattern from Interweave Knits for Fair Isle gloves pushed me over the edge. I have done stranded knitting and color work before, but not since I've become as self-critical about my knitting as I am currently. Here are some photos of Karen with some of her "goodles" and with the yarns I chose.

And here is also a photo of the gloves on the needles. I made myself finish the darn Flower Basket before I let myself start these. They are to be a Christmas gift for my future mother-in-law whom I adore. I'm using the two circulars technique. I do not love dp needles but I know they are going to be needed for the fingers. Fingerless gloves anyone?

More felting photos

Here is a photo of the laptop case (from the current Interweave Knits). I love this thing but I'm thinking of adding a leather shoulder strap. It fits my little ibook perfectly.

I love/hate felting! I've recently felted a laptop case, a purple purse, and the "infamous" Nicky Epstein Flower Basket Bag. I am not crazy about how this bag came out! I haven't sewn the flowers on it yet and I might like it better when I do, but the thing is HUGE and must weigh five pounds. I made it with Lambs Pride Bulky on size 19 needles. Well, here is what it looks like after being run through the "super" hot cycle five times.

I plan to stitch the flowers on tonight. Also, crazy that I am, I do like this bag so much that I am going to make it AGAIN! Yes, you heard me right. But I am going to improvise. I bougt some Cascade 220 in colors that I love and I'm going to knit it in the round, make it smaller, redo the design seriously. Progress reports to follow.