Wednesday, October 24, 2012

In the Eyes

The pleasure of seeing eyes flash wide and then twinkle with joy is quite satisfying.  Really, really satisfying.  A recent journey provided that opportunity.  When last I was ignoring the commission, there seemed plenty of time to finish it.  I found other things to do and to love.

See, the thing was the requested shade of lavender is not within my color sense.  I don't wear it and although it makes a lovely flower in the Spring, it just has no excitement in my eyes.  The finishing of the bolero was, for me personally, rather laborious due to the shade.

But finish it I did.  Sewed and blocked to the necessary size.  Then delivered to she who wanted just that thing in just that color for the new dress that looked matronly with a black blazer.

Voila!  Her eyes flashed.  Her eyes twinkled.  If anyone was looking closely it was possible to see a little mist in my eyes.  She loved it and suddenly lavender became beautiful.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Embellished With Love

Followers of my yarns and those who know me will understand that it is time for my annual encouragement to do for others.  Yes, I'm going to flat out ask you to knit, crochet, weave, purchase or (gasp) clean out your closet and donate to your chosen organization that focuses on others.  Fall and early winter fill the holiday calendar with opportunity to gather with family and friends.  Reflection on self, moments of expressing appreciation, laughter, plans for personal change - pick a month and there is cause to turn to thoughts inward. 

BUT. . .

Some of our fellow travelers on this earth do not have family.
Some have a family stressed too the limit.
Some have been too long in the valley.
Some are struggling with visible and invisible illness.
Some just need a hug.

Do for others and then do for self.  It's OK to share the love.

Crochet chemo cap above is another that will be donated to Knots of Love.  One day of staying home to clean and cook and a young woman will be stylish. 

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

A Twisted Idea

I belong to three knitting guilds.  Not groups - official TKGA guilds that focus on educating members whilst doing good in the world.  Why?  Because the knowledge and skill attained through monthly programs and  seeing the work of others teaches me so very much.  Every month brings something new -  whether it is an 'Ah Ha!' moment, an unfamiliar yarn, the perfect pattern or a link to a different way to do short rows.

But never in my wildest thinking did it occur to me that I'd sit at a guild meeting and take seeds out of a raw cotton boll, open a paper clip and spin yarn!  Enter Mary F., who by the way has successfully grown her own cotton in the back yard.

With a wink and a few funny stories, she demonstrates her unique spin on making cotton yarn with the humble paper holding device.

Look at it!  Gorgeous stuff.
Her practiced hand gets just the right amount of twist. 
So thin. 
So useful. 
So magic.

I'm not a spinner, but even I learned to honor the little triangle where the fluff twists into something usable.

I tried.   I made single strand bumpy boucle.  (photo not included)

Riverside Knitting Guild
North Coast Knitters Guild
El Segundo Sliptstitchers

Friday, October 5, 2012

J'adore le Poulet

I do love this chicken shawl.

Expect to see it - - often.

And since you are going to click to see the photo in a bigger slide show, I'll confess that at the exact moment the last two photos were snapped, ends remained unwoven.

I ended up blocking, by choice, this to be about 46"x 19".  For me, that is great.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Not So Crazy Chicken

Thank you to Edith Filzhof for her easy & versatile Crazy Chicken pattern.

 The knitting is within the beginner range.  The most difficult thing here is K2tog and SSK.  My preference is for smallish shawls.  I've confessed several times that the shawlette size is for me.

Well, if this pattern has any downfall, it is size.  The unblocked size you see here is close to what I like as a final product.  Thus a blocking quandary.   What to do?  If I block this in my usual style of soak, stretch, pin at significant points and then re-pull and pin to really open up the lace section - - - the thing would be too huge for me. 

I think the process will be adjusted for this one.  To be sure, that soaking bath will still take place.  Especially because this bit of knitting  might just have a few crumbs in it.  (Comments are not appreciated)  Then, if I choose a final size and pin the major points to that size, I should be able to ease the rest into position even it if means that the lace is not as open as I normally like it.

I added beads to the open work of the border.  Beads are not in the pattern.  What can I say but that I went "crazy."

This was my first effort with Twist Bamboo Sock. The 50%merino/25% bamboo/25% nylon provides a lovely drape (bamboo), great stitch definition (merino) and holds strong (nylon).  Add Cathy's color sense to those attributes and this yarn is a winner!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat

One of the most versatile items I knit/crochet for myself is the small shawl - aka shawlette.  I like a size that wads up for stuffing into a purse, shakes out to prevent wayward breeze from chilling the neck and can still cover my shoulders as the sun sets.  A scarf almost works.  But it can't cover my shoulders.  So, I make a lot of little shawls.

 This yarn from the dye pot of Cathy over at Twist.  I love the subtle shade variation. 

I knit a lot of neck warming stitches. 

Now I'm making lots of holes.  Holes are important.  Holes allow maximum wadding of the shawl for jamming in a purse - especially during travel.

Holes also get bigger during the blocking process and give length for keeping shoulders covered when needed.  I like holes. 

I need to knit a lot more holes.  And an edging.  This Twist, yarn of intrigue, is like the forever giving skein.  No matter how much has been knit, there is still a whole heap of yardage left.

PS - I'm thinking beaded edge.  Just because I like beads almost as much as I like holes.