Monday, December 22, 2014

So Long

So Long, 2014.  Thanks for all the fish.

Plain ribbed scarf, undyed alpaca.

It is not fancy, but it is warm.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Six Things - A Holiday Challenge

Once upon a time there was lady who loved yarn.  She loved to knit with it, she loved to crochet with it, she loved to bead with it, she loved to felt. . .   blah.  blah.  blah.  I could write a very long yarn about what happened to some yarn.  Instead, I shall now show the whole story.

TOTAL of 946 yards of fiber

One skein of Baah La Jolla (400 yds) = $29.75
Two balls of Louisa Harding Amitola (546 yds) = $24.60

1.     Shawl – Nymphalidea  knit with short rows & simple lace.  Available via Ravelry.  If you read this blog with any regularity, you've seen le Papillon.  The Amitola provides the color shift of the short row sections.  This took about three-fourths of one ball.  For this one, I did not manipulate the color changes - - just knit it as it appeared.

  2.     Hat – Interlude Hat  knit with a two row lace repeat & blocked into beret shape.  Available via Ravelry.  You might also have seen the hat.  This one has black ribbing because I love the bounce of the Baah! and (personally) the black is more functional rubbing against the forehead than is a light shade of the Amitola.  The second ball of Amitola was used here because I did not want any break in the color way.  It was pure serendipity that my favorite teal shade became the very top of the hat.  Love it!

  3.     Mitts – Easy Crochet Wristers uses post stitches to make ribbing.  available via Red  This is the same crochet pattern that I used whilst traveling on vacation this past summer.  It is quick and easy.  And easy to adjust if you need more length in the wrist, hand, thumb or finger area.  Since I was on a theme of black bands, the post work ribbing is nice stretchy Baah!.  There was much manipulation of color in order to get the pink and purple to cooperate.  I'm happy with the result.  But that breaking of yarn left lots of bits from the two original balls.  It was time to start thinking of how to use the colors that were left.

  4.     Headband – Crocheted using Foundation Double Crochet & Post stitches.  No pattern.  The post work is so very stretchy and that got me to thinking of making something that is all stretch, which led me to make this headband.  Please note that to keep the beginning edge as stretchy as possible, this began with Foundation Double Crochet (fdc).  If you are not familiar with the technique, check out the bazillion videos available online.  This headband fits me.  It might not fit anyone else; and I'm OK with that.  

  5.     Necklace – Simple crochet chain with beads & wisps.  No pattern.  By now, the black ball was finally getting tiny.  And the little lengths of color that remained were exactly that - little bits of the same color that had been separated out from the original.  I was determined (and a bit desperate) about what to do that would result in another useful item.  And then it dawned on me:  everything old is new again.   A quick search of the bead stash and I was stringing beads for a necklace.  The bead pattern here is ten chains, one bead, ten chains, three beads, and repeat.  It is long enough to double (because I no longer dance the Charleston and therefore do not need beads down to my knees for twirling 'round & 'round).  Then I put wisps of all the same color dangling off.  It almost reminds me of The Lion King.  Either that or I was totally loosing it at this point.

  6.     Dryer Ball – Inside is the superwash Baah; outside is the feltable Amitola.  In honor of Ana Petrova.  You can't imagine the mess of sting that remained at this point.  In a last ditch effort to use it all up,  I made a dryer ball.  The inside is the Baa! - because it is superwash and doesn't felt.  Then I wrapped and wrapped and wrapped all the bits of Amitola (it being 80%wool and 20% silk, which does felt) and jammed the wad into the toe of an old knee-hi and tied it in tight.  Tossed it in the hot wash with baking soda and VOILA!  A dryer ball.

That is it.  I am done with all of the yarn.  If I were gifting all of this, that would be five gifts for others and one for me.  All from about $60 worth of yarn.  People - - that is $10 per gift for hand made love!  Now who was it that said knitting is expensive?  They know not what they say.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Holes In The Knitting

Holes - on purpose.  Yes, the beret is finished.

 Isn't this fabulous?  Yes, I am bragging.  I deserve to be proud of this one because those little holes gave me quite a start.   A very simple seven stitch repeat with two pattern rows should not be a bother.  It just goes to show that if your mind is not centered on the project in your hands, bad things can happen.

But now the knitting is done and I am a happy camper.

This is the type of beret that wants to be blocked out on a plate.   I soaked the fiber for a bit and then inserted an appropriate sized plate.  Then the plate was balanced on a glass to that the bottom fell naturally and would dry at the same time as the top. 

And guess what?   There is still yarn left over!  Now, I'm using the stuff to crochet a pair of mitts.  Surely this will be the end of the stuff.

Although, as I look at the progress of the mitts and calculate the amount of yarn that is not being used, there will probably be enough left over to make a headband or two.

Really, people.  How many projects can one get out of 1 skein of sock yarn and two balls of pretty wool/silk?

Monday, December 8, 2014

Too Fun To Put Down

Once again, I bought too much yarn.  The recent shawl, le Papillion, needed less than one ball of Louise Harding Amitola and half a skein of the Baah.  That's a lot of left over yardage. 

This is Interlude which promises to be a light airy Springtime slouchy hat.  The pattern is free via Ravelry and can be had here.

This is a two-row lace pattern.  At first I struggled. 
The lace bit is simple.  But for some reason I could not "see" the thing in my mind (there is no chart - the repeat being just seven stitches of not much) and not being able to see the whole thing messed me up.

Now, I am so busy wondering when the color of the Amitola will change again that I can't put the thing down.  It is actually much farther along than the photo indicates.  I'll probably never wear this one and it is not appropriate for a chemo cap due to the fibers and the holes.  But I love it!  I'm hooked. 

Oh, wait.  I can't be hooked on this yarn/pattern combo because this is knitting - not crochet.  Let's just say I'm needling along at a quick pace.

Monday, December 1, 2014

UFO Is Out Of Sight

That's right, another UFO debunked and moved to the pile of FOs - finished objects.  Yep, friends of the cyber world, there is nothing like the smell of wet wool on a misty morning to get the happy thoughts flowing.  So delighted am I with this one that before commencing the task, I actually put away (properly) all of the clean dishes, washed the sheets and remembered that wet sheets should go in the dryer and the dryer should be turned on. 

That's a whole lot of delight and happiness. 

Pattern:  Nymphalidea by Melinda VerMeer which is available on Ravelry.

Yarns:  Baah La Jolla in black & Louisa Harding Amitola in color 119 which is more appropriately named Embrace.

She has been dubbed le Papillon.  This photo was taken whilst planning the blocking of this oddly shaped triangle that morphs into a mostly crescent shape.  Thus the planning of how to block.

And might I add, this baby is so long that it is on the floor for the blocking process because the yoga mat that I use for shawl blocking is not long enough, nor is the counter top long enough and so a part of le Papillon extends over to the freshly washed rug, which means that I had to wash and dry the rug yesterday so that it was clean for the blocking AND I am crawling around on the floor planning and pinning and inserting wires and replacing pins and smoothing and stretching wet wool and I stopped to write the blog post and rant about who in their right and sane mind crawls around on the floor with wet wool at 8:20 in the morning!

And that, gentle reader, is the truth behind my yarn obsession.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Why Are You Doing This?

Hey America friends.  It is Thanksgiving Eve.  Why are you reading blog posts?

Go focus on family & friends - - in person or via phone or video.  Enjoy the people you know and be thankful.

Monday, November 24, 2014

Attack Of The UFOs

This is getting out of hand.  I must get my obsession under control. 

 Here are three UFOs that are on my side work table.

That's one hat that might become a new pattern, the crochet blanket that never seems to make it to the top of the list and the new stocking, which I have already shared.

To be fair, the stocking has received attention and will likely become the first finished object.

 The summer vest missed its calling.  It really wanted to be a part of my late summer/early fall wardrobe.  What can I say but that this became my "slacking" project.  However, if it is going to be ready for wearing out in the desert during The Season, serious time needs to be devoted to this one.

While not making a striped summer vest, I found time to cast on for a wool shawlette.  Really, I should not have done this.  Really.  Because it is all I want to work on and that is being unfair to all the other projects that want to be happily finished. 

But I really, really, love the way the stained glass effect is knitting up. 

And it is possible that I also started a pair of crochet fingerless mitts with the left over Woolfolk. And that means that even if I finish one of the mitts, there is a second one to make because one half of a pair is not a finished object even though one thing does get finished. 

I should not even mention this one.  It really isn't a crochet project because (horror of horrors) I purchased the crochet doilies.  Plain and simple cheated.  The whole idea is to stitch them together to make a table runner or window valance.  I got this idea from my summer travels down under and it swirls around every now and again. 

Yep, it is like the attack of the UFOs around the chateau. 

Friday, November 21, 2014


This year I am thankful for my friend JJ.  She is at that stage in life where much time is spent caring for a parent and checking in on adult children and preparing for her first grandchild.

She called last week and after a lovely chat that wandered around all the current events of our lives, she dropped a bombshell.  Soul searching and an evaluation of all the activities in her life left but one conclusion that was inevitable.

Time to cull the stash.

Thank you JJ.

Thank you for the two colorways of Noro and the Ella Rae wool and the seven balls of mohair and the novelty hat yarn.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Grille For This Girl

Done.  Finished.  Ahhh.

She is named Grille.  Remember the hem that resulted from JMCO?  After much knitting in the round and the joy of a bit of lattice work set off by color block (that's a fancy term for changing the color) followed by the thrill of three-needle bind off and no ends to sew, Grille is finished.

Let's recall the magic hem and admire the beauty of the thing.

Ahhh.  Love it.  And this type of bottom skims what I have to skim over in a way that ribbing can not do.  Ahhhhhhhh.

This is Grille with the full lattice worn on the front.  Yes, it is kinda sheer looking and yes, this old gal has celebrated the big 6 0!  So what?

I figure that as long as the underpinning is appropriate, this look is OK for me. 

And just so you know, a bit of waist shaping goes a long way in the "illusion" department.

If a moment of modesty overcomes my senses, Grille can be turned and worn the other way!  This side is stockinette up to the last eight rows and then the lattice is just an accent along the shoulder.

Are you wondering what that means for back shoulder area?

Here it is.  The light is certainly playing a bit of mystery business through the holey lattice work.

The goal in making different top portions is to give options in how Grille is worn.  And to snub my nose at that Ogden Nash poem about pants.  Yeah, yeah - this is a top and not pants, but the point is kinda the same.

And yes, Mr. Nash, thanks to these photos, I have seen myself  retreating!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Holiday Preparation Under Way

Decades ago, my mother crocheted granny square Christmas stockings.  I still have those cherished acrylic wonders and they hang on the mantle every year.  As happens so often in many families, some of the stockings are now in the memorial category (the ones belonging to Jackie & Snowball who were Mama's grandpets).  And, as happens so often in many families, we find ourselves needing a new stocking for a new family member.

 Thus, I spent all weekend making little granny squares.  I even had one of Mama's stockings hanging up in the studio as inspiration.   Well, that and I needed to count the number of squares required and match the size and all that jazz.

This stocking will be quite wintery and has the potential to look like winter snow what with the blue center that looks kinda sorta like a star in a fluffy white square.

 Granny squares that have color change create lots of little ends.  After the second square, I remembered to stitch over the ends as I worked so that the ends could be snipped off without any additional weaving.

Everything - all sixteen squares and the ends are now complete and tidy and ready for the final sewing.

There is gonna be a lot of sewing to make those squares into a stocking.  And then the trim work - which will be blue.

Here is the thing about holidays that I sometimes forget.  It takes a lot of time to make a loving hands/loving hearts family celebration.

And that, my friends, is a joyous and marvelous thing.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

A Major Difference

Those who can, do.  Those who can't, teach.  We have all heard that one.  We use it with a sarcastic tone.  Sometimes - well, often - it is true.

But - and this is A MAJOR DIFFERENCE - every time I take a knit or crochet class the teacher can both 'do' and 'teach' better than can I.  It seems to me that the idiom breaks down for all things artsy.  Perhaps this is the reason that I am drawn to the arts.  (I am laughing and chuckling over that wording)  

For several years, I have counted myself amongst the teacher of yarn arts group.  My most recent class was teaching an old favorite:  February Lady Sweater.  Over the years, I have made at least four cardigans from the pattern.  There was a shop sample, a private commission, and two for myself that have gone to the great "too many fuzz balls to shave and wear another year" heaven.

This class was great!  Each student was choosing details to customize the outcome and they each learned something new.  The student who is newest to knitting actually taught one of her classmates the SSK decrease.  I love it when students get the "teaching" bug and help out their classmates.

  Oh, and just to prove that I can both teach and do, I finished my new FLS just in time for the cool snap.

This is Juniper Moon Moonshine which is a worsted single ply of 40% Wool, 40% Alpaca and 20% Silk.  It is warm enough for California, drapes enough for a simple lace pattern and has a bit of shine.

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Finish Line Is In Sight!

And you thought that the falling gingko leaf scarf would be in the UFO pile forever!  Ha. 

Determination, time and enjoyment met up to create my Energy Scarf.  Each leaf is a random series of garter short rows, but working these leaves had provided joy and calmness for me.  I swear that each time I picked up the needles, my blood pressure went down.  And that is a very good thing.

Here is a close up of the shapes.  Use a keen eye and you'll notice that often the color was manipulated so that the red and gold tones became little blips at the leaf edges.

I am here to let you know that working two and three stitch short rows makes a difference in the finished look of the thing.  I suppose that there is a bit of Swing Knitting due to the color manipulation.  I spend a fair amount of time looking ahead at the shades coming up and worked accordingly.

Honestly, I am sad to see this one come to an end.  For the first time in a very long time, the making provided such joy that I can not envision the wearing of it coming anywhere close in providing happy thrills.

 As you can see,  beads are being considered.  This last photo is the "back" side where the stems were sewn to the leaf above so as to make the artsy scarf.  This thing will twirl and twist and that is just the way it is.  So, I'm thinking that a bead at each joining tip will give interest now matter what happens as I strut down the street with a certain "yes, I did" swagger.

Monday, November 3, 2014

Caped Crusader

A knitting buddy told me about a capelet pattern and after seeing her finished project, I might have had a bit of jealousy.  Off I went to purchase the Bulky Rose capes through Ravelry.  It took the proverbial village to choose a color but eventually we "all" settled on a Cascade 128 bright green.

 Mostly, I am satisfied.  The 128 is not quite bulky enough for the pattern if you live in the cold and snow.  In Los Angeles, it is just enough to ward off the chill.

It is important to know that the pattern, as written, is not exactly current American sizing.  The S/M is more of a US XS/S.  The largest size, as written is appropriate for American medium and large. 

My friend gave me a hint about length - - add to it.  Like her cape, I wanted mine to end around the elbow bend.  So thanks to a yarn buddy, I have a cape sized for me in my right now life. 

The whole neckline is a series of leafs.  This is the striking feature of the Bulky Rose cape.  You can make what ever flower you desire, but the pattern does include a very simple crochet rose that fits nicely.  My button stash yielded the perfect lightweight buttons to finish off the embellishments.
All, in all, I am happy.

When I make this a second time, I think it will be double stranded Cascade 128 so that it is really warm and will block more wind.  That will make it a Winter Rose cape.  Who knows?  Perhaps one day, I shall visit winter and need stylish protection from the elements.

Friday, October 31, 2014

Halloween Creature

One brief moment.  That's what it took to suddenly be on the brink of disaster.

All I wanted to do was to take one or two quick photos that would update you on the progress of the current Woolfolk project.  I turned my head ever so briefly to adjust that magic hem and lay a tape measure so as to prove that progress is being made.

And then. . . .

You must understand that I forgot that Bert was flying free and enjoying life.  He was quietly entertaining himself and not bothering me at all.

And then. . . .

In the flash of a wing, he was suddenly in AWE of my bright pink project bag.  I was caught unaware.  Unaware that I'd forgotten to pull the drawstring tight so as to prevent accidents.  The bag is filled with all the the yarn, already wound into cakes and just waiting to be added in to the needle work.

Faster than my hand could swat, but not so swift that my trigger photo finger could not keep snapping, that creature was ready to grab for the opening and explore the fancy color that had attracted him.

 It is amazing what one beak and one little foot can accomplish.  Surely it was the pink.

Maybe it was the hole that looked like it needed exploring.

Maybe it was a crazed old Cajun lady screaming louder than a jungle bird.

What ever it was, it was a temptation that could not be resisted.

Bert accomplished his goal and discovered a new activity.  And he quickly learned that such activity is a sure way to be sent back to bird jail!

The yarn is unharmed.

And yes, I ate the Halloween candy as a way to deal with the stress of mothering a curious creature.

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

A Magic Hem

How could I resist?  For days and days it spoke to me.  It called my name.  Finally, temptation won and I am the proud owner of  Woolfolk Tynd.  This is not a yarn to languish in the stash for "some day."  Oh, no.  It is a "cast on right now and get to it" kind of yarn.  So I did.

I thought and thought about the pullover that it wanted to be.  At first, a basic top down raglan with vertical bands of twisted stitches seemed like the way to go.  Subtle but worth a second look.  That plan is now in reserve for the future. 

Working in the round was the goal.  And something that would not require too much attention so that it could be public knitting.  Well, gentle reader, this is a story about what happened to the yarn.  Or is it a yarn with a story? 

There I sat, cakes of yarn, needles and an idea popped into my noggin' - Judy Becker's Magic Cast On is actually a folded hem just waiting to happen.  Now, I am making a bottom up sorta tee shirt that will probably have simple lace at the top.

This is the end of four rounds of the Magic sitting there ready to become a knitted hem.  Please know that I worked the front and back separately so that there will be a little vent on each side of the hem.

Rather than making a humongous sock toe, I worked a k2tog all the way across.  This joined the two rows of stitches into one band that magically became the hem.

Can I hear a Voila!  You will note that the yarn is a deep merlot/berry shade and I simply could not face making a traditional folded hem where one is forced to actually sew the foldy up part to the knitting stitches which just happen, in this case, to be dark and tiny (well, a size US 6 tiny) and make no mistake in 115 stitches and then do the exact same perfection to make the other panel and well. . . . I just could not do it. 

 Here it is.  Judy's Magic Hem.  Surely others have done this.  I can't be the only one to have an inspirational moment.  So, I'll not take credit for the brilliance. 

After making the first hem, I make a second that (I am pleased to report) is exactly like the first.  Everything was slid onto one needle and joined to work in the round.  Now, there is just round and round of stockinette to be done until a second color decides to join the merriment.  Public Knitting project accomplished!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Barely Bear-like

Does this look like a bear?  

The little crochet bear has reached that point where it kinda sorta has bear qualities but the crochet curls and twists and looks like a wad of cotton that has strange appendages.  Me thinks that faith is required.  And a lot of stuffing.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Family Jealousy

Even with out a face, isn't this little bear just the cutest thing!

Daughter #1, she who crochets, found the pattern and whipped it up in no time.  She thought and thought about a face and decided that he is what ever one needs him to be - happy, sad, hungry, sleepy, playful, what ever  one needs. 

And she is going to teach me how to make it. 
Cuz I'm jealous that she found the pattern before I did. 

Sometimes, in a family, that's the way thing are.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Artfully Simple

Check out this Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf by Tamara Kelley.  My daughter, she who crochets, makes these quite often.  She has them in a whole rainbow of colors and yarns.

It is hard to tell  in this photo, but the circle is crocheted with just chains and double crochet stitches.  That makes it very approachable for the novice and a no-look quick project for those of us with a year or two of experience.

I know I have decades of experience with a crochet hook, but please allow me a few days of bliss in the land of make believe.

 The scarf is long enough to double and wear it snuggled around the neck.  That's too hot here in Los Angeles, so I made a button loop that is useful for containing the long loops so that they don't flop around where I already flop around. 

And here is the great part.  I don't even have to tell you how I made the button loopy thing because it is right there in the free pattern!  Ain't it grand?

Yes, this is a worsted yarn (specifically Cascade Yarns Pacific which is machine washable), but I'm thinking it would be great in a DK weight which would require changing hook size and doing math to calculate a longer starting chain and diving again into the button stash and... . . . .

Sorry, got distracted due to The Illness*.  Check out the Artfully Simple Infinity Scarf.  It's a great and versatile pattern.

*The Illness is Start-itis. And I've got a bad case.

Monday, October 20, 2014

A Call To Yarn!

The Knitting Tree, LA is collecting shawls, scarfs and hats for a local domestic violence shelter.  Shelters offer  safety and security in times of urgent need.  Haven seekers often arrive with nothing but a strong determination to be strong.  Thus, we are all banding together to knit or crochet safe hugs filled with support for the future.

Consider this post a personal invitation to join in gifting one more item for one more person.  You can make any neck or head gear out of any soft and comforting yarn that is in your stash.  Just put your love into each stitch.  Bring your donation to the Tree any time before Thanksgiving.  Annette is asking each donor to write a short note of encouragement - tags are available at the store.

 This is my first contribution.
Pattern:  Weaver's Wool Mini Shawl available free at this link here.
Yarn:  Worsted from the stash

*  Stripes were added.  Not a big deal, but with two left over bits in the stash, there was enough to combine yarns and make a shawl.

*  Needle sizes were changed to help make the bottom stretch out so that, when needed, it can be pulled around like a hug.  The top 3+ inches is worked on a US 9, then a US 10 for a while, followed by (you guessed it) a 10 1/2  and finally a US 11 for the bottom rows and ruffle.

*  The bottom edge is a ruffle instead of the pattern edge.  My edge is quite simple:
Row 1 -  k1, yo (yarn over) and repeat all the way across ending with a k1.
Row 2 - knit
Row 3 - knit
Row 4 - Bind off.  Of course more knit rows will make a longer ruffle.  So make yourself happy with this part.

This is not my first experience with the pattern.  I can tell you from experience that it looks fabulous when knit with a fluffy stripey yarn all on the same size needle. 

The gift of unconditional love.  With a little yarn, we can all give.


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Crochet One For The Cause

 Check out this fun to make Awareness Ribbon Scarf from Naztazia.  There is video support to guide your hook, should you need it.

As we all know, October is Breast Cancer Awareness month.  My mother battled the disease as have several members of my extended family.  And yes, I know one man who also was diagnosed and became a champion for the cause.

My scarf is based on the pattern above.  Rather than a whole scarf or shawl of ribbons, I only did three ribbon repeats for each end of the skinny scarf.  In order to get the ribbons to present in the correct orientation, a bit of magic is needed.  The pattern explains it all.

Basically, I made one end with three repeats.  Then I made another end of three repeats and started the open work.  When the scarf was almost long enough, the last row of open work was attached (via slip stitches) to the first end so that the ribbons hang in the right way.

I will be proudly wearing this scarf for the rest of the month.  And it is time to schedule my mammogram, which reminds me to remind you to schedule yours!

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Knotted Up

This ain't your granny's  cable. This is a knot cable and is worked quite differently from the old standby.  It is still set off with reverse stockinette (or garter or seed), but this one floats above a panel.

Go get the Knit Simple Magazine, Holiday 2014 issue.  This is pattern #15 which include three different pillows designed by Annabelle Speer.  Yesterday, I told you about learning this new way of working a twist into hand knit.  The Ravelry description for this states  You’ll love this needle-free method of making cables: knit strips in stockinette, tie the strips into a knot, then continue knitting.

This would be a lovely holiday gift.  An even better thought is to make this knotted pillow as a wedding gift.  Get it?  Tie The Knot.   Sometimes I crack myself up.

The pattern is clear that the pillows are made in two pieces and seamed.  I've been thinking about that the whole time I worked this thing.  What follows are my conclusions should you be interested.

Pros for working a pillow in two pieces:
  • Seams add strength to knit that will be scrunched, flattened, punched and otherwise used in daily life.
  • Seams let you adjust the final size should you not find the exact pillow form to fit your final pieces.
  • Seams let you practice mattress stitch and become either a pro or a failure.
  • Working in two pieces forces the knitter to slow down due to the "joy" of the purl stitch - unless you knit backwards and well, that's a whole different story.
 Pros for working the pillow in the round:
  • You get to start with Judy's Magic Cast On which is the most amazing and useful contribution to knitting since EZ herself.
  • There is no need to fret counting rows because the front and the back will automatically be the same.
  • Only one seam!
  • Once the thing is a few inches deep, it makes a handy pocket for holding the yarn ball when you put the thing on the floor and someone walks by and that stupid cake of yarn goes rolling under the sofa and someone else has to get down and try to reach or get a broom handle or move the furniture.
Because this pillow (Madelintosh Tosh Vintage in Sugar Plum colorway) is a shop sample,  I followed the pattern and knit two pieces.  You, gentle knitter, may decide for yourself the best way to knit a pillow.

Monday, October 6, 2014

Falling Into Place

October started out with a packed and full schedule that threw me off my game for a while.  The good news is that the dreaded seed stitch and I parted ways for a whole whopping five days!  That felt really good.

First, and this pleases me greatly, I am helping out at The Knitting Tree, LA for a few hours twice a week.   The owners are devoting some time to setting up the (soon to open) online store and that requires lots of planning and thinking and strategizing  and even a bit of down time.  

Do you remember that fab and fad of a cardigan known as February Lady Sweater?  I'm smack dab in the middle of teaching it.  Well, actually the class is more about personalizing the fit of a top down sweater and adjusting things to fit a specific body.  My students are amazing.  Each seems to be working a different gauge, so there is even MATH involved.  Just imagine, if you will, this old Cajun who claims to be a horrid practitioner of number things actually showing students how to work the math and get a desired result.  We are having a blast with the pattern.

This past weekend involved volunteering within my local yarn community.  Volunteering always makes me happy and lending a hand at Yarnosphere was a joy.  Lots of friends from all over southern California attended.  There were classes and shopping and demonstrations and book signings and free help and winding stations and beaucoup things to keep a person sick with startitis for quite a long time.  One of my guilds had a booth and I helped out there for a little while also.  

Even with all of this going on, I learned something new on Friday.  Check out these pillows featuring a knot cable:  #15 Cabled Pillow by Annabelle Speer.  Talk about "out of the box" knitting.  It is almost too simple and the effect is eye catching.

Because the brain needs exercise and the familiar, I returned to an old favorite pattern and am occupied planning a new crochet class using the familiar project as a teaching tool.  The class will actually focus on extended crochet stitches and the relation between those stitches and chainless foundation crochet.  It's gonna be fun to teach - - once I get organized and have time to focus on the materials.

What is the result of all this busy madness?  Monday afternoons are now dedicated to staying home and getting to all of these UFOs. 

Monday, September 29, 2014

You Get What You Cast On

The moment that the stitches were cast on, the future was determined. One might think that a bit of innocence was involved, but that was not the case.  It could be that misplaced belief in a possible miracle was part of the decision - nope.  

It turns out that when an experienced knitter casts on eighty-eight stitches with the intent of producing a swath of drapey fabric that measures forty inches in length and has two slits so as to make a sideways loose vest AND said experienced knitter willingly starts working seed stitch there bound to be lots and lots of moans and groans, not to mention other "sounds."

 One week after casting on and it is only one third done and I might be ready to send it to time out.  

Luckily I have three other projects to keep me happy!