Wednesday, April 29, 2015

She Won. . .

. . .and I came in second.  Actually, there were only two of us in a race that was never really declared. 

Let's call it the great lace challenge of the Stewart women.  She who crochets and I are both participating in a CAL (Crochet A Long) and a lazy weekend allowed time for getting our lace started.  Yes, these are simple fingerless mitts.  The pattern is just two repeating rows and the opportunity to change edging or add a flourish or two is not against the rules of the CAL.

We both started at about the same time.  It seemed logical that since I had already made a pair (for the CAL introduction) that I'd be ahead of the game because I had experience with  the pattern. 

Logic flew out the window because she who crochets knows math.  I got stumped trying to subtract 4 stitches from the "chain 37" that begins the pattern.  I wanted to change from that beginning chain to using Foundation Single Crochet (fsc) to start the thing.  I read the pattern and understood that four of the thirty-seven chains actually made a part of the first 'V' stitch.   37 - 4 = 36 & 30 & 33.  Or something like that.

Don't go asking yourself how I messed  up.  Not even the yarn goddess understands what went wrong.  Let's just admit that I lost the challenge that wasn't really a challenge because we never agreed to a race to see who twirls a hook faster.

Youth won out.  This Mama came in second.  She WON. 
Either I am humbled or insanely proud.

Monday, April 27, 2015

Grey Matter

Last year, I used up the remainders of a summer top and developed this recipe for a neck piece.  It is nothing fancy.  Mostly it is a reminder to self on how I like to make a bottom up no thinking required use all the yarn neck accessory.  Many others, I'm certain, have a similar plan.

Last week provided time for thinking and planning.  In order to cogitate such lofty thoughts, my hands need occupation.  The result of the needlework is another Scrappy Neckpiece.

This one does not have the lace row inserts.  It does have embellishments on the point.  Those bits came from a bracelet that had been hanging around for a bit.

The yarn is Interlacements Rick Rack that remains from the Z Top.

There is still a major problem to be dealt with.

This much yarn is left over again!  Lawd a mercy, will the 1200 yds. ever end?

Frankly, I'm getting tired of this yarn.  It just keeps going on and never ends.  I might have to make another travel pouch and declare it a laundry bag or something.  This madness must end soon.

I've taken to tossing the projects willy nilly about the abode in a crazed attempt to declare the stuff art. 

Forget my original thinking and planning.  Now all I can do is sit and fret over having too many yarn bits hiding in the back corner.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Challenge Me

You know that part of work where the words "Make this" get you all excited?  That's how it is for me.  Sometimes it is a new private commission or contract.  Sometimes its a sample for a group or shop.  Sometimes, it is just for me.   I get happy thinking of the challenge and the joy of trying a new pattern or yarn or technique.

And sometimes additional words are added, such as "in time for Vogue Knitting Live."

Annette from The Knitting Tree, L.A.
The new Knitscene arrived in store and all anyone could say was WOW.   Annette wanted a sample of the cover pattern  to put in her booth at the Vogue marketplace.

And I had less than two weeks to get the job done.  Panic coursed through every fiber of my being.  My mind raced through the mental calendar, subtracted blocking time, subtracted fringe applying time, subtracted family time, subtracted sleep time and eating time and there were precious few days in which to accomplish the task.

I love a challenge.  Did I mention that the serape would be going to the market at Vogue Knitting Live? 

The whole beginning was easy and flew by quickly as long as I kept my mouth shut and the needle tips clicking.  Happy colors make for happy work.

And then the intarsia set in. 

Thankfully there is a door on the yarn studio.  Words were said.  Cajun words, if you want the truth. 

Lucky for me, she who crochets* was nearby and even offered (get this folks) to fix my knitting!  Don't that just float your boat?  Well, she was calm and untangled the mess, found the friggin' exact dropped stitch (yes, of course within the intarsia), and walked me through the picking up process from the wrong side whilst I stared at the right side.  What a woman she is!  It is possible that she knows more about knitting than any non-knitter in the yarniverse.


'Tis done.

Started 4/7 about 2:30 pm. 
Blocked 4/12 at 7:00 pm
Finished fringe 4/13 about 11:00 am
Delivered 4/13 at 1:30 pm in plenty of time for VKL.

*Thank you Sarah

Monday, April 13, 2015


OK, Mr. DeMille, Bert is always ready for a close up.  So ready, in fact that the flew into the photo session for the latest project to leave the hook.

Actually, I think it is the buttons that attracted him to this summer accessory.  Or perhaps it is the feel of the Noro Kibou (54% Cotton, 34% Wool & 12% Silk).  Bert is a very discriminating creature.   When he dislikes something - be it food, a person, a color or music - he lets his displeasure be known.  Loudly.

When he loves a thing  - be it an empty cardboard box or clean laundry - he is gleeful with joy.

I'd hoped to get in at least one photo sans bird.

That did not happen.

This mesh crochet has been renamed Plumage.

Wanna guess why?

Thursday, April 9, 2015

The Knitting Police Are Coming For Me!

TaDa and Voila!

The Sausalito mitts are done.  This is the yarn and pattern suggestion from my friend.  And it all worked out beautifully.  One skein of Koigu and a bit of time and I'm happy.

I love the way the cable splits to become the thumb gusset.  Really brilliant. 

I did make one change in the pattern.  As with all ribbing (or so the Knitting Police will tell you), the bottom & top rib sections are supposed to be worked on a 3.25mm.  I broke the knitting law on that.  The cable & lace pattern should be worked on a 3.75 mm.  I broke the pattern following law on that, too.

I worked the whole thing on a 3.5mm (US #4). 

Yes, the Knitting Police are coming for me.  I'm gonna get THE LECTURE, again.  I broke two laws in one project.  And still the mitts fit my hands.

There is no way that I will hang my head in shame.  I will boldly proclaim to all who will listen that using one and only one needle size for this pattern worked extremely well for both the elastic ribbing and the flexible cable/lace pattern.  The mitts fit me and that's what matters in my little world!

I wonder if the Knitting Police have handcuffs that match my mitts?

Monday, April 6, 2015

I'm Not Blue

There is something special about using yarn that was gifted to you.  The yarn seems to capture the love of the offering, the spirit of joy, the soul of the giver.

And that - the love, spirit & soul - is why I am not blue whilst knitting these mitts.

That's Koigu, which I happen to love greatly.  Click on the link and you'll be magically taken to my friend Merilyn's shop.  If you happen to be going to Vogue Knitting Live this month, you'll meet her in the marketplace and be seduced by the merino side.

But this specific skein was a gift from another friend and partner in volunteering - the brilliant new designer, Knotty Bebe.   Add in Ellen (who loves NO Jazz & L.A.) and the three of us do a little thing for our knitting guild.

Bebe even told me about this pattern.  It is Sausalito Smoky Cables & Lace Fingerless gloves and can be had here on Ravelry.  There is a matching hat and scarf pattern if you like the look, but don't want the mitts.

These are working up really fast.  I'm already at the start of the thumb gussets.  I'm thinking this will be the end of my fingerless mitt phase for a while.  I have grey, berry, green sparkle and these in blue.  Might need to go somewhere chilly just so I can wear them.

Thank you, Bebe, for sharing your love, spirit & soul.