Saturday, June 28, 2008

If it's Summer, there must be weddings

I married the day after Christmas so I cannot imagine getting married in July when the heat and humidity are so unrelenting. Still summer months remain the most popular.

A childhood friend of my daughter marries in two weeks. I've watched her grow into a lovely young woman and for many years I worked alongside her mother in PTA. I was very graciously included in the bridesmaid's luncheon today and I carried this little hankie with a tatted edging for the bride's mother.

This was a easy and slow project.

I started the tatting in early April and only worked on it now and then when I thought about it and felt the urge. Summer seemed to arrive before I knew it and yesterday I wondered if I even had enough done to complete it. Sure enough I lacked only a few rings to have enough and I got it sewed on last night and even managed a photo before leaving this morning.

It was a lovely day among friends at The Swan Coach House, a delicious lunch and a yummy swan dessert!

"Young bride -- a prayer for thee, That all thy hopes possessing, Thy soul may praise her God and he May crown thee with His blessing." -Martin Farquhar Tupper

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Just to cleanse the palate

It wasn't long after I finished the Estonian Garden shawl that I was itching to start another. So I did.

I'm trying some yarn that I may end up sorry I bought - Jojoland Harmony (color HC06). I thought it might work if the pattern was simple so I'm trying Fiber Trends Easy Lace Scarves & Wrap (AC-87)

Trouble is the yarn is dark which makes it less than fun to knit in the evenings. I needed a little something to perk me up. Also shawls take a long time to knit. (Well for me anyway.) I wanted some instant results. What is more instant than a dishcloth?

Isn't the color wonderful? Guess what it's called. Country Stripes. Does it look like Country Stripes to you? Not to me. Sure it stripes, but call it Oceania, call it Tidepool, or Tropic Stripes.

Oh, well. I like it. This dishcloth is Friendship Chain-2. I liked it a bit better than the Free Pattern! that came with the label. What to know what it was? Cast on 37 and knit every row then bind off. Some pattern. I'm sure glad it was free!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Drawn Thread play

Looks like a mess of thread, doesn't it? I'm far from the tidiest person in the world, but my string is usually a bit better organized than this.

However, these materials were all part of a kit - purchased a number of years back - so, while it's a little messy looking right now, that messiness was far and away offset by the convenience of opening that ziplock bag and having everything I needed for the project right at hand.

I rejoined EGA some months back. There is talk of having an exhibit next year. In thinking of what I might could work on toward that goal, it occured to me that it might be wisest to pull out a couple of kits I bought years ago and finally get them stitched. There are three of them, all from the same designer, and I'm starting with the quickest and my least favorite.

I think it's only my least favorite because it is finished as a hanging ornament with a tassel at the bottom. I'm considering finishing it another way. I really love that center motif.

I'm using the term 'finishing' here fairly loosely as I have been known to do all the lovely handwork and then ignore the finishing for years.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

A Friend, Indeed

Today was a vacation day. I didn't go far - in distance, but I feel quite renewed.

Today my friend, Kay, and I got together for lunch and to visit a few shops in a town not too far away.

The yarn shop was nice, but nothing tempted me. "Stash" tends to make me uneasy anyway. I'm much happier purchasing something for a specific project. But next door was a bead shop and we had a very nice time talking and slowly examining all the little cups of beads. Kay was picking some out for a tote bag exchange she'll be doing later in her TreadleOn group.

I bought a cute little penguin bead and some leather cord and made a book thong. [click to enlarge the picture to admire that little penguin!]

I also got a couple of tubes of matte brown square beads. I'm thinking of maybe using them on my next Estonian Garden and substituting beads for the nupps as Evelyn mentions. Just one small matter.......I have no idea where I put that pattern. Grrgh.

Kay is currently blogless but very talented and a very productive quilter. She is, more importantly, one of the kindest and most thoughtful people I have ever met.

"To the soul there is hardly anything more healing than friendship." Thomas Moore (1779-1852)

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Piecework Pincushions

I've said it before: I love Piecework magazine. I love every issue and am constantly pulling out back issues and re-reading. One of the best things about finally learning to knit is being able to go back and consider patterns that, at the time I received the magazine, were completely outside my ability - even to think about doing.

I think I love best all the background information and history presented with the articles.

I was very lucky several years ago to get an honorable mention in a previous pincushion challenge. This year mine didn't make the cut. But I can't be upset because the winning entries are just absolutely fabulous; so clever in conception and so perfect in technique. I can hardly wait for the issue to arrive that showcases them all. Congratulations to all the talented winners!

See them here.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Estonian Garden Shawl

Pattern: Estonian Garden
by Evelyn A. Clark (of course!) - Fiber Trends #S-2009
Yarn: Misti Alpaca Lace - Ivory (color 100) ; 2 balls
100% baby alpaca; 440 yds/50 gr
Needles: KnitPicks Options circular size 4
Size: 20" x 60"
I *love* absolutely everything about this shawl and the entire knitting experience was sheer pleasure. I can't say the same for blocking. I found the blocking wires unwieldy; like trying to sew with a very blunt, extremely looooong needle (while bent over on the floor on your knees). Perhaps I'll get better with them in time. 'Cause I gotta tell you; this is not my last shawl!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

The Right Tools

Doesn't look like I've accomplished much, does it? What can I say? It was a busy week. And the busy coupled with the heat was a lethal combo.
I did manage to make it over to the LNS and pick up a little more linen so that I could try to finish up my little snow boys. That is #7. My enthusiasm for this project is waning, however. I've had to unpick several times and that never endears a project to me.
Today was Worldwide Knit In Public Day. The Whole Nine Yarns in Woodstock even sent me a reminder e-mail, but I was Too Lazy to drive all the way up there. I'm sure it was fun and I sort of hated to miss it; just not enough to drive up there apparently!
Instead I went to my LYS and bought my first ever Addi Turbo circular needle! Where have I been? Hiding under a rock? Not really. You know I love my dpns, but the Green Bead Experiment was getting a little unwieldy on dpns. I had transferred it to string to make sure it would lie flat. Once I got it transferred back onto the Addi, it was smooth knitting. Maybe I can finish this up soon. 'Bout time for a FO, wouldn't you say?
Oh, and I may have bought a ball of sock yarn. Not that I have the Panda Wool Roza's finished.
Sheri and I have been e-mailing. We've been discussing the fall fiber festival, SAFF and thinking we might have a virtual retreat since we aren't sure we can get away to a real one anytime soon.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

Think Cool

Been a little hot this week. [Little would be an understatement except for the fact that it will probably only get hotter.] Today's forecast is predicting 96, so it will be a good day to sit in a darkened air-conditioned theater watching Indiana Jones & Marion Ravenwood*.

Blocking wires have been shipped but haven't arrived. In the meantime, I've pulled out this project which only sees stringplay every once in awhile. These are mostly likely going to be ornaments for this year's library wreath contribution. I will want seven and that little fellow carrying the tree is only number five. If I work diligently I might could get them done soon. But I gotta tell ya, they aren't as much fun as knitting.

*Don't get the wrong idea.
Harrison Ford doesn't do anything for me. I much prefer Professor Henry Jones, Sr.

Monday, June 2, 2008

Hold on! Wait for the Mailman

The Estonian Garden Shawl is off the needles and is just a big, blobby mess right now. Soft and fairly big already, but still a blob.

I've finally decided I'm fairly serious about this lace knitting business and I've decided to order some blocking wires!

Now I just need patience to wait for the mail.

Oh, yeah. I'm just full of patience.

Sunday, June 1, 2008


Day 2 of the Green Beaded Experiment.

I always feel that most of the time I barely have the time to DO a pattern, much less play around and EXPERIMENT with ideas that may not/probably won't work; thus wasting precious time. So working on an experiment is always fraught with uneasiness. When really it shouldn't be. It should be Fun and Exciting.
So far the actual knitting of this is Fun. This is my first time adding beads to knitting. I'm using the 'add as you go' technique employing a fine crochet hook to place the bead on the stitch. (Actually my finest hook was not quite fine enough and I resorted to the finer hook on the end of my tatting shuttle. Not only does it work well for this, the bulbous shuttle is easier and faster to pick up when I need it.)
I love the combination of the color of this thread (Forest Green - Coats Royale) and the bright, shiny, dark red of the beads (Blue Moon). In fact, I love it so much that I'm feared I might not be able to find more if this first try fails. In fact the Coats link does not show it in the current color list so I'm working with a discontinued color.
I've completed about a third of the repeats so far. I could pull it off onto a string to see if it's working but I think I shall plow ahead and postpone any (inevitable?) heartbreak.
"The guy who takes a chance, who walks the line between the known and unknown, who is unafraid of failure, will succeed. "
Gordon Parks (1912-2006)