Sunday, February 27, 2011

Serenity now

Happily knitting away on the EAC project, every stitch a joy.

When I succumbed to the call of this project, I grabbed yarn I had to hand which was a few balls of KnitPicks Palette purchased a few years back to knit an Estonian sheep with a colorwork body. It was a small sheep that took very little of the garnet and gray and not even very much of the cream.

I think I'll be able to finish out the chart I'm on, but will need to switch to another color soon. To my eye all of these choices are a bit dark to transition nicely into the next chart, but I really don't want to order more until I see how this yarn really blocks out for lace. I've seen lots of knitters use it on Ravelry so I have high hopes. Besides I know this is NOT my only time to knit this pattern.

When asked for his opinion, JP voted to go with the gray. I've got to decide fairly soon. Any thoughts from you?

[in trying to find a non-Ravelry link to a picture of this pattern, I happened to land on Evelyn's own Flickr set! Hers knitted in wonderful Icelandic laceweight. sigh]

Friday, February 25, 2011

Not everything makes sense

Profound, huh?

I have been knitting away on the Moody Blues project; enjoying the yarn, happy with the pattern, but just not quite satisfied. Stopping every few rows to poke around Ravelry at either random other wonderful projects or things I've had my eye on for some time.

I tried to tell myself not to start anything new, but I finally caved today because I knew. I KNEW what would make me happy.

So there you see the start of a new EAC project. A project that uses the exact SAME stitches as the Moody Blues project. No new fancy stitches. No exotic yarn. So what makes the difference? I have NO idea. I just know that nothing (and I do mean NO THING) ever is as soothing and satisfying for me to knit than an Evelyn A. Clark pattern.

Is there any ONE thing that works like that for you?

"And all the loveliest things there be come simply, or so it seems to me."
Edna St. Vincent Millay

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Cartoon for the day

There's more than one way to skein a cat

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Stash

I'm calling this little baby cap Flavia, after the main character in the book "The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie". I haven't read the book. I got my fill of Flavia just reading and hearing about her. But since this little baby gift was made from yarn from the bottom of the stash, that phrase sort of stuck in my head as I knit it.

This is yarn bought years and years ago when I very first began to knit. I bought it to make a preemie hat for the lace club service project. Those projects have to be knit with non-wool yarn, so this Plymouth Yarn Dreambaby DK which is 50% microfiber acrylic and 50% nylon fit the bill.

Although it is billed as a DK weight and the ball band recommends a size 6 needle, that seemed a bit hard for me to believe. I used a size 4 needle. I didn't even have the concentration needed to search for or follow a pattern so I just cast on 88 and did this simple variation of a k2/p2 rib. It is called Baby Cable Rib in Charlene Schurch's "Sensational Knitted Socks" - just three rows of k2/p2 and on the fourth you create the twist by k2tog, leave on the needle, k the first stitch and slide both off. Makes a nice little change from basic rib and really isn't any slower.

The bamboo dpns I used were really too grabby but I couldn't be bothered to change. And, just another reason why I still love dpns, the crown is a simple decrease at eight points. So easy to keep track of when everything is nicely divided on four needles.

Forget Flavia; for some reason now I'm thinking about PIE.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

10% more free

who doesn't love a bargain?

Friday, February 18, 2011

Nobody needs a mink coat

....but a mink scarf sures feels nice!

No this isn't some PETA comment. Instead it comes from one of my favorite fun movies, "Christmas in Connecticut". Spoken on screen by the actor S. Z. Zakall to Barbara Stanwyck, he tells her "nobody needs a mink coat but the mink". His Uncle Felix is wonderfully played.

I think you can tell from this photo how SOFT this scarf is in this yarn. What you may not be able to tell from the photo is how LIGHT it is as well. Just a froth.

This was such a quick and satisfying project that I never even mentioned it on the blog! It jumped on my needles just before Christmas so I can only suppose I was busy with other things. I wore it several times before even taking the time to soak it and I blocked it by just patting (petting?) it out gently to dry.

Once again I used Cathy Payson's Vine and Flower Scarf from Interweave Knit's Holiday 2009 issue and size 6 bamboo short straight needles. This is a staggered vine lace pattern and is, I think, the most relaxing, soothing stitch to knit. Of course it helps when the yarn is 70% mink and 30% cashmere. Oh yes it does.

I used all 230 yards and the scarf came out 6.5" x 44". Such a joy.
NOT needed today as it will be 70 degrees. Jonquils have begun blooming in the back.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fiber field trip

I have made it to Chart C, the main body of the stole. I'm enjoying the pattern and the yarn, but I do wish it was more tonal and didn't have those distinct stripes of dark. I'm hoping overall, when finished, that I won't focus on them as much. Kind of hard not to focus when it is right in front of your eyes!

A very warm day here making me think perhaps that pesky groundhog was correct. Everyone else seems to be more than ready for spring. I would be, too, if we'd have weeks and weeks of true cool spring instead of rushing right into heat.

I spent a couple of hours of this beautiful weather indoors. I went to the open house held by the Chattahoochee Handweavers Guild. Although they had demonstrations set up for many techniques, table loom weaving, floor loom weaving, spinning, knitting, bead embroidery, and others, I honed in on my target - card (or tablet) weaving.

It is one of those techniques that have been floating around in the back of my mind (the vast, empty warehouse) for a number of years. Last fall at SAFF, I almost bought a set of cards and the only thing that stopped me was the fear that I'd bring them home and they would sit unused. As you well know, there are only so many FREE hours in a day.

Woven bands are part of many folk costumes including the bunads of Norway. There are eleven pages of bands over at the digital Norsk Folkemuseum.

I have been enviously eyeing the wonderful woven bands over at Yarn Jungle. She does such beautiful work.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Tax Dollars

I've spent time today working on tax returns. Ugh. Never a job I enjoy.

I always tell people that the library is the best use of my tax dollars. I love the library.

One of my favorite things to do when I have a little time to myself, is go to the library just to browse and to quietly read magazines. I always sit and read FiberArts.

I know I could easily subscribe, but it wouldn't be the same experience. I like doing it this way.

One of the intriguing articles in the current Jan/Feb 2011 issue was on Belgian artist Isabelle de Borchgrave who creates paper replicas of historical costume. [see several full costumes at the above link] The above picture is a piece of paper painted to look like brocade fabric, to be used in the construction of a Renaissance garment.

Costume of Eleanora of Toledo (1522-1562), inspired by a portrait (at left) by Bronzino in the Uffizi Gallery, Florence.

Her work is featured in a retrospective called "Pulp Fashion" at San Francisco's Palace of the Legion of Honor Feb. 5-June 5, 2011.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

I'm Just a Singer (in a Rock and Roll Band)

Not really. Not even in my dreams*. But that's the song that is running through my head just now. I cast on for a new project.

I'm using yarn I bought last April at Stitches South, Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Lace in Moody Blues colorway. 996 yards of superwash 100% merino. Feels great so far.

I'm using the free pattern that came with the yarn, Lattice Lace Stole designed by Debbie O'Neill. If her name seems familiar, it may be that you've just read the designer profile in the current issue of Knitscene. She has several new patterns in that issue.

This stole is knit in two halves and grafted together. Right now, at the very beginning, I cannot see why you couldn't wait and graft just the other end/edging instead of grafting two halves. Perhaps this will become clear when I get into the body. Or perhaps I can change it. In the photo on Debbie's blog it seems there is a clear line in the center when it is grafted and I'd prefer not to have that if possible.

But that is way in the future. Right now I'm just On the Threshold of a Dream.

*in my dreams I'm the Textile Conservator at the Winterthur Museum.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

A basket case

No doubt you've seen tutorials around to make these little fabric baskets. I first bookmarked this one but all the dimensions are metric. I know, I know. It wouldn't be that hard or time consuming to convert, but I've yet to embrace metric. Old dog, new tricks.

Instead I used this one. It is about 4" x 6" finished. A nice little size for small items. Except for hand stitching the lining opening, it is all done on the machine.

If you've got some red and white prints, it would be quick enough to make one for Valentine's Day. Just the right size for the pound bag of M&Ms.