Monday, October 31, 2011

Icelandic knitting

The Nov/Dec 2011 issue of Piecework magazine is due to newstands the first of November. November? Wow. This year is just flying past.

I'm not sure what happened to October. It blew past me so fast. But what a month! The weather was just wonderful and such a relief. I thought for a moment that we weren't going to get much color, but right at the very end, and all at once, the beautiful colors of autumn were there. A balm.

Now. Back to Piecework. This issue is all about wool. There is an article about four rare breeds of sheep with projects to make from each different wool. And that cover pattern? The Icelandic Beret? Well that is an Evelyn A. Clark pattern! Even though I've never worn a beret in my life and really can't picture myself becoming a beret-wearer, you know I'm going to want to knit it. In fact, I already want to knit it. I would have to order the Icelandic wool if I do. Not a lot of thick Icelandic wool around here.

If you read Franklin Habit's blog, The Panopticon, then you've already seen his wonderful photos from his recent trip to Iceland and you've seen the lopapeysa (traditional Icelandic yoked sweater) he's knitting. According to Evelyn, in the article her pattern accompanies, sheep outnumber people 3:1 in Iceland.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

sock sack

Remember me telling you that I made another Sock Sack? Well here it is.

I'm still scratching my head wondering why exactly I chose this particular Halloween fabric, but with one fat quarter it seemed just right to make another handy Sock Sack. Why not have a project bag for every holiday?

Once again I used Terry Atkinson's wonderful tutorial only changing it to add a lining. This makes a very handy small-project bag and I especially like having the outside zippered pocket.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Fussy Cutting

When I went to the quilt show a few weeks ago, I only bought one fat quarter of fabric from the vendors. It was a Halloween print and when I got home I kind of wondered why I had chosen that after all. Quilt fumes, I suppose.

A week or so ago I made a Sock Sack with it. I'll show you that one later. Scraps were still out on the table, [I know! Unbelievable, right!] so last week I quickly made a Little Thread Catcher [pdf link] to take to friend I was meeting for lunch. I even had to piece two scraps to get a block large enough to cut out the triangle.

So I was really, really down to scraps when I ran across this great tutorial for a Fussy Cut Zippered Pouch. In fact, poor Frank here was the only intact character left. I didn't pay too close attention to the sizes because I had to start out with a shorter zipper, but you can really play around with Amy's wonderful idea.

[see an even cuter Fussy Cut Halloween pouch here in the Flickr group]

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Acero Stole

Add ImagePattern: Copper Queen Beaded Stole
13" x 60"
designed by Renee Leverington
included in "Successful Lace Knitting: Celebrating the work of Dorothy Reade"
book by Donna Druchunas

Yarn: Brooks Farm Acero
60% superwash wool / 20% silk / 20% viscose
in a lovely dark green: 9AC

Needles: Size 6 KnitPicks Options circular

I started this project back in mid-January and it spent much of that time in a ZipLoc bag just because I didn't enjoy the stitches. This should not be a reflection on the pattern. I like the pattern and think it was a good match for this yarn, but you've heard me say already that I grew very tired of all the 'through the back loop' knitting.

You'll notice the name of the pattern is Copper Queen Beaded Stole and the project in the book is knit in a beautiful rich copper color of J&S Shetland wool. It is also more of a true stole size of 21" x 85". I confess to never measuring gauge in lace projects and I knew from the cast on of only 61 stitches that mine was unlikely to be as wide, so I'm not sure mine can really be called a stole. It is more of an awkward scarf! And minus the beads as well! The design shows just a few beads in the end borders and then loops of seed beads between the end picots. I like how they look on the original but I probably won't be adding them to mine. I can just see me getting them caught in something.

I bought two skeins of this wonderful Acero yarn at the Brooks Farm booth at SAFF last October. I had used it once before for a gift and loved it. When I saw two lone skeins in their booth in my favorite dark green, I grabbed them. I love how the mix of fibers take the dye differently. My photo above isn't great, but you can see this better in my Oct. 2 post. The drape after blocking is wonderful.

There are several other designs in this book that I just love, so perhaps in time I'll feel ready to tackle another.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Pea Green with envy

but in a good way. : )

I don't have a picture to share, you'll just need to TRUST me and pop over right now and see photos of an incredible masterpiece of Schwalm embroidery. Oh, be still my heart!

The stitcher is Jana Krumrey. If she has a blog or website, I have not been able yet to locate it. I would truly love to see more photos of her work.

The birds are so beautiful I can hardly stand it and the edging is just breathtaking.


Nature walk

Well it was rather foggy the other morning when I went out for my walk. I'll take foggy over steamy any day. Besides it made it feel quieter and certainly more October-like.

When I spotted this large and intricate spider web I decided to return home for my camera so you could see it, too.

I wondered how long it took the spider to make? People are always curious, aren't they, about how long the things we do take to make?

I generally don't have any idea. Time with stringplay is not to be measured. The rest of my day may be spent rushing to and fro trying to squeeze in just one more errand or chore, but not the stringplay.

I wonder if this spider used Emily Ocker's circular cast on? Probably not, but it is a handy thing to know!

Moonbeam steps down the silken ladder
Woven by Mrs. Spider
To ask her to spin him a net
To catch the stars.
......Hilda Conkling

Sunday, October 2, 2011

October, how I love thee

Let me just start off this post by saying I am wearing long sleeves. LONG sleeves! We've only had two days of October so far and both have been just fabulous. Can all 31 be this wonderful? Oh, I hope so.

You've heard it said, I'm sure, that some people have a face made for radio? Well I happen to have arms made for long sleeves! And in a bit of perfect timing, my Lands' End long-sleeved tee shirts arrived in Friday's mail. So comfy and the fit is perfect.

That must be why my mood was good and I was able to pull out this long-neglected project with hopes of getting it, finally, off the needles. This is the one banished to ZipLoc Purgatory because of all the irksome stitches. The chart is full of k1 tbl (through the back loop) and K2tog tbl. This is the first project I've ever knit where I actually preferred knitting the wrong side over the right side.

I'm determined to finish it up before moving on to anything else. The body repeats are 36 rows long and I think I might be on the last one and can soon move on to the other end's edging.

Pattern is from this book which I asked Santa to bring because it included a design by Evelyn A. Clark. Why, oh, why I didn't choose that one to start out with I have NO idea. It too is peppered with those tbls, but at least it would be Evelyn. In fact, since this is a book of designs by various contributors all celebrating the work of Dorothy Reade, they all use these back loop stitches. Dorothy seemed fairly obsessed with them!