Tuesday, January 31, 2012


Mid-60s and the tulip tree near the post office is blooming.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Something bright

Things are happening in the background here but I seem to be unable to summon the will or inclination to post anything. January malaise perhaps.

A week or so ago I pulled out some lace yarn that I have had for a couple of years or so. I bought it with a gift certificate, specifically for the color.

The color is really a dark, warm coral; an orangey-red and not the fairly hot pink that it appears in this photo. It looks a bit more true in the photo of it in the hank before it was wound and when it wasn't basking in the bright sunlight.

Since this year's Pantone color is Tangerine Tango, I thought it was high time this became something other than stash!

I've tried at least two other patterns with this yarn and haven't been happy with them. Turns out the yarn is really cobweb instead of lace weight. I turned to the beautiful book, The Haapsalu Shawl, and picked this stitch pattern which has no nupps. I thought the larger areas of stockinette stitch would work well for this.

Fingers crossed.

I am not enjoying the yarn, but the pattern is quite pleasing. I find most of these Estonian patterns to be nice to knit, intuitive and straightforward.

I'm a bit further along now and think I'm about halfway through the body section. This book, as I mentioned before, has only the stitch patterns. There is, however, a section at the front of the book that discusses width:length ratios and how to calculate sizes and edgings.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Over the edge

I have mentioned before being intrigued by the articles in Piecework magazine on Turkish oya. Those articles concerned the needlelace oya, but there are other methods including tatted oya and beaded oya.

They all have specific names
Tig oya: motifs made with crochet hook
Mekik oya: a form of tatted lace
Firkete oya: hairpin lace
Boncuk oya: made with beads
Igne oya: intricate and delicate floral motifs

I received the most wonderful book at Christmas, The Beaded Edge. The Japanese author, Midori Nishida, has three books of edgings published and Interweave Press has translated one into English.

True string PLAY and I have been having SO MUCH FUN playing around with some of the designs. As that link to Interweave said, these designs combine BASIC crochet stitches and beads.

Now I've never crocheted much. I have a Harmony Guide which has diagrams and truly diagrams are my only hope with this technique and still once I get past double crochet it gets rather hopeless.

If you've seen any of the Japanese craft books, then you know that they usually have wonderful diagrams and step-by-step instructions. This one is like that. The directions are very clear and the stitches are basic.

String + Beads = Fun.

If you click on the Interweave link above and then on the Preview tab, you can see some of the pages inside the book and at the bottom there is a link to a YouTube video of one of the designs from start to finish. All in Japanese, but with very soothing music.

So, what do I plan to do with these edgings? I haven't a clue. I only know I need to make more of them.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Learn Something New in 2012

Here it is already past the middle of January. Can you believe it? Only today did I feel I could come up for air. I've been mired in a year-end alphanumeric mess at work, the usual year-end reporting: 940, 941, W-2s, W-3, G-7, G1003, GDOL-4, 1099, 1096, 8855-SSA, 401(k), w/c audit, and more. Seemingly endless and all with different deadlines.

Sadly not a bit of it involves string.

But like a deep sea diver who is gradually surfacing, I can see light up there and I am getting closer.

I have been playing with string and I hope to show you some things soon. I have even managed to make a few pictures and get them up on Ravelry but only by lugging my camera, cord, and projects to work and getting photos during nice light at lunchtime.

Somehow though I'm already feeling behind! Retail is way ahead as usual and the stores are already filled with Valentines. Since I was finishing off my last bag of Christmas M&Ms, I went ahead and brought home the bag of red, pink, and white ones. Regardless of all else swirling around me, I do somehow manage to stay current in the M&M world!

One of the last little things I finished up before Christmas was this small drawstring bag sized to hold just a few teabags. Once again I used the beaded picot cast on from Katharine's Bag [Ravelry link] and again I joined in the round, made an eyelet casing row and straight down to a three-needle bind off at the bottom. Very quick.

I'm still using from a ball of two-color crochet cotton. I couldn't find a link so perhaps it is no longer sold. Pity as I really like the effect it gives.

Today's e-newsletter from Nordic Needle encouraged me to Learn Something New in 2012 and had links to publications on many different techniques.

Really the things one can do with string is endless. Watch the amazing pieces these women in Turkey create using only a needle and thread.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Twenty Twelve!

Postmarked December 10, 1924

My heart prompts me to wish you a Very Happy New Year.