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Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Kumihimo Bracelet and Amulet Bag

Dear readers - I have been busy but have been lazy about posting.  I am in the process of finishing two small projects right now. One is a kumihimo bracelet and the second is an amulet or treasure bag.  The bracelet was made on one of those little foam disks that you can get almost anywhere. I don't have a marudai (yet). The amulet bag is made from waxed linen and was mostly done with a buttonhole or blanket stitch with beads added. I have also been playing around with card weaving but don't have anything to show for that right now.



Saturday, October 19, 2013

I know, I know, it's been a long time . . .

I haven't been idle, just too lazy to post.  I have a pile of things I've knitted since I last posted. I didn't realize how many until I took them over to a friend's house to show her. I also wove some kitchen towels when I got back from Scotland on May 1st.  Retirement is busy busy - doing fun stuff - stuff that makes me too busy to blog. 

So much has happened since February, I don't really know where to start.  When I was vacationing in Tenerife with my family in March, the house we were staying in got robbed.  Within a couple of hours after arriving.  So disappointing to start your vacation with all your electronics stolen.  People must have been casing the place, knowing when people arrived at our vacation villa. And the puzzling bit was that they stole my knitting bag with a half finished shawl.  The shawl was made from hand painted yarn in reds and oranges and was turning out really pretty. So, of course, when I got back to England, one of the first things I did was to take a trek into London to buy yarn. I started another shawl but in a different pattern - the Color Affection shawl. I knitted on this for the two weeks we were touring in Scotland in mid April and finished once I got home in May. 

 
 
When I got home on May 2nd I started thinking about a weaving project. So I gathered a bunch of cones of gaily colored cotton and after much research and playing around, found a wonderful pattern in a digital booklet I got from Interweave called Winning Towels, the pattern we chose was Global Warming Reminder towels.  There were about 15 towels in the booklet.


So , from this point on, over the course of the summer I knitted a couple of shawls. One was from a kit I bought at a cute little knitting shop in Aptos, CA, called Yarns by the Sea.  It was a little extravagance on my part. This little kit was, for me, crazy expensive but I thought it was so pretty and it would be a project I didn't have to plan. This little shawlette is called the Jewelled Scallops Shawl:
The next shawl was from Cascade Ultra Pima Cotton and is called the Miami Beach shawl.  It's in a really pretty violet colored cotton:
 
 
The next project was done because I wanted to learn a little more about Saori weaving from my friend Jill Sanders who owns Saori Santa Cruz. She has a lovely dream studio in her home in Felton, CA. I spent about a week with her weaving and sewing this vest. I used warp from Jill but most of the rest of the weft yarn was from my stash. The pattern was from one of Jill's Saori weaving books. The vest is open in the front and in the back on the other side. It's quite a puzzle to put on.
 
 
Somewhere in between the above projects I knitted a pretty vest in chunky wool. The pattern is called the Montague Vest. 
 
 
Next I knitted a little shell out of Berroco Bonsai ribbon yarn. The pattern is called Badia, and is a free pattern on their website.  It was a fairly easy knit and it feels drapey and nice:
 
 
 
 
The last thing I knitted was the Jolly Roger Shawl. It's a free pattern on Ravelry. You can't see it from the photo but it's got little red beads for eyes. The body is of acrylic/alpaca yarn from Michaels, kind of fuzzy and the white jolly roger part is made from white thick/thin handspun that is merino and silk:
 
 
That's it for now. I'll try to keep the blog more up to date so that I can talk more.  :o)
 


Sunday, February 17, 2013

I can't believe it's February.

I just looked at my last blog post and it was in November!  Boy does time fly.  I have been in the middle of a big project to catalog all my yarn the last few weeks.  I wanted to do a sanity check before Stitches West next week and I think I'll be finished with this project before I get there.  I'm going to be in the market every day and although I might buy yarn, I certainly don't need any.  I'm taking pictures of it and putting it all up on Ravelry. I'm putting it in my 'Stash' pages, if you are interested.  I'm Loomitic there.

Here are a few of the things I've finished in the last month:













Daryl Lancaster designed vest. I took a 2-day vest workshop with her a couple of weekends ago, which was a lot of fun. She custom fitted a basic style to all participants, adding or subtracting from the basic pattern in certain spots. Mine was a bit of ease in the rear of the jacket. I wonder what that says?


Sorry, I couldn't figure out how to rotate the pictures. I've tried in a couple of ways to do it but it doesn't seem to work and there aren't any tools in the program to do rotations. I used to be able to do it but I can't seem to today.

The next thing I finished (in January) was this:

It' a vest called the MontagueVest from the New England Knits book. It's super comfy. It's made from a chunky yarn called Kathmandu Chunky (Queensland Collection). It's a pretty easy lace knit and took about 2 weeks to complete.

The last thing I've done recently is a Mother Bear.  I finished it last night by putting a face on it.

The photo could have been a bit lighter, but you get the idea.  There is a project called the Mother Bear Project from Minneapolis, MN. Amy Berman is the lady who started this to give bears to children in Africa who have been affected by AIDS.  This little bear is only about 12" tall and takes a couple evenings to make while watching TV.  I'm a bit slow so it took me about 4 nights, which includes one night just to do the face. I'm not very proficient at the faces yet, but I'm sure I'll get better over time.

That's about it for me at the moment.  Here is little Ella in the hat and sweater I made for her for Christmas 2012:




















This is an inkle band that I made in January 2013.  Daryl Lancaster encouraged me to start doing inkle bands as trim for garments. This is a first completed piece that I might actually use some time.  It's quite pretty although I didn't realize that it would look like a flag with the colors I chose:  black, violet and cream.
I just realized that I hadn't posted a photo of the Austin Hoodie I finished in early January.  It's made from Madeline Tosh Merino Light - Lichen colorway.  It took me from last July till January to finish this. There were many thousands of stitches in it and it was something like 6-8 stitches per inch:



Sunday, November 18, 2012

Finished Objects

I finished knitting a couple of things this last week.  One is a little sweater for a grand daughter and the other is a pair of fingerless gloves for me.  The sweater is superwash. You never know how these little child garments will be taken care of.  At least it will be warm and I won't have to worry about it coming out the size of a postage stamp after it's washed. I'm quite pleased with the way it turned out.

Other news on the home front.  The new roof is up and the supports are installed for solar panels. The solar panels are being installed next week. It will take about another six weeks before we will be able to use them though. Kind of intolerable but what are you gonna do?  The permit process is long and arduous plus we have to get PG&E to install a meter that will run backwards.  Yay!

Also, Jim is having a fireplace insert installed so we can be cozy this winter. We are loathe to turn on the heat in the winter because our PG&E bills are outrageous. We have a lot of electronics running and several computers going 24/7 plus a large refrigerator and a large freezer in the garage. The solar stuff is going to help a lot!  


Tuesday, October 30, 2012

SOAR 2012

I got back on Friday night from SOAR 2012 which was held in Tahoe City, California.  It was held at the Granlibakken resort.  It was a lovely place to hold a conference.  We had snow most of the days we were there but the good news is it didn't start until we got there and it stopped a day or two before we left.  Perfect timing on both parts.  The food was excellent and plentiful and I bought way too much stuff at the fiber market.

I took a workshop for 3 days which was Spinning Cotton with Joan Ruane. She was an excellent teacher and we enjoyed ourselves immensely. The first day of the workshop we dyed ginned cotton and cotton sliver. She was very proud of the group's ability to spin cotton but I don't think any of us were novices at cotton spinning. We all took to it like ducks to water. I have some beautiful photos of the almost white out snow conditions of the ski hill behind the hut where we were taking our class. The only heating was a pot belly wood burning stove. My eyes were not happy with the wood smoke but it was quite charming.

I went with my friend Ginny who flew out from Minnesota on Saturday. She spent the night and we left for Tahoe the next morning. We stayed an extra two nights after the conference was over so we could enjoy ourselves and relax after it was over.  It was an unnecessary expense in one way but we were glad we did because of the snow. I would not have wanted to try to put cable chains on my Prius. There is almost no clearance above the tires and I think it would have been difficult to get my hands in there.  And all kinds of things can happen to cars with chains and travelling on snow and ice. I would have been devastated if my little Prius had gotten damaged.
Ginny

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Onion Dyed Fiber

One more little fibery thing I wanted to post.  I had a rotten onion the other day that had been hiding under the sink. It didn't have any mold on it but was getting very soft.  So I threw the whole onion in a pot a simmered it for a couple of hours.  I mordanted the fiber in alum before putting into the dye pot and here are the results after simmering for an hour or two.

OK, I guess I have something else to talk about, now that I have your ear.  Today I went to Lambtown with my friend Christie. We had a great time but I spent way too much money.  I bought one of the new Nancy's Knit Knacks tilting lazy kates from Carolina Homespun. It's a very nice piece of equipment to add to my spinning tools (not that I need another lazy kate!).  The rest of the booty is fiber (like I need any more of that!).  I got some georgeous processed white alpaca (19 oz.), 4 oz. of white German angora, a braid of carbonated soy (dark charcoal gray), one braid of some beautiful mixed grays, maroons and teal greens (merino), 2 beautiful 4 oz. braids of Blue Faced Leicester & silk, and one of alpaca and silk.  But it was great fun I have to say.  This should hold me till next weekend at the CogKnitive Fiber Retreat in Tehachapi.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Falklands Wool & Shibori Kimono

I finished the shibori dyed short kimono last night (finally!). The sewing machine and (stuff) has been sitting on the living room table for weeks while I futzed around with it, pinning here, tweaking there (since I didn't have a dress form - which will be remedied by the end of the month I hope).  The jacket looks great and It's Big Enough!  I took the pattern out of a book and the model looked to be normal woman sized but I guess you just can't tell by photos.  I used their measurements but the danged thing was probably 4-5 inches too short and 4-5 inches small in the bust.  Luckily I had extra pieces of shibori dyed fabric for just such an occasion that I had dyed from the same dye and using the same techniques as the first dyeing experience.  I won't post a photo of it here though because it doesn't look much different than my previous photo, except it's hemmed of course.

I plied and finished off a nice hank (2 - 4 oz. braids) of Falklands wool that I had gotten from Etsy a few months ago.  I love the colors - purple and a soft green. I'm just a little surprised it's not softer.  I got 484 yards of 2 ply out of it. It looks to be about dk weight yarn.

I have finished the body of the Austin Hoodie. I've been working on this for months off and on. I think I started it in July. I, obviously, don't put knitting as my first priority.  I love love the yarn. It's a single strand yarn by Madelyn Tosh called Lichen. It's 1/2 silk and 1/2 merino and feels lovely. It's a fingering weight yarn. I picked up for the left sleeve last night while watching TV.


We also finished watching the last episode of Primevel. It may be the last ever since it might not be renewed. (BooHoo).  I was a fun watch though and the whole (3?) seasons can be found on Netflix instant.

I think that's all for now.