Wednesday, May 26, 2010
And, besides, I have a large family, and not enough needles to have several patterns on the needles at once, like most folks do. Nope, it will be just 1 or 2 projects at a time.
But I spent an insomniac's morning going through my family lists, figuring out who would want what kind of gifts. I have decided, looking from ravlery, that all of the adult women (with the exception of my mother) will be getting large-ish felted tote bags for their various goodies. My mom won't carry a purse or tote bag if her life depended on it, so she will be getting something different...not yet sure what... The adult guys will all be getting bulky wool slippers, as most of them have hard-wood floors in their homes. I will be lining the slippers with leather soles to make them slip resistant...
All of the young adult women (cousin, sister, and niece brackets of family tree) will be getting ear-warmer headbands, and fingerless gloves. All of the young adult men (cousin, nephew brackets) will be getting beanie caps and candy, they are so hard to craft for. For the little ones, (10 or younger) they will each be getting hats and fingerless cable gloves. The 2 littlest ones (under 4) will be getting sock monkeys.
I don't have pics yet, because I don't have yarn yet...but the projects can be found on my ravlery...
As for right now, on my needles as we speak......................I have Wisp in baby blue mohair/acrylic for my birthday, I am hoping to have it finished by Saturday.
Over at Play at Life Fibers, there are some wonderful yarns, mostly reclaimed Maki with gorgeous long color transitions, but some hand painted sock yarns too. Just check out my favorite over there right now...
Thia is found over at Play at Life Fiber's Etsy store, she is also a Phat Fiber member, and her fibers are wonderful! Check it out!
Friday, May 21, 2010
Wisp, from Knitty is that kind of garment. So versatile, it can be worn as a wrap, a shawl, a hooded scarf, a cowl, or a normal dangle from your shoulders scarf. It is knit is a lightweight yarn that drapes like magic. And it is a simple lace pattern, no charts, no complicated numbers to remember, no beating yourself up when you forget your YO or you K2Tog...Just a simple and forgiving pattern. I started Wisp this afternoon in a gorgeous reclaimed mohair and acrylic blend. I found it on etsy for just a few dollars, and it arrived in the mail this morning.
Another thing to look forward to this week is the Get Spun book release. Symeon North will be at one of my favorite local fiber shops this Saturday doing demos and a book signing party for her new book.
In honor of this event, I shall show some of the fibers that have inspired my art yarns in the past...
Also, I received my May Phat Fiber Sampler box in the mail yesterday...OMG there is so much pretty in there I haven't wanted to touch any of it, cause I don't want to disturb the beauty. Or maybe it is just because I wanted my house clean first...any which way you look at it.....today is my fiber play day!
From the hand spun and hand dyed yarns
From left to right"
"Sakura" 50/10/10 Merino, Cashmere, Nylon from Play at Life Fiber
"Lublu" Superwash Wool from All for the Love of Yarn
"Early Spring Blooms" Mohair, Wool, Tencel, Bamboo, Fabric flowers from Cool Climates Handspun Yarns
"Roses of France" Merino, Wool from Bitsy Knits
"Botanica" Superwash Merino from Ambrosia and Bliss
"Cherry Blossom" Merino and Tencel from The Dyeing Arts
and "Tulip Blaze" Merino from Stricken Smitten
And there was more than just yarns in that box! From roving, to mini-batts, braids and locks...mmm....
In no particular order, we have:
"Pocket Posies" in Merino by Spindipity
"Spring Bouquet" by Desired Haven Farms
"Flower Power" in a (random) mix possibly containing Romney, BFL, Sari Silk, Milk Protein Fine wool, Wool nepps, Angora, Mohair and silk waste from Giffordables
"Blossoms and Bark" in Superwash Merino from CJ Delights
Mohair locks from Wonders Mohair
"Bougainville" in Milk Protein Fiber from BeesyBeeFibers
"Lady Slipper Orchid" in Wool and Mohair from Farmgirl Chic
"Coral Moon" in Merino and Tencel from Moonlight and Laughter
"Coral Gables" in 90/10 Wool Mohair from Natchwoolie
"Scallop" in Rambuillet from The Fuzzy Bunny
I also got a few patterns and some discount coupons for other shops...
I love my Phat Fiber boxes, you can get yours too, if you want, just check out the Phat Fiber blog for more information.
Wednesday, May 19, 2010
On the bright side, Health issues gives plenty of time to knit and crochet. (Mostly knit). I have been reading Stephanie Pearl-McPhee's Yarn Harlot, and it has gotten me inspired to work more on the craft. To explore more. I am hoping to get my toes wet in that big bad world of lace with this Tam (Raveled)
(Note: not my picture, instead it is the pattern picture by Ravler "lv2knit"
I have not yet cast it on, as I haven't got the needles for it, nor have I got a set that is larger that I can alter the pattern for with...They currently have another project on them.
I am sure most of you have seen, and maybe even knit up a few pinwheel baby blankets, am I right?
Beauties like this one by Ravler "YanTanTethra"?
Well I took inspiration of this flat, ever expanding, and evenly smooth pattern to make a smaller version of it as a hat....a baby hat....a baby beret.
I have done this without pattern, so if it doesn't fit anyone...I will give it to Brooklin to use with her dolls. And I will alter the pattern and try again. It is top down from the center of the 4 chunk spiral. I used the "Magic Cast-on" on by Judy Becker of Portland, Oregon
I have 4 more increase rounds, then I will decrease and work a 2x2 ribbing into it for the band. There will be an eyelet row just above the band, so I may add a pastel green or maybe a bright pink ribbon to it... loosely strung and tied into a bow.
Another project that is getting me in the mood for summer is my orange cream car-seat blanket... I am taking the idea from Ravlery, Garter Stitch Baby Blanket with Braided Edge. The pattern calls for you to stitch until there are 160 stitches on your needle before you start a decrease. I am doing a smaller blanket, and so I am doing 4 squares with 50 stitches on each, in 2 different colors. A variegated orange, and a Cream white, both in machine washable acrylic.
What are you working on in this sneezy spring?
Thursday, May 13, 2010
I contributed stitch markers, and a crochet pattern for a simple market bag, that reminded me of the ocean.
I have had several requests for the pattern, but I can not get my PDF writer to work, so as a special for those who have asked, and those that didn't even know about it, here is the pattern.
This tote is crocheted with a large hook, and soft durable cotton. Gauge is not important.
· 1 ball of your favorite cotton (Lily: Sugars and Cream used in sample)
· Size J hook
· Large button
· Wooden beads for drawstring (optional)
You will be working in the round, make sure not to twist work as you crochet.
Chain (ch), Single Crochet (sc), Half Double Crochet (hdc), Double Crochet (dc), Slip Stitch (sl), Treble Stitch (tbc)
Skill level: Easy
Ch 4, sl in 4th ch from hook to create loop. Ch 2 (counts as first dc, now and throughout)
Row 1: dc 11 time in loop, sl in top chain of first ch 2
Row 2: ch 2, 2 dc in each stitch around, sl in top stitch of first ch 2
Row 3: ch 2, *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in next* repeat from *, sl in top stitch of previous ch 2
Row 4: ch 2, *2 dc in next stitch, 1 dc in each of the next 2 dc* repeat from *, sl in top stitch of previous ch 2
Row 5: ch 2, *2 dc in next dc, 1 dc in each of the next 3 dc* repeat from *, sl in top stitch of previous ch 2
Row 6: *Ch 4, sc in 3rd dc from hook* repeat from * around, at end of round, chain 4 and connect with sc in loop formed by first ch 4.
Row 7-15: *ch 4, sc in next loop*
Row 16: *4 hdc in each loop of ch 4* repeat from * around, sl in first dc of this round, bind off hook and weave in ends
Ch 4, sl in 4th ch from hook to form ring.
Row 1: 10 sc in ring, sl in 1st sc
Row 2: *Ch 3, sc in 2nd sc* repeat from to end of round
Row 3: (1 sc, 1 hdc, 1 dc, 1 tbc, 1 ch, 1 tcl, 1 dbl, 1 hdc, 1 sc) in each loop formed by ch 3, sl in 1st sc
Drawstring: Ch 50, tie off, feed through holes created between sections in the dc of round 16, weaving back and forth.
Feed this end through middle of flower formed by rows 1-3 of drawstring instructions.
String on button, you can leave it like this or tie on several wooden beads (you can make several short 15 stitch chains and tie them to the end tied to the button with beads on them) (Make sure button is large enough to not slip through flower center.)
Note: This is not a HUGE bag, it is shown holding 2 balls of wool and a ball of vanity yarn, a good travel project bag. Great for taking a knitting project to the beach.
To make larger, add more rounds in the base and in the mesh. (you will need an extra ball of yarn)
Written by Echo Mayernik of In-skein Designs (copyright 2010)
Please do not use the pattern for sale items, or represent it as your own.
I have worked up a design for a simple crocheted round purse using 2 metal dream catcher rings, I will post a pattern for the finished project tomorrow, before the inspirations post.
I am also working on some handspun, it is koolaid dyed and I call it my Cherry Limeade. This picture is 1 of the single I spun, it will be plied with a thick and thin single in the same colors for a finky pastel art yarn.
I spun Cherry Lime-Aid on my new Pioneer spinning wheel named "Kaylee"
I blogged about Kaylee here
Another big thing to add to my stash of cool gadgets, is my new Bond Brand Ultimate Sweater Machine. While I get so frustrated with it sometimes, when it actually works as it should it is wonderful!
This is Combat Baby, she is partially finished...I need to add a scalloped edge to it, and then "kill" the acrylic yarn so it lays flatter. (Tutorial on Killing Acrylic is available over at Sarah's blog, here.)
I may be starting a Tam for myself, but I haven't decided on a pattern, I might pick and choose what I like from several different patterns. And accommodate them to fit what yarn and needles I have on hand.
Friday, May 7, 2010
I have neglected this blog, dismissing my reminders one after the other...
But I have been on a mission!
A few weeks ago, there was a blog post on the Oregonian knitting blog, where they took a day to explore organization techniques for the breed called "artist". I am usually one of the members of this breed that is scatter brained and my organization technique is called planned chaos. But those days have long passed, I have taken the last few weeks of blog silence to reorganize my life.
Not only have I started to ball my yarns, and sort them into boxes marked for plain acrylics, specialty acrylics, variegated acrylics, and non acrylics, but I have also been able to add a box for hand spun and hand painted yarns.
That is right, I am now spinning more and faster than ever because I bought...or am buying...or am trading services for a brand new Majacraft Pioneer double treadle spinning wheel.
Here is a picture of it, from the factory:
Being the creative type I am, I began working with Pam over at Wild 'N Wooly Farms to buy this baby off of her. Through photography, and web development and working for her at the local Saturday Market (She is a busy woman) we have come to an agreement for to get the wheel.
I couldn't have just a plain old spinning wheel, and the Pioneer lends itself for so much creativity with it''s solid and smooth wheel space. I got lost in my studio with my boxes of fabric, and my bottle of mod podge.
I took the wheel off the body of the Pioneer, and found a plate that fit within one of the sets of circles on it. I traced the plate onto the fabric (purchased at Walmart) and cut out 2 circles of fabric. I folded the fabric into quarters and cut a small section of the center off. This fit over the bolt that holds the wheel on the body. once in place, I began slathering mod podge on the wheel, and pressing the fabric over it, once I had the fabric stuck to the wheel with mod podge, I took an old library card and "squeegied" from the bolt in the middle toward the outside edge to get out any wrinkles, then I slathered a layer of mod podge on top of the fabric to seal it in.
I did this on both sides. Don't worry about the holes for the treadle cords, you can feel them under the fabric when it is dry.
Then once both sides were finished drying, I poured a bit of mod podge out onto a glass plate, and added a drop or two of concentrated water color paint, when mixed and applied to the edges of the wheel this makes a transparent but colored glaze, giving this wheel a finished look, you can still see the color differences under the glaze that occur naturally on the wood of the wheel, but now they are coated with a protective and colorful layer of glaze. I have been told that it looks ceramic.
Check out Majacraft to get your own Pioneer!
Now, remember me saying something about that whole planned chaos theory?
Here is my method for planning non-chaos!
I took a set of plain bankers boxes and a couple of $15 Walmart press board shelves, a little rearranging, and voila! Organization...now over the next few weeks, I will be prettying the boxes themselves with mod podge, glue and scrapbook paper, but until then, this functions!
I have a box for raw fiber, weather too little quantities to spin, or enough to make a few hundred yards of fine fingering weight yarn (yeah right...) I put it all in here, seperated by plastic bags.
Then I have a box for my "cheap" acrylic plain colors, and my "cheap" acrylic variegated. And another for specialty acrylics, such as boucles, thick and thins, and blends.
And another box for my hand spun and or hand dyed.
Then on the other side of the shelf, I have a box for fabric scraps, and another for large pieces of fabric, each chunk of fabric that is destined for a project is kept in a bag with its project specs so I can remember what I am working on.
On the wall above the shelves I have thumb tacked my looms in some sort of order from the round looms, across the wall to my long looms.
These are a few of the projects that I have been working on that have been keeping me away from this blog. Other activities include school, work, and running errands, and overall, being a distractable artistic type.