Saturday, January 27, 2007

Knitting meets the Minoans

I'm the practical one in the family. The Adored One is by far more romantic, more caring, and lots more fun at a party. He never turns off a chick flick and says "That's stupid, how are they going to pay the bills?".

This practicality led me to get out the 60" needle and the 24" needle and still not be able to get it all spread out. What is this thing? My contribution to the Black Bunny Hop KAL. A form of madness brought on by Knitty D and the City.

So follow me along the labyrinth of mental gymnastics.....on my current row 113 of 190 I have 725 stitches. By the end I will have 1375 stitches for the last 20 rows. Insane. This offends the practical side of me. For instance, one Row of this Shawl (as if I'm the kind to wear a shawl) is equal to 100 rows of a sock for the Adored One. Practically an entire sock! Or 725 stitches would be inches on my cardigan. Or 7 rows on the clapotis. I don't think the entire
Calorimetry even had 725 stitches. And at this point, I won't give it away at the end because I can't think of anyone (except the Adored One) that I like enough to put that much work into. I'm not certain I like me that much.

On a brighter note, this is self-induced torture. No Minotaurs here.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Test knitting finished.

Pattern porn provided by Carol W. of the Southern Tier Fiber Arts Guild.
The yarn is delicious Lisa Souza Petal in the Ginger Peach colourway.

This dainty and feminine capelet is first knit along the border, joined, and then knitted up in the round. Finished with an I-cord neckline. Any reading errors or comprehension errors were on the part of the knitter and caused by lack of cookies. Once cookies were provided everything was smooth sailing.

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Needle Tatting

Thread the Needle, with a long tail. (Think Siamese, not Manx)
Loading needle. 3 double, a picot, 3 double, picot, 3 double, picot, 3 double
Closing the ring - be careful not to twist. Pull the needle through the worked stitches and then come up through the loop between the eye and the work.

Et Voici! A Ring.
Chain...Turn work, just as in regular tatting. Lay Needle firmly on base of ring. If you don't start right at the base, there will be a gap. Just as in regular tatting.
Work chain as your pattern calls for.
Pull the needle through worked stitches. Do not double back into the loop.
Some Extras...connecting a ring through a previous Picot.

Hope this helps.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Glorious Athena

Some have asked for images of my new spinning voici! The walnut hued Kromski Sonata. Purchased from here after sampling several other wheels.

I was waiting to post her until she named herself, finally...Athena. A Greek symbol of courage and friendship. It took courage for me to take up spinning and invest in a wheel. Friendship came in the way of all the people (virtual and local) who have helped me begin to learn the craft.
Athena is also a patron of all useful and elegant arts. Fitting eh?

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Ye old snails pace.

I have finally reached the 93 of 191 rows of the Feather and Fan Shawl from Meg Swansens Gathering of Lace. I am learning alot

For instance:
Triangle or rectangular shawls are more fun in that you can hold them up to see how much more you need.

Triangle or rectangular shawls can be blocked in the wild so you have an idea of how big they will be.

Triangle or rectangular shawls make better lap warmers.

Triangle or rectangular shawls can be bailed on and still have something (albeit smaller) useful.

Round shawls on the other hand start as a pretty thing like a dreamcatcher, grow to become a kippot, move onto the size of a beret, progress to a snood, and bog down looking like a jellyfish. If I wanted to admire it or take pictures of it, I would have to fiddle with many needles or thread it onto yarn and stretch it with Many, Many pins. No bailing allowed because unless it reaches its full maturation it's too small to be useful.

Sigh. Time to go to Carol's Etsy and drool.

Roc Day in Varden NY 2007

I attended Roc or St. Distaff Day with the Black Sheep. I heard about this gathering via Spindlers a very chatty group.
Admittedly, the images are of products and fibers, but the truth of the matter is that it was the people who made this a fun morning. They were more than willing to talk fiber, technique and ideas. They let you fondle said fibers, feel their sweaters and shared sources. Some even plunked you down with their wheel and let you take it for a drive. Very nice group of people.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Clapotis crosses the finish-line.

It was a race folks, in the grand tradition of watching cars going many, many, many times around the track. It came out of the starting gate well, slid through the increase sections, bogged down ala KnittyD and The City in the straightaway, and scampered to an exciting conclusion after the decreases. I blocked it, but think I preferred it unblocked so perhaps I shall wet down and let it snap back some.
The sproingy yarn and subtle colours are courtesy of Fleece Artist Bluefaced in the Wildflower colourway.

And in the tradition of all great incredible acts, I have already started to forget the tedious pain of the middle section and am fondling yarn set aside for a second one. I have posted pleas at the UFO club for an intervention. The gang at YahooGroups is chanting...Start Another....Start Another.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Happy St. Distaff Day

Saint Distaff:
Patron Saint of Orderly Fibers of Long Staple. Feast day is day following Twelfth Night or 7 January. Traditional nonsense festival where handspinners went back to work after the Christmas and year-end activities.

To Celebrate I think I'll do a little what the Adored One calls "making string" while I watch
Spinning Exotic Fibers borrowed from the lovely ladies at the Southern Tier FiberArts Guild.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

The Magic of Blocking

Behold! Blocking and what it does for that ratty piece of string that's been crammed into the knitting bag. This is the bottom edge of a glamourous Lacy Capelet that I am test knitting. The yarn is delicious Lisa Souza Petal in the Ginger Peach colourway.

Although, in the right light it looked more like Buttered popcorn...hungry...hungry...

Blocking demonstrates how sometimes stretching can really bring out the inner beauty.

This could be true for people too. After the flames and crisis die down we sometimes become better than we were.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle...

In the words of a casual trail hiking outfitter company...Life Is Good. But
really, it goes beyond a slogan on a shirt or mug. Truly Life is Good.
Mostly because of the little being able to have breakfast for
dinner, hot/cold running water, cars that start on the first try, and having
more ways to drink coffee than Baskin Robbins has flavours.

Then, for those of you in the South, there's Bojangles and Chik-fil-A; Life
is UMMN good. For those in the North East, Captn D's Cheddar Jalepeno bites
with Dill Ranch, wow. In the West, it's the easy availability of Naked
Juice and Fred's Fish. And Midwest it's Culvers, call-the-Cardiologist-to
schedule-my-cath good.

For those of you with children, seeing them sleeping in their beds; and your
heart expands to fill your whole IS good. And for
those of us without kids, it's when your friends take the kids home and you
sink onto the sofa marveling at the Silence in your is GOOD.
Either way, microwave popcorn is good.

It's been a good yarn year. And woodworkers tell me it's been a good year
for them too. A lot of people I know had a good baking year too. (Wonder
where those extra pounds came from).

For those of us who went to loved one's funerals, Heaven is Good. But Life
was good too.

Sometimes we forget I think. We think about people who don't pay taxes but
have better health care than we do, or people who don't speak the language
but have better ACLU lawyers than we do; or even occasionally we let words
come between ourselves and our better half, really throwing things outta
whack. We have mornings we don't want to get out of bed, days we hate our
jobs, and evenings we envy the life our dog leads. But Life is Good.

I'm wishing for all of us to have a year filled with "Life is Good" moments. Little moments when peace and grace still the noise of the world enough that we can hear the little voice telling us....Life Is Good.