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Minnesota, United States

30.9.07

Fall is in the air...


I'm in the mood for fall, so here's my stash buster for October. The pattern is from last year's Simply Knitting. I'm also knitting a pair of slippers for my son, a charity sweater, and some Bingle Bangles. The BB's are for ShareFest at church.
This will be a fun project and I didn't have to spend a dime on yarn!!

28.9.07

Feeling Felty

Here's what I've been up to the last few days. Tomorrow's the open house for the shop and I'm wet-felting and spinning (yea!). I had a bag of wool (2 oz.) in various colors to work with, and the items you see are my samples. I have enough left over to work with tomorrow, too. The ghost is inlay (Kathy--I used a couple of thin layers of the wool batting you gave me for the backing), the sheep is needle-felted over layered felt and mounted to cloth-covered foam-core board. My favorite is the little bag--I layered wool over a rock and felted it (took forever!!), then I sliced it open (the inside is gold) and then embellished. The ornaments are something I've done for years. To save on wool, I used yarn balls for the cores. My hands are sore, so I'm done until tomorrow.
Check ou
t the needles I bought from my friend, Connie! She's great at finding the best stuff! They're really short, one-piece, flexible plastic and I LOVE the package--I can't read Japanese, but it's so globally way cool!
Yesterday, we did polymer clay pins at Morning Break. I have so many canes, so we did pins. We used thin cane slices on "junk clay" bases and then either sent them through the pasta machine or rolled them, then cut into shapes. Everyone that made them did a great job and the project used up some of the stash, which makes me happy. I was feeling a bit low early yesterday, but once we got going with the project, and then out to lunch, I felt much better. That's such a nice group of women! Nothing like an injection of friendship to cure what ails you.

26.9.07

The BII has landed!

I just finished steaming the BII and she looks pretty good. I like the fit and drape of the silk. Unfortunately, the photos don't do justice to the color, but you get the idea. Now I'm ready to move on to other projects.
Ah, other projects... I've had a canvas on the easel since Mom moved here, my darkroom equipment waits patiently, yards of roving are ready to spin, sweaters to be designed, etc... I like translating patterns into beautiful garments and teaching others, but there's nothing like creating your own work. That's it! I miss being original. My creativity is getting lost right now--my spark is gone. Yesterday, while we were having lunch, out of the blue Mom asked me about the last time I did a painting, which took me off guard--ZING! She loves all my knitting, but she can tell it's not satisfying enough. Mom may be 91, but she still knows me very well. Mmmm, now that's food for thought!

21.9.07

Friday Follies



What a nice day I had with my buddy, Kathy. She made me the cotton washcloths. Ooooo--I just love the colors and texture! Something fun I've never knitted myself and now maybe I will. These are really nice. We met for coffee, then set out for Shepherd's Choice Farm. The leaves are starting to turn and it's a pretty drive. We both picked up yarn for their charity project "Knit for Peace," sweaters and hats for gypsy children in Hungary and Romania.
When I got home there was a package
by the door! Ooooo--from my other buddy, Joanne! Mmmmm--fiberrrrr! The photo doesn't do the colors justice. I think that spool of silk noil thread I've had for years and that almost ended up with the wool/silk blend has a NEW home--plied with this fiber! All of this surely makes up for the BII fiasco from last night. (I have the pieces joined again, by the way.)
Autumn is in the air...

20.9.07

HB2ME


Well, I made it through another birthday! My new glasses came in. The frame shape is different and during bells I was getting a strange reflection at the bottom.
Good news! Ben got his first acceptance letter! Yea! One down and two or three to go.
To the right is the yoke on the BII. I wasn't paying attenti
on and worked all of chart 2, which made the neck higher. I like it and will just leave it like that. I have one side almost sewn and will be able to finish the other later today. Then the fun begins--picking up the edges. I'll have just a few more stitches because of the higher neck. My buttons are bigger, so I can spread out the button loops. See? It all works in the end! The silk has nice drape, and I can see why the original was done up in silk. Sigh...so ends the BII. A very successful pattern and knitting experience. I promise that I'll take a photo wearing it so you can see it on a real body.
Scratch t
hat--Here's a photo of knitting gone bad. Because I'm anal about seams, I thought the underarms could have been done better. Duh-uh! I'll fix it and work on it over the weekend. I need to post this photo to remind MYSELF not to overwork! I KNOW better than that--in painting you have to know when to stop. Too bad I haven't applied that advice to this project!!! Oh crumb! We'll have to wait on this one a little while longer.

18.9.07

Almost ready for chart #2...


As you can see the yoke is taking shape. I just love knitting this. It's fast and easy. You just have to pay attention when you work the YOs, SKP, and K2TOG rows. Anyway, it should be a sweater by the end of the week.
I swatched for the Silver Belle, and will use a 4,25mm needle. I didn't even try the 5, and the 4.5mm was a tad too big. The smaller needle makes a much nicer seed stitch. I should have taken a photo, but I started to cast on the 400+ stitches for the peplum. I'll add another buttonhole and make the peplum long
er, which I think will be more flattering on me.

16.9.07

And now join me while we sing...



"Knitting in the sleeves, knitting in the sleeves, we shall come rejoicing, knitting in the sleeves!" Now the easy part...I like knitting the yoke on this. The silk held up well to all the frogging, which was a surprise. Thank you Plymouth! I will use one of the virgin skeins for the yoke, though. The boys built a fire pit yesterday and Jim and I enjoyed a fire last night. Ben and his buddies were studying physics--more like watching car hockey and the blender guy on the 'puter. Heck, they had fun and I'll miss feeding all those boys next year!
11:23 am--And now BII is successfully joined. Hallelujah! I have a little time to knit before class. It was a gorgeous day yesterday, and we had a fire going in the fire pit. We had s'mores for dessert. Ben and his buddy were working on their physics homework. (This time they actually worked on it!) It's Monday, and I have the first 13 rows of the yoke done. It's not interesting enough to see, yet. Two of my students are working on the Bianca and it's nice to have one in the works to show them. For some unknown reason, this is one of my fastest projects. I wish everything I have on the needles knitted up this quickly!

14.9.07

Fabulous Friday

Making great progress on Bianca II. Here's sleeve #2. It's so gorgeous outside I can't possibly stay in all day, so I'll take Eevee walkies--maybe we'll visit Mom. She'd like that.
After the first week of school Ben has realized how convenient it is to have a car and how inconvenient it is when you don't have one for a couple of days. His needed a little work, and now it's back. It was crazy yesterday. One of those days I had to be in three places at once. Morning Break at church started, and I love that. It's nice to catch up with the gals.
I went out to JoAnn, ETC and got some shell buttons for the sweater. The shape I wanted was too small, so I got these. We'll have a moment of silence tonight for the joining of the pieces-parts.


10.9.07

Temptation got the better of me today!

10 September--I'm back to teaching again, which puts me around all that wonderful yarn, which made me take another look at the Romy Cardigan, which made me break down and get some yarn for my cardigan. I looked and looked online and in my catalogs, but nothing jumped out at me until my eyes fell upon a heavenly color nestled on the shelf of Cascade 220 yarn. I only needed seven skeins, so with my discount it's going to be one of my cheaper projects (oh yeah)! I just have to knit this project in wool. The yardage per skein is just a bit more, but I can adjust that with GAUGE. (My regular students know me and one of my new ones learned about me and gauge yesterday. It's a step you can't fudge.) I like the heathery color of this yarn and it isn't even fern or moss green! The Bianca's going well, I have the back, one sleeve and part of a side done. When all the pieces-parts are done, I'll post photos of the joining.
11 September--To the right is the next project. The photo doesn't do the color justice. The heathery color will lend itself well to the design and the smooth wool will make the cable work look beautiful.

6.9.07

I knew my skills were handy...

I just e-mailed Ben's German teacher the design for the German Club t-shirt. She has the font for the wording. Ben and I came up with the idea over the summer and he showed it to the kids. They all loved it. The high school mascot never looked so good!
I have on
e sleeve done and will start another one tonight. Jim's golfing and Ben's timing at the swim meet.
Red is o
ur theme for today. To the left is my other project--the Aran cardigan from Two Sticks and a String (it should be Two Sticks and a Hangman's Noose). The appendages are the saddle shoulders extending from the collar. I had most of the back done--this is the pattern that had a mistake in the center back cable. I dislike written instructions and prefer charts for color work and cables. Anyway, I frogged back to the shoulders and have to dig up the nerve to begin again. It looks as though the weather will be an inspiration--cooler temps on the way. Now I'm in the mood to knit with wool again!

4.9.07

On the edge--



First day of the new school year! Ben's going to have a great year. He's excited and that's good. I have the schedules from meetings, sports, etc. Now I have to cram everything on my schedule. I admit that it's nice to have another driver, although I still worry. He'll learn really quickly in the school parking lot! I was working on a design for the German Club t-shirt last night and used my light table. As you can see, it's also great for showing the lacy stitches on a sleeve edge (Bianca's Jacket). The holes are more pronounced, which I like. The back is done, and the sleeves will go quickly. Normally I knit them together, but I had problems concentrating (mistakes) and opted to do one at a time to preserve my sanity.

2.9.07

Hello Bianca, Auf Wiedersehen Penelope...




The past couple of weeks have been busy for us. Ben now has his license, which is nice. I've been furiously knitting on the PB. It knitted up beautifully, the size was correct, but when I tried it on after 3-NBO for the shoulders it looked awful. It's just not flattering on my body at all. This is the petite size and I cannot imagine this on a 51" bust! Now I know why Oat Couture shows their sweaters on sticks! By the way, I got an e-mail from them and there is 4" of ease built into the fit, so if you're a 32, you'd make the 36" finished size.
Anyway, since I have enough yarn, I looked through all my patterns, and decided that I needed another Bianca's Jacket from the Fall 2006 issue of Interweave Knits. I liked the pattern so much, and the silk will be just gorgeous. People often ask me why I don't weave in ends as I go--this is why--unless I'm positive I'm going to like the finished project I never weave (and cut) ends as I go. The jacket is on the left along with the photo. It's knitted with Jo Sharp yarn in a wool/silk/cashmere blend, which feels like wearing a hug. It's light and soft with a rustic look. The color shown is Twig. The PB is knitted with Plymouth's Shire Silk. It's a beautiful pale bluish color over the natural warm silk color. I'll be able to wear it all year. I don't think I've ever done a sweater twice in my life. One never stops learning, does one?