Friday, March 23, 2007

Forest Canopy Shoulder Shawl

This is the Forest Canopy shawl by Susan Pierce Lawrence. I used some hand spun 70% sw merino/30% alpaca blend done by my friend Terry(the evil one that got me spinning!)

If you haven't done lace before, this is a good pattern to start with. I started it last Sunday afternoon(after going to the bobbin winding party) and finished it this afternoon. It isn't like I spent a whole lot of time on it. I would work on it here and there and now I'm done!

It is a good feeling to get something finished. Any of you that follow my blog will know I'm a fickle knitter!

Here are just a couple more photos showing the detail- sorry for the bad photography.

Its a quick and fun knit that I would definitely do again.
Update on Kauni cardi: I also completely!!! fogged the Ruth's Kauni cardigan. I just didn't like the cast on. It kept bothering me. I think I am going to go with what Melinda suggested and begin with the tubular cast-on. I may also double up the yarn for the cast-on. I'll try both and see how I like it. I'll post pictures soon(no promises it'll happen over the weekend as I need to work on my taxes!).

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Necessity is the Father of Invention!

In my last post I mentioned a group of knitters that adore knitting fair isle had banded together to acquire samples of all the Jamieson and Jamieson and Smith colors.

Now that we have the yarn, we have to distribute all 320 colors amonsgt 25 people.

Leah, organizer supreme, did all the "stuff" that we needed to do to get this party started.

Then...her extraordinary husband, Lance, figured out a way to make this job easier. I didn't say to make this job easy. I just said to make the job easiER.

You HAVE GOT TO GO TO LEAH'S BLOG TO SEE WHAT LANCE INVENTED! There is video of Lance with his invention. I'm sure he could appreciate the number of hours it was going to take us to wind these bobbins(8000 of these puppies). What a guy! Thanks, man!

Go check it out!

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Weekend of Knitting-ness!!

This past weekend was a frenzy of knitting-ness!

Friday night I went over to Victoria's house for a S&B. Victoria is one of the owners of Village Yarn and Tea.

I got to meet some very nice people, including Amy. I've been dying to meet Amy- Amy of Good to Be Girl fame! She has THE BEST stitch markers! They are so adorable. Of course my favorites are usually food related. She's a really nice person as well. I hope I'll get an opportunity to knit more with her in the future.

There were about 10 of us there and so there were a lot of people wearing hand-knit socks, of course. I just had to take pictures of our socks. (Terry - you would be proud of this kind of picture!).

Mine are the ones with the big toe being separated from the rest of the family. I love the tabi socks. These are knit from some handspun by my friend Terry and the pattern is from Not Just More Socks by Sandi Rosner. I think I'm going to knit most of my socks this way. I don't feel the difference in shoes but it gives me great flexibility - I can wear them with my flip flops.

I had a great time at Victoria's. I discovered she has two Yorkie girls. I was smitten with them. I've been wanting a little female Yorkie. I've already got Chase(yorkie male) and Beanie(maltese male) and also Greg (homo sapien male). I'd like a little more female energy in this household! I keep looking around but with as much as Greg and I like to travel...a third dog is out of the picture for now.

I got a bit side-tracked. Back to my weekend filled with Knitting-ness.

Saturday I had my monthly knitting buddies over. Yes, it was St. Patricks Day and we just sat and knit and spun. I was torn because Janine was hosting a knit-in for Dulaan on Saturday as well but I had booked my monthly knitting day back in February. I couldn't change the date. So I didn't get to attend that fun event. I heard from Linda K. today they accomplished quite a bit! Good job everyone!

Knitting day at Naomi's was nice and relaxing. We knit, chatted a lot (I think that is why I have to frog on my Kauni project) and didn't eat as much as I expected! I guess we were too busy with our hands. Next month I hope to have more time to make some really yummy appetizers to tempt folks to eat more! Uh Oh. I sound like my mom! No! Not THAT!

Ellen spun and she fast!! She is amazing! My jaw kept dropping as I watched her!

I continued spinning on some merino/silk. That is a bit more frustrating than the BFL. I'm trying to spin's all about learning and practice!

Melinda(go see her finished Starmore Roscalie-it is so gorgeous in person!), Sandy and I were the die hards. I jumped up to look at the time as it was just beginning to get darker outside. I was exclaiming "It's 7:20!". I thought it might be about 6pm, but 7:30? Where did the day go? I suppose that meant we were having a good time. I'm looking foward to next month's knitting already.

I made some progress on my Ruth's Kauni Cardi (which I absolutely adore!). I realized I made a boo boo and will have to frog a long way back. Can you see my error?

It is about half-way down. The weird thing...well there are two weird things about having to frog this.

One - having to frog half of what I've done is NOT bothering me. I just so love knitting this that its not painful. I absolutely love this yarn. I'm not kidding you that the thought of ripping this halfway down is not bothering me - I like this yarn that much! Ruth, if you are reading this... Thank you again - for both the design and getting me the yarn.

The weird thing number two? Sandy told me about something that Vivian Hoxbro had said regarding the need to finish things quickly. She basically said why hurry to finish a project? You are never really "finished" knitting because once you are done with one thing, you are on to another so you never really are "finished" knitting. Somehow I liked that. It resonated with me. I'm such an achievement oriented person. It helped me relax around the personal pressure I put on myself on my finish my projects.

Today(Sunday) I spent about 4 hours with about 9 other women winding bobbin samples of all the Jamieson and Jamieson&Smith shetland colors. There is a fair isle google group of people that wanted samples of all the colors to help us design our own fair isle colors/patterns. Since it is hard to use color cards and financially prohibitive to buy all 320 skeins of yarn, this group decided to buy all the yarns and then split up the skeins on embroidery floss bobbins. Mind you there are like 320 colors/skeins and 25 people in the group. Imagine the logistics nighmare of trying to split up each skein for 25 people....well we worked on it today at the Greenwood Library and boy....this is a labor intensive undertaking!!!

I took 18 skeins home that I have to wind. 18 skeins times 25 people per skein is 450 bobbins. Yes, you read that right...450 bobbins. I was amazed that Gail had already done 24 skeins herself. Gail, I appreciate your hard work and organization. I really hope those remaining 3-4 people pay you!!!

Also thanks to Leah for your hard work and organization on this as well!!!! She has a great post describing our day, with great photos.

Well I best be off to get ready for the week ahead. Looking back on the past few days.....I had a wonderful weekend spending time with and meeting wonderful people. This was exactly what I needed to take the edge off work stress.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Steek Cutting!

I cut the armhole steeks on the design from Alice Starmore's Pacific Coast Highway-Abalone which is on the cover.

That sure was fun! It always amazes me that you actually CUT through your knitting but with shetland, it does work great!

For those of you that have not followed my blog, this project has been going on since last October. I have gotten re-energized to work on this. Sometimes you have to just put a project down for awhile and when you pick it back up its like a brand new project!

Here is the shoulder join. I joined the shoulder with kitchener in the lighter yarn color and I will duplicate stitch the green - the pattern will be match perfectly front and back.

I modified the pattern to make it shorter by taking out one full repeat of the pattern(29 rows). I wasn't sure how that would line up at the shoulders but I think it looks good.

Now for the fun part! Get the sharp scissors out and let's start cutting!

Isn't that cool? I always put a magazine or something underneath the fabric to be cut. It would be an absolute nightmare if I cut another part of the sweater, wouldn't it?

One last thing. Joanne at my Thursday night knitting class finished her felted pillow. Joanne loves both felting and needle felting. She teaches needle felting at Village Yarn and Tea. You can see she has a knack for felting!

Sunday, March 04, 2007

It's all about Blue Moon

Here is my second endeavor into spinning. This is 8.75 oz of Blue Faced Leicester dyed by Blue Moon Fiber Arts. The colorway is Purple Rain.

Overall I'm pleased with it. I'm learning a lot with each spinning project.

Bobbins before plying:

The spun fiber:

When I was spinning I thought the end result would be a finer yarn. This is where the learning comes in. Next fiber I spin, I need to spin it more finely. It is very interesting. For me, as a beginner, I never know what I'm gonna get. I definitely need more classes but I'm content right now to just do what I'm doing.

I got my Blue Moon Fiber Arts Rockin' Sock Club installment on Friday. Do not read further if you haven't received yours yet and don't want your surprise ruined.

Of course I had to start right away. Here is what I've done that I've decided to completely frog.
The pattern is to create a very firm fabric, a very supportive sock. I have to do it on size 00 needles since I'm a loose knitter. It is taking FOREVER to make progress. I don't like how the toe is. So...frog time. Take a deep breath because its all coming undone!

Talk about coming undone. I came undone today. I had a melt down, break down, whatever you want to call it. As I write I have a migraine underway as well. I took some meds and then I'm going to go lie down. I gotta make sure this bad boy retreats!

I'm going back to the basics.

Enough sleep, eating right and exercise.

With my work stress I find I translate that into putting more pressure on myself in my knitting as well. I've got this internal task master.

I've got all these projects I *should* finish, need to finish. I put WAY too much pressure on myself to be productive, to finish things. This along with my work stress has put me into a state of overhwelm like no other. When this happens I'm not efficient in any area of my life.

So you won't be seeing much completed projects in the near future because I need to scale back.

I need to concentrate on the basics.