Thursday, July 29, 2010

Paper Crane

While out at Camano, Arlene was just getting started on her Paper Crane project.

I had seen it in a Knit Purl newsletter and promptly put it on a very back burner in my mind. There are so many darn things I want to do and I only have 2 more months before Nihon Vogue starts up again. I have to be very selective in what I decide to knit or spin until then.

A side note about Knit Purl. I am not affiliated with this shop. I love getting their newsletters. They are well put together, they are slick and very sexy. They do a great job at preparing for the upcoming seasons in the projects they highlight. I love to see what yarns they decide to pair with those highlighted patterns. I like it for entertainment value and every now and then I get sucked in!

Back to the Paper Crane. I love fine gauge cardigans. I purchased one from LL Bean(of all places) in their Bend, OR outlet 10 years ago. I know I bought it ten years ago because I bought it before Greg and I went on our first trip to Europe together. I love this cardigan. It is made out of a very fine(weight-wise) wool. I love it for layering-it has been to many parts of the world. It doesn't take up much space and it is just a great basic, charcoal cardi. It is one of my go-to sweaters because it goes with just about anything. I have wanted to knit something like this but shied away from it because doing a fine gauge sweater in stockinette makes me think...not such a good idea.

Something about the yarn, this pattern and the fact that a friend of mine was also going to knit it(pass around the misery - very fine yarn on 2.5mm needles) made me move beyond just the "dreaming of it" stage. I love this design because it is very Eileen Fisher-esque. I buy a fair amount of Eileen Fisher clothes because they are modern classics and the pieces coordinate well.

Despite my lack of long-term attention span to knitting projects(only on the non Nihon Vogue ones - we must finish the ones for class!) I decided to tackle this project.

I knit on it here and there, in the car(only when I am not driving, of course!) and while watching TV. This is a lot of plain stockinette stitch at a fine gauge. I can knit without looking so it is perfect for feeling productive while watching TV. I have a feeling I will be watching a fair amount of tv in the future. I have about 15 inches to knit before the next step.

Here it is in progress. Right now the back and front are knit all in one piece up to the armholes.

Yarn: Habu Textiles XS-21 100% linen. 218 yards per ounce. The information on their website is wrong. It is not 98 yards per ounce! I confirmed this with them when I ordered the yarn.

Needles: Knitpicks harmony in 2.5 mm.

I don't really understand how the gauge swatch (according to the designer) would get smaller after washing. I had no change in gauge after I washed my swatch. It will be interesting to see the outcome. She also says that the garment relaxed significantly after wearing. Seems counter intuitive to me. The guage swatch shrinks after washing but relaxes when wearing. Does that mean the gauge, in the end, is about what the pre-washed gauge is?

My goal is to have it completed before I head to Bonaire in January. That gives me 6 months! The average weather temperatures in January are highs of 84 (28.9C) and lows of 76(24.4C) I usually get a tiny chill in the evening. Remember there is almost always a breeze day and night on Bonaire so the wind chill is probably 72 or something like that in the evening!!! :) I think this lightweight linen will be perfect!

The color of the yarn is very versatile. It is got a brown tone, yet gray. It is like a chameleon that can change color depending what it is next to.

Also displayed in the photo is my iPad. Now I love this device. Talk about slick and sexy! I love it because I can have all my knitting pdf's on it! Just another great "need" for you knitters out there.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Camano Island Retreat

I have been absent for quite a long time!

I have created numerous blog posts complete with photos. They just have not progressed past my brain!

I got my office all set up in the way I want. I was having issues with my old Sony laptop(way too slow, way too old) so now I have the hand me down Macbook. Greg hooked it up to his old hand me down Dell monitor and it is a perfect setup for me. Really. No excuses for lack of blogging going forward.

I have tons of photos from my visit to see Ruth a year ago as well as photos from Sock Summit 2009. Anyway....

A couple weekends ago I was invited to my friend Arlene's vacation house on Camano Island. I had a wonderful weekend relaxing with friends. These women have been my companions and support system through the Nihon Vogue program. As I look into the future I see these woman being life-long friends. Believe it or not, I do not have a photo of Joni. Joni took most of these photos which explains why she is absent! I won't make that same mistake again! I will be more diligent about taking photos. Maybe.

Arlene, Joni and Whimsey came by to pick me up on the way up to Camano. You have 3 women, a dog and their gear for 2.5 days. What size vehicle do you think we would need? Obviously an SUV was just big enough to fit all our stuff. The smallest bags crammed into the car were the ones for our clothes. The rest was food, knitting and spinning gear. We know what our priorities are!

Our creative goal for the weekend was to learn how to do some right angle weave beading. Joni was a wonderful instructor! This is not your average beginner project! I think we needed a break from design, design, design, knitting, knitting, knitting. We were all pretty burned out after the completion of year two of Nihon Vogue. So we learned to do something different!

Arlene has an idyllic atmosphere to learn this technique!

As we were progressing in our creations we were a bit unsure of the bead colors we had purchased for our bracelets. Thankfully Joni has a nice stash selection that we all looked through to see if we wanted something different than the beads we had originally purchased. Here Arlene and Melinda are looking through some of Joni's stash.

Candace is hard at work. We all know what a hard worker she is!

These are what we made! Another hobby in the works!

In the process, I was flipping Joni off for some reason. Can you believe that? Me?

We ate such great food! I need to be around these ladies more often! So healthy!

I had a great time! Walking along the beach was heavenly!

Although we were heads down beading, spinning and knitting when we looked up this is the view we saw during the day and night. Perfection.

Thank you Arlene for a wonderful weekend!