Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Not in time

Sigh. Very sad. Oh well, I guess I will just bring this with me - it's Wildflower DK - cotton acrylic blend in salmon. It's lovely stuff, very soft, but it splits a lot. For another small person in our lives.
I guess I'll finish up the sleeves and maybe put it together. This is the back, the front and sleeves are the same. The neck has a button up side.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Something supposedly restful that's now a source of tension

Get it? Tension?
Anyway, I have to make a longish trip next week involving flying on Delta. Yuck. So, I decided I should start something really boring and easy that will make for nice "in transit" knitting. Not making a tapestry lion.
So, inspired by the beauty of the Mad Crocheter's sweater she's making with Knit Picks Shine Worsted, I picked Sunflower and have vague plans to make a roll neck pullover out of it.
I do not expect the color to look great on me, but it's bright and sunny and I like it. One of the nice things about getting older is I just don't feel the pressing need to wear black/grey/navy/army green EVERY DAY anymore. Those dark colors just make the gray hairs pop anyway.
I'll take pictures when I start.
The Mad Crocheter has promised to take a picture of her SW sweater, but the real beauty of the thing is the way it feels, and that doesn't photograph. But the incredible regularity of her stitch work does, so here's hoping she'll load some . . .
Why the tension? The order claims it will arrive the 28th. Which is the day I'll be on the plane. Can everyone please think speedy-yarn-shipping thoughts?????

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Noro Daria Exchange Bag

After a week of thinking of nothing but the Noro Daria I was talking about recently, I gave up and went back to Knitch to buy it. It's the most I've spent on a single project so far, but sometimes you have to treat yourself. I promptly started on the Exchange Bag from The Happy Hooker, and this is my progress thus far. The colors make me think of fall, and I really love the way they bob in and out of the shell pattern.
The project has not been without tears -- there's been a lot of ripping out and redoing, and the cord was hard on my hands, especially at first. I usually go for yarns that feel even better than they look, just because I love the way the yarn feels going through my fingers. I'm actually really glad I tried something different this time; it gave me a perspective on what Stephanie Pearl-McPhee was talking about in her book At Knit's End:
Imagine this: you are shipwrecked on an island with only the knitting that you had with you on the boat. When you are done knitting it, do you unravel the work and start again, just to have something to knit? If so, you are a process knitter. You knit for the pleasure of knitting. If you imagine that, upon finishing, you put on the sweater and go look for wild grasses that you could knit into a tent or a hammock, you are a product knitter. You knit for the pleasure of the finished item.
I'm normally a process crocheter through and through, but I've gotten through the rough spots on this one by focusing on how cute my finished purse will look. It's good to see things from the other side.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Lion blanket graphing, part 1

So, pulled out the graph paper and the crayons. (The small person who is going to get this blanket was very funny and into the whole drawing process; stole lots of graph paper and made his own version, was generally a hilarious help.) Have decided what I really need to get is a large set of colored pencils, because using a five-years-old's set of crayons to graph out something this detailed is a big ol' pain and doing this in colored pencil might make it so only one set of charts need be created. Right now the plan is do a rough up with crayon, then go back and chart it to a key using regular pencil and maybe adding color with pencil later.
Here's my translation to graph paper:
Please note that I have not bothered filling in the gold quadrants of the shield. My failure to do so really annoyed the five-year-old. The quadrants are also not straight, but this is my rough draft for color placement.
In the interest of making this a viable project, I've cut down the number of colors. I think I will need yellow, gold, tawny and medium brown, red, brick, silver, grey and black. Some line detail in the helmet and lion as well as the tongue and claws I think I'll embroider in later on.
I'm still not sure about what material to use. Cotton really appeals as it's snuggly and washable, but doing intarsia with cotton, well, doesn't appeal at all. It would make a heavy fabric prone to unraveling.

Friday, June 15, 2007

Materials list (maybe)

I think I'll need 10 skeins of background color (220)
plus one skein each of: 256, 182, 251, 285, 167, 53, 195, 55, 247, 260, 284
11 plus 10 = 21 x $6.95 = $146.
(Perhaps I should consider a nice acrylic?)

Does anyone know where to get Filatura Di Crosa MilleFili Fine Yarn cheaper, but still with good color selection?
Maybe I should try the chart next and see if I can pare down my color needs.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Yarn for the lion blanket

Thanks for the ambitious comment. I guess for me, if it's worth doing, it's worth spending way too much time and effort on. :)
So, DK weight cotton yarn possibilities: looks nice and has some nice reds, browns and gold/orange, but no deep red/maroon. is nice, but the cranberry might be too pink.
Sport weight seems to be all too pastel for what I want to do.
Any ideas?

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Lion blanket idea

Just kicking this one around.
There is a small person in my life who happens to think H. Potter and Gryffindor are very cool.
One project I did for a few people with babies was an intarsia(sp?) knit blanket of nine panels of Beatrix Potter-inspired rabbits. I grafted out the patterns from ideas taken from needlepoint patterns, sewed the nine squares together and backed it with fabric. Not really baby blankets (not very practical); more like wall hangings.
But for this Gryffindor-inspired lion crest (because I'm not going to violate Rowling's copyrights) I was thinking of redoing this idea. Using this version for the chart (I haven't charted it yet) then knitting a 36"x36" or 48"x48" cotton intarsia piece on a dark red field, then backing it with fleece or flannel so it would be both soft and not so likely to unravel.
Seems like the 2 major challenges here are a.) charting the dang thing and b.) finding a nice, soft, 100% cotton yarn that comes in nice, intense colors. Sport or DK weight?
I don't think I have any pictures of the baby blankets, but if I have the charts maybe I'll scan them up.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Bobbin number 2

Another bad picture, but you can get the idea. A bit stripy, which might work well when the whole lot is plied together.
The colors look really washed out here, you have to image this a bit richer.

Maybe next time something in a sort of peacock colorway (teal, blues, purples) and do more variegation throughout the whole thing, so the color changes blend more.

Yarn obsessions

I'm pretty sure I'm preaching to the choir here, but don't you just hate it when you see a yarn and get so obsessed with it that all your other yarns just aren't so shiny anymore?

My current obsession is Noro Daria, and with those colors, who can blame me? I've long admired Noro's gorgeous colors but haven't been thrilled with the texture; how the yarn feels going through my fingers is just as (if not more) important to me as how it looks, and Kureyon just feels scratchy to me. But half the table at Knitch's knitters' group last week was whipping up darling dog leashes out of Daria, and I had to check it out, at which point I realized it would be the perfect yarn for the Exchange Bag project in Deb Stoller's The Happy Hooker.

I haven't caved and gotten the yarn yet, but I know it's just a matter of time. I should really try and finish my current project first, but I don't know if I have that much self-control. Time I should be spending on that project, I'm using to price Daria online instead.

Some Spinning

After hemming and hawing for over 2 years, I finally took the plunge and investing in some Merino fleece from Copper Moose. I was concerned at first because the fleece is very processed, so it spun very "fast". But once I got used to it, it went alright. I'm using Ruby, Purple Orchid and African Violet randomly, for different lengths so the finished yarn will be variegated. I've finished one bobbin and am working on number 2.
I can't wait to ply.
(If you haven't noticed by now, I take really horrible pictures, sorry!)

Monday, June 11, 2007

Starting out

For a while, I've wanted to start a blog so that I could share thoughts on various kinds of fiber arts.
This isn't for personal life.
I just want a space where people who knit, crochet, sew, spin, dye, weave, or just enjoy looking a colors and patterns could share ideas and pictures of their work.
I feel that I lose lots ideas because I don't have time to get to do everything I think of. So maybe this can also serve as an archive of sorts for me. I'd be really flattered if anyone saw anything here that they wanted to borrow. I'd like to invite other people to share their work, too.
So, as a start, here's something that I finished a little while back. It was a present for a friend's wedding:
It's inspired by a birch woods in the autumn - late afternoon light and colors of leaves, moss, dirt and shadows.
It's all batiks - I'm a really sloppy sewer and hate measuring things and making them neat. This came out despite me.
More later . . .