Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Blues - part 2

So at first, I thought I wanted to rip out this 2/3 of a back I'd started. Bear in mind, this was started nearly 6 years ago after our son was born, and I was still going through new mom denial that I could still do everything I had before he was born (and that nothing would take much longer than it ever had, ha!)
Now, of course, that would be dumb (it's been knit for 6 years, it ain't comin' apart) and now I realize, I don't really want to. Oh, and it's 50 percent mohair, and that stuff doesn't rip out at all.

I've had this sack of assorted blues, grays, purples, and blacks for years, and have already made 2 sweaters out of it (all of these are from Fassett's Glorious Knits) the first was the outlined stars pattern (here's the picture from the book - I made this for my mom who gave it my cousin [it took me 2 years to do because I was working and going to school at the time] - in fairness, it was way too big)
... and the second one was jack's back pattern - again from the book because I don't have the sweater anymore, I gave that one to my other mom (she's not related at all, I just like her so I adopted her - she taught me to spin) and as far as I know, she still has hers.
So, what I had thought I wanted to do was this:

and I still want to try it, in a normal size sweater, rather than a coat, but maybe in earth tones, rather than as blues and grays.
So I think my new project is to finish that 6 year old pillowcase full of loveliness.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Blues - to be written in installments

So, here we have a very unpromising looking sac of yarn - it's an old pillowcase:

And here's what lives in it.
The whole mess of yarns started off with a huge skein of Ellen Minard's spaced-dyed mohair, which comes in a 1 lb. skein. I don't know what the color way was called at the time, something blue, purple and black.
Over time I assembled a bunch of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair, Brown Sheep Lamb's Pride, cotton chenille which I have long since lost the labels to, and other odds and ends of wool, mohair, cotton and blends.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Finishing things

It still needs to be washed, but here it is - size 4-6 child's aran sweater made of WildFlower DK in salmon. It's got a nice hand (cotton/acrylic) but you have to pay attention when working with it or it will split a lot. It comes in some nice grown up colors, too, so maybe I'll make a cardigan out of black. Good idea, make something in black out of a yarn that splits all the time. :)
And, the lion quilt is coming along. I had help over the weekend, little man thought doing the actual sewing was way cool. Since I don't really know what I'm doing with appliqué, I'm just cutting out pieces to match the big chunks of the lion and building them up - so it may come out sort 3-D. See - the lion now has a butt and half a tail.
As I'm closing out one or two things, my brain is starting to turn on an old pillowcase full of blues, grays, blacks and purples in the closet. I've already made 2 K. Fassett sweaters from this batch, and I think I need to do one more . . .
I'll take pictures of the sweaters and the yarn tomorrow . . . .

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Working on the quilt

(Typing is hard right now, our age-indeterminant crabby old man cat who came with our house [another way to look at this, we got a free house with our $200,000.00 cat] is sitting on my lap, trying to scratch his head on my fingers as I type with them)
Anyway . . .
Little one is very into helping quilt. I had help tying off all kinds of things today and let him have some fabric, thread and needles and he made us each bow ties. I remember feeling like that, that the grown ups had all the cool trinkets to play with - like the little collapsible scissors that I'm constantly in danger of losing.
So, middle of last week, the quilt looked like this:

And tonight it looks like this:
Well, now that I look at it, it's not very impressive in these pictures, but there is a lot of sewing in there.
Once all the piecing done, I'm going to do all the detail with the size 5 cotton.
And, we have a new camera on it's way in the mail. Perhaps that will help my picture-taking.
And, a final picture of the spinning which went in the mail on Friday:

Thursday, August 16, 2007


So, perhaps I have developed the mythical malady of "finish-itis" (and I think I'd be the only knitter ever known to suffer from it if I am) and I'm working on the small one's Gryffindor quilt again. It's pretty slow going, I've never done appliqué before so there's a learning curve (I'll post a picture when I get somewhere more exciting looking than the last one I put up).
But . . . .
I'm back to thinking about charting complicated intarsia patterns. I will finish charting the lion, but I think I need to find a portable light table somewhere. ???? There must be such a thing, I should look at JoAnn's or something.
But, charts from other areas (needlepoint, fillet crochet) and adapting them to intarsia, very fun.
This has been tugging at my brain:
There are others one could use too, but what about making a fingering weight pullover with a placket neck and using this for the color pattern? You could do a modified version of just the tail, make a sort of flower/vine motif up on the yoke and have the dragons march around the base?
I haven't tried Knitpicks Palette yet, but you could do a tradition 2 or 3 color, or you could go crazy and make the dragons really colorful, purples and greens . . . .

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Great places to go . . .

We lived in Atlanta for nearly 4 years before I went to a yarn shop.
I can hardly imagine it. Ugh.
Of course, in the pre-internet age, I'd have died. But I made do with shopping via the web, and I never buy anything the first time I see it anyway, so I can stretch a purchase out for over a year between first thinking of something and the time I finally buy it.
But then, the Mad Crocheter took me to Knitch. And if you live within driving distance, you should go. They're having some cool guests this fall, including Stephanie Pearl McPhee, aka The Yarn Harlot (9/19/07). Later on (not sure when) there's a book signing with Kaffe Fassett and Brandon Mably. I really may need to go, Fassett was very important to my knitting development.

But this is making me think of other great places. Or maybe it's the 101 degree heat. One of my all time favorite places was the Yarn Basket in Portsmouth NH. It's this TINY little place, and its just jammed with stuff in a way that is awe inspiring; both in the selection Elaine offers and the fact that she gets so much stuff into so little space and you can still see everything.
Up by my mom in Norwich VT there is Northern Nights (no website yet, but (802) 649 2000) and Ellen's 1/2 Pint Farm (her stuff is really amazing, and I don't think she has enough pictures on her site to do her work justice, but you can go to her farm or catch her at all kinds of festivals in NH, VT, etc.) and Green Mountain Spinnery in Putney VT (nicely redesigned site).
Some of my old favorites have shut down - the Spinning Wheel in Dover, NH and Clothworks in Norwich VT.

I miss the NH Sheep and Wool Festival - I don't think there is anything really like it down here in GA (somebody please correct me if I'm wrong!). I keep threatening to haul the whole family to it if we can just move back north . . .

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Sunflower raglan

Ahhh, I have no head.

But it's a darn fine picture of the sweater.
Thanks hon!

The nice thing about this pattern, as it is knit from the neck down, you can adjust it to any size person once you get past the neck and the first few inches of raglan increase, you can slip half the stitches onto scrap yarn and try it on until you like how it fits. Or use anything for the neck, I just like the roll.
The pattern is posted (see July 3).

Shine worsted (Knitpicks) is great - holds up well to machine washing and drying (so far) and holds it's shape. It's so soft and nice to wear, I love it.
Too bad we're in the middle of a 100 degree plus heat wave. Maybe sometime in November I can wear it.

That wet wool smell

So, I go to the trouble of spinning up 7 plus skeins of lovely, Merino jewel tone fleece and then chuck in water. Now it doesn't look (or smell) lovely.
At all.
But the twist should set nicely once I hang it up. It's drying wrapped in a towel right now.
I'm going to send it as an early Christmas present to my sister in law, who loves to knit but doesn't spin (or she didn't last I knew) so this might be nice fall project.

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Getting close to finishing the bag

I probably have only 2 more skeins left to spin on this Copper Moose Fleece.
This is both sad and exciting. I'm going to send it off as a very early Christmas present, I think. Because I stink at surprises.
Neither of these pictures does this justice, the colors are better than either picture and somewhere in the middle.
However, having this much spun up, it's nice to pile it up and play with it.
For some reason Blogger is freaking out trying to add my pictures. More later (Hey look, here they are!).
The sunflower sweater is done too, but that needs washing. I've posted the pattern (see July 3) and wil post a picture once I have a decent one.