Monday, October 29, 2007

Knitter's Tea Swap 4

Look what I got from my pal Kandie! I am particularly excited about the washcloth--beautiful colors--, the great Kroy yarn, and the sock book. It's great to meet a new friend from another part of the country.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Gone Fishing

This is what I've been doing this weekend--working on costumes for the school musical--Seussical. I've made this fish skirt and a purple one, which I left at the rehearsal after the fitting this afternoon. The yellow is actually much brighter than the picture shows. It is made from a satin organza and is semi-sheer, which is fine because it will be worn over leotards and tights. The "fish" will be all different colors--I think I have 4 or 5 more to make.

Friday, October 26, 2007


After getting the 3 inches of seed stitch completed on the sleeve edge of the FLAK sweater, I started figuring my decrease rows. That's when I discovered that I had not made either the front or the back long enough because my armhole measurements were off. It is an easy enough fix--just make both the front and the back longer before I start the sleeve, but I did lose all that seed stitch, which I don't look forward to having to do over. At least I didn't knit the whole sweater and then discover my sleeves were too small. . . .

Monday, October 22, 2007

FLAK Documentation

I'm knitting again on my FLAK sweater. Now that the weather is getting chilly, I'm in the mood to wear something like this. The back and front are completed. Next, I will pick up the stitches for the sleeves. The body will then be knit in the round. In this picture, the saddles look distorted, but they are actually straight. I think the sweater must not be lying perfectly flat.

This sweater is a pleasure to knit. The yarn--Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool--is extremely smooth and easy to knit, and the pattern instructions are so detailed and helpful. This is an excellent way to learn about sweater construction. I also just like to knit cables, so I am happy with that. The KP Options needles make the job much easier. As you can see, I'm using the cables for stitch holders.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Two Projects Finished!

This is the Knitting Pure and Simple Neckdown Child's Bolero, one of their newer patterns. The yarn is my own handspun, made from lilac Falkland roving from Abby's Yarns. The actual color contains a little more fuschia (That's a fancy word for purple.) than shows with the flash. I was rather horrified when I realized how much thick and thin there was to the yarn. So much for my spinning skills! It has a more rustic look than I had visualized. I loved making the pattern, though. The only hard part was the sleeves because I was alternating balls of yarn every two rows. That made the underarm join a little thicker than I would have liked. I'd like to do this pattern again out of one of the cushy cashmere-wool blends or something similar. It was a fast knit, about 10 days at odd moments.

I also finally finished the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I am moderately pleased. I knitted with the Ecowool, and I loved the yarn. However, it seems that my cast-off edging is a little full for the actual edge of the knitted piece. I also don't think I did a very good job of pinning it out to dry, but I do have a good excuse for that. As I was about 1/3 of the way around, a bug flew into my mouth. Of course, I did the usual sputtering and spitting. It was a tiny triangular beetle of some sort. A minute or so later, the corner of my mouth began swelling, the gums on that side got very sore, and it stayed that way for about three hours. Needless to say, I did the rest of the blocking in a hurry! I am not sure how much practical use this item will be as a blanket, but it is pretty, and I did learn some techniques for keeping up with lace patterns that will be very helpful.

Friday, October 12, 2007

A Swap!

The Knitters Tea Swap (link button in sidebar) has caught my interest for several months, and this time I'm participating. I got my swap partner yesterday. Her name is Kandie. It's been interesting reading her questionnaire answers and her blog. Just planning what to put in the package already has me in a dither of excitement!

Monday, October 08, 2007

Oh, No!

After coming home from the Folklife Festival at the museum this weekend, I kept thinking about weaving. I dug around in closets, coming up with a Harrisville Lap Loom that I had gotten for my DD when she was a child. (Yes, I have a potholder loop loom, but that doesn't count as a craft, but a necessity.) Then, I remembered another possibility and headed for a dresser drawer, and there it was--a 1936 Loomette in its original box and with original instructions. I had tried this one as a child, but never mastered it. It turns out there is even an internet site. I've been looking for something to do with leftover bits of sock yarn, and this looks like a fun possibility. According to the info on the site, it takes only 7.5 yds to do a square of plain weave, so I could make lots of squares. Exactly when I would do this is another question, but it is somehow more appealing to me than the other leftover sock yarn alternatives, and I think that some of the self-patterning yarns might produce interesting effects. Of course, then I would have to take up crochet again to put the squares together.

I did investigate some of the options on the Internet. There are some attractive items made from the squares, but there are some really UGLY items out there as well.

I am knitting steadily on the bolero for my DGD. I am also working hard to finish some socks that I have on needles for myself so that I can start another pair for my DH, who has decided he likes hand knit wool socks. It took him about 6 months to actually wear the pair I made for him last spring.

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Finally, a Fiber Connection!

I have been looking for a fiber-related group within some sort of driving distance. Even though I know that Whimsy Knits not only spins and knits beautifully, but also lives in the largest nearby community, she didn't know of anyone either. Then, last week, my local newspaper carried a tiny article about a planned event at the Panhandle Plains Museum in Canyon, TX. This museum is one of our great area treasures. When someone around here speaks of taking a field trip to the museum, everyone knows which one they are talking about. The article referred to a Saturday afternoon folklife event and mentioned that the Palo Duro Handweavers Guild would be demonstrating weaving and SPINNING! Sure enough, I found this going on right there in public on the museum lawn.

Children were having a chance to take instruction on a 2-heddle? harness loom. It was interesting to watch. I turned down the offer to try. I was afraid I would be in the market for a loom if I didn't watch out!

Of course, I caught this spinner just as she was getting up to leave, but if you look in the basket on her chair, she has a number of spindles. Not only had she been spinning her own Rambouillet fiber on her Ashford Traditional, but she had been showing children how to spin on some wooden spindles. I couldn't get a good picture of that because so many were crowded around when I tried. We are going to have a medieval fair in connection with our school-wide reading of King Arthur, and I got some good ideas from her on how to demonstrate fiber skills for that.
In the foreground is a table with various woven items, some more spindled fiber, and a very nice lady demonstrating a CD spindle. To demonstrate beginning weaving, they had one of the loop potholder looms. This particular lady showed me a beautiful scarf she had woven on a triangle loom. It was a lovely weave, and it was in "my" colors.

Best of all, they told me that their guild is not exclusive--there are knitters as well as weavers. They are going to e-mail me before the next meeting. It would be a little more nighttime driving than I may want to do in the dead of winter if the weather forecast is bad, but I should be fine the rest of the year. I'm very excited!

Thursday, October 04, 2007

A New Teaching Resource/Knitting Progress of a Sort

Have you seen this new site? It has interesting possibilities for class projects.

I have made some recent knitting progress. I am now working on the bindoff for the Hemlock Ring Blanket. I am finding it somewhat tedious because I really want to be working on a little bolero out of handspun for my DGD. If I can, I'm going to swatch tonight for the bolero just for fun. Notice that I just wrote that swatching would be fun?

I am also tired of summer heat although the fall days here are beautiful. The light is more golden and it is a wonderful time of year, usually one of my favorites. This year, however, we had more rainfall than usual during the summer, and everything is going to seed. My allergies are flourishing, and it's too hot to wear the sweaters I would like to be wearing right now. It's definitely too warm to have an excuse to use the wood stove that we just had reinstalled after a move 5 years ago.