Archive for the 'knitting' Category

Raise your needlework

… if you’ve been doing a lot of stress-knitting recently …or knitting to avoid social media. Or sewing a new dress because spring is coming. For those of you cross-stitching while watching/listening to your favorite mystery, I love doing that too.

Raise your needlepoint or cross-stitch needles if they’re what bring you joy or calm. A lot of us out here are quietly stitching, or ripping back, or consulting sewing patterns. If you’re avoiding being around people right now…. consider this your invite to a virtual kaffeeklatsch and stitch-in.

Me? I’m knitting for a deadline. A happy one. I’m knitting an E. Zimmerman tomten rainbow for a neighbor’s anticipated delivery. Pictures once I can get it done and over to the mom-to-be. Once it’s done, I’m on to test a blouse pattern.

So, what are you working on? I have friends who spin, friends who do polymer clay art, others who do amazing watercolor paintings. Feel free to leave a comment below and share.

Indoor pursuits

Encinitas Beach, California, painting (postcard sized).

It’s just cold and dark outdoors, without the benefits of snow. Blah. In the evenings, I’ve been indulging in playing with inktense blocks, experimenting with blending colors, making one band of colors blur into another. I’ve also been painting watercolors, using photos from last year’s vacation (thinking about warmer days).

There’s been knitting (Kate Atherley’s Thursday Afternoon Shawl, which is lengthening without getting wider… alarming!) and prepping a new project (balling yarn).

When the kitten is asleep, I’ve been hemming up a skirt (it’s an old 80s skirt, made of lovely material, but very … wide at the hem… so it’s slow). I have added pin pricked fingers to the kitten’s inevitably play marks. Unlike knitting, hand hemming is something I can pause to use the cat dancer toy as a distraction. I’m not sure how to handle the sewing machine around an active kitten (the other cats want the machine to kindly die, and leave me alone), so big sewing projects and printmaking are on pause.

Small kitten interruption

Raphael H started small, but he’s been growing gangbusters. Born in a cat shelter, he is a soft, silky boy. His interests are: chasing moving twigs, food, rolling things, food, string, food, chasing the middle cat, and food.

Since he became part of the family, our oldest cat has had a health scare. It’s been a whirlwind of meds for the older cat and the youngest.

Anywho… Christmas and New Years were a blur of caring for cats and dealing with travel-related colds. I recently visited Ravelry to bookmark things I find interesting, and I’m trying to figure out how to get some printing or sewing work done, without kitten assistance. He is very, very helpful with yarn (he sits on the project and tries to incisor the moving string).

Daydreaming

Pearl crescent, day visitor.

About traveling

Every so often I take out books on traveling to different areas of the US, or Europe… daydreaming about a trip around the world, or traveling for work again. I think a short hop is more likely than the trip around the world, and most of my travel seems to focus on getting to see family and friends. Which means there are at least 15 states to choose from and daydream about.

About projects

I have 3 knitting projects on the needles, and I’ve finished one sewing piece (a blouse). The new Knitty came out this week, and I’m eying this pattern: Saturday Night cowl by Juliette Williams. I have some yarn that might work. The other option is Always be Brave by Helen Kennedy, but the sportweight that I have right now is earmarked for this pattern: Pyukkleen cowl by Ysolda Teague.

About museums

This autumn, so many museums have delightful exhibits that I want to visit. For instance, down in Georgetown, Dumbarton Oaks has an exhibit called “Ornament: Fragments of Byzantine Fashion”. Baltimore Museum of Art has an exhibition of work done by artist Joyce J. Scott and her mother, fiber artist Elizabeth Talford Scott. Virginia Museum of Fine Art has a fascinating looking exhibit of Native American Art, as well as a collection of Faberge eggs. Delaware Art Museum has Mitch Lyons prints (he used clay to make his prints – it’s complicated).

…. the moment when summer starts to shift into fall is filled with so much promise. Our leaves haven’t started to turn, but students are back at the Universities and the libraries have switched their schedules to match study needs. If you’re daydreaming about activities, or knitting, or traveling, drop me a line.

The beauty of incremental change

Scrappy Thursday Afternoon

I’m in the process of clearing away things (still chaotic, but it’s a process), and hoping to clear off deskspace. I’ve managed to clear several work-related things off my “to do” list. And then there’s the knitting, which has gone out of scope.

Sort of in response to tackling a complicated shawl (and trying to work on it when I had a migraine, which did not do well), I have cast on several simple projects. From a purple and white cotton washcloth (using a ballband pattern that came with the yarn) to the socks I’d started earlier to a multi-striped Thursday Afternoon Shawl by Kate Atherly [Link is to the pattern on Ravelry] that is using up my trove of Green Mountain Spinnery Mountain Mohair wool (lovely stuff).

The beauty of my Scrappy Thursday Afternoon, is that while it gets longer, it also incrementally grows wider on one side, and starts doing a bend. And it’s that incremental change (and switching out yarn colors) that has me continuing with what is essentially a long ribbed scarf. It won’t get as long as a Dr. Who scarf, but mostly because I only have so many skeins of the colors I want to use.

Current Knitting – 2019

Now that I’m finally back from my cold…. I finished off a hat (begun in 2018) near the beginning of January. And now I’m on to a pair of socks….

The hat is the Hervor Cap from Viking Patterns for Knitting. Ravelry pattern link here. Oddly enough, the pattern makes a hat that’s a little bit too large for me, and maybe a little bit smaller than expected for my recipient.

My new cast-on project are socks, using a pattern I turn to again and again – the Madder Ribbed Sock from Nancy Bush’s Knitting Vintage Socks.

I think I’ll probably make the Hervor Cap again and again, maybe working on how the top of the pattern looks…. Although, all the reverse stockinette (purling) was a bit boring. The cabling was wonderful fun. Yarn was great too (Stonehedge Fiber Mill Shepherd’s Wool Worsted) So I wonder, what knitting pattern do you return to again and again?

Knitting on the Edge

Woodcut1Whenever I work on a lace shawl (or some other project where the design isn’t apparent until one blocks the knitting) I feel like I’m knitting on the edge. Give me a Fair Isle mitten any day for intuitively understanding if you’re knitting to the correct pattern (although possibly not if your gauge will fit the intended wearer).

Did I miss a yarn over? Are my stitches slanting the right way for the pattern? Did I mess up the first stitches that set up the pattern (the ones closest to my shoulders in this case, where they will be really hard to ignore)? I’ll move forward, like I always do, confident that even if I don’t get the pattern just so, I will still use it and learn from the experience. Call it knitter’s faith.

The design is beautiful: a sweet shawl called Woodcut designed by Karie Westermann. The current view of my project is not beautiful. If you’ve dealt with rice noodles in a packet…. that’s what it looks like (only super colorful). A jumble of strands with a small bit of patterning to clue you that I mean it to look that way.

No idea if the whole thing will break when I block it. It’s very fine yarn…. and I know it’s too thin technically for the pattern specs, but I was so curious to see how it would look knit up.

Specs:

  • Yarn: Schaeffer Yarn Company, Trenna
  • Colorway: Rosa Parks
  • Pattern can be found in This Thing of Paper

So, if you knit, do pottery, paint, or otherwise craft: what is on the edge of your comfort level? Do you find yourself re-doing steps, in an attempt to follow your idea, or do you step out blindly?

 


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