I finished these a few weeks ago, just in time for fall. They are so comfortable – feels like nothing on my feet, except warm. The yarn came from Three Fates Yarns, a friend of mine who does hand-dying.
Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category
It’s pretty fun having a professional knitwear designer in my circle of local knitting friends. Janel Laidman was working on a lovely garter-stitch lace-edged shawlette at our Monday night meetings for a few weeks in a row. I had been wanting to knit a lace shawl from one of the skeins of sock yarn in my stash, and I’d been perusing Ravelry trying to pick just the right one. But, when I saw Janel’s finished project, I decided I wanted to knit it. Something about seeing it in person… and it’s beautiful. The earthquake / tsunami in Japan had just occurred, so as she was publishing it Janel decided to offer it as a benefit to disaster relief. All those factors converged and I bought the pattern, picked the skein of blue wool/tencel I had from a few years ago at Black Sheep, and cast on. In one month, I was finished! It was a delightful project and a great spring neck-warmer during the remaining cool days.
Last June, I was at my Monday night knitting group. We were all excited and buzzing about Black Sheep Gathering coming up that weekend. Some were signed up for classes, some were looking forward to shopping the market for unique yarn and fiber, and some were hoping to catch a glimpse of alpacas.
But, one friend had a different source of excitement. ETW, who has impeccable taste and also likes to keep an eye out for good deals, had found some 100% silk yarn on deep discount at Ben Franklin. I was intrigued. At $17 a ball, I wouldn’t consider buying pure silk. But $4 a ball? Now we’re talking.
That Friday I spent the afternoon at Black Sheep, and purchased quite a bit of yarn. Later that evening, BN and I happened to be out, I think we were going to a movie at the dollar-fifties, near Ben Franklin. It was a now-or-never kind of thing, I wanted to get some of that silk. I picked out a pewter gray.
Last fall, I needed a new purse-sized project that was simple and compact enough to carry around and work on anywhere. I was originally going to knit a lace-patterned mobius, but when I swatched the lace pattern it didn’t do the gray nubbly yarn any favors. So I switched to a simple linen stitch and cast on for a super-minimal rectangle scarf. Some people say linen stitch makes them crazy with boredom, but I found it quite meditative.
And I LOVE the finished scarf. It is so soft, warm, not a hint of itch (even with very soft superwash merino, I find my neck can tell it’s there). The neutral color goes with everything. Mmmm, luscious. And to think it only cost 12 dollars!
Well, hello 2011! The holiday dust is still settling this week, since we only got back from California last weekend. But here we are, a new year. I wonder what the future holds.
BN is no longer a teacher, so we didn’t have to organize our vacation around the academic schedule. I had done hardly any work until the week after Thanksgiving, so I was willing and in fact eager to continue to work through the holidays. BN found me a MacBook Pro on Craigslist, and I was able to stay on top of my current projects while we were visiting our families in San Jose for a little more than 3 weeks. That worked out nicely – I had enough to do that it felt gratifying, but not so much that I had to neglect family time. On Monday, the first day back at my desk, the laptop died. It no longer starts up, except a few times randomly, and soon runs into trouble with monitor flickering and things seizing up. Oh, dear. Luckily we were able to connect it up to our old computer and get the files off of the hard disk.
It seems that iPhoto changed how they do things, so we couldn’t figure out how to get the photos that we took during the trip. We’re working on it… In the meantime, here are some borrowed from my Dad.
I was so happy to get some quality time with my two little nephews. They are growing so fast!
My dad drew my name for this year. He gave me a lovely ceramic bowl, two skeins of Mini Mochi, and a ticket to visit my sister in Houston after her baby is born. What a wonderful gift!
Our visit included some crafty endeavors, too – HN and I made glycerin soap. You should try this – we worked from a kit and simply melted the soap in the microwave, tinted it, and poured it in molds. We then cut chunks and shapes, put them back in the molds, and poured more soap in. Fun, fun, fun!
Since we all have hats on the brain now, (or on the head in my case, winter is in effect here in Eugene) I’d like to mention my next hat project…
At my LYS the hot trend at the moment is Mini Mochi yarns from Crystal Palace, knit into the wonderful Fair Isle Hat that was designed to take advantage of its luminous, slow-striping colors. The question appears to be not will you knit this hat, but how many of them will you knit – there are SO MANY CHOICES. I asked PR, one of the regulars around the shop table who has knit 4 mini mochi hats so far, for advice in choosing colors and she suggested going for contrasts – once they are blended by the stranded knitting, the effect will be the most stunning with a pair of yarns that may not appear particularly harmonious at the outset.
Overwhelmed, I went with my gut and grabbed these two. I’m excited to see how they blend and play off each other.
Happy knitting, friends, and keep warm!
An original knit design of mine has been published. In May 2009, I read on Annie Modesitt’s blog that she was compiling a book of “inspiring hats.” Knitters were invited to submit project photos of hats they’d knit from their own designs or others’. I submitted a bunch of photos, one of which was an original design, my Top Knot hat. This was chosen as a runner up, one of the ten patterns to be published in the book, 1000 Fabulous Knit Hats.
The 10 patterns include a nice variety of style and skill level. The rest of the book is just for inspiration, but the knitter (or crocheter) and designer are listed, so if someone was interested in knitting the same project, it would be possible to find the pattern on Ravelry.
My prize was extra copies of the book, so I am holding a random drawing here on the blog to give one away. Leave a comment on this post to enter! Be sure to enter your valid email address in the comment form (it will not be displayed) so I can contact the winner. Contest will close at 11:59 pm (Pacific Time) on November 6th, 2010.
My friend J had her baby girl, ETI, on my 6th wedding anniversary – July 10, 2010. I knit her this sweet, simple little cardigan. I finished the knitting in 10 days, it was a breeze. Then life happened, and I didn’t get the finishing done and the buttons sewn on until weeks later – but finally got it mailed off in the midst of packing up to move.
I used Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece, my favorite yarn of all time. (I have made so many projects with this yarn that I have enough remnants to make several more projects – I’m in progress on a granny square bag.) Sadly they no longer carry this yarn at my LYS, so I snapped up some clearance sale skeins for this little sweater.
After having such a good experience with my fine-gauge Ribbon Lace Scarf, carrying it in my purse and working on it here and there, I wanted another small, uncomplicated project to tote around. These socks worked perfectly.
I based these socks on the “Upstream” sock architecture from Cat Bordhi’s New Pathways for Sock Knitters. The yarn is lachesis sock, hand-dyed by Three Fates Yarns (a friend in Salem.) It’s listed as 100% merino, but I could swear it has bamboo in it. It’s silky-smooth and very soft. I finished these during our trip to Lassen and they kept my feet cozy in the evenings.
This weekend was Black Sheep Gathering at the Lane County Fairgrounds. I went two days – Friday and Saturday. One of the highlights was seeing our local fiber aficionados take first place in the Sheep to Shawl competition – 4 spinners and a weaver have 5 hours to create a shawl of a certain square-inch area, from a pile of washed fleece and a pre-warped loom.
On Friday I shopped the Trade Show. I bought some Blue Moon “Socks that Rock” Rare Gems:
I got some hand-dyed organic merino from Textile a Mano, a recently-opened shop in Eugene:
And these irresistible little skeins from Capistrano Fiber Arts Studio:
On Saturday I went to the Ravelry Meetup and watched my friend LK win a prize in the random drawing – the person presenting prizes held up the precious little handmade silk project bag – L said, “oh, that’s mine!” and the announcer called her name. Lucky!
I wasn’t part of the random drawing but I did get a goodie bag of prizes from Knitmore Girls. I haven’t joined the podcast-listening bandwagon but I will have to check theirs out! I was most excited that the bag contained a little retractable tape measure since I recently misplaced mine.
I bought this yarn at Black Sheep Gathering last summer, assuming I’d use it for socks. My friend A from my knit group had a skein that she was using for a lace project and she mused aloud how glad she was to not be knitting socks with it. That gave me the idea to look for a lace project to use for my skein. The colors are too pretty to hide inside shoes anyway – a mix of greens from yellowy spring to bluey turquoise, accented with bits of coppery brown. I never got bored of knitting this. The pattern is just complex enough to hold my interest but not require too much concentration. This was my on-the-go project, I just kept it in my purse and worked on it in spare moments as I was out and about. The finished scarf is lovely, and very soft around my neck (usually even the softest merino gives me slight itch. Maybe the key here is that it’s superwash…)