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Monday, January 09, 2017

A New Year

The holidays were put on hold due to house painting and a family member canceling a trip due to cataract surgery.  Yes it sucks to get old. The interior of the house was painted so a lot of stuff had to be moved and it's still not all put away.  I added on a floor and the blinds will have to wait as it takes awhile for stuff to be shipped here.  It's amazing how shabby things like rugs and cabinets can look after the walls become all sparkly white.  Not surprisingly I found I have too much stuff.  The sewing machine room table is still not done, so my huge fabric stash is filling up more then it's usual space.  The table will happen in two days, the same day I have a house guest.  (one of those crazies who actually enjoys running 100 miles at time)  After discovering that the boy bathroom upstairs which is shared with the guest room still looks a bit awful after multiple scrubs, I will have to offer the little used one in the sewing room.

I've been without my TV, DVR and Roku and watching TV on the 'putor is not as much fun.

I found a couple treasures including a 1944 penny which is lost already and the giant rubber cockroach that may be doomed for the donate box.  

So of course there is little crafting.  I finished a very simple baby blanket for the new baby next door.  I found the cutest giraffe fabric and flannel on Maui so I went with that.  I had two pieces of batting in stash, but alas they both pinned out too small.  So I just went with fabric and flannel for a light weight blanket.

I finished the Peace Cowl since I used bulky yarn and then missed several days while I was on Maui.  I had yarn for the Peace Hat, top-down.  I adapted the stitch pattern from the cowl.  The cowl and hat have gone off to Denver to live. 

Then there was the Koigu Peace socks.

Pattern:  Vanilla is the New Black by Anneh Fletcher
Yarn:   Koigu KPPPM colorway P529
Mods:  none
This heel construction was not one I'd tried before.  There are no stitches to pick up! 

The heel stitches look cool.  There is more room in the ankle area, but this was not a problem for me.  The Koigu is so nice and squishy.  I loves me some Koigu!

The last project is a Gator-pus for my Florida Gator, cephalopod-loving  (and blogless) friend the Dive Doctor.

Pattern:  Octopus by Hansi Singh from hansigurumi: Knitting the Peculiar
Yarn:  Cascade Superwash and Plymouth Encore.
This is such a clever pattern.  It is a bit fiddly but comes out so cute.    I stuffed mine with wool and used buttons for eyes since there are no children around.

I returned to Senior Fit to find the class is one hour later and has a new teacher.  This one drives us all a bit too hard and talks a lot, so I'm not sure how long I'll last.  Hopefully long enough to work of the holiday cookies.

Update 1/12/2017:  I decided to go with a hat for the gator logo.

Wishing everyone a healthy and happy 2017!

Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Well what is this?

A friend says she has antique spindles for me and here they are.  She thinks they are fiber related.  They are hollow wood tubes about 11 inches long with ends that screw in.

Thursday, December 08, 2016

Project Peace

I've joined the Healthy Knitter's Peace-along.
There will be 21 days of peace tips and a pattern on Ravelry by Christina Campbell to knit while contemplating peace.  It is a cowl in fingering weight.  I did a bulky one, so it's done already and now I have no project on the needles. 

Yarn:  Cascade 128 in silver.  1.5 balls
Needles:  size 13
Mods:  4 stitch i-cord cast-on and bind-off. 
The final cowl is 30 -inches folded and 7.5 inches wide. 

Thursday, November 03, 2016

FO: Dotted Rays

I signed up for the the first Knit Stars and was treated to some excellent teachers.  I was very impressed with Stephen West's energy and creativity as well as his teaching technique and philosophy.  The man does not fear color!  I decided to embark on one of his patterns, Dotted Rays.  I had a few rules going in.  1.  Only from the stash (or collection as SW likes to call it)  2.  No pink  3.  No purple.

So simple, no?  Well as the rays got larger and larger I got the urge to shop.   I saw a pattern develop,  a green and a blue ray, followed by a brown/gold ray.  I was happy to use up some Trekking ProNatura that could not find a project.  I did break the pink and purple rules as  the variegated yarns had bits of both.  For the last ray I was all set to stop by Aloha Yarns, but alas, or maybe luckily, Nanea was on vacation.  So I got out the Handmaiden single ply emerald green turquoise stuff and was pleased to find that I had enough and it really looked good.  I kept hearing SW say it would be just fine.  In the end, I'm happy with the result. And it matches my sock drawer.

I used a size 7 needle since SW knits loose and I knit tight.  He can knit while walking and dancing.  I better not try that.

The Dark Kork was another little obsession out of the way.  Bat Kork.  I found a cute bat pattern, Fat Bottom Bats,  and used the wings.  I will have to go back to my Knit Stars videos and work on the CO join at the top of his face.  So many techniques for the those pesky problem areas.  CO 10 stitches, size 2 needles and I think some random Koigu.

Speaking of Koigu, I lust for some more.  Hope my Knit Stars order comes soon!

I wanted to go to Madrona next year but registration opens the day of my cataract surgery, so I'm afraid it's not to be.  Sigh.  Perhaps I should look for a fall festival with acorns and beautiful foliage instead.  A Hansen retreat with Judith McKenzie is also looking good.  They are in Port Hadlock next year instead of Port Townsend.

PS.  I used my Knitter's Pride blocker set, recommended by Rosemary Hill in the Knit Stars class and I love them!

Friday, October 14, 2016

Knitting projects and Another Dye Failure

Dingle the Gnome

Pattern:  Alan Dart,Yuletide Gnomes (Jultomtar & Teeny Tomte)
Yarn:  Donegal Aran Tweed, from Commodum Art and Design in Dingle, Ireland, Queensland Kathmandu for the boots and mittens, Patons  Moxie colorway Red Fox beard.  Pink Cascade 220 for face.
Mods:  none.
I added the beads to weigh down his butt by sewing them into a fabric bag,  and put a pipe cleaner in his hat for the bend.  He is stuffed with wool.

Another bad dye job. 

The uki'uki, Dianella sandwicensis, is a native plant.  It has a very understated flower and brilliant blue-purple berries.  The native Hawaiians used the berries to paint kapa.  I thought I would try the steeping method on one ounce of some handspun Romeldale.  I soaked the wool in vinegar water.  I did not have any lime or tums to add to the dye bath.  The berries made a nice popping sound when I crushed them and the strained liquid was nice and blue.  After a one day soak the water was purple.  I was hopeful.  Today I washed and dried it and it was a rather dull brown.  Sigh. Not totally a failure since the yarn is actually a color, but not very blue or purple. Maybe next year I'll try some lime.  (Not sure where to find burnt coral)  I don't have many plants but the dye seems quite concentrated.  I tried to find out if the plant is poisonous.  One site said they don't taste good, but apparently they didn't die, so I'm guessing not.

I signed up for Knit Stars.  So far I've "met" Hannah Fettig of Knitbot, Stephen West of Westknits, Julie Weisenberger of Cocoknits, and Meghan Fernandez of Pompom Quarterly.  Stephen West is so much fun and a great teacher.  I plan to knit one his shawls, probably Dotted Rays, in the future.  Julie Weisenberger taught me a method of neckline for a top down raglan that she has modified to improve the lines of the classic raglan. I'm one who does not look that great in a raglan.  The lines accentuate my roundness.   I finished the mini-sweater and modified it to complete Marietta's costume.  She wanted to be Molly Weasley but the crocheted colorful sleeves weren't happening for me.  Instead she got an acorn dress, from a free Craftsy pattern, Everyday Playdress, Slouchy Beanie,
in the Donegal Tweed, and seed stitch scarf.

The cardigan is a little large on Marietta, but certainly wouldn't fit anyone else I know!

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Recent FOs

Pattern:  #07 Fair Isle Hatby Mary Jane Mucklestone from Vogue Knitting, Fall 2016
Yarn:  Main color, Rowanspun DK (discontinued).  Mad Hatter, Mini Skein Packs by Frabjous Fibers (recycled from spiral scarf).  A little bit of two colors of leftover sock yarn.
Needles:  size 2 and 3

I greatly enjoyed knitting this pattern.  At first I thought it would be too small.  The Rowanspun is more like fingering weight.  It all turned out fine in the end.  I'm wearing it around the house this am as it may be in the mid 70s, lol.  So far it is not scratchy.  I was going for a solid tassel, but the Rowanspun seemed delicate so I added a few stands of the tougher Frabjous Fiber to sew it down with.

Mom wanted some Korknisse for her golfing buddies.  She has resumed golf at 92 years young!
I used champagne corks courtesy of the fabulous Jason at The Food Company.

Pattern:  Korknisse by Manne
Yarn:  Various odds and ends.  
I hand felted the balls and dyed them in Wiltons cake dye.  Mom is happy with them.  

Blogless Kathy wanted me to repair a crystal dragonfly that had lost it's tail.  It took a bit and I had to wing the tail since it was totally lost.  After a few attempts I'm happy with it.  The glass teardrops are really dull compared to the real deal Swarovski. 

Karen of Bella Beads is closing her shop.  She is such a creative person and she wants to branch out and do other things.  Also, business has slowed and rent has gone up so I have to say mahalo and aloha to her.  I had many fun times with her and I wish her well. 

I picked some peace signs and closed jumps rings in the closeout, so I made stitch markers.  

I haven't tried them out yet.  The beads are quite light. 

I stopped by the Senior Fit class for a potluck.  Mom peeled a couple jabong(pomelo)  for the group and I made tabbouleh.  I usually use garbanzo beans but only had black bean which turned out fine.  I got to use green onion, parsley, mint and tomato from the garden.  My homegrown Rangapur limes aren't ripe yet so I used lemon.    I'm excited since after about 10 years and threatening to cut it down, the tree set 5 fruits!! I am trying to figure out when to return to class.  The neck is getting better but I will have cataract surgery early November, so maybe December.   The self talk goes on.