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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.


Monday, September 19, 2016

Noro Redux and Other Stuff

I finally frogged Baby Eleanor and cockroach-ed 8 skeins or so of Noro Silk Garden that were Klaralund before.  I lost some because of the fringe.  I really enjoyed knitting Eleanor, but I never wore it and none of the family in the frigid north seemed interested in it.

The yarn is joining some other odds and ends and becoming 10 stitch Blanket.  It's up to 27 inches or so now.

This is going to be very hot.  In the last day the temp has dropped a little to the mid 70's.  ( Is it time to put the blanket out for the bed?)  For while I had to turn on the AC to work on this, lol.  I know I'm a wimp.

I worked on a few sewing projects.  I got a quarter inch foot for my Featherweight and a stitch in the ditch foot for my Janome, and I got to try them out.  I also fiddled with stitch 11 on the Janome, trying to replicate the serpentine stitch I miss so much on my Bernina.

Blogless JoAnn is sewing little dresses for her church, so I helped with the bodices while she was off to the Holy Land. I found this nifty method for doing them, the burrito method.  It beats trying to get the shoulder seams to match up .

I made a couple of busy bags for upcoming birthdays.  Reversible Bag is a fast easy project!
I had so much fabric and decided to do pencil bags as well.  No pattern, just an elongated pyramid bag. 
They came out stinkin' cute if I have to say so myself.

I crocheted another hanging bag using up some handspun. I wish the beehives stuck out a bit more.
(Skip to the bottom to avoid the whines)
1.  The Iphone update did not go well.  It drained all my battery power and made the phone run hot.  After the exploding Galaxies, I was a alarmed.  I fiddled with it and improved those two problems but my laptop does not like it one bit.  They aren't talking, so I have email my pictures to myself to get them on the laptop.  It does talk to ITunes.  Go figure.  ITunes, however, claims I do not have enough memory to back up the iphone even though I took off all music, pictures and most of my apps.  Oh well.  I don't know if I still need to see the Genius Bar on Thursday.
 2.  The final word on my neck is that it is "broken".  Well that sounds harsh.  I like to think of the injury as severe bone bruising.  The compressions are stable and that all that matters.  Rest and time.  The associated ligamentous injuries are what hurt and will take time to heal.  I must say.  I'm not sad that I am not to continue my Senior Fit Class for now.  I struggle so with exericise, sigh.  Michelle's magic massage hands have helped a great deal.  I'm going to see if I can wean myself off the massages and NSAID.  I so hate to take meds, but they really do help.  The doc is giving me a month and will be thrilled to inject my facet joints if I still have a lot of pain.  That is incentive enough to heal myself!!

The Landcaster whipped out his camera and photographed Totoro in the wild.  You know it's a wet summer when fungi pops up everywhere.

Friday, September 02, 2016

Cotton Notes, Skully Hats, and Perfection

Notes to self on cotton in Texas, shamelessly slurped from the Web.  The ideal time for planting is May 15 to June 20.  Harvest lasts from early July through November, producing more then 5,800 thousand bales in 2015 making Texas by far the largest cotton producing state in the US.  The US is the 3rd largest cotton producing country in the world, after China and India.

According to Google,
Ideal conditions for the cotton plant are:
  • Long vegetation periods (175 to 225 days) without frost.
  • Constant temperatures between 18 and 30°.
  • Ample sunshine and fairly dry conditions.
  • A minimum of 500 mm  (19 inches for the metrically challenged) of water between germination and boll formation.
  • Deep, well-drained soils with a good nutrient content.
So my poor cotton plant suffers from too much water and poor soil.  Even then, I can't keep up with my spinning, lol.  And there is a backlog of purchased cotton sliver.  It does make for a cool arrangement and the flowers are pretty on the bush.  The are yellow one day, orange one day and then the cotton begins!

 On the knitting scene, there be hats.

Skully hat one
Pattern:  Skull Beanie by PolarKnit from PolarKnit
Yarn:  Vanna's Choice (yes, acrylic, eek)
Comments:  The pattern does not seem to be available anymore, but the chart was easy to ascertain.  CO 100 stitches, 1x1 rib for 5 inches, increase to 108.  12 pattern repeats.  St. stitch to total of 8.5 inches.  Divided into 6 pies.  Decrease one every other row until halved then every row until 12 stitches remain, Finish off.

Skully hat two
Pattern:  The Heartskull Hat by Siouxsie Stitches
Yarn:  Cascade Luna black and burnt orange, White Jeanee.
Comments:  I love how the heart motif's came out.  This pattern is not available now.  Luckily I queued it long ago.  I ran out of black at the very top, so made it white.  My first burnt orange pompom was pretty sad, so I used what little leftover I had to make a two toned one.  The Luna is so soft.  I love this yarn.  Sadly it has been discontinued, but there are still skeins to be had here and there.

On the personal scene, I had a stupid accident in my Senior Fit class so I had to take leave.  I scrunched my neck and have an MRI scheduled.  I think it's okay, though, and am working with my masseur with the magic hands and some pharmaceuticals.  It has interfered with my crafting.  This getting old is for the birds.

On a sad note, we have to say goodbye to The Ko'olau Santa Lady, Ione Adams.    She was in a fatal auto accident, not even one year after losing her husband to the big C.  Her beauty, talent and creativity will be missed.

This is blogless Melody's santa, created by Ione Adams.

Here is a video I found on Faceback.  It speaks to perfection issues and finishing issues I have in my life.  



Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Spindle Bags and Halloween Plans.

I admired Blogless Sandy's spindle bag, made by a wonderful quilter Lorraine.  I decided to make me one and it turned into three.  Perfection issues...I know I'm not the only craft-er suffering from this.  I'm trying to get better. 

I decided to try a zipper tab for the ikat one and followed The Missouri Quilt company tutorial.

Alas, I got the dread hole at the top.  So for number two, the green poodle one, I just sewed two small strips on the end, right sides together on the cut ends of the zipper.  I adjusted the the zipper length to make allowance for the seam, but that turned out to be unnecessary and made the seams a too small.  As I'm still fiddling with zipper sewing my Janome I serge the raw edges, but forgot to serge finish the edges  on this one, and I didn't like the way the raw edges stuck out.   I miss the serpentine stitch (on my Bernina 1530)for compressing the seams .  I also did not figure out a good way to top stitch the zipper down.  Number 3 is the charm right?  Except for the part where I sewed the pyramid the wrong way and the zipper pull is on the bottom and my flowers are upside down.  Sigh.  Retirement brain.  I would have fixed it up but had already bound the seams.  Anyway, all functional and kinda cute.  Perhaps I will try one more, just a little bit longer.

Elizabeth the doll who was Princess Leia last year wanted to be Luna Lovegood this year.  She has some serious body issues,  and is not a very standard size so I have not been successful finding clothing for her.   So far she has pink pants, pattern drafted by mwah.  It would help if she had a waist.  My drafting skills did not extend to a top, so she has a hand knit one from some hand spun, long enough to cover her tummy.   There wasn't enough for sleeves.  I will either knit some in another color, maybe grey, or make really long arm warmers.  She is going with the lion hat to support Gryffindor against Slytherin.  She still has no shoes.

For the hat, I modified hellostitchesxo free lion pattern.  The yarn, Patik, is billed as aran, but is more like a dk weight.  I used Patik and some eyelash for the mane.  I may trim it more as his ears are buried in there.  The eyes are felt.  True confessions, some glue was involved.  An interesting fact I came across was that big cats, like lions, have round pupils instead of the slits the small cats have.  Pictures to come.

Still don't know what to do about shoes. 

After the last post I tried to get involved in some knitting.  The Red Scarf project scarf in cartridge rib is cast on for, but moving ever so slowly.  The frogged Shibui Twig became a Luna Lovegood scarf.  The gauge is smaller the what the pattern calls for, but the scarf is long enough for a shorty like me.  The pattern is very easy and quick to crochet.  I don't think it needs blocking. 

The Olympics is amazing.  Such outstanding athletes!!