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Sunday, February 25, 2007

My Ella Dilemma

Ella has been challenging me all the way. I have to face it, I have laceknit block. But I was bound and determined not to let this Ella get the best of me. After seeing Chris's wonderful Ella in variegated ocean greens and blues, and being egged on by the Aloha Knitters, I decided I had found the perfect project for my Woolarina handpainted yarn. I've been whining about this project quite a bit, and I am happy to say it is done, or that is to say it is sort of done. I got nearly to the end and ran out of yarn. I was soooo close. I was in full denial when blogless Michelle recommended a yarn saving maneuver. And there I was staring at that little ball of yarn, willing it to grow. I frogged back the left wing, and now I have an asymmetric shawl. I will have to stare at it for awhile before blocking and photographing it. The left brain me wants to frog back the right wing to match. Part of me wants to just let her be, and call it art. The yarn was wonderful and took the abuse very well. I love the colors, pink and green.

Meanwhile I took Erin's Eyelet Earring Class at the Bead Gallery on the spur of the moment. I pretty much just copied the class sample. It was quite fun and the pounding and sanding was relaxing. I came home and the fence dudes were finishing up the fence. I like it a lot. They have to come back when it stops raining to stain it.
I made one pearl necklace and finished out the evening with Battlestar Gallactica. My son had a good laugh last night as I waited for it to come on the wrong night.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Happy Tote, FO

I have to put a hold on knitting for a little while as my right forearm is complaining. So I decided to get out the ole sewing machine.

Project: Travel Tote with Top Extension, adapted from Travel Gear and Gifts To Make, by Mary Mulari.
Fabric: Swap meet finds, rayon blend leftovers from some aloha shirt factory, lining-twill from stash, handles black Kona cotton from stash

I had the fabric pieces in my stash for some time and once in a fit of madness I stitched them in strips to some lining material and they slept rolled up in some tub until the Great Craft Room remodel (the tale where the room went from craft room to guest room back to craft room all in one snap of a synapse).

The plan was to make a craft bag. I like the way the colors turned out as they remind me of the quilts I had when I was small, all colorful and crazy. I rushed and my serger had forgotten how to do the 3 stitch, so the bottom turned out a bit wonky. I would have liked the bag to have more body. I basically used the dimensions in the book, but if I make another, I will make it less tall and a little wider, and make the zipper extension part a little smaller. I was so tempted to use green webbing for the handles, but that would have meant a trip to the fabric store. I was "good" instead and used fabric from the stash.

All in all this project made me Happy Along. There are more of those strips of fabric, so maybe this bag will have a sibling;)

Monday, February 19, 2007

Tasting the Rainbow

Kim wrote about tasting the rainbow on her blog and that phrase has stuck in my mind. I read an article in the newspaper about people who try to give themselves holidays from the electronic life, not unlike yarn diets, drug holidays and low carb diets. I have days when I feel stuck in 8th grade (yuk) and other days when I feel these 50+years and see it speeding by. So yesterday, I made an effort to log off and get out with my partner in crime (Kim) and check out Chinatown. Not only did we find great vegies and great food, but I found a little Totoro treasure:)

Since it is the Year of the Boar, it was fortuitous that we saw a family of wild pigs in Hoolamaluhia. We ended up there because the gardens were open on Sunday, and Aloha Yarns was not. The pigs were pretty fast and I only got 2 of the 5 on camera.

Whatever the reason, I finally clicked with Ella and we are getting along now. I finished the first wing and have one to go! Child's first sock (Knitting Vintage Socks) in Koigu blue is inching along for Project Spectrum blue.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Black Wednesday and The Strange Ribby Cardi

Pattern: Chicknits Ribby Cardi
Yarn: Knitpicks Andean Knit Picks Andean Silk , 55% Super Fine Alpaca, 23% Silk, 22% Merino Wool
Needles: Knit Picks Options, size 11

I didn't really get gauge with this yarn. The person I made it for is very tiny, but I'm thinking this is way tiny and the arms will only fit a spider. The biggest drawback to this pattern is the seams. I think EZ wrote in one of her books that she does anything to avoid ending up with 5 pieces. Way back when, I learned to set in seams with a back stitch, and I'm not sure I liked how they turned out but the mattress stitch just wasn't working for me. The raglan neck portion is very pointed and has no shoulders and the collar looks way small. However, I'm persevering and will have the tiny lady try it on. Keep your fingers crossed!

Ella is going by fits. I keep thinking I can fix an error by dropping down stitches and although there are big holes in this pattern, I have one that is really huge and is starting to bug me.

I suppose this is just the crap at work oozing into my creative energy. I went for a massage today, watched my TV shows and look forward to the Monday holiday. I have men in my patio working on my fence and they are odd critters. Must be the power tools. Took my dad out to lunch. He has started to repeat himself so now I have to listen to him tell me how to run my life 3 times! At 87 he is starting to look fragile so I hold my tongue. Good thing Aloha Knitters is tomorrow night. I've started the bitchin' early.

I started the blue Child's First Sock in Koigu. Aah Koigu! A very bright spot:) I shall take this to knit on as Ella is misbehaving.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Jayne Hat, FO

FO: Jayne Hat
Pattern: Adapted from Redshirt Knitting I added 4 stitches to the hat and 2 stitches for the flaps. I did not bind off at the top of the hat, but threaded the tail through the stitches and pulled up tight. I picked up only the back loop for the flaps and knit in garter stitch up to the decreases, then knit decrease row, and purled the next row with the purl on the outside. Because of the extra two stitches, I ended up with 2 rows more, but because of my tight knitting, it worked out okay.
Yarn: Lamb's Pride Worsted, two strands together, size 11 needles.

I started this last night and finished it this am. My lovely niece modeled the hat for me sparing all the viewers closeups of my age spots.

Ribby Cardi is seamed, but the collar looks mighty strange. I'm not sure whether to frog the collar or not. I will definitely have to order a custom zipper. Ella is sitting, waiting for me to join a new ball, and she ain't blue so I may jump ship and start something blue for Project Spectrum

Kim is poetisizing so I knit ahead on the Jayne Hat ;)

Saturday, February 03, 2007

When there are no FOs, flash your stash, and nature pictures.

After a particularly heinous challenging day at work, I am rejuvenated by a package I found hiding out on my patio from my Madison, Wisconsin sister (wearer of Rogue).Inside was a very nice card, a bag of cashews, two skeins of Koigu, color 275, two skeins of Malabrigo (yum,yum,yum) and 3 colors of the Lamb's Pride Worsted to make a Jayne Hat. My cup runneth over! Thank you thank you thank you! (or as we say here, Mahalos). I love it all!

I joined some talented and crafty ladies for a walk at Hoomaluhia and it was a glorious day. It was impossible to be uncheered. Not even thinking about seaming Ribby Cardi.

The purple hedge near my house was if full bloom. How beautiful is that?