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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Just Hats

Since subscribing to  some premium channels, getting a DVR, and being appalled my by cable bill every month, there are still days when 1555 fails me and there are no NCIS reruns to knit by.  So, I fall prey to some some of those reality shows...the vintage clothing LA one, oddities, project runway just to name a few.  I do learn a few things some days.  The other night I watched Vamps.  It is rated 4.9 on IMDb and 50% fresh or rotten by Rotten Tomatoes.  These ratings are a little high to fall into the so bad it's good category but,  but I found it pleasantly silly and stayed up and watched it all the way through. Dan Stevens of Downton Abbey fame is in it with his sparkley eyes and Alicia Silverstone plays cute, so well. 

Then there is Malcolm McDowell as Vlad Tepish the Impaler.  He has taken up knitting and impaling balls of yarn instead of people. A movie with knitting can't be all that bad, lol.    Sigorney Weaver is great as the blood-crazed maker, who is always on the search for love.  The movie ends up on Times Square.  Every since going to NYC, I have become very aware of how many movies and TV shows are filmed there, and what a really interesting place it is.  Perhaps I will have to go back to visit one of these days. 

I have been in a hat knitting mode.  I knit another Lenina with Noro Aya.  I had just one ball left and kept dreaming about it. 
The funny thing is how the two sides are so different.  That's Noro for you.  That glaring pink came out of nowhere. 

Another destash using my last ball of the wonderful and wooly Beaverslide in Cat Heather.

Pattern:  Beshert Chapeau, by Jill Horwich
Crochet Hook:  G
I really liked the look of this stitch.  It is very dense, and less stretchy then a knitted hat.  I will have to be on the look out for someone in the frigid north who looks like their head is cold.  Perhaps a shepherd. 
One can not watch too many sheep shearing videos.  I find them so entertaining.  It's a wonder to me how placid the sheep is during the whole process. 

It looks like strenuous work and hard on the back.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Sharing Mason-Dixon's online idea in Memory Kathreen Ricketson

Mason-Dixon Knitting has posted an online idea to celebrate the lives of Kathreen Ricketson and her partner.  I enjoyed visiting her online world, Whip Up over the years.  I found much inspiration there and a very happy place. 

Check it out.

Monday, May 20, 2013

A Wonderful Surprise, Small FOs

Wow!  I got a wonderful surprise in the mail today.  This handspun is so fluffy.  I love it!  Thanks for making my day KnottyNaomi! 
Yarn:  Twisters Handspun, "terrestrial". Naomi is a fine spinner of incredible art yarn.  Every Tour de Fleece, I try something arty (you know, lumpy yarn spun on purpose!)  I aspire to spinning something this fluffy and worsted weight too. 

A couple of small projects....Nanipolu
Pattern:  Cadhla Shawl, by Paula Pereira, from Da Fazenda. 
The author generously provided this pattern for free!
Yarn:  Queensland Prima Fresca.  This is such a nice soft yarn.  There two skeins had some issues matching, though.  I still love it.  I used  most the two skeins. 
Needle:  size 10 for C0 and BO, and size 8 for knitting. 
Comments:  A fast knit, easy to follow instructions.  A small shawl. 

Mini Strawberry Purse
Pattern:  Girl's Strawberry Purse, by Jacqueline Y Young from Jacqueline's Patterns
Yarn:  Cascade 220 and maybe that green is Red Heart
Needles:  size 7
Mods:  I did not hold the yarn double.  I wanted a small bag.  This one is about the size of my hand.  I also wanted a draw string, so modified the leaves so I could knit them in one piece, knit them on , then added some eyelets for the drawstring.  The twisted drawstring, I made with my new Bosworth Maxi:)  I wanted a short handle, as I'm always worried small people will somehow strangle on a longer one.  I have observed this intended  recipient chew a rubber ring like gum instead of leaving it on her finger as intended.  The horror!  The horror!

Black Hat
Pattern:  A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend, by Stephanie Nicole, from Stephanie Likes to Knit
Yarn:  Vanna's Choice
Needle:  Size 8
The recipient tried the hat on for size.  Instead of waiting for me to sew in the ends, he cut them off some unraveled.  Yikes!  At least the CO edge did not and I was able to tie on some tails and finish them up.  Lucky yarn choice for me.

A cute mushroom, I believe a yellow houseplant mushroom, sprouted in my papyrus plant.  It lasted 3 days and I missed the morning of the first day when the olive shape had a little bulbous top.  I love the way the brown top cracked, like bread in the oven.  

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Lenina FO

Pattern:  Lenina by Wooly Wormhead, from the book , Brave New Knits: 26 Projects and Personalities from the Knitting Blogosphere
Yarn:  Plymouth Linen Isle
Needles: size 7
I found out after the fact the the book has an error for this pattern.  However I cannot blame the book for my first attempt. I was totally distracted and couldn't for the life of me count the w&ts.  I missed some vital instructions when piecing and finally gave up.    
On my second try I decided to go with a seamless modification. Instead of knitting each wedge from a provisional CO, I CO with a loop method, knit the first wedge, and bound off the stitches until I had one stitch on the needle.  Along the way I picked up the wraps, knit, then passed the previous stitch over.  I then turned and counted the stitch left as the first stitch of the next row.  There were purl bumps made by the CO row, and I just picked these up and either knit or purled them according to the pattern.  The very last bump was small  and the first few were double bumps from the wrapped stitches.  When the last wedge was done, I did a 3 needle bind-off, wrong sides facing each other and picking up the loop from the CO row.  I think it came out similar to the original:).  The yarn does not have a lot of stretch but the a single row of single crochet, a swim, and a tumble in the dry helped some.  

I started spinning my Purple Majesty.  I'm enjoying my maple/cherry Baines spinning chair from Halcyon.   It has a nice okole shape to fit my bottom.  The roving is all blue on one end, and pretty much red on the other, with purple, blue and red in the midde.  I'm going for a 3 ply and hope it all blends.  

I spent a couple hours on the azalea revitalization project.  I read that lichens mean the plant is not happy and I'm not surprised after years of neglect on my part.  First step was weeding.  Ugh.  I hate weedingI spread some dirt/compost around today, and gave them a spinkle.  I spoke to them nicely, trying hard not to show them the worry part.  I'm hoping it will rain some tonight.  Keep your fingers crossed!

There were enough lichen to try out another experiment.  My friend commented today, "Why bother?"  She is so practical.  
I have no idea what variety of lichen they are.  There were two types, a fructiose green one and and orange one that looked like coral.  I boiled them up, poured the liquid in a spaghetti jar, added some ammonia and plan to shake it everyday for a while.  It started off brown and is this reddish-brown color now.   It doesn't look very concentrated.  I wonder if heat is really needed in the dye process.  

It's definitely summer here.  The jacaranda trees are nearly done leaving a lavender dust along the roads.  The popcorn orchids popped. The litchi are turning red. The PV system is producing enough electricity to pay my electric bill.  I have no sock mojo.  I'm still contemplating whether to keep working or tender my resignation. Not sure why I keep hanging on!

Happy creating! 


Saturday, May 11, 2013

Who ain't busy living is dyeing

Well I guess that's not really what Bob Dylan was singing about, but at little ear worm popped into my head.  Then of course there was the banana song.

These minion are the creation of Illumination Entertainment and stole the show in Despicable Me.  My weld-dyed yarn screamed Minion to me. 

Pattern:  Minion
Needles:  size 8
Yarn:  yellow, hand spun merino/seacell.  Weld natural dye.  Overalls, hand spun Romney and hand dyed and grown by Sheep and Threads on Etsy.  Many bits and bobs-mystery black wool, baby alpaca eyes.  Number two son said google eyes.
Comments:  The goggles are the challenge.  I may still put wire in them and add some eyelids to help hold them in place.  I crochet the rims, just winging them as I went along.  He still needs a pocket and emblem.  I'm still trying to imagine how I will make them. 

My other dyeing project involved a braid of Rambouillet from Certified Cute on Etsy.  A friend who dyes scarves with acid dyes gave me some her premixed dyes to use.  I had no idea what I was doing.  My thought was that the oxblood and alpine blue would mix to form purple and I threw in some purple in the middle just in case.  I soaked and spun dry the braid which puffed up quite a bit in the process.  The dye was quite thick and didn't flow, but I was afraid to felt if by massaging too much.  I steamed it for 45 minutes, but the water never ran clear.  After rinsing it was quite dark. So here it is, Purple Majesty.

I will try to spin this up to blend the colors perhaps a 3-ply for socks. 

Have a Happy Mother's Day weekend all!

Friday, May 03, 2013

A Little Stashbusting, A Lot of Shop Therapy

Number 2 son frequently comments on the additions to my various stashes and reminds me to get rid of something for every new purchase.  I just realized that he is also stashing things, and I've just had a lot longer to collect things!  So there!

Bead stash damage from the trade show.  Pink coral (suspect dyed), green moonstone, and some other green stone I've already forgotten the name of.  I have a thing going on with round beads.

After Green Dreams came along, I acquired a couple more spindles, a diz and a puller.
1.  Green Dreams by Rooster Rick
2.  Bosworth Maxi, Cherry and Maple
3.  Gregory V Pencheff, Maple and Shedua
4.  Gregory V Pencheff, Maple Diz and puller

I'm spinning some wool from Karen's churro named Pippi on the Navajo spindle and having much more luck with this supported spindle then the others I've tried.  The Bosworth is lovely and spins wonderfully!  The Pencheff is very pretty, quite heavy and large.  When I get enough cotton spun I'll try it for plying.

I finished two shawls using the Summer Flies pattern (for sale on Ravelry), by Donna Griffin, Summer Chocolate and Summer Ice.
Needles:  Size 10.5.  Yarn:  Brown Queensland Collection Pima Fresca, Blue STASH Plymouth Linen Isle.  The Linen Isle was gifted to me and had a hard time deciding what it wanted to be.  The pattern is well written and a fast knit up to the mercifully short ruffle.  I used a crochet hook to make the picot bind off.  The Pima Fresca did not need any blocking, but I may block the Linen Isle one since the yarn had been frogged a number of times and was sitting around in the elements for a while.  The label says "machine washable"!

Another stash buster is Stash Market bag.
Pattern:  Shifting Shells Shopping Bagby Claudia Schwan.  A free pattern on Ravelry.
Yarn:  Mystery stuff, looks like cotton linen for the bottom and handles and Reynolds Garden Tween.
Hook size:  I
Mods:  the mystery yarn was a smaller gauge, so I added a couple rows on top before starting the handles.  It is also machine washable.  After washing the tweed portion had a funny smell, so I washed it again.  It is less, but still there.  As my crochet skills are just so so, one handle is little longer.  Oh well.

So far the work a the other clinic has been going okay.  The drive home sucks big time and I know now why Honolulu ranks #2 in the country as worst commute home.  The people I'm working with are all very nice and that counts for a lot! And,  there is a lovely head of red hair I'm trying not to stalk.  Wonder why sheep don't come in that color?

I have one more dye class to go. 
The T-shirt is weld with indigo, the yarn (hand spun SW merino with seacell from Pat at Dyeing for Color  on Etsy. The green is weld on crepe de chine, with a quick indigo dip.  The lac behind the green scarf a little disappointing.  Turns out cotton and vegetable fibers are more challenging to dye.  I don't like to sew silk, so I'm going to dye mostly cotton anyway.  I wish I had more SW wool to dye.  I have some Romney locks, but since I'm sharing dye pots and I don't have any good way to contain the wool or prevent felting I'll save that for another time. 

Blogless Megan is going to knit with Ysolda Teague in Iceland.  Jealous!!!