Thursday, November 29, 2007

I think I'll live!

Over the past week, I have been laid low by what seems like the flu. Wouldn't you know, I get my flu shot and then contract the one flu virus not covered by the vaccine. Yuck! I don't think I have slept so much since I was an infant. Throughout the ordeal, I have pecked away at some knitting projects, just to keep myself from going stir-crazy.

As you can see, the conceptual design sweater has progressed. I only have about ten modular pieces to go on one sleeve and then assembly. The apple peel sweater is connected and am just doing the sleeves. There is a new Entrelac beanie and also some knitted vintage button bracelets. I had to do something! Being in bed sick makes me feel guilty that I am not accomplishing anything. Also I have been finishing off writing two upcoming articles for Belle Armoire magazine. So, in looking at the overall picture, I guess I did do a few things while under the weather.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Quick crochet projects

Okay, I have been putting off the Christmas knitting and crocheting. But, the season is upon us and my little sweat shop is in full swing between now and December 25th! Here are a couple of quick cutie pie presents. What little (or big) girl wouldn't love a cupcake bag or a flower bag? These take only a few hours to make and I have written patterns for both of these, if you are interested.

Additionally, am working on another bag using mitered squares made with leftover sock yarn and size 3 needles. Insane, right? It is really cool looking so far though. So I guess the ends justify the means. Happy knitting and crocheting!

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Finished project

Today, I finished this shawl and it turned out pretty nice I think. The colors are cheerful and I like the way the more smooth crochet and knit bits peek out of the fleece. Hope you like this one. Now, I just have to finish the other projects in the queue.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Evolution of a sweater

A few posts back, I mentioned getting an idea for a sweater from looking at an apple peeling. Well, here is the next stage in the evolutionary process. I started with two scarves of an appropriate length for body size. Using a mannequin, I wrapped and pinned to create the sweater shape and will add crocheted sleeves and a bit of fringing at the bottom to complete. This is a very easy way to design a custom fit sweater. If you have a mannequin use that or get a friend to help you with the draping and pinning to size on yourself. I will post a photo of completed sweater when done. Also, here is a photo of the next stage in my Dazzling Knits conceptual sweater experiment. So far, so good. Hope this gives you some new design ideas and encourages you all to experiment "outside the box!" Happy knitting and crocheting.

Monday, November 12, 2007

In loving memory

Today is Veteran's Day, a day of reflection and remembrance for all of those who have served our country since the Revolutionary War. This year, we lost a nephew to a roadside bomb in Iraq. He was honored for his service with a Bronze Star, Purple Heart and Order of the Golden Spurs. However, this is small recompense for the level of sacrifice. He will be missed and never forgotten. There can never be enough said or done to honor our service men and women in my mind. Freedom does require responsibility, duty and honor and our military personifies this in full measure. As my father would have said, "Semper Fi!" As Americans, we should always be faithful to their memories.

Sidetracked again

Well, it has happened again, I've set aside the ball of yarn for a while as I needed a break from it.  I am winning the battle and will re-engage soon.  In the meantime, I was seduced by the Dazzling Knits book and started not one but two projects using different colorways than my usual.  The whole knit as you go technique intrigues me and it is kind of like a jigsaw puzzle as it assembles itself as you go along.  As you will notice with the photos, one of these sweaters is just a couple of blocks and the other is the one that has really gotten my attention.  I am enjoying the way the colors are playing off of one another - blues, pale gold, deep plums, browns of silk and wool.  Subtle but interesting.  The other piece will be a vest in creams, pale beiges and greys.  This is unusual for me to work in these colors but I decided to try the "neutral" route for this project so we'll see how it goes.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Argh, the skein from hell

Have you ever had this happen? A perfectly normal-looking beautiful skein of yarn just waiting to present challenges worthy of a Gordian knot! It all started out innocently enough. The lovely thing was placed on the swift and the process of balling it up started and then, IT happened! Something went terribly wrong and it became tangled beyond description. Notice too that it is fingering weight yarn (500+ yds)destined to become Entrelac socks. All of this happened on Saturday. It is now Thursday and for the past days, this skein and I have struggled with each other. I, of course, am determined to win and just plug along at any moment my hands are idle. As you can see, I'm gaining on the little sucker! When I reach the point where I can actually cast on the socks, I will be thrilled. Tune in to see if I reach that point and it becomes a pair of socks.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

hat and shawls

Having just finished this hat this morning, thought I would put up a photo. This was an interesting pattern but actually was pretty darn big even knitting to gauge. Lucky I have a big head, 'cause I am going to keep it for myself as it is a happy looking hat to wear on a winter day. This is one I would like to make again and next time, I would leave out a square on the first row and see if that makes it a better fit for the average head. Oh, by the way, the pattern is called Diamond Head by David Xenakis. It is based on the techniques of Horst Schulz. The shawls are Sursa by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton. This is my favorite quick knit for a shawl as they all look so different. It is a joy to make.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Working, working, working

Today, I took a nap in the middle of the afternoon and woke up with a new idea for a design. Have you ever looked at apple peeling? I thought this could be turned into a garment. I know it sounds a little nutty but it could work, I think. So, took a long strip of muslin and draped and pinned on a mannequin. Voila! The idea is a good one and now a new project is in the works. Will be posting pic soon so you can see what I'm talking about.

Also, working on a chevron scarf (I got sucked into it by my friends at Unraveled) and so far it is really pretty. Next, I'll be making Baby Surprise Jackets - oh my gosh, will it never end? There is also a swallowtail shawl on the needles and three pairs (I finished one - yipee)as well as a eyelet cardigan and that orphan sweater. I think the sweater should go to the front of the line for a bit as it has been languishing the longest. I don't want it to feel neglected (ah, who am I kidding, it's been there over a year and probably has forgotten me by now.)

The husband is happy though, as I've been cooking lately and so he feels loved again. Bless his heart, it doesn't take much, a hot meal and the occasional chocolate cake and he's good.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Contemporary Craft Market

On Saturday, I went to the Contemporary Craft Market show in Santa Monica, CA. It was fantastic! The most spectacular show I've seen in quite a while. The quality and scope of the artists was amazing. There are just not enough superlatives to describe the offerings. Check out their site and link to some of the individual exhibitors to get a taste of how fabulous it is.

Afterwards, I went by Unraveled and meet some friends and sat and knitted together. All in all a great day. Oh by the way, the meeting with Belle Armoire Magazine went very well on Thursday and a lot of items were left with them for photography for future articles. It seems that Michelle Flores, the managing editor, has left and the magazine will be trying some new directions. It should be very interesting to see what happens. This has been a busy and productive week. Today, I decided to relax and take it easy with a little "mindless" knitting.

Here are some photos for you to check out: Two denim vests which I embellished using vintage hankies, doilies, buttons, embroidery, etc. Also, my Lady Eleanor made from Noro Aurora on size 5 needles. I love how it turned out.