Saturday, December 29, 2007

TA-DA!







It is finally finished. In my opinion, it turned out pretty good. As you can see, I applied the more is more principle to completing this jacket. In addition to the needlefelting, I did some simple embroidery touches and then lined and edged it. There are two more of these felt jackets in the works which are each very different from this one. Will post when complete.

The LAF Guild is offering a 5 month felting course (wet felting) and I am going to participate in this so there will be more techniques to add to what I am already exploring. That should be a lot of fun and very interesting. Una Walker is facilitating the group and she does some amazing work.

TNNA is almost here and I still have a few projects to finish up. I am actually getting kind of excited about the whole thing. I'll be in the Ozark Handspun booth on Friday and Saturday, so if you are coming to the show, stop in and say hello. I am sure you will fall in love with their yarns and other products. I know I have.

New Year's is just a few days away and that means Rose Parade and Rose Bowl game. That translates into a lot of excitement in Pasadena and all around Southern California. In my younger days, my family lived a few blocks from Colorado Blvd. The whole neighborhood set up chairs on the street and we took turns watching our spot during the night. The thing I remember so well is the beauty and perfume of the flowers and my father with tears in his eyes as the Marine Corps Band passed by. It was unforgettable. Now, I watch on television warm and cozy with a cup of hot coffee. So Happy and prosperous New Year to all of you!

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Miters, modules and squares, oh my!





With deadlines looming and the holidays eating up time like Godzilla devouring Toyko, keeping focused on anything has been a challenge. However, my yarn experiments continue with varying results. Lately, I have been looking for a variety of DK weight yarns for intarsia work. I want to stick to natural fibers unless of course a color is to die for! So far, I have found some lovely Rowan colors with tweedy effects and am searching for more possibilities. I did discover that some of the Noro Silk Garden Lite will work and it certainly adds something wonderful to the mix. I find that I like the yarns with undertones of other colors as it really makes intarsia work come alive. So far, this has been an interesting learning process.

There has been some progress made on the new modular purse design as you can see. Not sure yet how I want to finish this off but I want to use a set of nice leather handles after lining. Also, am debating whether to leave the jagged edge on the bottom or fill in with triangles. We'll see how it looks when I get to that point. Also, I have posted a modular square swatch using a variety of yarns in mostly greens and rather like how it turned out.

Hope you all have been having a wonderful holiday season and are looking forward to an exciting New Year.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Intarsia mania is growing




Do you think there might be a 12-step program out there for intarsia addiction? This technique has really got me enthralled. Of course, adding three Kaffe Fassett books to my library probably has something to do with it. They are truly inspirational. Some of the projects contained in them are absolutely astounding! One of the things that I am learning from making these samples is chosing colors with enough contrast is crucial for some things and will take a little time to work that out on my own. Going from DK weight yarns and small needles to using Ozark and larger needles keeps thing interesting as well. I also located an English translation of one of Horst Schulz' books and am waiting for it to arrive. Even though intarsia is fascinating, my love of modular knitting still remains.

TNNA Long Beach is almost upon us and I have been working feverishly to complete a host of new samples for Ozark Handspun as well as write patterns that will be available on their web site in mid-January. It seems like my brain is buzzing with new ideas and I feel really motivated to make things! So keep your eyes peeled, there will be more photos to follow as the yarn adventures continue.

Oh, I also included a photo of one of the new Ozark designs (haven't finished the pattern yet though.) Hope you like it. It is a very quick knit and the new yarns are so soft as Dave is incorporating more gorgeous New Zealand mohair and Romney cross wool into them. Just wonderful to work with and feels nice next to the skin.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Project updates














Time is passing so quickly, finally all Christmas knitting and gift wrapping is complete and only Christmas cards remain. I feel pretty good about that and not my usual wild-eyed and confused holiday self who is trying to juggle too many things at one time.

Okay, here is a project update. Needlefelting jacket is coming along well, apple peel sweater is done (will post photo) and the Adobe Brick vest is almost complete (just the edging and buttons to go.) Additionally, I have added some books to my knitting library including three Kaffe Fassett books and Koigu's From a Painters Palette. Modular knitting continues to fascinate me and I have also been knitting more swatches of intarsia work. It is really interesting how quickly it becomes second nature to carry along a bizillion colors without losing one's mind (h-m-m, maybe it is because I have already lost my mind) and I am enjoying the results and the process. This is definitely an intriguing area of knitting and worth exploring further.

In January, will be teaching some mitered modular knitting workshops and have designed a new purse pattern using this technique and I must say it looks pretty nice so I hope students will like it too. Next year promises to be full of exciting new events and challenges and I am looking forward to it.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Pirtle spinning wheel & new projects





Over the past few days, I have been trying some new things. I acquired the Kaffe Fassett Pattern Library book and have been experimenting with learning how to do intarsia work. The intricacy of his design concepts really appeal to my love of color and design. I can see that it will take some experimenting to get the color contrasting and blending together in this knitting medium but in the long run it should be very rewarding. Nothing like swatching to be able to play with technique without a big commitment. Additionally, I have started another vest using the modular techniques I love so well. This one should go together really fast.

Finally, I have taken some photos of a Pirtle spinning wheel so that people can see what they look like. This wheel was built by Paul and Beverly Pirtle(who lived in Huntington Beach, CA in the 1970s.) They only built about 200 wheels and contrary to internet lore the wheel was not built in a hippie commune but in their garage studio. The beauty of this wheel is the fact that it has no hooks and also has a one inch orifice as well as huge bobbins which will hold up to 2.2 lbs of spun yarn. They made two flyers (one high speed for fine spinning and a bulk flyer for really chunky spinning.) In my opinion, they were way ahead of their time in the design of this wheel. Unfortunately, they no longer make wheels and have retired from the spinning and weaving marketplace. In light of all the current art yarn and novelty yarn spinning going on, this is an ideal wheel for the making of these kinds of yarns. I also have their original paperwork including use instructions and catalog on this wheel. So, if you have a wheel and want more info, contact me.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Needlefelting jacket progress




This project really intrigues me. The idea of "painting" with Ozark Handspun on clothing seems to be having a pretty interesting outcome. This jacket started out using a hand-dyed alpaca batting (needlefelted on a scrim.) It was then cut and shaped into a jacket. Next, using a single felting needle, I sort of "sketched" using handspun and pulled out tufts to create the flowers. Then, when pleased with layout, I used a needlefelting machine to secure everything. I still need to line the jacket and do the finishing touches on the edges but I think this is coming along nicely. The whole idea of the possibilities sends my imagination soaring. I really want to experiment more with this whole thing.

Today, I sent off the descriptions and photos to Ozark Handspun for the TNNA fashion show in Long Beach, CA in January 2008. Also, will be in their booth during the show and there will lots of examples of what I've done using their yarns. If you are at the show, stop and check us out.

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Conceptual Design sweater finished




Well at last, the Conceptual Design sweater is completed. This is a pattern from the Dazzling Knits book by Patricia Werner. This was an interesting knit and involved a bit of thinking as I decided the order in which to knit the modular pieces together. Also, this can be sized up or down by adding or eliminating modules and certainly has many possibilites for other things such as pillows, afghans, scarves, etc. So, I am proud of myself for finishing it but not completely sure I like the color combo in these photos. I might do another project using this technique but change things up a bit. The apple peel sweater is nearly complete too and will post when done.

We finally had rain two days ago and the weather has been crisp and clear. Today, I made a big pot of homemade soup brimming with tomatoes, carrots, celery, corn, green beans, onions, garlic and some leftover beef. There is nothing like it on a chilly day and needless to say the husband is a happy camper! Hopefully, this will get me off the hook from cooking for a couple of days. All I need to do is make him a chocolate cake and I will be able to knit uninterrupted for at least a few days.