Tuesday, December 26, 2006

In the studio

Stole, seed stitch, acrylic and viscose yarn size 11 wood needles

I stalked this yarn for months, looking at the store sample in one of may favorite shops, Saratoga Needle Arts during each visit. It has a very strange feel, but works up beautifully into lacy fabric. It's by Diakeito and it's called "Diamist". I'm not sure I'd like it on smaller needles as a more dense texture. It's actually quite heavy.

This is a piece I am making for myself, and it's a stole that I will wear in the manner of Punjabi traditional costume for women, with the stole draped from the front to the back. I think it will work beatifully that way with dressy trousers as well as with skirts and dresses. I'm planning on wearing it a lot, and not reserving it for special occasions. Since I wear mostly black all the time, I think it will work well with most of my daily outfits.

Friday, December 22, 2006

In the studio

Scarf, wool, "curry" and "raisin", rib stitch, intarsia color work, size 5 plastic needles.

I started a scarf with this wool that was a twisted stockinette stitch, but I couldn't enjoy the weight of the fabric, even though I loved the stitch pattern. It was too flimsy for my taste. So I ripped it out and began with this rib stitch version and the fabric is the perfect weight. I also like the neatness of the color change.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Finished scarf

Yellow mohair scarf, garter stitch, size 9 wood needles

I had to get a little extra red into the yellow to get close to the deep purple color. I actually have not finished the purple, but sold the yellow scarf by itself. I had plans to fasten the two together with buttons. But that's for another day.

Monday, December 18, 2006

In the studio

Scarf, purple mixed synthetic fibers, rib stitch, size 8 plastic needles.

This strip will be combined with several others to make a scarf of purple and gold.

One of the yellow strips is posted in the Nov. 27 entry. Another is very fuzzy. I also have a dark purple wool strip, smooth like the Nov. 27 yellow one. So the idea is to have four strips with complementary colors and contrasting textures. Each strip is nine stitches per row. I'm going to attach them together with crocheted circles using the yarns from the strips.

I spent a good deal of the past few days combing through stash, organizing colors for projects that I'm doing that require lots of different yarns. I got a lot of things off my studio floor because I'm done with lots of projects, or using the yarns in different ways so that they don't need to be sitting in open shopping bags ready to be selected any more. I put lots of things up onto shelves so they are out of the way. I collected a group of whites together and I'm ruminating on doing several projecs involving a lot of white. Of course it will have flecks of something else.

I worked a bunch on the blue/green/teal/purple afghan, but because I'm in the middle it still basically looks the same as the Nov. 6 entry, although bigger -- yay!

I also worked on the "Shriek" projects. So far a hat, a big scarf and planned fingerless gloves, each with a different stitch pattern. They will be interesting as a set, if someone doesn't mind the way they each look different because of the stitch pattern, but the same because they're done with the same yarn. I guess I have to photograph this, don't I.....

Friday, December 15, 2006

Borrowed questions

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with? What fibers do you absolutely *not* like?

I love silk yarn - it has that dry feeling that I like very much.

Acrylic yarn is the yukkiest, I think.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?

I decided to use the top drawer of a small chest of drawers in my knitting room (my spare bedroom and studio). It works very well and is large enough to hold the entire 30-year collection.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I've been knitting for 45 years and my mother taught me to knit. I'd describe my skill level as advanced - I'm designing things now. But I still learn new things frequently thanks to all the cool knitting bloggers!

4. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I crochet, tat, embroider, sew, quilt, a little weaving and paper arts.

5. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
I don't wear ponchos, but living in upstate New York requires being able to wear lots of things to keep warm. A hat is necessary most of the winter, and scarves do a wonderful job of keeping the cold away.

6. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Simple shapes made of fabulous fabrics that I invent as I go along. I also like intarsia color knitting.

7. What are you knitting right now?
Er...umm...about 20 different things.

8. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?

My current faves are wood straight needles.

9. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?
Both!! They are wonderful! I recommend getting them to anyone who is pretty much continually knitting.

10. How old is your oldest UFO?
I would have to say at least a year, but I don't really care to keep track. Eventually if it's become totally uninspiring I rip it out and make something else that holds my interest.

11. Is there anything that you collect?
Yarn and interesting hand made papers.

12. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Book: Knitting Beyond the Edge by Nicki Epstein
Yarns: Just about anything by Colinette
Needles: I'm starting to try smaller guages, so I'd like to get some nice wood needles in size 7 and smaller.
Subscriptions: I don't subscribe but buy interesting issues of Knitter's, Vogue Knitting, Interweave Knits, Knit1, and others that are attractive.

13. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?

14. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
No - they scare me!


Willow, by Tahki; the fiber content makes me giggle: 66% Linen 34% Cotton I'm wondering how they come to those exact percentages.

I'm getting a substantial amount of linen yarn, so I'm wondering what sort of interesting textiles I can create with that fiber, maybe mixed with both cotton and hemp. At this point I have quite a wide variety of colors and textures. So I'm wondering both about intarsia, which I've been practicing, and my usual mixing by rows. I'm also starting to think about wall hangings and doing either mixed media on top of the fabric or some sorts of beads and embroidery embellishments.

Thursday, December 14, 2006


Knit 2 Together: Patterns and Stories for Serious Knitting Fun ; Mel Clark and Tracey Ullman ; 2006 ; Stewart, Tabori & Chang ISBN: 1-58479-534-4 ; 168p. ; $27.50(USD)

I found this to be quite an interesting book, but I haven't purchased it yet. I like Tracey Ullman's work, and her kntting seems to be quite sophisticated, but I'm still not certain why I'd buy the book - what do you think?

Wednesday, December 13, 2006


Rowan Chunky Print; color: "Shriek"

I couldn't help myself and got another grab bag from Webs. This is my most problematic yarn, so of course I tried to start working with it immediately. I made a beanie that's a k4 p1 rib and the inherant wildness of the yarn makes it nice and exciting. Then I thought about making a "set" of beanie, scarf and gauntlets. So I started a basketweave stitch on the scarf: Nice and exciting. I think I'll do the gauntlets in garter stitch. Because of the chunky weight it knits up very quickly.

The other yarns in the grab bag are yummy and inspiring, so I'm sure they'll end up in the blog too.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

In the studio

Tote bag, single crochet, fabric strips, size N crochet aluminum hook

Crochet with fabric strips is a good workout for the hands in two ways. The cutting gets to be very challenging after the first 10 hours or so, then it's always a bit harder for me to pull loops of fabric strips than yarn. Lots of breaks are necessary. But I love this bag. Its weight is quite wonderful, and I'm going to continue to keep the colors very bright and gaudy.

Monday, December 11, 2006

In the studio

Handbag, cotton tape, seed stitch, size 9 wood needles, braided strap

I didn't get this finished in time to have it at the little craft fair held by my food coop on Saturday. Well, this along with about 10 other projects. But I had a table full of things! You've seen them all here in the blog. I displayed them on a table draped in black velvet (thank you again, Dr. Brat) and the colors popped out like jewels.

A friend recently let several other friends comb through her hand-made bead rejects and we all thanked heaven that she has very high, exacting standards. We were all crazy over the "rejects". So I'll be using one wonderful bead from that stash to make the fastener for this bag. If I can stand to let it go.

I also mailed off six hats to another friend over the weekend. In the misty past I gave her a hat on impulse and since she has many indications that it is much coveted, we made sure she'll be able to keep hers by spreading around similar hats through her group of friends.

After the little fair and shipping off all the hats I felt oddly free of obligations on Sunday. I mused over getting back to paper arts again and not doing another show and sale until our annual Art on Lark fest in June. I need a break from the pressure of trying to make things by certain deadlines.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

Knitting magazines for the young

Ok, I can understand the knitting magazine publishers wanting to pick up the younger crowd. But do they all have to do it in exactly the same format with the exact same publication design ideas? I'm sorry to have to say that they look like brainless idiots in the way that they have copied each other.

Bravo for Rowan, coming up with something really fresh and innovative a couple years ago.

Booooo! to all the others for being merely copy cats.

You'd think with all the new fresh talent abundantly available they'd be able to use some of it.


Friday, December 08, 2006

In the studio

Scarf, forest green kid mohair and silk, rib stitch, size 9 plastic needles

I love the way the rib stitch works up in this yarn!

I've also begun to collect short straight needles for doing scarf projects, and I like them a lot. I think these are 9 in and they are perfect. Sometimes the cables make me nuts - if the cable is too short it's a drag, causing more stress on my hands to hold the needles in place, and if the cable is too long it is flopping all over the place. The only problem I have with plastic is that I tend to bend them. I'm even bending a pair of wooden size 5 needles as I knit.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

In the studio

Scarf, wool, rib stitch, intarsia color work size 7 aluminum cable needle, 24 in.

I'm so bent out of shape with Blogger Beta right now,......argh

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

In the studio

Blogger is busted, so no photos today.
Mostly I'm digging into my incompleted projects and trying to get ready for the show and sale at the coop this weekend.


Tuesday, December 05, 2006

In the studio

Scarf, raisin and curry, wool, rib stitch, intarsia color work, size 5 plastic needles

I got several inches along with these yarns in a twisted stockinette stitch months and months ago, but I ripped it out because the texture just didn't feel substantive enough. This rib stitch is producing just the color effect I want, and it produces a bit heavier fabric than my previous attempt.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Finished Scarf

Scarf, black kid mohair/silk, seed stitch, size 9 wood needle

Voila! The sequins don't show, with the exception of the one little glint in the upper left corner, but I'm really enjoying this scarf. Threading and managing the sequins was somewhat of a drag, but I'm glad I tried it. I think beads might be a little bit easier, or even larger sequins. It was very difficult to get the little blighters to separate once they were threaded. So there was a lot of fumbling with teensy pieces of plastic every four stitches. It makes be appreciate Borocco's carry-along sequin strands, which make it all very easy.

I'm doing a forest green scarf with a similar kid mohair/silk blend, and I'm doing it in rib stich, which makes a delightful fabric, and I have no idea how I'm going to embellish it. I'm wondering if beads would pull it out of shape all the time.