Monday, September 24, 2007

In the studio

Afghan, mixed fibers: wool, cotton, silk, acrylic, polyester, nylon, mohair, metallic; linen stitch, size 10.5 aluminum cable needle, 24 in.

Since I have made the plunge into afghans I've had a zillion ideas, but this one is for my bedroom. It will be my coverlet, and will complement some of the other yellows I have in the room. I've had a wonderful time going through my stash and selecting yarns, which range from yellow-orange through white. My plan right now is to have a four poster bed with bed curtains, so I'm looking forward to climbing into a beautiful warm space with this honey of a blankie.

Friday, September 14, 2007

In the studio

Shawl, mixed fibers: cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic, silk, alpaca; linen stitch, size 13 wood needles.

All I can say right now is that I love this fabric.

[See the Sept. 4 2007 entry for background story.] Elizabeth found another skein of the yarn she gave me, so I can distribute it a bit more liberally now than I would have been able to do without it. Yay!!!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

In the studio

Guest towel, organic naturally colored cotton, stockinette and reverse stockinette; garter stitch selvage; size 6, 9 in. bamboo needles

The more I work with this cotton, the more I like it.

I'm hoping this photo shows off the reverse stockinette motifs.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

In the studio

Purse, polyester and metalic ribbon, size 9 plastic needles, "woven" stitch

This is finally off the needles and ready for lining, the rhinestone button, and a nice long shoulder strap.

I began browsing through my "finished" things and realized that I could fill a weekend doing all the final touches and making tags.

I make a tag for each item that includes a description of the stitches used or any other detail of the technique that might be interesting, care instructions, fiber content and it has a tiny bit of artwork to "brand" it. So now I make the artwork part in those odd moments when I just want to play around with something but don't want to get involved in a serious project. When I want to tag a finished piece I put the description and fiber content, etc.

Monday, September 10, 2007

In the studio

Guest towel, organic naturally colored cotton, stockinette and reverse stockinette; garter stitch selvage; size 6, 9 in. bamboo needles

This is what happened after I saw a knitted guest towel in the Suss Cousins book. I think this cotton will make smashing towels. It has a beautiful soft hand and I think it'll hold up nicely through machine washing and drying. I like the effect of the positive/negative aspects in using sockinette and reverse stockinette, so I've started a pattern down the middle. A monogram would be very easy using this technique, but I'm going to keep the graphics abstract, using variations of geometric shapes. I expect that this will be about 14 x 24 inches, and will drape nicely on a towel rack.

I have three colors of this cotton, and I may use all of it on towels.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Finished dress

Dress, linen tape, rib stitch, size 11 cable needle, 24 in.

Wow, no entries of this since November 10, 2006!

This is another very comfy knee-length house dress consisting of a tube with shoulder straps. I made this one a bit narrower than my first, (September 12, 2006) thinking that the rib stitch stretchiness would be fine. It is. The important thing is to make the tube big enough for my hips. Now I want to try one with smaller needles and thus a bit less stretchiness and a more firm fabric, still using rib stitch. I have a lot of cotton and linen around here to use for a project this size, and I do want to be able to toss it in the washer with no second thoughts.

This dress is shrinking a bit with machine washing and that is a good thing. The straps are stretching more than I would like, and I may shorten them. I may re-knit them with smaller needles. I don't know yet.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Finished scarf

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

I think this might be my most photographed piece, but I just had to show off these tassels! The small needles and length of the scarf - about 65 in. - made the going very slow. So for myself I needed all those "in progress" shots because it never seemed like I was getting anywhere!

I don't show many finished pieces, and I realize I should do more of it. However, often I quickly stash them away for safekeeping after I weave in the ends and do all the other finishing tasks. Then it's too much bother to fish them out again for peectures.

I feel at last that I have captured the real purple of this scarf in the photo. It took just the right lighting. I know that your browser and monitor may undo all my efforts at showing the true color, but I am much more satisfied with this rendition than in any of the others. It's not tweaked by Photoshop.

*snork* of course I meant to put the gold tassel on the purple corner and purple tassel on gold corner, but after I did them and took all that time to weave in the ends and make very secure knots, I didn't have the heart to rip it all out and start over.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007


Home Knits: Luxurious Handknits for Every Room of the House; Suss Cousins; 2006; Crown; ISBN: 0-307-33591-7; 160p.; $32.50(USD)

I'm having a wonderful time with this book. I'm hesitant to try and make general statements about Suss Cousins designs. I like them very much. Since I've recently moved into a new apartment, the timing of this purchase makes it of great interest to me. There are only a few instances that make me go "oh please", because Cousins has gone a bit over the edge into the ridiculous. The coasters is one of these examples. I'm sorry, but knitted coasters, no matter how cute, are over the line.

There's a simplicity and a tendency toward the rustic that makes me fall in love with the cushions, the table runner, the guest towels and other sort of corny but wonderful household things. At the same time there's a sophistication that makes them all worth a second look and will keep them from getting plain boring after the glow of having made them oneself wears off.

Since I tend to skip over the technicalities, I can't comment on the ease or difficulty of the directions, and since I concentrate on the pictures, I can say that the photography is wonderful and I have spent many a pleasant hour enjoying these designs. This book has been in my bed for at least two weeks.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

In the studio

Shawl, mixed fibers: cotton, wool, nylon, acrylic, silk, alpaca; linen stitch, size 13 wood needles.

I know I often show these mixed fiber fabrics and never show the separate yarns. So here's the mix of yarns, lined up in the background.

A year or so ago my friend Elizabeth [also a fabulous knitter] gave me the furry yarn in the middle of this lineup and said she found it a bit too challenging and asked me if I wanted to try to do something with it. Although I said sure, I also felt it looked very challenging because the colors seemed odd. They go from acqua to periwinkle to gray. But even though I had rejected it for several projects over the months, when I started to get yarns together for this project, it was perfect. So this is a case in point of how mixing yarns to compose a fabric somehow gives each yarn a new personality.

For this project I decided to go ahead and wind up balls of the yarn segments rather than cutting each segment as needed, which is what I often do. It has improved the mobility of the project. Often when I'm knitting with that many yarns it's aggravating to have to pack up and unpack the yarns, get them all untangled, get them set up in a usable order, and so on. With everything pre cut and knotted into one continuous strand, the knitting also goes on more routinely and without the pauses to cut and tie knots.