Tuesday, March 27, 2007

I'm not dead yet!

But I'm not doing much knitting and won't be doing any blogging for the rest of the week.

So check out this book. It was sent to me by a dear friend, and I've been feasting on it. Lily Chin is a wonderful designer, and she has top marks for her crochet design from me. Her beading is fabulous for most of the examples in this book. Some of the fabrics are lightly beaded with edgings and they're nice, but other fabrics are filled with beads and they are divine. M m m m.

Knit and Crochet with Beads, Lily M. Chin, 2004, Interweave Press,ISBN: 1-931499-44-6, Softcover, 160p., $21.95(USD)

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

In the studio

Purse, 100% worsted wool, stockinette stitch, size 9 plastic needles

This picture is the basic fabric for the purse with buttons for embellishment. I've got to get another picture soon so you can see the mother of pearl buttons! It blocked beautifully and let go of the curl. I'm a bit concerned that I didn't do a selvage row, and I'm wondering how the side seams will do.

Monday, March 19, 2007

In the studio

Scarf, silk, sequins, double crochet filet lace.

This is one of the dozen or so things I've started.

Thursday, March 15, 2007


Romantic Style: Knits and Crochet to Wear or Display by Jennie Atkinson, 2006, Martingale & Company ISBN:1-56477-715-4, 128p. $29.95(USD)

I bought this book last week because I find it charming. I shy away from project-based needlework books more often than not, but this is an exception. As usual, I'm not looking at instructions or the more technical aspects of the book, but I like the photos of the knitted items. Ms. Atkinson uses designs from other designers to good effect, and keeps a very beautiful and delicate theme going throughout. She offers designs for a wide variety of garments and also accessories. I like them all, although I'm inspired by one or two to actually try them or something like them. One of the purse designs grabbed me right away, and I'm sure I'll be riffing on it for some time to come.

Although I'm not following the directions, I'm already working on at least three purses based on that inspiration. It's plain stockinette stitch pattern embellished with buttons, and I've rifled through one bag of buttons in my stash and am actually trying to remember where all the rest of my pounds (oh yeah) of buttons are.

I'll make one technical comment regarding a pattern chart. Laid out on a grid that is SHADED with a dark tan, the one pattern I'd like to try is almost impossible to read. I don't know what posessed the book people to shade this chart but lemme tell ya, it's a very very bad idea if reading it is the purpose. Not only that but it's practically microscopic. Sheesh! You'd think the book designers would have a clue.

Having finished the stockinette piece for the purse, I realized how long it's been since I've made a plain stockinette piece of knitting with plain worsted wool while I was blocking it last night: years and years. I've had quite a trip with novelty yarns. Now that the wool's dry and I've collected my mother of pearl buttons I'm ready to start stitching the buttons onto the wool, and I'm adding some beads too.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Finished scarf

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

Et voila - I got all the sequins into a crochet border. This technique is much easier that stringing the sequins onto the yarn and pulling them into the crochet as needed. I tried that technique in the black kid mohair scarf, December 4, 2006 entry. I'm using a size 14 steel hook, which is so teensy that it's easy to bend it. But the hook fits through the center of the sequins, so I can pull the kid mohair through each sequin. I'm certain this technique can also be used to inclue beads in the crochet or knitting if the yarn is fine enough and the beads are large enough.

I'm getting my sequins from Cartwright's. Warning. This site is dangerous...

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

In the studio

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

And speaking of the scarf from the December 8 entry... It's easy to carry do I've been taking it with me and having fun with it.

It seems that when I have not been working to finish this scarf I've been knitting and then ripping out hours and hours of lace. Honestly I need someone to call me late at night and force me to put down the lace. I begin to make mistakes and then end up wanting to... well...I guess you can't just shoot knitting and make it go away, but you get my drift.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Finished scarf

Scarf, rib stitch, "Melody" yarn by SWTC, nylon and rayon, size 9 plastic needles

The needles are big enough so that this fabric has a dreamy drape. The color changes a good deal with the light, and I'm not sure if the ruby red color comes across to everyone, but trust me, this is a luscious red. I'm keeping it for myself because I know it will work well with my wardrobe, and I want to wear it.

I went to my new local yarn shop again and happened to arrive at about the same time as the Sunday social knitting group. It was great to see everyone's project. I'm often highly impressed by the skills I see in projects.

Many of these people are members of the Cult O'Socks as I call them. There were some socks in that shop yesterday, babe. Oh yeah.

I was looking for kid mohair to use in a project I've started which calls for black. No black in the shop. Just about every other color though. So...how much do I want to hunt for black kid mohair in my LYSs. As is so often the case, when I'm looking for something specific, it's not to be found in the local scene. *grumble* That didn't keep me from browsing around the shop and having fun, however.

I showed off my forest green kid mohair scarf (December 8 2006 entry) and they made all the right admiring sounds. I'm stroked. I am using a teensy steel crochet hook to incorporate sequins. Photos soon.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

In the studio

Purse, mixed fibers: silk, polyester, nylon, stockinette stitch, size 8 plastic needles

I started and ripped out several things with this yarn. It's a fascinating butterscotch color and the textures are yummy. But I'm having a hard time getting to a fabric that I like that has the right drape and surface density. The struggle continues...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

In the studio

Scarf, rib stitch, "Melody" yarn by SWTC, nylon and rayon, size 9 plastic needles

I still have a few hundred yards of this yarn, so I'm going to make this scarf, which has a beautiful hand, and something else.

I made a capelet with it that had other yarns blended in sparingly last year, and I may try a similar blending again.

Tuesday, March 06, 2007

In the studio

Capelet, nylon and metallic tape, red and gold, filet crochet, size p aluminum hook.

The guage must be very large for this tape to drape properly, but the results are quite wonderful. It's purely decorative as a garment, and I like that. I visualize it working not merely over plain colors, but I think it could spice up prints as well.

I chained about 150 stitches, then joined the chain to form a circle. Now I will filet crochet for about 7 inches, decrease for a shoulder curve, then decrease again to form the neckline. I will add a shell or piquot border to the bottom.

Monday, March 05, 2007

In the studio

Afghan, rib stitch, size 13 cable needle, 29 in. mixed fibers: wool, cotton, silk, rayon, lurex, nylon, angora, polyester, acrylic, mohair

I thought I'd post an update on this monster. I'm still in love with it, and I'm sort of hankering to get back to it after starting so many new projects. It takes patience to get out all the yarns and get back into the rhythm of swapping out the colors and so forth.

Friday, March 02, 2007

In the studio

Cape, Turkish lace stitch, size 13 cable needle, 24 in; merino wool and mohair

The Turkish lace is what I was trying to do with the polyester yarn in the last two entries and it was kicking my butt. However, I finally have mastered it and I think this merino and mohair blend shows it off quite nicely. The mohair is, yes, neon green, which I adore, and which was dyed by the folks at Woodstock Wool Company. They are doing much more dying and exploring with great colors! The Merino is dyed beautifully in spring green colors by Great Adirondack Yarn, another company that dyes yarns that blow my mind.

The cape is problematic. I've been sort of careless in the design, so I'm sweating to get myself out of a technical dilemma. It's too small and I'm trying to decide whether to make a sort of patchwork/intrelac section that'll make it the right size, or to rip out a bunch of stuff and just knit more in the pattern. I'll keep you all updated.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

In the studio

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

Et Voila! This is the newest project incarnation for this yarn. And I think this is the one I will complete. The lacy stole in the previous entry just was not working out - the yarn didn't feel good at all. This newest fabric is very firm, with almost no give, and I think it will make a fascinating purse.

I took a bunch of knitted pieces to a shop in town that sells my work yesterday. I'm hoping also to get into a new market that is opening downtown, way down by the river.

I've also been working on cactus loads of new stuff - more photos to come!