Monday, December 29, 2008

In the studio - silky fluffy shawl

Shawl, silk, rayon, nylon, polyester, stockinette and reverse stockinette stitches, size 8 aluminum cable needle.

I pulled this out of the "in progress" bin and am about to take it off the needles. After doing quite a bit a work in fine guage I'm having fun ripping through several large guage projects like this.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

In the studio - new embroidered purse

This was begun months ago, but being encouraged by the previous purse, I have lunged forward.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Embroidered purse

Purse, cotton, linen and silk fabric, cotton thread, beads

This has been pure joy to work. I've given vent to all my desires for gaudy, thick texture and overdone pattern. Woo hoo!

The front pocket needs embellishment and my most recent idea is couching a leaf with bright spring greens. The fastener bead is handmade by a friend who has an Etsy shop: ginkodesigns - well worth a visit!

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

In the studio - gray alpaca

Scarf, alpaca, broken rib stitch, size US 5 bamboo needles.

I love this alpaca!

Monday, December 01, 2008

In the studio - pink and blue scarf

Scarf, mixed fibers, double seed stitch, size 9 plastic needles.

I'd love to have time to play with this yarn forever.

Friday, November 28, 2008

In the studio - thick and thin scarf

Scarf, wool, double seed stitch, US size 19 aluminum cable needle.

I finally succombed to the desire to knit with Colinette Point Five yarn, an exaggerated thick and thin yarn that is soft and fascinating. The large needles are very difficult to handle now that I've become accustomed to more like US size 5 needles. Oy! There are more downsides - I don't know how to put my "signature" style on it.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

In the studio - red thang

Scarf, nylon and rayon, woven or linen stitch, size 10 plastic needles.

I've picked up this piece once again. I'm on a finishing spree trying to get ready for a show and sale at Elissa Halloran's shop.

To see the same yarn worked up in rib stitch check out this entry.

Friday, November 07, 2008

IN the studio - green rib

Scarf, wool with flax, rib stitch, size 7 wood needles.

I'm having a good time with this, taking it everywhere with me.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Finished scarf - purple and gold ruffle

Scarf, wool and nylon, knitting with double and single crochet. Size 9 metal cable needle, 24 in. and unsized crochet hook.

This is a wonderful soft ruffle of the school colors series. After casting on and knitting a couple rows I changed colors then knitted two stiches into each stitch to start the dramatic increases that a ruffle requires. Then I took up each knitted stitch onto the crochet hook and put a double crochet stitch into it, then put two double crochets into each double crochet into the next row.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

In the studio - green heather

Scarf, wool, seed stitch, size 7 wood needles.

More simple fabric with fantasies of good embellishment.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

In the studio - red heather

Scarf, wool, rib stitch, size 9 wood needles

This is part of series of rather simple fabrics. I'm streaking through the projects and thinking about interesting finishing touches. Like for this one I'm thinking about white pom poms for the ends. Or maybe some other kind of finish that isn't fringe.

But on the "knitting trips" score: I went to the New York State Sheep and Wool Festival again this year. Sunday I got up early in Bennington, Vermont after a wonderful day of knitting with Allison and Julia and headed out towards Rhinebeck. I wandered down the western edge of Massachusettes, then switched over the to Taconic Parkway around Great Barrington. Ooooohhh, Aaaaahhhh! what divine scenery!

The traffic started getting heavy right in the middle of Rhinebeck, with cars lined up all the way to the Duchess County Fairgrounds. It was great to see so many knitters, weavers, sheep farmers, vendors and fellow travelers.

In past years I've swerved around the Great Adirondack Yarn Company's booth, sometimes because it has been too packed, but other times because I think of my budget and shrink back. But this year I made a straight path right to it, thinking I'd buy a skein and devil take the hindmost. Well...I found that they had "bundles" of 500-800 yards for $25 - $30. Aiigh! So I did the reasonable thing and got three bundles of what I. Just. Couldn't. Resist. Extremely yummy.

With that swiftly stashed in my tote bag I commenced strolling around and looking at what great things people were wearing, the fiddling contest, the sheepies and goaties. I found a little bit more mohair that I couldn't seem to be able to leave there, and then it was time to get back home.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

In the studio - black with copper

Rectangle shawl, mixed fibers: silk, metallic, simple lace stitch, size 10 wood needles.

Putting this up against the black staircase shows the depth of the black, which is intriguing. The copper makes it a little glitzy but not too much. This whizzes along because of the larger needle size.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Finished shaw - parti

Triangle Shawl, mixed fibers: nylon, cotton, silk, polyester; size 11 cable needle, 24 in.

I was just about to take this off the needles in this photo.

So this is what it looks like in all its glory.

The eariler entry was a modest beginning, but all in all I think it went along quickly.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

In the studio - gray fluff shawl

Triangle shawl, mixed fibers: mohair, nylon, rayon, acrylic; size 10 wood cable needle, 24 in.

After working with strong colors for quite awhile, I've acquired a taste for more neutral colors and I'm starting many experiments with them. This is the most fuzzy or furry looking.

I'm trying to work out my philosophy of textile design, since that is what I keep claiming is my "art". So far I think that my simple working methods are fascinating because they give me considerable control over the density and texture of the fabric. So I work with various needle sizes and yarn gauges to produce an array of fabrics that are very loose and light to fabrics that are very dense and heavy. This work is very loosely loomed and would be very light, however the nylon and mohair are quite heavy yarns, so it has a nice heft to it. the drape has a considerable amount of stretch, so it holds to the curves of the shoulders nicely. The fibers that form the knap of this fabric are extremely long - almost one inch for most of the fluffy yarns.
This could make the fabric very fur-like, however, I'm not in favor of trying to imitate animal fur with synthetic yarns, so I have broken the surface with a "railroad" yarn which has shiny rayon squares. So while there's a hint of furishness, it's interrupted with dots of subtle colors.

Well, that's some noodling that may eventually get me to a philosophy, anyway.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Finished shawl - dark

Triangle shawl, mixed fibers: nylon, rayon, mohair, lurex, garter stitch, size 9 aluminum cable needle, 24 in.

I ran into this gorgeous black/brown "fluff" yarn in the Orphan Room at the yarn shop in Great Barrington Mass. I think it's called Wonderful Things. I have a hard time shopping there because they have mold in the ceiling and they just put out those bathroom crystal deodorizers. So after about five minutes my whole respiratory system just wants to crawl up and out. But this yarn sang to me, so I got it. I had to air it out for several days. It's been a great pleasure to mix it with various railroad yarns I have and to stay in the very dark value range. Yum! It's very slinky.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

In the studio - mohair and railroad

Triangle shawl, stockinette stitch, mixed fibers: mohair, nylon, rayon; size 6 bamboo cable needle, 24 in.

I like the reverse stockinett side the best because it shows off the little rayon shiny squares in the railroad "yarn". I pulled out all my railroad colors and several of my mohair colors and decided to make a go of them. I'm liking the results, but it's tricky to keep up the good color combinations.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Finshed shawl - greens and pinks

Shawl, mixed fibers: linen, viscose, nylon, acrylic, garter stitch, self-fringing, size 11 cable needle, 24 inches.

I loved this shawl from the start and I feel it's one of my favorites. Even if I don't really have favorites because I love almost everything I knit. Karen likes it too, and maybe she'll end up with it, even though she says she doesn't want to keep me from selling anything. I saw that gleam of object lust in her eye....

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Neon scarf went to Etsy

Scarf, crochet, mohair and wool, size F aluminum hook.

This is one of my favorites and I'm hoping to implement this ruffle design in several colorways.

It went up in my Etsy shop today.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Whee!! Fashion shoot

My friend Karen volunteered to act as mannequin for my Etsy photos, which will begin to appear soon in the LittleHandsStudio shop. We had fun with a group of Rauschenberg prints from our library, and this one, whose creator I cannot recall right at this moment. This is one of the uncropped, unPhotoshopped images. She was fabulous at thinking of interesting poses. I got at least twenty shots for a couple bottles of wine and dinner!!! And she is willing to do at least one more shoot after we absorb what happened with this group and talk about what else we want to try. Up to this point the photography has been the most difficult part of the Etsy enterprise, but working with Karen makes it fun.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

In the studio - purple and gold

Scarf, mixed fibers; wool, cotton, nylon, silk, viscose, mulberry silk, mohair, polyester, linen; garter stitch, size 5 bamboo needles

This is a basic idea that I had so long ago that I don't even recall when it was. I'm glad I'm implmenting it just to see what really happens. I like it, but the short rows and knotting at the end of each row gets to be a lot more knotting than I realized when I started. It's one of the first ideas that I had for the purple and gold series, which is going along swimmingly.

I have a lot going on that I haven't photographed, so I've charged up the camera and will begin a photographic bout soon.

First, however, I'll be photographing as many finished things as I can with a friend who has agreed to be a mannequin for me. Yay! She's an artist, so I'm looking forward to what she'll do. I trust her artistic judgment, so I think she'll really help with the composition. She's also a librarian, so we're going to shoot in the library and use interesting nooks and crannies. All that will go into the Etsy website along with all the "in progress" photos for each piece. Tons o' fun!!

Saturday, September 13, 2008

In the studio - woven

Shawl, mixed fibers - wool, mohair, nylon, silk; woven stitch, size 4 wood cable needle, 24 inches.

This fabric will not have alot of drape, which is going to be quite a different endeavor for me. I'm using black as the base yarn, and I think that it makes the colors pop out from the fabric surface. It's a joy to work with a small selection of yarns that were also used in the prvious entry's piece. I decided to pull out my favorites and give them an unadulterated go. I have mixed feelings about the black effect, liking it one day and not so much another day. But I like the texture produced by this particular size needle and the yarns, which are similar to sport weight. The lack of any novelty yarn makes the fabric appear to be more woven than in any other piece I've made I'm definitely liking that effect.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Finished shawl - gypsy

Triangle shawl, mixed fibers; cotton, linen, nylon, rayon, silk, wool, polyester, lurex, sequins; garter stitch, size 4 wood cable nedle, 24in.

I love the texture of the mixed fibers on this more condensed fabric. I've done a lot of loose and swingy fabrics with similar fiber and yarn mixes, but I think the smaller needles makes a lovely drape. It's almost impossible for me to catch the sequins, but they are a wonderful glint in the overall effect. I tied on random lengths of approximately 30 yarns. I trimmed the knot ends and didn't try to weave them into the fabric. They can be found, but in general they do not show because of the wildness of the fabric surface due to yarn combinations.

I kept to medium value hues, staying away from extremes. This gives it more of a blended effect, even though I didn't use a blending stitch such as linen stitch. I also used saturated hues rather than a lot of grayed or pastel hues. It's overexposed in the sunlight for this photo, so that effect doesn't show up. I just couldn't resist taking the photo on a bright and sunny morning. I chose a medium/dark turquoise as a base color and used it between other colors, or never went more than two or three colors without returning to it. I think choosing a base yarn helps integrate the fabric both in the color sense and the texture sense.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Finished shawl

Shawl, mixed fibers: mohair, silk, wool, cotton, nylon; stockinette stitch, size 9 cable needle, 24in

I had mixed feelings about this as I was making it but now I am very fond of the results.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

In the studio - delicate shawl

Shawl, mohair, silk, merino wool,stockinette stitch,size 3 cable needle, 24in.

This is what I've done since the original entry June 9

I'm still really loving the stripes. The rows are getting to be over a hundred stitches each, so it takes more and more time to do each row. But the rewards are great. This is a very delicate and lovely shawl that will be very light and warm at the same time. It is very light greens, with two different weights of yarn. I'm loving the way that the merino lace weight yarn colors change, and am always amazed at the way they move the eye across the surface of the fabric.

So I'll soon be putting up the finished photo and getting it into the Etsy shop.

Sunday, August 03, 2008


- my new favorite yarn. This is straight from the shop: Saratoga Needle Arts in Saratoga Springs. I rode the bus up again today and have been strolling. I'm still absorbing the dhosa from the Indian restaurant and enjoying a lovely mild summer day.

With these two rosey pink colors and the colors I already have I'm looking forward to something very special

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008

In the studio - mohair and linen

Capelet, mohair and linen, stockinette stitch, size 4 cable needle, 24 in.

I've tried this combination of yarns on about three new projects, all having failed. Now I think I have the winning formula. It's almost complete after a big gob of work on it this weekend.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

In the studio - the linen series

Scarf, linen, seed stitch, size 1 "mystery metal" needles

I've collected quite a linen stash, and have decided to make a series of pieces. The idea of this one is to make a solid scarf, then a ruffle all the way around the edge. With the needle size it's taking forever to get anywhere, but I like the texture.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

In the studio - playing with new silk

Test swatch - silk

I was lucky to go to the great yarn studio in Brattleboro with Allison and Dr. Brat and found this very wonderful yarn along with a few others. I've been playing with it and trying to get a good idea. I always sort of get lost in the colors and textures when I get it out to play. Yum!!

Friday, July 25, 2008

In the studio - sea greens, blues, pinks

Triangle Shawl, mixed fibers: nylon, cotton, silk, polyester; size 11 cable needle, 24 in.

Since I have been so inspired by this shawl of greens and pinks I decided to take many of the same yarns and add a touch of this zippy silk and cotton tape of sea greens and blues. All the "yarns" are tapes, and they have an interesting weight.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

In the studio: cotton capelet

Capelet, cotton, reverse stockinette stitch, size 9 cable needle, 24 in.

I decided to include this to show that I have my fair share of doomed projects. Now that I've accomplished this much, I know that I don't like this thing at all. I'll rip it out and try to think of yet another idea for this very problematic yarn.

Monday, July 21, 2008

In the studio - blues

Shawl, mixed fibers: mohair, silk, wool, cotton, nylon; stockinette stitch, size 9 cable needle, 24in

I love working with all the blue colors and coming up with exciting combinations.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

In the studio - bronze shawl

Triangle shawl, nylon and lurex, garter stitch, size 5 cable needle, 24" and size 13 cable needle, 16"

Since my Mac is sitting right here where I do most of my knitting, I decided to try the camera - yes, I'm lazy.

Compare with March 7, 2008 in the studio, which was soon after I started. Now that I'm closer to taking it off the needles I have to decide about the applique pieces. I have the horizontal panels the way I want them and will put the applique in the larger panels. Because of the needle size this has ended up being an enormous amount of knitting, but it's worth it for the texture. I think with a larger needle it would just be too flabby.

Since I happen to be working with a number of different pieces of this guage, I feel like I'm not getting anywhere with any of them!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

In the studio - banjo cable

Scarf, silk, banjo cable stitch pattern, size 5 plastic needles

This is another: "look ma - I'm doin' CABLES!" scarf. For a few weeks this spring I was starting pieces based on a knitting pattern library volume that I acquired about 20 years ago. It's still a fountain of inspiration when I'm looking for a stretch in my creative work.

The scarf has fallen into what my friend Dr. Brat called the "soup" of my knitting couch. But I haven't given up on it altogether. I've been distracted by the other several projects that have been holding my attention over the past couple weeks. More photos soon!

Friday, June 27, 2008

Finished hat

Hat, wool, stockinette stitch with rib stitch, crocet tassels, intarsia color work, size 9 wood needles

I want to do lots of hats of this shape, making a variety of fabrics. YUM.

This is an Auracania chunky natural wool, and I wouldn't use such big needles again, it's a bit on the flabby side of fabrics. So I would go down to a 7 or 6 US size to give the fabric a bit more body.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Finished green and pink shawl

Shawl, mixed fibers: linen, viscose, nylon, acrylic, garter stitch, self-fringing, size 11 cable needle, 24 inches.

I love the freshness that the colors bring to this fabric. I'm very happy with it altogether and that's due a lot to the way the yarn weight and needle size produced a fabric that's just right. Not too dense, not too loose, but a good amount of stretchy and interesting.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Finished alpaca scarf

Scarf, alpaca, stockinette and reverse stockinette stitches, size 5 wood needles

I enjoy knitting with alpaca more than with most fibers, so this was a wonderful piece to knit. I made the rows long rather than short, which gives the scarf a different look. It's alpaca that is knot dyed, but it's a combination of brown and a blue gray color. I like using smaller needles to make a somewhat dense fabric - the softness is accented that way, I think.

It's a gift for a friend in Nova Scotia, so I'm sure it will be used often.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Black afghan

Afghan, mixed fibers: cotton, silk, wool, rayon, nylon, polyester, acrylic, metallic, hemp; rib stitch, size 11 metal cable needle, 36 in.

This big thang is funky. I'm using about 20 different black yarns. The reds pop out a bit more "in person". I'll do probably another 12 inches and then call it quits. I never thought I would like doing afghans, however they are very rewarding.

Friday, June 20, 2008

Finished shawl

Shawl, garter stitch, nylon and rayon ladder or railroad yarn, size 9 metal cable needle, 24 in.

For the first time ever I got a very good blend of colors using the railroad yarns I've collected over the last several years. I had a little bit of trouble getting it right, and probably had to test out four or five variants before getting one that I liked. The lacy sheerness of the knitting is a feature that I like very much. I'm ready to play with many more fabric designs based on similar combinations.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Finished scarf

Scarf, nylon and rayon, garter stitch, size 9 metal cable needle, 16in.

This is the May 21 scarf, finished at last. I'm liking this size scarf - about the size of a folded bandana. It's meant to be an accessory neck scarf, one that can be tied and draped in a few different ways.

Friday, June 13, 2008

In the studio - pastel scarf

Scarf, mixed fibers: nylon, wool; garter stitch, size 13 wood needles

This done with two strands, changing colors in a systematic way. It's made with an old Rowan R2 "paper" yarn. I'm really having trouble liking the yarn.

I'm just not convinced that it's a good yarn for garments. I lusted after it for months on end because of the idea of it, and then I finally ordered it and found out that it looks interesting in pictures but feels icky. So this may never reach fruition. I'm going to try handbags, which I think will be more suitable for its characteristics. If that doesn't feel right, it may go to rag rugs. That's where the really awful yarns end up in my studio, anyway.

Monday, June 09, 2008

In the studio - light green shawl

Shawl, mohair, silk, merino wool,stockinette stitch,size 3 cable needle, 24in.

When I saw the strange greenish merino wool, I reached for it but didn't know why. I had been looking at yarn for quite awhile and the colors felt sort of weird and I knew they would stretch me out of my usual color choices.

Then I realized how beautifully it would pair with the whispy light green mohair and silk yarn I've been mooning over for a few months. This is yet another riff on the stripes with two weights I've been trying all this year.

Me likes!

Friday, June 06, 2008

In progress - green and pink shawl

Shawl, mixed fibers: linen, viscose, nylon, acrylic, garter stitch, self-fringing, size 11 cable needle, 24 inches.

I'm finding these colors to be delightful - I wanted to try something very fresh.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

In the studio - small scarf

Scarf, nylon and rayon, garter stitch, size 10 wood cable needle, 24 in.

This is a small neck scarf that is very slinky and interesting and it acts like a small bandana. Since I was in the cafe knitting and had my camera, I decided to just photograph it there.

Friday, May 09, 2008

In the studio - another Noro homage

Scarf, wool and silk, linen stitch with two Noro colorways, size 5 wood needles

Ok I got the camera this morning and decided to learn to use it by making a little clip about my ongoing Noro project.

Tuesday, May 06, 2008

In the studio - red ruana

Ruana, mixed fibers, wool, silk, cotton, hemp, nylon, linen, mohair, rayon; linen stitch; size 9 cable needle, 24 in.

Et voila!

Monday, May 05, 2008

Stash - remix

Ok, I'm ready to face the fact that I can sit for long periods of time and do very idiotic tasks when it comes to yarn. But I can be patient for the particular results that I want.

Yesterday I spent hours untangling a "skein" of railroad yarn. It was a skein once, at any rate. If the colors were not unsurpassed, I wouldn't bother. But this yarn is going to make something fabulous.

This stash in the photograph above is an instance of such persistence [or some capacity for absolute drudge work]. I have about 20 types of red yarn, so I have eyeballed lengths of about a yard then cut and tied them together to compose these balls. These are two of about six or so that it will take to make a stunning red ruana. The basic yarn that will bring everything together is a beautiful cherry red hemp and wool blend. I put a length of that between just about all the other colors. I don't do any color combination consistently so that it will be an entirely unique fabric. All the other colors make a great blend of novelty yarns and other sort of plain red yarns. Combining the yarn does take some thought. I want specific results in the blend, with a specific kind of fabric as the end result. So the way the yarns follow one another along the strand is important. The fabric is not completely predictable, but it is not a complete surprise either. I make sure that there is a certain evenness to the texture, so that there are not lumpy places or there are not big patches of one color. I tried to keep the range of weights fairly close, but I'm not afraid to put a couple fat ones and a couple skinny ones in the mix. I am very careful not to make big patches of the fat ones or skinny ones, but I keep the textures dispersed throughout the fabric. Sometimes this involves a lot of testing to see the effects of the combinations. This is a different technique than changing the yarn every row and putting the knots at the end of each row

This technique involves putting balls of various yarns out on a table and sitting with a pair of scissors beside a ball winder. Each length of yarn is pulled out of its ball, then cut and tied to the previous length, leaving a tail in the knot long enough so that it can be woven into the fabric. I leave about three cm., or about 1.75 in. I use a very sharp pair of scissors, because cutting hundreds of lengths of yarn with a dull scissors is a big drag. I also usually have a crochet hook or other device to help draw the yarn ends into the knot. It saves time. As the strand grows in length and starts to tangle, I wind it up onto the ball winder.

I'm using linen or woven stitch as it is variously called, for the fabric so that the colors will be blended across the rows.

Friday, May 02, 2008


Crochet bag, cotton, single crochet, size e aluminum crochet hook

This yarn has given me fits, but I still love it. I've tried knitting a zillion things with it and I can't find very much that feels just right. This is my tearing out of the scarf in seed stitch and deciding to start a handbag. I think the bag is going to be very nice, but the scarf just couldn't feel right for some reason.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

In the studio - capelet - circle scarf

Capelet, nylon and rayon, stockinette stitch, size 10 cable needle, 16 in.

I can't help myself, I love this yarn and how it drapes when made into a capelet. It's the Melody yarn from Southwest Trading Company, and I like the idea of a plain ivory colored capelet with this marvelous lacy texture.