Sunday, December 30, 2007

Birthday Wish

It's my birthday today. It's been a very pleasant day, beginning with sleeping in, a leisurely breakfast of coffee and a muffin, lots of time wandering through blogland and Ravelry, a yarn purchase, and a nice dinner out with my DH. We're back home and I'm now looking forward to coffee, birthday cake, and....the Carolina game. Perhaps I haven't mentioned it before, but I'm a huge fan of the North Carolina Tarheels (the men's basketball team) and I think it was mighty nice of them to schedule a game for my birthday.

Anyway, if I could have one wish come true today, it wouldn't be a wish for world peace, or my team to win, or even for more yarn. I would make a wish for my Dad. He's been under the weather lately and more than anything I'd like for him to get well. Well I'm off. I've got some candles to blow out.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

I'm Back!

I can't believe it's been so long since my last post, though I should hardly be surprised. I'm enjoying my first day off in two weeks. Did I mention before that I'm in retail? Most of the year I work behind the scenes as an office manager, doing the scheduling, payroll, receiving, some buying and generally putting out fires as needed. But as Thanksgiving approaches I'm needed more and more on the sales floor as extra help. Of course I still have all my regular work to do too, so 60-70 hour work weeks are pretty much the norm for me in December. I'm not complaining (though my feet still are!) I just wanted folks to know my lack of blogging lately hasn't been due to a lack of interest, just a lack of time.

I did manage to finish the Silk Garden project I was working on, the Noro Striped Scarf which I gave to my father yesterday. It's made of two skeins each of colors #221 and #226.
This was my first project with Silk Garden and I love it except for all the knots. The knots are really aggravating. Six knots in four skeins and three of the knots joined very different colors. I made the mistake of not rewinding the the skeins into balls first, otherwise I would have been able to foresee some of these problems. I tried to avoid having very abrupt color changes and after weaving in far too many loose ends for such a simple knit, I was pleased enough with the end result to immediately start another one for my husband. I'm even happier with the colors I picked for his scarf, #206 on the left and #86 on the right.
Unfortunately this is about as far as I got on this scarf which was meant to be a Christmas present. Fortunately my hubby was quite understanding, especially when I explained I waited for him to fall asleep first every night so that I could work on it in secret. I was having trouble staying awake long enough to work on it after my long days at work. So here I am, stuck having to knit on a fun project with beautiful yarn on my first completely free day off in weeks. I think I'll go get to it right now.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Stealth Knitting

A couple of weeks ago I bought four skeins of Noro Silk Garden, two of #221 (the browns and turquoise) and two of #226 (the blues, purples, and grays.) Can you guess what they're for? I would go into detail but they're for a Christmas present. Let's just say a nice man in Brooklyn inspired this project. I'm about one third of the way through and though not a great challenge it's been a very fun knit. I love watching the colors as they change and intermingle. I find that I'm eager to just get "just a few more rows" done before I put it down, and it's all the more frustrating that I have to sneak it in when I'm the only one home, or awake.

I've got pictures on Ravelry so if you're interested check them out. I'm listed as knittingin there.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Let the Holiday Knitting Begin!

I've been making a bit of progress on the Apricot sweater, and this time I have a picture to prove it. That's the back, almost done and the two completed front pieces. I'm not as far along as I'd like to be. I was hoping I'd be done by now, partly so I could where it, and partly because I need to move on to Christmas knitting if I'm going to get any done in time! I've been tempted to put Apricot on hiatus. I'm feeling kind of guilty working on something for myself when I'd normally be working on gifts by now, but I'm so afraid that I won't ever get back to it if I stop. I've had a little problem with this in the past, this not finishing a sweater thing. I've got one or two (okay maybe three) bags with abandoned sweater projects, carefully tucked away in a closet where I don't have to see them unless I actively look for them. I'm absolutely determined not to let that happen again.

Still I've decided to get the ball rolling on some Christmas knitting. I joined the Holiday KAL-CAL in hopes that it would help spur me along to get more done. I started small with one of my little felted wristlets. I used the same colors of Lamb's Pride Worsted as I did in my Sorbet Entrelac Tote so this is my Sorbet Felted Wristlet. Here it is pre-felted...

and felted.

It's just big enough for a cell phone, a couple credit cards, some money, and lip balm. What else does a girl really need? When the large loop is threaded through the small one, it does a pretty nice job of holding a cell phone securely. I plan on making a few more of these for friends and co-workers.
They're a quick knit so I should be able to get a few more done.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Snakes and Snails and Puppy Dog Tales

Whew! I didn't mean to be away for so long. I've had a few distractions lately, but I have been knitting. I don't have any more recent photos to show my progress on Apricot, but I've finished both front pieces and have gotten several inches of the back done.

Also really, really distracted with Ravelry. What can I say? It's fun, informative, and I'm totally inspired every time I go rambling around in there. What's not to love?

And my biggest distraction over the last few days? My dog Max (who I love more than knitting) was bitten by a snake last Friday night. And yes it was poisonous, it was a Copperhead. Fortunately my husband was watching the dogs as they had their last outing for the night. He spotted the snake, but not before Max did. Both of the dogs were in the snake's range before he could get them back in the house. At first we couldn't find any evidence that either dog had been bitten, but about half an hour later we saw that the right side of Max's face was starting to swell. We rushed him to the nearest emergency vet clinic (a thirty-five minute drive.) Max is a very stoic dog - I can count the times I've ever heard him whine on one hand, but he was obviously in a lot of pain. Copperhead snake bites don't tend to be lethal, but Max is ten and I was concerned his age would put him at a greater risk.

After what seemed like forever, the nice folks at the clinic treated him with antibiotics, something for the swelling and pain, and fluids. We didn't get home until 2 am! This is what he looked like Saturday afternoon.

You can see the puffiness on his right side and the dark spot on his right cheek is where the actual bite is. He's still not a happy camper in this photo, but he's doing much better now. The swelling's almost completely gone and he hasn't shown any signs that he's in pain anymore. As I've mentioned before Max is my dog and he is very precious to me. I'm so grateful to have a happy ending to this puppy dog tale.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Hanging Out

I've only managed to knit a few inches on the other front side of Apricot over the last few days, hardly worth taking a photo. I thought instead I'd share a photo of my cat, Murphy. She's been hanging out with me most of the day.
She's got a nice view out the window from the back of this loveseat, if she works up enough energy to turn her head. Maybe later....

Saturday, October 6, 2007

A Shaky Start

So after almost finishing the ribbing on the back of Apricot, I decided that instead of knitting on size 7 needles, I should really be using size 6. I've almost finished one of the front panels (in the larger size) and I really liked the look and feel of it much more knit on size 6 needles. Here's what I've got so far.I've only had to frog back a few inches on this piece so far (I missed the increases since they were only described in the directions for the back.) Yeah I know I should have been paying more attention. It's not like I haven't been warned about this pattern. Well I'm off to frog the back ribbing. I've been putting it off until I was absolutely sure this time about the guage, and now I am.

Sunday, September 30, 2007

A Prize for Me!

So, I was just over at Knitterella's blog, checking it out as I often do 'cause of all of her wonderful, fun creations, and I just discovered that I won a sample pack of some of her stationary! I love all her work! She's a graphic designer and a knitter so her stationary isn't just beautiful, it has a knitting theme to it. She sells her stationary at her Etsy store. And just check out the crocheted flowers she whipped up to adorn her gift tags and barrettes.

As far as my knitting goes, the battle with Apricot is well underway. I'm having some guage issues. I'm concerned that my work is too loose for the yarn I'm using (Cotton Fleece.) I'm using size 7 needles which gives me the right number of stitches/inch but after a few inches of ribbing it just seems a little too loose. I decided to start on one of front panels on size 6 needles and follow the directions for the larger size. I'm also going to check out Ravelry to see if I can gain any wisdom from those who've already done this sweater. Yay for Ravelry!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Apricot Underway

Just a quick post to show my start on the Apricot Jacket. This ribbing is endless, although I do plan on shortening it from what the directions call for. I'm only about 5'2" and I can see this thing being way too long if I don't make some adjustments.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Not Just a Bag Lady

That's how one of my internet friends refers to me on her blogroll, as "The Bag Lady." I know I've been all about the bags so far on this blog (except for a scarf or two and one glove) but I'm here to tell you that's about to change.

I just started an actual sweater last night! I've been lusting after the Apricot Jackets I've seen all over blogland and I finally managed to gather the pattern, the yarn, and the time into one room last night and got started! I'm using Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece in New Age Teal.

I have made a few sweaters before, back in the olden days before I took my long hiatus from knitting. I never seemed to have much luck with them though. Oh I made some beautiful sweaters: stranded sweaters, cabled sweaters, all kinds, but there always seemed to be something wrong with them. They were either the wrong size, or they weren't flattering, or they were too warm, or too itchy. I realize now I was picking sweaters that I wanted to knit, but not necessarily ones I wanted to wear.

I'm determined to make this one work though. Thanks to the internet, I've seen it worn on several body types and it managed to be flattering on just about all of them. Wish me luck. From what I hear (and have already noticed so far) the pattern directions are vague at best and in some cases just wrong. I'm taking it as a good sign that I'm still excited about making it!

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Shiny New Toy

I finally got an invite to Ravelry yesterday and that's how it feels, like I've just gotten a shiny new toy. I logged in just to poke around a bit. Woooowwww. The possibilities seem endless. I've been pretty eager to sign up for Ravelry, but in a way I'm kind of glad that it's taken this long. It's been fun just anticipating it and now that I've had to wait there's so much there already to see. I just wish I'd been taking more photos of my projects and stash while I waited. I have the day off tomorrow, so I intend to try to make up for lost time.

I finished my wristlet a few days ago, but have just gotten around to photos, editing, etc. Here it is before felting with some wristlets in the background that I made last fall. They're in various stages of completion. Only the one on the far right has been felted so far. These are just some little bags I whipped up that I figured would be great for last minute gifts. In fact I had more but some were given away for Christmas last year.

Here it is felted (along with one of the other bags.) After felting it's just about the right size for a cell phone and maybe a credit card. The large loop slips through the small one, effectively keeping a phone from falling out. I've never seen a need to line these, though of course you could.

And here it is with the purse that inspired this particular wristlet.I'll probably make some more of these this fall too, just in case.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Sometimes you just need a little something to work on when you've just finished one Big Project and you haven't decided yet what the next one will be. Just for fun I decided to knit a little wristlet to match the stranded bag I did a few weeks ago. Instead of combining Noro Kureyon with the Lamb's Pride I just used all LP. It would have been too difficult to duplicate the color changes of the Noro, especially since scale of the wristlet is so much smaller. The colors aren't as subtle, but I think felting it will calm them down just a bit.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

"Sorbet" Entrelac Tote

Sorbet - that was the comment a few people made describing the colors in this bag as I worked on it. It helped to think of it that way when the temperature outside was 100+ and I had a large pile of wool in my lap. I finished this latest entrelac bag just in time for the end of the Summer KAL-CAL Purse Round-up. I posted a few pics there, but I haven't had a chance to write about the details until now.

I decided that I wanted to stabilize the bottom of the bag with plastic canvas. Fortunately Darice makes their plastic canvas in round shapes that are easily cut down to smaller circles, although the 9 1/2" size I bought was already just about the perfect size. (Actually it was labeled 9 1/2" but it was really 9 1/4.") I tacked it down inside the bottom of the bag, being careful not to let the thread show through to the outside.

I found a really fun, bright Kaffe Fassett fabric for lining the bag at a local quilting store. It was an easy job to
line this bag, but difficult to photograph the lining in the bag since it's not very structured.
I really needed to have items in the bag to have it stand up and photograph at all well.
Materials used:
  • Lamb's Pride Worsted in Orange You Glad - 1 skein
  • Lamb's Pride Worsted in Lotus Pink - skein
  • Lamb's Pride Worsted in Supreme Purple - skein
  • Noro Kureyon in Color #102 - 3 skeins


  • Size 11 Denise Needles
  • Size 10 Denise Needles
  • Size 10 Bamboo DPs


  • My design

Pre-felting Measurements:

  • Circumference: 35"
  • Height: 19"

After Felting:

  • Circumference: 29"
  • Height: 17" (This is the measurement taken from the center of the bottom of the bag to the top. The bag actually stands about 12" high.)

Monday, September 3, 2007

Goodbye Madison

My heart is broken. My cat Madison, who I just talked about here a couple of weeks ago, is gone. She had health problems (diabetes, kidney disease, hyperthyroidism) but we had been managing them well with proper diet and medications. I noticed a couple of weeks ago that her appetite had begun to decrease and she seemed to have no energy.

We took her to the vet a few times that week and we assumed that an infection was interfering with her insulin. We hoped that a course of antibiotics would straighten everything out, but her health continued to decline. It happened slowly at first and then more rapidly as the week went on. I won't go into a lot of detail because it's already everything I can do to keep from bawling again now. Suffice it to say I was with her at the end and I think she was comforted to have me there.

I've had a few days now to get used to her being gone but I'm still reeling at how quickly her health deteriorated. I didn't really have a chance to adjust to the idea that she wasn't going to get better. I still catch myself looking for her in her favorite spots, but then I remember.

I suppose it's so difficult for me because she was such a strong presence in our household. From the time we got her as a tiny kitten, she was hell on wheels. She was fearless and quickly decided that our dog (though many times her size) was her plaything. A few years later, when we brought home our first German Shepherd puppy, she seemed appalled that he didn't have a proper respect for cats. She set about correcting that immediately. She made it her job to "break in" Morgan and a couple of years after that, Max. She made sure they knew what cat claws felt like from the get go and they learned to avoid pissing her off.
As I've said before, she was not exactly the sweetest of cats. You were rewarded with her company when she was in the mood for it. One of her favorite things to do was to curl up in my lap, allow me to pet her, and then after one stroke too many (a number known only to her) she would reach over and bite my hand. I'm pretty sure she did this solely to see the surprised look on my face or to hear me yelp. This among other things earned her the nickname "Attitude Kitty."

I think maybe I loved her all the more because of her prickly personality. She was very independent, never liked to be picked up or held, so when she came to me for attention it meant that much more (and she didn't always bite.) In the last couple of years she started spending more time with my husband and me, actually preferring our laps to most of her old haunts. She seemed to know that she needed us more. I miss her so much. I can still hardly believe I'll never see her again.

Saturday, August 25, 2007

Entrelac Tote Progress

There's only about a week left to submit bags for the Summer KAL-CAL Purse Round-up and it'll be all I can do to get this bag finished in time. I've gotten a lot done in the last couple of days because I've been off work. It's been a fun project, but I'd forgotten how long an entrelac bag can take. Just a couple more tiers of squares and I can start decreasing for the bottom of the bag and things will move along quickly then.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cooling Off

It was only in the eighties here today, and just as the weather has cooled off so have the colors in my bag. At first I wasn't sure about the lavender, but it's grown on me and it seems to tie in with the blue shades pretty well. Actually I just checked the label and it's LP's "Supreme Purple" but it's a very light purple. Now for another tier of the Noro Kureyon, always the more fun yarn to work with. And now for the gratuitous cat picture....

My photography skills have improved enough that I've been able to take a picture of one of my black cats without it looking like a featureless black blob. This is my cat, Madison whose baby picture I've posted before. She was a Christmas present from my (soon to be) husband back in 1991, so we've had her longer than anyone else in our menagerie. She is quite precious to me. In the last couple of years she's had some health issues: kidney disease, hyperthyroidism, and diabetes. We're managing all with diet and medication. And yes, my husband and I have been giving her insulin shots twice a day for the last several months. I used to be squeamish about such things, but in addition to the shots, I've learned to give subcutaneous fluids, and changed enough bandages on my pets that I could probably be a vet tech by now.

Anyway, she's in pretty good shape considering all she's gone through. She's never been what I would call a sweet cat, but I think lately she's grown to appreciate and even love me. I've always adored her, you just have to admire a cat that can intimidate a 95 lb German Shepherd or two.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Summer Heat

I've made some progress on my entrelac bag. I love these colors, but I'm beginning to question my choice of such warm colors - the temperatures here topped 100 for the third day in a row. Fortunately the weatherman's predicting a cold snap (90 degrees) for the weekend, so I'm sure I'll feel better about it soon.I'm making (or rather re-making) the first entrelac bag I designed. It's not exactly a quick knit, but it sure is a lot of fun. I'm knitting it in Lamb's Pride Worsted and Noro Kureyon. Any excuse to break out the Noro Kureyon....

Thursday, August 2, 2007

When in Doubt, Entrelac

I love coming home from a long, hard day at work to find a new package of yarn waiting for me. Thanks to all the hard working UPS workers who made it possible for me to have this yarn in time for my day off. Yummy. I just love Noro Kureyon.
I ordered it from Yarn Market because they also had Rebecca #27, the pattern book that includes the pattern for the marvelous Apricot Jacket that I've been admiring on so many other blogs. I'm not sure when I'll have time to make it, but I was worried that the pattern may not be available forever and I didn't want to risk losing out.

The Noro will be used in another entrelac bag. I had been kicking around ideas for a new bag design but it's not quite coming together yet. Then I had a request for directions for making my Entrelac Experiment bag (catchy name, huh?) and while I thought I had taken pretty good notes, they're a far cry from being a real pattern. I realized that I'd probably have to make it again to do a good job of writing it up, so I figure I'll just use it as my next bag for the Summer KAL-CAL Purse Round-up. I pulled a few skeins of Lamb's Pride Worsted from my stash to see how they looked with the Noro.
I may not use all of them, I'll probably just decide as I go. Gotta go - I can't wait to get started!

Monday, July 30, 2007


I have a huge stash of beads (my last obsession before I found knitting again) and I thought it would be nice to try to use some of them in a knitting project, just to give it a try. I wanted to do a small bag and had some Louet Gems Merino (left over from another project) which seemed like a good choice.

I looked around on the internet for free patterns for beaded bags and I ran across a cute crocheted bag that seemed like a nice little starter project. Now I hadn't crocheted anything in many more years than I'd care to admit, but I've been itching to try it again after seeing so many great crocheted bags on other knitter's blogs.

I meant to take some pics of this little bag in progress, but it was done almost before I knew it. I even had to frog a few rows after going too far before doing the holes for the drawstring. This bag is t-i-n-y. I thought it would be a cute bag for carrying a cell phone and maybe a credit card, but it is really too small for either. I wish I'd put something in the picture for scale, but it's about 3" tall with a 2" diameter.

Materials used:
Louet Gems Merino in Caribbean Blue (a very small portion of a skein)
180 Size 8 triangle beads (I made the bag a little taller than the instructions so I needed the 20 extra beads)
Size C Susan Bates crochet hook
1 yd matching rat tail cord

Sunday, July 22, 2007


Ahh, where has the last week gone? I finally had a chance to finish the small stranded bag I've been working on for the Purse Round-up KAL. I finally decided that I just wanted a long simple strap, but I had to come to terms with what was rapidly becoming my nemesis: I-cord. I don't know about you, but it drives me nuts when what seems like nice strong handles stretch out so much over time. I've even made handles that were really a little too short for a bag, knowing that eventually they'd stretch out and be about right in time. And I knew that the longer the handle style the worse the problem would be.

Well I think I've come up with a good solution for my I-cord woes. I started thinking - if plastic canvas can be used to reinforce the body of the bag - why not the handles? I had already knit a couple of feet of I-cord and I thought it might be difficult to get a strip of plastic canvas through it, but to my surprise it was actually pretty easy. I didn't try to get too wide a piece of canvas through the cord, partly because I figured it would be too difficult and partly because I wanted to allow for the yarn to shrink around it. I had to sew together three lengths of the canvas strips to make it long enough and still have a few inches left to stick out on each end. I made sure the cord was loose on it (no stitches stretched out too much) and went about felting it. After one wash one of the ends had actually worked its way up into the I-cord. I was surprised - I had assumed the cord would shrink away from the ends. It was easy enough to retrieve and I readjusted the cord on the canvas and washed it again.

Then I started on the plastic canvas and lining. I like to take a few measurements and fit the individual pieces in the bag before I start assembling. Usually I start with pieces that are a little too large and I gradually cut them down to size until they work. You can see how I angled the corners of the bottom piece (the piece sticking out on the right) to conform to the bottom of the bag.
Here's a view inside the bag with my plastic canvas "box" in place. You might notice that the sides of the box don't extend all the way down the bag. I had been planning on not doing side reinforcements at all at first. Then when I decided to attach the handles on the sides, well I had to have some extra reinforcement for them. I think the pieces I used will provide plenty of strength for the handles and I saved myself the touble of having to fit (and sew) the side pieces all the way down to the bottom.

Then I cut my lining pieces to more or less fit the canvas box. I assembled the lining by machine, but sewed it into the bag by hand. Each stitch goes through the lining, the top row of the plastic canvas, and then the bag itself. The canvas actually helps keep my stitches nice and even, since I'm making one stitch through every top hole. With the lining I made a couple of tabs for rectangular shaped rings for attaching the handles. I think it gives it a nice finished look.

I got some sewing thread to match the handles and made sure I stitched through the I-cord and the plastic canvas securely. And now for the first time ever, I have knit handles that do not stretch!!

Materials used:
  • Lamb's Pride Worsted - Amethyst, Aztec Turquoise, Red Baron, Blue Boy, and Autumn Harvest (1 skein each - in very small amounts of each!)
  • Noro Kureyon - #182 (most of 1 skein)
  • Size 10 Denise Needles
  • Size 10 Bamboo DP's
Pattern: My design

Finished measurements:

Height - 8"
Width - 10"
Depth - 2"
Handle - 37"

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Living Dangerously

I'm almost done with the little stranded bag I'm knitting for the Purse Round-up KAL I joined. I knit the bag in Noro Kureyon and various shades of Lamb's Pride that seemed to work with it. (I'll list color details when I'm completely done.) And yes, I knew I was taking a bit of a risk mixing these two yarns in a bag I was going to felt. I know that there rate of felting is different after making my entrelac bag mixing the two, but I still liked the results I got with them. I think the main reason it worked with that bag is because I was alternating the yarns on every row of squares, so the small rows of LP were tucked between the larger rows of Kureyon. I wasn't sure what to expect when I stranded the two yarns together though. And here's where a more logical person might think "swatch" but of course I instead just jumped right in and started knitting a bag. I just had a hunch it would work. Here's the bag before felting (and now I'm kicking myself because I forgot to measure it.)

See how the top band is kind of
curling out? I took some sewing thread
and basted the bands shut at the top
so it would keep its shape during the
felting process.

I checked the bag after one washing
and was surprised to see that it was
pretty much done! I've done quite a
lot of felting and I think everything
else I've done has taken at least two
full trips through the washing machine.
Oh I probably could have run it through again but I like the way the yarns look together at this point and I didn't want to push my luck.

Here it is blocking on an appropriate size box I found in my pantry.

I'm pretty pleased with how the yarns worked together. The stitches are a little more apparent with the Kureyon but not much. I think the LP kind of pulled the Kureyon stitches into place and tightened them up.

By the way, it's a good thing I did stop after one wash because when I snipped and pulled out the sewing thread I found that the top had begun to fuse together already. One more wash and I'd have had a real problem opening the bag at all.

I probably won't have a chance to shop for a lining until Saturday. In the meantime I'll mull over what I want to do about handles. It's funny how the little finishing details can really bog things down...I'm so ready to start another bag!

Monday, July 2, 2007

Purse Roundup

I was wandering around on the web a few days ago and stumbled accross a KAL that looked too fun to pass up. It's the Summer KAL - CAL Purse Roundup, perfect for me 'cause bags are kind of my "thing" lately. The rules are fairly relaxed and participants are encouraged to knit or crochet up to four bags (to enter for prizes!) and to have fun and be as creative. I've been checking out the bags already entered and I have to say that there are some truly fun and fabulous bags there! And these women (and guys) are prolific. There's something new to see just about every day.

So I started on another bag right away. I feel like I've been in a blue/green rut lately, so I decided to make something really colorful. I also wanted to play around with a Lamb's Pride/ Noro Kureyon mix again, but this time I decided to do some stranding instead of entrelac. I sketched out some pattern possibilities on some graph paper and started knitting. This is what I've done so far.
I'm kind of wishing I'd made it a little bigger or at least wider, so the Kureyon would change colors a little more quickly, but I think it'll still be a fun little bag. When I'm through knitting I'll felt it and line it. Haven't got a clue what I'll do for handles yet - maybe some purchased ones for a change.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Scribblety Scribble

I'm kind of between projects - I'm just itching to start something new, but I'm not sure what. I thought in the mean time I'd post a picture of something I made last fall. I had seen a scarf on display in my LYS and fell in love with it. I loved the simplicity of it, all in stockinette, but the combination of feather light Kidsilk Haze and chunky Colinette Point 5 really intrigued me. The weight of the Point 5 gave it such a nice drape.

Let me say right here and now - this picture does not begin to do these yarns justice. The first time I laid eyes on Point 5 I knew that someday I'd have to have some, in spite of the price. It was a little too rich for my blood the first time I saw it, but a timely gift certificate helped me get over the $22.00 price tag. So how great was it to find a project that only used one skein!

Materials used:

Colinette Point 5 in Gaugin - 1 skein
Rowan Kidsilk Haze in Trance - 1 skein (held double, pulling from each end after rewinding)
Size 17 circular needles. (You have to be able to knit off either side of the needle since you're switching yarns on alternating sides.)

It takes a little getting used to knitting on such disparate yarns. I found I really had to pay attention to what I was doing to not drop a stitch. In my wanderings on the internet I have since come to know this as a scribble scarf. I wore this scarf all winter long. It's not the softest scarf I've ever worn, but I love it and I got so many compliments on it.

I liked it so much I made another one earlier this spring. It's similar to my first one, so I decided to put it away for a possible gift for next Christmas. (You can't start too early, right?)

Colinette Point 5 in the Jay colorway
Colinette Parisienne also in Jay. (and also held double)
Size 17 circular needles

The Parisienne is very similar to the Kidsilk and of course the colors in it are a perfect match, but it was almost too perfect. I think in the first scarf the colors in the Point 5 pop a little more against the more subdued Kidsilk. If When I make another one of these I'll make sure the Kidsilk or whatever laceweight yarn I use takes a back seat to the Point 5.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Liner Notes

I finally got around to lining my entrelac tote bag. I knew I there was no chance I would use it without one. I soon realized that I wanted more than just the nice finished look a lining would give - I wanted it to have structure, to stand up on its own without the help of a box of cereal inside it! It got me to thinking though. I knew I wanted to have something stiff on the bottom, but what if I could find some material to do that and to use to make some sides as well, to make my own box?

I decided to check out the nearest Jo-Ann Fabrics since they include supplies for sewing and crafts (although I noted that their yarn selection bites.) While there I found the perfect solution - sheets of plastic canvas made by Darice. I bought a few large sheets and a couple of smaller, stiffer ones, all in the same guage (7 holes/inch) so they could easily be sewn together. I used two layers of the stiff mesh for the bottom, making it very sturdy. I cut the narrow side pieces a little wider than the bottom, so the corners flair out a bit, giving it more stability. I found it really easy to work with - I just kept trying it in the bag and making adjustments as necessary.

Once my "box" was ready I cut out the pieces for a lining, making sure it fit the box. When sewing it all together, I just made each stitch through the lining and the top of the mesh underneath it working my way around. By the way, JennySlash, I was going to go with the batik, but by the time I got back to the quilt shop it was gone. So I went with my second choice and I like how it turned out. I think the little squares are a nice whimsical touch with the entrelac.
And boy does it stand up! Empty, full - it doen't matter. I think the only thing I'd change is the way I did the handles. I think I should have found a way to fasten them directly to the mesh so they wouldn't pull on the bag as much but it would have been difficult to get the placement just right. In any case I think I'll limit how much I try to carry in it. I think I'll limit it to yarn. Yarn's not too heavy. And needles. And maybe a pattern. Stitch holders - they're really light, and a measuring tape......

Saturday, June 16, 2007

This Guy Rocks

I happened to catch this on Good Morning America yesterday and all I can say is, Wow! This guy blew me away. His name is Paul Potts and he appeared recently on a show called Britain's Got Talent (a British talent show, kind of like American Idol.) Stay with me now. He's singing an aria from Puccini's Turandot - you'll recognize it when you hear it. Do yourself a favor and watch this short video.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Walk This Way

No knitting this last weekend. Instead my husband and I spent most of our free time the last few days on some long overdue landscaping. We decided it was high time we replaced the dirt path from the driveway to the front door with something a little nicer. We had a lot of pavers and sand left over from an earlier patio project, so once we had some decent weather and a block of time we got started. We started playing around with a layout for the pavers.

We wanted an informal look - something that would look like weathered stones. We tried to not have any kind of pattern to the layout, but the main consideration was to minimize any cutting. The "stones" are actually cement pavers, but I think they have a nice rustic look to them. They are really heavy and seemed to get even heavier by the hour. My DH was in charge of planning and prepping the area for the path and I was in charge of placing the pavers. When he was through with prep work, he kept me supplied with pavers.

It took a couple of evenings to lay them all out, and four or five hours yesterday to work pea gravel in between them to stabilize them and then a layer of coarse sand on top of that to help fill in around the gravel. (No pictures of that yet - we had a thunderstorm here this afternoon.) We're planning on adding a layer of fine sand next to finish it off.

We're pretty pleased with it so far. You know how it is though - now that this is almost done, everything else is starting to look even shabbier than it did before.