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.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

It's a Square Thing

It's finally done! Well, the knitting part anyway. I thought I'd list the specs, in case anyone's interested.

  • Lamb's Pride Worsted in Aztec Turquoise - 2 skeins
  • Lamb's Pride Worsted in Brite Blue - 1 skein
  • Manos del Uruguay in Caribe - 2 skeins

  • Needles:
  • Size 10 Denise Needles
  • Size 10 Bamboo DP's

  • Pattern: My design

    Pre-felting dimensions:
  • Circumference: 46"
  • Height from base: 16"
  • Base rectangle: 4" x 14"

  • After felting (2x through the wash):
  • Circumference: 40"
  • Height from base: 13"
  • Base rectangle: 3" x 13"

  • As I mentioned before, this thing's really going to need a lining to give it more structure. The only reason it's standing up as well as it is in these photos is because of the box of Corn Flakes I have inside it!

    I started looking around yesterday for fabrics for the lining and came home with a couple of swatches. (Of course I didn't have the bag with me when I went looking.) I thought the square motif on the one on the left was a nice play on the entrelac squares, but the colors in the batik swatch on the right were actually a little bit better. What do you think?