Archive for the ‘KNITTING’ Category

A knitting we will go

Friday, December 18th, 2015

leftie005Just a brief edit to add a scan of the finished Leftie! The pattern should have ended before the wide neon stripes but I still had a lot of yarn left, so I kept knitting and switched the main and contrast colors.

 

I feel like my spinning mojo might be on hiatus. The past month or thereabouts, it has been all knitting, all the time. Well, not exactly all the time, but you know what I mean. I have been a knitting fool. I have about 5 pairs of mitts in the done box, I finished my Leftie, finally, and have selected a new epic knit (that has already been in progress a few years.

Actually, I just checked my Ravelry project page, and I started this epic knit on August 28th, 2011. That is long, even for me. It started out as a good idea, yea, baby…let’s do the epic version!! Well, in this case, epic also means boring, but for the color changes. It’s linen stitch, and I cast on 600, shooting for a finished (EPIC) fabric that would be maybe 3×6 feet. Crazy talk, now.so gay linen stitch005

This image is from the beginning, when the idea was fresh and new! That was 2 inches of the 3 feet width I was hoping for and currently, there is 6 and a half inches, so progress has been made. And in my defense, while looking for that original pic, I scrolled through a LOT of finished knits. So I am going to challenge myself to see if I can finish this in 2016. I am going to keep it as my office knitting and maybe also use it as travel knitting, too.

The office knitting sort of plods along, but all those stolen moments do indeed add up, as proven this year when I completed the Leftie shawl. I loved it when I started it, but did it ever drag on once the love waned…I will have to take a pic of the finished Leftie and add it later.

The recent knitting jag has also included a few hats…a blue one for Deborah, a purple one for Jaye, a red one (that should arrive today or tomorrow, and a green one that is going into the finished box. I started a magic ball scarf, too, from a magic ball of leftover yarn bits. It’s a little crazy and isn’t behaving as I might prefer, but I think I am going to just go with it since it has no final destination. I am going to wind another magic ball this afternoon so I can make it bigger, because you know, I just haven’t learned my lesson yet about the epic knitting…

 

Evidence

Thursday, February 19th, 2015

I though I would follow up the book-binding post with the finished product. I actually folded 10 signatures for this book, but that would have been ridiculously heavy since I have varying weights of paper included, from some sketch paper (guessing maybe 60 pound?) up to 140# watercolor paper. There is also various colors of card stock and other colored drawing papers. I wanted a good variety to push me to use some of the various pens I have with more variety.

BookMaking002 This is my first coptic binding. It was recommended to use waxed linen thread, which I did, but what I used seemed a bit too heavy so I might try in single next time, not doubled as the tutorial suggested.  I opened the book flat on the scanner bed but the spine was then hidden, so I held it up for a scan and just added it as an inset.

I still want to finish up my previous journal  before I start using this one, but I think it will still not be just for sketching…there will be add-ins, lists, collage bits and random notes as this seems to be a journal style I have settled into these days. A bit catch all, but still less involved than I would like it to be. Maybe a little more forcing of it onto myself is in order to develop consistency.

I also have some office knitting going on. It is the scarf I started while working registration for our annual conference. OnTheNeedles001I am using some untagged handspun that I vaguely remember spinning, but I am not at all sure where it is from or what exact fiber it is, but I am thinking a wool silk blend. The pattern is the Multidirectional Diagonal Scarf. I have knit this many times before and I like how it responds to self striping yarns. This is mostly a heavy fingering/sport weight that I chain plied to keep the colors together, and I am knitting on a size US6 needle. It’s only 4 ounces of fiber and it was already wound into a cake when I picked it up, so I am not sure about the yardage. the scarf is already about three and a half feet long and I am guessing it will end up nearly 6 feet long and is about 5 inches wide.

 

Thoughts from some meditative knitting…

Tuesday, April 29th, 2014

In between the work I have to do today, I have been knitting a few stitches here and there on a scarf that I have knit a time or eight before, the Traveling Woman, by Liz Abinante. I don’t know what it is about this pattern, but there is something very soothing about knitting it that turns me toward total relaxation. My brain engages, but it isn’t terribly complex. There is a palpable rhythm to it that is pleasing and brings calm. As I said, I have knit it eight times before.

The one I am currently knitting is from some of my early handspun. I had been spinning a few months when I went to  a week-long retreat with Judith MacKenzie (Judith’s bio from one of her teaching gigs). It was at this retreat that I was first exposed to drum carding as a means of blending fibers to spin more unique yarns. I carded up several small batches from the fibers available to us, and got to spinning. I was pleased to be learning new things and delighted with the yarn I had made.

now that I am knitting with it, more than a year later, let me say, this particular yarn is crap. Don’t get me wrong, it’s a fine blend of lovely merino and mohair and some silk and who knows what other luxurious fibers. but my spinning is total crap. It could be equally true that my first attempts at carding were crap. Yet I continue to knit with it because I can feel myself learning something. Whether I am learning about the feel of fiber too tightly spun or plied, or the optical blending of color and how that is successful or not for various reasons, or that it is sometimes not possible to count past five, I can’t say. but I am learning something, that much is clear.

Whether I am learning something about my spinning or my knitting, I can’t quite grasp. But it is very likely something about both of these, and how they can and do work together. As I knit, the pattern is totally familiar in a muscle memory sort of fashion. just another layer of soothing going on during the process. The thought that continually comes to the forefront of my brain is that it is time to again read The Knitting Sutra: Craft as a Spiritual Practice, by Susan Gordon Lydon. It’s a book that will have something new to tell me each time I read it.

SS week 2001 loresAlso going on around these parts, is some sketching. I am taking an online class called Sketchbook Skool. Totally worth the time and dollars. I can’t speak highly enough about it and I feel that there is something there for everyone.  I learned about it because I follow Danny Gregory’s blog  (linked right) and decided to jump in. the next semester begins in July and there is room enough for everyone, so c’mon…let’s do this! This spread was done a few weeks ago at Barnaby’s. The first semester group has well over 1000 people enrolled and there is a range of abilities from beginner to expert. There is a classroom and fb group to post work in and discuss (or not, no pressure), and plenty of people beyond the instructors to learn from. The art that is being made in sketchbooks globally is something pretty amazing to be a part of via this class.

Okay, enough jabbering on. I feel like there is more to say, but I also feel the grasp I have on exactly what is slipping away. More soon…

 

Gratitude Project progress

Thursday, March 13th, 2014

russiandolls005I have been working on some of my gratitude projects. I have 10 this year, five from an offer I made via fb, anf 5 via an offer I accepted from my neice (also via fb and a slightly different offer. Technically I only had 4 responses to the first offer, so I went and chose a fifth to be grateful for. I will do much the same for the second offer, given that ir received no response, but I can certainly find gratitude for five more peeps.

I can’t say that this is the beginning of one of those projects because I just don’t know yet. My dear wife was recently in Chicago without me and since he had been to Knot Just Knits on our previous visit to Oak Park, she knew exactly where to go to soothe her loneliness. She bought me the kit for Leftie which included a base yarn and an assortment pack of leaf colors and the pattern. I got the pattern delivered via email as soon as she bought it. I can imagine the conversation:

E: Hi! I want to get my wife a present because she couldn’t come with me on this trip and I mimss her terribly and she is a knitter and will love this!
Clerk: What does she like to knit?

E: yarn!
Clerk: okaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay…what colors does she like?

E: yes! she likes colors…

The conversation I imagine just goes on and on, and really, E should just give the clerk a dollar amount and tell her to pick a project out.

russiandolls004I also got this lovely Russian doll box style project bag. It all fits nice and neat insode and I have been a good girl about putting it away when i am done for the night because we have more than one dog (umm, three) with a history of hosting yarn parties. It’s great stuff and I am sure they just can’t help themselves.

So I will be knitting away on the Leftie shawl (so named for its fun use of leftovers, not for left-handedness, which I posess) and see where it ends up, whether as a keeper or a gifter.

 

Profile

Tuesday, April 2nd, 2013

Here’s a profile Of Susan and John, by favorite enablers! 4 Apr 2013 TCP-30

Whirlwind

Thursday, March 28th, 2013

We lead a pretty quiet life to most people’s standards, sometimes bordering on hermit status. However, lately, I have felt a bit caught up in the whirlwind effect. My mind seems to be flying from one thing to the next in rapid succession. It isn’t overwhelming, but it seriously needs to slow down a bit.

Two weeks ago we had company which was a treat. Then last week I was away in the Hill Country for a spinning retreat with Judith MacKenzie. Now that woman really is a whirlwind. She is up pretty early in the morning and goes mostly noon-stop until midnight. And she is 70. Or in her 70s. Simply amazing and so very generous with her time, knowledge and talent.

Of course before leaving for the retreat, and while there was company, work was chaos getting ready to be gone for a week. Then upon my return on Monday work was again chaos trying to get caught up. Which I pretty much just did. And tomorrow we are off for the holiday Yeehaw!

I fear it might be a while before my brain assimilates the massive amount of information I took in last week, and of course, there are a few new tools I would like to acquire. If you have a drum carder, hackle/combs set, flip loom, or Scandinavian bobbin winder you’d care to part with, please keep me in mind.

My most recent spinning project from the CTA group on Ravelry was a Polworth/Cashmere/Silk blend in a color called Storm’s Edge.

CTA_SAL_SouthernCrossFinished3I was able to spin consistently and ended up with 900 yards of light fingering weight (chain-ply). I am really pleased with the results. I took it with me as my car knitting on the way to the retreat and knit a bit on it each morning.

The only modification to the pattern (Lady Eleanor) was to add one additional base triangle.

CTA_SAL_StormsEdgePCS_WIP002So far, it’s looking pretty good and has me totally enamored. I love it when the yarn does most of the work to make a truly one of a kind garment. And I double love this because I spun it myself!

Self imposed scarf club…

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

One of my resolves this year is to reel in the stash…not necessarily to not buy yarn, but I really want to make an effort to use some of my loveliness for real.  I decided to take a cue from the Yarn Harlot and her self imposed sock club and I have set up a self imposed scarf club. I was on ravelry catching up with my forums and one of the side ads caught my eye. The designer’s name is Kitman Figueroa, and while I didn’t buy the pattern in the ad that caught my eye enough for me to go take a look, I scrolled through the projects on several other designs of hers and, umm…bought a few patterns. I saw that people were using some yarns I actually have stashed and thus, my plan came together. I plan to knit them all before the end of 2012. The following are the ones I purchased:

* Glasgow Argyle Scarf
* Tulip Grace Hat
* Octo Scarf
* Melosa
* Carlina
* Gothic Moss Shawl

Oopsie…one is a hat…but I have plans to knit a few of those, so will have used scarf quantity before I am finished. When I get home today, I will go through the stash and pull some yarn and pair up the yarn and patterns in kits so they are all ready to knit. Once I have done that, I think one will have come to the surface as the front runner to cast on tonight and get started on it. By the end of the year, I will have knit some lovely gifts, , some possible for myself, others likely for the Gratitude Project. Life is good!