Friday, January 30, 2009

Come Home, Little Stitches, Come Home

Here's an update on my Dragonfly in Amber (DIA) KAL. (There is a picture of the first cuff, showing the yarn in an earlier post.)

So, I have one sock done on my DIA sock KAL. It's lovely and I want to wear it. I would wear it in a heart beat, if I had any other sock made of the same type of yarn, but nooooo. This was my first venture with sock weight yarn and knitting with same. All of the other socks I have made have been warm woolies as oppose to lacy woolies. I have the other sock cast on and knitted down for about 4 inches. Guess what I didn't do? Put in a lifeline and it's lace! What the Hell was I thinking? Shoot me in the head dead with an axe....

I pulled a needle out of live stitches and lost the YOs, Poo! :-( Gack...

It's been too cold and with some snowy days in there, as well, to sit outside to try and find my lost stitches. There is not enough light in my house even with all the lamps on to try and find them especially with the snow and overcast we had at the beginning of the week...

Thursday, January 29, 2009

MeMe about Me

So, my friend, Lini, the Essex Hooker challenged us to do this MeMe. It's pictorial, so here are the pictures of the 10 things about Me.

1) Something I use daily. French Coffee Press
2) A view from a window of my house.
3) My favourite colour. Sleeve of an Olivey Green Shrug
4) My mode of transport. My Pick Up if I can't get a Limo, LOL
5) My Yarn (felt, paint etc) stash.
6) My bad habit! Cigarettes
7) My extravagance. Books
8) My breakfast. Coffee
9) My pets. Pan
10) One word to describe me. Eccentric

So, Now it is Your Turn. Copy the Questions and Post Them to Your Blog...

Thursday, January 22, 2009

I Am So Sad or the International Moleskine Exchange

I have had various Moleskines (Moley) in my purse for the last seven years, as they are a great way to corral my thoughts and little bits of paper. I lost my last one in September and I still feel the pain of that. I replaced it, but the information, like a handfasting ceremony and shirt measurements for a couple of guys I know are missing. Never mind, the business cards and phone numbers I need to have on a regular basis. It's was like losing my brains, ouchers! My books have always been workhorses for me, so the opportunity to make art in them is really exciting. I have replaced my purse one, of course, but I still think I will find some bit of information I am looking for in the new one, but it's JUST NOT THERE...

As to what this post is about: I am involved in a two (the knitting and crochet online community) exchanges of art based in Moleskine books like Picasso and Hemingway used for their writing and sketches. Here's the link to Moleskine:

One of the books traveling is a small unlined thick paged one with no theme. I neglected to take a picture of it before I sent it across the pond to Lini, the Essex Hooker, who has sent it on to Frewen, the Forager. I decorated the cover of that one with a few labels and such and asked my fellow Moleskine artistes if they would add bits to it as well as their contributions to the inside.

The other Moley is a large one with gridded pages. The front is pictured here. It is decorated to reflect the theme I chose for it. That theme is Ravens and Roses, as it is both the 200th anniversary of the birth of Edgar Allan Poe and the 250th anniversary of the birth of Robbie Burns, this month of January and this year of 2009. These two poets are favorites of mine and I wanted to reflect their contributions to my life and literature. That book is in South Carolina with Chantelle, aka the BrownCoatKnitter. I am also an American of Scottish descent, so the theme reflects me even more..

Each person involved in the round robin chooses whether their Moley would have a theme or not. We each get 2 or more pages to reflect the theme or what ever we want in each book as it comes by. We get about two weeks to work on them before sending them onto the next person in line. We have also been sending little gifties to those who are working on our books. When done my fellow artists will all have a wonderful collection of hand-made beaded stitch markers and Lini Baby will have a few kewl book marks as I send her them instead of stitch makers as she is a crocheter more than a knitter...

Right now, I am sans a Moley to work on and feel bereft. We are sending them around the world for up to 13 people to add their artistic vision to... According to USPS, one left Denver this morning for my house. I can't wait to see it and add my little bit to it.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Today Is the Anniversary of Edgar Allan Poe's Birthday

Happy 200th Birthday, Edgar Allan Poe!

I do apologize up front for the quality of photos. The tulle overlay on the card made the camera crazy.

I belong to an on-line group, called Quilt Art. At the beginning of the moth we got to talking about it being the 200th anniversary of the birth of Poe and his poem, The Raven. We ended up deciding to do a fibre postcard challenge incorporating themes from Poe's works, especially the raven. This is one of my efforts.

To make this card I thread painted the house and tree on a layer of fabric and a layer of Timtex (thanks, Lynda). It is my version of one of the houses in Baltimore that Poe lived in. The tree is in front of the side where he lived. The ravens were laser printed on paper and then torn around for a feathery effect. They where then trapped under a layer of tulle, I also stitched around the ravens to keep them from moving around too much..

Dragonfly KAL and Read Along

I cast on the Dragonfly Socks for the Ravelry Dragonfly in Amber by Diana Gabaldon Read Along and Dragonfly Sock Knit Along. Here is the cuff of the first one.

Of course I never do things exactly to the pattern, as I only did two rows of the 2x2 rib at the top of the sock. I wanted the scallop effect of the yarn overs and K2togs to be apparent at the top. These are going really fast, by the way, even if I am using a sock weight super wash yarn from Cascade. I got the yarn at Shuttles in Boulder about a year ago and I am knitting them on Size 4 DPNs.

Edited later in the Day:

So have you ever had one of those moments when it all comes together and you think to yourself, DOH? Well, I had one of them today. I have been unhappy with my left side decreases on the gussets of socks since I learned how to turn a heel last winter. I missed the lesson on decreasing, apparently. As I have said, above I am making these Dragonfly Socks which required both a right and left leaning decrease in the pattern on the leg of the sock and down the foot. To make the left leaning decrease, you slip a stitch knitwise onto your right needle, then knit the next stitch and leave it on the right needle and then bring the slipped stitch back over the stitch you just knitted (right leaning is Knit Two Stitches Together or K2tog). Pretty simple, right? Well, it dawned on me TODAY, that I could decrease for the gusset with Slip, Knit, Pass Slip Stitch Over and it would lay beautifully and match the decreases on the right side gusset and it does. DOH!

Now back to your regularly scheduled programming.

I am also knitting a drawstring bag out of some Lamb's Spun in the same colours, that I bought at Knitter's Kove here in Colorado Springs to go with these socks. It will be knitted then felted into the shape of a thistle. I have posted a picture of the green blob to start. I am knitting it on size 15 needles and it's getting BIG. As you may be aware, tho, felted knitting shrinks about 30% in length and about 10% in width, so it's going to seem monsterously big until it's shrunk.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

SteamPunk Neck Warmer

As promised, here is the Steampunk Neck Warmer that I designed and made for my dear Daughter for Yule. She asked for a button on neckwarmer and it needed to be made from yarn that wouldn't drive her crazy as she's violently allergic to wool.
I ran to the LYS and found a skein each of three different black, white and grey yarns, on sale, even. Two fuzzy and one ribbon type were used. I held the three VERRA different yarns together and used Size 10.5 needles to knit this in a 2x2 rib. I am grateful that the yarn itself hid the deficiencies in my buttonhole making as the DD wanted this to be fitted and to button on as well.

The buttons used are brass buttons from the League of American Wheelmen with a design of a bicycle wheel overlaid by three wings and the initials of the L.A.W., which is an organization that my Da belonged to back in the day. The organization has been around since the 1800s as it's for riders of penny farthing and boneshaker type bicycles. I then added neoprene washers behind the buttons to make them bigger and to help with the over all steampunk effect.

My apologies for not being able to get a better picture of the buttons, I can't find my tripod and I can't hold the camera steady enough for macro photos, suffice to say, THEY are verra kewl.

The DD loves it, it keeps her neck warm and it doesn't make her itch which is the best thing of all.

Friday, January 9, 2009

How I Spent my Day and Remember to Close the Cabinet Door

Yesterday afternoon was a gorgeous 65 degrees or there about, here in the Springs. I went over to my BFF, Rebecca's house to work on a project that we are putting together. I brought a big P.O.T (Plastic Organizer Thingy) of embroidery thread, a big P.O.T. of bead stuff and a few bags of fabrics. I should have taken the P.O.T.s of ribbons and buttons, too.

We were putting together crazy quilt block kits, nine blocks about 6x6 with fabrics, trims and embellishments all in a bag made from one of the fabrics that probably was included in the kit. We made 6 all together from start to finish. Two gold/cream, two Americana, two based on a fall corduroy print focus fabric. We cut pieces with scissors, whinged about the rotary cutter (which literally came apart in my hands) stuffed little zip top bags with beads, threads, sequins, buttons and ribbons.

The pictures show that red-head missy, Rebecca, the chaos in the kitchen as we worked and the view we enjoyed. As to the comment about the cabinet door in the title, I clocked myself, nearly saw stars and got a headache, SO, close those doors before you lean down to the floor to grab fabric.

We also ate a snack of Mexican goodies and sat out in the sun on the front porch with a magnificent view of Cheyenne Mountain and Pike's Peak. We watched a Red - Tail hawk soar over the golf course and there were robins in the lilac bush.

At the moment however, it is snowing... Welcome to Colorado!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

My Katte Beth Sewing Kit

6 or 7 years ago, our friend, Katte Beth , gave my daughter and me each a sewing kit as a prezzie for Christmas. My friend, Lini, the Essex Hooker was talking about sewing kits and I told her I would share mine with her.

It is made from a fishing tackle box from Wal-Mart. She put inside the box a folding pair of scissors, what she thought was a seam ripper, but was actually a knit-picker, a couple of spools of thread and a Lo-Ran magnetic needle case. It is the exactly right size to throw in your purse, suitcase or work bag.

I have since amended the contents to suit me. No surprise there, eh?. Two months after I got the box and while I was working at the LQS in S.E. Denver, my bosses had gone to Japan and while there, they toured the Clover Notions Factory and brought us all back Clover Purse Size sewing kits, with "real" scissors. So, I traded out the folding ones for the Clover ones. The next Christmas, my friend, Darla gave me a poly - clay decorated needle holder made from a glass vial, so I traded out the needle case. Meanwhile, I added my favorite leather thimble and a metal thimble for tough sewing, as I was making a lot of Ren Faire garments at the time. I also put a grommet setter in the box, that, with the hammer I keep in the truck meant grommets could be set anywhere. Later down the line, I got a lovely gift box from an un-secret sister that included a bit of wool roving. At that time, I hadn't started needle felting and wasn't sure what I was going to do with it. Eventually, I rolled it into an egg shape, stuck in the toe of a stocking and tossed it into the washer with a knitted bag I was felting and wallah, a pin cushion was born. I ran a ribbon through the long axis and added a button to hold the knot and attached it to the box. I also got an actual seam ripper to go in the box as well. The knit - picker was a serendipitous mistake as it is a handy thing to have. There are also 3 different types of bodkins, for drawing lacing and elastics through casings, just in case an end gets lost in a chemise. There are as well, safety pins, straight pins and two spools of thread (these change according to project being worked, of course).

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

How I Spent my Day So Far

I don't know how other people do it, but I have been fighting a sinus headache since yesterday and I can barely think, let alone do anything but I did make the supper last night and worked on my next round robin Moleskine for my Ravelry IME group. I tried to read as I am signed up for 52 Books in 52 Weeks, but that was an abysmal failure as even my glasses hurt.

This morning, when I signed on to Ravelry (the knitting and crochet on-line community) there must have been something in the air. One post and we were off... One of my groups broke the 400 message mark and I think the other group is going to try for it today as well. However, at the moment, Ravelry is down, so no messages at all posted or otherwise.

I have been knitting on the DD's button-on leggings and finishing up a pair of socks, for, surprise, ME...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Let's Collect Old Calendars and Ceremoniously Burn 2008, Such a Year We Should Never Have Again.

The Title of this blog is a quote from my friend and fellow Quilt Maverick, Margaret Ball. It sorta sums up 2008 for so many of the friends that I love and admire.

I am that sorry for the delay in wishing you a great New Year in 2009. I for one, am very glad that 2008 is now behind us. I know it's been a rough year for so many. I am grateful that this year wasn't the absolute worst for me, but with the election and the economy crisis, I am very glad that it's over.

I don't do resolutions, they are more in the way of guidelines, as it were. I want to continue to learn something new everyday. I want to be a nicer person. I want to continue to de-clutter my life.

Take care of yourselves, everyone, I hope and pray that you have a better 2009.