Monday, December 19, 2011

My work has been featured in 3 Collections on ArtFire. 

2 are collections of work by members of the #AFPounce Guild.
Fab Finds for the Last Minute Christmas Shopping! 
Holiday Gifts to Pounce On! 

And 1 is a collection of Glass Art; there are 3 of my products in this one:
Handcrafted Glass Jewelry

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Shawl Pins and Stick Pins, Finally

I've made a number of shawl pins for my own knit and crochet projects, but I've been wanting to make some for sale as well. I figured that the Christmas season is a great time for them to make their debut.

The shawl pins are the perfect accessory for knit and crochet shawls, scarves, and sweaters.

These are available for purchase at my ArtFire Studio.
The first one is on Copper Wire, but the others are all twisted Fine Silver Wire

I'm working on some more, including some lapel style Stick Pins, 
but haven't added them to the site as yet, so this is a preview.

Check them out, and let me know what you think. I'm interested in your feedback.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The Moebius Basket Update, and a new Patchwork Triangles Capelet

In my last post, I talked about the Cat Bordhi workshop I had attended, and showed a picture of my basket so far. I had inadvertently put an extra twist in the handle, and thought I would have to frog it and start over. But I decided to go ahead with it and see what happened. Here's the result; actually not bad.

 I also finished a new version of my Patchwork Triangles Capelet, this time using only 3 different yarns, and 2 stitch patterns in the body, and 3 stitch patterns in the border. The idea is to write up the pattern, and possibly put it up for sale.

 And this is the Shaw Pin I created for it.
I have been playing around with a number of ideas for shawl pins. Watch my ArtFire Studio for them in the coming days.

Friday, November 18, 2011

A Workshop or 2 with Cat Bordhi

Last weekend I attended 2 workshops with Cat Bordhi, a knit designer and teacher who sparked the current Moebius trend. Her innovative Moebius Cast On (MCO) makes it easy to knit a moebius in the round. At this point I can't even remember how I first was made aware of moebii and Cat Bordhi, but once I discovered them, I became obsessed. Her books: "A Treasury if Magical Knitting", and "A Second Treasury of Magical Knitting" started me off on a series of moebii, including at least 1 that I crocheted. She also has written a number of books on sock knitting, in which I have no interest.

So when I heard that one of our local yarn shops was hosting a series of workshops with Cat, I immediately called and signed up for the moebius workshop, as well as one which focused on creativity and design. The third workshop was on socks, and as I've said: just not my cup of tea.

At the moebius class, I opted for a basket, which I had never done before.  I finished the top, which is comprised of the handle (the moebius part), and the rim, from which you then pick up stitches to form the bowl. After I picked up the stitches, I realized that I had inadvertently made an extra twist. Cat said it might make an interesting effect, but once I got home, I decided that I didn't really like the extra twist. So I took it off the needles, planning on redoing it.

 But now I'm not so sure; maybe I'll have a try at it the way it is.

More on the 2nd workshop in another post.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Desert Autumn Poncho

I finished my Desert Autumn Poncho for the Branches & Dunes KAL, and I'm really happy with it. I even got to wear it last night; warm enough for a cool evening out, without being too heavy.


As you can see, the front and back are slightly different; it can be worn either way. And it can also be worn sideways, giving it yet another look.

Friday, November 4, 2011

It's Been a While

It's been quite a while since I last posted, which was right after I returned from Petoskey. The Workshop/Retreat was a real pick-me-up and did a lot for my morale.  But the Pneumonia and Valley Fever have not completely left my system yet, and I still feel kind of punk part of the time. Which is why I haven't felt much like engaging my brain and taking the time to post here.  

But I did finish the Forest Flow Vest that I started at Knitting Under a Mango Moon II, and I'm really happy with it.

 And I've since been working on a new Branches & Dunes project for the latest Jane Thornley KAL  I kept changing my mind about this piece; first it was going to be another, but shorter, vest. then I thought I'd try a cardigan/jacket. But after seeing this on Dancing with the Stars:
 I decided on a sort of poncho, but with armholes and side seams. This is the first half:
 Based loosely on the colors in this Autumn in the Desert photo
I've started the second half, but can't decide whether to just duplicate the first half, or make it different, so I can have 2 different looks. The deadline for the KAL is November 15th, so I'd better make a decision and get working on it.

Friday, September 16, 2011

Knitting Under a Mango Moon II

I just returned from Petoskey, MI, and Knitting Under a Mango Moon II, a FreeRange workshop/retreat sponsored by Mango Moon Yarns, and led by Jane Thornley.  It was just as wonderful as last year; many familiar faces, and some new ones, as well. And while my final flight returning home yesterday was delayed a bit, it was nowhere near the terrible experience I went through on my return last year, see Petosky to Tucson, the Long Way/Wrong Way Home: The Saga of my return from Knitting Under a Mango Moon

The first sight that greeted us upon entering the Knitting Room on Sunday afternoon was this:

Besides all the yarn shown in the video, there were also 2 round tables of sale yarns. What a fantastic beginning to a great workshop.  Having all that yarn right there at our fingertips was great when we reached a point in our projects where we needed another yarn or two. But the problem, of course, was that having all that yarn right at our disposal was very tempting; most of us ended up buying far more than we needed for the projects we were doing at the workshop. But of course, there will always be more projects awaiting us when we return home.

Along with the wonderful workshop itself, we had great breakfasts and lunches in the charming, historic Perry Hotel (which is where we stayed). And terrific dinners at restaurants in 3 neighboring towns. All in all, we had everything we needed right there at our beck and call.

The projects ranged from Jane's Not-A-Poncho to the Forest Flow Vest, and other patterns from Jane's latest guide, Branches & Dunes Evocative Guide, which introduced us to a fascinating and addicting new stitch. I opted to do the Forest Flow Vest; this is the first side:

 Here we all are, showing off our works in progress:

Saturday, August 27, 2011

First Solo Weaving Project

I finally finished the Table Runner that I started 2.5 years ago. The loom had been warped and was ready to go, but at first I had it standing on its side in a closet. Then my husband put the stand together, and it stood in our Family Room for a few months, until I finally decided it was time to do something about it. So I moved it into the Dining Room, of all places, because that's where the light was best. I worked on it on and off  for a couple of months, undoing and redoing bits of it because I would discover that it had gotten a little too narrow. Finally, a week or so ago, I decided that enough was enough, and it was time to finish it. Once I made up my mind to do it, it was done in a couple of days.

Then I spent a few days trying to find out how best to wet finish it (the weaving equivalent of blocking). There's precious little information available on that subject, but luckily Cyd at Tucson Yarn Co. is knowledgeable about weaving, among other things, and was able to send me in the right direction. Because one of the two yarns used in this project doesn't respond to traditional  methods, there wasn't a lot I could do, but I did the best I could, and the results, actually, are pretty good. The runner looks quite nice on our Dining Room table.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

           Share the Love Artisan

This weeks featured artisan is Phillippa Pinka - Court & Sparks.
Darling Creations that make perfect gifts! You can find Court & Sparks on:

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Saga of the Breeze That Wasn't

Back in mid-June, Jane Thornley introduced a new pattern for a simple wrap she called The Breeze, partly because it was a breeze to make; large needles, lightweight yarn, simple stitches. It captured everyone's interest, mine included. I had the perfect yarn for it. 

My first attempt had to be frogged, because it got so wide, with no depth, that it would have been usable only as a long skinny scarf that one winds around the neck multiple times. Armed with some hints from one of the other Ravelers, I started again, and this time it seemed to progress rather smoothly. Until I got about half done. The cable came loose from the needle, and the stitches all started to unravel; the perils of using large needles on thin yarn. I was panicky at first, but decided to try and mend it all, no easy feat with a random lace pattern. Somehow, I pulled it off. 

Finally I added the edging around the top, and bound off. But I didn't cut off the yarn, I used it to picked up stitches around the bottom to add a matching edging When it was finished, I wasn't happy with the way it looked, and decided to redo it. So I frogged back to where I had picked up stitches to start again. Unfortunately, I wasn't paying enough attention, and ended up frogging part of the top edging. Enough of it that the whole thing started to unravel. Because of the nature of the yarn, it was almost impossible to stop the unravelling, and when I finally did, much of the top few inches was lost. I tried running a lifeline at what I thought was the lowermost edge of the unraveling, but it wasn't quite evenly threaded through, so I had to really work at it till I got the cable to go straight through on one row.  Again there were a few spots that I had to repair, actually a large area, but I faked it, and it worked. I just wouldn't want anyone looking too closely at it.

The problem at this point was that all that frogging had released a lot of yarn, which promptly got tangled up. I ended up spending a day and a half untangling and rewinding before I could proceed with finishing the bottom edge, which I decided to crochet instead of knit.
Crochet Edge
 Once it was done, I realized that it was really a little longer/wider than I wanted. So I gathered about half of the neckline edge, and now it's a much better length.

 The Random Lace

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Monet's Lily Pond Kimono

I finished my Monet Lily Pond Kimono, but not without a few problems; it just didn't want to be done. Whenever I thought I was through, I found something that needed to be changed, and when I changed that, something else would not be right. I did the bottom of the back 3 times before I got it right, partly because I ran low on the medium green yarn I needed. It was where it was to be seamed to the front, which would really point out the difference. But I did find a good substitute, and got it done.

I originally wanted a short, little kimono, to fit the way it does in Jane Thornley’s Guide. And it started out that way, but it stretched as I worked on it, and ended up full size; as you can see in the photo.  I guess the shorter kimono will have to be another project. Anyway, it’s done. It's ridiculous that it took me so long; I was the first to start mine for the Knit A Masterpiece KAL, but far from the first to finish.

I also finished my Breeze Wrap, but that's a long story to be covered in another post.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

I've Finished the FreeRange Vest

Well, I finished the vest. Instead of frogging the tops of the fronts, I frogged the bottoms. This lined up the fronts and the back more proportionately, and released enough yarn to do the sides. It's a little shorter than I first planned, but definitely wearable.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Pneumonia is the Pits!

A lot has happened since I last posted, the most significant of which is that, instead of going back home to see friends and family and celebrate my brother's 70th birthday, I ended up in the hospital with a serious case of pneumonia, possibly accompanied by Valley Fever. 

I've always heard that it takes a long time to completely recover from pneumonia; that the fatigue that goes with it is endless. Added to that, the side effects from the anti-fungal medication I'm still on for the Valley Fever make me a little shaky at times. 

So I've been spending the last month or so recuperating, and taking it one day at a time. On the plus side, my husband has been doing the cooking and shopping, and more or less waiting on me hand and foot, which is nice, but after a while, even that gets old. But another plus is that all I can do is read, knit, and nap. At first I couldn't knit for very long, and kept making mistakes, but I'm doing better now.

When last I wrote, I had started my Monet Kimono. It's now almost finished,

  except for the pesky little problem of running out of one of the yarns used at the very bottom. I don't know if it's worth trying to find more of it, or just improvise and use another yarn. I'm still working on that. 

Another project that I've been working on is a FreeRange vest, part of a KAL with the Jane Thornley group. I also ran out of yarn on this one, the main yarn, just before finishing the body of the vest. It's a very unusual color, and I haven't been able to match it. I managed to finish both fronts so they line up evenly, but now the search is on for yarn to finish the sides.
Since I wrote this, I've come to the conclusion that the top part of the fronts of this vest are too long, so I'm going to frog and redo them.  Perhaps that will result in enough yarn to finish. More on that as I proceed.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Long Time, No See

I don't know when I've gone this long without posting. I've gotten a lot done, both fiber and glass, and some wire work, too.

The first thing I finished was my Tapestry Wrap:

 And to go with it, I created this Shawl Pin:
 I couldn't come up with anything in my glass work that was right for this wrap, so instead I did a little wire work.
Along with that one, I made another, still in progress.
 Another project I've been working on is one I started a couple of years ago. I took a weaving class, and after making a scarf I really liked, decided to add weaving to my repertoire. I bought the loom and a loom stand, and actually warped the loom in readiness to make a table runner for my Dining Room.
But of course, Life got in the way, and the loom got put in a closet; the stand never came out of its box. A few weeks ago, somehow, my husband suggested putting the stand together so the loom would have a permanent place. That, of course, led to my deciding to proceed with making the table runner. Of course, it was so long since I'd warped it that I couldn't quite remember the next step. It took a little time and research, but I finally got it going, and have been working at it in bits and drabs.  It's standing in the Dining Room, where there's good light, so whenever I pass by I stop and make a few passes with the shuttle, usually at least 4 - 6, about an inch or so. My only concern is that I won't have enough yarn to finish.  The main yarn has been discontinued, I think, so I'd better start looking around to see if anyone has any. Keep your fingers crossed.
 The last thing I've been working on is really a labor of love. Jane Thornley came up with the brilliant idea of knitting Monet's Lily Ponds, and it absolutely grabbed me. I immediately researched the myriad paintings Monet did of Lily Ponds, and found 1 couldn't resist. I would post a picture of it, but it appears to fall under copyright problems, so just take my word for it that it's gorgeous.
 This is the result so far:
 Actually, I've gotten a little further since this photo was taken, I'm about 1/2 done with both fronts. BTW, Jane's pattern that I'm basing this on is Leaf Lights Spring Kimono, and you can check my progress on my Project Page.

Friday, April 1, 2011

Vested Interests/Ruanna Wanna Be

I started a project back in November of 2009 that I thought was going to be a quick knit. Boy, was I wrong! When I came to what I thought would be the end of the main body of the piece, I discovered that it was way too long to be used as it was intended. I considered a number of options, but they all involved more of my lead yarn than I had. And because it was a hand dyed yarn that I had bought quite a while earlier, the chances of my getting more were slim to zero. I actually went so far as to take a chance and order some more to be dyed up in that colorway; but of course, too much time had passed and they were unable to match it. The replacement was beautiful, but unusable for this project. So I put it away to hibernate, and went on to other things. Many other things.

But after I finished my Rushing River Wrap, and the knitting on my 1st Gift Bag

I was looking for a project that wouldn't be long and complicated. So I took out Vested Interests and decided to make the best of what I had, added a capelike back to it, and Voila! the Ruanna Wanna Be was born.

I'm glad I waited to finish this; I'm very happy with the results. It has a wonderful, soft hand, and drapes beautifully. I can see myself wearing this often.