Saturday, December 31, 2005

My First Punchneedle Embroidery

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Friday, December 30, 2005

Continued reckless indulgence. Went to the local quilt shop. Now understand: my parents live in the second largest metro area of the state, which comprises three quilt shops. None of them hold a candle to *this* shop. *This* shop specializes in reproduction fabrics. They have a whole Civil War section, a whole 30s section, a whole Vintage In General section, and then they carry lots and lots of lines of Moda fabrics. Seaside Roses. Buttercream and Fig. Wuthering Heights. Rhubarb and Ginger. Cinnamon Stars. It's pretty much dangerous to go in there--especially since these fabrics sell for around $10 a yard.
Remember the bundle of yarn-dyed plaids I bought last summer? Pink and green and brown? Let me jog your memory:
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Those. Adorable. And I had no idea what to do with ten fat quarters, until around Christmas. Then I decided to make eight-pointed stars with them, and fill in with a big rambunctious matching print. That's why I went to the quilt shop--to find the print. Well, they are sold out of those particular prints, and will get them in in February (Charleston II, by the way). Soooooooo we're in the quilt store, and we have looooooooots of fabric and don't need more, so we're juuuuuuuuuuust looking, but feel guilty because the owner is so attentive. So we buy a punchneedle kit. Hooray! Punchneedle! How much is that going to be? All that embroidery floss I bought in high school will finally go to good use. Phew!

Thursday, December 29, 2005

The two balls of Felted Tweed arrived. Ginger really is ginger--as in the hair color. Red-orange-brown. Not particularly lovely. At all. Treacle, on the other hand, is really something. You know that color that might be dark brown, or might be dark plum? It's that color. It's quite lovely.

Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Home again home again, jiggidy jog. Time for some pictures!

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Left: the Gryffindor lion on the front of my Weasley sweater! Hooray! Looks much better in the photograph than it does in real life... hmmmm...

Right: The Woman in the Water scarf, post-blocking, as promised.
Everything a-okay inside the house. Sudden urge to tidy the place up...

Sunday, December 25, 2005

I got three knitting books for Christmas, and I am passionately in love with them all. I even ordered a bunch of solid-color sock yarn, in their honor.

Knitting Vintage Socks by Nancy Bush: what is there not to love about this book? More sock and heel variations than you can shake a stick at, gorgeous allover patterns appropriate for socks, and to top it all off the book is spiral bound, so you can leave it open while you work.

Sensational Knitted Socks by Charlene Schurch : another really great sock book, one I didn't ask for but Amazon gave a two-fer discount on the Nancy Bush book, apparently. Has libraries of ribbing patterns for three, four, five, six, eight etc. stitches wide. Many of them are absolutely gorgeous. Sooooo excited to try some out.

A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen: the Frost Flowers and Leaves shawl is the first lace shawl I have seen that I would actually consider knitting. 'Nuff said.

Saturday, December 24, 2005

Silent Night indeed; and all is quiet in blogland.

Merry Christmas, everyone.

Friday, December 23, 2005

Made some progress on the sweater yesterday. Am now past the 2/3 marker; just have the lion's head left to knit. I am thoroughly ready for this to be over--the pattern is lumpy and bumpy where I haven't left long enough floats on the back (the lion chart is so complicated, I have to combine intarsia with stranded knitting), and the yarn is sooooo stiff... sigh. I am having more and more impure thoughts about Felted Tweed. If only it wasn't so expensive! I molested some of it at the yarn shop yesterday, and not only are the colors absolutely *lovely*--deep and alive, but well behaved at the same time--but it is sooooooft and niiiiiice. One thing that does concern me is that it looks more like a sportweight yarn than a DK; I'm afraid that even on size 5 needles the fabric would be quite open. I am a loose knitter, I guess. I am also concerned about being able to order colors from websites, based on the balls I saw in real life yesterday. The store had the herb-green color, but also a deep and lovely red and a deep and lovely brown. Both made my mouth water. But what color is the red? Rowan labels don't say and the color "Blaze," which looks most red on websites, is discontinued. Could it possibly be "Ginger"? Ginger looks orange, on computer screens. And the brown is, I think, "Treacle," but JimmyBeansWool has it called "Cocoa" while other websites say Cocoa is quite a pale brown. Question questions, so many questions. Obvious solution to ALL problems? Order two or three balls of differen colors from JimmyBeans. Then I can play with gauge and everything. *Then* I can commit the $90 to a sweater.

Thursday, December 22, 2005

My mother kidnapped me for the third day in a row, this time for a long list errands which included, funnily enough, a trip to the yarn shop. I finally managed to think of a real project and to buy yarn for it--a baby sweater for Stephanie's as-yet-ungendered tadpole. I bought four balls of Rowan CashSoft DK in a lovely sage green; never mind the pattern is for Cashmerino Aran. It is the same sweater as my dear long-suffering Lara, which I am knitting at DK instead of worsted/aran, so I have practice with this. Anyway, it's CashSoft! It's sage green! I got to buy four balls of it! I get to knit them all up! Yaaaaay!!! Never mind the kid's going to be born in June. Babies always need to be bundled up, right? Naaah. I'll make the 6 mos. size.

Now: because I feel so guilty that I can't show you pictures of the progress on my Gryffindor sweater, or of the sock I started knitting (toe up with lifted increases. Lifted increases look much neater than half-hitch, BTW. Creates the same structure, but lifted increases are much tightier and tidier), I will search back in my other blog to find a post with lots of pictures in it. Aha! There's one:

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Top left: The bedsocks. Knit from Cashsoft 4-ply, color "Spring," and inspired by a Rowan pattern that had beads instead of purl stitches. Toe-up, Turkish cast-on, short-row heels. Needles US3.

Top right: The DREADFUL bed jacket. Knit from KnitPicks Shine "Cream" from the bolero pattern in summer's Vogue Knitting; my own dreadful crocheted edging, obviously. Might be marginally better worn over a short-sleeved nightgown. Needles US6.

Bottom left: The chocolate-peppermint scarf. Knit from Ejido 160 "Shell" purchased from 2.5 hanks total. My own pattern. Needles US 7.

Bottom right: The Harry Potter socks, knit from Opal Rainforest "Owl." My usual toe-up pattern, Turkish cast-on, short-row heels. Needles US 1, 2.25mm.

Thursday, December 15, 2005

I have begun to knit myself a Weasley sweater. I am using Tahki/Stacy Charles Donegal Tweed. It is not nice yarn, at all, in my opinion: it is rough and stiff and not at all elastic, and the colors of the tweed flecks just scream "IT'S THE 80's!" I mean, bright red yarn with navy blue, teal, and yellow flecks? Uuggghhh. Rowan Felted Tweed was used for the sweaters in the first movie, and there is no doubt in my mind that it is what I should have used. But, I am now seven inches into the front of the sweater, not to mention the $80 of yarn, so I may as well push ahead. I am planning to do the Heraldic Lion on the front, for Weasley aficionados... and I cannot take pictures, though I have my camera with me, I have not the software for my new laptop, nor the cable, and thus is there ever a chasm betwixt them.

Monday, December 12, 2005

Voila The Woman in the Water, blocking wrong-side-up. More glamorous pictures when she is dry and I am back home--might be after Christmas.
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Four skeins of Noro color #164, knit in K3P1 ribbing on US8 needles. Knit two rows with one color and two rows with another. Inspired by Jane's scarves, which were inspired by Last Minute Knitted Gifts.

Friday, December 09, 2005

Here is one wristwarmer, completed. I think that the remaining yarn from that hank of Koigu is more than enough to make its mate. Size US3 needles. Forty stitches round at the wrist in K4P1 ribbing, then KFB in every stitch to increase to 80, then one sixteen-row repeat of Leaf Lace and bind off. This should look nice, peeking out from the wrists of my black coat.

Thursday, December 08, 2005

Some presents for you:

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On the left, my Christmas table decoration, against a lovely background of brown cardboard shipping box (that's full of my Weasley yarn) and the slightly wilted Autumn table decoration. On the right, my big order of Kureyon-on-sale from Webs. I am going to knit those scarves where you work from two balls, and knit two rows with one and two rows with another. The long variegations each last for several of these bars, and the two balls each changing colors independently look reeeeally cool. I need this brainless, large-scale knitting. My three ongoing projects are 1) a lace sock, 2) the Trinket scarf, and 3) that darned Lara, whose sleeve decreases have to be calculated all over before I can proceed. But can I knit anything? No, I can't.

That Noro yarn looks, to me, like a sparkling golden patch in an otherwise joyless state of mind. But I can't touch it. God forbid Kat be left alone to do what is easy and pleasant and *productive*. No. She is a modern woman. She has to have a goddamn career, and spend her life being terrorized by nitwits into doing difficult and hateful things that have no value to anyone.
I am having a Guacamole Day. It is my second. On such a day, I make a batch of guacamole sometime before lunch, and it eat on chips all day--and nothing else. Sometimes it's a sort of cleansing ritual, and sometimes it's just greed and I suffer for it... I think I am suffering, today.
Here is some eye candy:
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Courtesy of the weather which, after raining buckets in the morning, consented to shine just a little in the afternoon. On the left, finally a photograph of my Trinket scarf. On the right, thirty-five piles of tiny squares that I cut out this afternoon (instead of working on term papers) to use in my own Crosses quilt. Somehow, they just don't have that Kaffe Fassett flavor...
I love memes that tag everyone. No specific knitters know that I have a blog, so it's the only way I ever get tagged. This meme: show your favorite knitting spot. Can do!

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A: Current work-most-in-progress
B: My imprint in the sofa
C: Spiffy multi-level jar full of knitting tools
D: Knitting light
E: Knitting bag, filled with needles and random hanks of yarn I like to tote around
F: Pile of knitting books and hanks of yarn I intend to use soon
G: Pile of works-less-in-progress
H: The antidote to knitter's ass.

Friday, September 23, 2005

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Here is my Hourglass Sweater, in Noro Silk Garden #84. Finished fifteen days after I cast on. It needs some blocking to straighten out the seams, but... yay! It's my first sweater!