Sunday, November 28, 2010

Hardanger isn't so hard after all

I CUT MY FABRIC for the first time today, ever. This was much the same feeling as steeking for the first time. A little scary, then once you have done it, a little exhilarating and then addictive. I whipped through the wrapped bars and dove's eyes in no time!  This is for an ornament exchange. I don't mind if the girls see it, since the gifts are wrapped and pretty anonymous.  
The design is the free Winter Biscornu from Victoria Sampler. A very good design and perfect for first time Hardanger and first time Biscornu (technically second time, but I cheated in assembling the first one, so this is the first time I have truly assembled correctly.

Don't you just love the fall colours? I am finding that the rusts and golds and browns have struck my fancy this fall.

And look how far the Brown Beast has come lately. I have had a few days off from work here and there and stitched in the kitchen in the sun. Looking forward to reaching the top very, very soon

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Brown Beast, Spinning and Felted Bag

I have been focusing on the Brown Beast and making great progress. I am determined to finish it in the next 6-12 months. Haven't done the math lately, you know, the one where you calculate how many stitches are left. That can wait until I am working on the last page of the graphs. Sundays are for stitching, so if I don't have too much unplanned work from The Job, I can get quite a bit done. On the other hand, if I am on calls and mostly waiting I can get a few rows done if I don't have to count.
This is what it looked like in May 2008. And, while I thought I would progress faster, I am pleased with where I am now

What else have I been doing. Spinning! Trying out the various bobbins Jim made me last year. It was great to slow the wheel down and be able to improve my drafting skills. I am not spinning rope any more, and with this gold and green I am ready to make a beautiful scarf with a small leaf pattern.... one of my favourite patterns. I have a long way to go before I am consistent and good at spinning, but I am liking the results a lot more. The dyed fleece is from The Black Lamb. And, when I have a quiet Sunday with things going well I will make a trek out there for more. In the meantime I have some mohair / merino from Romni Wools from many years ago when I first was introduced to spinning. It is good to practice on and with 250 grams if I lose a few to experimentation I still have enough for something.

And, finally, working on the felted bag pattern, with the attached i-cord that you knit straight off of for the next rows. Here are a few photographs that I will use in writing up the pattern. Basically, you knit the base, with some short rows to create an angle, then make attached i-cord, but wrap the yarn around the needle before knitting a row, so you have the next row already on the needs. It makes a very loose row, but from the prototype the felting takes care of the extra large loops. I hope this one works out the same!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Finishing ... and there's a needle down there

What a week. Many weeks work has culminated in:

(a) finished Mom's Vest -
it turned out beautifully,
even if I say so myself

(b) Lady of the Roses - wonderful weather at the cottage meant many stitching hours.

Enough to finish the basket, hat, ribbons, leaves and touches here and there. I thought I would be able to make a significant dent in it this weekend, but didn't think I would get completely finished and

While removing some misplaced stitches with my needle...poing...the needle flipped out of my hand and into the water. Luckily it was the smaller needle, so i could continue with the larger one. I have special needles in the shop for removing threads to make it unnecessary to use your stitching needle to do so and have lovely beads on them, which make it less likely that you will lose the needle in the process of removing threads....must remember to put one of these in my bag!

(c) Florida Sunshine shawl is finished, just needs to be blocked. This is a pattern Gail aka Nightsongs from Ravelry

Considering there have been many busy work weeks, I am surprised at how productive it has been.

And some lovely sights at the cottage and at home, that make everything more enjoyable:
My favourite things: Poppies, dragonflies and the chairs at the dock.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Mom's Vest (not you Mom, another Mom)

And finally some interesting photos of "Mom's Vest". It is coming along nicely. The back is nearly complete, just a few more inches to go and then on to the left and right front which will be worked simultaneously, only one cable each. And nice tidy stocking stitch that will curl a bit (on purpose) for the armholes and if all goes according to plan either rib and some stocking stitch to finish the front edge, or just stocking stitch. (Will need to see how the front looks before deciding).

This is worked in Manos del Uruguay silk merino on 4.25 mm needles, by the way.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Tiny Knitting

How do you fix tiny stitches? With tiny knitting needles. I thought at first that 1.5mm needles would be small enough to pick up the stitches of a machine knit top that a Kniterary customer brought in, but they were like fence posts. What next? I had cleaned out some knitting accessories while hunting down a knitting pattern for my new great-niece (hmmm, I have hundreds of patterns but would rather reknit a pattern I have used a few times already, but I digress) and had tidied up some pins that I use for blocking. Blunt ends, nice little heart to hold stitches and voila, tiny knitting needles!

I carefully pulled out the old stitches, back beyond the damaged area and then cast off in ribbing, carefully using a .75 crochet hook to help with the job. A light blocking job, looks pretty good, and after a few more washes I am thinking things will even up nicely. I didn't get photos, but double reading glass (one in front of the other) helped things along too.

Other works in progress, "Mom's Vest" is coming along. I will post some photos tomorrow. It looks pretty plain at the moment but by tomorrow it should be a completed back.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Gardening, so to speak

I was gardening today in my kitchen and ended up with some beautiful roses in a basket. Not bad for one day of gardening! I set out to stitch for just a few hours, but then wanted to finish all of the roses. Well, then I figured I may as well do the leaves as well! Next step will be to stitch the basket highlights and move on up to a rose the young lady is holding. then, more of her dress and a door and the tree over hanging her head. It is coming along nicely.

I did a bit of knitting on "Mom's Vest" although I haven't taken an pictures yet. It is from Manos wool silk.

I haven't been spinning lately, but realize my "knitting/spinning room" aka son's bedroom will soon be used for its alternate purpose and I will shuffle things around again. So, I pulled out some fleece and did a bit of spinning on Friday and Saturday. With the slower whorl and a merino/silk blend it is amazingly fine (which also, as it turns out, means that it takes a whole lot longer to spin than the rope i was previously making! simple math!)

The Finishing Class at Kniterary last Saturday and this past one was successful with four completed sweaters (two shown here, the light coloured one is the model). Yes, they do look posed pointing at something ("Hey", says Whitey, tugging at the sleeve of Bluey, "look over here to my left!"). It is because the left sleeve is a box sleeve and the right sleeve is a raglan sleeve!

And, just for good
measure, here are pictures of the cats. One to my left, the other to my right, as I sit and knit. What more could you ask for!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Hmmmm, where do the days go. Catching up

Hmmmm, I wonder who one this hand. Okay, I know I shouldn't be so competitive, but it was a great hand! We played cards with friends a couple of weeks ago. It is always fun and there seems to always be one remarkable hand to laugh about.

Hedgy is finally framed and boxed. She looks wonderful and can be seen in the shop....probably Saturday. The inside is quite generous, room for pretty well anything, either stitching stuff (scissors, thread, patterns, etc.) or other items, trinkets, etc.

Hand warmers to go with the Pebbles Scarf are finished. I have a ball remaining and will be lengthening the scarf with it. It will be very squishy. I am thinking it is time for a new winter coat, so next winter I'll see if I can get a coat to match the scarf and hand warmers. Hmmm. should I add bottoms (with buttons? perhaps) and a hat. Hhhhmmmmm. Let's think about that.

I have been working on a vest design for "Mom's vest" - not my mom, but one of our Kniterary customer's Mom's vests. And more on the Lady of the Roses stitching, but that has slowed down since the Olympics are over.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Lady of the Roses is coming along and a war with the G Key and Memory

Hedgy fit in one of the boxes. The box is now being stained and I need to properly pad Hedgy and sew her onto the (hmm, what do you call that, the back thingy).

You will be able to see her in the shop soon.

Next weekend perhaps.

The roses and the greenery in the lower part of the lady are complete. I have moved up the skirt to the accents of the skirt and dress. The roses in the upper part are done in floss rather than wool. The lower roses were challenging, but now that they are finished and I am distancing myself from them they are looking okay.

Moving up the skirt it is hard to find where the directions are indicating to stitch (and it helps to avoid rework if I use the right colour the first time!) but I'm getting on. Didn't finish over the Olympics, but made a considerable dent. Not sure how much couch time I will get in the coming days... less than the past two weeks, to be sure!

I have had a computer malfunction. Since about November I was missing a key. Amazingly you can type without the key. Well, it finally donned on me that eBay would have spare keys. Got one, installed it Tuesday night. All was well. Either time was up on the computer or a small drop to the floor resulted in a very bizarre flickering freezing computer. If I am really gentle with it, coax it and no jiggling I can get the computer working. That means lap computing in front of the TV is out. Hrmph! I ripped it apart, dealt with a stripped screw, jiggled, wiggled, changed memory, etc. etc. It has been running all day, treated with kid gloves, and backed up the important files (I hope), so it is time to get another computer. Question - do i get a refurbed again and be thankful for 2-3 years for under $500, or do I get a cheapish new one and have it last, what 4-5 years, or do I go all the way with a more expensive new one and hope to get 8-10 years. Hrmph. Need to decide is depending on it.

After running out of back"issues" of some of my favourite podcasts I am now into books. I am listening to Jane Eyre, one of my favourites, from Librivox via iTunes. Driving a 1 1/2 hours to work each way, more in snow I am already at chapter 20 of 35. I am enjoying it, getting used to different voices for each chapter, and if this keeps up I may just sign up for Audible.

And finally, how about those Olympics. From a self-confessed addict, it was a great time! Nailbiting, unpredictable, enjoyable.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Olympic Stitching and Sunday Morning bliss

This week has seen me prepare stitching project for one of Hedgehog Stitchery customers and get started stitching it (photos to follow next week). Instead of knitting for Ravelympics or Knitting Olympics I will be stitching. I hope to get finished or make a significant dent in the project. So far the lace on the skirt is stitched, the leaves on the lower third are stitched and the bottom rose was done during halfpipe snow boarding (It was spectacular and you just have to cheer for Shaun White).

Yes, I am an Olympic junkie and will be spending plenty of time on the couch watching.

I thought I would share Sunday morning Valentine's . Pretty blissful. Chocolates, Sudoku and Stitching (both cross stitching designs to plan and the stitching I just prepared. That is one fine Sunday morning.

Before the above Sunday morning stitching I finished the front stitching on a Victoria Sampler winter biscornu design (all except the hardanger). Call me a chicken, but cutting stitching threads is quite similar to steaking in knitting. Unbelievable to purposely cut threads, but the results are amazing. And, I imagine, it gets easier each time. I think I will practice on a trial piece first. This is a design I am working to get a jump on next year's ornament exchanges. I started the back as well and will revisit when the lady above is stitched. I am thinking of doing bullion poinsettias on the corners of the back. Perhaps more hardanger, perhaps not. And to finish it off beads (front and back and along the edge and a nice button for the middle. I'll show you more when it is finished.

Slouchy handwarmers to go with the Pebble entrelace scarf in Mille Colori. Started during the Handwarmers on Magic loop class . (Don't be fooled by the photograph, the colours really are the same as the scarf colours.)

And finally, a swatch (yes, a swatch, I know, shocking, not something you see often) for a cable rib pattern on a Kniterary customer Vest. More of that, in parallel with Lady stitching.