Thursday, March 29, 2012

Here’s one of my until-now secret projects – I was knitting a sweater (pattern is from an Interweave Knits publication) for a young man. I didn't like this pattern and it reminded me why I often don't use them - if I'd followed it exactly, the sleeves would have ended before the raglan shaping on the fronts and back; also, if I'd knitted instead of crocheted the collar and front bands they would have been three separate pieces with messy finishing.
Also, based on the gauge I was actually managing to follow, I thought it was for a younger male than it turned out to fit. It was intended as a maybe 6-month sweater for a baby who’s now a few months old – I knew he would be a handsome, strapping kid, but not having held a baby in many years, I guess I over-estimated how large he’d be in another four months.
Instead it fits his 3-year-old brother. And I have to say it looks really nice on him, though if he keeps growing as quickly as he’s done so far… he’ll be passing it on to his younger sib only slightly broken in!

Monday, March 19, 2012

Having made the decision to do more work from home this summer, I’ve been continuing to clean up, exploring corners of the house and studio that have not been fully looked-into for too long.

I’ve now got 30 sets of Seneca Santa hats and mittens ready to send off. I’ll see how many I have by next Thursday and pack up the rest. Still working on them – got about 28 pairs of mittens from my friend June; when she makes mittens, I make hats to match. We’ve come up with some remarkably perfect pairings despite working on things separately! Above is a selection of a bunch I finished last week...

Also found this tatted necklace, which was until yesterday a project-in-progress. Finished it yesterday afternoon and wore it yesterday evening. Here’s the pattern – it’s tedious but simple! Use size 10 thread to thread on an assortment of beads from size 10 to E beads or a little larger. You’ll need a lot of beads – and I mean a LOT of them – 26 feet of beaded thread. I kept pushing beads down on the thread and winding thread across various pieces of furniture during the beading process spider-web style, a process that took most of the afternoon. (I’ve done four of them, so the memory of doing this is green.) There has to be at least 5 to 8 yards of unbeaded thread before and after the beads. One end of the unbeaded thread is wound on a shuttle. The other, longer part of the thread, which is also the part with all the beads, is wound on a giant thread holder. I use a piece of cardboard at least the size of a cereal box with a few slits cut into it, and wind the thread lengthwise around the cardboard. To tat, begin with a loop on a paperclip or safety pin, tat about ¼ inch of plain chain, then tat a Josephine chain: * move up 1, 2. 3. 4 or 5 beads, in an at-random order and tat the second half of a ds. Repeat from * until all beads are used up. Tat another ¼ inch plain chain, remove the paper clip or safety pin and join. Cut, tie and sew in ends. The necklace should fit over your head without the need for a clasp.

These items are looking for new homes - they’re for sale for less than their value in order to make room in the destashing process.

Hammett loom – the money for this loom and its accessories will go to the food pantry.

Love and Money loom – perfect for anyone with too much acrylic yarn who’d like to craft placemats, coasters, afghans, etc without crocheting or knitting. Contact me via email please ( if you’re interested in prices/ more information/purchase.

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Here’s two views of our gorgeous quilt before it goes up for auction. Two views – one with Sally at the lower left and Neil at the upper right – both responsible for a bunch of quilt blocks; and we put everything together at Sally’s house; Neil and Sally are hidden in the second photo, but you can see Dani, Neil’s daughter, who collaborated on a bunch of quilt blocks as well. it is even more gorgeous in person - Sue Hodge did the quilting, for which she is justly famous. Really. Someone came into my shop today from quite a distance away, and says she only has Sue quilt her work! The live auction will happen at the Tatting Seminars in the Finger Lakes. We will accept advance bids. Incidentally, the bidding will start at $200.

Finishing has so many benefits – these socks, for instance were the results of teaching a sock-knitting class whose other results included two new, enthusiastic sock knitters. The green ones used the “Dani technique” (same Dani you see above) of starting at the ankle with a provisional cast on, knitting the foot, and then after the toes are closed, removing the provision cast on and knitting up the leg as long as one wants. In this instance, I ran out of steam before I ran out of yarn, but I love the result, because the cast off, with a chain stitch between every third or fourth bind off, makes the most comfortable and elastic cuff. Having finished those socks, I naturally began another pair, using yarn I didn’t know I had until I did inventory. I like the colors, but I’d sadly thought I’d sold the last ball.

Also finished a number of felted bag projects, including a tambourine case. Now I can travel to gigs in style. (I’ve always wanted to use the word “gigs” in a sentence relating to something I do. So now it can be told – I’ve realized I’m a good back-up singer and a “belter” rather than a soloist. If you want volume and someone on-pitch, I can do it. For beauty and sensitive expression, you probably want another singer.) (This is not a secret.)

Also finished another project I can’t show yet.

This afternoon, our spinning group – all two of us – experimented with spinning color change yarn, like Noro Kuryon; Jessica’s is a singles; mine (wound) was plied with llama yarn from our previous get-together.

And here are Jessica’s mitts, an adaptation of my pattern, spun from a mystery Canadian roving; we really liked that one.

Lastly, here’s another work in progress to share – I’m knitting a lace shawl for the silent auction at the upcoming Tatting Seminars in the Finger Lakes (weekend after Easter). Because our theme is hearts, this looked like the ideal thing to knit. The pattern is by the late Beverly Galeskas and available from Fiber Trends (or from me, I carry some of their patterns). There’s a lot more knitting to do before I’m done, but it has logical repeats and it’s a lot of fun.