I'm a writer (under the by-line Karen Gadiel) and fibers designer, mostly tatting, also knitting. Full disclosure - I own a yarn/thread/spinning shop in Burdett, NY, Graceful Arts Fiber Studio. Living the dream...
It’s hard to get back to a blog after so much time away, but I’ve wanted to be here, I’ve missed doing this… Just that I was doing so many other things. You know how into every life falls an obsessive love affair, the sort that means you’ve got to spend every spare moment either with your beloved or thinking of that person, longing to be there, touching, dreaming… So it’s been with the “Monster Doily.” (sorry, Bill, but I see you every day!) I dreamed about it for quite a while before beginning it, bought the perfect thread, agonized over choosing which colors to use, dyed thread an apricot color that was going to be eye-poppingly wonderful for the center and the 10 semi-circles that looked like mini-sunset, and absolutely beautiful with the greens… but it didn’t work. I seem to be temperamentally unable to dye totally solid colors, so I had to begin again. Multiple times. The plan was to finish the doily for the state fair. Whose early-August deadline seemed far-distant at the end of May. About 150 hours later, I was starting to think, okay, I’ll just get it to a good stopping point, surely I can do that by the deadline. When I turned it in, my monster was 24” across, but I’ve only done row 13 of the 18 rows. And my fingers were finished for a while! Let’s face it, those rows get larger and take longer as you progress outwards. I do plan on finishing, but not until it’s back from the fair (assuming it was accepted).
I also entered this shawl, the yarn spun from a Wensleydale-Teeswater blend on my new wheel, then dyed by me, and knitted using the “Eight Triangles” shawl pattern – though if you count, you’ll see there were actually nine triangles. This shawl project was also the product of multiple starts – the original one I’d planned to enter suffered an awful mishap – I’d carried it with me to Bill’s dental appointment, and when I replaced it in the car after he was done, apparently one of the balls of handspun yarn rolled out of the car unbeknownst to me. The image of my Honda obliviously driving away while a ball of beautiful handspun unrolls in its wake tickled the funny bones of my more sadistic friends. So I had to start over. The one thing that helped enormously was that I had the opportunity to knit onstage at the beginning of the theatre season, when I played “the audience” in a historical melodrama. I wasn’t onstage knitting long, and as stage manager, I had a gazillion other things to do as well, but I noted long pauses in my master copy of the play and knitted like mad at those times. And I was truly amazed that I could keep track of my knitting even while I was also trying to keep track of reactions and lines.
This sweater is another that I spun and dyed and knitted. I blended the colors in this yarn as I spun, which I really like doing, and I think it worked. This is infant sized.
Now I’ve got to wait for the results of the judging, whether my stuff was accepted and how it did.
And this baby surprise