Monday, November 28, 2011

Virginia Cowl

I love it! I love everything about it. The fiber: cashmere. The source: reclaimed yarn from a favorite sweater belonging to my Mom. The pattern: a design original. The purpose: a birthday gift for my dear Mom on her 85th. Happy Birthday Mom!

The lace pattern is called Feather and Fan and is a lot easier to knit than it looks. The Virginia Cowl pattern is available as a free download here.

The Comforts of Home

I've really been enjoying the entries in the Wovember gallery, celebrating wool and all it's wooly comfort. This one by Chantelle Jelley hit the spot!

Her caption: “Ancient Comforts In a Time of Smartphones and Fast Food.”

Photo used with permission

She Said Yes!

We had the family up this past weekend for our Thanksgiving. We enjoyed a couple of firsts.

Hollin and Kim announced their engagement. We're thrilled and so happy for them!

And baby Evan joined us at the table.

Our family is growing. We are blessed that they all live close enough to get together and that everyone wants to spend time together! 

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Where Does Wool Come From

 Photo by Joe Snyder

The month of November is Wovember, celebrating that real wool comes from real sheep. You might want to check out Needled’s blog. The textile industry is advertising garments made from cotton and/or synthetics as ‘wool’ when there’s little or no wool in the garment. If you think this should be addressed, there’s a petition. Check out the gallery at Wovember too. Wow! The page took awhile to load, but was well worth it.

Autumn Gold

The autumn sunshine just keeps pouring down. Day after day of glorious, golden glow.

Love what it does to my neighbor's poplars about 3:30 every afternoon.

Live and Learn

I continued on with my lace swatching. I didn't like how small and tight it was on the size four needles the pattern recommended so I did another swatch on fives. I also read this great Lace 101 tutorial. That made all the difference in the world. Suddenly my lace was looking like something. You can teach yourself most things by trial and error but what I didn't know about reading a lace knitting chart was that the rows read right to left and then left to right.

Makes a bit of a difference in the outcome. =D

Wednesday, November 09, 2011

It's All One

Once morning chores were done and the fire was built, I sat down with the four-ply merino to knit a test swatch for a lace pattern.

Lace knitting is new to me so three rows into the chart it became clear that a magnet board might be useful. I think I have one around here somewhere.

Twenty-something years ago, when my sons were in grade school, I used to be an avid counted cross-stitcher. It was creative, colorful and portable. I never went anywhere without a cross stitch project. But as my sons got older, quilting gradually took over where cross stitch had been. Now where was that magnet board, it has to be here somewhere.

I went into the sewing room to look for the magnet board and saw all this quilting stuff - fabric, notions, books and patterns, quilts yet to be made. But I was looking for a tool from two hobbies ago, to use with my current love interest - and I wondered - is quilting going to go the way of counted cross stitch, displaced by knitting; why does that bother me? Because I have a *whole* lot of quilting supplies in that room! I found the board and returned to my knitting.

More than a little time later I had a 2 inch swatch of lace that worked up pretty good despite my lack of experience knitting from a chart. But really, it wasn't that different from following a counted cross stitch pattern, maybe I could knit lace after all. I'm glad I made a swatch though, turns out I didn't like the look of the pattern after all.

But I learned a lot.

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Creative Juice

I'm still recovering from the dizziness and fatigue that I've had since early August. Some days are better than others, but I find sewing and quilting just aren't happening right now. I go into the sewing room and just stare at the current quilt in progress on the design wall, move a few things around, and leave. I love quilting, it's seen me through good times and bad for almost 30 years. Where's my creative juice?

I saw a physical therapist for a seemingly unrelated jaw problem, which got us talking about my neck injury two years ago. Come to find out neck and jaw problems can cause ear stuff and dizziness. He thinks he can help, which is more than the Ear, Nose and Throat specialist had to offer. I have new hope I'll recover sooner than later.
In the meantime, I found out you can BUY mojo. I'm gonna get me some!

More Reclaiming Yarn

Thrifting can be so satisfying sometimes.

I found this 100% Italian merino sweater for $1.00 at Salvation Army.

I use the power drill to wind a bobbin as I frog the ultra fine yarn.

These two are from the sleeve and a 1x1 rib cowl. The food scale I ordered from Amazon helps me estimate grams, and from there yards. These two weigh nearly the same.

I used a hand cranked ball winder to ply the two together. Now I'm ready to cast on. I'm beginning to think I'm really a spinner at heart!

Out Like a Whisper

Lila Roberts. August 1995 - October 2011
She came into our lives at a gallop.
She left us like a whisper.

I loved the way she would appear out of nowhere whenever I was stash diving in the sewing room. She would weave in and out against me as I sat on the floor in front of the fabric tubs pulling out colors and trying to decide. Thanks Kittygirl.