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Posts from March 2007

Life Lessons and Project Spectrum

It is a good idea to take the time to get dressed before you drive your kids to school in the morning.  There is always the risk that one of your children won't shut the car door all the way, it will swing wide open and you will find yourself running around the outside of the car, in your jammies and bed-head, to close it.  This will of course happen just outside the school, at the hight of morning traffic.  As you try to make eye contact with friends and acquaintances, to laugh at your folly, they will look the other way.  Perhaps they are trying to avert their eyes to be polite, perhaps it is their fear that this could happen to any one of them.   

So I started my day with my own private giggle.  If only my friend Lanny had passed, she'd have honked and waved and made a general scene over the proceedings.

At least my jammies and snow white feet are in keeping with Project Spectrum's current theme.


I'm not sure why I didn't join PS earlier.  Really, it fits so smoothly into what we all do on our blogs anyway.  There are no Must Knits.  Just photos of a color theme.  I can do that.

I had some time to do a little blog reading yesterday and I kept running into the topic of color.  Most notably in the wonderful link that Cara provided to Ruth's blog.  Ruth's discussion on color is insightful and stimulates thought.  If you didn't click Cara's link yesterday, take the time to visit Ruth's site now.  It is really worth your time.

Since I am late to the Project Spectrum party, I will show you a bit of blue that I am working on.
It's a top-down raglan cardigan in Paton's Classic Wool.   This time in working the math, I started with my desired bust and upper arm  measurement and worked up to my neck numbers.   I think I'll get a better fit this way.  The math is a little more complicated than the basic percentages formula.  But we don't all fit into the same percentages, do we?  If the fit works out well for me I will post my formula.


I love a striped raglan.  That right angle at the increases makes me smile.

The 8mm camera is a find while helping my mom clean and pack for her upcoming move.   DS loves to make short movies.  He told my mom that this antique camera is the best gift he's ever been given. We've located a source for 8mm movie film, so he will definitely use it.

An on the antique theme, a final Project Spectrum offering of gray and blue.  Old family photos.  The smallish photo at the bottom of the twins is my father and his brother.  Yeah, there are a lot of twins in the family.

DH's family is from India.  The photo in the upper left that is cut off is his grandparents' wedding.  They are sitting by a fire adorned in garlands of flowers.  The little girl on the lower right is my MIL wearing a sari.  It is just a snap shot but is one of my favorite photos.  There is something about the composition and lighting in the photo that I really respond to.


There Has Been Knitting - There Has Been Spinning


Embossed Leaves, Interweave Winter 2005 in my own hand painted yarn.   Lovingly laid out on a pair of my father's paintings from the early 60's.  They are destined to got to a swap pal.


Vodka bottles work well to display the stitch pattern on socks when no model or sock blockers are available.


I can't resist the lure of a log cabin.  I am a copy cat.  Knit in Patons Grace, assorted colors that I had on hand.  The blanket will grow until I run out of yarn or I become bored.  Whichever comes first.


I've been spinning up a recent Etsy purchase.  Mmmmmm, love those colors. The roving is an impulse buy from Pigeonroof Studios, superwash merino, color: Drift.


The delicious roving that I bought from the fabulous Aija's Etsy store Zero, all spun up.  I don't think I'm going to ply this.  I plan to knit something light and airy from it.

DH is having lasik surgery today.  We are off to New Brunswick in a little while for the procedure.  I'm going to ask the Dr. to make the adjustment so I  look 5'8" and  125 lbs. through DH's eyes.   Now to choose what knitting to take along for the wait.

Have a lovely day.  We are expected to be in the 70's today.  Yay!


Thank you for all of your well wishes for my father.  We have some difficult months ahead of us.  He had a stroke on Sunday and is making daily progress.  Sadly, my father has been suffering from dimentia for at least the past year.  It has been hard for the whole family.  My mother's strength and profound love for my father, which I have always been aware of, is most evident in these difficult times.  Your words of support mean a lot.  Thank you. 

I don't plan to discuss my father's health much on this blog.  But found it necessary at this time because it has been difficult to keep up with reading and commenting on blogs, posting to my own blog and answering comments.

On to happier subjects.

The final package from my Sockret Pal arrived in the mail today.  I am so pleased to finally know who has been spoiling me since the fall (see here, here, here, here, here, here and here)!  La Verna over at Ridiculous Obsession has once again gone above and beyond in her generosity.

Just look at these beautiful socks.  She used the Shock Wave pattern from 1870 Pearl.  The yarn is Lorna's Laces in Green Apple.  They fit perfectly and I love, love, love the yarn!  LaVerna did a twisted stitch for the heel flap, it is really nice.  I think I'll do that on my next pair!  (Disclaimer, these are not my feet or legs, they belong to my blog model extraordinaire, DD#2.  My legs are considerably heftier, hairier and whiter!)


Also enclosed were a charming bunny, some deliciously scented soap, lip balm and body butter.


And let us not forget the goodies - chocolate and gum.


She even remembered the DD's, making a contribution to their newly growing fabric stash.


I know you are all jealous of this amazing t-shirt.  It is mine, all mine!!

Isn't the tape measure adorable?  It is tucked neatly into my notions bag along with the cable needles.  I've had the necklace on since I opened the package.
Thank you once again La Verna!!


Thank you.  I am truly humbled by all of your comments on Linea.  I like to respond to each comment, but circumstances have thwarted my best intentions.

My father is in the hospital again.  It has been a rough year with him.
My mother and I sit by the hour, knitting in his room.  I don't know what people do in difficult times if they don't knit.  It gives us something to do with our hands, yet we can still be alert to my father's needs, and have conversation with each other.  Yesterday my sister was with us in the hospital.  There we sat, three in a row, knitting.

Once things settle down a bit I will get the pattern for Linea written up.
For now, a few photos of the Space Kitty that DD#1 made.  He has become fast friends with DD#2's Space Bunny.


I love these fabrics together.


I've got to go now.  It is time to wake up the assertive side of my personality to get my father what he needs.


The temperature topped out at 83 here yesterday.  Today the forecasters are talking about snow.  Don't you just love March?  The warm weather offered us the perfect opportunity to photograph the latest FO.


It is difficult to find good knitting patterns for my 13 year old daughters.  My girls are too small for most adult patterns and too big/mature for those that are designed for kids.


For some reason teens are totally overlooked.  Perhaps it is because they grow so quickly at this age.  Perhaps it is because they are so fickle.  Usually I just knit hats, socks and mitts for them.


DD#2 loves fashion.  These days, I can't get her "skinny jeans" off of her.  We wash them in cold water and hang them to dry to keep that desirable dark wash.  She likes to wear loose, swingy tops with her jeans.  Usually she drags me into stores like Urban Outfitters, Lucky and Anthropologie to seek them out.  This means that the tops often have big price tags. 


What we needed was a hand knit swingy top.  Thus the idea for Linea was born. 
In the next few days I'll write this pattern up and offer it in my side bar.  I'm planning on writing the pattern for sizes 26-40.  DD#2 is wearing it in size 28.



Pattern:  Linea, my own design.
Yarn:  South West Trading Company Bamboo; 100% Bamboo; color Parrot
             Elann Esprit; 98.3% Cotton, 1.7% Elastic

Knit in one piece, in the round.  Bottom up. 

The DD's Find the Crafty Love


DD#1, DD#2 & I went to Purl Patchwork last week for a little browse.  We were making wardrobe plans for spring break.  Nothing like dreaming about fun warm weather projects.

While we were there we picked up a cute pattern for a Robot and Space Boy.  DD#2 got busy with it right away.


She decided to make hers a space rabbit with the addition of some floppy ears.  We love bunnies here at Through The Loops!   I'm so proud of her.  She made this completely on her own, from reading the pattern to cutting to sewing to embroidery.   The only thing I showed her how to do was the chain stitch to embroider the eyes.  I think I have lured another onto the slippery slope that is craft addiction!  She even has a fabric stash!  (Small still, but it will grow!)  She plans to make another when she gets home from school today.  As I type this DD#1,who is home sick today (but finally feeling a bit better), is upstairs looking for thread to make hers.  DD#1 is planning on making a cat.


I've been spinning.  (What else is new?  Is spinning all I post about these days?)  In a moment of weakness I bought some roving from Aija's etsy store last week.  It's gorgeous and so lovely to spin with.  I haven't been able to stay away from it since.   I couldn't even wait to snap a photo of the roving before I started.


Right before her trip to Stitches, I helped Cookie A. by knitting a single Pomatomus.  She has very generously thanked me by sending eight of her fabulous new patterns!  How jealous are you of me right now?  She sent; Twisted Flower, German Stocking, Rhiannon, Millicent, Gothic Spire, Thelonious, Mona and Flicker.  Lucky for you, you can buy her patterns now at her new online shop.  The shop opened today.  Go on over and give her some love!  She deserves it.  The woman is a designing genius -  and I don't say that lightly.


Yeah Mom, I'll model your mitts. But, I don't have to like it. . .

Wow!!!  Thank you, thank you!  You are all so nice!!  Thanks for all of  the kind comments and e-mails on my pattern in Knitty.  I am very excited about having my pattern accepted.  I must say, it does make one feel a bit vulnerable;  "Will they like it?", "Did I make any major errors in my pattern writing?"  Your words of support really help!  I had over 900 hits on my blog yesterday!  Yikes, I may be hearing from Typepad about my bandwidth usage . . .

On to my latest FO.


DD #2 is not a morning person.


She loves the new mitts though.


They made for some fine train knitting on my trip to DC this week.


I love train rides.


The mitts are based on the Chevron Scarf pattern from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.



Chevron Mitts, based on Chevron Scarf from Last Minute Knitted Gifts.  There is a great Flickr group for the scarf here.  I cheated and added my mitts to the scarf group.

Yarn:  Socks That Rock, medium weight in Farmhouse and Lemongrass.

Needles:  US size 4, I started on DPN's, but switched to magic loop for the train ride.  It's just too risky to knit with DPNs on a train.  Dropping one would mean crawling on the train floor under the feet of business travelers and college students.

If you want to make a pair yourself: 
Cast on 48 stitches, and work in the round using the stitch pattern from the book.  (I don't feel comfortable giving the stitch pattern here because of copyright laws.  The book is worth buying anyway.)  I began by purling the first 4 rounds.  Since you'll be working in the round, knit all of the rows that are purled in the pattern.  In round 3 of the 5th pattern repeat, begin increasing for thumb.  I placed my increases between the 4th and 5th kf&b, (note that this was not a patterning round, I just refer to it this way to give an idea of placement.) Do not knit the pattern on the thumb stitches.  Increase on alternate rounds.  I increased until there were 16 stitches for my thumb gusset, then placed the thumb stitches on a scrap of yarn.  Continue working the original 48 stitches in the round for 4 more repeats.  Work the first three rounds of the pattern one more time, purl 3 rounds and bind off loosely.  Place thumb stitches back on needle, pick up and knit 6 more stitches in the "gap", join and knit two rows of each color for 6 rounds, purl 3 rounds and bind off loosely.

That about does it.  I hope those instructions make sense. 

Thanks again for all of your wonderful, supportive comments and e-mails on my Knitty pattern!


Kirsten is out of town, so I'm the ghost-blogger, "blogless Bev" as I'm known at Through the Loops, here to let you all know that our girl has a pattern up on knitty.


Not only that, but our good friend and knitting group organizer, the lovely Kelly M. is modeling. She was such a pro that you can't tell how cold it was the day of the shoot. The kindly owner of The Spinnery in Frenchtown, gave us shelter and a beautiful place to take some more photos. This is also the site of Kirsten's first taste of spinning crack. Congratulations to Kirsten on her first (and I'm sure not her last) pattern on knitty!


The New Obsession Continues

Yesterday I dyed roving.  Mmmmmmmm. 
I ordered Blue Faced Leicester and Merino from Wool2Dye4.  Sheila included a sample of her Merino Superwash roving in the package.  They all took the Jacquard acid dyes beautifully.  I was really nervous about felting the roving, so I handled it very carefully.  I had read somewhere that if you bring the temperature back down very slowly that it is less likely to felt.  It seems to have worked, no felting.  Now I want to learn how to make those pretty braids that I see some dyers do. 


This is the Merino Superwash that Sheila from Wool2Dye4 added to my package.  I would definitely get this roving again.  It is soft and luscious, and fluffed up very nicely as it dried.  This is the first one I'm going to try to spin, since I only have a few ounces of it.


Merino.  I have a pound of this lovely.  I may wait until I get my hands on a wheel, and perfect my technique before I spin this up.  My goal is to spin enough yarn for a shawl.  This would do very nicely for that.  Like the superwash, it is soft and scrumptious.  The merino fluffed up nicely as it dried, but not quite as well as the superwash.


Blue Faced Leicester.  I love this colorway.  It came out pretty closely to the way I had pictured it.  I guess I'm feeling inspired by the beautiful orange Sunrise Circle Jacket over at Neither Hip Nor Funky.
The blue faced leicester didn't fluff back up quite as well as the other two rovings, but it didn't felt and will be easy enough to draft.

I know it has been all spinning around here lately,  I promise you I have been knitting.  There is just nothing new to show you.  I'm taking the Train down to DC in a few days, so I'll get some nice uninterrupted knitting time, that should produce a finished object or two. 

Can anyone recommend any good yarn stores in DC?  I don't know if I'll actually have any time to go, but just incase, I want to be prepared.  I know Knit Happens is in Alexandria, but I'm going to be over in the Chevy Chase area, and I think (correct me if I'm wrong) that Alexandria is a bit out of the way.   Thanks.



I can't stop. 


Darker yarn: Roving hand painted by Spinneret, given to me at our last spinning session.  Thanks C!  I love it!
Lilac yarn:  Mystery roving from new spinning friends  - Angie was trying to figure out what it was. . .


This yarn is made from a mix of rovings that Spinneret and my new spinning friends gave me during my first visit to their group.  There are many different fibers represented here.


Superwash Corredale from Perchance to Knit.


Plyed and still on my Golding spindle.

Now I've got to go get some work done.  I've spent way too much time spinning this week.