Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Life's Pleasures

Sometime over the last few weeks I asked myself why knitting, yarn and weaving were so important to me. I was wondering why so much of my time went into these pursuits. I think I get tangled up in thinking all my time should be devoted to hard work and socially redeeming activities. Thanks alot mom! I really, really enjoy it and that is enough. No need to analyze the significance of knitting socks, just keep doing it because it is fun and not harmful to me or anyone else.

Last night I went to my first weaving class. What fun, there were 11 women with varying levels of experience and one very nice, laid back teacher. I was wondering if it would be worth the drive to Siler City every Tuesday night for eight weeks. DUH, YEAH it is!

Today I got home and had packages. One was my Wollmeise lace grab bag. It sounds extremely odd but during the wee hours one night I jumped onto ravelry and found out there had just been a Wollmeise update. I went to the website and ordered a lace grab bag. For about $50.00, you order sight unseen one skein, 1750 yards of lace weight yarn. I opened the package and it is a beautiful saturated navy blue. It comes in the distinctive WM packaging with gummy bears and a free pattern. It was just fun to wait for the mystery yarn. I will not allow myself to do this again for many months but gosh what fun!

I started a lace scarf from Victorian Lace Today and as you can see I had some help!

Thursday, August 25, 2011


It has been a long time since I knit a sweater. This sweater is one I don't know if I will wear but it was a good learning experience. The pattern was an extremely simple top down raglan. Probably too simple as I was bored after the first bit. I did learn to make button holes on my sewing machine and use grosgrain ribbon to face each side of the button bands. Technically there are no errors in this sweater. The knitting is even and consistent. Used quality yarn - Rowan organic pure wool. I still think this looks more home-made than handmade. Trying to figure out why that is. Reed says I am too critical but I don't think so. Until I figure this out no more sweaters for me! Thank God, vacation is finally here. tomorrow we leave for the beach and more importantly I have 11 days off from work! This has been a grueling summer and I am ready to leave it behind!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Smashing Pumpkins

What I am knitting: The sweater is a simple top down raglan. I finally realized that I do not have the bandwidth to knit lace right now and am a little tired of socks. This sweater is definitely mindless. The yarn is Rowan Purelife, an organic naturally dyed wool. This yarn is from stash, from a Ravelry swap. Tried the sweater on the Duchess to check fit. My gauge is 22 stitches instead of the 18 per four inches called for in the pattern. Following directions for the 44 and hoping to get the 42. I am going to use the ribbon for the back of the button band. What I am weaving: Working on tying on a new warp for more tea towels. Only 442 ends to measure, cut and tie on! What I am reading: I love mysteries, especially those written by women. I realized recently that I had never read anything by Agatha Christie. I am about half way through "Murder on the Orient Express".

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

A long hot summer

There has been knitting and weaving. This summer has seemed interminable, partly becasue of the heat and partly because of a crazy workload! Some finished projects have been the bright spot. I continue to craft for Christmas 2011.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Getting and staying warped!

The weaving continues. I warped with some sock yarn for a scarf. I am working on evening out my selvages and developing a rhythm. Reed made me a fabulous boat shuttle. It is my new favorite! Amazing how much lighter and easier to throw it is than the 15 inch Schacht.

2011 Race for the Cure

This year's Race for the cure has come and gone. Once again, it was all kinds of awesome! Our little team raised $1555.00. It is hard to capture how much it meant to have Rachel and Alan along side me. They ran the course in the morning and walked with me. Reed played paparazzi, parking illegally, snapping photos and doing the pick up and drop off duty! We went out for a lovely brunch afterward and then I came home and took a nippy nap!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Looming Large

Finally, my large loom is warped and I am actually weaving on it. After a very brief time with my smaller rigid heddle loom I knew I wanted a floor loom. I spent several weeks haunting the web, Craig''s list, weavolution, ravelry etc... It became apparent to me that a used loom was the way to go and I needed to find it locally as shipping was crazy expensive! I came across an ad for a used 36 inch Leclerc Artisat in Wake Forest and we went and took a look. It was/is approximately 30 years old and in good working order. Home with me it came and Reed took it apart and replaced the hardware. We polished it and then struggled with where to put it. We decided a corner of the living room was the most feasible place. Reed built me a bench, warping board, heddle stand and cone holder. The bench and warping board are in the photos above. The bench is gorgeous and the picture doesn't do it justice! I completed the first sample out of the Beginning Weaver's book and now have my second warp on the loom now. Hard to describe but weaving on it feels like coming home to something, deeply satisfying. I am looking forward to many hours on this loom and definitely have alot to learn.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Ahh Spring

There has been knitting, weaving, gardening and fun! We had a great time at Grayson Highlands. Rachel rented a house for Easter weekend for the family as our Christmas present. The house was gorgeous with big porches that overlooked a rushing stream. A little hiking yielded a wonderful encounter with wild ponies (pics next post)and of course we were spoiled by the awesome food prepared by the "chillins'. I am so enjoying weaving. As a matter of fact I am going to go weave right now!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Just go fly a kite!

Reed re-discovered a childhood love of flying kites. This past weekend we headed to North Myrtle Beach to play. The video is the first I have I ever shot so I am keeping my day job. Please check it out, the kite is beautiful. We had such a good time, many Lucy and Ricky moments as I played kite assistant and tried to videotape. I did check out a yarn store...of course. Knitting Up a Storm is definitely worth checking out, great selection and very friendly staff.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Have a cuppa

I completed my second Christmas 2011 gift. The Beehive tea cozy. Ingenious construction. Fairly happy with how it turned out although...dum de dum is not perfect!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Getting warped

I purchased a Kromski Harp 16 inch rigid heddle loom and immediately warped it up and got started. What a great little loom, easy to put together and use! My first wovwn object was anything other than stellar - wonky selvedges on both sides. I refused to toss it though as it was my first. Note the beach bag with a thin woven strip. I used Malabrigo Silky merino from deep stash as warp and weft.

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Behold the Socks of Doom

These socks were started last September to be a Christmas gift for a co-worker. The challenges in completing them have been legion: 1.)to get correct gauge had to use size #1 needles. Proceeded to break two harmony knitpicks dpns 2.)convinced my self halfway through sock one that knitting socks for a male co-worker was "creepy"...thanks Allison 3.)Christmas 2010 comes and goes 4.)male co-worker laments getting Obama calendar when female co-workers show off hand knitted gifts 5.)switch to Addi Turbo metal size #1 dpns to complete first sock 6.)decide first sock looks like crap and almost frog it 7.)finish toes of first sock after three tries as stitches keep sliding off metal slipperyier (not a real word and I don't care)than hell dpns 8.)start second sock, take sock everywhere, decide sock embodies all the world's woes (Charlie Sheen,sucky economy,tsunami, nuclear melt down) 9.)knit socks on beach in March wind - sock#2 lands in diet coke 10.)attempt to finish toes of second sock after using first sock for measuring, husband sees beagle running through living room with first sock 11.)rescue first sock -no signifigant damage to sock or beagle 12.)finish toes of second sock after two tries(see - slipperyier dpns, wash and block 13.)pose sock for picture at Border's Books in Chapel Hill during out of business sale (see - sucky economy) 14.)say grace over socks to remove bad thoughts and evil mojo and put in 2011 Christmas box 15.)Vow to choose sock recipient and yarn more carefully - size 13 feet, Malabrigo sock on size #1 dpns - you do the math!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Playing with String!

We headed to the beach where we both played with string! It was cold, grey and windy. Perfect weather for kite flying and not so good for knitting. Reed has a fondness for kitschy beach hotels. He found a good one, the Savannah Inn at Carolina Beach. It was a little diamond in the rough - clean and charming!

Monday, February 7, 2011

Rotten with Perfection

The Knit a Journey podcast had an episode on perfection a few years ago. I have been stalled by perfection in my knitting so far this year. With lace knitting you need to be able to look at this tangled mess in your lap and have faith that it will be beautiful! Having that faith does not come naturally to me. I knit and obsess over every imperfection. Case in point, please consider the picture above. I immediately abandoned this project because the beads didn't look right. It looks really good to me now and if I had persevered through my doubt I would have a beautiful beaded scarf to wear.
I have started at least 5 projects this year and abandoned them. Whether this is knitter's ADHD or a lack of faith it is driving me nuts! Tonight I cast on again for a lace scarf and am going to complete it this month. You read it here, no frogging, no giving up!

Monday, January 31, 2011

It's a FO

Finally a finished object for 2011. This was made out of one skein of Kid Silk Haze and is primarily garter stitch...booring!

Friday, January 28, 2011

Still taking my breath away!

Today I turned 55 years old. This feels like a signifigant birthday, I am not sure why but I have been so excited about this one. Today, Reed came to my office with 56 roses, 55 red and 1 pink to "grow" on. I was speechless. He proceeded to sing me Happy Birthday in his deep baritone. Amazing after all these years he can still take my breath away!

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Carrying Yarn

Wanted to share two wonderful Christmas gifts and the motto for 2011. Keep Calm and Carry Yarn! My daughter gave me the great yellow project bag and the poster I received in the Girls with Purls Christmas swap (thanks Allison and Adonna). The poster is hanging in my office and the bag is my go to project bag. In case you are curious yes, that is a bedpan to the right with silk flowers - my ode to nursing. Off to knit in front of the fire on this chilly Saturday.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Equipped to Knit

About five years ago I purchased an "Emergency Sock Kit" from Cassiana on Etsy. I loved it and always had it with me to ensure I was like McGyver - prepared for every contingency. Unfortunately the Beeagle struck again. There are no more to be had on Etsy so I made my own. Three to be more precise. One for home, my office and my purse. I am so well prepared it is scary. Now if I can stop playing with the sewing and get knitting... They are stocked with scissors, ruler, crochet hook, sock needles, markers, cable needles, floss and a Chibi with darning needles.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Cashmere Chew Toy

The second picture is some lovely Artyarns Cashmere 1. It used to be 560 yards however, Penny (picture one) thought it was a chew toy and carried it throughout the house until discovered. Tonight I re-wound the cashmere and removed the damaged parts. Hopefully there is about 400 yards left for a scarf. I have worn my one and only VLT project(Scarf with the striped border page 80) a couple of times this last week and forgot how much I love it! This is the reason my 2011 VLt list starts with #2. I cast on the Scarf or Shawl with a center pattern (VLT page 16) with a couple of yarns before I settled on Shaefer Anne in a blue green. Tonight I will use the "cashmere chew toy" to cast on for Scarf with a wide and handsome border (VLT page 88). By the way, the beagle is alive and well and much loved!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Moving into 2011

Looking back on 2010, it seems I did more thinking about knitting, raveling, deciding what to knit and what to knit it with than actually knitting! What up with that? I think I have knitter's ADHD. Too many options = overload! The first lace book I bought was Victorian Lace Today (VLT) is still my favorite. I have only knit one project out of it thus far but have picked fifteen I want to knit. This is my plan for 2011: 2. Scarf or Shawl with a center pattern with Artyarns Cashmere 1 560 yards in a sage green. 3. Large rectangle with center diamond pattern with Alpaca Fino with a Twist 875 yards in a pale gold. 4. Shoulder shawl in a Syrian pattern with Pagewood Farms Willow Creek 1350 yards in a variegated navy. 5. Scarf with Clarence border with Ella Rae Lace weight 560 yards in a pink and red. 6. Melon Pattern with Shaefer Audrey 700 yards in Chamomile. 7. Pink Sampler Shawl with Wollmeise Lace Garn 1700 yards in Lila Ludmilla WD. 8. Double Bordered Scarf from Weldon's 1887 with yarn TBD. 9. Three Cornered Shawl in Clover Pattern with yarn TBD. 10. Large Rectangle in Leaf and Trellis pattern with Skaska 1200 yards in rose. 11. Shoulder Shawl in Cherry Leaf Pattern with Silk 900 yards in rose. Whew! Big plans I need to sleep on this...