Thursday, August 20, 2009

Ready For Boring

There are obsessive sock knitters, but I'm not one of them.

Sock projects tend to languish in the small knitting bag that I only take to meetings, appointments, or on long car rides. These toe-up socks have been on the needles for quite some time, so long in fact that I can't remember exactly when I started them. On a recent car trip I picked them up for the first time in ages and I reached the gussets. When we got home I decided to bring them back into the house for the heel turning and heel flap, which I accomplished today. Now they are going back in their little bag to be reserved once again for those stolen moments when I would otherwise be "wasting time". Don't expect to see the cuffs any time soon.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Framed Dragonfly

I have a special fondness for dragonflies. When I am in a calm and peaceful mood I can gently reach out and pick them up. It's like they know I won't harm them. I even had one use my shin as a landing platform while it was hunting for tiny insects. It would dart off to catch one, then it would land again on my leg.

When my daughter found one laying dead on my lawn, perfectly preserved, she made sure she showed it to me.

I went out and bought a shadowbox frame and mounted it over a piece of my handwoven cloth. This was a scrap leftover when I made the huck-lace valance for my Loom Room.

As it dried the dragonfly lost a lot of it's original iridescent blue colour, but I still think it is lovely.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Happy Little Reindeer

I've been working away on Kenzie's stocking, a bit at a time, but I wanted to complete this cute little face before showing you the recent progress.

Many, many pieces yet to go. These Mary Maxim stockings are built up layer upon layer.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Aeolian Progress

Work on the Aeolian Shawl continues. I've knit nupps, I've ripped nupps (and over a dozen other rows with them!) and I've reknit nupps. I've finally found a nupp variation that I can easily do and I'm very happy with the way they turn out.

Looking through forums and blogs it seems a lot of knitters are in search of the perfect nupp, one that doesn't drive you crazy with impossible knitting feats yet looks attractive when finished. The nupps are hard to see in this photograph because of the dark yarn, but I think these ones are winners.

Perfect 7 stitch nupps: knit loosely into the front and back of the next stitch repeatedly until you have made 7 elongated stitches from the one. On the next, backside, purl row, slip the first 3 stitches of the grouping to your right needle, purl together the last 4 stitches of the grouping, and then lift those 3 slipped stitches over. Ta da! Perfect nupp sitting there all perky and pretty. You may have to poke it through to the front side if it's being obstinate.

Monday, August 10, 2009

My Daughters Won Too

Winning ribbons at the local exhibition was great, but I must say I'm even more proud of my daughters. Kristy won two firsts, two seconds, and a fourth. She won all this even though she is a relatively new knitter and spinner.

And my eldest daughter Lisa won a first in the special needs category for a hand knit dishcloth. I tell ya, she can churn these things out in the blink of an eye!

Sunday, August 09, 2009

I Won....lots!

I won, I won! In fact, I won quite a lot. In an effort to support our local exhibition I decided to enter anything I could possibly think of that would fit in one of the listed categories. I did rather well, coming away with lots of ribbons and $70 in prize money.

That is a blue ribbon and $5 for each of nine firsts.

A red ribbon and $4 for each of 4 seconds.

And a white ribbon and $3 for each of 3 thirds.

Ahem.....that should be 3 white ribbons, but even though I was paid out and listed as winning a third place on the little crocheted, handspun pin cushion there wasn't a ribbon with it. Ah well, what are you supposed to do with the ribbons after the fair anyway?......I mean besides photograph them and show them off on your blog?

Wednesday, August 05, 2009

Huck-Lace Valance

It's done! I have a new, handwoven, huck-lace valance for the window in my wee Loom Room.

I wove it on my 4 shaft floor loom using the basic pattern from the "Huck-Lace Scarf" article by Madelyn Van Der Hoogt. Page 62 of the May/June 2009 issue of "Handwoven". I used Lin/Coton Superieur (80% linen, 20% cotton) purchased from Maurice Brassard Fils Inc. sett at 12 epi.

After the weaving was complete I wet finished the piece, hemmed the sides (warp is horizontal in the finished valance) and added a rod pocket of commercial fabric. The valance is approximately twice the width of the window for a nice gathered fullness.

It's a good thing the valance is quite full as it conceals a couple of mistakes I made in the treadling. If you look at the article in Handwoven you will see how difficult it is to see the developing pattern while it is still being woven on the loom. The lacy texture does not occur until the woven piece is wet finished. Only then do the mistakes appear obvious. This means that when my mind wandered a bit while I was weaving I was not entirely sure where I was in the pattern. If I knew for sure I had made an error I would have unwoven and fixed the problem, but I could never be sure.

Anyway, I'm very happy with the finished project. It's exactly the look I was hoping for.