Saturday, December 29, 2007

Stashalong 2008 -- Get Ready

I saw some blogs about Stashalong 2007 and I thought about joining. I did sell a lot of my stash this year and I have be pretty good about not buying new stuff. I'm trying to design and knit from what I have. I even delete emails from my favorite purveyors of happiness unread. Yep, feeling pretty noble here.

I spotted the Stashalong 2008 site and decided I just needed to set a few manageable goals (Oh, yeah) and suck it up. Here's my initial set of goals.

Stashalong 2008 Goals

1. Every other project must be made entirely from my stash.

2. Sock yarn does count.

3. I may purchase acrylic yarn for charity knitting. (None in my stash)

4. Exception: I may purchase a *new yarn to use to design for a class I will teach.
*New means it is a hot item for the shop. on the net, or in the mags. My students will be looking for guidance with this yarn.

5. Don’t abuse the exception.

6. I may trade yarn in any amounts.

7. I will reduce my stash by 40 skeins by December, 2008. Partial balls will be estimated and will be included in the count.

If you want to join click on the link above and take a look at the site. It will also connect you to Stashalong 2007 for a look-see. If you know hhobama, please recommend this to her.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Consumer reports--yarns, patterns, classes

Remember these?

These are the socks made with Maizy, Crystal Palace's corn fiber yarn that I wrote about Sunday, September 23, 2007. I gave them to my DD1 and she told me this week that she would be very happy to have more made with the same yarn. She likes how it wears and washes.--and she is very particular!

Also an update on the Tudora I was knitting with two strands of Brooks Farm Primero. I did finish, but frogged it. Sorry, I didn't get a pic. The yarn was too heavy and a bit scratchy. Even though I shortened the pattern, it still was uncomfortable. I'm trying to design one of my own which will fix the things I didn't like and i will teach a class with it. I keep trying stitch patterns that I am interested in, and then realize that many of my students would be really pushed to learn them in a 3 hour class. The last think I want in a frustrated knitter; they tend to become former knitters. I'll keep working on the neck warmer--it will be silk--and I'll try to figure something else for the mohair stuff.

I gathered last week with Sandy and Remi to plan Charlotte Yarn's classes for the next two months. We had a ball brainstorming and planning. The entire results are at the Charlotte Yarn site. My classes are posted on my new site. Have a look if you are interested.

DD2 belongs to a craft book club that is selling everything at 9.99 this week. She invited me to join her order and boy, did I! Here are three that I selected:

I'm really excited about the floorquilts one. It is fabric decoupage on canvas to make a floor cloth type rug. Sounds perfect for a person who has dogs instead of rugs. Life is a series of choices and I choose dogs. Well, wouldn't you?

Henry, age 14
Jake, age 6

Monday, December 24, 2007

Happy Tidings to All

Merry Holidays to everyone. No snow here in Athens, Geogia, but DGSs and lots of cheer.

If the merriment gets too much for you, check out this site from Interweave. Knitted shoes--must have some of the boots myself.

Friday, December 21, 2007

New Pattern on New Website

I've bought my own domain. It's called JP Knits. It is mainly to host my patterns and announce my classes. I am still planning to blog here. I have more control over this site than I have yet at my domain. Some learning to do.
Thanks to lindaann, the other site is doing nicely. Except turtlegirl76 has had it with my crummy pictures. She's volunteered to take some of CookieA quality for my patterns.

One Piece Baby Sweater
written for the new knitter

I've just put up this new pattern, especially written for the new knitter. Lots of fail safe st counts included. Gauge isn't really too critical. It's all garter stitch and has an optional collar that is so cute. I'll add that pic when I find it.

Finally I Blocked Them

Finally I blocked my 2nd Clapotis and 2nd Swallowtail. They are bea-u-ti-ful.

The Clapotis greatly improved upon pinning it out to block. It is now shawl size and yet the pattern allows it to collapse around my neck like a large scarf.

This is the Clapotis I wrote about Nov.22. My pics aren't great because it is way more gorgeous than this. The Sea Silk is fantastic. Great hand, drape, and stability.

I'm working on scheduling my classes and will post them soon. One will be a beaded lace scarf. I want everyone to have a beaded lace piece because they make you feel elegant.

Remeber--a swatch is your friend.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Tudora the Necks-plora

Okay, I've been hanging with two years olds recently.

The Tudora is coming along nicely. The Brooks Farm mohair feels so silky in my hands. I'm trying to tighten my ribbing by wrapping my purl sts the opposite way and Ktbl on the reverse side. Seems to be working nicely. Can't wait to see this blocked. Saw a great button at Charlotte Yarn yesterday, but it may be too large for my stub of a neck.

Went to Goodwill yesterday hunting for cheap teapots to use to display the cozies I've yet to design and make. No joy, but did find a wicker fern table for my porch and a plastic tissue box cover to use to display the Tissue Box Turtleneck shown by Debbie Brisson on Knitty Gritty. I'm thinking to knit one without the holiday theme. It might drum up some students for a Fair Isle class.

Knitting friend Denise, aka The BasketCase Lady, shared a hoot of a site on another list. Take a look at this. Seems an advertising agency is trying to show their stuff.

My only holiday decoration this year is our 30 inch tree which comes pre-lit for a whopping $6.00. (I live with Ebenezer.) I decorated it with small knitted sweaters that I developed for a guild program some years ago. Now Berroco has put out a free pattern that takes it a step further style-wise. It's such a neat way to use up special yarns. Each Christmas you can rethink your knitting history. They would look nice on a wreath also.

Thursday, December 13, 2007


Vote for your favorites here. If you are not familiar with Garnstudio, it is simply the mecca of free patterns. I rarely see their yarns sold around here, but have held and admired them in Europe. Easy to substitute some of your favorites. Here are the ten designs I voted for and hope to see posted free in the near future:

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Yell, Knit, Share, Create

I've spent the day trying to get geocities to allow me to edit my patterns and publish them so the links on here are the latest versions. Arg-g-g-gh. Need own website. Pal Lynda is conferring and I will pick turtlegirl76s brain as well.

I'm doing a bit of knitting. Started the lovely Tudora in the new issue of Knitty. I'm using the yarn Shelley made me buy (not a hard sell) at SAFF. It's Brooks Farm Primero, 100% mohair. I'm holding it double and knitting on a size 4 needle. A very quick knit. My incision is still a bit irritated or I'd have a finished piece for you. Can't wait to pick out a button.
Cindy Love sent me a picture of her version of my Bird Walking socks. Smart reader that she is, she also found an error which I spent the day trying to correct. She says she has knit two pair and gifted one. I'm just blown away that she liked the pattern so much and has shared her pic with me.

I'm still nursing this tea cozy obsession. I've drafted a fair isle pattern for it, but haven't picked the yarn yet. Here's a peak:

More later. . .

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Frustration and Classes

My incision has developed a bit of infection and I am so frustrated. It is irritated by every movement except the Queen Elizabeth wave, and I can only do that so long without being arrested. I want to knits lots. I have so many things in my head.

My design work comes in waves. Dry spell, deluge. This is deluge time and I can't test knit what I'm thinking. I have some ideas for some small project classes. I want to do one or two beaded knitting projects. I may just use my Cabaret Bag pattern and design a smoother yarn version with a bead pattern.

I just ordered this book, 200 Braids to Twist, Knot, Loop or Weave by Jacqui Carey, from Knitpicks. Take a look at some of the braids; I'm going to do a freebie workshop on some of these one Saturday at Charlotte Yarn.

I'm also working on a project with a fairly complex cable pattern from Barbara Walker #3. It has a subtle heart effect, so would make a good Valentine's project. My job is to create a class that de-mystifies the pattern, so that new cable knitters can be successful. I also want to do a cabled tea cozy. Then there is the beaded lace scarf . . . . Dang it! I want to knit.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Links--Free, Cheap, and Amazing


A friend alerted me to this pattern and it is free on the One Sheep Hill website. I think her "belt" is a bit high, but that is just the reason I knit sweaters top down. Then it becomes an easy fix. I want this sweater, but not in a wool. Rowan's Calmer might be a good yarn for this. Check out Robin's site with all their offerings.

I get the newsletter from this website and the deals there today are great. Below is just one. Some yarns are $1. And it's great yarn.
Brand: Cherry Tree Hill
Fiber Content: 75% Wool, 20% Mohair, with 5% Metallic binder
They also have CTH sock yarn.

Just click here to see one knitter's stash.

Hand healing; had the sleep test. Knitting? Less than I want, but more than I should. Will try to be better.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

What were they thinking?

I love this shawl, but then they tried to Tudor it up for The Virgin Queen. Cate Blanshett looks great in her big ruff, but she is in a 16th century setting. The look on the model's face says it all.

Rob Matyka of Threadbear Fiber Arts wrote in their newsletter about Distaff Day.

According to wikipedia
Distaff Day, also called Roc Day, is January 7, the day after the feast of the Epiphany. It is also known as Saint Distaff's Day, since it was not really a holiday at all. In many European cultural traditions, women resumed their household work after the twelve days of Christmas. The distaff, or rock, used in spinning was the medieval symbol of women's work. Often the men and women would play pranks on each other during this day, as was written by Robert Herrick in his poem "Saint Distaffs day, or the Morrow After Twelfth Day" which appears in his Hesperides.

Some modern craft groups have taken up the celebration of Distaff day as part of their new year celebrations. Well, of course they do. We fiber nuts like a good party.

Not sure what a distaff is. Check here.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Home Dec and Swedish Ingenuity

Post surgery knitting is best done on large, long needles which allow you to fake it with the infirm hand. Also stockinette or garter pulls least on the incision. With that in mind, what the @#$ do you make? See below.
A valance for the new bathroom. Yarn from stash (see slightly smug face here). K1C2 Tartelette ribbon, #17 needle, co 80 stitches, four rows garter, then stockinette to length.Here's my coolest discovery about this--I didn't bind off. I just slipped the stitches to a tension rod, tied off the last stitch and hung it. (squint hard at the top right corner and you can just see the effect) I didn't know how much gravity would affect the length, so I have left it easily adjustable. Plus I like how it grows out of the rod rather than is sewn around it.

Next project---lamp shade decor. Steve is beginning to fear I will wrap the entire house. More stash yarn--no label--and merely a #15 needle joined by a #13. I don't know where the second #15 is. This one is bound off and sewn around the lampshade, like a turtleneck. Size??? Didn't bother to plan that. Hey! I'm recovering.

From my surfing and blog reading: You must go look at these pictures.
I was reading Nanette Blanchard's blog and she linked to this Korsnäs Tapestry Crochet site. Wow. This group uses a combination of knitting and tapestry crochet to make gorgeous Scandinavian sweaters. They get the drape of knitting with the ease and sturdiness of the crochet.
Best pictures for me were the sort of "knitting bee" shots. They were knitting the body of the sweater on many dpns, as is traditional, but they sat in a circle and several knit on the same sweater at once. Too clever!

While you are on Nanette's site, go to the Lulu store link. Such beautiful patterns and the download price is to love.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Impressionist Collection

Have you seen the Impressionist Collection? Perhaps I'm the last person on knitting earth to discover this, but I'm sharing anyway. Today's newsletter from included a reference to this way at the bottom. Cherry Tree Hill has joined in this project which seems to involve using their base yarn and specific colorways created based on famous paintings. (I quibble with calling Van Gogh an impressionist, but that's just my problem.)

Since Cherry Tree Hill supersock merino is my favorite sock yarn, that is the item I checked out first. Found three of interest. Monet's Garden for the DD's.

and Irises and Paris Rain for DH.

Then I looked at the Lorna's Laces. Wow, totally different take on the color pattern.

Artyarns---similar but different.

Now I'm hooked. What a concept. What a neat way to look at the color philosophy of various yarn companies. Different weights and styles. Look for yourself, and let me know if you knit any of this.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

First post surgery knitting

Here's what I had to work with:

M-W, this was my bandage. Impressive isn't it? No, Paul, that's not a duplo. I started knitting Weds. morn. Used a twisted e-loop cast on. 14" size 8 needles. CO 26 sts.
Weds. night, DH and I removed the big bandage and this is what I have now. Ho-hum.

Knitting had to be done with left hand, so I just knit the garter st backwards. Worked fine. I could do one or two rows before my hand complained, and then I rested. Tension isn't perfect, but that's not a concern.

Ta-dum. The finished 6" square for the Charlotte Knitting Guild's service project.

I'm counting on it looking better after blocking.
DH gave me some very personal Thanksgiving wine he found at Harris-Teeter.

Jake got his new T-shirt. Sorry about bad photo, but I only have one hand. The back says "Mama's boy." So true.

I can feel all that knitting going on out there and it soothes me. Keep it up.