Thursday, October 30, 2008

Cold Air, Warm Feet

I'm in love again. It's been at least one entire winter without felted clogs and I had forgotten that special feeling. I only have them now because of a failure to check the felting process and the fact I have very short (insubstantially short) feet.

These were for Erica for Christmas---sorry kid. I was "teaching" BFF Kate to felt. The washer is down in the basement and my knees are @#$%^ed. Kate's pumpkins faired well, but two pair of clogs went to Shortville. Surely the DGS will grow to the greens ones.

I wear them everyday. Some nights I sleep in them. I hate to go out because I have to take them off. I thought I could just give the ones still on the needles to one of the girls, but . . . . After all, those are bright blue and black and were designed just for me. It wouldn't be too selfish to keep them, would it? (Be sure to answer correctly here.)

I use the old FiberTrends pattern which I have rewritten so it can be easily read. That blue paper is for the birds, and even white paper doesn't help when the print is small and all crammed together. Oops. That is another rant, I mean, topic.

Felted clog tip: Choose a color that is brighter than the finished color you want. My soft pink is a little too soft and looks a bit faded. Felting always dulls the color some.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Late Night at the Yarn Shop

I love Remi for lots of reasons, but clearly a big one is that she lets me create. Yesterday, bad knees and all, we stalked the creative muse to discover some more display options. First she let me play in the windows, begin some displays and discover things we needed to make it all better and easier. (Those gorgeous baskets were from Phyllis.)
Next we bought chain at Home Depot to use for hanging garments from the ceiling.

(Picture cute Remi pushing her grayhaired Nana around the store in a wheelchair. Men were falling all over themselves to help us find what we needed and I don't mean the employees.)

DH Steve was enlisted to climb and engineer after hours. Remi, Phyllis and I gave him more suggestions that he needed.

Remi selected garments for the walls and other displays. We all kept in mind her new mantra of "Clean, Classic, Elegant." It is hard to keep it clean lined because we have so much to display and sell. This is our new challenge--to be incredibly innovative and clever in use of space.

Even Steve had fun. Don't forget to notice the new chair cushions that Sandy made. They fit the mantra well.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Works in Progress

The Mitered Something progresses. I sort of see these as the front panels of a vest or jacket. I have several sketches, but I don't really have to commit yet. The jewel tone colors are drop dead gorgeous--a mix of Fleece Artist, Cherry Tree Hill, and oddball leftovers.
In November, I teach a class on Lace Sampler scarves and this is my prototype. I like knitting a pattern for 5 or 6 inches and then changing. Appeals to my short attention span. Patterns come from Barbara Walker's books, magazines, and sites online. I'll put together a complete list when the scarf if finished and blocked.
The mittens Beth sent me are moving along a few rows at a time. Note the dropped stitch held by the marker. In this dark wool, it can't be seen, so I will tack it to the back with yarn after I finish. I really like the Jamieson Wool. This is my first project with it.

Also knitting some family gifts which will remain secret. One of my girls actually reads my blog occasionally.

The stitches are out of my knee and I walk pretty well. Still some healing to do. Again a big thank you to all of you who nursed me through this.

SAFF is this weekend and half of Charlotte will be there. I'm staying home and allowing others to buy all that beautiful yarn. Makes me feel noble.

Friday, October 17, 2008

To be or not to be?

Ten skeins of Shelridge Farm worsted. Unbelievably soft. What should it be?

My first thought was a wrap cardigan from Vogue. I love the soft, reversible cable edge. I spent time swatching and revising the pattern to knit it strip by strip to ensure a perfect fit, but ------

Lots of pictures of this type of pattern are showing up in the knitting world and the bottom edge drapes dramatically. Drama rarely flatters big hips. Pendulous draping is only for tall people. (Us shorties worry about stepping on the hems and falling on our noses.)

In my never ending quest to look tall and slim, I’ve decided to forego this pattern. At least for the moment.

So now what?

Yes, I have scoured all 165 pages of cardigans on Ravelry.

This wool is so soft that the project must be cuddly. The solid color of the yarn needs textured stitches or----BOREDOM.

So, I’m thinking gansey. Arans make me look like a fire hydrant (Am I confusing cause and effect?) so lots of cables are not really acceptable.

I have a cotton fleece gansey pullover that is as cuddly as a blankie. It’s my favorite comfort garment for when I don’t feel well. This is beginning to seem like a good idea.

Designing a gansey is fun and easy. I’ve devoured the wisdom of Beth Brown-Reinsel in her book Knitted Ganseys (on my top ten list). I’ve even taught a class on ganseys a time or two. There are still some tricks I want to explore, especially a saddle sleeve version.

But I don’t know.

This is special souvenir yarn and I don’t want to blow it. I could incorporate another color to give it punch and do some intarsia thing.

I don’t know. Help.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Bobbles gone bad.

This sweater is knit beautifully and fits her very well. I love white, so I am attracted to it. But--how many times have I warned you about checking the design as you go. I do have a friend or two that I would suspect of intentionally placing these bobbles just to watch men try to not look at them. But . . . .

Knee is mending. The original problem seems to still be there, but the tear has been fixed and that section greatly improved. Ain't science wonderful? Still not driving which is a bummer; don't think I could slam on brake in an emergency. DSIL and DGS come by today to walk the dogs and entertain Nana.

I have the attention span of a flea. I will knit half a mitered square and stop; then two rows on the mittens and stop; then 6 or 7 clues on a crossword and stop, etc. Hope it is just a side effect. Otherwise my finished object stats are going to be a disaster.

My friends, and you know who you are, have been just great. Lots of calls and emails and nursing and feeding. Thank you all so much.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Knee Surgery; new class update

I am having some Meniscus tears repaired tomorrow. Both knees have just been devastated and the pain has been pretty constant for the last few weeks. Remember Tim Conway on Laugh-In? (Ages you if you do) I walk a lot like that. I do so hope the repair and possible arthritis cleanup will eliminate the pain in the right knee. Then maybe the left knee will recover from overuse protecting it's sister.

Anyway--I can already feel the well wishes. Thank you in advance.

While recuperating, I will plan the new series of classes. I'm planning to teach several colorwork classes and some technique ones as well. Time slots will be Saturday and Sundays at 1pm. Remi and I will put those out sometime next week. Intarsia and continental knitting will be among the first.

In the meantime, knit the knits and purl the purls.

On the needles

These are a gift from Beth in Boston. She had started these and became disenchanted. The yarn is Jamieson's and the pattern is from the cover of the last Vogue. The green ones.

I'm enjoying these, but may morph them into fingerless gloves which is more suited to my environment. Can't wait to wash them and feel the wool softened.
I call this LacePlay. It's a scarf sampler of various lace patterns knit in Malabrigo Lace, color Verde. I'm using a size 4 needle. I started this because I wanted to watch various lace patterns at the pattern-shift point. I'm discovering some patterns that I like to knit enough to do a larger project and some that I'd like to combine into the elusive perfect shawl pattern.

The yarn rocks. So soft and easy to manipulate.

It's another experiment. It's beautiful, but I still don't know what it wants to be. Goal is to make mitered garments shaped for human bodies--which are rounded! More to come as I figure it out.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Nana Rocks and Super Cyclist

My grandson thinks his Nana is #1. I made him a new sweater with an Autobot on the front. (Transformer good guy) It was a surprise and when he saw it, he just lit up. Worth the incredible effort to knit that image in intarsia in the round. Never again!! It can be done, but isn't worth it. Bring on the seams.

The graph for the autobot is from Lori Magnus of

It's a top down raglan, so he can grow with it some. I like the rolled neck for him because it is easy to get on and off. The yarn is Schulana Super Cotton. I bought it at Charlotte Yarn for a bit of nothing. I think it is older than Remi. The composition is 70% cotton with 30% polyester elastic.
Number 8 needle.

Steve rode the MS Ride last month as usual. But this time he rode for a particular person--Lynda Murray, the saint. She signed his bandana for him and he wanted to display it so no one would miss it.
The little ponytail in the back is just too cute. As is DH.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

Charlotte Yarn has moved

Kate and I took on the project of saving the old white shelves. Thanks to Cat for jumping in on the final coat.
She who brings the camera does not have to show the world her work outfit or her left leg painted battleship grey primer.
We were supervised for the last coat by Mr. Brody.

The new shop is at Kenilworth Commons on East Blvd. Where the Harris Teeter is. Next door to Foot Solutions. It's bee-you-ti-ful. Come and see.