I’ve always wanted to knit a rainbow…
…And now, thanks to The Loopy Ewe, I think I finally can!
I can’t WAIT to show you what this is going to be!
...and a lot of other stuff, too!
I’ve always wanted to knit a rainbow…
…And now, thanks to The Loopy Ewe, I think I finally can!
I can’t WAIT to show you what this is going to be!
As if I don’t already have enough stuff on my needles, I had to cast on another thing:
This is the beginnings of the Mini Mania scarf by Sarah Core. It is the answer to what to do with all of the little leftover bits of yarn, when you only have enough left for a row or two, and yet, you can’t bring yourself to throw it away. Even small amounts of yarn are good for something, right? Yeah, they are.
So I started casting on about a week ago. I do hate that part of any project, and tend to pick ones that start by only casting on a handful of stitches and growing from there. But if I were going to do this project, I wanted to do it BIG, so I cast on somewhere in the neighborhood of 600 stitches. I say “somewhere” because even with using a counting device I think I forgot to push the button a few times, so there may, in fact be MORE than 600 stitches.
Yes, I think I’ve lost my mind. And I am pretty sure this project will take years to complete. But it can be a “go-to” project when everything else I’m working on bores me. This would probably bore me, too, except I’ll be changing yarns every couple of rows. So, we shall see. I imagine only periodic photos of this bit of knitting insanity will appear, so don’t hold your breath waiting for them! At the same time, wish me luck. I would actually like to have this finished someday.
I don’t know what it is with me and my knitting. I am the queen of false starts. I am wanting to make another gift shawl. Since I am working on my own Color Affection, I knew this time I wanted to do something different. So, I opted for Taygete, a shawl by Romi Hill. It features garter stripes, with which I have become oh-so-familiar, but they will be running vertically, from side to side, across the body of the shawl. Then the bottom has this little bit of lace for elegance, which I think is pretty and doesn’t look too challenging. We shall see how it goes.
Of course the first conundrum was choosing colors. I feel like I know the recipient pretty well, or as well as she lets anyone know her, but when it came to choosing colors, I had a really hard time. I actually like the sample that the designer created, but could not find those colors online. So, I started looking on Ravelry for examples, to see what others have made. There were some stunning examples, and then there were a few that just made me scratch my head and realize, of course, that color preference is in the eye of the beholder. I bought yarn colors a total of three times before finally settling on my choice.
Originally, I thought it would be this:
This is actually a mash-up of yarns from my first two purchases. The top yarn is Cascade Heritage Silk and the bottom yarn is Dream in Color Smooshy. Originally I purchased the smooshy with an “amber” color that was actually more “mustard” than I wanted it to be, and the Cascade was purchased with a blue that was quite electric, rather than the deep blue-green I was hoping for. So, I took one color from one pile and one from the second, and it produced this:
The only thing this made me feel was “yuck.” The green is called “Spruce,” but it must be a spruce tree photographed at twilight, because the yarn looks black in all but the very brightest light. I just wasn’t feeling it and could not imagine knitting the entire thing. So, I tried again:
This time with Madelinetosh Tosh Sock in Worn Denim and Weathered Frame. I think I am finally happy with my color choice, but it is hard to imagine that this wonky, wee little triangle is ever going to be anything beautiful at all:
I was worried about the large loops along one side of the shawl, but I have re-read the pattern, and apparently they’re supposed to be there. Or, perhaps it is more correct to say that they happen, and I’m not supposed to worry. (I hear they’ll even come in handy in the lace section, when I have to pick up stitches.)
Then my next thing to ponder is this: which color should be the lace color, and which should be the contrast color? When I read the pattern initially, it said it took all of the yardage in the one color, so I made sure to get two balls of each because I am a loose knitter, and i haven’t for sure yet decided which color should be the lace section. Right now I’m leaning toward the blue, but I’ve heard a convincing argument for the other. Oh, well, it feels like the knitting is going a bit slow for this project so I probably have a while to decide. And maybe, since I have extra yarn, I’ll make it a wee bit bigger, too. Romi has given very clear instructions for that.
And with that, I’m putting needles down. It’s late, even for me. Goodnight!
Today I received the most amazing gift from a friend. I won’t beat around the bush about it; I will just jump right in and introduce you to Catherine Eliza:
But, she has a back story. (You knew she would, didn’t you?)
Twenty years ago, when I was newly married, I was an avid Barbie collector. I decided that to avoid buying nearly every doll made, that I would focus my collection on a couple of specific genres, bride dolls and dolls with disabilities. I once paid $100 for a 1959 original Barbie bridal gown in near mint condition, which sounds like a lot of money until I tell you that at the time, the period doll who wore it sold for roughly $10,000. (My gown is being worn by a reasonably priced modern replica, who is, herself, now 20 years old.)
My grandmother on the Humphrey side was an avid crocheter, and was eager to help me expand my collection. She had found a book of “Gibson Girl” Barbie bride patterns to crochet, and asked me to pick my favorite for her to make. She said it was a delayed wedding gift. I stewed over the patterns for an entire weekend before choosing, and my grandmother lovingly set to work.
My grandmother fell ill during the making of this precious gift, and eventually she was not able to work on it any longer. The stitches and beads were so tiny that it had become hard for her to see them. The project was mostly all crocheted up and it was a matter of the detail work, I was told. Eventually she hoped to feel well enough to finish it.
Sadly, it was not to be. My grandmother died before the project could be finished. I would have accepted the article in any state of completion, but it was not offered to me and I never saw it. Another relative took possession of most of my grandmother’s crafty things and I never knew what became of it.
Fast forward to now. Apparently some time recently I had relayed the story of the lost wedding gown to my friend who specializes in doing needlework on very tiny, delicate objects. I can’t remember how or why I told the story but my friend picked up on my sense of sadness which I still hold to this day. And so she made for me a lost treasure, which now fills the space in my heart that would have been filled by my grandmother’s gift, if I had been allowed to have it. This bride is different from the one my grandmother was making, but she is every bit as exquisite and detailed. Here are more photos of my beautiful treasure.
Here is a view from the side. Just look at that expanse of veil! And it is all trimmed in lace.
Here you can see all of the pearls at the bodice and neck, the delicate fabric, and a tiny cameo pin at the neck. Exquisite!
Notice all of the beautiful shell stitches in the skirt.
Even the top of the hat is detailed with tiny roses and seed pearls. I love the variation of colors in the individual flowers.
This is a view of the back of the hat where the veil begins. Just lovely…
The artistry that went into the piece is astounding. And, that the maker knew just how much this gift would mean to me makes it all the more amazing. Saying “thank you” a thousand times would never be enough.
And I thought this was going to be just another crappy Monday. Boy, was I wrong.
Wow. So it’s been a few weeks since I’ve blogged. Not much going on really, except that it’s summer, and that means there are kid activities and family events to attend and even a quick weekend away, though I would not exactly call it a vacation. More on that part later. But suffice it to say, that even if my blog has been neglected in recent weeks, my knitting has not.
I made a pact with myself earlier this summer to be sure to knit something, even if it is just a few stitches, every day. Most knitters out there are probably laughing at me for this, because I am sure most of you do knit every day, or at least more than I do, judging from the number of FO’s I’m always seeing on Ravelry. But for me, for whatever reason, I love to knit, but often go days at a time without doing it. And then I’m mad at myself for not making progress on my projects. And the truth is, I feel better when I knit, so why not make a bigger effort to do it?
I haven’t quite managed to knit every, every day, but I’m getting closer. I’ve even got several projects going that are all seeing some progress, including an alpaca tube scarf, dishcloths, and yes, my own Color Affection shawl. The shawl is what I want to give a peek of today, because I have finally started the short-row section, and thus have added the third color to the mix:
Sadly, the longer I work on this, the less I am liking the color combination. Which is silly, considering that I am all about purple and green in combination, in so many of my yarn choices right now. And I’m sure it will be great when it’s done and it’ll look like “me”–whatever that is. So I’m keeping at it. In fact, I made a lot of progress on it so far this weekend, because of a weekend road trip that had me in the car for many hours. Hence, my next topic.
Last week my daughter attended Music Camp at University of North Carolina Greensboro. On Friday, which was the last day of camp, each group gave a concert, and I did not want to miss it. So, my in-laws took her down there, and went to visit their daughter in Cary for a few days, and then met my husband, son and me back in Greensboro at the end of the week. It meant driving seven hours on Thursday, attending dinner and the concert on Friday, and seven hours in the car again today.
So, faced with a few hours to kill in the late morning/early afternoon, which was too long to do nothing, but not long enough to do anything major, I whipped out my iPad because I remember someone on a podcast I used to listen to mentioning that there was at least one nice yarn shop in Greensboro. The first one to come up in my search was Gate City Yarns, so I called to make sure they were wheelchair friendly (they are! yay!) and off I went with my patient husband. I was not disappointed. The shop is situated on a bustling main street of the likes that I did not expect to find in Greensboro. It would seem that there is quite the artist community there. with galleries and fun cafes and shops all up and down the row. The shop itself is roomy and inviting, with a big antique bathtub full of yarn inside. The place sort of gave me the modern, industrial feel, but with an air of coziness. (The comfy sofa with afghans draped all over it added to that feeling.)
I’m the kind of person who buys yarn by sight and feel. That is, if it looks pretty, I’m attracted to it, and if it feels nice, even better. Plus there was the whole “souvenir factor” of buying yarn in a new shop in a strange city. So, I got these:
The one in front is Schaefer Yarn “Andrea” in the colorway “Hermione.” (I have always been attracted to rainbows, and this is, indeed, the softest rainbow I have ever encountered.) It is a silk lace weight, about 1090 yards… which sounds like a lot but can be used up quickly. So, as usual I have no idea what to make with it that will bring out the colors in just the right way. I’m open to suggestions… I’d love it if I could get the colors to pool in such a way to achieve a tie-dye look, rather than a mottled, varigated look, but I don’t want to have to think too much.
The other yarn is Frolicking Feet by Done Roving Yarn, in the lavender and sage colorway. (Green and purple? Yeah, I told you I’m obsessed.) I did just sign up for a sock class on Craftsy , so maybe this will be used for that.
Oh, and I even had a knitting related birthday gift! Well, to be fair my husband and I are past the point of surprising each other with gifts so I sent him a link about a month ago and said, “Click here, honey, in case you mgiht like to know what I want for my birthday this year:
Yep, I am now the proud owner of a set of Addi Turbo Click interchangeable needles. I bought one pair in advance to make sure I can operate them, and after fumbling a bit, I did figure it out. So, I asked for the set, and my husband was sweet enough to get them. Kinda makes turning 48 not so bad. Sometimes.
Well, this blog post has been a long one! Hopefully I will start posting again so I won’t have to catch up so much all at once. If you made it this far, thanks for reading! And do let me know your ideas for that rainbow yarn. I don’t want to let it linger in the stash, but I do want to do something that will do it justice.
Because you needed one:
I’m about halfway through the second section of my new Color Affection shawl. I’m making friends with the green now, which I think I knew I would. I always have to second-guess myself about something. But, I think this one will work out fine.
This shawl so far seems to be going a lot faster than the last one. I am glad of that; I think it would drive me crazy to spend another 7 months with this pattern. I’ve been thinking lately that it’s been a while since I’ve done any hats. How can that be, when I’m the one constantly telling people that hats are my favorite thing to knit? Have I been lying to myself on that point?
And blankets! One thing i miss about not being able to crochet anymore is making blankets. For some reason, knitted blankets seem to take so much longer and I can’t get into them the same way my crocheted afghans used to keep me entertained. I used to have delusions that every sofa and bed in this house would be covered in handmade afghans. I can’t sew, and there are no heirloom quilts in my family. And for all the crocheting that my one grandmother did, I can’t believe that somehow, there are none of her afghans in this house. I managed to get some dish towels and a few Christmas decorations, and even a baby layette that had been mine. But no afghans. In the early 90s I made a bunch of afghans and gave them as gifts to people. But I never made one for myself. So, I think I’ll search Ravelry for some quick, but interesting afghan ideas.
I hope that me thinking so far ahead after this shawl isn’t a bad sign. It usually is. Sigh.
I don’t feel like writing a whole lot tonight, but I just wanted to show off my shawl progress:
I’ve been knitting like crazy this week and finally was able to start the second color. Now, I’m questioning the wisdom of my color choices. The green, when not in this light, looks a little boogery. And I’m not sure it goes all that well with the purple. I’ll keep going a while longer, and re-evaluate. The third color is a deep blue. The three yarn hanks looked nice next to each other, so I’m hoping there’s hope for the shawl. Time will tell, I suppose.
Goodnight for now…
"When I dare to be powerful, to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less and less important whether I am afraid." -Audre Lorde
Powered by Twitter Tools