WIP Wednesday – Play it again, Sam.

I’ve made steady progress on the wheat-ear pullover. I might have made more progress if I hadn’t left it at a friends house on Saturdays. I have cast on the underarm stitches since this raglan has a snug arm fit. I’ve also finished the cables, so its time to figure out the bust dart shaping. I’m wondering if my neckline will be snugger than the pattern pictures, but we will see after the top is blocked. The cables shine, but I’m ready for the simple land of stockinette. My tapestry cowl didn’t get much action this week, because it takes a bit more concentration than I can muster some nights and my usual methods of keeping track of my place on the chart keep popping off so I’ve basically been losing my place and tired of re-doing sections. I need something else, like maybe a set of pattern...

read more

What does the future hold?

As the United States of America rings in a new president,  all are watching and waiting with batted breath what the future holds.  I have hopes and dreams for this administration as many of ya’ll do too. For me, I’ve reached and passed my Second Blogiversary.  I’m so happy.  I started this blog so that I could focus on my art work again, instead of sitting around the house letting life pass me down.  Well I have kicked started my work and the creative juices are flowing.  I designed 5 items last year and proposed many more.  I have lots to do this year, but I will take it in pieces because if I look at all of it at once, I will get overwhelemed and just pack up shop.  I also finally pulled out my thesis and have shared with ya’ll what I accomplished in that stress induced year.  Well I’m ready to forge ahead and start researching and working on designing a new piece.  I eventually hope to display these in an art show. Since this is a Blogiversary post, I’m going to let ya’ll in on the guessing of where I will be heading.  I thought about letting ya’ll pick the next word for me to focus on but there is one word that hasn’t left me alone for the past year.  It needs to be heard and seen and felt. I have a collection of prizes that I will share with ya’ll over the next 2 weeks as the contest runs.  There is Habu yarn, spinning/felting fibers, knitting stuff and a brand new preview copy of a very cool concept knitting magazine. There will be 3 ways to get into the drawing.  So leave me a comment, share with others on your blogs about my contest and those who pick the same word that I’m feeling will be thrown into the pot for prizes.  You will get a point for your comment.  Your blog post or ravelry mention will double your comment point (please let me know where you post about this).  If your friends who comment mention your name, you will get a point that matches their vote so you could vote for a word I don’t pick but still get into the prize drawing. This contest is closed and the winners have been announced. Your choices are: Joy Peace Goodness Kindness Gentleness Faithfulness Hint:  I already have the yarn purchased, just not uploaded into my stash...

read more

FO Friday: Snow When?

Pattern: Snow White by Ysolda Teague Raveled Here Yarn:Malabrigo Yarn Merino Worsted – just under 5 skeins of Indigo Needles: US 9 Knitpicks Harmony Interchangeables Mods: Other than my usual modification to add Horizonal Bust Darts, I didn’t do any intentional modifications.  The only unintentional modification that I did and actually like how it turned out was that I misplaced the stitch marker for the hip decreases and so I recentered them over my hips.  I really like how it worked out. Facts to Remember:  To double check stitch marker placement.  This bite me in the butt twice.  Once it ended up on my butt the second time, I ended up with too many stitches on the back and not enough on the front when I started decreasing for the shoulders.  My totally stitch count was correct every time but not my placement.  Oh well.  It fits great and I love how it looks. Things to Love:  I love the color.  I have a BLUE sweater!!! yeah and the perfect button down shirt to wear under it.  The weather is finally playing nice for photographs and I had a helpful fellow blogger and malabrigo junkie took these today in West Seattle.  We had a lot of fun visiting Little Knits, catching a bit of knitfiti and hanging out with 2 other fellow malabrigo...

read more

WIP Wednesday – fast and furious startitus

When Minty released the Tapestry Cowl, I knew I needed to knit it but I needed to find just the perfect yarn for it.    Little did I know that the perfect yarn would land on my doorstep at the end of September. This beautiful yarn is my Magnolia Society yarn club September offering.  Its a beautiful multi-dimensional brown called Black Madeira FIg.  Its Madelinetosh Glazed Sock.  This color is so beautiful;  Just 4 weeks early I was lamenting on the Malabrigo Junkie group on Ravelry that I really craved a nice deep fig color.  So when I opened the package, I was over the moon with happiness at the color.  I knew immediately that this would become a tapestry cowl.  I even had the perfect skein of yarn to pair with it from the same dyer sitting in my stash patiently waiting for its fate. The citrus sock was my first ever purchase of Madelinetosh yarn over a year ago from woolgirl.  I just hadn’t had time to cast on a lucious orange sock for myself.  I feel this is the perfect marriage of pattern, yarn and color.  I can’t wait till I’m finished. My only hesitation is that the older yarn  (citrus) looks like it is a bit thinner than the September yarn.  Does anyone know if Madelinetosh switched sock bases in the last 12-14 months. My other project, which is getting much more attention, is my Wheat-ear Remix.  I’m doing a mini-KAL with RobinM the other moderator of the Sexy Knitters Club for our cable technique KAL, which we are running right now. Its the Wheat-ear Cable Yoke pattern from the cover of Interweave Knits Summer 2007.  We are changing it from being knit in pieces from the bottom up to top-down in one piece.  So far I think its looking amazing and that it seems to be fitting my dress form properly so I hope that when I get to the armhole “Bind-Off” that it fits perfectly all...

read more

Self-Control: Does it free or confine?

When I finally landed on self-control as the 3rd and final dress, my advisers were shocking and unsure that a dress about control would be beautiful. They imagined a dress resembling a straight-jacket not allowing freedom at all, because being “self-control” is a negative idea for many. I felt something would come of my research.  How often do we feel out of control in our lives?  Too much to do in the day? week? month? or even the year?  A stash that seems just too large to ever get through but that you have no love for?  Too many patterns in queue?  Too much to do at work?  Never enough time to do it all in?  Your weight spiraling out of control?  Children who won’t listen?  stuff all over your house cluttering so that you just can’t seem to have others over? So what do we do with these things?  How do we control them or do we just let those parts of us be controlled by others?  Many people grab different things to control so that they can feel in control.  Keeping a planner full with no time to put up their feet and rest except to drop into bed late at night to fall asleep instantly.  Controlling their emotional pain by cutting or developing anorexia or bulimia.  Following an addiction which seems to allow the person to control things but in fact grips them into a lack of control, because you are no longer personally in control of your destiny.  You have been snared by your surroundings. In your search for control, you have in a sense lost control. Its a weird balance to control but not to be controlled by the act of controlling. A true sense of freedom. This freedom and control means that we need to own up to our choices, the choices that ensnare and trap us into lacking freedom.  Some of these choices aren’t physical choices but are mental lies that need to be broken.  When you face these things, you most be strong and use the principles of patience and love.  Through facing your life struggles, you gain control, an inner control – true self-control. In my search for definitions of self-control, I ran across one that mentioned wrapping one’s arms around oneself to hold ones self up. I imagined long arms wrapping around and around the body to control. I created long delicate gloves to be these arms that could be wrapped or rearranged in such a manner to control a delicate control that even when wrapped tightly do not bind. This was to contrast the unstructured dress which covered simply the body but did nothing to hide or control.  The gloves were useful for control but they also symbolized their ability to get tangled up into the surroundings – the outside world.  At the core of the dress is a “corset” of gauzy silk.  This girds the inner core of the dress.  It strengthens and reminds the wearer to not become entangled by facing your struggles, admitting them and placing them behind you.  Once you confront those things controlling you, you will become truly free because you are starting to exert...

read more

FO Friday – Clearing out the 2008 Knits – small ones

Wednesday was a sad day.  I didn’t have anything on the needles to show you, so instead I let you continue to look at Patience.  Monday is the last completed dress and then I get to share with you the future of this project. Pattern: Lillehammer by Jacquelynn Vance-Kuss    Raveled Here Yarn: Cleckheaton Country 8 Ply 2 skeins – Blue & Grey plus scraps of Lorna’s Laces Worsted from this project. Needles: US 5 (3.75mm) Susan Bates Circular Mods: I added about a half inch to the red strip to lengthen the hat to specification. Facts to Remember: To trust your measurements Things I love: My husband’s buddy when he slipped his hat on after Christmas and it fit perfectly.  Just in time for the snowy weather.  I think he might just live in that hat. Pattern: Mingus sock by Cookie A Raveled Here Yarn: Malabrigo sock yarn 1 skein – test color most similar to Indiecita Needles: US 1.5 (2.5mm) Knitpicks Harmony Fixed Circular Mods: None Facts to Remember:  That I should be over ambitious when moderating a group to also be able to finish on time.  These were my ravelympics project and they were cast off 6 days late, because I was so busy with moderator duties and handing out awards. Things I love:  The marriage of color and pattern.  They are my watery...

read more

Patience: will it come to those who wait?

Patience was in reality the first virtue I tackled since I felt patience took time. I had always hoped for, strove for, prayed for patience in my own life but never seemed to attain it. I was always angry and frustrated, but not outwardly showing these emotions to the point that I drove myself deeper and deeper into depression.  The only way I could come up for air and be released from this grip of depression was to release each and every emotion that surrounded my depression.  While I was working on my thesis, I finally was released from my last vestiges of depression.  Now don’t think that I don’t struggle occasionally with feelings of being blue or thinking that life isn’t worth living.  Those will never leave me, but I now know the secret to release my burdens.  I must patiently release them to God, you might release them to a higher power of your choosing or use knittymuggin’s mother’s advice and give it all to a potato and bury it.  Its a regular daily thing that most be done slowly and steady every day. Instead its better to delay the anger and thus allow the virtue of patience to control and temper it into something less dangerous often times helpful.  The old etymology of patience is long-suffering.  You are to endure with fortitude and character building qualities through whatever it is going on in your life.  So instead of directing my anger inward, I should have been controlling it and using it to shape my surroundings with that passion and frustration.  I’ve since learned how to funnel that anger away and into things.  Sometimes its my knitting, sometimes I need to just organize stuff. So how did I portray all of this into my finished object, well I took pieces.  Pieces of me of who I am in many different shapes, since there are so many varying bits of me that don’t always fit together.  I took them and laid them out.  I decided to let the process lead me rather than striving for the item itself.  I knit bits, I cut bits, I lined bits and finally they all fell together into what you see on this page.  Not necessarily an easy process to get them all to talk to each other and agree to live in one cohesive space but each piece shows how it plays nice while defining itself.  Its individuality.  I learned patience through the process.  I learned that you can’t just shove it and its all going to work.  You have to sometimes cajole it into working, tweaking this or jostling that.  The pieces will work but sometimes you need to take something off the pieces before they fully fit. The lace over the stomach is a super fine merino laceweight from habu.  I used it because it was the thinnest yarn in my stash and I knit it with my smallest needles –  US size 0 bamboo needles.  I hated every minute I had to knit this piece.  I didn’t want to do it, but I took that and pushed past that to create a delicate filmy layer.   The body of the garment is hemp/silk fabric that has a definite grain line.  It only likes to bend between hemp threads...

read more

FO Sunday – the Christmas edition

Eeep…. I hunkered down on 1-1-2009 to knit some instant gratification knits and 4 days later and 4 FOs later, I realize that I left ya’ll hanging with no FOs and me with a backlog of FOs to show.  You saw hints of many of them on the mosaic on New Year’s Eve. Details are on Ravelry to save me time. Brother-in-law: Received his second pair of Camo socks.  Blogged about here. Reception: Good.  He asked what they were made of, since they were different.  I think he likes the bamboo.  I also sweetened the gift with a Starbucks’ card which the whole family knows I despise their coffee so …. Oldest Sister-in-law Si: Received a lace mohair cowl Reception: Well received after I explained what a cowl was.  She wore it most of the week either around her neck or as a headband.  She did ask if next time I could not use mohair (this was asked for feedback), since it was just a touch itchy.  So I see a Malabrigo cowl or two in her future. Nephew Frog Boy: Received a lion dishcloth Reception: This was a bit of a gamble since he screwed up his face at the handknit hat from last year.  He ripped open the box and yelled: “A blanket for gee!!”  Gee is his stuffed frog that he must not be without.  So I guess it won’t be used as intended use; the frog sure does get alot of my handknits.  More sock scrap scarves were requested so she could change her “outfit”. Nephew Dog Boy: Received a light blue sweater as requested Reception: He really liked it especially the dog bone buttons that I picked up in Hawaii thinking about this sweater that he had requested.  The neckline was a tad bit wide because I had an extra long row gauge compared to the pattern.  Oops so I added a second set of buttons.  He wanted to hold Lexi during the photoshoot but she refused to hold still or just wanted to lick his face. Younger Sister-in-law Bud: Received a hat and a pair of earrings.  Hat blogged about here. Reception: She loved the hat and was happy to have a hat to match her fingerless mittens.  Everyone including me kept borrowing it during Christmas week.  The earrings astonished her that they were knit. My Parents got their presents in September if you will remember. Churchable didn’t get anything from me.  Bad wife.  Bad wife.  I have plans but they involve him helping me find memorabillia to make into a shadow box.  I was going to do it on my own but then I ran into my present and didn’t want to find any others.  Sadly I ruined my only suprise.  Darn it! Why do I keep doing that. My Father-in-law requested a hand knit original design cabled cardigan, so guess what this years big challenge will be.  I might be buying almost everyone else’s gifts.  He was informed last year that it would take me 2 years to make him...

read more

2008: A Year in Review

I get to celebrate the new year with my Flickr account.  I’ve been locked out for the past 2 weeks and just convinced yahoo that the account was mine this afternoon after multiple detailed emails proving that I know what is in the accounts.  In celebration, I renewed my pro account for 2 years. This year held alot of promise and that promise came to fruition.  I decided to branch out in my designing and release patterns on my own website, which caused me to move from blogspot to my own domain and then to redo the blogging software because blogger FTP was really messing up a few of my readers.  Thanks to RobinM for helping me diagnoise the promblem.  So I just sucked it up and moved to WordPress and I’m in love, even though I’m in need of an update, which will have to wait when churchable comes home. 1. Squiggle Set, 2. Cattrack cowl, 3. beach cover up, 4. Firebrick mittens I have designed and released 5 patterns this year so far, with one waiting for release in February. 1. secret pal socks, 2. Noro Silk Garden Sock, 3. Fabrege Cowl, 4. Sanford’s Hat, 5. Papa & baby hats, 6. Squiggle Cowl & Hat, 7. Lettuce button band of doom, 8. Baby Rose sleeping in her hat, 9. Baby Rose in her new hat, 10. IMG_0421, 11. IMG_0473, 12. IMG_0418, 13. IMG_0367, 14. IMG_0455, 15. Baby Rose’s Blanket, 16. Baby Rose in her BSJ, 17. Watery Death, 18. Empire perfect, 19. CareBear’s socks, 20. BILs Christmas socks, 21. Firebrick Mittens, 22. Dad’s Christmas Hat, 23. Bubble Pullover, 24. play crown, 25. play crown 1. play crown, 2. Labyrinth, 3. A little coy, 4. Bucket hat with flower, 5. Matt’s Koolhaas hat, 6. wrap around – Alisa, 7. Matt’s hat, 8. Are you ready?, 9. Hat to replace Matt’s too short hat, 10. Cattrack cowl, 11. Endpaper Mitt, 12. monkey socks, 13. Taking a dip, 14. Firebrick mittens, 15. Fiona Baby Sundress, 16. Headband to match baby dress, 17. The elfen godess allowing the rain to kiss her., 18. Wicked, 19. Churchable’s Zeebee, 20. Puget Sound Urchin, 21. Bun approved carrot, 22. Twisted Flower, 23. Cattrack Cowl – semi-solid version, 24. lower diamonds, 25. Secret Squirrel Box A total of 53 projects large and small have been completed some of those are duplicates of my designs just so I know they work out. 11 sweaters 9 pairs of socks 23 accessories 10 baby items 1. your best FO of the year Its a tie between The Grey Skies Bubble Pullover and Alisa.  I think these are my most stunning FOs of the past year.  They are beautifully constructed and the photo shoots turned out fabulous. 2. best FO of the year made by a blog you link to I read a few less blogs than I did last year simply because I ran out of time and needed to cut.  Here is a sampling of blogs that I love a few FOs that were done this year.  Kristen of Through the Loops has come up with some fabulous designs and I love seeing her kids model the garments – I’m especially in love with her newest design that’s not released yet called Breath Deep (rav link).  ...

read more

Love: the warm fuzzies expressed

Love is the first virtue in the list.  I chose it simply because I thought it would be easy to represent.  Its not necessarily the easiest word to find a definition of exactly what a virtue of love composes.   Since most virtues deal with interpersonal relationships, we can eliminate a direct relationship to sexual love even though it might in the end be hinted at. Since I was using passages from the Bible, I used it to define itself in addition to other resources.  While doing my word study of the book, I saw the following passage that shaped my whole idea for the dress. Since God chose you to be the holy people he loves, you must clothe yourselves with tenderhearted mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness, and patience.  Make allowance for each other’s faults, and forgive anyone who offends you. Remember, the Lord forgave you, so you must forgive others. Above all, clothe yourselves with love, which binds us all together in perfect harmony. Love covers mercy, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.  Six complete layers to express this total idea. Those layers are all exposed in the kicky pleat and the neckline since there are 6 necklines each with a different shape.  Also each layer was dyed in a manner in show a heart, the universal symbol of love, right over the heart the supposed source of love. We also feel love based on simple touch.  It gives us those warm fuzzies just by the simple act of being hugged when things are blue, happy, anxious, grieving, surprising, caring, and painful, especially by someone we love dearly or are friends.  Too express this idea, I ruched the back of the dress to give the impression of being hugged by that person you most desire receiving that feeling of love from. The tissue weight silk has a light and graceful feeling.  Just slipping into LOVE makes me feel sexy and beautiful.  It also expresses each of the other virtues of the fruits.  Can you see joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and...

read more