Category Archives: Lace

#knitchat 9/1: The Knitting Bucket List

Actually, the term “Bucket List” bothers me… just a little. This is perhaps because it is a reminder of our own mortality. Maybe I should think of this as more of my list of challenges I want to overcome while the rest of my life occurs. There I go candy-coating things again. On my “list” is knitting an incredibly intricate Estonian or Shetland lace shawl. On a larger scale, I’d like to knit some curtains.

Here are the #knitchat questions:

Q1) What skills (kniting, crochet or fibercraft-wise) are on your “Bucket List?” #knitchat

Q2) Any sweaters or projects on your Bucket List? Any epic dream projects? #knitchat

Q3) When you want to learn or accomplish a new skill what motivates you or keeps you going? #knitchat

 

DETAILS… DETAILS… If you want to know more about what #knitchat is and how it works

  • Where: Twitter (follow the #knitchat hashtag)
  • When: Thursdays on the date listed above at 6:30 PM PST/9:30 PM EST (1 hour)
  • Who: Me you and other Twitter Knitters/Crocheters & Fiber-crafters
  • How: Need a primer on Twitter Chat… check this out: What does this Twitter chat thing look like?
  • How: to post photos – 5 ways to share photos on Twitter
  • How: to shorten your links. Simply paste your link into the field in http://bit.ly/ and shorten it. Copy and paste this link into the twitter feed.

 

 

Crown Prince Shawl by Nancy Bush

 

 

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Filed under #knitchat, Challenge, Creativity, Crochet, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Lace

#knitchat 8/18: Lace Q & A with Donna Druchunas

This next #knitchat we will have a very special guest moderating: Donna Druchunas of Artic Lace fame. Donna a knit designer and author of some pretty fascinating books about knitting and specifically lace including Arctic Lace and Successful Lace Knitting: Celebrating the Work of Dorothy Reade.  What I love about her books and explorations is she delves into the origins of patterns and techniques. In the Dorothy Reade book she took a close look at an inspiring past leader in the lace knitting community who investigated and shared what she learned about the ethnic lace.

Donna is going to hold a Question and Answer session during 8/18’s #knitchat. Come to the chat prepared with a question or two about lace and lace knitting. Donna will share her expertise with us, the #knitchat community. Are you excited to learn more about knitting lace? I am especially if Donna is teaching.

You can follow Donna on twitter as: @Druchunas

You can visit and read her riveting blog Sheep to Shawl

Arctic Lace Book

DETAILS… DETAILS… If you want to know more about what #knitchat is and how it works

  • Where: Twitter (follow the #knitchat hashtag)
  • When: Thursdays on the date listed above at 6:30 PM PST/9:30 PM EST (1 hour)
  • Who: Me you and other Twitter Knitters/Crocheters & Fiber-crafters
  • How: Need a primer on Twitter Chat… check this out: What does this Twitter chat thing look like?
  • How: to post photos – 5 ways to share photos on Twitter
  • How: to shorten your links. Simply paste your link into the field in http://bit.ly/ and shorten it. Copy and paste this link into the twitter feed.

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Filed under #knitchat, Knitting, Lace

Swatch Day and Blueberry Socks

I know I said I was going to write about swatching as part of my process in the whole “Raglan Sweater Series” of posts. I lied.

I know a lot of knitters don’t like hearing the “Sermon on the Swatch.”  Maybe it’s just part of the lesson. Knitting a whole sweater that doesn’t look or fit right. I’ll be honest. I have had this happen to me… more than once. As a result, I now swatch.

That’s all I’ll say on this subject for now.

I did have time today to swatch a few yarns I’ve been wanting to try… some yarns for spring: a cotton/hemp blend, Silky wool, and a mystery yarn from Yarnia that I purchased at last years Knit & Crochet Show (Fall). It’s a mystery because I lost the tag.

I’m a little worried that the Coto Canapone (cotton/hemp) is a bit heavy and stiff, but I think it will soften up after washing and blocking.  I’ve heard some really great things about using hemp and I’ve swatched some pure hemp before. It was a bit too harsh for my liking, and I realized that it would take many washings before I could get it to the softness I wanted. Though perhaps I should think of this as a trade off for the fact that hemp takes a lot longer to wear thin than cotton.  Apparently hemp had quite a history as a much used textile until recent times.  Perhaps with the economy being as it is… more people will turn to having durable clothing items rather than disposable ones they replace or trash every year.

I’m quite charmed by the Yarnia yarn.  Unfortunately the photo of the swatch I took doesn’t reflect the different greens\ and purple shades in this gorgeous yarn. Some people have noted that they find the loosely spun plies difficult and splitty to work with, but I’ve always felt that if you take proper care, even splitty yarn can make nice fabric as long as your knitting on the ‘snug’ side.

From top to bottom, Coto Canapone, Silky Wool, & Yarnia 'mystery yarn.'

From top to bottom, Coto Canapone, Silky Wool, & Yarnia 'mystery yarn.'

I was also able to finish my pair of Heritage Paint socks for the shop model for my “Toe up Socks” class coming up.  I have to say, this yarn is pretty fantastic. I think it’s pretty durable and still fairly soft with no itch. Plus it’s pretty inexpensive and the yardage is huge… 437 yards a skein. I found that the solid colors of this yarn are quite a bargain at around $12-13 dollars a skein. That’s a good price for yarn for handknit socks that should last quite some time.

My Blueberry socks in Heritage Paints

My "Blueberry" socks in Heritage Paints

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Filed under Fibers, Hemp yarn, Knit, Knitters, Knitting, Lace, Portland, Portland Knitters, Socks, Stockinette, Stuff I made, Teaching, Techniques, Yarn

Musical Interlude: Dame Kiri Te Kanawa

You may or may not remember that movie A Room with a View, based on E.M. Forester’s novel.

There’s a scene in the movie where the young heroine meets her love interest in a barley field dotted with red poppies. Their first  encounter is set to the music “Chi il bel sogno di Doretta,” and their kiss is accompanied by the crescendo in the aria sung by Dame Kiri Te Kanawa. As a side note, this film actually inspired me to take Italian while I was at Chicago.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MD1WxgnrY3I]

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tehft3GDw6k]

The scene I refer to is near the end of the first clip above and at the beginning of the second clip.

Now I’m not really the romantic type but the imagery from this scene accompanied by the music and Te Kanawa’s divine voice still causes my heart to rumble. For me this entire scene moved me more than the entire Titanic movie, which I never saw but felt like I had a thousand times from the descriptions and swooning of all the junior high students I used to teach. After listening to them carry on about how beautiful a love story that was, I nearly puked into the classroom aluminum wastebasket.  It seemed like such a melodramatic and ridiculously maudlin story. Not to mention, the classroom I was teaching in was pretty close to the choir room and guess which song I got to hear, over and over and over again… that little Celine Dion number the name of which I dare not repeat. I have to admit I haven’t seen the Twilight movie because I fear that it’s just really “Titanic” with vampires. Now, if it was “Titanic” with zombies, I might check it out.

[Youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jiUoWCnGZTU]

Maybe I just like Romance more subtle and not so syrupy and weepy. As for Te Kanawa’s rendition of this beautiful piece almost inspires me to think of a sunshine colored lace shawl knit in maybe a blend of silk and merino.

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Filed under Knit, Knitting, Lace

Escaping the Heat

The View - Cove at Cape Disappointment

The View - Cove at Cape Disappointment

As I write this, the day after our beach trip, storm clouds are forming above us.  So my pleas for relief have been heard. There’s something completely unnatural about living in a hot climate. But I suppose someone who grew up in the Arizona desert might beg to differ. The overly moisturized environment of the Pacific Northwest might seem a bit soggy to them.

How does one escape 104 degree weather? We do what any normal Portlander does… flee to the coast. This time we made our way up to Astoria and the Long Beach area up to Cape Disappointment. Ahhhh… it was a cool 65 degrees, and you could see the mist rolling over the tree tops.

Sandy Pug Butt

Sandy Pug Butt

The dogs (Otto, Kirby and Pono – Pono is Kirby’s brother) had a glorious time. I don’t think I’ve ever seen Otto most ecstatic and content. The cove by the lighthouse was pretty secluded and there was a steep trek down. Consequently, it’s not visited by too many people. So we felt pretty good about just letting the dogs run about. It’s quite problematic having chihuahuas on the beach with other dogs, because they’re so tiny and uppity. We worry about them getting into a deadly tussle with a much larger dog.

I was still feeling out of sorts from the heat from the last few days. The night before our beach trip, I got absolutely no sleep. I awoke feeling hungover, without having experienced the booze fun the night before, so I didn’t get much knitting done on the beach. On the way there, I did work on my Lace Ribbon Scarf (ala Knitty.com) with the very delicious Tantra silk from Art Fibers. If I was sharp enough, I would have taken a picture of the scarf on the driftwood. Art Fibers just does an absolutely amazing job with their coloring and variegation in their dye jobs. It’s worth, not being able to predict the colors exactly from their website photos. Each time I get a color I’m more than pleasantly surprised. As I look over the beach photos, the colors from this scarf seem very reminiscent of the colors I experienced on the coast that day. What a lovely coincidence.

Lace Ribbon Scarf in Art Fibers Tantra

Lace Ribbon Scarf in Art Fibers Tantra

As I lay on the beach trying to rehydrate my body and being, I did work on another Amigurumi creature, a mischievous monkey. Simple crochet in a spiral seemed to be soothing to work on.  I’ll post the photos up on this item later.

Our friend, Emily experimented with some stop-action animation with her camera.  She, Chad and Ryan worked together to shoot a short, short feature starring various beach paraphernalia and dead creatures (crab shells and Jelly fish).  It was quite interesting to watch all of them get involved in the creative process, each of them contributing ideas and direction. You can see the results here: Mysterious Beach.

Collecting materials for the movie set

Collecting materials for the movie set

Chihuahua brothers enjoy the beach

Chihuahua brothers enjoy the beach

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Filed under Amigurumi, Colors, Craft, Creativity, Crochet, Knit, Knitting, Lace, Project, Stuff I made, Yarn

Frothy pink French chic

I finished this scarf over the weekend to wear at the wedding I never attended. It’s the Lala scarf in the Greetings from Knit Cafe book. It was a pretty quick knit until I got to the ruffle, but knitting picot after picot actually put me into a meditative state. It was sort of like knitting an endless Rosary.

I’m actually, really enjoying the Knit Cafe book. In order to be set for mid Spring, I intend to finish the Kat Coyle “Lacey Skirt with Bows.”

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Filed under Fashion, Knit, Knitting, Lace

Wedding Shawl

shawl.jpg

Materials:

  • 10 skeins of “Sari” by Lana Grossa in White
  • US size 19 needles (Plastic not wood)
  • Large tapestry needle (plastic)

The pattern is simple:
Alternate segments of rows of garter stitch (2, 3, 4 rows) with a row of yarnovers (yo 3 and yo 4). Vary your garter stitch row numbers and yarn over numbers randomly. Finish up all of your yarn. Sew in the ends with the tapestry needle. You’re done.

I’m actually tempted to make this stole again in brown, but this time string those little mermaid scale hanging round sequins (in both contrasting and complementary colors) on the yarn before I knit. I really wish that this yarn came in a pale aqua blue.

There were times when using the large, large needles really bothered me because they were so clunky. I actually had to rest my hands and wrists between periods of knitting this piece because the exaggerated motions required when using these large tools really wore me down.

meandmom.jpg

We had to take our wedding pictures before the ceremony… breaking with tradition, but that’s okay… we’re that kind of family. By the way… that bouquet was just a bunch of flowers I picked on the side of the road. Stop the Car!” I cried when I spotted them. The photographer said that it was the nicest bouquet she’d seen in a long time.

I broke down and took the actual shawl out of storage so I could take a photo of it in detail. I’ll post these later today. Holding the stole and touching my wedding dress brought back very nice-nice memories of our wedding and as our 1st year anniversary is around the bend it was sort of a nice memory sparker. Our wedding was happily stress free and just want we wanted… a happy time on the beach with friends and family, and there were tons of flowers. I did invest in the flowers because to me strangely they were more important than the dress. I made sure there was plenty of Pikake (jasmine), maile leaves and lots of tuberoses and plumeria ordering leis for the wedding party and our guests. If you ever want to get married on the Big Island in Hawaii I do suggest that you call “Lani’s Floral” she did an absolutely fabulous job preparing my flowers, and she’s a wonderfully nice lady too.

family.jpg

Brother in law, Sister in law, Husband and Me

beachsunset.jpg

Sunset on the beach before we went to chow down at our reception

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Filed under Embellishment, Fashion, Garter, Garter stitch, Knit, Knitting, Lace, Patterns, Project, Synthetic fiber, Wedding, Yarn