Friday, May 31, 2013

Tomorrow's June!

And you know what that means!

Yep, it's time for the ever-astounding and wildly fun
Junebug Days!

I had a little trouble coming up with a good idea this year. Everything that came to mind paled in comparison to last year's colorfest extravaganza and I was dumbfounded to improve on it. Then as I was tending to my task of cleaning up files and folders on my computer, it came to me.

I won't give you the juicy details yet, but if you'll tune back in on Monday, we'll kick this thing off.
All you will need is your computer and a somewhat trusty internet connection.

Now I'm off to get ready for the Mother Earth News Fair in Puyallup over the weekend.
Will report! See you Monday!

Monday, May 27, 2013

Brendigan Scarf

I started working on this Brendigan Scarf design over a year ago. I wanted something Art Deco, something angular and Erte. I found three stitch patterns with the right look and feel and proceeded to make them each transition into the next. That's where the problem creeps in sometimes. When I try to push and change things, I sometimes end up having to put the project aside and let it rest before it makes sense again.

When I was ready to jump back into it, I knew that this Nautilace from Cephalopod Yarns in Bubble Eye would be just the ticket. A design like this one needs a yarn and color that allow it to be strikingly and dramatically displayed. I happily worked up the scarf and blocked it and hung it where I could examine it while I edited the pattern. In editing, I started another in Malabrigo Lace. This time I kept it simple so I could test out the use of a 100% merino single ply lace.
In the making of this one, something about the original started to bug me. I had to tweak the edges on a couple of the stitch patterns because it began to bother me that they just ran all the way to the edge. I added some garter stitch here and there to remedy that, and of course that called for a pattern rewrite and more editing. Sigh...

It was worth it, though. I like this version much better.
This is a closeup of the end pattern, which is worked first.
And here is the center pattern.
When you join each of the two halves at the center, this is what happens.
Cute little round thingys!

When working the first sample, I blocked the first half before working the second half. This way I was able to compare the two blocked and unblocked pieces.
What a difference blocking makes!

I hope you'll try a Brendigan Scarf for yourself!
I think you'll like it.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Knitting for Family

We're back safe and sound from our family visit down south. Now I can finally show you some recent sock knitting and a pretty bag (or two) I tricked my sister out of. 

The first pair of socks was for my sister as a swap. She gave me one of her hand-sewn bags and I knit her a pair of socks. She is convinced that she got the better end of the deal. I disagree and you'll see why in a second. For her socks, Sis wisely chose this Pagewood Farm Yukon in Bird of Paradise from my stash. Sadly, I forgot to get pictures of the finished pair before I happily mailed them off to her.

But I can show you her bag...and its sidekick!
This small duffle bag has been my constant knitting companion for about seven years or so now, and I've never even washed it! Look how great it still looks sitting right next to my new larger version of what my sister calls the Monkey Bag (there are monkeys in the fabric design). Gorgeous!

Let's look inside.
See its large zipper pocket and two open pockets? See how it stands on its own? I love the magnetic snap closure, too. So, you can see that I go the better of her. Silly sister.

Not only that, but inside was a surprise!
Another little bag--a round drawstring bag of pretty blue and brown fabric with a linen lining. It's very sturdy and just the right size. As a thank you, I have started her a pair of Vertigo Socks in the yarn she chose as second place--Pagewood Farm Glacier Bay in Mocha.

I wish I could point you to my sister's shop so you could buy one of her Sweet Shrub Designs bags, but she is not actively selling them right now. If you'd like one, though, let me know and maybe I can beg her to make a custom one for you. She does beautiful work.

I also just finished a late Mother's Day present for my mom.
You guessed it--more Pagewood Farm! This time it's Aleyeska in Pretty Pastels.
They are as soft as a lamb's ears, I tell ya! Hope Mom loves them.

It was a great visit with family, and I am glad to be back home. I have so much to show you, so I'll be back soon with more knitting and maybe some crochet, too.

Happy Tuesday to you!