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  • knitting1105 8:03 am on April 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: knitcroblo5   

    Blog week, Post #5 

    Location, Location, Location

    Where do you like to indulge in your craft? Is your favourite arm chair your little knitting cubby area, or do you prefer to ‘knit in public’? Do you like to crochet in the great outdoors, perhaps, or knit in the bath, or at the pub?

    Excuse me while I extricate myself from my chair and come to the computer.

    Hands down, my Thomas Moser Chaise Lounge Chair.  If you have never sat in this chair, try it out whenever you can.  It is a zero gravity chair, so you lean back, your legs are up, and all the pressure is taken off your spine.  And it is hand made with beautiful American Cherry, and a leather uphostered seat.  Everyone who sits in it agrees it is heaven.  That is Lloyd in his bed next to the chair.

    And, if the weather is nice, I sit on the enclosed front porch in my chaise lounge enjoying the morning sunshine.  Working on the sleeves for the Zebra sweater, then I have to tackle the neckline.

    And, if it is nice in the afternoon, I sit on the back porch, or in the yard in my portable chaise recliner.  With a glass of wine naturally.

    See any patterns?  Like a cat, I follow the warmth and comfort wherever it will lead me.

    TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo5

    • Wool Free and Lovin' Knit 8:42 am on April 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      hmm, your Thomas Moser Chair looks amazing!


    • Ida 9:09 am on April 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Ooh, I like that chair.


    • AC 3:52 pm on April 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I love those chaise recliner dealies. Your stained glass is quite lovely.


    • Rae 5:21 pm on April 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I like your chair.


    • pentalia 6:12 pm on April 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wowee, I have always loved those zero-gravity chairs, and yours actually looks great! Nice little corner ya have there, with the doggie and the pretty window.


    • Becky 9:20 pm on April 30, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That looks like three heavenly places to knit. I love the different feel of each one.


  • knitting1105 3:34 pm on April 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: knitcroblo4   

    Blog week, Post #4 

    A New Skill

    Is there a skill related to your hobby that you hope to learn one day? maybe you’re a crocheter who’d also like to knit? Maybe you’d like to learn to knit continental, knit backwards, try cables or attempt stranded colourwork.

    • I have been knitting since I was a little girl, never stopping.  I have tried all the techniques that I can think of, and know how to crochet.  I guess my answer to this question would be that I would like to push the envelope a bit.  I have to admit that intarsia is not one of my favorite techniques.  I have also been in love with the sweater Foolish Virgins by Kaffe Fasset since seeing it on Ravelry a couple of years ago.  That said, I would like to learn to do “Ultimate Intarsia”.  From reading people’s project pages, this sweater uses up to 40 bobbins/row, and changes colors on the next row.  It suggests 14 different colors.

    Look at the back in this post from Bon Tricot.  Enough to make me reconsider, and this is just the scarf version!

    • The other thing that I would really like to challenge is making more of my own designs.  I have done very simple socks, sweaters with cables and fair isle, but I would like to challenge myself to write a pattern that I could make available.  I am trying to work on a pair of mittens right now for the Hands On 2010 retreat and classes.  I am afraid that time is getting away from me and I will not get them finished prior to the event.  In any case, I have an idea that I want to continue with.

    As I wait to post this, I keep thinking of things.  How smug I was at the beginning:

    • I want to learn how to dye yarn.  I have some beautiful Kinari Wool lace weight natural yarn from Habu textiles that would make a gorgeous shawl.

    • I want to get a spindle and spin my own yarn.  I imagine a gorgeous spinning wheel setting in my living room or entry.

    TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo4

    • yarnlove 4:06 pm on April 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      You should try dyeing! It’s messy, but not hard. Just be prepared for a lot of serendipity in your early colors while you learn the ropes!


    • AC 4:08 pm on April 29, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      That has a LOT of colors. Skerry!

      Spinning wheels always remind me of Sleeping Beauty…


  • knitting1105 9:06 am on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: knitcroblo3   

    Blog week, Post #3 

    One Great Knitter

    Write about a knitter whose work (whether because of project choice, photography, styling, scale of projects, stash, etc) you enjoy. If they have an enjoyable blog, you might find it a good opportunity to send a smile their way.

    This was a challenging question for me.  I tend not to subscribe to the more popular blogs, many are overrated.  I like the person, who, like me, loves knitting and talking about it.  In many cases it is because their family won’t lend a good ear to every nuance of the process.  There are  some amazing knitters out there who do great work, but don’t always get a lot of recognition.

    After a day of consideration (I actually looked at this clue on Tuesday morning so that I could think about it), I have to say Grace Anna Farrow.  Her blog is A Stitch to Wear.

    I met Grace Anna last August at Stitches Midwest where she was promoting her newly self published book The Fine Line

    I loved not only the colors but the beautiful drape of these fabrics.  She was modeling and talking about her designs.  After going through the entire market, my sister and I went back to the Isaeger booth, I needed to purchase yarn to do one of these projects. We both concluded that this was the best at the market.  By the time that we returned, Grace Anna had left, but I got help in selecting colors.  I was originally drawn to Dusk, but thought that was too much knitting until I decided if I liked the yarn.  I settled on Volt with turquoise accents.  And, I fell in love with the Isaeger Wool I yarn, it is now one of my favorites, and something that I would not have discovered otherwise.  I love the transparency of this shawl, and how it drapes.  I get wonderful comments whenever I wear it.

    So, I was smitten, and decided to knit the Dusk shawl.  This is truly a mammoth project, and I blogged a lot about both of these in the past. During the process, I found some corrections to the chart, and Grace Anna was so wonderful to communicate with.  I added my own touch with a deep eggplant at the end, but otherwise, it is her colors:

    I love all of her designs, and thought that I had knit enough, but the book is calling  me back, and I want to see what i can do with the leftover yarn.

    Her photography on her website is AMAZING.  That part I aspire to the most.  I often feel that I do not do my projects justice in the photos.

    And, more photos from her book.

    TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo3

    • AC 11:11 am on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      “I like the person, who, like me, loves knitting and talking about it.” If there were a ‘love’ button for this statement, I would press it. Gorgeous shawls…


  • knitting1105 7:55 am on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: knitcroblo2   

    Blog week Post #2 

    Blog about a pattern or project which you aspire to. Whether it happens to be because the skills needed are ones which you have not yet acquired, or just because it seems like a huge undertaking of time and dedication, most people feel they still have something to aspire to in their craft. If you don’t feel like you have any left of the mountain of learning yet to climb, say so!

    Gossamer Webs (or Orenbrug Lace) Shawls. To me, making one of these shawls would be the pinnacle of my knitting career.  I have seen these in person at knitting conventions, and they are so light and delicate.  Just a whisper of fabric, the detail is amazing.

    It is a bit mind boggling to attempt to knit one of these, and be able to detect any mistakes.  I am thinking that this would be very difficult to rip back if needed.  I have coveted the books for quite some time, and this question finally prompted me to purchase both.  I need to do this project before my eyesight fails me for sure.  For now I will dream, still have some time.

    Here is a description of the shawls that I found on the internet:

    Shawl-making techniques

    Orenburg shawls are square or rectangular, and are made of knitted lace. The stitch patterns are usually geometric, and the diamond shape is quite popular. Sometimes there is a center design with different borders, and sometimes the same design is repeated over the entire shawl. Some shawls, to save on costs, have machine-knitted centers which are usually done in plain stockinette stitch (knit stitches on one side and purl stitches on the other).

    Orenburg knitters today may follow a written or graphed pattern, but traditionally they worked from memory. As they designed new patterns they would pass them along to their daughters, granddaughters, and other knitters so that the patterns wouldn’t be lost.

    Shawls that are made from the finest (thinnest) yarn are knitted on extremely thin needles (sized 000–0), and usually weigh less than two ounces. They conform to the tradition of the “wedding ring shawl,” because the entire shawl is fine enough that it can be pulled through a wedding ring. There is also a slightly thicker yarn which produces a heavier, warmer shawl; for these shawls, needles size 1–2 are used.

    Originally all shawls were made in only one color, from natural-colored yarn (white, light gray, or dark gray). Eventually, though, the knitters began designing two- and even three-color patterns. And some shawls today are made from yarn that has been dyed.

    The process of shawl-knitting is tedious and time-consuming, but even after the knitting is finished there’s still work to be done. The shawl must be checked for remaining guard hairs and those hairs removed. And finally the shawl must be washed and its size set by blocking, either on a flat surface or a frame. Before blocking the shawl resembles nothing more than a crumpled-up ball of yarn; it is blocking that brings out the stitch patterns and reveals the true beauty of the entire piece.

    TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo2

    • klccreations 2:23 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I found your post today very interesting. I learned something new. I love shawls too.


    • AC 2:39 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow. WOW. Freakin’ amazing. You have a lot of guts to try this.


    • Rae 1:32 am on April 28, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      I had never heard of Orenburg shawls but wow the way they are created is interesting & amazing. If you ever do try this I hope you document it for everyone to read about


  • knitting1105 12:34 pm on April 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: knitcroblo1   

    Blog week Post #1 

    Barbara from ReKnitting posted about this, and I decided to join in.

    Knitting and Crochet Blog Week Every day, a new prompt to talk about.  Here is today’s:

    How and when did you begin knitting/crocheting? was it a skill passed down through generations of your family, or something you learned from Knitting For Dummies? What or who made you pick up the needles/hook for the first time? Was it the celebrity knitting ‘trend’ or your great aunt Hilda?

    I began knitting and crocheting as a small girl.  My memory has always said 7.  Not sure if that is exact, but it is close.  My mother did some crocheting and knitting, but not much.  She had little time with 10 kids utimately in the family, and working full time a lot of those years.  I am the only one who took to knitting and crocheting and sewing along with her.  She was an excellent seamstress, used to make matching outfits for all 6 of the older girls with elaborate designs embroidered in with her sewing machine.  I remember knitting slippers for family members, from 2 books that were a remnant of her one room schoolhouse teaching days (I have those books, but they are packed away with all the kids books in the attic).  I would pour through those books, they had stories, craft projects, history, everything one would need, it was my inspiration.  My mother was of German heritage, and knit Continental.  That is how she taught me, except that she is left-handed and I am right -handed.  So, I knit in a very unique way.  It is very fast, I purl as fast as I knit, and can do ribbing almost as fast as plain knitting.  Unfortunately, I have been unable to teach anyone to knit the way that I do.  (She also taught me to tie my shoes, and that was not as successful).

    I then started knitting afghans for everyone, crocheting ponchos, and the occasional baby sweater for a neighbor or relative.  I have this book that my mother bought.  I had to look up the Roman Numeral conversion, which was a publication date of 1973.  While my mother has her name at the front, I am sure that she bought this for me to make projects.  I have knitted almost everything in this book many times over.

    These were, and still are, my favorite baby sweaters, as I love the raglan sleeves.  I still knit these for gifts today.

    In my pre-teen years, I started making Barbie Doll clothes.  This is where I really honed my skills.  I was having lots of orthopedic surgery and unable to go to school.  The wonderful woman, Joan, who watched the twins, also kept me company.  She was an excellent knitter, and I had lots of time to observe her.  I would race her (in my head without her knowing), by waiting until she started a new row and trying to finish mine before her–my mother told her this a few years back, and she said that she always wondered why I was staring at her.  My school work took all of an hour, so I spent lots of time knitting with Joan while the twins napped in the afternoon.  My mother found a Lady’s Circle magazine carrying Barbie patterns, and bought each of the 3 in the series for me, and again when they repeated it later.  She then set me up in a craft cooperative, Ledge Craft Lane, of which I am still a part owner, one of the original I think.   I knitted and sold these patterns, and made money that I then used to purchase a horse in High School, a beautiful 1/2 Arabian, 1/2 Quarter Horse, named Babe’s Rotaz, but called Jimmy.  I loved those patterns.  Unlike the ones that are made today, they were fitted for the doll with elaborate decreases and increases to fit her distorted figure and small waist.  Today, the patterns rely simply on the stretch of the knitted fabric, and are simply a series of tubes.  Notice, I marked the price on some of my more popular items.  I would go with my mother to Meiers and KMart, and buy the Red Heart baby yarn.  Even then, it was always exciting to come home with some new yarn and ideas.

    I never quit knitting, not even through college.  It was my first month at college that I found a wonderful knitting store, and discovered natural fabrics.  I still remember the trips to that store, and have 2 sweaters that I knit with yarn from there.  It was in Ann Arbor, in the wonderful Nickels Arcade.

    TAGGING CODE: knitcroblo1

    • Ninja 3:02 pm on April 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, I love your story, and especially the photos! All the knit doll clothes… the matching cheerleader outfits are awesome. 😛

      Thanks for sharing this!


      • olive verte 3:23 pm on April 27, 2010 Permalink | Reply

        Whaa!!! Your photos are great! The babies things are really nice and still in fashion! Your post remind me that my mother has some old issues from a french magazine called “Les tricots de Pernelle” .


  • knitting1105 10:10 am on April 26, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Patterns and kitchens 

    For a very brief time (I think less than a week), some sites selling Dale of Norway yarn were offering free downloads of books.  This didn’t quite make sense to me.  I know that there is a huge interest in the older Dale patterns, and even the new ones sell out extremely quickly (Vancouver for instance).  I have always loved the patterns, especially for children, so I snag the booklets whenever I see one that I do not think that I have (friends have been the recipients of my double purchasing).  I downloaded all of the patterns that I saw last week, and was going to post a link to them here.   They are all gone, with the exception of some more mundane ones at Bea Ellis Knitwear.  I got the Vancouver and Whistler designs, and 2 cute kids books.  I already own both adult books, but thought that the electronic copy would come in handy, as I always copy the patterns to carry around with me anyways, and this way I could print the charts at a larger scale.  Now, the patterns are available for free with purchase of yarn.  That makes more sense.

    I wish that DON would publish a book with the best of their patterns.  They did a kids book a few years back, and I did not purchase it as I had most of the patterns already.  Kind of wish that I had anyways, as the patterns can get worse for wear over time.  I don’t understand what the logic is not to print a retrospective.  Just look at the prices on eBay.

    I didn’t do a lot of knitting the past few days.  My business partner and I had a kitchen on the local kitchen walk, and it appeared to be very successful.  Even though it was one of the smallest, it was deemed a favorite by many.  They always have these gross monster kitchens on the walk.  One was a 4,000 sf Bungalow that they doubled in size and redid the kitchen, creating 2, yes 2, kitchens side by side.  The designer said that one was the messy kitchen.  I guess the other was just a show piece.  Just because you can doesn’t mean you should.

    Here are some photos of our kitchen on the walk.  My friend Andrew will have better photos on his blog, as he staged the entire house for us.

  • knitting1105 6:16 pm on April 25, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Yarn Swap 

    Last week I went to my second meeting of The Windy City Knitting Guild.  This group has been around for many years.  In fact, I knew about them when Sofia was little, and it was only a short distance from our apartment in Chicago.  Trouble was, I had a baby, was working full time, and no spare time for something like this.  I am glad that my friend Julia encouraged me to go along with her.  This past meeting was a yarn swap.  Bring something that you are not going to use (knitting related), and swap out.  I brought 10 balls of Rowan Linen drape.  One of my “smart” purchases during a sale at the LYS many years ago, didn’t even have a plan for this.  The swap was incredibly well organized.  You went to a table where they had an elaborate system to weight yarn, and assess a value, then place it on a table with like weights.  You received “money” to purchase from other tables.  Then, groups were called up 10 at a time to purchase.  I was fortunate enough to be in the first group, and had already eyed the books.  Not much of the yarn caught my eye, and Lord knows I already have enough.  I scored these books (and a 4th that I gave to Julia):

    A retired library book, the 2nd of the Barbara Walker Treasury of Knitting Patterns.  I have this one in paperback, but the full-color photographs are fun.

    A classic Kaffe Fassett book, and signed to boot.

    And then this one, which is really fun, from the early 70’s, in case you are having trouble dating it.

    I could make a poodle for Lloyd…

    I am sure that Dan would look wonderful in this sweater, just have to get him white pants and a turtleneck:

    Maybe my new niece will be a Go-go girl:

    Any any of a number of options for me or my daughter…

    I’ve always wanted a hand knit pants suit:

    Maybe not me on this one:

  • knitting1105 11:49 am on April 22, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    I can’t stop 

    When I find a really cute pattern, I want to knit it over and over, until I feel saturated with the design.  That in mind, I started making the Baby Zebra sweater that goes with the dress.  I am using the beautiful Tangerine color instead of the red again, and all the other colors the same.  The patten calls for the sweater to be bright red and hot pink stripes above the fair isle banding.  I thought that this was too stark, even with my Tangerine and hot pink, so I substituted the hot pink for a soft pink.  I love the effect.  In the right light you see the subtle stripes, but the overall effect is a softer orange color.

    I originally had continued the body with size 2 needles and it was bulging out so I ripped that back and used size 1 needles.  Makes the striping effect even more dense and subtle.  I have stopped at the top for the neck opening, I am struggling what to do there without adding a new strand of yarn each row.  The directions are lacking here, as you go from knitting in the round and changing colors every row to knitting back and forth and still trying to change colors in every row while doing the neck decreases (that is the kicker).

    So, I opted to start on the sleeves while I mull over what to do at the top of the sweater.  I had made the same mistake of not going down in the needle size.  I ripped that back and reknit with size 1 needles also. At the same time, I changed the increases from every 5th row to every 6th row since my knitting was more dense.  This also gave me the added advantage of only increasing on a pink row, so keeping track of that is much simpler.

  • knitting1105 9:31 am on April 21, 2010 Permalink | Reply  

    Molly’s Party 

    After 2 months of planning in secret, trying to knit a bit before Molly arrived at our weekly SnB meeting, we pulled off a surprise baby shower.  Who better to knit for than a fellow knitter who will appreciate each item in a way that others who do not knit will not understand.  Molly didn’t want photos of herself, but I could not resist, she looks so cute!

    And, in typical knitter fashion, the knitting was done up until the end, with Cathy and Amy finishing their projects that night:

    Such cute objects.  All pink and girly, as Molly assured us that the baby is a girl…

    And Cathy did finish the cute Kimono sweater as promised:

    With a tie in the back..

    And Anne Marie was still knitting, almost finished:

    My contribution was the Baby Zebra Dress, I couldn’t mention who it was for here, as I was afraid that Molly would see it through Ravelry.  I love how it is displayed on Molly’s belly bump.

    We tried to take a photo of all of the items together (in the crib that happened to be in the room).  It didn’t come out great.

    A couple of more items to come, still being worked on of course.

  • knitting1105 3:39 pm on April 18, 2010 Permalink | Reply  


    I have been raking my brain trying to find a good Architectural inspiration for a pair of mittens.  Mid-May I am going to a mitten retreat, and they have a design competition.  I wanted something that would reflect me, and be interesting.  I kept looking at my Frank Lloyd Wright books, and the art glass patterns that he did.

    Then I looked around my own house.  Dard Hunter and Mackintosh might be a better inspiration…

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