Updates from June, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • knitting1105 12:57 pm on June 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , Mason jar   

    Blueglass jars repurposed 

    A few years back (before I had Pintrest to keep track of my inspirations) I saw a photo somewhere online showing a string of lights made out of old blue glass jars.  If you have seen my kitchen, you are familiar with the shelves holding all of my beans and grains as the end panel for the refrigerator.  The majority of these jars were from my parents farm, they used them for canning many years ago, then when the new & improved Mason jars came out, these were relegated to storage in the barn.  They were almost tossed out but for my creative sister Anita, who wanted to store grains in them and I latched onto that idea.  I can remember sitting with her on the patio at the farm divvying up the collection.  When the kitchen was being designed a few years ago, my husband came up with the idea of a shelf just for the blue glass jars, this also acts as the end panel for the refrigerator, and is the first thing you see when walking down the hall to the kitchen.

    This lamp was made for me by Ethan a few years back with one of the jars, it now holds their unwanted childhood rock collections inside.

    And, in my soon to be finished craft room, I have repurposed some of the jars with glass tops for miscellaneous buttons and such.

    So, last weekend, my wonderful son put together this string of lights for me.  I was short on the quart size jars, and had purchased these last year expressly for this purpose.  He made this while I was away at my spinning classes, and said it just took a couple of hours.  The porcelain cap in the zinc top had to be smashed out to allow the drill to go through to run the wiring and hook up the sockets.  He also added another hole to string a wire through so that the weight was transferred to the chain and not being carried by the electrical cord. Now I am on the hunt for a few more to have the string extend across the entire back porch.   Love the theme throughout the house.

    And this big one (about 2 feet tall) I found years ago at an antique mall.  Must have been a store fixture for display, now filled with yarn scraps.

    • Diane 5:43 pm on June 30, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I love the way you use the jars in your house and what a great way to keep the memory of Anita fresh in your mind.


  • knitting1105 12:19 pm on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

    Midwest Recap 

    Last weekend I attended the Midwest Fiber and Folk Festival in Grayslake, Illinois where I took 2 classes from Jacey Boggs.  In spring of 2011 I had taken a weekend retreat with Jacey to learn to spin art yarns, not that I would use them much, but was looking for classes to improve my spinning in all different ways.  Jacey is a good teacher, so when I saw 2 classes by her, an all day one on plying and a 1/2 day class on drafting, I thought they would serve me well.  I was not disappointed, and I feel like these classes helped my knowledge and expertise to gel.  I came back home, and have been able to spin a fine lace weight yarn on my Jensen wheel (which previously was getting the better part of our struggle).  I learned long draw and chain plying (a repeat for both, but this time they seemed to have set).

    I did not spend a lot of time at the market, but had to visit the Fiber Optic booth, and I purchased this gradient, Chocolate to Aqua.  Having seen this spun and knit up on Ravelry, I knew that it had to join my queue.  Otherwise, I was good about not adding any fiber or yarn to my “collection”.

    Amazingly enough, nothing else tempted me.  Except this book,  Designs and Patterns from Muhu Island; Needlework Traditions from Estonia, which was edited by Nancy Bush.  Gorgeous knit items, woven items and sewn, it is a remarkably beautiful book.  It has been on my list to get, and I was able to look at it first hand, and it was 10% off.  I decided that it was meant to be mine.

    Here are some beautiful photos from this book:

    I ended up staying the night in Grayslake so that I did not have to drive back and forth, traffic can be a bear at times as I witnessed when I was coming home on Sunday.  This allowed me to visit Gretta’s Goats (check out her Etsy site for great soaps).  Doreen and I met Greta at the Vintage Market earlier this month, and purchased some of her wonderful goats milk soaps there.  Greta invited me out to visit the farm and meet the goats, and she had some mohair/cashmere fiber to sell also, and the first lamb clipping came home with me.  This is a photo from her site of Violet, a Pygora (Pygme/Angora cross breed) who produced the wonderfully soft fiber that I will process and spin.

    There were 3 kids who had just been weaned from their mother the day before, they were so hard to photograph, jumping around on all of the haystacks and anything else they could find.

    And we got to see the grown-ups with their traveling cabana that follows them for the rotational grazing, and some baby pigs as well.  This farm is an incubator for new farmers, part of the Prairie Crossing complex.  Requiring organic, sustainable practices.

    • Diane 11:24 pm on June 28, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Sounds like a very successful trip. I think when you guys retire you need to get a goat farm!


    • Stefanie 8:22 am on June 29, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Wow, sounds like an awesome trip!


  • knitting1105 1:54 pm on June 21, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: , USOC   

    Knitting Denigrates Olympics? 

    This article contains the copyright infringement letter that the USOC has sent to Ravelry asking for cease and desist for use of the derivation of the Olympic name.  This is just a fun group trying to knit and enjoy the Olympic games.

    “We believe using the name “Ravelympics” for a competition that involves an afghan marathon, scarf hockey and sweater triathlon, among others, tends to denigrate the true nature of the Olympic Games.  In a sense, it is disrespectful to our country’s finest athletes and fails to recognize or appreciate their hard work.”

    Don’t anger knitters.  The USOC has been inundated with letters, tweets and emails about the disrespect towards knitting in the original letter.  So now, their meager apology listed here states that we can all knit something that the Olympians can take along with them.

    One of those athletes should try knitting this sweater in 2 weeks time!

  • knitting1105 4:19 pm on June 18, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   


    I am loving this shawl as it knits up.  It as addictive as a good Fair Isle pattern, where you want to keep going just one more row to see how it will look.  The color transitions keep me engaged.

    My second skein of this fiber was not plyed very tightly, so I put the hank on my swift and quickly sent it back though my wheel in the plying direction.  Then I used my ball winder to take it off the bobbin and wind it into a cake, and to even out the twist, I had the winder about 20 feet away from my wheel.  I choose not to set the replyed twist in this yarn, I think that it will be fine knitting it up just from the wound cake. I will be knitting from the opposite color end this time, starting with the blush color and the shawl will hopefully end in the green.

    I have almost finished with the first section of the Echo Flower Shawl, and I really want to maximize the length and use the most of my handspun possible. To achieve that I know that I need to save approximately 40% of the total yardage for the border (based on comments on a KAL thread for this shawl), so I am installing life lines at the end of my next 2-3 repeats so that if I do need to frog back, I will not be picking up 100’s of stitches willy-nilly.  I am going to try to finish with the first skein, and the pink section of the second skein, which is also a good transition point to the border.

    To install a lifeline:

    • It works best if you are putting the lifeline on a purl or non-pattern row (if not available, make the lifeline at the most logical place).  I am doing mine at the end of the pattern repeat, which happens to be a purl row.
    • Find a yarn that is thinner and a contrast color to your project.  It also helps if you use a cotton yarn if the project is in wool, and it will then slide out evenly without sticking to the stitches.
    • Do not cut the end of your lifeline until you have captured all of the working stitches.  Work directly off the skein or spool.
    • Thread a blunt end needle and run the thread through all of the stitches from left to right.  Do NOT include any stitch markers unless you want to take them off the needle on the next row and keep them with the lifeline.
    • When all stitches are threaded, make sure that the thread is longer than the garment and tie to the knitted fabric a couple of rows below at both ends.
    • Knit the rest of your project, and if you need to rip back for any reason, you have secured that row.  When ripping back, I like to pick up the last row by unknitting my stitches one at a time while I put them back on the needle.
    I wish that I had used a cotton crochet thread or a thin cotton knitting yarn instead of the heavy sewing thread.  It would have made it easier to not catch up the lifeline on the next knit row.

    This is a good video tutorial that I also found on YouTube.  I did try the tape method, and could not get it to work.  And I do not have the Knitpicks interchangeable needles to work her other method, but perhaps one of you does.

  • knitting1105 6:44 pm on June 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Lots of Wool 

    3 boxes full!  Last post I was talking about lots of color, this time it is just lots of wool filling up my entryway.  Remember the lamb fleece that I was given earlier this year, a combination of Hampshire and Suffolk lambs?  While not normally a spinner’s go-to fiber, my resource books tell me that they are often over-looked by spinners and make a great yarn even though the sheep are raised mainly for the meat.  The Illinois Wool and Fiber Mill was processing it for me, and I thought that I would not have it until this Fall.  I was on a scouting trip with a friend of mine for her tour company, City Ventures, which is taking a trip to this mill and Trudi’s Farm this fall (an amazing sustainable farm with beautiful gardens and orchards and a wonderful Salvage Hall all made with recycled materials), I hope that I am available to attend this trip.  When Pam mentioned that I was coming along for the preview, Jane made sure to finish up my roving.  Not that I needed it.

    It is very pretty, 2 boxes of an off-white,

    And 1 box of a beautiful grey.

    I think more than enough to spin for a sweater!

    On the knitting front, I am making progress on my Echo shawl, using a gradient from Fiber Optic, Blush to Celery.  I have learned a lot since spinning this, I have 2 balls of gradients.  In the future, I will spin The two braids without splitting them, and then ply those together to get a much longer gradation. This shawl will go from Celery to Blush then back to Celery.

    While in Marengo, we stopped off at The Fold, as I was in need of size 5 long circular knitting needles to continue this shawl.  Hoping to get some Lantern Moon needles, Tony had these  ChiaoGoo metal needles to offer instead.  I am not normally a fan of metal needles, but these may have changed my mind, the point is very sharp for lace work, and in this shawl trying to K3 tog with a 9 stitch increase is a challenge.  While I have only knit a few rows using them, I am liking the way they work very well.  Toni also graciously loaned me some signature size 1 DPN’s to try until the Midwest Fiber and Folk next week.  Amazing since, she offered out of the blue, barely knowing me—and they are very expensive.  Will have to think of something special to take back with them…perhaps some homemade jam.  I love the trust and honesty that I continue to find in the knitting/spinning world.

    • kathytny 8:24 pm on June 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      I am just totally in love with the shawl.. I can see the colorwork and your stitch work and it is going to be stunning!


      • knitting1105 8:57 pm on June 16, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! It is really knitting up very pretty, mostly due to the amazing fiber that I had to work with.


  • knitting1105 6:53 pm on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Lots of Color 

    I have finished the last of the Into the Whirled Delectably Delicate fiber, this time blended with 2 plys of the pink coordinate, yielding 200 yards of 3-ply.

    And here it is sitting with its brothers. There is still have a bit of the pink to spin up as a solid coordinate.  I want to see if I can make a short cardigan with all of this, I should have about 1100 yards total.

    Finally, I have wound up the Blush to Celery gradient, from Fiber Optic of course, that I spun several months ago.  I agonized much of the afternoon about a pattern, and have chosen to make the Echo Flower shawl, a wonderful free pattern on Ravelry.  I am starting at the top with the celery color, and have another skein that I can use at the end, reversing the colors so that I have a smooth transition.

    As if this were not enough color for one day, my recent Fiber Optic purchase just arrived in the mail, Turquoise to Tangerine gradient.  I had looked at this and agonized over it for quite some time, and am really happy that I chose to purchase it.  This will make a stunning shawl.

    • kathytny 11:44 am on June 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Just beautiful colors. I fell in love with every picture frame! I can hardly wait to see the Echo Flower shawl when it is done.


      • knitting1105 8:39 pm on June 15, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        Thanks! They are great eye candy.


  • knitting1105 2:27 pm on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Yet Another Hobby 

    I just finished my second basket making class on Monday.  The first week we had to choose colors and wrap the handle:

    We are making a ribbed market basket.  I thought it was great the first week, and seemed so easy.  Week # 2 required more patience and intuitive thinking.  At the beginning of the class on Monday I was wondering how this could possibly take 5 weeks total.  Now I am wondering how I will possibly get it done in 5 weeks.

    Since the basket is oblong, we have to fill in the sides more than the bottom to get even coverage.  Lindsay, another knitter, and I instantly realized that we were just weaving short rows!

    • kathytny 8:37 am on June 14, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Oh how beautiful! I love it! I ADORE baskets and give you GREAT respect for taking on this new craft! I love the colors! You go girl!


  • knitting1105 11:06 am on June 12, 2012 Permalink | Reply  

    Socks and Spinning 

    It seems that all I have been working on lately is spinning and socks. Having a new sock yarn and patterns come every month does not help the issue any.  And now I want to add basketry to the mix…

    First off, spinning.  I finally finished plying this yarn.  The fiber is from Into the Whirled, and was part of the February/March SAL.  I am a bit behind on this spin-along thing as you can see.  Those 2 months were a blur to me, and I just could not get much done.  This is a 3-ply with 2 plys of the color Delectably Delicate, polwarth/silk and one of the coordinating blue.  I have a bit of the variegated color left, and a braid of the pink coordinate to spin up.  I will ply the remainder of the main color with 2 plys of the pink, and then have a 3 ply pink coordinate also.  There are 880 yards of 3-ply here, and with the other coordinates, I do think that I have enough to make a simple sweater!!!!

    And on the sock front I am still working on the February socks, Hibernia, from Knitterati sock club, yarn from.  There are a massive amount of cables and many directions happening in these socks, so it is taking FOREVER.  Kelly green is not my color, but with the amount of work that has gone into them thus far, I will not be gifting these.  It is Mad Color by Fiber Arts, the color is Emerald Green (80% Superwash Merino, 20% nylon), 420 yards, 4 oz.

    Clue #2 on the May Mystery socks is finished, and I hope to complete the rest within the next day or two.  I love this pattern, just not sure that it is my color.  These will probably be added to the gift pile, and I will reknit a brighter pair for myself.  This yarn is from  Little Red Bicycle (80% BFL, 20% nylon), color: Heliotropium, and is proving to be yet another great sock yarn.

    As if I did not have enough sock knitting to do, the June installment from the CookieA club came today.   I love this month’s patterns, both of them.  I will make one out of this colorway for myself, and the second pattern will be perfect for socks for Dan using some brown handspun that I made specifically for him.  Yet another yarn base that I have not tried from Plucky Knitter, it is Primo which is merino/cashmere/nylon; colorway is Vintage Icebox.

  • knitting1105 9:56 pm on June 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: Ann Arbor Art Fair, Basket weaving, trellis   

    It's Art! 

    First of all, forgive me in advance for the excessive amount of photographs in this post.  Please feel free to leave at any time.  I am just so darn smitten with my newest craft love that I can’t restrain myself!  During my 6 block walk from the Conservatory to my house with my prized work, I passed many people watching soccer games, leaving the public pool, or out for a stroll.  Two young children with their dad were heard asking him what I was carrying.  He responded that it looked like a basket.  I really wanted to turn around and say “It’s Art, Asshole!”, but I was too polite, and he was not condescending.  Years ago, during college days, Judy and I were walking along the Diag at University of Michigan, and one of the local bums was pulling a wagon with suspect items in it.  It happened to be the day of the renowned Ann Arbor Art Fair.  A couple of tourists walked by his wagon and muttered wondering what it was.  He turned around and screamed at them:  “It’s ART—Asshole!”  Judy laughed so hard with her great deep infectious laugh. Needless to say, that has remained a favorite phrase in both Judy’s  and my  families, and our children know the story and use the phrase when appropriate.

    Today I took a class in weaving a garden trellis.  My expectations were far outstripped by the class.  I had started a basket making class with Karin Gubitz on Monday (photos and detail later in the week).  The trellis class was the first one that I had signed up for, but if you remember, after seeing the basket bombing of the trees, and her amazing exhibit at Gallery Pink, I knew I needed the basket class as well (photos of that later in the week).

    We started with willow sticks as the base and wove beautiful colored reeds to make a pattern into them

    The planter was merely to hold the reeds in place while weaving…

    I love the colors, everyone really produced a unique and personalized version of a trellis…  My plan evolved as I wove my way up the reeds.

    With no specific plan in mind, I let the colors and fiber tell me what it wanted to be…

    Every trellis was so unique, we put them in the outdoor garden at the Conservatory and took group photographs at the end of class.

    I brought mine home and while congratulating myself on my prowess, placed it in multiple locations in my yard to find the best venue:

    Shade with hostas:

    Alley Vegetable garden:

    Back Vegetable Garden:

    Massive Amounts of Dill:

    Blooming lavender

    I need to spray an acrylic finish on this to retain the color and then find the perfect venue.  Or, maybe it will travel around the yard.  I just will not put it in the alley or front yard for fear of someone absconding with my prize work.

    I have found a new craft!  And I love it!

    • Jan Stewart 10:55 pm on June 9, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      It’s LOVELY, Frances! So unique!


    • Diane 1:21 am on June 10, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      That is such a funny story and another memory to add to your garden for Judy. I love it and I think it is much prettier than any of those mass produced trellis’s available at the lawn and garden center. Enjoy your new craft.


    • Kathy Borello 5:57 am on June 11, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      Love them!! It combines two of my favorite art forms, garden art & basketry. I fell in love with basketry art a couple years ago in South Carolina & would have brought home a car load of sweet grass baskets, if I could. LOVE the Judy story. It’s a classic.


  • knitting1105 8:08 pm on June 8, 2012 Permalink | Reply
    Tags: ,   

    Little Wing 

    I finished the Little Wing Shawl and blocked it out.  Ethan took photos for me.  I wish that I had enough yarn to make the shawl larger.

    Project Specs

    Pattern: Little Wing
    Pattern Source: Knitterati Sock Club by Janel Laidman
    Yarn: Handspun from Fiber Optic pencil roving.  Color: Honeysuckle
    Needles: US 5
    Date Started: 5/26/12
    Date Finished: 6/4/12
    Finished Dimensions: 30″ tall, 42″ wide

    And I finally finished the first clue for the May KAL mystery socks.  Clue 2 came out LAST Friday, and Clue 3 today.  I am behind, but should be able to speed up on these.  I like the color knit up much better than I did in the skein.  I continue to remain a fan of the top down shock however.

    • kathytny 10:11 am on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

      me too! (about being a fan of the top down sock instead of the toe up). call me old fashion? Is there a benefit to toe up that top down doesn’t have?


      • knitting1105 10:22 am on June 13, 2012 Permalink | Reply

        The only benefit that I can see is that you can knit 2 at a time and make them as long as you have yarn for. I find that no matter what kind of heel I choose, the toe-up is never as good a fit as the heel flap, which I can make longer to accommodate my high instep. And I can try the sock on as I go to check the fit.


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