knitting, that's it. and "Hi Mom"

knit and art. knit and art. knit and art.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

The sweater body and sleeves are done and semi-seamed. I'm very pleased with the fit of the shoulders to the body. Next is the Marilyn collar. I am running out of many of my yarn colors and am debating with myself on whether I want to order more (thus increasing the cost of the sweater), or change the design to use what I have. I was thinking that I might do the collar in one color and then use some of my flowers to emellish it.....or, like the original design, stripes of vertical color, and then embellished with antique buttons.....or doing a vertical chevron border on the large collar (so the chevrons on the collar run perpendicular to the ones on the body).

My dad had a heart attack on Sunday so tomorrow morning I am flying home to Omaha to be with him through Monday. I wasn't prepared to be dealing with this yet - he's only 60, but I'm sure that he wasn't prepared either. I thank God that he is in a hospital right now rather than a mortuary. Their won't be anymore updates until I get home. Please be thinking of my family.

Monday, January 23, 2006

Knitting on a shoestring

No knitting done today....not a stitch....unless I count the demonstration I had to do for someone with my shoestring......I ALWAYS have yarn....ALWAYS have a project when I'm out, but not this evening. Tonight at the karate dojo, a lady asked me if she is suppossed to count her first cast on stitch as 2 or 1. I count it as one and inquired more to figure out the source of her question. She has the cutest little cast on technique that I'm going to have to try to figure out. Its a long tail cast on (my favorite), but without a slip knot. She wanted to see how I do it with a slip knot, and after unsuccessfully trying to do it with my purse strap, I took out my shoe lace and that worked perfectly (I had needles in the bottom of my purse); however, after seeing her do her way, I am going to figure it out so that I can avoid that ugly knot.

Last night I finished one sleeve of my sweater and maybe later tonight I'll finish the other (just have from the elbow to the shoulder left).

Sunday, January 22, 2006

I've done quite a lot more work on my Wildflowers cardigan design. I'm now up to the elbows on both sleeves which marks the completion of the chrevrons. I'm PAST READY to be done with this sweater. This is the second making of it - the first one, as always, I did not write my pattern out - so this one I am having to look at the first sweater for reference and write out as I go which is quite slow. I should just write out my pattern from the first, and then work off a pattern....would probably go much quicker.

When I went out to Pensacola's LYS (King's Sewing Center - tons and tons and tons of yarns in a little tiny shotgun type room), I picked up 3 skeins of Louet's 100% linen. She had a store display in there of a finished garment that was exquisite in drape, but very strong. I want to design a tunic style blouse next ....and its taking every bit of my strength not to start it now. I'm looking for any tips on knitting with this product as I've heard that it can be fatiguing on the hands.

Now that my cast is off, I've been back in the studio quite a lot. Paint is my work and livelihood. Even though I can't return to mural work for a while, I need to return full time back to my studio - no more time for depression (I'm afraid that's what I've been going through and its gotten quite severe through this whole ordeal). I like to work abstractly for my gallery work and this one is no exception...its called, "Two Young Lovers" and is inspired from a Liz Wright song.

Its not quite done - but its getting close.

Friday, January 20, 2006

...and the winner is!

In this first photo, we see "the skinny boy" who is not to be mistaken as the real Napolean Dynamite even though his hair is dead on and when he puts on his dad's old military glasses and does the disco....well, its too scary of a picture....
Presiding over the official event is Gidget, the maltese. She's watching to make sure that no foul play (or treats coming out of the hat) is going on. (and if you look closely, there is a floating white dot between Gidget and my son....that is the glean off of the eye of our invisible dog, Mona....actually she's not invisible, she's a black cocker spaniel).

And he draws...."Show me the winner!" can't wait...."Show me!" he turns the piece of paper over, me with my camera in hand take a photo (I saw it on someone else's blog) and the camera flash completely white-out's the name and blinds my son who just had a vision field test done this morning (he has an automimmune disease that attacks his eyes and hearing....he's already lost one ear to it). Mom looks at the camera and fumbles to turn the flash off, and now the winning name emerges: its Amie!!!

So now I will try to contact you to get your address or you can email me at

I have been knitting more flowers: did one in cloud 9 angora/merino in a salmony color, another one in a handpainted tweedy type yarn, and another red alpaca. I've also been working on my pink chocolate sweater - now have the chevrons done on one sleeve and have started the other, but I'm going to run out of, that means that today I will be taking a trip to a not so close LYS (about an hour and a half drive) for Montera.

Saturday, January 14, 2006

The Flower Child contest!

Aren't photo's of unfinished objects ugly???? Yesterday I worked on 2 different UFO's....This one is "Wildflower" (named after one of the most delightful knitting stores I've ever visited, Wildflower's in Manhattan KS). Its a cardigan design (by moi) that is going into a book being published by Wiley (the same people who did "...... for Dummies". The particular book I'm in is one of a series of 3 (one on knitting, one on crochet, on on beadwork). It will be out in September and distributed widely. That's all I know about the book. I have to have my pattern written out next month and then the final sweater to them in March. I've knit up to the armpits and have put it all on a long circular for holding at this point while I catch the sleeves up to the body.
And then yesterday, I knit another poppy. This one is done in cashmere (ColourMart), and the center is embellished with real pearls of varying colors (they can be bought at nicer bead stores). I'm currently knitting a field of them and hoping to take samples out to some stores on Tuesday. The bead store has already said that they will sell them, but we can't figure out a price. It takes me an average of 2 1/2 to 3 hours to make them, plus supplies (at an average of 2 1/2 hours, giving myself a wage of 5$ an hour, that's $12, plus supplies; wholesale, this thing is around $15....a retail of $30 I think would be wwwaaaaayyyyy too high. I'll market these as "luxury fibers, treasure-chest jewels".....but I can't think of a name, and I'm wanting for feedback on a price range someone thinks that they would be willing to spend on one.

SO IT'S CONTEST TIME! If you read this blog, then you qualify. I need a title for these beautiful pins with maybe a very tiny marketing line (even the one I have, if it would work) (originally I had been thinking to title them Millifiori, so if nothing better comes up, I may go there, so I'm also looking for feedback on that title... If you don't have any title, but still want to vote, any feedback on pricing or color schemes that would be appealing would be much appreciated (thoughts, suggested pricing, your experiences etc). To leave a vote/feedback, leave it as a comment with a name (and make sure that I have a way to reach you through that comment). All names will be put in a hat and my sweet son will pull a name out and that person wins a flower!

(editing in to add: the diameter of the flowers averages 4 1/2 inches, the centers being 1 1/2 to 2 inches wide. So they are bigger than the size of the palm of your hand, but not quite the size of a coffee saucer).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

Its a POPPY!!! I made this one yesterday and I'm so pleased with it. The pattern is all mine so that means I can sell these flowers (does this make me a flower child?) I am going to make a number of them in different colors and different fibers and then take them out to a few different boutiques (including my friends' bead/jewelry store). I live on the coast of Florida in a resort city. The boutiques here love these type items.
I know in these photos it can't be seen, however in the center of this flower is a large swarovski crystal and then on the outer edge of the cener are 3 mother of pearl beads crocheted onto each petal. (the flower uses both crochet and knitting)

Today I'm doing housework and then making more flowers. I'm also enrolling in school (hopefully, going to go and talk to a college counselor this afternoon). Its funny....because so is my teenage daughter.

Monday, January 09, 2006

Knitting frustrations

I know this has nothing to do with knitting, but I just am so in love with this little Maltese bead. My friends who own a bead store gave her to me for Christmas. Its hand made by a woman in Alabama that if you send a photo of your dog, she can make a glass bead to look just like them (or at least something with shared markings). I have a teeny tiny maltese named Gidget. Anyway, I put the bead into a bracelet this weekend.

I'm knitting some, but accomplishing nothing. The last two days, I've worked more on Madli's shawl....I actually feel like lace knitting....maybe because there isn't any creative thought process going on. I can just follow the pattern rhythm.

All my other knitting is plagued with thoughts of, "its not coming together." There are things that I should be knitting: I have a sweater design being published and the person in charge needs to have the pattern finalized this month and the sweater soon there after. Its a cardigan type (see Dec 6 posting) with a chevron motif. The front and back are knit together at the same time. I'm up to the armpits and now need to catch the sleeves up with the rest of the sweater, because from here on, it all is knit in one continuous line (the upper third of the sweater along with the sleeves). When I'm designing, its a whole different type of knitting that uses so much more of the brain, and right now, with this whole marriage turmoil, I just can't get myself going.

Other knitting I should be doing: My friends (with the bead store) are going to let me sell some knitted flower pins (cashmere roses, alpaca poppies with beaded centers, springy coneflowers in vibrant handpainted yarns). It should be fun, but I keep casting on and then pulling them apart. I haven't written my patterns out....its more "sculpt as you go." I don't have any photos at this point because I'm just too darn lethargic over it all. If there is any interest in me writing the patterns, let me does involve some crochet though.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Felted Backpack

Here she is in all her felted-not-so-glory. I felted and felted this thing 5 times in the washer. The top part of the bag (the darker color) felted easily, while the base (lt. teal) wouldn't budge. From reading on felting, I think that I may have knit the bag on too small of needles. I used a size 11 with a double strand of montera (heavy worsted)....and I keep reading something about the yarn needing room to felt. I'm not sure of the science behind that. Regardless, I threw it in the washer one last time for a 15 minute agitation on hot water with all of my puppy toys (I had no idea her little gray rabbit was really baby blue!). The top felted quite a bit more so and the bottom did a little moreso. I have the bag stuffed with towels for now while it dries. I don't think the base is going to get as stiff as I want it to, but overall, I'm pleased.

The entire bag is going to be embellished with colorful crocheted flowers. Stitch Diva
The first is just thrown on there now. In fact, over the next few days, that is probably what I will be working in since I seem to have fallen into a knitting slump.
I actually don't feel like knitting at all (this never happens). Probably need to be knitting my husband and I back together. yeah, the marital trouble stuff that isn't so fun to deal with. Its either knit or frog at this point - and he didn't like the idea so much i presented him with this morning of finding a counselor. heart is a little broken.

and finally, my leg cast is off as of monday! (from the october 3rd motorcycle crash).

Monday, January 02, 2006

Madli's Shawl and a photo of my granddaughter

This is my work in progress and will hopefully become the focus of my attention over the next few weeks. The pattern is Madli's shawl (from an older Interweave) and is being knit with ColourMart's laceweight cashmere in Verdigras. I love knitting all kinds of different things, but unfortunately, I get easily enticed into starting other projects....which leaves the more involved work (as in lace knitting) laid aside. I desperately need an accountability partner!

And this is Ashley! My beautiful and only grandchild.

felted backpack and new sweater

Here's a photo of my first felting project! To give you an idea of size: its laying on top of a full size pillowcase. We're talking about 7 full skeins of Montera. I sure hope this thing shrinks at least 1/3, because I'm only 5'0". I've been told that Montera will felt very easily....I'm just worried about the colors running and trying to think of a way to keep that from happening. Tonight I'm adding an attached I cord to the top of the bag (around the opening and flap) in the light teal color. I've read that to keep the bag opening from stretching, to string a length of cotton yarn through the holes approximately the size that the final opening should be.
After its all done, I'll be embellishing the bag with Stitch Diva's crochet flowers.
If this doesn't work, I'll be crying tomorrow.

This is the sweater that I knit last week while visiting my daughter in Manhattan Kansas (I also knit the bag while I was up there). Its beautiful on me, but doesn't do a whole lot for my dress form. I altered the original pattern some by easing the sleeves into the body to avoid having a shoulder seam. I have very angular shoulders so whenever I can avoid a seam up there, I will. I think my favorite yarn in this sweater was the Adrian Vittadini Nadia yarn. It was a joy to work with and someday I'd like to do a project that would highlight it more. I have some left over so it will probably magically appear in something further down the road.

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