Sunday, November 19, 2006

Hats & warshrags

OK, so I do actually finish some things. Like this hat made with Lopi, the sturdy Icelandic wool.

It is not a masterpiece of technique (perhaps DC will post her latest hat, which is a masterpiece), but it was my 2nd hat and I'm very happy with it.

Since this hat, I've gone on & made 2 hats for children. The first one was a sort-of gnome hat for AZK's lovely little girl. There's a pattern in Morehouse Farm Merino Knits for a pointy hat with a knot on top. To make it more of a gnome hat for baby RZK, I did the first one without the knot on top.

It looks better on kids than on the cat, but I have better access to Bean (metal dragon in a calm moment here). The skein left enough for another hat, so I made the 2nd one with the knot on top for EG's little boy who is also blonde & blue eyed like RZK.

And, I've made some warshrags from Mason Dixon: I bought a ton of Sugar & Cream (wish we had that Peaches & Cream around here, they seem to have better colors). The first batch was colorful, though not so much in this photo as they'd been used by this point. I like how the color comes back again when they get wet, like rocks. The 2nd batch is more sedate, and may end up being a Christmas or Thanksgiving gift.

This week I finished 2 baby quilts, one for my friend & one that she asked me to make for her sister. I tacked down the back of the binding last week, made some labels, had to remake a label due to a spelling correction, examined them for stray threads & mailed them off to GA yesterday! Photos to come in a future posting.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


Not Works in Progress, but Works in Limbo, a Hall of Shame.

This is partly inspired by a Binghamton visit from DL (of Bestitched fame). DL is a woman who gets things done (just look at her finished projects sidebar). I, however, am a person who gets a good idea, plays around with it for a bit, and then either can't figure out what to do with the supposedly good idea, or just gets bored with it. So I did a little photo shoot today to bring these unfortunates out into the open again.
First off, the back of an Elsebeth Lavold Viking knits sweater, in a red Sisik that doesn't show up well in photos. I had a close-up to show the cables, but the level of detail was no better than in this photo, so just take my word for it that there are intricate cables. I also have the front done up to the armholes. At that point, the shaping was coming in, which made it require a bit more thought, so I set it aside for a bit. Which was after setting aside for a bit after finishing the back.

Here's No. 2: the orange blob on the handsome quilt (made by my mom, as it A. is actually finished, and B. has countless non-90-degree angle corners, calling for greater proficiency in sewing than I possess) is the back, left front, left right and one half-done sleve of a cardigan. I like the orange, and was making great progess on it, but then I was overwhelmed with the boredom of it all. What will I have upon completion? A very orange sweater. I've since had some thoughts about adding interesting edging, which could save the project.

Now here are some mitered square blocks in Noro Kureyon (and my toes...which brings up a digression. It's November in New York State, and yesterday it was warm enough that I was wearing these flipflops outside - outside! But not today). A few years ago, I purchased a couple of skeins of this black/green/orange/purple, thinking I would us some of it, with a solid, to make a sweater in some fashion. Then, I bought a couple more skeins. Then, last year, I decided to just make a whole sweater out of it and found 10 skeins of the same color combo for a bit of a bargain on eBay. But, it turns out that knit on sweater size, the color changes (of course) get all long & skinny. And I wasn't very fond of that. So, along came "Mason Dixon Knitting" with the mitered squares, and Dearest Cupcake started making the striped cotton mitered squares, and I realized those squares would be somewhat simplified by using the striping Noro. Then, the Noro could become a throw for my living room rather than sitting in a bin, victim to my indecisiveness. So, there was decisiveness - the Noro would be knit into mitered squares. If I ran out, I could supplement with some new Noro which would mesh well. So what happened? Dearest Cupcake became Evil Cupcake, and for some reason told me about a pattern in a new Noro mag where you knit a sweater in vertical blocks of color (using 4 different skeins as you knit), which would do away with the whole long, skinny stripes problem. And I thought, well, maybe I do want it to be a sweater after all... (postscript: check out what inventive MLE has done with Noro in blanket form)
And here, my progress to date on a first pair of socks. The pattern called for size 2 needles, but from my gauge swatch, those seemed to be too big, so I went down to 1. After getting this far, it became apparent that 1 was too small, I should have gone with 2. So I set them aside, and now have misplaced the pattern. (Yes, there's a need for greater organization here.)

And finally, these last two fall under the heading of: I like this slip stitch, but don't know what to do with it. The first is a slip stich worked in some lovely NYS wool from a shop in Oswego - the slip stitch makes the colors intermingle instead of forming into stripes. So I fashioned a hat, but it is a little too short, and quite inelastic.
The next one is something I've been playing around with for a year or so. There's a multishade alpaca yarn, and an old stash angora (I think) blend. They seem to go well together, but to make what? A scarf would seem an obvious solution, but I've done 2 in this stitch, one for me, and one for the bf:
They both turned out great. Mine is the one on the left, with a black yarn paired with a multicolored, and his is on the right, with just red & black (K's two favorite colors). I really like the different effect produced by the same pattern in these. But another scarf in the same pattern seems like overkill.

And that's it (probably, there might be another one, if I really dig down in the boxes).

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

The baby quilt winter

Another exciting trip into days of yore (well, just Jan-Feb of 2005), when we found ourselves with 3 friends at work having babies due within about a month of each other. So LC, VL & I decided that it would be feasible for us to make 3 baby blankets, with different fabrics but the same pattern, all at once. Fortunately, it was winter, and for archaeologists in the northeast, winter is a fairly slow season (no digging in the frozen ground, usually).
The first one was hard for me, as it went against all of my color instincts. LC came through with picking out these pastel-like shades of 1930s repro fabrics (we also had help from the kind ladies at the former great Endwell quilt store, no longer here, alas). This one was for S&VC, who were having a girl, and have no qualms about pink.

This next one suited my color tastes quite a bit more. It was for CK&AZK, who ended up having a girl as well, our little gnome baby, RZK (if you know the gnome book, she looks like the little gnomes in the book, with blonde hair, blue eyes & chubby pink cheeks).

And then there was our January surprise, when we found out that E&AG were also expecting a baby & decided there was no question of making time for the 3rd baby quilt. E&A are two people you know will not see any problem with dragons on the baby quilt & I was happy to put dragons in (that's what the dark purple fabric with colorful things on it is).
The pattern, by the way, is Yellow Brick Road from Atkinson Designs, a very versatile and relatively easy pattern. There's also been more recent knitting, I need to unite the camera & laptop. Just imagine that it's all been fantastic.