Friday, March 28, 2008

Crochet 2008


I only crochet in leap years and this is my project for 2008. For some reason, knitting relaxes me and crocheting makes me tense. Anyway, in March the Jericho Fiber Arts Guild meeting was on hyperbolic crochet. I started this there. The yarn is worsted weight acrylic. The beads are #6 seed beads. It has an increase in every stitch.

I was working on this in the doctor’s office and was asked, “What are you making.” “It’s hyperbolic crochet,”I answered. “Yes, but what is it?” the nurse answered. She had me there. I had no answer, but I love the thing. It’s cute and fits nicely in the palm of your hand.

What would you do with it? I would love to know. You could comment on the blog or email me at closeknitfriends@gmail.com

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Sock Day



Today is sock day. I know these photos don’t look like socks but that’s the point. I have been working on my intarsia skills by making little baby sweaters. They don’t take too long and they look so cute when you’re finished. I made up the pattern, as much as one makes up a pattern. What I mean is I didn’t follow a written pattern. I used measurements for sweaters for certain sizes, I used the gauge for the yarn and needles I was using, and I used a start at the bottom, go up and over the top down to the bottom of the other side technique for a boat-neck T shirt. I didn’t invent it but I don’t know who did. The duck chart and the star chart are from chart pattern sites, I can’t draw to save myself but Knit says one day I will be doing that too. Who knows? She said I’d knit a sweater without a pattern and I am. She said I could do intarsia and I am. She said I could knit socks and I am. Or I’m not. That’s the point. I’ve been so busy with these intarsia practices that I have let my socks just sit sadly in their little bag. So . . . today is sock day. No duckies, no stars, no itsy bitsy sleeves, just socks. I’m loving it!

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Mirror of Erised


So Purl and I have been visiting Ravelry. For her it is Oz , for me it is the Mirror of Erised in Harry Potter.

It started innocently enough. The topic was gifts for gardeners, and I thought of these felted potholders. Gardeners cook. They would be perfect. But then I saw myself in the mirror, knitting purple eggplant, orange pumpkin and red tomato shaped pot holders complete with leaves. Then I thought of intarsia. I could do a sunflower or Monet's water lilies. Whoa! Wait a minute! These are potholders we are talking about. I need to do what Dumbledore did for Harry. I'm taking Ravelry off my bookmark list. It's way too easy to go there. I won't drop out though. I might want to get a glimpse in the mirror again.

If you knitting and crocheting can use a little desire and inspiration, you can get to Ravelry from here. Just go to Purl's "We're Not in Kansas Anymore" post and click on the link to Ravelry. You'll get there fast, but like Dorothy you'll have to wait at the gate.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Completed work


Here's a sweater which got completed before it even got listed as a WIP. I love the spring colors and baby sweaters look so good in spring colors. I used some of my Caron Simply Soft from my stash. The pattern was from Lion Brand called Naturally Nice Baby Sweater. I made a few changes. I didn't run a tie through the little holes around the neck. It seemed too dangerous. Instead I crocheted a small tie on the top of each side of the cardi border. I also didn't decrease the sleeves until the end. I like baby sleeves to be wide all the way down. It's easier to fight their little arms into them if the sleeve doesn't narrow. Just my choice. Also, the pattern called for cotton but my stash doesn't own any. So, here it is, my first baby sweater of spring.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

We're Not in Kansas anymore


What do close knit friends do when they are not knitting? Well, Knit has a passion for her garden. Check out her wonderful blog in her profile. She also has been known to indulge in weaving. Above is a picture of one of us at our Fiber Arts Guild show and demonstration working on a wonderful triangular loom. (Guess which one of us it is.) Another thing we both do is Revel in Ravelry. What is Ravelry? It is a magic kingdom where the streets are paved with yarn and everyone speaks our language. It is definately not Kansas. There are thousands of members but it doesn’t seem crowded. To get into Ravelry you go to:
http://www.ravelry.com/
They are very friendly and you can take a tour. The bus leaves whenever you get there. If you like what you see you sign up for an invite. They accept between 500 and 800 people each day. It took me 7 days to get in. It was worth the wait! Once a member, you get your own page with a place to store patterns and make a spreadsheet of all the needles you have so you don’t keep buying them, there’s a library of books on all kinds of fiber arts. The site is still in Beta although it’s been operating for a year. Each day something new seems to be added. There are forums where groups are listed and you can go to a thread which interests you and say your piece. There are so many groups, I haven’t seen them all yet. I belong to 8 now and they form my forum page along with some others that just seem to be there. You can invite yourself to be some one’s friend. Then you can see all their groups and see how much you have in common. It takes up entirely too much of my time but it’s fascinating and I’m learning all sorts of new things. I’m in a cable scarf kal and I found a wonderful sweater pattern which I downloaded for free. Ravelry is associated with Flickr so you can post pictures of your work and people can see pictures of yours. Do I sound excited? I love Ravelry. Stop in and take the tour. You will be excited too and very likely will sign up for that invite. Then the fun really begins.

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Socks the Old Fashioned Way



Purl Too is up on the latest with her two socks on one needle. I'm still using my old double points and keeping track of my rows and increases with a pencil and paper. I know they have new electronic counters now, but sometimes I think if I bring just one more thing in this house that needs a battery I will scream! So I'm starting my second sock and will follow my notes checking at each measurement point in case I missed writing down a row or two.

This pair has no challenge of pattern matching. The challenge here is keeping the yarn on the needles. It just wants to slide off. I'm getting lots of practice picking up dropped stitches . This TOFUtsies yarn is making an interesting weight sock. It's really light even though the yarn is 50% wool. I look forward to wearing them and washing and drying them in the machine.

Friday, March 7, 2008

WIPs


How many WIPs can you have before you just get totally embarrassed about never finishing anything? Apparently, one can have many, too many. I was looking for one of my favorite needles the other day and after going through bags and tubs of stuff I found it in a project which was never completed. I started to try to sort the WIPs out and decide what to complete and what to frog. I’ve decided to embarrass myself and treat you to a look at some of my Works In Progress. Some of them you’ve seen, like this giraffe. I started it to learn intarsia and as soon as I completed the intarsia part, I went on to something else. Sometimes I think I have the attention span of a strawberry. Well, I picked it up and I fixed the problem with the bind off and the fact that the front was longer than the back. Now I am on the sleeves. With you watching, maybe I’ll get some of these finished.

Monday, March 3, 2008

A Matched Pair


Life must be easier for the free spirits who feel no need to match. Why you could dress in the dark! Not so for the uptight symmetrical types like me. I'm not that way about everything ,but when I am, there's no help for it

So I searched out another skein of yarn. The original store was out. I guess it was about the third try online that I found a skein. They had just one. I waited for the package to arrive . When it did, I tore it open and set to work. I found the place in the skein to match the top of my first sock. I wish I could tell you it was at the beginning of the skein, but no, it was about half way in. So I did some serious fiddling to match the pattern. I have several ends to bury in that second sock, ( Notice the lump on the side of my left foot.) but finally, I did it.

So my socks match, right down to the slightly defective toe decreases.