Saturday, October 27, 2007

Rhinebeck, My Daughter Learns to Spin and I Give Myself a Present

My New Golding Spindle -- "Vintage Sterling Silver" Ring Spindle bought directly from the artist himself. Wow! It's 1.21 oz and works like a dream. It was my present to myself for my 60th birthday. A work of art -- and an indulgence.

Top: Caroline waits in line at Toni's The Fold for Socks That Rock Yarn.
Bottom: Caroline learns to spin on a spinning wheel -- in about 5 minutes she had it down. The vendor, of The Wool Room, Brewster, NY, was a very good teacher and very patient. And, she's off and running! I mean, spinning.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Mermaid for Maria

My friend Maria is a glittery kind of girl (yes, she's a woman and proud of it but it just isn't alliterative, is it?)

For some reason Blogger hasn't uploaded the photos I have in this message. Click on the title to see the mermaid kit and completed project.

About 4 years ago -- maybe longer, our friends from Australia, Joan and Di, gave me this great little kit by a well-known woman artist from New Zealand , Jennifer Pudney. I just couldn't leave well enough alone, could I? So, I removed the gentleman from the lighthouse, fixed the architecture somewhat and added glitz to the mermaid with beads and glittery embroidery yarn. I'd never worked with the shiny embroidery thread I used for the hair and fishtail and will not use it again. It split, ravelled and was awful to use but feasible for a small project. And, it turned out just as I wanted, which is the important thing.

Now I just have to sign it where the signature will be seen when Maria frames it.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Cotton and Hemp -- a discontinued yarn

In the summer of 2006 I bought some lovely sale yarn from Yarn Forward -- their house brand of Cotton-Hemp Chunky. It's a fabulous yarn but has, alas, been discontinued.

Top: First I put two Mason-Dixon Knitting log cabin squares together, intending to use this as a small mat. However, it's so elegant that it's now a table runner. Also, because on washing it shrank together nicely -- I don't think "fulling" or "felting" apply to vegetable fibers but that's what it looks like. I went on a hunt for more but could only find it from a company that took 6 weeks to send a similar yarn.

Middle: a place mat -- small, luncheon-sized place mat.

Bottom: with the left over I made a dish or washcloth. Who knows how the D.B. will want to use it! It works for either purpose but she avers that it's too pretty for a dish cloth. Perhaps it can be hot pad?

My hope is that with the popularity of household knitting, this yarn will be re-issued. It isn't a bargain by any means, however.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Modular knitting conquered

A washcloth and a bathmat -- more household knitting from this past summer, this time from Modular Knits: New Techniques for Today's Knitters by Iris Schreier. Her directions are much more logical, not to mention simpler than a technique I used previously. The edges come out very neatly, too.

Click on the title of this blog to see my previous attempt.

Yarn: Peaches 'n' Cream worsted in yellow and two multis (I ran out of one).


Friday, October 12, 2007

Crossing the Mason-Dixon Line

This past summer was the summer of mats, rugs and household knitting. I am in love with Mason-Dixon Knitting, especially the triple-stranded Elmore-Pisgah Peaches & Creme mats and rugs. On the recommended #15 needles they come out thick and bouncy, very nice underfoot. Top: Mountain Colors and bottom, Red. I'm now finishing the second red rug. They're about 24"x18" I'm planning at least two more for winter weather's slush. Another good thing -- they're very fast to knit up.

The yellow mat (one of two) is made from two strands of regular worsted Sugar 'n' Cream by Lily on #10 needles. It's very tight -- perfect where you need a small, thick mat.

Using the log cabin technique really prevents cotton's inclination to warp out of shape.

Note: the thicker the mats and rugs needs at least one extra spinning cycle in the washing machine to get out all the extra water. And, they may take VERY long to dry in the dryer. Taking them out just before they're all dry and patting them smooth allows them to lie flat when dried.

I couldn't resist trying the round rug pattern in this multi ombre worsted-weight Sugar 'n' Cream by Lily. Two strands with #9 needles. It's about 24" in diameter

And, these are the Mason-Dixon ball band dishcloths, using one strand of the yellow and multi. Lots of fun

Potholder presents

My infatuation with Elmore-Pisgah's Peaches & Creme continues. I ordered a bunch of double worsted single balls in various colors to experiment with, hoping to find colors and combinations for more rugs. For swatches I made potholders. The colors are 1. Potholders left to right: Pink Lemonade and Winterberry; 2. The yarn samples top to bottom are Fiesta Ombre and Mardi Gras. There are no photos of the potholders made from Mardi Gras and Fiesta Ombre as I gave them away before photographing them. The Pink Lemonade and Winterberry potholders now live with Morgan and Sue. Fiesta Ombre & Mardi Gras live with Adelaide and Jack.

Each ball contains 50 yards and makes a thick, usable potholder. I cast on 24 stitches and knit plain garter stitch on #7's for the thickness. The edges are in chain edge stitch.