Monday, May 25, 2009

Peyote Stitch Bead Weaving

For the May meeting of North Country Spinners guild member Jeanine shared her expertise in Peyote bead weaving. Unfortunately my eyes couldn't handle the tiny, albeit lovely beads in the kits provided -- after an hour I was seeing double and did so for the rest of the day! However, I am most fortunate to have a generous sister who is also a beader. She very kindly gave me some size 8 for me to practice on. I just knew I could master this technique and it was so satisfying to succeed after the frustration of not being able to do it at the guild workshop. Peyote stitch reminds me of cross stitch or needle point; it's quite logical and self-correcting. This weekend I made two of the sheep. There's also an adorable cat but I don't have the beads for that. My hope is that with enough practice I'll be able to use the gorgeous beads Jeanine provided and make those delicate little weavings.

The one on the left is for my sister; I plan to stitch it to a felted project bag. She also suggested that a cloud would look awfully nice in the deep and wide sky. Horror vacui? On the right is the first amulet I made. (I'm going to call it something else -- I'm very uncomfortable with the word "amulet.) It's a little funky, with an extra row of beads on either side and lots of starting and ending threads. We'll hang it up on the front door of our "country" house to indicate that a fiber artist lives there.

Can heavy beads withstand the weight if hung up? Will the sun rot the threads? I'll find out, won't I?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Cross-over Jacket for Reines Baby

I loved this sweater which was rejected by the intended recipient because it's made from mother-friendly acrylic! So, I gave it to my wonderful volunteer for her new grandson and everyone, including the knitter, is happy.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Swiffer cozies reconsidered

Now, why would I waste brain time on swiffer cozies? It's just that when I make presents for friends and family I have a horror of their being kindly accepted and then put away in some closet or drawer, to be taken out only to be given to charity. So, I decided to see if there were other mop covers out there. And, remembering that our friends, the intended recipients of the mop covers, are cleaning enthusiasts, I realized I ought not to use colored cotton if they were going to dip my little honies in chemicals like bleach. Or worse, in anything that would leave streaks on their walls. They actually wash their walls seasonally. What virtue.

Tuesday, May 19, 2009


I can't find my favorite Ritz terry cloth potholders. And, I never think of knitting for myself. But, I had a breakthrough and I'm thrilled. There was this great Elmore Pisgah double worsted bright red yarn in the stash, just waiting to be useful. So I knitted up a test potholder -- 30 stitches on #8 wooden needles for 32 ridges, with enough yarn at cast-on (or off) for a generous loop. Before washing: 9 1/2" wide by 11" high. After washing, 9 1/2" wide by 9 1/2" high -- just what I wanted. I have enough for 4 nad have dug out several other balls of double worsted cotton -- tho' they're only 2oz and these potholders take 3oz. The finished one is good and thick but with the pliability you need to pick up a hot lid or something.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Angela's Shawl Resumed

Hooray, I've resumed knitting my sister's Christmas (2008!) present. I had to "review" the lace edging of Meg Swansen's "Garter & Lace" shawl. I'm using some New Zealand yarn my daughter bought me: Sue Bateup 88% Mohair, 12% Wool. It was a breeze to knit till I got to the edge and then I lost heart. But, I understand it better now.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Thrifty Knitting

Okay, okay, I admit it. I'm a fan. It's the practicality and the whimsey that attracts me to the Mason Dixon Knitting series. Now that Spring has come I'm preparing cotton projects for the hotter weather to come. In particular, I'm working on household items from last year's new release from Ann Shayne and Kay Gardiner, Mason Dixon Knitting Outside the Lines. Don't you just think swiffers, and all their ilk, are THE most wasteful cleaning product? Not to mention landfill stuffers? Some of my closest relatives and friends are, I'm afraid, avid consumers who now, as times have changed, are interested in the genius "Swifty" by Ann & Kay. I promised these as presents last December and my daughter wants one. But, cotton tending to mildew as it does, I think I'll make each recipient a few. What a perfect way to use up all my kitchen cotton odds and ends... Double thrift.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Finished Sweater and Vest for Grandson

Yummy patterns from Louisa Harding's Natural Knits for Babies and Moms. The sweater was inspired by JoJo's Basic Crew Sweater. I added 2" 'cause the grandbaby is a long 'un. Also, because I like symmetry and I wasn't sure I had enough of the yellow, I made the sleeves the same. The Oz Vest, from the same book, has that funky little bit at the bottom of the v-neck with I don't like. Both are made in Debbie Bliss Baby Cashmerino #340016 med green. The sweater used 1.2 skeins #340017, chartreuse yellow and 2.05 skeins of the medium green. The Oz Vest used 1.9 skeins. The color of the sweater is closer to reality than the Oz Vest which looks turquoise. #5 and #6 needles. I don't like stretched out bottom edges so I usually cast on 10% fewer stitches and increase in the first row after the ribbing. These are both size 18 months.