Wednesday, August 5, 2009

New pattern -- and it's free!

I just posted a pattern in my ravelry store. It's for the Mermaid's Tail scarf. Another of those projects I have been busily finishing lately. This one is free simply because it is a scarf pattern using a rather common lace design. All I did was choose yarn and a simple edging treatment, do a little math and voila! A really pretty summer-weight scarf. So think of it as my birthday present to you. I had a great day on my birthday and wanted to share the good feelings. Besides the scarf turned out really nicely, and it is yet another example of the way I can't seem to follow rules. You know the one, "Thou shalt block lace." I didn't, and I am really happy with the results. The yarn (Bamboo by SWTC) has a fabulous texture that I thought would block out if I tried to block it. I love the drape of the fabric as is, and even with the texture the stitch pattern shows up very nicely.

Here is a pic of the finished project:

I kinda love it!

Current WIPs:

The Hanne vest from Spring 2009 Knitty
lace sock design
mom sweater design

I guess turning 44 was not the kiss of death for my creative spirit after all :)

Happy Knitting!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Productive Days

When I get rolling, I am a little bit unstoppable. I wrote up another of my patterns and posted it to Ravelry. Another sock pattern -- Basket of Yarny Goodness socks

These are great socks (in fact, I am wearing them now). Soft and cushy with a simple basketweave pattern on the leg and instep. I love the way the basketweave sets off handpainted yarn. You get texture that doesn't interfere with color, and the great color patterning doesn't overwhelm the textured stitch. Best of both worlds, I think.

Today, I am doing some swatching for a pair of lacy socks. As usual, the color was an inspiration for me, and I took the patterning from there. These will definitely be a bit more intricate than the first two patterns.

I am also working on a sweater design for mom. She has yarn picked out for it, but if the sweater works as I imagine it, it could be done in several different weights of yarn. We'll see.

I have also been on a finishing kick, having completed three UFOs and a pair of plain socks in the last month. I'll post pics of those as soon as they are taken.

Life is good :)

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

News from the Long Lost Knitter

So, it's been a year, and during this year I have started a new job, graduated a daughter from high school (Go Emma!!!), buried my grandfather, and generally taken a long hard look at my life. You know what? I am pretty darn happy. I fret about money, worry that my new principal will like me, start exercising, stop exercising -- and through it all I knit. So, finally, I decided to start looking at the things I knit, most of my own design, and try to get those designs on paper. OK, not paper so much as .pdf files, but you get my drift.

I am going to start with my favorite pair of socks: the Lemonade Lace Socks, knit with Ray's Down Home Art Yarns Socks from Knitivity. Ray's yarn is simply the most luscious stuff around. We'll put it this way -- I have sock yarn galore in my stash, yet if I want to knit something new I will go to Knitivity for inspiration. I have started the process of offering this pattern for sale on Ravelry. I'll let you know when it is available. In the meantime, here is a pic of the finished socks

OK, so they are sideways. I'll get it figured out eventually! In the pattern the picture is right side up :)

Friday, July 4, 2008

Tour de Fleece

Well, I've been wanting to start spinning again so here's my opportunity. The Tour de Fleece starts tomorrow . . . and the best part is it's a stash busting project! My goal is to choose some fiber from the never-ending stash and spin it . . . all of it. Maybe I'll get back into the swing of things this way. I stopped spinning when my kids got big enough and interested enough in my spinning that they would stand on the treadle while I was working. Now that they are 17, 15, and 13 I don't think they'll still do that :) I think I'll work on the Louet today, get her all ready to go and then take some pictures of her and the fiber I choose. I love external motivation, don't you?

Friday, March 28, 2008

Almost Over

I can't believe that spring break is almost over! I have so enjoyed lounging, relaxing, attempting not to stress. I think I can actually face heading back to work on Monday without feeling like I am coming unglued.

On the knitting front: I have finished chart two of Guinevere and started on chart three. I may actually be the slowest knitter on the planet. And why is it that when you have something you need to finish, and it is a complex yet lovely project, all these other projects come rushing in taunting you because you really don't have time to do them? I'm not talking about projects for me or even my family, but projects for people who have done nice things for me, projects for new babies, projects I'd really like to do but feel like I can't because of the lace. Now, don't get me wrong . . . I love the lace, feel pretty passionate about it really, but I am not a monogamous knitter by nature. This is really hard!!!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Lace Musing

So, what is it about lace? When I first started knitting, I remember a friend working on a lace shawl for her mother in Indonesia. It was one that started with a center motif on DPNs and just kept growing and growing. I remember she stopped bringing it into the store when she had over a thousand stitches on her needles. As I sat there working on a sleeveless vest on size 10 needles, I thought there was no way in hell I would ever do anything like that. For one thing, lace is not exactly me. Too frilly and girly, I thought.

A decade or so later, I embarked on sock knitting. Little needles, fine yarn. I love socks, and now I have been captured by lace knitting. I have visions of knitting stoles for my windows (I am still not the lace-wearing type). And beading! Don't get me started!

Why does it appeal to me so? It is incredibly labor-intensive and time consuming. I just finished row 102 of Guinevere (SoS1) and there is precious little finished knitting there. The thing is every time I finish a pattern row, I get a huge rush of satisfaction. I love it when all the YOs and dec's work out. Something very mathematically satisfying there. Lace knitting is all about balance between those increases and decreases, between the concentration it takes to complete a pattern row and the mindlessness of the purl back row. There's also a yin yang thing about how carefully I count those rows and stitches and the danger of lace knitting. Anything that suggests the use of a lifeline must be inherently dangerous, no?

Speaking of which, I have yet to put in a lifeline. I am tempting fate, I know, but if you could see how careful I am with this knitting. The way I count and mark my pattern, the way I carefully cover the knitting and hide it from my cats, the way I never, ever leave it in the middle of a row. I sound like it is a child I am nurturing. If it were for me, I doubt I would be so careful with it, but it is destined to be a gift for a dear friend. The next one will belong to me . . . or maybe my living room window :)

Thursday, March 13, 2008

Hi Ho, Hi Ho . . .

It's back to work I go. . . well, went, I guess. The day is over and I am thinking about settling in for a nice evening with my stole. Thanks, DK, for the well-wishes. I love working on this lovely lace pattern. Something about it soothes my mathematical need for balance (I always liked algebraic equations because they had to balance). I know that the recipient will be absolutely pleased, surprised, and joyful. That already makes me happy.

I am counting down the days until Spring Break. A week from tomorrow, folks, and I will have a beautiful, glorious week of knitting and writing days. I can sleep in, stay up late, drink too much wine, eat too much food, and just be a happy girl. Spring Break is not for kids; it's for teachers who need to re-charge to get us through the last precious weeks of school before test season.