Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Chatelaines, Bead Soup and a WiP

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I went to the Lace Museum in Sunnyvale for their bi-annual sale.  I didn't find any old lace, but I did find a nice set of hooks.  They came in a box attached to a huge lobster clasp and nothing else.  I suppose they're meant to be attached to a chatelaine but I just wanted to hang them from my wrist. 
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So I made a bracelet with my bead soup and coordinating glass beads.  Bead soup?  Yes,  start with various sizes and shapes of seed beads in whatever color(s) you like and mix them in a container to use with other coordinating glass beads.  Each time you use your bead soup for a project you toss in the leftover beads.  Over time you get a really nice mix, and the cool thing is everything you make with the bead soup matches!
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I made the scissor fob awhile ago from the same bead soup.  I originally designed it with a loop so I could pin it to my pillow, but it works really well as a ring chatelaine.  Pretty too.
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Before you think I have weird sleeping habits (pinning scissors to my pillow?), this is what I mean by pillow.  It's a bobbin lace pillow, one of many that I have, it's covered at the moment.  Maybe not on this pillow but over the years I've made a few pieces of lace.
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Bedfordshire bookmarks and a motif.  The motif, designed by Louise Colgan (my teacher), features a single leaf (lower bottom right) that represents my 500th.  As a bobbin lacemaker 1000 leaves is suppose to be some big milestone.  I've been lacing for over 10 years and well I'm just over the hump I guess.
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Here's a Milanese piece (also designed by Louise) made with Gutermann silk, Madeira metallic and beads!

So what's under the cover on my pillow?
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Another Bedfordshire piece.  It's Floral Bedfordshire simlar to the bookmarks above.  The bobbins along the top are my throw-outs (I'm lazy).  The bobbins along the bottom are my working bobbins.  I'm almost done!  If you're wondering how long this stuff takes, I don't know, in general. I do know it takes *me* awhile. 
The dogwood flower took about 3 years and I started this piece in 2009. I expect to finish it this year.  YMMV

This is my first submission to WiP Wednesday, does lace count?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Two Down

Just a quick update.  I finished the shrug and tam from last weeks post.  Here are the details.

IMAG0427Pattern: Ribbed Vest by Sarah Punderson
Yarn: Araucania Coliumo Solid, 5 skeins
Size knit: Medium
How to make this seamless:
1) provisionally cast on 1/2 the stitches required and skip to the 1x1 body section
2) knit 1x1 rib for required length
3) increase to 2x stitches, do NOT turn, JOIN provisionally cast on stitches and increase to 2x, JOIN and
4) continue knitting in the ROUND 2x2 rib for desired length.
5) cast off

I had less than a yard left when I was done.  The balloons were from my birthday -- we don't celebrate FO's with balloons.

IMAG0382And the tam from my Japanese Stitch class at Stitches.
Pattern: circular stitch pattern from class handout
Yarn: Handwerks So Soft DK
I ended up giving this to my daughter, sister of the one pictured.  Since I knit a birthday tam for this one.

I should be finishing up the scarf and bag over the weekend, and then I'll be back on track!  Stay tuned.

P.S. I did a little birthday shopping.  Several LYS do a birthday discount so I did a mini birthday yarn crawl and collected up a few little goodies, some of these were mail ordered as well (gift certificates).

Happy Fiber Arts Friday and FO Friday!
theblairgirls - View my 'birthday' set on Flickriver

Edited to add my Spring snap, I know it's springtime when the snowdrops bloom.

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Friday, March 16, 2012

And the WiP count just went up again

It's Stitches, you know? You take classes, see all this new stuff and boom you're casting on left and right without any regard to what you already have on the needles.  Well me anyways. 

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First up we have the restart of the tam from my Japanese stitch class.  Here with the new better yarn (not pink?) in a lovely blue dk mcn (merino, cashmere, nylon -- see what I mean by better?, not that pink wouldn't be better but I don't have any dk mcn in pink, or do I?)  I'm actually further than the picture indicates as I've finished up the entire motif and am working on the base of the tam.

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And here we have the body of a very easy shrug.  It's the ribbed vest by Plymouth. I bought the kit on a whim in January and promised a friend I'd wait to start it when she got hers.  We cast on provisionally and we're making ours seamless.  I've added notes to my Ravelry project linked above.  And again, I'm much further than the picture indicates as I'm almost done with the body.

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Another Giant Kelp scarf (my design) but this time done asymmetrically.  I started using the die to randomize the number of repeats I do for each motif.  I'm halfway through but I've switched to a dice app on my phone which is better than chasing after the real die.

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And last but not least, I picked up one of my daughter's UFOs (Un-Finished Object) and this is where I am.  It's a Hobo bag and you cast off (loosely) over those rings before you wash/felt it.  I'm not sure about this, but I think I'll be temporarily sewing the bag shut after tucking in the metal rings.

After I get through these very quick distractions, I should be back on track finishing up the WiPs.  I think.

That's all for me on this Fiber Arts Friday. Join the fun and leave a comment.

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Stitches West: The Classes

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I took two classes at Stitches this year.  First up Latvian Wristlets from Beth Brown-Reinsel.  This was a 3-hour class that explores techniques in Latvian Mittens.  Lots of single colors in a round.  I was hoping to experiment with colors in the class so I can plan out my Latvian Mitts, a pattern featured on the cover of the last Knitting Traditions put out by Piecework Magazine. I think the colors worked out and it looks like I can mix them up pretty freely.  The braids really encourage contrast.
The herringbone braid in the middle is especially nice.

IMAG0292Here are all the colors I used.  You were suppose to have 4, but like I said, I wanted to experiment.  Judging from my Latvian Mittens book, there doesn't seem to be a rule about how many colors to use, as long as it's more than 2.  Yarn is Handwerk's Sock Plus 8, sadly now discontinued.  It's stretchy so I have to remember to go up a size when I switch to the stranding bit, then back to smaller needles for the picot finish.  I had issues during the class and after so here are some notes I'll be refering to when I actually start the mitts.

IMAG0292_zoomZooming into the above picture, I'd like to point out the lovely half braids near the cast-on edge.  There's a two-color braid followed by a single-color braid sandwiched between purl rows.  The problem?  This is the wrong side.  Somehow things got flipped when I went to start the lace portion of the cuff.  The picot edge needs to be whipped stitched to a lower set of stitches than I chose, probably would keep it from curling (besides the needle adjustment noted in the last paragraph) and would probably hide the ends tucked in a little better (I can't see them from the inside.

Another class I took was Even More Challenging Japanese Stitches a 6-hour class.  I've been collecting Japanese stitch pattern books for awhile now but haven't been able to get into a class with Gayle Roehm (the Queen of Japanese Stitches).  She also had a 3-hour class, Challenging Japanese Stitches.  Here's a swatch and the start of a tam all showing the stitches she presented (I started the tam in class, but I've frogged it and will restart it in a better yarn).  Also pictured are the books I picked up at the market.

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I also got a copy of Stitch-n-Bitch Superstar Knitting Go Beyond the Basics.  It covers a lot of material and has some pretty cool patterns.

That's it for Stitches West.  Now that it's March I get to buy even more yarn using my birthday discount at various LYS's.

Friday, March 02, 2012

Stitches West Stash Enhancement

Rather than bore you with the endless parade of pink yarn here's my yarn purchases at Stitches West 2012.  It's a big market and if you don't focus it could be very dangerous.  With the stash as big as it is I really didn't need anything so I only bought what I couldn't pass up.
theblairgirls - View my 'sw21012' set on Flickriver
Like the bag of 10 Ella Rae Classic Heathers -- $4.50 a ball! Gotta love diving in that Woolstock bin.  And the 1.22lbs of handpainted dk superwash?  Always a good deal to be had at Newton's.  Best buy of the show, the Fabel sock yarn at Nordic Mart, normally $4.25 for a 50g ball (insane!), it was on sale all weekend at $3.55 a ball!  I actually got other colors (12 balls total) but I haven't taken pictures of it yet.

I did branch out a little on the fiber though.
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Here we have some Knitted Wit wool/silk and WSK merino s/w -- sooo soft and fluffy.

And I could NOT pass up this wild thing:
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I mean seriously it's bright! BFL from Blue Moon. Very, very, very neon.

And then I always get a kit from the lovely ladies at Continental Stitch:
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I know it's pink.  I swear they must think of me when they put this stuff together!

And of course I added this to my spindle collection:
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It's a turkish spindle and a support bowl from KCL Woods.  The bowl unscrews from the base so you can screw it onto the handle and make it a lap bowl.

That's all for me on Fiber Arts Friday!  Party On!

edited later to add linkies and labels