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Archive for October, 2005

Knitting a Tribble

Sunday, October 16th, 2005

fuzzy skirt in progressI’ve got a fuzzy lump in my purse and it reminds me of the tribbles I heard were in a very early Star Trek TV show. Mind you, I’ve seen one episode of Star Trek in total, and not the whole show at that… I’m not big on TV or movies anyway. Since space-related stories make my nerves on end, I never was interested in Star Trek, believe it or not. But tribbles, lumpy fuzzy beings that reproduce faster than rabbits, well, that idea repeats itself in my mind regarding many things in life.

Now I have a green tribble in my purse, or so it seems. It will someday, I hope, be a “grass skirt.” This time around, my skirt fabric is promising, anyway. The fabric feels the right texture/thickness for the purpose, as long as it will fit me (or be coerced into fitting). I just finished my second skein before I took this photo, so I’m really sure I like how the fabric feels and looks, anyway.

Isn’t it charming? I really hope it doesn’t grow too large to be lugged around in my bag. I’ve knit this piece mostly waiting in this or that line, waiting for food in restaurants, and biding my time between events at Foster Center. I need to wear it in less than 2 weeks, so I need to really stay on it or the cause is lost.

You know, I was thinking while knitting this, that my other project I’m knitting on the same days (just at home because it needs more attention) is a historically-inspired multicolored, stranded fuzzy wool mitten. There is so much talk on the email lists about people who knit with “froofy” yarns, versus those who knit wooly, more likely historically-inspired items. As if they were totally conflicting interests!!!

Here I am sitting on the fence of this discussion, it seems. I bet there are more like me than the chat lets on. I like being creative. I like color. I like texture. I like all my options, depending on the circumstances.

We are going to Midwest Ukefest on October 27. I’ll be delighted to wear my grass skirt that weekend, if I can just make it work!!!

Donna Druchunas’ Alaska Blog Page

Saturday, October 15th, 2005

Donna Druchunas is on one of my email lists. I don’t know her at all other than on this list, but I do know her name from her writings.

LynnH Basketweave RugDonna wrote a book called “The Knitted Rug,” which somehow I don’t have yet. I have knitted several rugs and designed one pattern for my Basketweave Rug, but I guess I am typically more excited about making up my own designs on the needles than following someone else’s patterns.

I think I’ll end up buying the book someday because I believe it has some historical information in it. I am always interested in historical background about our arts of knitting/fiberwork.

But I digress. Donna has a book in the works about knitting with the fiber called qiviut (musk ox wool), and she went to Alaska to do some research. She wrote a blog during her trip and you may find it interesting.

Photo is one version of my Basketweave Rug pattern.

CityKidz

Friday, October 14th, 2005

CityKidzOn Wednesday and Thursday this week I had my CityKidz Knit! program. I love these children!!! They all are as different as can be. They all want to be knitting, and I am thrilled to help them with the process.

On Wednesday one of my older girls was interested in a little skill-building. She came in last week already very good at the knit stitch, so she learned the purl stitch (from another more experienced child… while I was working with the absolute beginners). This week I told her that I had a few purse kits donated to the program (last year, actually)… one is a goldfish and one a frog, both with mouth as the opening for the purse. Was she interested? Yes she was.

She chose the goldfish. I found her some DPNs in size 10.5 that had been donated to the program a good while ago. She learned to work in the round on the double pointed needles and off she went! Her mother was properly impressed when she came at the end of class to take the student home. As she should be.

This student has not followed patterns before, but she said she has a book at home to help her with instructions. She’ll surely get stuck at some point but I’ll help her when that happens.

It’s a delight to find someone so ready to learn! This program is normally younger kids who are happy with 5-stitch wristbands, over and over again (and this is just fine with me… I knit garter stitch only for 20 years and that made me happy).

However, when I do get someone outside the standard, I really enjoy watching them soar. You saw last week the photo of one of my other advanced students (she who had made up her own design for knitted tulips). That tulip-knitter just completed a backpack of her own design from feltable yarns donated this summer by Mare Smith (thanks, Mare!!!). I can’t wait to see how it comes out of the washing machine, I’m sure I’ll see it on Wednesday. Mind you, I gave her the yarn a week ago, she finished the knitting and sewing in eight days. I am not sure if she has completed straps yet but the rest is ready for the washer. If you don’t tell kids things are too hard, they dive in and go. Even if it is imperfect, they learn from that imperfection. Kids do better with imperfection, for the most part, than do my adult students.

Thursday as I was teaching my adult beginning knit class, someone knocked at the classroom door. I was curious, as the room was unlocked. It was one of my older CityKidz leaving the community center for the day. She came to say goodbye, and hugged me before I knew what was happening. I think these kids can tell how highly I regard them. This particular child I’ve had with me for over 2 years now, and we did not knit at Foster Center this summer. I guess she missed me. I’m touched.

Here’s a photo of some of my Thursday bunch. My tulip/backpack knitter is at back in dark blue t-shirt.

Sock Pair 120 Done!

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

LynnH sock pair 120I have finished constructing my pair 120, in Bazic bulky wool superwash from Classic Elite. I’m really happy they are done. It has been nearly 3 months since I finished a pair of socks. Compared to my “pair every 10 days” pace I kept up for over 2 years, I have been knitting out of my comfort zone (lots of sample items, especially hats and wristwarmers). I need a pair of sox every once in a while to feel like I am still me.

These socks were knit top down with afterthought heels and slightly slouchy cuffs. They fit great!

This yarn can only be described as “bouncy.” It is a tight little springy tube of dense wool. The ball band calls for 4 st/inch on size 9US (5.5mm) needles. I don’t even remember any longer what size needle I used but I think it was my favorite 2-1/2US (2.75mm) plastic DPNs. I got about 5.25 st/in. These should wear like iron, I hope. If they don’t, the heels and toes can easily be re-knit on this style of sock.

I woke up at 5:45am (you know how odd that is, me the night owl) from a vivid dream. I was still tired, but unable to go back to bed right away.

So I sat at my desk, unpicked the errant stitches in my 10 stitch graft on the heel, and re-grafted. I do have ends to work in, but I’ll be at Foster Community Center watching the computer lab for a few hours today, and I should have time to work in ends there between questions about computers and knitting.

Now I’m going back to bed. I sure am tired, and maybe my mind has settled from the dream enough to sleep again. It wasn’t a bad dream, but it was intense. I think the sock was the right buffer for me to go back and sleep for another couple of hours (I work at 10am).

(Late addition: Photo of socks posted just after midnight.)

Progress?

Thursday, October 13th, 2005

Grass Skirt Progress
Well, in two days I finished knitting one 50gm/88yd ball of froofy yarn for a grass skirt. So far, so good. It’s not really easy since it has little loops that get caught in the tips of the needles, but the yarn is very soft and pretty. I do very much like the fabric I am getting.

I have knit 3.5″ of fabric, 144 stitches around. The yoke of the skirt will be from a purchased hawaiian-print skirt I found at a resale shop, upon which I’ll sew the tube of knitted fabric. I’m guessing this woven-fabric skirt will account for at least 3″ of the length of the skirt when it is all done.

I have seven balls of yarn to knit from. If the first one created 3.5″ of fabric, this means I do have plenty of yarn to make an above-the-knee skirt. I’m happy about that.

Class News
Oh… (catching up yet again) I enjoyed my toe up sock class with Linda, at Little Red Schoolhouse this Tuesday. We had fun, the two of us. I’m finishing a pair of fat alpaca socks I started in a previous toe up sock class (one bulky footie per class gets things finished eventually, and keeps my feet warm).

Linda is working with Lamb’s Pride worsted, a great cold-weather sockyarn. In hot green. My kind o’girl, Linda is! (Actually the shop owner is a Linda, so is my student… The word “linda” in Spanish means beautiful, and both ladies qualify.)

Cool Autumn Weather
I tell you, I’m grumpy and cold lately. This time of year is always hard for me… my body doesn’t know how to turn on the furnace, so to speak, for about a month after it turns chilly outside, and I just shiver my way around the house for what seems like forever.

Right now I’m wearing two pair wool socks, wool legwarmers, a cotton turtleneck, an alpaca/mohair sweater, alpaca wristwarmers, and an angora/wool hat. And my nose is still cold!!! It is not yet freezing outdoors here. Even the indoor temperature is not bad, about 70F/21C, but I just can not feel warm. I’m very happy to have my 4-layer handspun/handwoven cotton Ethiopian blanket (gahbi) to wrap up in. When I’m looking like a cocoon in my gahbi, I actually feel warm enough to not be so grumpy.

I’ll be more comfy around Thanksgiving (late November for those outside the US), when I finally get my personal inner pilot light working. I must say that it’s beautiful outdoors anyway, thank goodness. The colors are finally turning in the last day or two, and I am definitely enjoying that part of the chilly autumn.

Dreams of Finishing
So, in more happy news… I have more unfinished projects than ever but I found my last almost-done pair of socks from early August. I finished the afterthought heels on these with grafting/kitchener stitch but I did it differently on each sock. I will have to pick out the yarn one stitch at a time on one of the heels, not a whole dozen stitches, then re-sew, and finish a few ends. Then they will be done.

I’m sitting them on my desk here to remind me to finish that one heel properly. I will feel better if I can finish something. Especially if I can finish some socks! And these are nice fat/warm yarn (Bazic Wool from Classic Elite, a sweater yarn) so the timing would be excellent! Warm feet are a lovely thing.

Vest at 3.25 Stitches/Inch?

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

Hi, friends! I’m looking for some help finding a pattern. My student, OfficiallyaKnitter, got some great yarn (textured, in teals and neutrals) at the guild garage sale months ago. She’s ready to start working with this yarn, as her fanciest project so far.

The yarn came in without a suggested gauge on the ball band. We went to Threadbear and picked out a pattern for her, a kimono-style vest in garter stitch that comes with a great recommendation from someone (Sue) who knit it herself. It’s well-written, calls for almost no sewing which is really good for my student, and looks flattering. It specifies 5 stitches an inch in garter stitch fabric.

I had her swatch up the yarn, though, and she’s getting 3.25st/inch in garter! We thought this was DK or worsted weight but it’s acting bulky even on size 6 needles. I did write Irene, the woman who she got the yarn from, and Irene also says it’s a bulky yarn.

So drat! We got a really good pattern, but it won’t work with this yarn.

So I’m here asking you folks… does anyone have any great ideas for a vest pattern in a bulky gauge such as this? We’re at 3.25st/in in garter. She would like something with as little sewing as possible, so either a stockinette pullover in the round or something in garter stitch that perhaps has picked up stitches rather than seams. She keeps the heat down in the winter so will really appreciate a vest for warmth, soon!

We are talking about a ladies’ Medium depending on how much wiggle room there is in the pattern. She has at least 800 yards of yarn (I think 8 full 50gm balls and 3 partial balls). Any suggestions?

Please send me mail at Lynn@ColorJoy.com if you have any ideas. I’m off to check if my sweater-creation software (Knitware Sweaters) has any vest options, in the meantime.

CityKidz Knit!

Wednesday, October 12th, 2005

kidLast Wednesday started my fall program for CityKidz Knit! It was fun to knit with children again. My big happy surprise was one of my girls who was a regular two years ago, came back. She and two other kids from her family, that is. I was really happy to see her!!!

Also a few of my regulars from last year came on Thursday. More happy feelings there, for sure.

kidsThey all make a wristband at first, five stitches, garter fabric. This way they can tell if they have the wrong number of stitches, if they are watching at all… and it is reasonable to finish within one to three weeks for most kids.
project
Here is a picture of my long-lost-and-now found knitter with a tulip she knit/made up herself (complete with increases and decreases), a picture of several of my girls on Thursday (one is crocheting a chain rather than knitting), and a photo of a little boy’s project (he finished and wore it as an ankle bracelet on Thursday). It’s interesting… he does end up with a lot of stitches (I decrease occasionally for him), but it really is fabric and it’s hard to figure out how he got the extras. I think he stabs the tip of the needle into the fabric rather than sliding up the needle into a previous row’s stitch. When I stand next to him, of course, he does it just fine. This is the work of a distracted boy!

Quiet

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

knittingIt is quiet in the house. I have no immediate deadlines. I thought I’d be sitting all day waiting for the UPS man but now it appears he’ll come tomorrow (of course, when I’ll be gone most of the day).

I spent the morning drinking oolong tea and knitting in the silence. I wake up slowly so this was great. What a lovely way to wake up!

I finally cast on last night for my 2nd grass skirt (the first one did not work out at all and was never completed). The knitting is not too bad, I enjoy knitting stockinette tubes while I read, but this one is two strands, one of them loopy boucle’, and it requires more looking than standard yarns. I’m still making decent progress on both the skirt and the reading.

The yarn is a bugaboo, though. It’s ONline Linie 43 Punta. Two very different yarns have been loosely plied together into one yarn, which does make the right texture/thickness for this skirt. One is a synthetic boucle with loops in grass green. The other is a sort of synthetic mohair-substitute in a celery green with fur about 3/4″ long. Very very soft. The ball band says the yarn is 45% rayon, 45% nylon, and 10% acrylic. I’m betting the furry stuff is all nylon and the rest is the boucle, or something close to that.

I think this will knit up fast. I hope so, anyway! I’m on size 9 needles with only 144 stitches per round. Assuming I figured out the right amount of ease (crossing fingers, this is a total crapshoot on my part) I think I can finish the skirt in time for Midwest Ukefest. If I figured wrong, it will take a long time to know. If it’s too big I’m OK with sewing a seam up the back to adjust, but if it’s too small I start over. I hope not!

What took forever on this was winding the yarn. It came in those little 50 gram pretty decorator balls, sort of squished pincushion shape. Well, they were in a bag together too long and they tried to merge into one big ball of furry spaghetti-like mess. I re-wound each ball on my center-pull ballwinder and then tied a band around each ball before taking it off the winder. Rae does this with yarns of this type, and says she has good luck (she uses a rubber band around the ball but I somehow had none when I needed them).

So now I just found out the UPS guy is coming tomorrow instead of today. Decisions, decisions! I don’t work till 6pm when I teach toe-up socks at Little Red Schoolhouse. Should I stay home anyway and keep knitting? Should I run a few errands? Should I work making buttons or dyeing yarn or writing patterns (even though it’s officially my day off)???

The skirt is calling pretty loudly, and I don’t feel too guilty knitting it on a day I’ve designated as my day off (especially since I’m teaching a class tonight already). Maybe I’ll just keep enjoying the silence and my “new” project.

Gorgeous, Extra-Warm Jacket?

Tuesday, October 11th, 2005

Some of you already know that I really love knitting magazines. Well, Saturday when I was at Threadbear, I bought the Knitscene mini-magazine put out by Interweave and several yarn manufacturers. As always, I mostly got it for inspiration more than any real intent to knit something within the pages.

A beautiful, somewhat formal, double-breasted short jacket with lapels and 3/4 sleeves is on pages 14 & 15. You can see a “bonus photo” online. You can also get the pattern online as a .PDF file from their projects page.

But in the magazine it does indicate the yarn requirements. OK, are you ready? Two strands of alpaca plus one strand of mohair, knit together at one time! Oh, my! No wonder it has a v-neck and 3/4 sleeves! That would make *me* bake, and I’m legendary for being cold when nobody else is. And most brushed mohair makes me itch, though I love it with a turtleneck underneath. This one just won’t work with a turtleneck, or long sleeves for that matter.

And we won’t even talk about how much it would cost to buy 10 balls (50gm) of alpaca and 6 balls of mohair, for the smallest size (36.5″ finished bust circumference). It really is beautiful, but it makes no sense. Unless you are a yarn manufacturer, perhaps.

I guess I’ll just enjoy looking at the lovely pictures of this one! It’s very pretty, but neither wearable nor affordable to this grrl. What a shame. Well, I do have a few other projects in the wings to keep me busy…

At Last: Laurie’s Lace!

Monday, October 10th, 2005

Laurie's LaceFor those who read here regularly, you’ll remember that I had a trunk show of my handpainted yarns at Threadbear very early in September. Well, Laurie found a skein of merino/silk laceweight yarn in turquoises and purple-blue, that she could not live without. It followed her home as many skeins do (see third photo, skein at far left named Waves at Twilight, there is one more skein in stock)…

Last week she sent me photos of her progress. She’s making a triangular shawl in just the loveliest of patterns, in my very biased opinion. (It’s a Fiber Trends pattern called Flower Basket Shawl.) Here is the first part of her shawl blocked out, using her grandmother’s very long double-pointed needles as blocking wires. (How cool is that?)

Laurie's LaceI’m absolutely delighted to see Laurie’s lace photos. I work very hard to keep the contrast in my laceweight yarns down to a point where the knit patterning will show up well (this can be done by limiting color choices or dark/light contrast). Here I have glorious proof that even with these two different colors she is definitely getting clear definition of the lace stitch pattern.

LynnH Lace YarnSince I don’t knit lace often (I knit a lace baby dress for a friend’s preemie girl a few years back but it’s not my own style), it’s a particularly big gift to see this yarn in action. I’m just thrilled.

Laurie, thank you SO much for taking the time to share your photos with me (and my blog readers). I think you are going to love this shawl!

I’m So Funny

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

wristwarmersOK, so what did I do to deal with my unfinished object problem? I started a totally new project and finished it in one day! It definitely made me feel better, but my UFO situation has not changed a bit. (Well, I did wind the yarn for my grass skirt into tamed center-pull bundles but didn’t cast on yet.)

Sometimes I think I’m really 13 years old! Instant gratification works every time. Or so it seems…

So now I have some beautiful, bulky purple alpaca wristwarmers. They are just the most luxurious thing I could make. I love them! I’m wearing them right now as I’m typing, and my hands are getting warmer already.

(The yarn I used is Alpaca with a Twist brand, Big Baby, color 2003. It is 82 yards in 100gm/3.5oz. For comparison, my DK-weight ColorSport has appx. 225yd in 100gm, and Brown Sheep’s Lamb’s pride bulky when adjusted for skein size, would be 109yd for 100gm. Considering how warm alpaca is by weight, this is seriously fat and dense yarn! I’m not complaining.)

Now I need to be extra-careful not to lose one. Maybe these will be my “keep them for cold days at home” pair. I tend to lose things during days when it’s cold in the morning and warm in the afternoon… I’m not the only one with this problem, but it’s worse when you made the item you lost.

Anyway… Somehow finishing something made me feel waaaay better.

Inner Adolescent: 1, Inner Adult: 0

It didn’t hurt anyone, though… And I have no remorse over my choice at all!

Great Class without Pictures… & My UnFinished Objects

Sunday, October 9th, 2005

Class
Saturday I taught 5 people how to knit Fast Florida Footies, at Threadbear. It was fun but went too fast. I totally forgot to take pictures! Marti, Kim, Crystal, Dorothy and Cari were great fun and all had beautiful starts on their projects. (I also saw Jamie, who came in wearing her Watercolor Bag from a spring class at Little Red Schoolhouse, and I forgot to take that picture as well…)

The yarn (Cascade Fixation) comes in such great colorways, we had a hard time picking which ones we liked best. Partway through class I fell in love with Dorothy’s solid turquoise yarn… will consider that one for the next Fixation dance top. Yeah, that sounds great! This weekend I chose a sort of raspberry I’ll enjoy a lot.

Digression: I am of two minds on one-day classes. I guess from my years teaching computer seminars, this is how I usually offer my classes. It does allow more people to attend, but the nature of the beast is that folks can’t possibly finish the project that day.

I guess that’s the nature of knitting, anyway. It’s a process, not a destination. I just always feel I want to stay with my students another several hours… no matter HOW long the class is. But longer classes cost more and are harder to get a babysitter for, for example. I guess life is just one big set of compromises and we do always have a nice time in class. I have students who repeat, attending class after class, so I must be doing something right.
End Digression.

FFFooties by LynnHThe FFFooties I wear myself (as opposed to the almost-zillion I’ve knit as gifts and for yarn shop samples) are hot green. Reeeeally hot green. I love ’em! They are actually the last pair I totally finished (pair 119), and that was mid-July.

Socknitting Slowdown
I am sad about that statistic (no socks finished in several months). I love knitting socks and for several years I averaged about a pair every 10 days or so. I knit 10 pair in 5 weeks when I went to Africa. And now my most current pair is one I mostly finished in August on our trip out east, waiting for kitchener stitch (on the afterthought heels, they were toe up). I probably have a zillion other pairs partly started… or so it seems.

I must say, though… this summer was a slow one for my business so I spent much of my knitting time, knitting samples for shops (to encourage pattern/class sales). I’ve knit a handful of single sample socks but they don’t make it to my sock-pair log. I’ve knit more hats than I’ve ever knit, I think (in preparation for a pattern to go in hat kits with my handpainted yarn and buttons). I knit a baby blanket for a pattern that is now being tested by another knitter.

It seems I’m knitting all the time, but sadly not much for me. And then I guess I’ve been experimenting some (as with the machine-knit tank top) where I have to rip out problems and start midway again. And that is the nature of experimenting. And artists do that. It is part of the territory.

Bloom Shawl by Trish Bloom I’ve also knit a bit on patterns written by other designers, though I seem to have finished nothing in that area. I have swatched all sorts of yarns. I am currently dreaming of wristwarmers and legwarmers now that we are having a cold snap, though I haven’t started the specific alpaca legwarmers I dream of.

I’ve dyed more yarn late this summer than I’ve ever dyed in one short timeframe. And I started making buttons (and that project is not really even started yet… I don’t have enough buttons to make a web page and sell them, after selling a few handsful to Rae at Rae’s and Linda at Little Red Schoolhouse… and the Boyz at Threadbear did say they wanted some but they want earthtones and I haven’t made any in earthtones yet). Hopefully I’ll get back on that this week now that the big push on our music CD is mostly over.

Time seems so ripe for a new pair of socks… I started a pair for my mom last spring, hoping to give them to her for her birthday in mid-August. They are still partly knit. And she has tiny feet and these have short cuffs! That’s life, I guess.

Looking Ahead
However, I do really need to make samples for upcoming classes. Right now I’m most excited about my upcoming “Design Your Own Colorful Mittens” class at Threadbear on October 19 (scheduled for 2 weeks but I have a 3rd in spare in case people want to continue) from 11a-1p. I know that not everyone is available during the day, but for some people (like me) daytime is actually better… and with 11-1, some people who have flexible work schedules may be able to work out long lunches. Or so I hope.

Musing
I guess I’m sort of rambling today. I know I often write a lot… but typically I do have something to say, and I think I can be relatively focused in print. Right now it’s Sunday morning, I’m sitting near a sunny window wrapped in wool (with chilly toes even so) and it’s my first day off in several weeks. I’m not very focused today!

I was so tired last night that I fell asleep on the couch at 11pm. Now, I almost never go to sleep before 12:30, usually more like 2am, so this tells you how tired I was! But that means I woke up early (for me) and that gives me a very long day off.

I’ve been reading other folks’ blogs for the first time in weeks, I caught up on my DyeHappy email list, my all-time favorite list (they never get into a snit over anything, have never had a flame war in 3 years, and I adore them for that), and I’m drinking black tea with ginger root, trying to focus a little.

I will have to go out sometime today to get my fuzzy purple beret back from Rae. I left it at her shop when I was trying on sample sweaters, one of my favorite hobbies. Have I mentioned how much I love clothes? Trying on sample sweaters is such a delight! I do it as often as possible.

Yarn Binge
Funny, I got a large payment from a computer client this week and so I determined to buy the yarn for projects I’ve been dreaming of in the last few months. I got some purple worsted weight silk (on sale, no less) from Little Red Schoolhouse for an Annie Modesitt knitted corset tank top.

Then I got some Noro Blossom yarn from Rae’s for Trish Bloom’s Bloom Shawl from Knitty (see photo above… yes, I do have her permission to use the photo). And I’m still waiting semi-patiently for the Jamieson Shetland yarn (approx. fingering weight, very wooly, almost like little springs) to come in to Threadbear in white or light gray for a Vivian Hoxbro Shadow Knitted shawl (I think it calls for 4 colors, but 3 of the ones I want are already in stock). As if I needed more things to knit???

UFO’s
Meanwhile, what am I knitting? Right now as I read blogs and email, I’m knitting a bulky alpaca pair of wristwarmers. They are sooo soft, and soooo warm, I’m very happy they are knitting up almost like magic. I’ll have a whole new pair in an hour or two. I’ve got another pair but these are longer and warmer than any I’ve made yet.

And I am planning to start today on my 2nd Surf & Turf “grass” skirt from yarn I got at Yarn Garden in Charlotte. (Yes, the first one is officially toast… it will make a nice “carpet” bag when I can stand to look at it again.)

I’m still dreaming of knitting the Cascade Fixation bikini top by KnitWhits that I bought at Yarn for Ewe. I also am halfway through two Lily Chin bras… cups finished but not straps.

My most-worked-on UFO is my Lucy Neatby Equilateral Vest. The back is maybe halfway done. For that one, I got the pattern from Threadbear, and the yarn partly from Yarn Garden and partly from Yarn for Ewe (they have a totally new website recently, you might want to check that out). And the socks that need kitchener stitch? Yarn from Nancy McRay’s shop, Woven Art, in East Lansing. I’m nothing if not an equal-opportunity yarn purchaser, I guess.

I am feeling for the first time that I might actually want an inventory of all my unfinished projects. Some of them I should just rip out. For example, when I teach classes, I start projects so the students can understand what I’m teaching. But of course I spend more time working with them on their projects than knitting mine. And some of those projects should just be ripped out so that my UFO (unfinished object) guilt can be slightly lessened.

…and so that I might actually set priorities on which to finish first? I’ve never had trouble with finishing things before, I’ve always had many irons in the fire and I’d eventually finish everything I cared about. But right now it’s bigger than ever, and I’m a little overwhelmed.

Maybe this day off will help in the overwhelm department. OK, one more cup o’tea for Lynnie…

Picture Catch-Up Time

Saturday, October 8th, 2005

Finally… finally I’m catching up on some promised photos!!!

Here’s my wristwarmer class from last Sunday at Little Red Schoolhouse. It’s Toni, Caroline (I hope I spelled that right) and darned if I have forgotten the beautiful feminine name of my student on the right. I hope she tunes in here and writes to correct my poor memory! They had a great time and I loved working with them!

In the second photo, you see Working Women Artists (WWA, a multi-media artist guild), from the Sunday night meeting at Bare Bone Studios in Old Town Lansing. I love this space. Look at the big back door that opens onto a green space. We seem to always open this door unless it is just too cold outside to make it realistic. I love open doors.

Next is another photo from the WWA meeting. On the bottom left is my friend Regina who I mention here often. Regina, I’ll do my best to start in on your 15 minutes of fame! Regina is a wonderful artist. When I met her, she was doing mostly oil paintings of people. She really has branched out and done all sorts of other artful expressions since then. I am sure she’s won awards for printmaking and sculpture in the last several years since I’ve known her.

Regina is so quiet, you need to ask her questions to get her started, but she knows so much about art! Once you ask she’s full of good information. If you ever want to visit an art gallery/museum anywhere in the midwest or northeast of the USA, she always knows where to stay, how to get there, restaurants nearby, the whole thing. She’s a great resource and a loyal friend.

(I took several shots of my CityKidz Knit program on Wednesday and Thursday but I’m going to leave that for its own post.)

Last, but not least, is Rae of Rae’s Yarn Boutique. This young and perky yarn shop owner just got her new copy of the Sally Melville Knitting Experience/Color book on Sunday. I talked to her on Wednesday and she had already finished this skirt from the book. Friday I came by and she had dressed up in the skirt and special argyle socks she got just to wear with it.

I told Rae to pose for the camera and she just looks as happy and funky as she was looking in person. Too bad you can not see the shoes and shoelaces up close. She was stylin’ from head to toe.

For the record, I have acquired several great books that are new to me lately. In the last 3 weeks or so I got my Nancy Bush Historical Socknitting book from Little Red Schoolhouse, my Sally Melville Color book at Threadbear, and a precious copy of Lizbeth Upitis’ Latvian Mittens book from a blogger friend. Oh, my! Drowning in happy pages, that’s me.

I want to knit the over-the-knee socks at the back of the Nancy Bush book! I want to knit at least 25% of the projects in the Sally Melville book, too… I always love her designs, she is very creative and her pieces often look great on more than one body type.

And the mittens? Well, I don’t wear mittens but they are an artform I adore. I now have the Folk Mittens book, Anna Zilboorg’s Magnificent Mittens, the Estonian kntting book by Nancy Bush, a book on Estonian mittens written in Estonian that I bought from Merike Saarniit, and the Latvian Mittens book. They all are inspiring alone, but taken together I’m in love with the artform that is the humble mitten.

I’m preparing to teach a “Design Your Own Colorful Mittens” class at Threadbear on October 19 (scheduled for 2 weeks but I have a 3rd in spare in case people want to continue) from 11a-1p. I’m very excited about this, there are so many things a person can do to make wonderful mittens. I’ll limit some structure/shape options so I can stay on top of the class but for patterning, the sky is the limit!

OK… off to bed. Saturday I have a good handful of students coming for Fast Florida Footies class at Threadbear, at 11am. Then at 6:30-8:30 is our Abbott Brothers Band performance at Altu’s restaurant. It will surely be a good day!

Abbott Brothers Band at Altu’s this Saturday

Friday, October 7th, 2005

Abbott Brothers BandOur “jug” band, the Abbott Brothers, will be playing at Altu’s Ethiopian Cuisine in East Lansing, Michigan, this Saturday (tomorrow) from 6:30-8:30pm.

This band plays an incredible variety of styles, from swing to jug band to retro pop to Dylan, Elvis, Hank Williams and more. Many of the songs are recognizable to those listening (and we welcome singing along). It’s “good time music” as we usually say in our press releases.

I invite all my local friends who are also out there in blogland, to come and enjoy the show… and bring a friend or two as well.

I hope to see you there.