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Archive for January 7th, 2006

Toe-Up Socks, Anyone?

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

needlefelted hatTomorrow/Sunday I teach the first of 3 sessions, my First-Time Toe-Up Sock class at Threadbear. I have 2 students, it’s a “go,” and I’d definitely welcome any latecomers. Noon to 2pm. $30 includes a 9-page, 13-photograph pattern which works for any size foot, any gauge. No swatch necessary.

Monday night I have Needlefelted Yarn Embellishments at Little Red Schoolhouse. One session, 5:30-7:30, $20. Please join me.

(Both classes are in Lansing, Michigan. I’d love to teach at your local shop anywhere… let me know if we can schedule a road trip!)

Photo: Purchased beret with needlefelted yarn patterns.

Felted Ankle Sleeves!

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

legwarmers by LynnHMy friends, I’ve never been hip, cool, or edgy. On the other hand, I think I’m interesting, and I’m usually just as happy this way. Even when I was younger, I think I aspired to be sophisticated more than I aspired to be cool (not that I ever accomplished that goal)… but I digress.

These days, I dress the way I like to dress. More color, happier Lynn! More wool, even happier yet! I go for warm over fashionable, though I guess having your own look is its own kind of “stylish.” I am glad to have passed the 40-yr-old mark, where I somehow gave up worrying about what other people think, at least about how I dress.

One blogger, I think it is Subway Knitter (?), sometimes mentions that her fashion sense typically limits her to one handknit item at a time. I think she probably is stylish, young, and no doubt cool. And a good writer, and a great knitter, and I love her blog.

But me? I have been photographed wearing 6 items I’ve knit, all at the same time, and I hate to tell you that this is not an unusual number for me.

As my friend Susan E. would say (about herself, although I’d say she’s wrong), “Dork, dork, dork.” But it’s me. And I get SO cold, and I’m a bit phobic about being cold, so I knit things that keep me warm against that possibility. Which means that sometimes I wear a half dozen items I’ve handknit myself. But it also means that I don’t get as cold as I once did, before I started knitting all these things!

legwarmersNow, you know I’m a dancer. I’ve always loved legwarmers. Maybe it’s a dancer thing… maybe it’s a cold thing… maybe it’s some personal sense of style. I loved legwarmers *before* Flashdance in the 80s. I loved them during that fad (was delighted I could buy them in colors other than ballet pink and black at that time). And I kept wearing them when everyone stopped. When I started knitting again this time, I started knitting myself wool legwarmers almost right away (I’ve only seen one pair of wool legwarmers for sale in a store, they are usually acrylic or cotton).

So today I go to visit Spun Magazine online. Trust me, they are cool. And they have a free pattern for something called Felted Ankle Sleeves. Tubes for keeping lower legs warm. And the first sentence includes the words “a fashionistas delight.” (sic)

Imagine that. Fashionista? I’m not even sure exactly what that word means, but I’m pretty sure it is signifantly far away from dorky.

legwarmersThe ankle sleeves don’t look much like my legwarmers, and they are worn under jeans rather than over skintight leggings… but hey, they are tubes for leg warmth. Theirs don’t scrunch and bag at the ankles as mine do. Theirs are more dense than mine, because they are felted… but personally I like more wool. I sometimes end up pulling up mine as far as I can, to cover my knees for warmth. I LOVE my wool! I love my legwarmers.

I may be dorky at times, but practical is practical. Even the cool and hip people are bound to get cold sometimes, right? This pattern may be proof.

Leg tubes may go out of style again. But I’ll be able to knit my own this time around, I’m not giving them up. I’m loyal if nothing else.

Well, I don’t wish to be cool very often. But it’s great to see a little echo of my style sense in some cool places… every once in a while. I’m sure you understand.

First Photo: Legwarmers made on my knitting machine, finished Wednesday night. Knit from Maggie’s Ireland yarn, given to me by Rae for my birthday. These are the warmest legwarmers I’ve ever owned! And also the most magenta. With periwinkle and hot green specks. Perfect.

Later addition: Two other pairs of legwarmers I’ve knit myself. My own made-up-on-the-needles design using New Zeeland Charisma yarn, and a variation on Sally Melville’s Maximum Legwarmers (ribs rather than rolled edges) from Knit Stitch book. If you wish to see the Felted Ankle Sleeves, the pictures are at Spun Magazine.

Stay Home Today!

Saturday, January 7th, 2006

If you live near Lansing, stay home today! It is doing what the weather dudes call “freezing drizzle.” Nasty! There is sheet ice on everything, and it is thin, and it looks wet rather than icy. Even the sand in our driveway was slick this morning.

I was raised in Michigan, and I drive a lot. I put 250,000 miles on my last car. Snow is no problem most of the time. Ice is just plain dangerous.

I tried to go out to meet Yasmina for our Grand Rapids performance. I started out with plenty of time, but every street in town was maximum 20 miles an hour and I could not make any good time just getting to the other side of town to meet Yasmina. She cancelled the performance, something I’ve never seen her do before. It was the only sane thing, as the news said that I-96 was already littered with cars in every ditch. Even if we went slow enough to be on the safe side, there could be patches out of our control… and if someone near us drove in an unwise fashion they could take us out on their own spin.

The weather report for Lansing says we’re going to get just above freezing today, with a high of 35. Maybe that means this afternoon will be better. They are salting the roads, but I followed a salt truck down Pennsylvania Avenue and it is going to take a while before that effort takes any effect. Even with salt, it’s easy to find a slippery patch just when you don’t expect one. Stopping and starting at intersections is a major stress event today.

New Plans
Now what? It’s 9:15am, I got merely 6 hours of sleep (I don’t have children, so I typically do get 8 hours and feel it when I’m short). Yet I just ate some breakfast and sleeping after a meal doesn’t work well for me. So I guess I’ll try to get some work done (finally I can get a block of time in the dye studio) and maybe take a nap later this afternoon.

Hear me, Lansing friends: Even your front stairs are potentially deadly. Please stay home!