Monday, September 28, 2009

Forest Glen Shrug

This is the latest knitting project I've finished inspired by Jane Thornley's Autumn Grasses Cardigan. My fabrics don't always turn out like patterns, as I enjoy letting the fabric dictate the style in which it would look best based on the finished size of my fabric, drape and to what looks best on my body.

When it was time to do armhole shaping, I increased rapidly rather than decreasing slowly as the pattern indicated, until I had a good width. I then placed the fabric on a lifeline and held the fabric up to my torso to see what would look best on me; a shrug was the answer. The increases provided a nice cap sleeve. I folded it in half and joined the sides for the length of the increases. Then, I double-crocheted around the perimiter with Manos handspun and single-crocheted around the armhole openings. The shrug was finished with 8 mm beads. I look forward to wearing this soon.

Forest Glen Shrug - Back

Forest Glen Shrug - Detail of Back Collar

Forest Glen Shrug - Detail of Back Edge

Forest Glen Shrug - Detail of Front Collar

Sunday, September 6, 2009

Forest Glen Cardigan

This is the cardigan I am knitting for the soon-to-take-place knitalong with Jane Thornley's group on Ravelry, the Autumn Grasses Caped Cardigan. Golden colors, as much as I love them, wreak havoc with my complexion so, I am knitting in mostly blacks, grays and browns with touches of green including a golden green. I look forward to seeing how this is going to turn out.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

R & R

Now that Don is retired, we occasionally take mini trips on one of the tour bikes. We just returned from an overnight trip to St. Francisville, LA for some R & R.

Our first stop was in Natchez, MS where we ate at Fat Mama's Tamales. We have enjoyed sitting on their patio and eating tamales over the years. Natchez is at the southern end of the Natchez Trace and a good short ride for us.

Love their "shingle."

Yellow dog with a crank shaft tail.

I couldn't resist bringing Dilly home. He brings a smile to our face and memories of Fat Mama's.

Rosalie, one of Natchez's many antebellum homes pictured here is across the road.

Back on the bike, we rode to St. Francisville and had a wonderful dinner out at the Ox Bow. The next morning, we toured Rosedown Plantation. We had a nice, private tour of the inside of the home but could not take pictures inside due to not being able to use the flash. Our tour guide was quite knowledgeable about the family and the time in which the house was built. The grounds were just as beautiful; these are only a few of the pictures we took. Over the years, many trees have been lost and last year during Hurricane Gustaff, the plantation closed for 6 weeks due to the number of trees and limbs down. Since we had never been there before, it was hard to imagine that there had ever been more trees.

Front of Rosedown Plantation home/


From upstairs porch

This picture will be my inspiration for a sweater I am knitting.

The only live oak of which we could get the whole tree in the lens!

Looking forward to the next road trip.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Winter Jacket Finished

I detoured from Jane Thornley's Paua Shell guide and turned the fabric on its side, stitched under the arms about 2-2-1/2" on each side. Then, I picked up stitches on each side and continued in pattern, bound off and pulled up the new sections to meet the arms. I like the way it wears even if I do look a little "fluffy." I discovered last night that I could turn the jacket upside down for a different length. Now, to finish one or two of those pins in these colors in order to join the front.

These 2 photographs are worn the long way with very little shawl/stand-up collar. It will be nice with a pair of leggings and turtleneck this winter.

These three photographs are worn the short way by turning the jacket upside down. I like the shawl collar. Worn in this fashion, the jacket will be a little dressier for a skirt and boots.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Little Fishies and Next Little Fishies?

Knitting Little Fishies is better than fishing for real fish - unless you are fishing with a silver hook as my daddy used to say when the catch for the day was slim to none.

This is a shorter version than the pattern but I think a teenaged girl I know will be quite pleased with it. Where are the fish (beads)? I've got to find just the right sweet confection to hang on the ends and it will be complete.

The photograph below is by Peggy Baxter. She is in Jane Thornley's group on Ravelry and sent in this picture to inspire all of us who are taking part in the Little Fishies knitalong. I've collected my stash below but, as usual, there is enough yarn there for a sweater - at least! So, it may be the Little Fishies Sweater. Where can I hang a fish line?

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Little Fishies

Here is the first of the Little Fishies Scarves that I plan to make for gifts. These are not necessarily colors that I would choose to wear myself but the favorites of a special teenager.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Winter Jacket Update

I am really enjoying knitting this jacket but maybe not quite as much as the Day's End Vest as my favorite colors are more saturated. I think I would have liked this better with hues closer in value or a gradual shift in hues. Sometimes, they are not commercially available in a large number of yarn types and the major reason I established my dyeing business. I am really hoping that this jacket does not add bulk to my figure and have considered turning it on its side for a winter wrap. I love the concept of the jacket, though and have been calling it Smoky Mountain Shell rather than Paua Shell Topper due to the color differences.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Handwoven Ichthus Shawl

Finally completed for gifting to a special Christian friend. Can you see the fish swimming back and forth on the water?

The warp is Mood Indigo hand painted 8/2 tencel. The weft is mill dyed taupe 8/2 tencel. The pattern is a twill that I designed; fish are on 7 shafts and water on 8 shafts.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Two Finished Projects

Probably my greatest weakness in projects is finishing the details like edging, blocking and the right buttons. The buttons were elusive for the vest, inspired by Jane Thornley's Ripenings Shrug, and I finally finished at least 2 of the group I am painting. I will save others to add just the right colors when I need a button or brooch. But, for today, thankfully, I located the hot glue gun, pin backs, clear lacquer and all those things that seem to always slow me down. Determination paid off!

The second project that I finished was the Troika Wrap-Around Shawl. Since I was using laceweight yarns, I finished off a little sooner than the pattern directed and finished differently with a crocheted edge. This will make a nice fall wrap. The yarns I used were Serenity Cotton/Rayon, River Rayon Seed and Jojoland Melody Superwash Wool.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Winter Jacket

I have been working on this jacket for the last few days and cannot put it down. This is the Paua Shell, another design by Jane Thornley.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Brooches and Pins - First Coat of Paint

I tried something that I thought would probably not work and that is to apply all the paint in one session; see muddy example below. I will be patient with the remainder, applying one color per session and allow them to dry - like the instructions state. Though the stamp pads called for in the instructions would not be as messy, I think anything would work. The paints I am using are various and sundry including Neopaque, Lumiere and I will try some inexpensive craft paint I have on hand. Thus far, I have used only an old toothbrush and a cosmetic sponge.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Brooches and Pins

Sometimes, a store-bought button or pin will not work for a handmade item such as the vest I knitted recently. This afternoon, I had some fun working with air-dry polymer and a project guide from Sherrill Kahn's site. When they dry, I will paint them and decide if any two of them will coordinate well with the vest.

Little Fishies Sample

This is a swatch of one of my "just for fun" projects, a Little Fishies Scarf for a teenager's birthday. This is the neck panel from which the fishies will hang. It's not quite as wide or high as it's supposed to be so, I may have to add rows or use a wider tape. Silk fabric is on its way that I will dye and perhaps some will go in this project.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Latest fun project

This is a vest I just knitted that was inspired by Jane Thornley's Ripenings Vest. I am finished with it except for a few details. The left shoulder needs blocking or expanding just a little more. It doesn't show on the mannequin but over an arm dips in a little. I am considering an edging around the front, lapels and armholes to give stability but don't want to take away from the organic look of the vest. Also, I want to find a to-die-for closure. I really enjoyed knitting this vest. It is one of the few things that I have knit by the seat of my pants; thanks to Jane's suggestions in her Ripenings Shrug pattern.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Afternoon Visitor to the Studio

I've been preparing a warp in the studio this afternoon and came in shortly to mail an order and take a watermelon break. Sitting at the kitchen table, I saw a visitor on the studio step. He is a wee little bunny; no mama in sight. I wonder if he likes watermelon.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

One Year After the Tornado

This has been a trying but good year. The Lord has been faithful to bring us through the loss of several friends and family and reconstruction after the tornado. The heavily canopied skyline in our neighborhood will not look the same in our lifetime but we are happy to welcome neighbors back. These pictures were taken from the studio patio. The first picture is Ken and Marilyn's; they have been neighbors since 1970. (I think I said 1972 or 1974 before but clarified the date with Ken.) The second picture is Tony and Sheila's. They have been neighbors for over 10 years. Welcome home!

Ken and Marilyn's

Tony and Sheila's

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Shallow Tri Shawl for Easter?

I'm moving right along with HeartStrings Shallow Tri Shawl in hopes of having it finished and blocked for Easter. Fortunately, I'm putting in a lifeline every fourth row as my wonderful needle separated at the cable and needle a few nights ago. The yarn is my hand painted Summer Haze 8/2 tencel. The beads are a 6 mm iridescent that picks up all the colors in Summer Haze.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Guest Artists

One of the more pleasurable things for me about fiber arts is interaction with other fiber artists. And, occasionally, some nice folks even gift me with some of their creations! I received these 2 great gifts awhile back and just now getting my camera back into working order so that I can feature their work. The first picture is a skein of handspun silk from Deborah. I don't think the camera captures the color adequately and I am torn about balling up this yarn; it is so pretty and soft in the skein! What HeartStrings pattern do you think I should knit with it? There are about 200 yards.

And then there is Kimberly's hand dyed alpaca. This stuff is to die for. There are about 200 yards of it too. Now, the dilemma, in addition to what do I knit, is which one of these beautiful yarns to try first.

Friday, February 27, 2009

Awesome thoughts to start the day


How lovely to think about the way our Creator God planned everything so
carefully and perfectly, everything with a plan. As His highest creation,
'we are fearfully and wonderfully made.'

God's accuracy may be observed in the hatching of eggs.
For example:
The eggs of the potato bug hatch in 7 days; those of the canary in 14 days; those of the barnyard hen in 21 days.
The eggs of ducks and geese hatch in 28 days; those of the mallard in 35 days.
The eggs of the parrot and the ostrich hatch in 42 days.
(Notice, they are all divisible by seven).

God's wisdom is seen in the making of an elephant. The four legs of this great beast all bend forward in the same direction. No other quadruped is so made. God planned that this animal would have a huge body, too large to live on two legs. For this reason He gave it four fulcrums so that it can rise from the ground easily.

The horse rises from the ground on its two front legs first.
A cow rises from the ground with its two hind legs first.

How wise the Lord is in all His works of creation! God's wisdom is revealed in His arrangement of sections and segments, as well as in the number of grains.

Each watermelon has an even number of strips on the rind.
Each orange has an even number of segments.
Each ear of corn has an even number of rows.
Each stalk of wheat has an even number of grains.

Every bunch of bananas has on its lowest row an even number of bananas, and each row decreases by one, so that one row has an even number and the next row an odd number.

The waves of the sea roll in on shore twenty-six to the minute in all kinds of weather.

All grains are found in even numbers on the stalks.

The Lord specified thirty fold, sixty fold, and a hundredfold - all even numbers.
God has caused the flowers to blossom at certain specified times during the day, so that Linnaeus, the great botanist, once said that if he had a conservatory containing the right kind of soil, moisture and temperature, he could tell the time of day or night by the flowers that were open and those that were closed!

Thus the Lord in His wonderful grace can arrange the life that is entrusted to His care in such a way that it will carry out His purposes and plans, and will be fragrant with His presence. Only the God-planned life is successful. Only the life given over to the care of the Lord is safe.

*Author unknown