Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 completed projects

  • Boteh Scarf in Trekking
  • Noro Silver Thaw Luce scarf
  • trees for Margaret, Laura, Emily, Deb, Marie, my mom, and Emma
  • Tagliatelli Shag scarf
  • Linda's Ultra Alpaca mitts
  • Emma's mittens
  • Lining for my freeform purses
  • Krista's freeform purse lining
  • Allan's Autunno hat
  • Jeff's camo hat
  • Modern Quilt Wrap from Folk Style for my mom
  • Luce scarf in Malabrigo worsted
  • Baylee's orange Tessin hat
  • Ben's red 128 Tweed hat
  • Judy's Chunky Malabrigo hat
  • Randy's half-finger gloves
  • Judy's chemo hat
  • Jitterbug socks, "Dusk"
  • Freeform Log Cabin bags
  • Sockina
  • Purple Opal Lollipop socks
  • Red Neon monkey socks for me
  • Disco monkey socks for my mom
  • crochet mesh market bag
  • 1st spiral freeform pillow
  • purple freeform purse
  • Rooster bag
  • baby hat for pit buddy
  • freeform crochet purse (crochet into mesh)
  • Jitterbug Monkey socks
  • Blue Opal Neon Monkey socks
  • Wigwam diagonal T
  • Sierra/Cotton Classic modular baby sweater (gift) and matching hat
  • Star Baby Blanket
  • Trekking socks
  • Freeform tote bag
  • Giotto Sweater for Emma
  • Modular baby sweater
  • Special order Malabrigo mitts
  • Ben's socks - Opal 6-ply
  • Cindy Walker baby sweater
  • Ariadna's Malabrigo mitts
  • Ben's socks, which became Krisann's socks
  • Marie's Quatro mitts
  • Baylee's socks
  • Randy's Manos hat - black/brown
  • Malabrigo worsted mitts - purple
  • My own chunky malabrigo mitts
  • String of Pearls mitts
  • Karen's Malabrigo mitts
  • Bling Bling Fingerless Mitts
  • Chunky Malabrigo fingerless mitts
  • Rich's half finger gloves
  • Deb's mitts
  • Emily's mitts
  • Mama's socks in Sockotta wool/cotton
  • Laura's Scarf in Ultra Alpaca
  • Laura's hat in Ultra Alpaca

Monday, December 24, 2007

yarn shoppers, take note!

If anyone is looking for a way to spend their Christmas $$$, we're having a sale at Cozy starting December 26th, going through the 31st until 2:00 when we close to do inventory. We don't want to count everything in the store, so most everything is on sale at 25% off, including the yarn and yarny stuff. Yes, this is a shameless plug for our nifty little shop, but let's face it, yarn sales are fun! I just want to make sure everyone knows about it.

What do we have? Well, there's Colinette yarns; Malabrigo in worsted, chunky and lace weights; Ultra Alpaca, Pure Merino, Bonzai, Bling Bling, and Love It from Berocco; many Cascade yarns including 220, 220 Superwash, Sierra, 128 Tweed, and Pastaza; sock yarns, including Jitterbug, Opal, and Trekking; and lots more. It's a good time to shop!

Also, many readers come to Knit Night at Cozy, which is the first Tuesday and the first Thursday of each month. New Year's Day is a Tuesday, and we are closed that day, but Madge is planning to open the doors that night for Knit Night. If you're free, come sit and knit! There's a bonus: Madge will have been in the store that day while the doors are locked putting out new yarns for the new year. This means more Malabrigo, everyone. Just sayin'.

Hope you can make it!

Christmas gift opened!

Hurray! I can finally post pictures of this project! This is the Modern Quilt Wrap from Mags Kandis' Folk Style. I used the Rowan Kidsilk Haze for 6 of the 9 colors, and the remaining 3 are Kidsilk Night (they have a little sparkle in them).
We had early Christmas in Wilmington, so my mom has opened it, liked it, and tried it on. It was a little discouraging to give it to her on a day that was 73 degrees, but colder weather is on its way. I've had pictures of it on Ravelry for a while, but couldn't post it here because my mom reads this blog. She agreed to let me take her picture for the blog, but from behind. Hope this isn't too much face, if it is, I'll take it out of the post!
While we were there, I made a few more little trees. The dark one is Manos, and the lighter one is Cotton Fleece with little pieces of my mom's tree decorations stitched on. So, her little tree coordinates with her big tree.

Friday, December 21, 2007

tiny trees

The trees are finished! Here they are, with and without camera flash. I do plan to make a few more, since the are cute and addictive. I have some interesting things to try out as ornaments, so these will be good holiday easy knitting, um, crocheting. Happy Holidays!

Thursday, December 20, 2007

holiday things

I wanted some easy projects to work on during the holidays, so I started another Luce scarf with Noro Silver Thaw. I knitted on it last night at the UNC mens' basketball game. Laura, it was during time outs and half time, I promise!

The blue Trekking is going to be Kathy Merrick's Boteh scarf from the Interweave Crochet Spring 2007 issue. I haven't gotten very far, but soon I'll be able to go on autopilot and just keep doing the repeats. I hope.

I love working on these little trees! I saw an ad for a crochet kit from knit pixie, but I figured that I could work these up on my own. One of the unfinished ones will have red beads instead of silver, one will have sparkly paillets, and the dark one will have crocheted snow. I doubled yarns so that these would go fast. About 30 minutes is all it takes!

BTW, the framed crochet behind the tree in my hand is a large pineapple doily made many, many years ago by Randy's great grandmother. Aren't we lucky to have such beautiful work in our house?!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

old stuff and new stuff

I dug out this hat from years ago to wear on a walk through the neighborhood. It was cold! This hat was made from Tahki's New Jersey yarn, long discontinued, and it was leftover from a cabled sweater I made for Randy back in the early knitting years. The pattern is from Knitter's Magazine, but I no longer have it around, so I don't know which issue is was. Great pattern, especially the loops on top. After making this hat, I started putting loops on top of baby hats.

The mittens are also old. I used a basic mitten pattern and just held the eyelash yarn along with the mohair for the hand part, but not the ribbing. They feel like cookie monster hands when I wear them, so they've been named the Cookie Monster Mittens. Here they look blue, but they are actually royal purple. I know, big surprise.

And for the new things: fingerless mitts for my sister. These came out a little taller than some of the other pairs I've made, but that just means they'll be a bit warmer. They're made from the lovely heathered grey Ultra Alpaca from Berroco. I think they look a little man-ish, so I'll probably put a spiral on them to make them a little cuter.
Finally, the Shag scarf is done. I used one hank of Colinette Tagliatelli, and knitted right down to the last 6 inches. It's not a scarf I'll wrap around my neck a few times, it's more of a novelty decoration scarf. I really love it!

Today I'm making little Christmas trees, my take on the trees in the knit pixie ad in Interweave Knits. It would have been easier to order the pattern, but they just didn't look that hard to figure out. I'll post pictures when they're done.

PS- update on the wave scarf from the last post: frogged. This is a cool pattern, but I need to knit it when there's no deadline. Maybe next year!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

gift knitting is almost done!

Last week I decided to postpone the knitting of the freeform sweater, and that made me feel lots better. Better enough, in fact, to take on a couple more small projects as gifts. Feeling like I had plenty of time, I even started a gift for me, which is really not a very smart thing to do in December. But, that's what I did.
Over the Thanksgiving weekend, I found Lynne Barr's new book, Knitting New Scarves. I bought it, figuring I'd just wait until after Christmas to try any of these cool designs.

However, the Shag Scarf called out to me, and I got some Colinette Tagliatelli to make it. Last Friday, I sat down at Cozy and started. Thinking I had it under control, I took it to rehearsals and concerts all weekend, knitting a few rows here and there during breaks and intermissions. All was going well.
Tuesday at Cozy, I pulled it out to show a friend who had come in for help, and I suddenly realized that I had misinterpreted the pattern, and had been knitting it wrong all along. Disgusted, I ripped it out on the spot and decided to try it one more time. But first, I would make myself start the scarf intended for my sister. Maybe I incurred some bad knitting juju by knitting for myself when there were gifts to be (started and) finished. Sigh.
So, I started the wavy scarf for Linda, and it's a little trickier than I expected. Saving it for an occasion when I can sit down and read the instructions quietly, I set it aside and have been knitting on Shag after all because it is just so easy now.
Plus, I've been knitting Emma's little mittens, which were quick to knit. I used Peter Pan's Velvet Touch yarn and Ann Budd's general mitten pattern. Cute!
Now I need to go sit down and read those instructions quietly..................

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

cool crochet hooks

I got a new Jimbo hook! Jimbo lives in Washington state, and he carves crochet hooks as a way of raising funds to renovate his family's mountain home. His blog is called Jimbo's Front Porch. Check it out, he auctions the hooks through the blog. I got another one of his hooks last year, the red one on the bottom. Both hooks feel great in my hand, very smooth and slick. There are no snags on these hooks! Bravo to Jimbo!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

gift hats

Continuing in the effort to check gifts off the Christmas knitting list, here are some hats. First, Jeff's camo hat finished up pretty well. The yarn is not luxury, it's Red Heart acrylic, but it's the only camo colorway I could find. Those synthetics are known for not breathing, which equals holding in the heat. Right?
Next is Allan's hat, made from DiVe's Autunno. It's our newest yarn at Cozy, and it's really yummy. 100% merino that's soft. This one is technically a birthday present, but the birthday in question is December 24th.
Now all that's left to finish is the freeform sweater for Emma. I need to get busy!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

freeform child sweater

I'm hoping to complete a little sweater for Emma for Christmas. The yarns have been sitting around, I chose them a while ago. Here are a few bits that I've started. So far, I haven't made a garment with the freeform style because it's just kind of intimidating. But a child's sweater seems like a good way to start. After I get a few more pieces done, I'll cut out a paper pattern to fit Emma, then start arranging the pieces.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

monkeys invade Wilmington

These little monkeys were ready for a day of shopping in Wilmington, NC on Friday. The purple Jitterbugs are mine, and the blue Discos are my mom's. I think the monkeys made our feet happy during all that walking!

Monday, November 19, 2007

freeform workshop at Cozy

Last night I taught a freeform workshop at Cozy, and the 5 ladies in the class really did a great job. In the 3 hour workshop, we made scrumbles following my instruction sheet. That doesn't sound very freeform, I know, but all it takes is a little guidance to get started freeforming, then people just take off. Even though everyone had the same instructions, you can see that each piece shows the personality of the artist.

It may be hard to differentiate between all of the scrumbles because I shoved them close together for the picture, but starting at the lower right corner and working clockwise we have Diane's lovely mix of browns and blues, Martha's expert blend of fall colors, Carol's highly textured greens and purples, Jane's delicate garden colors with pastels and purples, and Dare's fabulous monochromatic collection of greens.

In these workshops I don't usually spend any time talking about combining colors because there's just so much other information to get through, but this group seemed to have a excellent sense of using colors together already. The photos really don't do the pieces justice, but I think they made very artistic choices with their yarns.

I look forward to seeing what these ladies do with freeform in the future!

Friday, November 9, 2007

more hats

The hats, they just keep coming! These are for Ben (the red) and Baylee (the orange), and hopefully sized appropriately. I used the Yarn Harlot's general sizing information from her book "Knitting Rules." I think they'll work.....

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

another hat

Love, love, love this yarn. It's the chunky weight Malabrigo merino wool. I wanted to make one more hat for Judy--a girl needs a little variety, after all. Last night I cast on, and this morning I finished it up. The pattern is Margaret Urban's, written especially for Chunky Malabrigo (one hank only!) and is available at Cozy free when you purchase the yarn.
Both hats (this one and the navy one from the last post) will be mailed to Aunt Judy today.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

couple of small things

So in the past few days I've finished this navy blue hat for Aunt Judy,

these half-finger gloves for Randy,

and started this unusual scarf for a shop model at Cozy. Gift knitting continues!

Edit: Tracy points out, and rightly so, that I didn't give any details about these projects, so here goes. The hat is just a basic "make-it-up-as-you-go-along" sort of thing. The gloves are from Weekend Knitting by Melanie Falick. The scarf is from Norah Gaughan's Berocco booklet from this season called something like Urban Stories. Lots of cool things in there. The scarf is called Luce, and it calls for Pure Merino Nuance, but I'm using Malabrigo Merino Worsted because it's so yummy. Nothing against PM Nuance.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

instant gratification

Today I was organizing some knitting stuff, and I came across an old project: some log cabin freeform squares that I had sewn up into a reversible bag with knitted handles. It was cute, but not functional. Besides being a little bulky, it didn't have any structural support. Just a bunch of layers of knitting.

I took it apart, separated the layers to make 2 bags instead of 1, and was going to put in some lining when I realized that the denim bags that I had stashed away were the perfect size to become liners!

I haven't actually stitched the knitting to the denim, but that will just take a few minutes. Instant gratification!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

More workshop pics and some more finished socks

Finished Sockinas! Hooray! It's about time....

Here are Brandon's sample swatches from Saturday's workshop. Notice that I did not put them in the same post as my own swatch to avoid comparisons! I really like both of these swatches.

I fell in love with this scarf Saturday. It's made with the magic ball method. He told us about the project even though it's technically a different workshop, so we got a bonus. Basically, you tie odd lengths of yarn together to make your own variegated yarn, then you knit from it in the fair isle pattern and let the colors fall where they may. I'm going to try the method and make a bag at some point.
He also brought samples of sweaters from his newer book. Here's the cover sweater, and below, Brandon models one of the vests himself.

celebrity sighting

The knitting workshop wasn't my only big activity this past weekend. On Sunday I had an orchestra job in Raleigh playing for the Regis Philbin/Susan Lucci concert. I didn't know what to expect, but it was a lot of fun. They both sang, which was enjoyable, but the best part was the talking and chatting in between numbers. Talk about being at ease in front of a crowd! No beta-blockers for these two. After the concert, Krista and I got our friend Alan to take our picture with Regis, who was nice enough to pose with us. Yes, I do find it a bit discouraging that I have lots more gray hair than Regis.

Monday, October 22, 2007

color workshop

This weekend I went to a knitting color workshop taught by Brandon Mably of the Kaffe Fassett design studio. I've been to this same workshop 6 years ago with Brandon, but I didn't do so well. When I saw he'd be back again, I decided to sign up.

Our homework was to knit a 10" swatch of stockinette stitch in random fair isle patterns using our favorite colors. At the beginning of the class, Brandon looked at each swatch and talked about how the colors might look different, depending on what colors were beside them. He tried not to criticize, but we could tell which ones he liked and which ones he didn't! I was pleased that he liked my variety of purple yarns in this swatch of little squares.

Our assignment during class was to choose a postcard of a painting from his collection, then to choose yarns in the colors represented in the painting. From there we were to knit a swatch using those colors in the tumbling blocks pattern and work on making the colors work together. Within each section, colors were to graduate from one to the next. Between sections, we were to group colors by dark, medium and light to get sufficient contrast. This was harder than it sounds. Here's the blurry picture of my finished swatch from class, and below it is the postcard I used. Since I've been doing freeform, I've been able to blend colors together so freely, since the pieces aren't joined until you're ready. In this style of knitting, there was a bit more planning involved. I found it to be more restrictive, but that wasn't necessarily bad, just different. I really like the smooth nature of stockinette stitch knitting, and I want to do a project with the ideas I had during the class. More about that later.

Before lunch, he pinned all of the swatches in progress to the wall with their postcards so we could do an early analysis of the color work. He instructed us to step away often from the knitting to see it from a distance. All the better to see how the colors interact.

You can see in the picture that he spoke briefly about each one, praising what was going well, and At the end of the day, he pinned up the finished swatches and did an overview of each one. The last time I did this workshop, my swatch was rather pathetic (and no, I don't think I still have it) and his comments were encouraging, but I didn't feel very good about the project. This time, Success! Maybe I'm a student of repetition?

Lastly, the Sockina socks are almost ready to wear. Soon! Soon!