Monday, June 30, 2008

little bitty spiral

This new tape measure cover is a little something for Madge's birthday. It seemed to want to blend into this blue-green hosta.

Sunday, June 29, 2008

pillow rescue

I knitted this pillow years ago when we moved into our house, and it was pretty plain and boring. Nice, but boring.

The Freeformations group on Ravelry has challenges every month for fun, and this month the name of the challenge was "lines." First, you draw a design with lines on paper (OK, I skipped that part. I do better making things up as I go along), then you transfer it to the surface of a knitted or crocheted fabric using beads, yarn, anything at all.

All month, I read the posts about the challenge, but hadn't planned to participate. But, this past Thursday it suddenly occurred to me that this pillow was the perfect canvas for the lines. I shopped for yarns in my stash, and got busy. I like doing surface crochet, so that's what I used. Now I like this pillow a lot more.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

a new afghan square

Mmmmm, Malabrigo! Such a nice yarn to work with. The color has much more red in it than the picture suggests. Eventually this will be another square for Caroline's blanket.

Friday, June 27, 2008

fresh stashbuster

On a recent trip to Bella Filati, the yarn shop in Southern Pines, the ladies showed me a really cool throw made with Tunisian crochet using many strands of yarn at once. I immediately bought the very large hook the project required, and drove home thinking of various possibilities.

I decided to start small with a pillow. It won't take long to work this up since the hook is about Q sized. It's a really nice wood hook, and it has a sturdy wire "tail" with a wooden knob at the end so that you can have enough stitches on there for a throw. Yarns that are in here so far are an unidentified grey sport weight wool, 2 different colors of Manos silk/wool blend, and a couple of unidentified ribbon yarns. This should work well on the new couch.

This technique is so easy and fun. I'm thinking of lots of projects already. Going through my stash mentally!

Thursday, June 26, 2008

new territory

Trying something a little different. A month or so ago, a crochet customer asked me about crocheted socks. I've knitted bunches of socks, but I hadn't tried crocheting them. I told her about a pattern I'd seen on Ravelry that seemed to be very popular called Ultimate Socks. I had thought about trying them, so we decided that we would embark on the project at the same time.

She's working on the foot part, also, but she'll be away on a 2 week trip to Alaska. We'll catch up on each other's progress when she gets back.

In the comments a few days ago, TracyGP asked if I have considered using a template for a freeform sweater. And, yes!! I have. In fact, I'm going to use the template technique for the freeform crochet lace sweater that's only in pieces so far. When I start assembling, I'm going to use pattern pieces as a guide. I'll post progress pics when I get that far.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

squared off

The afghan square now looks like a square. I used a cardboard cut out 8" square to help determine where I needed to add stitches. The cardboard square is really the way to go when you're making something to be a particular size. It's quicker than measuring, and you can see at a glance how the piece is progressing. I'm going to use it again when I make another freeform square for this project.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

spirals to be squared

Alright, I officially have too many projects going. Last time I looked at my Ravelry page, there were nine works in progress. Ugh.

But I like them all. This one is another group afghan project for Caroline, who will graduate from high school in 2009. Last year Laura (Carolin's mom) and friends and family made a green afghan for Elizabeth (Caroline's sister) when she graduated. It's now a tradition in their family. I was excited when the color for Caroline's afghan was announced---purple! I think I'll be able to come up with some good squares.

All 3 photos are the same square--it's amazing how the light and the background change the appearance of the colors.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

red purse

I found this purse at Goodwill in great need of being covered with freeform. I think it will be kind of cute. I'm starting to look at purses in shops in a new way--is there anything to sew into? Yikes, I don't need to start collecting a new material, but this is so much more fun than lining and designing from scratch. Good for the landfills, too. Right?

red FF purse

Monday, June 16, 2008

Knitalong scarf

One of my new favorite knitting books is "Knitalong" by Larissa Brown. It's a lovely little book, perfect for sitting down and actually reading.

The project from "Knitalong" that I wanted to do before I ever saw the book is the Eden scarf. I love the casual look of this scarf with cascading leaves. On Ravelry I saw a few photos of the scarf done with yarns that feature a slow color change. I had some Mille Colori by Lang in my stash, so I started as soon as I got the book.

I'm hoping that this yarn will work well for the scarf. There is some acrylic in it, so it may not block as nicely as 100% wool. Instructions say that some curling is preferable, so it may be OK.

These colors aren't typical leaf colors; maybe more like colorful Coleus leaves?

forgotten project

Just ran across this triangle shawl when I was going through some stacks of unorganized stuff. I made it a few years ago, probably inspired by something I saw in a knit blog. The yarns in it are mostly hand-dyed.

It's really cozy, but I've never used it. I don't wear shawls, yet I made this anyway. Maybe I'll try it out next winter.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

easiest socks

Full disclosure: I did not knit these socks! I sent my own sock yarn to Fernwood Woolworks , and they knit them on an antique sock knitting machine. Lynette kept in contact with me after I place my order, and she let me know the time frame. She was so friendly, and the socks are wonderful. It feels a little bit like cheating, but I must admit that if I ever get overwhelmed with the size of my sock yarn stash, I will not hesitate to enlist her services again!

You can contact Lynette at

Saturday, June 14, 2008

yummy silk

I like to have a project to work on when I have time during my shift at Cozy. Right now, that project is another (yes, another!) freeform filet scarf. This time, it's Colinette Tao in a beautiful red called Vatican Pie. There's no pattern to follow, so it's perfect for a setting where I might have a chance to work a few stitches in between other tasks.

Friday I was at Cozy just hanging out. Crocheting a little, helping put some yarn out a little, socializing a little. When one of the bins was empty during yarn rearranging, I took advantage of the open space to take this picture.

Friday, June 13, 2008

new class at Cozy

This summer I have a new class to teach at Cozy, but first I'll have to write up the instructions! I made 6 spiral pillows like the one in this picture, and people asked for a class. I'll have to get the pattern ready quickly--the class starts July 7th.

spiral pillows

If you're interested and you live close to Durham, come on in to Cozy and sign up. We also have other classes available this summer like socks, crochet, baby projects, beginning classes, and a build your own afghan workshop. We're at 770 Ninth Street in Durham, 286-3400.

more lace scrumbles

A few more scrumbles for the jacket.

If I haven't said so already, these are great to work on when you don't want to follow a pattern, you just want to doodle around with the yarn. The only real rule to follow is that the pieces should lay flat. Since they're small, that's easy enough to manage. Most of the time I just spread them out a little bit on my leg.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

jumping right in

I've been admiring the projects in Myra Wood's new book, Creative Crocheted Lace. Freeform knit and crochet is a big favorite of mine, and the idea of using lace in a freeform style has turned out to be more appealing to me than traditional lace forms. Even though I've never made a freeform garment of any kind, I decided to jump in and make a lace jacket with these scrumbles.

Originally, I was going to cover a denim bag with these pieces, and I'm sure that would have been a great project. But the way this Araucania Pomaire yarn is dyed works so well with the freeform lace made me want to wear it on more than just a bag.

There are not quite enough pieces for the back yet, but they work up quickly. I started them last week during a chamber music concert at the UNC Chamber Music Workshop and kept going through all of the concerts I attended.

There are more, I'll post them later!

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

fun little gift

I have a friend celebrating a milestone birthday, and her sister has organized a campaign of small red gifts. Her friends from all over will send these little gems to her in her new location in an effort to shower her with birthday fun. I don't remember how I got the idea to do this spiral tape measure cover, but it was fun and easy. Yarns are from stash. Ooooh, how I love the stash.

Monday, June 2, 2008


OK, I've been tagged by Patrice in Hawaii. It's taken me a long time to respond, but here goes:

1. What were you doing 10 years ago?
In 1998 I was living in Durham, just like now, but we had not bought a house yet. We lived in a rental on a quiet little street with really nice neighbors. I was teaching violin with a Suzuki program at a college, and doing a lot of the same freelance work that I'm doing now still! I was driving my cute little purple car. Of course, I was knitting a lot, but I hadn't gotten into freeform knitting and crochet.

2. Name 5 non-work things on your to-do list today.
-bank deposit
-answer emails
-pull a few weeds (this really should on the list every day)
-buy food for dinner
-put away the laundry

3. Snacks I enjoy:
Good grief, this could be a long list. Some favorites are popcorn, chips and salsa, and regular potato chips. In other words, salty stuff.

4. Things I would do if I were a billioniare:
Help anyone that needs it in my family, support my favorite charities, buy my favorite car and house (don't know what those are, but I'm sure I could figure it out!), and lots of travel.

5. Places I have lived:
As an adult, I've lived only in NC: Wilmington, Chapel Hill, and Durham.

6. Jobs I have had:
The obligatory fast food job as a teenager, frame shop, CD store. Currently teaching violin and viola, freelancing on violin and viola, teaching Music Together, and working in a yarn store.

7: People I want to know more about:
Rather than tag anyone else directly, I'll ask that anyone who is interested to please consider yourself tagged!

Sunday, June 1, 2008

new purse goes to the opera!

Well, I wanted to use this purse Friday night for the opening of Madame Butterfly, but it wasn't quite ready. So, I'm just as glad to be able to use it today for the 2nd and final performance.

And it was nice to have a sunny day for pictures. Photos of a black project taken inside the house are not so great.