Friday, September 3, 2010

new address

This is the last post to this blog from the Blogger address. Please visit me here


Tuesday, August 3, 2010

indigo bunting purse

Love this little purse! I was able to finish it during the last show of Annie Sunday night, and I immediately moved stuff from my other purse into it and carried it out at the end of the show. I'm having fun using it this week.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

crocheting in the orchestra pit

It's showtime! We're doing Annie, which has some good chunks of time for knitting. Or crocheting, in this particular case. I brought my big orange basket into the pit with lots of yarns for the indigo bunting purse.

I've been surprised at how it has been possible to manage doing freeform crochet and attach it to the purse during the show. There are so few strings in the pit for this show that it's a little roomier than usual, so I've been able to spread out and get lots done. Today's the last day, and I can't help but wonder if I'll have the purse finished when the curtain goes down. Seems possible....

Friday, July 30, 2010

a new freeform purse

Finally getting all these lovely yarns together to cover another purse. The colors are based on my new favorite bird, the indigo bunting. I saw one in Atlanta in May and was immediately taken with the vivid colors.

Most of this freeform piece was made last night in the pit at Annie. It's almost big enough to cover one side of the purse--it's not a big purse! 5 more shows this weekend, so maybe I'll have a finished purse when Annie closes.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

sock knitting

Here's one, only one, of the Wanida socks I'm working on right now. The second one is really just an idea, a plan, a little thing barely cast on. The yarn is Malabrigo Sock in the Archangel colorway. Yummy!

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

fiery blanket

Last summer I made blankets. This summer I did not expect to want to make another, but then Joyce came into Cozy and showed me her granny square blanket, a work in progress using lots of greens. It really got me going, and I decided to make another granny square blanket, but this time I used a granny variation from the 200 Crochet Block book by Jan Eaton. This fiery red blanket is the Chocolate Box Granny, lots of fun to do.

Monday, July 12, 2010

contained freeform

I like freeform knitting and crocheting. I like doing it, but I don't like trying to plan for it to take a certain shape that will fit a body. For this reason, I've done handbags and scarves only. No garments.
But the idea of inserting freeform lace into a pattern that uses a lace section finally occurred to me a few days ago. OK, this is a way of making a garment that I can control! At least a little.
This is the back of the "Hey Teach" cardigan from Knitty. I saw a customer in Cozy wearing one a few months ago and decided to cast on for my own last week. After I got started, I realized that I could abandon the lace charts and do my own thing.
The yarn is SWTC Bamboo.

Friday, May 21, 2010

International show is on line now

The International Freeform Crochet group's 2010 show is on line now, click on the link to see The picture above shows my piece in the show. The colors are inspired by a print of a painting by my stepfather, Allan Nance. There's a photo of the print on my page at the show's website.

There are lots of interesting entries to see, lots of creative ideas in the show. I'm looking forward to being able to leaf through a book of all of the freeform pieces. Our group publishes a small book of each show as a fundraiser for an international charity (not sure which one it is this year), and we'll be able to order books in a couple of weeks from Myra Wood is the one who puts it all together, and she always does a beautiful job. I'm glad to have finally entered one of these challenges!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

knitting ahead of season

Too bad it will be a while before I can wear this, it's the Pas d'Arbres scarf by Spirals on Ravelry. If you are a Raveler, you can buy her download for only $2.00. It's a simple design, easy to knit. The way it spirals naturally is lots of fun.
I used almost 3 hanks of Koigu purchased on vacation last year at Purl Soho.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

(almost) finished freeform purse

The Cardinal purse is newly finished, all except for the strap. The one that came with the purse is a bit homely, but I haven't found a replacement. Until I do, it will just have a homely little strap! Must get to the craft store.......
BTW, there is still room in the freeform class at Cozy this Sunday. It will run from 5:00 - 8:00. Call 919-286-3400 to register by tomorrow!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Freeform Class to run this weekend

If any of my local knitting and crochet friends are interested in learning something about freeform knit and crochet, I'm teaching a workshop this Sunday the 16th from 5:00 - 8:00 at Cozy. It's such a fun and addictive technique! So far, I've used freeform mostly for bags and purses. The picture above is my current work in progress--using freeform crochet and knit to cover an old purse from Goodwill! When I use an existing purse for my base, I don't have to sew a lining or pockets, and it already has a handle. In this case, I will replace the handle because I don't like it, but normally it's not an issue.
In Sunday's workshop, we'll get some hand's-on experience with freeform techniques, and we'll talk about ways to use freeform pieces to create one of a kind projects. Please contact me if you have any questions, and please contact Cozy at 919-286-3400 if you're interested in signing up for the workshop. Join the fun!

sock adventures

I've started some new socks for John using Berroco Sox. The design formed by the yarn is really cool! I started a toe up sock, then couldn't decide about the heel. Last week I picked up Wendy Johnson's Toe Up Socks For Every Body and found the heel instructions I need. The manly aran sock uses the same number of stitches, even, so I can just jump into that pattern and do a gusseted heel flap on this sock. Excellent!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010


It's always fun when a piece of knitting experimentation turns out to be useful. Even better when the piece of knitting has been sitting around for years.

At some point (probably 10 -12 years ago) I did some squares knitted in the round, joined to each other. I liked the resulting fabric, but I didn't particularly enjoy the actual knitting. It was too pretty to throw away, so it went into a drawer with the results of other abandoned knitting ideas.

Then, last month I got a new mini laptop computer and needed a sleeve to protect the lovely purple exterior. I pawed through the abandoned knitted pieces and decided these squares were the perfect thing. The piece could be folded to fit the laptop, more or less, with just a few squares needing to be knitted on to complete the sleeve. When it was not quite snug enough, I lightly felted it until the fit was good. This little laptop envelope has been very useful, and I'm enjoying using it. And the laptop. :)



I really enjoyed knitting the Citron from the current Instead of the lace weight wool, I used some Blue Heron Rayon Metallic. Heavier yarn, different fiber, and sparkly!

It's just a little bigger than the original Citron, and very drapey. Exactly what I wanted. Even though it's rayon, I decided to wet the Citron and lay it out for some blocking. I did *not* expect to see this much purple in the sink after soaking it for a couple of minutes!

Still love it.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Freeforming for spring

I've been revisiting an old work in progress, this freeform crochet sweater. Joining the lace scrumbles is fun, and very satisfying. Since there's so much open space, it seems to grow quickly.



Before I started joining them, I made a paper pattern based on a sweater that fits me. Then, I laid out the scrumbles and started doodling to join. At this point I'm not sure if I'll do sleeves. It depends partially on whether I have enough yarn, of course. It's hard to estimate yardage requirements on a project like this. I'll wait and see what happens!



Friday, February 19, 2010

Freeform Workshop with Prudence in Philadelphia

Earlier this month I was able to attend the Freeform Workshop at the Nangellini yarn shop in Philadelphia, PA. Prudence Mapstone gives these workshops all over the world, but she is hardly ever on the US East Coast, so I was very excited to get a spot in the class. There just aren't that many opportunities to see Prudence this close to home! I drove up to Laura's house in DC on Thursday, then went to Philadelphia the next day for the workshop.

This picture shows the shop before the workshop began.

Nangellini yarn shop just before FF workshop

Many people at the workshop wanted to see how Prudence works the bullion stitch, a tricky crochet stitch that is so much fun to use in freeform projects. She grabbed some yarn, sat down on the floor so that everyone could see what she was doing, and started stitching.

Prudence at the FF workshop

FF workshop with Prudence

It was really fun to see the freeform sample garments that she brought along. I had seen all of these on line and in her books, but seeing them in person was wonderful. Prudence was very generous about allowing people to touch, try on, and photograph. Seeing the projects up close made me realize how much of the yarn used is fairly fine gauge compared to what I have in my stash. For wearable freeform garments, this seems like a great idea. Finer gauge yarns will give a lighter weight garment. Also noticeable is that there is more negative space in the garments (except for the red and purple cardigan). Lots of open work gives the piece more drape, less weight.

close up of Prudence's FF vest

Prudence's purple wrap

back of Prudence's FF cardigan

After demonstrating the bullion stitch, she showed us her current bullion project. Nothing but beautifully formed bullions here. So much fun!

Prudence's bullion project in progress

At the end of the workshop, I drove back to DC (to get snowed in at Laura's!) through their record-breaking snow storm. While that drive was particularly awful, I'm so glad that I went to the workshop. I have lots of ideas for freeform projects, now I just need to pick up the yarn, needles, and hooks!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Wee Tiny Hat Ornament

Question: what to make as a small gift for a newly pregnant friend?
Answer: well, a tiny baby hat Christmas tree ornament, of course!