Sunday, August 29, 2010

Gotta Knit

Being the addicted knitter that I am, even when it is 103 degrees out, I find myself sitting on my back deck in the late evening, knitting with wool. But I do try to knit smaller items so the wool isn't draping over my lap. I've knit about 25.5 pairs of these handwarmers and am now blinging them up a bit by adding my new funky chunky handspun.

The Funky Chunky has wool from my very colorful sheep, mohair, mylar glitz, bamboo, tencel, sheep locks and whatever may have dropped on the floor.

It's time consuming to spin but I love the effect, kinda gnarly and crunchy, hippy dippy and fun. It makes me smile.

I also spun some hand dyed merino stranding it with a multi-colored cotton. This makes up the body of the handwarmers.

I embellished them with the FC handspun, crocheting around the top edge and then swirled the leftover bit into a flower (kinda) and needle felted it on. Can't wait for it to get cool enough to wear these.

'Sweet Jazz,' a small shawlette that I think I nearly have done except I now have 690 stitches on the damn needles and each row takes forevah! and here is just one row: *p1, k1, (yo, k2tog) 4 times, yo, k3, m1r, (wtf!) k1, p2, k1, m1l (again!), k3, (yo, ssk) 4 times, yo, k1, p1, rep from* to eor. Yea, speed knitting!

This is a new colorway that Garrett named Sea Breeze. Thanks G. But don't look at my stitches, you might get dizzy. I really cannot knit.

I have this much done of one sock and I lost the pattern and can't remember what it is. Hate that when that happens. This is the sock I knit on while my knee was swollen and I couldn't mountain bike. So we have history. Guess it will stay in the bag until I find the pattern. This is my Sock Hop washable yarn in the colorway Sedona.

While looking for size 9 needles in a corner of my studio, I discovered 3 bags of unfinished
knitting objects (UFO's) and this little SUMMER shell was one of them. Yeah, summer is nearly over and I forgot to finish this. Maybe this 90 degree weather will last another month, or I can wear it over a sweater! Jeesh, two little shoulder thingies, back and forth a few times and I could be done. And it sits in the bag all summer. This is a linen/cotton blend, Swing.

I did finish this cute little short sleeved cardi. Wish I had my model, Sara, to make this way more beautiful. (Sara, help!) This little French dress form with a black roundy thing for a head works for my scarves, but the shrug just looks a bit droopy on her. I'll have the pattern ready this fall. Knit with my Slubby...

and with some yarn left over I knit, yep, more handwarmers. They take one 'Dexter' or 'Friday Night Lights' to knit, so grab some yarn and knit them.

This is also a new colorway, Morning Mist, pale lavender with a hint of grey.

The Princess and the Pea Coat. I'm getting close, except I have to keep de-knitting and getting my sleeves right. What is it with sleeves?! This is a Noni pattern (which I carry) and is just adorable. It will be felted to make it warmer and more like a coat. The pattern calls for about 322 different yarns but I'm just using my hand dyed Salsa yarn (Carnival colorway with my 'Sort Solid Turquoise for the ruffles). If you come to the fall tour (October 8, 9, 10), I'll have it done, maybe even with the sleeves.

Another found project in a bag. This is a knitty pattern, knit out of Peace Fleece in burgundy.

It will hopefully look like this except a different color and not as long cuz I'm short waisted, and with different buttons and not gold on the top and not as skinny, but other than that, it will look exactly like this one.

I'll use this handspun in the top part (Briar Patch colorway) if I ever get there cuz I have to finish the sleeves first. I nearly finished them, they were done in the round, and when I went to attach them to the body, I thought it could not be done because they were too, well, round at the top, so I ripped them both out about 10" down and started to knit them back and forth. THEN I looked at the pattern and indeed, it said to knit them in the round. Grrrr! So I ripped out the few inches and started to knit in the round AGAIN. So if I get these sleeves done, I can put the entire thing together and continue knitting In The Round. That is, if I can read a pattern!

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gotta Get to Work

All play and no work makes me a nutty girl. So to balance out the traveling and biking and kayaking and hooping and girl time, I had to get into the studio and make stuff. I have six shows this fall and I don't want to fall behind.

I had stashed away some new hand created glass beads that I bought from some artists on etsy, had acquired a multitude of beads and bobbles from my various travels (who can pass up a bead shop?!) and had thoughtfully organized them in pretty piles. So it was finally time to go up to my working space and put some of these materials to use. But because this summer has been sodamnhot, my upstairs studio has been around 110, yikes! I could work up there in the early morning hours but when the exertion of putting a bead on a wire would cause sweat to drip in rivulets down my back, it was time to get outta there.

I found this great jewelry book, 'Totally Twisted', and got caught up in the twisting gizmo and twisted all sorts of colored wire into coils.

I learned how to take silver wire, cut it, form it around a pub glass, make a loop and a hook on the ends and use up my beautiful glass beads. Yay!

The heat finally broke for a spell and I could spend hours up there, twisting, pounding, coiling, beading, fun!

I had these soft, cute flowers in my stash too. Makes a great summer bracelet.

My favorite components right now are these industrial chic parts. So fun and clever.

These beads are from an Israeli artist on etsy.

While I was up in the studio making jewelry I might as well fire up the kiln since I could keep an eye on it. I have spaced out before and come running up the steps to find my kiln at 2000 degrees and all the glass a melty gooey blob. I now have a timer and if I keep the timer with me (!) I'll know when it's time to turn the kiln down.

I'll have lots of buttons available this fall so start knitting that cardigan!

and brooches too.

Next knitting projects...

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Plain Air, Plein Air, Plain Relaxing

Summer days are nearly over so thought I'd take a break and go sit by a stream and knit. I talked my neighbor, Susan, into coming along and she packed up her watercolors, brushes, paper and chair and we headed over to Sugarloaf Mountain where the air is just a bit cooler and the sound of the babbling brook a delight.

As I sat and tried to catch up on a couple of my many knitting projects that are unfinished (UFO's), I soaked my feet in the cool water and let out a long sigh. This is the life!

And right next to me was a darling trio of 'shrooms, fitting ever so nicely in the woodland setting. Recharged and restored, we promised ourselves that we would make this a weekly habit until the chill brings us once again indoors.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Out With the Girls

A few of us girls in Cumberland kidnapped Annie for the day and made her sit in the car for a beautiful car ride up the valley between two mountain ridges to our destination of Bedford Springs. But first we made her get out of the car at a big yard sale in a great old red barn. No one got anything except for Beth who couldn't resist a tacky painting that I think was paint by number. Sweet! We arrived at the town of Bedford, which is just a half hour from Cumberland, by noonish and walked around the downtown area. Some cute shops enticed us in, including this antique, old- stuff-with-charm store.

A gallery was decorated with old barn adornments, like this wood circle. It was priced at $12,000 (!). I can see why it's still there, even though I really do like it. After a little more looksee downtown, we whisked Annie off to the resort at Bedford Springs for lunch.

For nearly 200 years, people have been coming to the curative waters of the springs. It remained popular well into the last century, but a downturn in the 80's forced the hotel to close in 1986. It was purchased in 1988 and after a $120 million renovation, it reopened to its former grandeur in 2007.

The days before and after our outing were hot, muggy and sunny but as luck would have it, we were blessed with an overcast, cool and no humidity type of day. We took advantage of the nice day by eating outdoors. Two weddings were held there that day and one of the wedding parties joined us on the patio. Macee, birthday girl Annie and Piver are all smiles.

Macee, myself and Annie await our lunch.

Seal showing off her gorgeous nuno felted scarf she made the day before.

After lunch, we had a wee walk around the grounds...

... then it was off to a few hours of hooping in Cumberland before we called it a day. I hope Annie had as much fun as I did. Happy birthday Annie!