Monday, July 02, 2012

We went to a "chalk festival"- which was really all about sidewalk art!  There were 3 master artists and the rest of us.  It was wonderful.  You walk through the town and admire the art.  Then you can go to a station and get free chalk and a number and find your own sqaure to decorate!  It was such a unique and interesting event.
One of the master artists.

One of the new talents : )
Another up and coming artist!

Rippling through the summer......

Seems a lot has changed with Blogger in the last couple of years!  We shall see how this goes.  To say that I don't have time to blog would be an understatement, yet here I am.  As a personal goal, I am going to try and spend more time doing things I enjoy and less time worrying about my work......we'll see how long that lasts!

As a segue into a new post, I am also trying a craft that is new for me....crochet!  Although I have had some fun with it in the form of amigurumi, I haven't ever made a full blown crochet project until now! 

Furthermore, I have also deviated from my undying love of natural fibers and sashayed into the realm of cheap acrylic yarns.  To be honest, this started with our recent move- when I rediscovered a blanket that my Grandmother, Stella, made for me when I was a baby.  Sadly, she passed away, so I never got to know her.  But I have this blanket....and I love it.  It's not the kind of love that knocks you off your feet and takes your breath away, but more the kind that grows on you over time.

The blanket still looks great despite its age and frequent laundering history.  That has me intrigued.  Many of my other projects, out of finer yarns, are covered in pills and not wearing well- yet this little blanket still looks great. So, I am channelling my inner Stella and crocheting with Red Heart Super Savers- yes, it's true!  AND I am having fun with it. 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Friendship Blanket Done.....

To say our little knit group was "close knit" is the perfect cliche! When we moved to Italy, I desperately missed having a knitting circle and the weekly meet-ups. I tried for a long time to find other knitters- then I decided to create a few of my own. I started offering knitting classes. It went well, I am proud to say everyone who signed up WAS able to learn to knit. There was a teen-age girl, however, who was very resistant.



At some point during this time, I remembered that a woman from my Italian language class had mentioned that she liked to knit. Then I met my dear friend Stacy who had the bug to learn how to knit. So there! I created my own little group!




We were intermittent and not very focused, but boy did we have fun! I really looked forward to our meet ups. Then, like all good things, our friend Janny had to move. We decided to knit blankets- one for each of us. We each chose a color- Janny did all the research and ordering. Then we chose patterns- one horizontal, one vertical, and one mixed. We each knit 9 rectangles with our "color." We had a blast teasing each other about not getting done, etc. It was a riot. Our other knit-chic called it the "Blanket that pulled apart your friendship." But it was all in good fun.



When Janny was leaving, I volunteered to finish her blanket- we had just completed the rectangles. Then I left the project unfinished and languishing in my closet. I started it at one point, but I was REALLY bothered by the seams on the "wrong" side produced by mattress seaming. I just didn't like the way it looked. I searched high and low for another technique, and then I just walked away from the project....for about a year.



Then my friend Stacy left...and our time to leave is looming over my head. I guess finishing this blanket was part of tying up loose ends- really sorry about the pun, but it fits, dare I say like a glove? : ) So, once I accepted the "wrong" side and started seaming, not only did it move quickly, it was FUN! (I really do wish I had kept Stacy's to finish for her...maybe she can send it to me when we are stateside. )



So, Janny's friendship blanket is finished and mailed, and mine is almost done- one more movie to watch over the weekend, and it will be done. I will wait and see what Janny does as an edging and probably copy her...she has lots of blanket experience.

Our friendship blanket is done! What a wonderful hand-made masterpiece of memories!

Specs:
Pattern: 3 stitches from Vogue Stitch Guide
Yarn: Plymouth Encore Bulky

I'll have to see if I can find a picture of us!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Love-Hate Neckerchief....

When I received this yarn, I wasn't so thrilled with it....I am not sure why. But THEN, I started knitting it up and I love it! This pattern was great for mindless knitting and I really love how it turned out. So, maybe it wasn't really love/hate, but rather less love then more love : )



I-cord bind off was a nice touch. I was worried it would be too tight, but it's not, it might even be a little loose...but not enough to bother me!






Picture courtesy of my 6-year old- she's come a long way.

Vitatl Stats:
Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightwieght
Color: Pink Granite
Pattern: Anake
Mods: none
Size: 51” wingspan and 12 1/2” depth
more info here: ravelry link

Monday, August 16, 2010

Bulls-Eye-fel Tower Shawl....or how this shawl was saved by candy....

This story on this shawl is long and likely not all that interesting. It all started when I saw the pattern on Ravelry. I had already planned a quick trip to Paris with my Mom and Joceylne, so I was overwhelmed by the magical draw of that city. I decided that not only would I make the shawl, but I would buy the yarn for it in Paris- perfect!



Despite the debacle of the 2010 Ravelympics, I joined the KAL. I didn't finish on time, or win any prizes, but I DID meet another, very nice knitter online- my first "virtual" friend : ) She and I shared the ups and downs, okay, mostly downs, of this project. It was awesome to e-mail back and forth about this project.

Of course, the pattern was not published in time for our trip...but I purchased what I thought would be the correct yardage in Paris. As it turns out, it was not the correct yardage!

I decided to continue this project with yarn from our not-so-local yarn shop here in Italy.

I cast on during our cruise and knitted away. All was fairly well until I hit the lace portion- oh, man, it was VERY difficult for me! I surmise it was uber-challenging because the pattern was not easily memorizable. This meant I absolutely had to give this project ALL my concentration. I had to sit there and knit while staring at the pattern and meticulously marking every row.




Eventually, I was struggling to finish row after long row. With my Mom's help, we started a candy for knit program. Yep, for every knitted row- I got a piece of candy to celebrate! I didn't reward myself for the purl rows....well, sometimes I did because they were soooo long! I also vowed that I would continue and fudge any small mistakes I made along the way, but if I made a big mistake, that I was going to frog the whole thing. Lucky for me, there were only a couple very small mistakes made....



I gifted this shalw to my French Mom, Jocelyn. She uses shawls regularly when she sits on her veranda, so it will get some use. I was happy to knit something for her. All's well that ends well.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

Z's shawl....


This is one of those skeins- the Socks That Rock lightweight. The colors are sweet and very gentle. Here it is modeled by my elder daughter, but the little one has laid claim to it. For whatever reason, she calls it her own. I am almost starting to relax enough about my paranoia of them having things around their neck, that I just might be able to let her wear it once in a while. She can have it, but I prefer her stuffed cat wear it.




I love working with this yarn- it's got a great texture!



As you can see in this pic, it's too bulky to wear as a neck wrap, but it seems too small to use as a shawl. I wish I would have gotten two skeins for this one. Who knew? And it's all just part of the great experiment to find a little neck wrap that is NOT a dickie!




Specs:
Yarn: Socks that Rock Lightweight- colorway Goody Goody
Pattern: Multnomah
Needles: size 6 knitpicks circs

P.S. For you there, family member who would like a shawl of some kind- here's what you have to do. Go to this website: Webs, or this one- STR and get a skein or two for you and a skein or two for me and there you go! You have to let me know which pattern you like best- there are a few more in the works : )

Saturday, May 29, 2010

Simple Things Shawlette...



This was a quick little knit. It was great to watch the colors ebb and flow. I don't mind the pooling a bit. I think this colorway is called Sophie, but I would have called it "think spring!" My handy helper is always ready to help with the drying and blocking process- she loves it.



It's probably time to buy some blocking wires and maybe a board- but the bed works for now. I just have to ensure it's dry by bedtime! (Oh, and I have to keep my furry friend off the bed as well during these drying times.)




This photo shows my only modification of the pattern, I added more rows of garter stitch at the end to use up the yarn. I didn't have enough left for another repeat of the eyelet section, but I wanted to finish the skein. Plus, I thought the extra rows would be additional anti-roll protection : )





The fabric has a nice drape- it seems like I will get use out of this when the weather gets chilly. I suppose time will tell, but The Truth Is.....I just like seeing it around the house. To further my knowledge of how yarns are dyed- this one is very short runs of colors- like 3 inches each.

Specs:
Pattern: Simple Things Shawlette
Yarn: Socks that Rock, Lightweight, 100% merino
Needles: size 6
mods: added a few extra garter rows at the end

Thursday, May 27, 2010

So, the scarf saga continues....

Well, as I said before, my favorite little scarf is starting to show it's age : ( There are pinpoint holes, and the ends are beginning to fray.

I started searching around Italy to see if I could find a similar scarf at one of the markets. What I learned about myself is that I really had no idea what actual specific colors were in the scarf- so I started taking it everywhere I went to try and find something similar. I didn't have any luck- and then I had an idea. I had heard of custom-dyed yarns, so I could send it off and see if someone could re-create the colorway with yarn. Then I had another idea....surely this colorway already exists....somewhere.



So, I headed to the Blue Moon Fiber Arts website to have a look. Their colors are amazing and wonderful! I decided to give myself a little Mother's Day present and I splurged on 4 skeins!



After I made Azzu's Shawl with merino, it was a little itchy. I had an "OH NO!" moment, when I imagined the Socks that Rock Lightweight yarn might be itchy as well- but that was, alas and unfounded fear. Three out of the four colorways listed were an attempt to match up and one is clearly just for fun- who am I kidding, they're all fun! The colorways are- Sophie, Peaseblossom, Goody Goody and Pink Granite.






Here's the scarf- the black lines are not on the scarf, that's the back of the chair coming through.




Here's how they lined up.



And here's the winner....maybe? Now, off to knit like the wind. I am knitting several small shawls to see which pattern is my favorite. Then I will use the Peaseblossom yarn. At first I thought I wanted something with some open work, and then I thought I might like something more solid. Hmmmm, decisions, decisions.

This new shawl knititng has blossomed into a new love! I am forcing myself to knit the three patterns I purchased before purchasing any additional patterns : ) Oh, I won't even mention the new yarn- hey, it was a gift certificate, so it doesn't count, right?

Once, when My Man and I were chatting about spending money, I mentioned that although I am not a "shopper" per se, I do buy yarn. And he said, "Well that doesn't really count because you make useful things with it." Yep, he's wonderful!