Friday, February 17, 2006

Sarah's Birthday Gift

Here is Sarah's finished birthday set, a spiral scarf, wristlets, and earwarmers/neck scarf/headband. It is worked in Caron Cozi in Evening Jewels and Moda Dea Dream in black. The wristlets are so soft and warm, I think I will make some for myself, to wear for wintertime knitting. The photo doesn't show the purple mixed in with the blue in the Cozi yarn - but it is very pretty. Now I must wrap this up and get it in the mail so Sarah will have it to wear in the 2 feet of snow the latest storm dumped on the East Coast.

I'm No Athlete

I signed up to compete in the Knitting Olympics on Yarn Harlots blog, and my entry is Iris Schreier's Starburst Shawl from her book Modular Knits. I'm ashamed to say I didn't train or prepare in any way, and hadn't even started winding my 4 skeins of Regal Silk 114 into balls until the opening ceremonies. I started on size 8 bamboo needles and frogged it to start over on size 4 bamboos. I put it aside to finish a birthday gift, and finally got down to some serious knitting last night during the men's figure skating. I missed one pattern correction and tried to figure it out on my own - which I did - and was vindicated when I looked up the errata and found I did it right! Thanks, Iris, for teaching me how to 'read' my knitting! I have doubts that I will finish before the closing ceremonies, but I'm on my way to the next free pattern if I finish it by the end of March. So much for this Armchair Athlete.

Saturday, February 11, 2006

Silky Tie Wrap WIP

I'm not getting very far very fast on this Silky Tie Wrap, a knit-along with the Multidirectional Yahoo Group. I've finished the back and started on the first side. The pattern, designed by Iris Schreier, can be found in the January issue of Creative Knitting. I am knitting it with a hand-painted rayon rik-rak yarn in the colorway Cedar Moss, from the seller lotusblossom on eBay. I couldn't pass up the deal on this yarn - an 8-oz, 600-yd skein for $12.50! Both older daughter and oldest granddaughter have expressed an interest in it, so I'd better get back to work!

Friday, February 10, 2006

Finished! Pinwheel Purse

I found the perfect button, and the Pinwheel Purse, from Modular Knits by Iris Schreier, is finally finished. It is worked in Noro Silk Garden, colorway 213, on size 8 bamboo needles. I may run some elastic thread through the loop fastener so it hugs the button.

Two-Color Multidirectional Scarf WIP

This Two-Color Multidirectional Scarf from Iris Schreier's book, Modular Knits, started out as a 2-color Diamond Blossom Scarf. I kept ending up with one less stitch, so after frogging it many times, I gave up and started this pattern instead. The yarn is ArtYarns Supermerino.

Sheer One-Piece Shawl WIP

The Sheer One-Piece Shawl is an Iris Schreier pattern from her book, Modular Knits. This will be awesome when it is finished! The yarn is a hand-painted Pima cotton in the colorway Dusk from seller lotusblossum on eBay.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Scarf Angst

My beautiful granddaughter Sarah turned 17 yesterday, and I wanted to make something for her. When she was little, she had a great way of fueling my creative efforts. Whenever I made something for her, she would look up at me, her appealing dark brown eyes wide, and say, "Grandmom, you make this for ME?" That always had the desired effect, sending me back to my stash-filled workroom to create yet another costume, doll dress, or whatever her heart desired.

I found 2 skeins of Coats & Clarks Jai Alai in the colorway Damson in my stash, perfect for a spiral scarf. I was nearing the finish line on this scarf when I realized there wasn't enough yarn to finish binding off - witness the circular needle dangling at the end of the scarf. I ran out to look for another skein, but Murphy's Law intervened. This particular color is now discontinued. I tried frogging it to make it one row shorter - no mean feat as the last row is 700+ stitches long! This yarn does NOT lend itself to frogging, and picking up dropped stitches was an exercise in futility. I dug through my stash, thinking I might have misplaced a skein. By the end of the afternoon I had dragged out all my yarn - 10 large containers plus assorted bagsfull - and along the way discovered the Luster Sheen sweater I crocheted 14 years ago. Alas, no Damson Jai Alai, or any other yarn good enough for Sarah's scarf. I took this picture to commemorate these 2 failures: the sweater that didn't fit and the scarf that ran out. Then I buried them with much pomp and ceremony in my stash and went out to buy more yarn for Sarah's scarf. Her birthday present will be a little late this year.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Blue Fur Boxer

We are owned by seven furkids, five of which are rescues. Here is our biggest furbaby, Coco, in her fancy new fur coat. Of historical note, Boxers originated in Germany in the early 1800s as a result of breeding the Brabanter Bullenbeisser ( I think that means a medium bulldog bred for boar-hunting) with the early English Bulldog. Boxers are indoor pets because they cannot tolerate extremes in temperature due to their close-fitting smooth coat. Our dogs love to go for boat rides, but when we went out on the lake on a cool day last fall, the wind was too much for Coco. She started shivering and tried to crawl behind my legs to get warm. I knitted her this furry coat in Lion Brand Wool-Ease and Fun Fur from a free pattern on the Lion Brand website. I had to made adjustments to the pattern which was written with small to medium dogs in mind, and I realized when I had it sewn together that the underpanel should have been attached in reverse - with the wide end at the chest - to fit Coco's svelte stream-lined shape. There is no belly on this girl, so I tightened up the bottom of the underpanel with single crochet.
Coco wore her coat for a test-run on the second-floor deck, a favorite hangout for both dogs. They can see all over the neighborhood from there and bark at any ducks and geese that dare to approach the dock. She jumped and pranced around, and refused to come back inside - ordinarily she dashes out for a quick look-see then runs back in if it's too cold for her. Levi, her faithful Beagle side-kick, decided Coco must have turned into a soft plushy stuffed toy, his prey of choice. He chased her all over the deck, trying to chew up her new coat. Perhaps he's jealous, so another dog coat is on my list of things to knit. For him, a denim jean jacket would be just right, and maybe I can learn how to knit his name into the coat - so he can sport a Levi label.