Thursday, January 23, 2014

IN WHICH I SHIFT FOCUS


The drive to blend colors remains strong. I have found a great outlet for this, one in which my lack of skill at painting is not of great concern: playing with alcohol inks. The inks are similar to water colors, but they are much more independent and harder to control. My approach is to drop, blow, streak, and dapple the inks in a way that pleases me. Too much fun!

 In the painting above I impressed a crocheted doily into the inks while they were still wet. (This proves that I haven't given up needlework yet, right?)

 I have an Etsy store for my work, and have already sold a set of coasters, pictured below. A Four Seasons Quadtych. HERE IS THE LINK to the store. It's called Sara's Colorwave Dreams!


Friday, October 25, 2013

SCARFMANIA



Our local yarn shop has closed for good. It took all summer to happen, but I am just now going into yarn withdrawal. I fantasize about driving halfway across the state to a big city with a yarn shop. I go up into the attic, where my stash is, and get balls of yarn out and caress them. I even went to our local Jo-Ann Fabric and Craft store and looked at trendy acrylic yarns and the very popular frilly scarf yarns. OK, so I couldn't pass them up. I have never tried one of the new ruffle yarns, so I picked up a few (very inexpensive) and gave them a whirl. Once I figured out the technique required, I found I could knit one of these scarves in four hours or less. One (#7) took only five minutes! (The latter reminded me of my mother's cooking style in the 1960's: go right for the finish line!)

From left to right above we have:
1. Red Heart Boutique Trio Trifecta scarf
2. Lion Brand Imagine, Rotini scarf
3. Starbella flash
4. Red Heart Boutique Sashay
5. Red Heart Boutique Filigree
6. Red Heart Boutique Sashay metallic
7. Lion Brand Imagine, ball band directions (as simple as turning a sleeve inside out)


OK, I'm over it for now.

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Saturday, February 16, 2013

KOIGU: THE TEST OF TIME

The yarn is Koigu Painter's Palette Merino sock yarn. It's too expensive for me to use very often, but I have made a few pairs of socks with it. I love knitting with it because it is so soft and springy and buttery, with beautiful colors. I found a few scraps left over from the socks in my stash and made them into hexipuffs. This is the perfect way to compare "new" (left) and "worn" (right) with the same yarn. The socks were always hand washed and drip dried. Click to embiggen the pictures.

The brown yarn has faded a good bit, but not so much the other two. The socks have gotten softer and softer with wear, and felted ever so slightly, but there has been little or no shrinkage. I haven't noticed any thinning, pilling, or holes (yet). They are still my favorite socks!

The only problem that I've had with Koigu is ordering it online- I've been unpleasantly suprised twice because what came in the mail wasn't at all what I thought I had ordered. Luckily I have a local yarn shop that carries it, and I buy it there because I can see what I am getting.

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Friday, February 1, 2013

FUN WITH HEXIPUFFS (HEXIFUN)

Look in the previous post if you don't know what a "hexipuff" is!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

SOCK YARN KEEPERS QUILT



After at least fifteen years of making socks, I have FINALLY discovered a wonderful pattern to use up my huge bin of sock remnant yarns. Some of these go back a long time. Some were even the result of my first yarn-dyeing experiments with Kool-aid dyes. I'm going to make the Beekeeper's Quilt. Here are my first three "Hexipuffs":


I love the memories that come back to me as I pull out the yarns from socks made long ago. In a small way the socks that I make are like my children, and the hexipuffs are like photographs! It's like going through the baby albums-- lots of "aaawwwww" moments!


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Sunday, January 20, 2013

MAJESTIC RIB DISHCLOTH


Of course now that I have introduced the new stitch pattern, I had to make a dishcloth.  This one was over 44 stitches, and used Knitpicks Dishie cotton in color "Azure". I used the chart for Majestic Ribbing in the previous post (MAKEOVER) with two slight changes: I spaced the little crosses closer together, so there are 5 regular rib rows in between instead of 7. I also added two more edge stitches.

Please be aware that the closer you space the ribbed crosses, the less elastic your ribbing will become. This is certainly not a problem with a dishcloth, but use caution with patterns that require a great deal of stretch, or you may not be able to get the sock/hat over your heel/head! Don't ask me how I know this!



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MAKEOVER


About five years ago I made these now bedragged and sorry-looking slipper socks for my husband. He wore them a lot, and was so careful with them that he even wore socks underneath so that he wouldn't dirty them unnecessarily (how can you not love a man like that?). The yarn is Plymouth Encore, and as you can see it did not hold up well. I used a generic sock pattern, and purchased leather soles. The soles are in fine shape, so I decided to do the tops again. A makeover.

The stitch pattern is my own invention. It is a juiced-up version of "Elegant Ribbing" from Barbara Walker's Third Treasury of Knitting Patterns. Since mine is a bit more elegant than elegant, I shall call it "Majestic Ribbing".


Here is a chart for Majestic Ribbing with a multiple of eight stitches, plus two edge stitches (one at each edge). The red box shows the pattern repeat.


Here are the slippers after the makeover, this time with Berroco "Vintage". I left one sole off for the photo so you could see they are just regular old socks. 



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