Saturday, August 24, 2013

I knit, therefore I am...

...tired, sore and surprised.  Wow.  I'm sure any athlete who had suffered down time from an injury would laugh at my naivety on this one.  I haven't knit in a little over 5 weeks.  I never imagined how much my muscles would have atrophied in that time period.  I joyously sat down last night and picked up my knitting.  I knit about 5 rows before the fatigue hit.  My wraps were suddenly all loosey-goosey. Needles started missing their marks and stitches got split.  Speed halved. Gauge went right out the window.  I stumbled through the last row the way a toddler argues his case to "stay up late" whilst nodding off.  It was sad. I found myself thinking back to when I first started knitting, frustrated by the inaccuracy and slow progress. It's going to take me longer to bounce back from this than I had hoped.

I did manage to wind yarn for my next OWL project in the HPKCHC group on Ravelry.  Now I just need to get back into shape for this challenge.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Another bit of tatting...

Here is today's attempt at tatting. Like all my other hobbies, I'm over-thinking and obsessing to the point of dreaming about stitches and designs.  We'll see how long this fascination lasts or if when I'm allowed to knit again it dies off.

I think the pendant bead I chose might be too heavy for this piece, but it doesn't become misshapen when I hang it.  I may need to add a bead to the center of the tatting just for balance. Either way, I think it's pretty.

Sunday, August 18, 2013


I've always wanted to learn to tat.  I've tried several times over the years to teach myself to tat with an old shuttle that had been either my Great-Grandmother's or my Great-Aunt's.  I'm not sure which one of them was the tatter, although my guess is my Great-Grandmother.  Regardless, my attempts were not successful.

Recently a friend showed me needle tatting, which immediately made sense to me.  I ordered a selection of tatting needles, which came with some sample threads, and purchased a pattern book. When the needles arrived, I turned on YouTube and found a tutorial.  The picture on the left represents my first effort.

The thread color is nothing I'd choose for myself. Honestly, I don't like variegated threads for tatting.  I do like the look of two color work, and hope to build my skills up to that.

I showed this little bit off to my husband, all proud that I'd managed to make something other than a string of misplaced knots.  He chuckled and told me he expected I'd be designing new patterns within the next couple of weeks.  I'm really lucky to have someone so supportive in my life who truly believes I can do anything.

So, the adventure begins.  I have some lofty tatting goals/dreams.  I'd love to make a bag, and I want to make a mask.  I've seen some really beautiful masks, and I have a artist friend that would really enjoy that as a gift.  We'll see.  In the meantime, I'll be adding "tatting" to my blog - you'll be able to shortcut to tatting posts by clicking "Tatting" under topics on the right.

And yes, I've already been charting a lace edging design. What can I say? I have to do something while my wrist heals.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

Filling Time, Filling Jars

As many of you know, I have a broken wrist. It's a stress fracture - nothing too horrible, but it means no knitting, which means all I can think about is knitting. The knitting moratorium will last two more weeks. That is two more weeks of pacing, adding projects to my queue, pacing, and making everyone around me insane.

I have been trying to fill the time constructively. 

I just spent two days balling sock yarn left-overs and displaying them nicely in my studio. I regard these jars as a form of art, as well as a reminder that yarn is currently off-limits.  As I wound them (left-handed, mind you) I imagined the crazy socks I could knit with them. As a matter of fact, I've been thinking a lot about what I'll knit once I'm allowed to. I'm considering making a collection of finger-less gloves and mitts to complement the Fancy Foot Bags collection. Like the sock collection, they would be knit in different directions - some would be fingers to wrist and others wrist to fingers. I think it will be a fun experiment. 

I've been taking my many Craftsy classes.  My current favorite is "Learn to Design Handknit Garments" with Shirley Paden.  I also own her book "Knitwear Design Workshop - A Comprehensive Guide to Handknits" which works hand in hand with her Craftsy class, if not providing even more in-depth instruction, beyond the classes outlined garments.  She offers fantastic formula methods for calculating the size and shaping changes for garments.  I've enjoyed the class and highly recommend it to anyone looking for clear, concise instruction on how to build your own garment from the ground up - regardless of whether you're a professional designer, or simply wanting to create something that will fit.  To learn more about the class, click HERE.

Have you taken any great Craftsy classes? Which would you recommend?

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Weep, Dive & Wail - Individual Pattern Release

Weep, Dive & Wail has just been released as an individual pattern!  You can now purchase this pattern separately or as part of the Fancy Foot Bags collection via Ravelry.

Sticks and stones may make me cry, but it took a basilisk to make me die.  If you tolerate sobbing fits and floods, I’ll help you solve the riddles of half-bloods.  Left is left and right is right. There’s charts to help you do it right.  If you do, you will see, a reflection there will be.

Finished Measurement: 
The directions are given for a woman’s sock.  Foot and leg lengths are adjustable.  Leg and foot circumferences (stretched): 8 (11) inches.

Yarn Requirements: 
Necessary yardage will vary with foot and leg length.
Approximately 320 - 350 yards were required for 10” foot and 6”leg lengths in testing over several different yarns.
Shown in Knit One, Crochet Too Crock-o-Dye
(416 yards/100grams, 65% superwash wool, 20% nylon, 15% silk, color: 746 - Grape).

Recommended Needles: 
Size 2 (2.75mm) Double Pointed Needles (DPNs) or size required to get gauge.  Size C crochet hook for cast on.
Directions are given using 5 DPNs, with one DPN reserved and used only during heel construction. Pattern can easily be worked with two circulars or via Magic Loop Method.

Cable needle, tapestry needle for weaving in ends, and stitch markers may be helpful.

Approximately 8 sts / 12 rows = 1” (10 cm) in stockinette stitch in the round.

Weep, Dive & Wail via Ravelry - $3.50
Fancy Foot Bags Collection - $15.00