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May 2004
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July 2004

There She Is.... (a nod to Bert Parks)

charbush2Here is Charlotte ready to snare yet more hearts and needles in to her web.  There is real joy in finishing up so fine a project.  Repetitive lace and fabulous look makes for an enjoyable experience. She commands ohs and ahs wherever she goes.

Yarn:  Koigu KPPPM 5 colors blending together
Needle: Size 6 (should go up a size)
Edge: Crochet (Mary Beth’s inspiration)
Started: May 26th
Finished: June 26th

Doesn’t she look more like a butterfly? (You can click for larger pictures)char1 For the edge I used the pattern instructions to create the two rows of chain and then singled crocheted in each loop to create a picot. 

This is such an addictive yarn and project. When done it’s like a mini-masterpiece.  So who can stop at just one!?  Charlotte II in Memphis (as in The Blues!) charII Thanks Rob and Matt!   I will, most likely, change  the skein of almost solid teal as doesn't sit right with me.  There are no other colors in this skein and only one other skien has a bit of the teal in it.  So, I might pull a Teresa (get well, grrl!) and start collecting Koigu by the dozen to create my own colorway. You could get carried away with this yarn and the incredible colors. But, what a way to go!


Lace (Hear me Scream!)

So you heard about Saturday and the Utah Arts Fest.  Julie found the  Fidget Gallery and bought a t-shirt!  They are so bright and happy (and comfortable)…I want more.  Did you get one or at least check them out?

Sunday was none too exotic around here.  The day was filled with laundry, straightening closets and more laundry (where do all those clothes come from if I have nothing to wear!?).  Between loads of laundry and after whipping the closets into shape, time was spent TRYING to knit lace.  When you have accomplished something as lovely as Charlotte you’d think you would know how to read a lace pattern.  But it seems my ability to read lace has vanished or taken an abrupt turn for the worse.  A "test knit" sock took 6 tries to get right and then there was still need to pick up a YO that was skipped here and there.  And, Seaweed! Ah, Seaweed…why is it that EVERY row needs to be tinked back at least once?  I’m only up 3” and it feels like I have knit it 10 times.  Why is it that the brain just can’t get into the flow of a 24 stitch repeat (5 times) and a 12 row pattern?  After that first bit of togetherness with Julie and Kate it seems I’ve done nothing but go backward. I am praying big time to the knitting Goddess!

cocoon

Lace is fairly new for me…I’m not a novice knitter or even a total novice at lace.  The Birds Foot Scarf (see FO Album) was my first real attempt and it went well.  Then last winter I made the Cocoon from Gathering of Lace and this lace glove by Nancy Bush (yes, there will be a second)glove from the same book.  Cocoon is simple lace…garter with holes.  closecocoonAnd a glove or sock is easy as the few stitches you need to remember come around often enough to keep it in your head.  BUT, Seaweed isn’t so simple. It is challenging my counting, knitting and brain skills.  I’ll keep at it but every stitch will be made with blood, sweat and tears until this pattern stays in my head (do you think it really will!?).  If nothing else this blog has helped to increase my knitting skills.

Please pray to the knitting Goddess for me as I stumble my way to getting Seaweed into my head.  What I really need is something easy to reward myself so, that means it’s time to cast on for Sally’s Raglan and the Kersti Along.  Pass the Kersti! Come on July 1st!!


Weekend Fun

edgeIt was a fun filled weekend in the land of the Salty Sea.  Friday night I finished Charlotte!  This is a sneak pic of the edge. I'm trying to get good pictures and will build up to the unveiling later in the week.

bliss Saturday was a busy day of house stuff, knitting in the quiet of the morning and teaching at the LNS in the afternoon.  I took my gains for the day of helping students product beautiful needle artwork and ran to the LYS a few doors away. They had a sale on Debbie Bliss...another shop dropping the line, and I HAD to endulge in some Cotton/Cashmere!  Isn't this a pretty pink?

After that we headed to the Utah Arts Festival in downtown SLC. This is one of our favorite things during the summer.  It's one of the places you can see 'normal' looking people in this town. 
Here are a few of the people we met. 

dragquok   3sistersok    hornyok 
Don't these ladies look charming? (Ignore the normal looking person between the horns.)

slinky3   nessy3

This is "Bedlam Oz", or Slinkie Love as it is better known,  from Australia and Nessy was there, too.

skelok
And some of our favorite art.

Here is DH with our State bird, the Califonia Gull (don't ask).
gullman

And best of all here is Jonathan Traister in his booth of handpainated t-shirts, pillows and wall hangings.
jonok

He and his wife Alison live in New Mexico and create this colorful art.

jonstuff3

They have a wonderful website for you to enjoy called the Fidget Gallery.  For those of you who like kitties, they have many items with cats. Flowers are my favorite and here is my purchase, Beautiful Fuzzy Pansies.

meshirt

When I get a lot of money I'm filling my couch with tons of their pillows!

We ended the evening listening to James McMurtry.  You can only hear the likes of James and his band the "Heartless Bastards" on community radio stations like our local KRCL.

Now you know what a non-Mormon liberal does on a weekend, in the "Land of Conservatives", for fun on a summer weekend. Hope you had a great weekend, too.


Back Track

There were so many comments and links to my post of June 21st. Many YPCA's linked to it and/or commented. If you haven't been back you might want to read the comments. It really struck a cord.

When knitting began to gain in popularity once again (the last time was in the 70's), Vonnie the owner of the Black Sheep Wool company (our LYS), said that it did her heart good to see young people 'lining up' to buy yarn. It meant that the art of the needle, which we all love so much, would have a future. It's true that younger knitters have their own flair, their own ideas, their own way of doing things and that's as it should be. Everything evolves.

Sally Melville told of her trip to Ireland where she was knitting with a wonderful novelty yarn while sitting in a café. A young person stopped to ask her about the yarn. When told what it was she said "If we could get yarn like that I'd start knitting again". It's a real catch 22. Which comes first? If nice, fun, exciting yarns are available then people will knit. When people knit it's worth making fun, exciting, and nice yarn. We are very lucky to have so much to choose from in the way of yarns, styles, patterns, ideas and teachers. A good teacher is someone who is positive and accepts that you have your own ideas.

Well, that Icon and Portrait maker has been fun and is progressing quickly around the blogs. I saw it first at Purling Swine who saw it at Gidgets. I put the portrait on my About Me Page a few days ago. Then Annie showed her Icon and I had to have one, too.

itsme

Don't I wish...

Check out the cool button our own Stitch 'n Bitch maven created.

utah

Awesome Laurie!!

And finally something to think about over your weekend.

"Hang out with those searching for the truth and run from those who have
found it." - John Hyatt (at least that's where I heard it).

Happy Weekend! We miss all you vacationers!


Not Black and White

thisdominoVivian Hoxbro was here last year for a Domino workshop.  Judy went to the workshop and loved it. She bought a kit and started one of the projects.  At that time the LYS, Black Sheep, started a ‘Domino support group’ to encourage those who took the workshop to continue with their projects.  Judy joined and so, I did too as we had been looking for a way to spend time together.  She lived 40 miles away (she now lives in Boise….waaaaa) and spending Sunday afternoon together knitting was too tempting to pass up. 

The kit I bought was for a Zigzag style Domino vest/shawl/poncho.  Who knew it would be so addicting?  You make little squares by casting on and then decreasing at the center stitch.

Because one of the members in our group was blind, our leader figured out a way to make the decreasing easier.  Vivian decreases every other row. You have to count and make sure you know what side you’re on.  Not so easy for someone who isn’t sighted.  By placing a marker in the center and decreasing on the far side of the maker EVERY row you get the same effect. We couldn’t see the difference in the squares knit in each method. This made it so easy that you can work without counting (except the first row of a square). It’s all garter stitch so it becomes that easy mindless knitting we love when chatting with friends. 

My color is charcoal heather background with colored ‘wings’ (not dots) in chartreuse, lavender and tangerine.  I’m using Vivian’s yarns for the body and Shetland wool for the colors.  They are very similar yarns so you could make the whole project from Shetland wool.  My progress is slow as this is a ‘fill in’ project for when I’m between projects, need something easy or when I go to the Domino group.  I've also taking it to Stitch 'n Bitch and that's a good place to work on it.  It might take another year to finish unless it becomes a main project (and that isn’t going to happen in the near future).  I enjoy its simplicity and the way the colors work and it will be a nice overwrap for cooler weather, in 2006 maybe?

 


Try to be Positive...not Perfect!

loves One of the things that many of my friends do is constantly deride their stitching or knitting.
“It’s not as good as it could be.”
“It isn’t perfect.”
“Wish I could knit as beautifully as so and so”.

When presented with a compliment they say “Oh, but see the mistake here?”

Why are we so willing to abuse ourselves? Why can’t we accept ourselves with all our foibles and inconsistencies? Does, or even can, everything in our lives need to be at the level of perfection?

It is a constant with me to tell them to be kind and not abuse themselves. They think that I think they are ‘anal’. It isn’t that! Telling yourself that you, your knitting, your stitching, your life, isn’t up to par just isn’t good for the soul. We all need to love ourselves for our failings, embrace them, hug ourselves and understand that we are human. Only by loving and understand yourself can you give love to others.

Be positive. You are already perfect just as you are.


Hey, Good Lookin'

oakleybestMove over Dale Evans and Miss Kitty.  Here comes Oakley. Decked out in turquoise finery she is ready to kick up her (boot) heels and head for a rowdy night on the town.  Ride 'em Cowgirl!!

Berroco Oakley
Yarn: Suede 6 balls (I needed a 7th as I wanted long irregular fringe. Have enough of 7th ball for this).
Needle: 10 Circular
Started: May 15th
Complete: June 19th

Julie and I  decided to start our Lace Alonglacebutton projects "together" on Sunday. The time was to be 1:30 EDT but I got the message at 12:30 MDT. SO, I wrote back to say I would start at 1:30 my time.  A message from Julie's husband came right back telling me that Julie was in the process of diligently knitting so couldn't answer.  When Julie wrote later to say she was struggling and still trying to get started I went right in and started my Seaweed Wrap hoping we could get through the starting steps together.  It went smoothly and in no time I had 12 rows. Pictures when there is something worth showing.   How are you doing, Julie!?

Leigh started her 'not orange' doily...it's looking good and sittin' in a beautiful bag of her own making. My, we have talent on the blogs!  I'm going to have to do some sewing again (abandon for years!) because I love those bags!

Charlotte is in the final rows and will be fringed and 'dressed' shortly. Hurray!  The only thing left from my June knitting 'to do' list is the Cloverleaf socks. I'm trying, I'm trying!  Hopefully one will be complete before months end. Then it's onto the Kersti Along!  Mary Beth's swatch is up at the Kersti blog so come over and see her beautitful yarn.  More of you are falling in love with Kersti and joining us.  Rob said more Kesrti is coming!  Get yours and join us!


Being Dumb?

A new LYS opened here. It was a quick trip in as it was easy to assess the small amount of inventory. She had very little of any thing and it was nearly all novelty yarn. She was behind the counter, very friendly and seemingly interested in the type of knitting that I did.  There was only one knitting needle (a large size) in the shop and a couple of large crochet hooks.  A sign declared that she had easy patterns to help you knit a scarf from the yarn of your choice.  It was obvious she was in the business of selling yarn to make scarves only.

She is a 'young person of a certain age' (YPCA) that some accuse of 'dumbing down' knitting.  It’s true that she has limited knitting skills (and/or perhaps business) but, is it true that she represents the lowest common denominator?  Doesn't she deserve credit for having the determination to open a business that follows her passion? She may not survive the sure to happen down turn in knitting popularity and, perhaps she is arrogant in her declaration that she will be the only knitting shop in the valley in three years. BUT, is she not serving a purpose now?

Not all of the YPCA's who enter her shop will continue to knit throughout their lives but there are a few (at least) who will quickly see that they want to learn more and grow in the skill of knitting and she won't be able to further their education. They will most likely wander into one of the well established shops and ask for help, classes and, perhaps, more traditional yarns.  Will they be  welcomed and encouraged, or will the owners and employees of 'a certain age' look down their noses at the neophytes and novices? The shops unwelcoming attitude towards new knitters would do more to ‘dumb down’ the art of knitting than the YPCA in the new shop ever could.  It’s with her encouragement that they are knitting at all.

In our local Stitch 'n Bitch we have knitters of all ages, all skills, and diversity of color and sex.  It is a very eclectic group and all are enthusiastic knitters.  Those who are new to knitting find encouragement when they ask questions of the more skilled knitters.  They see the more complicated projects and traditional yarns and skills and find  something to which they can  aspire.  They like different styles and have a ‘new’ eye for knitting which keeps those who are more traditional from becoming stale.  It’s a great group and the mix of ideas keeps all of us excited about knitting.

When you learned to knit did you start with a large and complicated project?  Most like you started small and simple and then as your interest and skill grew you tackled more complicated designs.  Styles
are constantly changing and it's likely all the scarves knit today will be seen in thrift shops by the dozen in the next 5 years. Is this 'dumbing down' or is it the influx of a new generation of knitters who will progress beyond the scarf?

There are as many reasons to knit as there are knitters.  Why is one persons reason better than another's? Is it  'dumb' to make cell phone or Palm covers? Is sock 'smarter' than a felted bag?  If you want a scull and cross bones on your knitting is it 'bad' knitting?  If you knit dozens of scarves and never knit another item does it really matter?  If you progress on to other items of more complexity (or not) does it make my knitting worse (or better)?

There are over 400 books on knitting in publication now.  Some are not very 'smart' but others are incredible resources.  EZ’s books are still in print after many years and are being rediscovered by new knitters.  Barbara Walker's books are now being reprinted and used by many who never knew they were out of print. Jackqueline Fee’s Sweater Workshop (among others) has been
republished and updated to be embraced by many YPCA’s.  There are many, many more books that enhance a knitters skills AND are also savvy and 'young', like Stitch 'n Bitch. This is hardly a sign of our craft becoming ‘dumb’. It looks more like knitting is being revamped, energized, and enhanced in modern and exciting ways.

Many YPCA’s who are learning to knit will continue to grow, experiment and knit 'smart' throughout their lives.  We 'old timers' should accept and encourage their input.

It’s all knitting!


Ready for Weekend Knitting

seaweed5Ok, color 4 is moving along on Charlotte, Oakley (Suede Shawl) is done and needs fringe (pictures Monday), and I’m thinking it’s time to jump into the Lace Along project, Seaweed Wrap.
Hey, Julie and Kate…when do we start our Lace Along? Here is the swatch. AS gives you the exact way to make a swatch for this wrap but I just was too anxious and didn't want to use more yarn so made it one repeat short. Click on the picture and you'll see a better view. It's hard to see the pattern clearly with my dark yarn. You can see it better at Virtual Yarns.

I really want to get started on my Kersti as it is amazingly beautiful and soft but, I’ll hold off a little longer. You can see a swatch over at the Knit Kersti For Me blog. Annie's and Mary Beth's will be showing up soon, too.

I'm ready for a weekend of great knitting and getting started on something new. Seaweed it is.

Thank you for all the kind comments on my 'Secret' sweater. It was fun and fast to knit. Having my picture taken is one of the things that I dislike most. It was difficult to show but I didn't want you to think I was hiding something!!