Sunday, April 30, 2006
First, there's Spiritual Bookworm, which features mini-reviews of books I've read, links to books I'm currently reading and, coming soon, a list of books I want to read. There will be knitting books, to be sure, but also plenty of spiritual non-fiction and good novels.
Second, is Spiritual Decorator. What's so spiritual about decorating, you ask? As the subtitle says, "Because beauty can be divine." Decorating has long been a hobby, and some friends and family who have sought my amateur advice have suggested that it might someday be something I could do for a living. I think I'll stick to keeping it a hobby for now. Visit to check out the new pendant lights that are being installed in my kitchen as I type.
Be sure to put the whole family of "Spiritual" blogs on your bloglines! (How's that for branding?)
Thursday, April 27, 2006
Although she recommended 11-12 wedges, I did 18 here for the large size. I used Lion Brand Wool in Winter White just as a sample. I didn't slip the stitches on the outside edge, as she suggested, so we'll see how that looks post-felting.
For those of you who know my husband and I are adopting a child from China, you might be able to guess that I have this grand idea to make a bunch of these to use in some way when she arrives. But this did take longer than I thought it would (maybe I should have stuck to 11-12 wedges). May need to call on Grandma for help if I expect to do a bunch.
I know there's a lesson here: about planning ahead, or maybe about being OK with not always knowing what you need but trusting that you will always be able to get it. The universe (or Joann's Craft Store) will provide!
Thursday, April 20, 2006
I went yarn shopping over Easter. The store was my mom's sewing room and the cost was $0. This (above) is four skeins of Berroco Lavish (wool, nylon, acrylic and polyester) and a skein and a half of Berroco Quest (100 % nylon). Both are really pretty metallics. They'd be pretty scarves, but also might look cool mixed with something else. Not sure what they'll be yet.
My mom gave me two patterns for socks (my goal is to learn how to knit socks this summer). This is some stretchy sock yarn in bright colors in sport weight.
This is a bunch of Bucilla "Spice-Sport" (but looks more like worsted weight) sock yarn that my mom had acquired from my grandmother, who didn't knit much but liked to shop for yarn! I'm thinking three pair of small women's socks. I'm not sure what I'll do with the one skein of pumkin-ish one, but I like that color. (It's the color of my bathroom.) This yarn is 77% acrylic, 6% wool and 7% acrylic.
This is the prettiest cottony yarn in a bright royal blue with flecks of pink, turquoise, orange and green. It's called "Poesia" by Filatura di Crosa, Color #123. It's a viscosa/cotton/polyester blend. I think it might make a nice shawl (need a pattern) for Ed's mother. She looks good in bright colors.
I also acquired eight skeins of Bernat Sesame in "Dapper Green" (a sagey green). It's definitely vintage! Looks like my grandma paid 90 cents a skein on clearance. I had hoped it would be enough for the Einstein coat from Sally Melville's The Knit Stitch. My mom wound and measured a skein and it was 118 yards x 8 skeins = 944 yards. The sweater in small calls for 1100 yards, but I'd need to do some shortening. Should I risk it?
Monday, April 17, 2006
While photographing this, I realized a major mistake: I attached the handles wrong, going across the purse, rather than to the side. I'm not sure how to fix this. Could I cut them at the top and reattach to the right one? Could it be refelted? My husband suggests a button at the top. Not a bad idea. Another option would be to remove the handles altogether and somehow attach a different handle. This is a major bummer, as these both turned out so well. You live, you learn. Hopefully I won't make this mistake again.
The miracle of felting can be seen in these before-and-after shots. This was knit on Size 11 bamboo needles with fuscia Cascade, I believe. The accent yarn is Lion Brand Fancy Fur in "Flaming Fuscia" with the black fur. I made the smallest tote of the Fabulous Felt Totes from Fiber Trends and put it through three cycles in my mom's washer. It turned out about 10 inches wide by 12 inches tall.
Sunday, April 16, 2006
Sunday, April 09, 2006
See those needles, the ones with 9/10ths of a bootie on them? I need literally only a few yards of yarn to finish this whole set. So after I buy another ball, I'll have enough for something else. Maybe a matching teddy bear. I've been seeing so many cute knitted toys on knitting blogs. (Aside: I'm almost sure those Size 8 needles are Bakelite, given to me by my mom. They're actually not that easy to knit with, despite making me feel very retro while using them.)
The yarn is Lion Brand Watercolors in Aqua. It's a wool-blend boucle that does sort of resemble a Monet painting. I bought a few skeins at the Joann clearance sale, then bought a few more at full price to do this "One-Stitch Baby Sweater" from a free patttern on the Lion Brand site. I especially like the pocket detail. This is my first set-in sleeve sweater, and initially I sewed them on way too tight. Then it sat for a month, but one enterprising evening I decided to undo those sleeves and sew them on more loosely. In the meantime I also made a matching hat and started the booties, also from a free Lions pattern.
Despite this being "craft store" yarn, it's really pretty, and I intially thought I was making this sweater for my daughter, whom my husband and I are adopting from China (expected arrival date: next January or February, roughly). But I quickly realized the sweater was more of a six-month size, and our Sophie will be closer to a year when we get her. As I was knitting the hat and booties, I decided it would be for a friend who is expecting. I may knit Sophie a pink one in a larger size.
Wednesday, April 05, 2006
Last night I fixed the Lions Watercolors sweater, my first sweater with set-in sleeves. My first attempt at attaching them was less-than-perfect; they were too tight and it showed. So last night I took them out, resewed them on, and put on the perfectly matching buttons. I've already finished a matching hat and am now trying some booties. Will post pix when the set is done.
I tried my mom's cold remedy last night: drank a shot of whiskey in hot water with lemon and honey, then rubbbed Vicks Vapo-rub on my feet and put on wool socks and went to bed. I do feel a little better today, though still haven't gotten my voice back. I may have to try it again tonight.
Monday, April 03, 2006
While confined to my bed, I've made progress on the Purple Galway felted mitten I started in South Bend. May even start #2 today. That's the thing with mittens: Just when you think you're done, you have to knit another one.
Next up: "Please Don't Eat the Daisies," which I've seen about a half dozen times. Maybe I'll take a nap after some chicken soup.
Saturday, April 01, 2006
Here's some free felting patterns: a hat, slippers, Christmas stocking. I think I might try some coasters. Would make a nice gift.
I'm planning to head to my parents' for Easter so I'll get to do some felting there. I have two purses (see sample swatches above): one out of fuscia Galway with some Lion's Fancy Fur in black and fuscia worked in; the other I'm trying this Paton's Classic Wool Merino in "Deep Olive" (3 skeins) and worked in three different accent yarns, two that I ordered on ebay from Turkey (a burgandy loopy yarn and a tri-color gold, green, burgandy flecky kind) and then some olive Patons Allure. We'll see how those all felt out. But not for two weeks.