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All things hat related November 26, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in hats, knitting, Knitting - FOs.
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My poor housemate. It’s one thing when she is modelling a hat I have made for her, but just being an available head for photo ops doesn’t seem quite fair. Doesn’t she provide a wonderful head for the image above though? *wicked grin*

Poor woman. When she asked me why she had to put this particular hat on I of course told her that it was because she is my model for all things hat related. I don’t think she was terribly amused, but in her kindness she did don the wee red cap.

I am noticing something of a pattern to my FOs. First it was socks. Now it is hats. Maybe soon those two sweaters in progress will actually get completed? That would be super nice. Or the shawls floating around in the back of my brain.

Anyway, here is my first attempt at Odessa. I say first attempt because I somehow managed to have the final result come out an entire inch smaller than it should have. It fits my housemate because of the size of her head. But not the person who is supposed to receive this, very red, beauty. This attempt was done in Rowan Cashsoft’s poppy color.

So I suppose I am off to try again. I am not sure who will get this one, but it is so cute that I really cannot bear to pull it out. Someone will love it I am sure.

So now what do I do with it? November 24, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in knitting, Knitting - FOs, lace knitting.
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A while back I began my adventures with seven double pointed needles. I had decided that making a doily was an interesting thing to do… something that would teach me useful things about knitting lace. Ye gods. Who thought that 1.5 size needles should ever be big enough to result in lace? Pearl cotton is a crazy, crazy thing. So a few days ago I took my glass doily off the needles. Here is the lovely, rumpled mess it made:

 

The color above is not exactly accurate, but the slate from the fireplace came out so lovely that I thought I would leave it alone. Apologies for not getting  a shot of this leafy mass on its blocking pins, but here is the final (yes, ok… slightly crooked) result:

So the most critical question that remains is what the heck do I do with one green doily about eight inches across?

For Tita November 22, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in knitting, poetry.
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Last night a friend kept me up late sharing his poems with me over the phone. What a beautiful thing to hear echoing out of the darkness in winter evening’s chill. That sent me searching through my own poetry, remembering the occasions of life that gifted my voice, or changed it. In my searching I came across a poem about Tita, my grandmother who taught me how to knit at the age of seven.

I was such a brat when she showed me how to knit and to purl (She taught me continental knitting from the start! May her name be forever blessed). I never really had the patience to give her wisdom the attention that it deserved. And yet I think that somehow her hands join with mine now as I knit. I only wish she were still around so I could swathe her in something warm, just like she did for me year after year.

My poetry searchings turned this up, and it made me smile. So tonight I remember my Tita, and the beauty she gifted me, which is still shaping my life.

GIFT

for Tita

 

I have watched my grandmother

knitting sweaters every year

made just for me.

Each stitch sacrificial

a wearing down of joints

their thin woven slivers

creating a charged netting;

the clicking of ligaments and bones

keeping me warm.

 

The sweaters were always green

as if somehow she knew

that green would become

my favorite color.

As if she knew that the gift

of her arthritic hands

spinning yards of woven love

would teach me that

 

green

 

is the color of life.

Tried and True November 21, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in knitting, Knitting - FOs.
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One regularly satisfying thing about knitting is knowing that someone you love really appreciates the fibery goodness you have created for them. My poor housemate came back from her most recent work trip with the plague a terrible illness. She basically slept all day yesterday and then waddled upstairs this morning looking particularly pitiful… all bundled up and wearing a hat I had made for her about two years ago. You have to understand that while made of wool, this was definitely a California hat. It sits loosely on the head and doesn’t mind if her ears are exposed to the winds. That works when walking a dog in the CA Central Valley, but not in the arctic winters of Illinois (I know, I know, it is barely winter but give me some time to adjust here).

Anyway, it touched me to see the return of this old favorite and so of course I took the opportunity to snap pictures of my hapless friend, who was so poseable and cute. Could you look down on this and not document the moment?

Yarn Revealed November 20, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in dyeing, knitting, Knitting - FOs, yarn.
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Are fully dried and balled skeins of your own handpainted yarn finished objects? I think so. Today was a day of impatience: checking yarn every other minute and “fluffing” it, as if that would make it dry any faster.

 

So here are my three new skeins of sock yarn in all their glory. I have to confess that I really do like the way my poorly behaved greens turned out. By running excessively into one another and the browns, they have created an amazing array of dappled color, which really does remind me of a forest floor. The other two colorways strike me as somewhat clownlike. But they will make fabulous socks.

Of course now I want to know how they knit up. But I am working on socks for a friend for Solstice. So I am blessed with yet another opportunity to suffer practice my patience.

Three Skeins of Yarn November 18, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in dyeing, knitting, knitting socks, yarn.
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Just today I had the pleasure of attending Dagmar Klos’ Socks to Dye For class at the Fine Line Creative Arts Center. Dagmar is the author of The Dyer’s Companion, and an absolute delight to work with. You may remember my excitement about this class when I registered, and I am proud to say that not only did I come home with interesting yarn, but my fingernails are still their normal color.

After a fabulous three hours of soaking, painting, wrapping, and steaming yarn I came home with three sodden bundles which had to return to room temperature before I could do anything else with them. I have to admit that I was worried.

 

My carefully painted “forest floor” colorway (the one on the bottom right) looked like it had run all over itself forming a nice uniform color after I had spent all that time mixing four different shades of green and staggering them with browns.

Finally after about three or four hours the bundles were cool and ready for washing. I took a deep breath, screeched in horror at the nightmare that was our laundry room sink, washed it, then settled down for the next steps in this brand new (to me) process.

An interesting part of my day was working with two different kinds of fibers. All three skeins were Knit Picks bare fingering weight yarn, but two skeins were 75% superwash wool, 25% nylon and the other was 100% merino. I have to admit that my witchy self prefers all natural fibers, but I discovered some interesting things about dyeing wool today.

The wool/nylon blend held color incredibly well. In fact, the yarn seemed to drink all the color up, leaving little to bleed out in the wash water.

The 100% merino however, had a different kind of offering for its washwater.

Its colors also blended together a lot more during the steaming process. You will notice that this colorway is much less bright, and more subtle in general. Part of that has to do with it containing mainly dark greens and browns as opposed to the tones in the first two, but part of it is definitely the yarn.

After the first wash I was pretty pleased to see that the three skeins were pretty distinct. My goal today was to not replicate any color combinations already in The Stash. I think I did pretty well.

Next came the cucumber melon experience. This was strange. I did not really have any great wool wash in my house, and Dagmar suggested I use shampoo since it is less harsh than other detergents. Since I did this in the laundry room downstairs, I borrowed some of my housemate’s shampoo (thank you!).

 

Note the lovely suds. This at least got rid of some of the less-than-floral dye smell. As you might imagine, there was much rinsing to get rid of all the cucumber melon-ness. I am pretty pleased overall.

 

I came home saying that I had fun in class but was not sure I needed to be dyeing my own yarn. That said, I fell in love once the soggy bundles came undone and I could actually see the colors.

So now we wait for the drying to be complete. I will post pictures of wound skeins once the yarn is dry enough to put on the swift. In the meantime there is little room left for laundry in the house.

Thanks, Dagmar. Today was fabulous.

Holiday Knitting November 16, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in knitting, Knitting - FOs.
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I am going to assume that I am not the only knitter in the blogosphere with this problem. All of a sudden I am knitting on task, finishing projects and moving forward… but I can’t post pictures of anything I have finished!

This will teach me to never share this blog with anyone I am likely to knit presents for. Oh the frustration. Maybe we should do guest spots on each other’s blogs just so we can still have photos of beautiful FOs decorating the web for the holidays.

*sigh*

Well, for the record I have recently finished two lovely new finished objects. Check for photos after the holiday rush!

Fit for a Queen November 7, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in hats, knitting, Knitting - FOs.
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Sometimes there are people in your life who give their everything and all to make the world easier for you. This could not be more true of my housemate. About six weeks ago I managed to throw my back out… and the kicker is that it is STILL A PROBLEM. Not that my impatience is showing.

That said, my housemate has been a saint. She has been cleaning, cooking, driving, and so much more. Just to ensure that I don’t somehow manage to actually make my back worse.

When she purchased a new winter coat, I immediately dragged her (again, the poor woman) to the LYS to pick out yarn for accessories. Today I finished Coronet for her, made out of Noro Big Kureyon in the Naturale colorway. I do have to say that I changed the reductions at the top of the hat, using a pattern that makes a slower spiral up at the top. She loves it, which is always gratifying.

I think hats are fabulous simply because it is easy to start and actually finish them before getting distracted by something new. The Kureyon was a great choice for this hat (entirely hers) because it is so thick that she is guaranteed to stay warm. The double layer of knitting over her ears will also keep out the winter winds.

For All the Unitarian Universalist Knitters Out There November 3, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in free knitting patterns, knitting, Unitarian Universalism.
3 comments

 

Please read this important letter from the Rev. Tracy Sprowls Jenks.

(Just a quickly added note to clear up any confusion… I am not the Rev. Tracy Sprowls Jenks, I posted her letter because I thought this effort was worthwhile. –LunarAwe)

Dear Friends,

 I am starting a project called UUs Knit! (A Caps to the Capital Project).

 In many poor countries four million newborns die each year within the
 first month of life, two million of these die in the first 24 hours of
 life.  A few simple health measures can be provided that would prevent
 this huge loss of life such as antibiotics, training to birth attendants,
 immunizations, education on breastfeeding and basic care such as keeping
 the baby dry and warm.

 Here is where we come in!  I am collecting 1000 knit caps from my
 congregation and the UU congregations around the continent.  I need
 knitters in your congregations to be informed about this project.  Then,
 have knitting circles!  Teach your RE children how to knit!  Knit away and
 then send me the caps you have knitted!  I will gather all our knitted
 caps and then I will mail them to Save the Children (under the UU name)
 and then they will be shared with President Bush to draw attention to this
 very fixable problem.

 Click here for patterns and more information about Caps to the Capitol.

 It is this simple: knit a cap (or two), give them to Tracy Sprowls Jenks,
 and save the life of a child!  Look for future notices on this soon.
 Shortly, I will have posters available to hang on your bulletin boards in
 your congregations.

 My contact information is below.  Please let me know how I can help get
 this project off the ground in your congregation.  The goal is to collect
 1000 knit caps by December 28th.  That’s 1000 children whose lives will be
 saved.  Imagine what these children could contribute to the world!

 This project runs from now thru the end of December.   I will mail all
 caps by December 28th.
 Rev. Tracy Sprowls Jenks
 Religious Education Minister
 Unitarian Society of Ridgewood
 113 Cottage Place, Ridgewood, NJ 07450
 

One last Halloween-y moment November 2, 2006

Posted by lunarawe in free knitting patterns, jaywalkers, knitting, Socktoberfest 2006.
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Oh the joy. The witch’s brew mugs arrived on Halloween! I had to record this historic moment. So, here is a fairly gratituous photo of the (insert ooohs and aahs here) minimal progress that has been made since the last time I posted my jaywalkers in progress.

Also, be sure to head over to Woll normal and vote on the Witch Socks pattern contest this week!