Sunday, February 26, 2006

Forgot to Add....

Just this morning I remembered another thing I included in the Spring Fling package (which I still don't knowif my partner has received or not): two cute little handwoven "pockets" in purple and yellow. My mom gave one in red and white to my daughter for Valentine's Day with a little gift tucked inside, and it was just so cute I had to try and copy it.

Here are step-by-step directions for anyone who's interested. This seems to work best when made with something that has a bit of firmness to it, like paper or cotton fabric. I tried it with felt, but it tended to torque a bit after weaving.

How to Make a Woven Pocket

Using two pieces of paper or cloth, layer them one on top of the other and fold in half. Cut an elongated half-circle out of both pieces with the short center-line being the fold line. You will wind up with two roughly football-shaped pieces that are folded down the middle. Cut an equal number of slashes from the folded edge almost to the opposite side of each piece, but do not cut all the way through the outer edge.

Next, keep both pieces folded in half and weave the leftmost strip of the piece on the right (red fabric) between the folded rightmost strip of the piece on the left (heart fabric). Basically, you will tuck the leftmost red strip between the fold of the rightmost heart strip. Then take the second-to-right heart strip and tuck it between the fold of the same leftmost red strip.

  • Continue weaving in and out in this manner until all strips have been woven together.

  • Neaten weaving until pocket lays flat. If you like, add a handle or use as-is.

Saturday, February 25, 2006

Knitting Olympics

I must say, I'm jealous of all those folks participating in Yarn Harlot's Knitting Olympics. If I'd known, I might have entered, though the way my knitting has NOT been progressing lately, I doubt I'd finish.

I've been working on my ruana pretty regularly. It's totally mindless knitting with the only downside being the tremendous amount of yarn I need to drag along with me if I want to take it anywhere. It's definitely not designed to be commuter knitting.

I also started my mom's silk stole, figuring that should be portable enough to take with me to and from work, but so far I've only gotten about four points worked on the first edging; at this rate, she'll get it for Christmas...2007!

At least I finished spinning the orange never-ending Corriedale on my Louet wheel. Right now it's still in singles on the bobbin; I'm not sure if I want to ply it on itself or with another yarn. Right now I'm spinning up some mixed wool (white) on the wheel and enjoying how I'm increasingly able to spin a more consistent yarn.

Oh, and the Golding Swan Lake has been sent back to Tom and Diane for repair. Let's just say that there'll be no more spindling over bare hardwood floors for me. :( Still, the Goldings are wonderful and stand by their products, so I should get my spindle back in fine working order soon. Let's hope so; I can't wait to finish that purple variegated wool I was working on.

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Secret Spindler Spring Fling

OK, I tried posting this a couple of days ago but bagged it when blogger went wonky on me and ate my post. Here goes try #2....

I mailed out my spindlers Spring Fling package about a week or so ago, which means my partner out in SD should be getting it any day now. Since the theme was spring, I started by making some Loom Blooms, which I made on my little Weave-It 4 inch hand loom following the pattern in this season's issue of Spin-Off.

I figure she can attach them to whatever she likes once she receives them.

I then made a bunch of stitch markers (I hope she knits!) in purple, green and gold -- nice springtime colors. Couldn't get a good photo, though, to post what they look like. :( Oh, well.... I sent them in a nice little woven drawstring bag (not handmade my me, unfortunately), which -- since it's fairly large -- she should be able to use to hold all her stitch markers, not just the ones I sent.

Next I included a couple of small skeins of yarn, one in pink and the other a novelty sorta-boucle-type in white. I just had them sitting around with no plans to use them and I thought maybe my partner would be more creative with them than I had.

I also tucked in a few seed packets: baby's breath, poppies and tomatoes. Again, just some seeds I already had in the house, but nice for spring (especially the tomatoes; by the summer they should be ready for picking and eating -- YUM!).

Finally, I packed it all for safe transport in a bunch of "mystery wool" in various shades of white and off-white. It came in a mixed box of wool I bought off ebay awhile ago, and I figured that even though it was a bit rough it would be perfect for needle felting or use in outerwear...and, of course, the color lends itself perfectly to dyeing.

I really hope my partner likes her package! Now, I wonder what I'll receive myself.... :)

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Valentine's Day Surprise

Do I have the Dearest DH or what?? He gave me a Golding Swan Lake spindle -- a gorgeous piece of art that is as useful as it is beautiful. I've been happily spinning up some variegated purple wool roving since getting this beauty. How lucky can I get? *g*

Thursday, February 09, 2006


Tonight I finally started the ruana from Folk Shawls. A ruana is a South American shawl -- very long, solid in the back and split down the middle in front with a floor-sweeping fringe. It takes a tremendous amount of yarn, so I've been collecting for the past couple of months in preparation. I'm doing it in somewhat unusual colors for me -- lots of pinks, raspberry, purple, and also deep blues and charcoals -- and it's basically a showcase for some of the sari silk yarn I treated myself to at Christmas. This is going to be a LONG project --236 stitches in a row, and each row has to be ended and started over to make the fringe -- but it's totally mindless garter stitch knitting, so it'll be a nice break from working on my mom's lacey silk stole and my pi shawl.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Baby Blanket

I cannot believe how well this turned out! I wish I'd taken a "before" photo to show the comparison. I didn't simply because I didn't believe that crumpled, ruffled ball of knots would turn into anything resembling a blanket even after the most determined blocking. Happily, I was wrong! :)

This blanket is based on a Shetland hap shawl, which is the traditional "everyday" shawl worn by women of the Shetland Islands. The solid garter stitch center is for warmth, while the lace edging is for beauty. I picked the colors -- black, blue and light grey -- for my cousins' new baby, a boy due to arrive from Korea in March. I'm glad I have this finished well in advance; my current work/school schedule makes it tough to get in any serious knitting time. Still, I'm almost done with DH's Valentine's Day present, a simple scarf in a zig-zag pattern made from dark brown wool singles from the Brown Sheep company. That's my subway knitting, for the moment at least.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Sick Again

I can't believe this. It feels like I just got over the last horrendous cold and now I'm flat on my back again, mouth-breathing and wondering when I'll just frickin die already and get it over with. DH says it's going back to work that's done it; I'm not used to being around all those germy people, riding the subways and leaning over students' shoulders and such. Whatever it is, I'm miserable. Thank goodness for my in-laws, who very kindly offered to take the baby tomorrow so I can stay home alone and try to recuperate. Bed all day, chicken soup...aaaah, sounds like heaven!

How very, very sad.