Saturday, December 31, 2005

Holiday FO's

My computer crashed just before Christmas, so I never had a chance to post about the things I was making!! The good part is that I can show you the finished views instead of the WIPs :-)...Knitting Madness…

This is a scarf I made for my friend Rose from a fancy mohair yarn with metallic sparkles. It only took a couple hours to make. It’s just CO 11 with Garter Stitch. When I finished, I threaded a matching ribbon yarn through it from end to end in random places and then used both the sparkle mohair and ribbon yarns in the tassels:
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This scarf took a LOT longer! It’s a hand-dyed lace weight merino in subtle pinks and roses – you can’t see the colours very well in the photo. This was my first try with lace knitting and I had to frog more than once! The pattern is from my LYS, but it says on the pattern that the lace design is from Mary Thomas Knitting Patterns so you could find it. The cast on was 41 stitches with 3 knit st at each end to keep it from curling and three knit rows at beginning and end to make that scalloped edge.

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This is my favorite scarf – it was for my sister's BF John, who is the lead for the band Terrene ( . Isn’t he cute in it? The picture was taken at Tealuxe in Boston yesterday. The yarn was a hand-dyed thick yarn (Malabrigo)I got at the Windsor Button Shop in Boston some time ago. It’s a mix of beautiful browns, black, and dark green. I used a simple 24 st CO and k2 p2 until I used up the whole ball.

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Here’s a better photo of the colours of the yarn:

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I started to make a nice black sweater for my sister, but didn’t get further than the back, so I packed it in a box with the picture of the pattern. She thought that was great and laughed and said “An open-ended knit project! Great!” But I wanted to give her something finished too, so I quickly made these fingerless gloves. The yarn is the same type as the brown scarf, only with variegated light blues, and the lacy part at the beginning is the same lace pattern as I used on the pink lace scarf because when I got done with that it was indelibly burned into my brain LOL! Then I just K2 P2 until with was the right length and sewed up the side leaving a hole for the thumb.

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But the very BEST thing of all was what my sister made for me for Christmas! This is a cover for my Gameboy Advance SP! It’s an owl (obviously) and the eyes, which don’t show up very clearly in the photo, are vintage glass swirl-y buttons! I love it very much. She also gave me “Harvest Moon More Friends of Mineral Town”, which I’ve been playing non-stop.

She’s really creative! While she was here, she made a pair of lacey fingerless hand warmers and a cover for her new i-Pod.

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Well, that’s everything so far…. Now to finish the sweater and hopefully make some sock gifts for friends

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

This is my foot...

I'm finally finished the socks that jessica "rejected" and am ready to send them off to my friend Joe, for his friend Donna! They came out pretty well, except I suck at finishing the end of toes with that nice Kitchener stitch, so one looks like it has a bite taken out of it! This yarn is the wonderfully soft Louisa Harding Yarns (she has a knitting booklet out called 'A Gathering of Roses'). The pattern is just an ordinary simple sock...

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Well, I'd better get these in the mail today!

Wednesday, November 23, 2005

GoF - Not just a movie!

When I got home from seeing Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, my head was swimming with all the knitted garments I saw! The creative center of my brain kept urging "remember these remember these!" so I quickly sketched out the ones that I remembered best and noted all the details of colour and stitch. This is what I did:

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The first one was Ginny Weasley's hooded sweater. It was done in grey wool in garter stitch, had a zip-up front, and a hood. The point of the hood, the zipper pull, and each cuffless sleeve had a fat tassel of grey and orange threads. Around the neck, little orange flowers were embroidered in 'lazy daisy' stitch.

The next one I saw was a hat on a girl in the stadium. It was tan yarn (sorry, I didn't have a tan coloured pencil) - fairly fine - and seemed to be in a smooth knit stitch like stockinet. There was no brim, just a very narrow rib around the edge. Randomly around the hat were little bobbles in tan and green.

I also noticed Ron's winter hat with ear flaps. This was a complicated intarsia pattern which I didn't see closely enough to copy. The designs were in black yarn and the hat background was deep blue - like Maxfield Parrish sky blue. The ties that dangled sown from the triangle ear flaps seemed to be just a simple chain.

Ron also features in one of his Mom's goofy knits again: a raglan sleeved pullover. This sweater was done up in what looked like brown/cream "rag wool". The term rag wool doesn’t refer to anything bad, its a kind of yarn where two colours are spun together for a kind of heathery look. This sweater had buttons on the front shoulders where the raglan sleeve seams were - I couldn't tell if the sweater actually opened on these seams. The sweater also had a big felt "R" appliqu├ęd to the front. Very cute!

Cho's house scarf caught my eye also - I loved the midnight blue (it looked black at first on the dark screen) with thin silver stripes! The scarf was a very fine 1 X 1 rib - probably done on small needles with sport yarn.

The other house scarves had this same very fine rib stitch and did you notice that the gold of the Gryffindor scarves was a gold heather this year? It seemed to be gold with a very light black heather. Cedric Diggory's was gold with fine black stripes and Harry's was Burgundy with thin gold stripes - both golds used that heathery wool.

The last sketch I made was a pink sweater that Hermione was wearing under a coat (sorry I didn't have a pink pencil either) - so all I saw was the top part and neck. From the little I saw I tried to imagine what the style was like. It seemed to be a funnel neck raglan sweater in fine yarn - probably sport weight - but it was done in a very interesting and complicated-looking diagonal stitch.

I plan to see the movie a few more times while its still in the theatres and my eyes will be glued to the screen to get more and better tips about all the knitted goods in Goblet of Fire!!

Friday, November 18, 2005

Goblet of Fire day!

As you all know, the fourth Harry Potter movie is out today and we’ll all be attending wearing our school scarves and other identifiers, such as capes, hats, insignias, House-striped socks, sweaters, ties, etc. etc….. If only the Hogwarts feast would magically appear at the theatre! But this film should be feast enough, we’ve waited so long for it… I’m the Hermione type, myself, so of course…Gryffindor…

Now that all that frantic GoF knitting is over, I’ve discovered another obsession ~ Amigurumi. The problem is, that I don’t read Japanese well enough to translate these myself. Luckily, I know someone who does…

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fat cats!

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Mushroom house

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Fish (I love Goldfish!)

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and Hamtaro!!!!

Now if only they had the little Burnt Loaf and his Muffin friend!

Here in the Northeast we are on that uneasy edge between Fall and Winter. Weeds at the edge of the road are a startling russet, not meekly going down in brown but shouting their defiance to the end – appreciated by the wild birds who hop madly about gathering seeds before they're covered by snow. Some pre-winter bushes wear red wedding-dresses in the midst of this season’s preoccupation with decay.

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I’m off into this world now for a few hours…

Sunday, November 6, 2005

Scoring Northern Yarn

My friend Lori and I took a drive to the New Hampshire mountains yesterday - a beautiful 72 degree sunny Saturday - just to look at the brilliant leaves and hills, and maybe see a moose. The sad part is that we both forgot to bring cameras, so I can't show you the nature views, which were spectacular. We did see LOTS of hills - Mount Washington covered with snow! The red rock where the Old Man of the Mountain used to be (sad). And red, gold, russet leaves... No moose but a Whole Herd of White Tailed Deer! And.... a local Diner sign shaped like a Big Red Teapot...

We found ourselves in Littleton NH, just before noon, and after grilled portobello mushroom, spinach, and feta sandwiches, wandered the whole length of the main street which was in the midst of a big pre-holiday sale. As we passed the three-storey brick mansion that is the Post Office of this tiny town, my friend told me that when that building was built, the Federal government insisted that it be built to these certain huge proportions and when the town protested that they only needed a small building for their relatively few citizens, they were strongly told that these were regulation proportions for a town of that size. After the huge building was up, the feds discovered that they were insisting on the measurements for Littleton, Massachusetts, not New Hampshire! So now little Littleton NH houses the Post Office, the Court House, and other municipal offices in the biggest building on Main Street. (Just a little local history for you)

Lori was very indulgent about the stores I wanted to visit and of course Pearl's Yarn Shop was the first. I scored a whole flock of Frog Tree Alpaca - 10 balls for $32! I know, I was lucky! This photo darkens the colour somewhat - its the most beautiful mellow coral. I'm not sure what I'm going to make with it yet.

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The book is Cool Socks by Lucy Neatby - she was actually at one of the stores autographing copies, as you see:

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This next is of some woven labels I found to sew into my knitted things along with the Silver-Apples label.
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These say: "hero, honor, be proud, remember, legacy, believe, secrets, inspire, love, je t'aime, embrace, and romance". I thought they'd be cute - like a secret message inside...

A couple of days ago I offered to make a pair of beautiful cashmere socks for a woman I know who has a spiritual calling. She totally rejected them! "I don't wear socks" she said...:( But my friend Joe in California asked if he could have them for a friend of his who is hospitalized with MS, so that is all good now. I'm using the lush Louisa Harding yarns, because his friend loves blues. This is what they look like so far:

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I so wish I could work on knitting instead of classes today!!!!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

Staying centered

This week I finished the second pair of Gothic Lolita gloves (black) and sent them off to Silver-Apples stores. I started the second sock of the crocheted pair (these are for me and I can’t wait to walk around the house in them! Do you know how seldom I make something for myself????) And……I did some Spinning!

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I don’t know what I will knit from this hand-dyed, hand-spun sheep’s wool yarn. Maybe it will be a holiday present for a little girl I know who likes to knit.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

New Knitting (well....crochet)

Have you ever had chocolates for breakfast? I just did! Still basking in the comfort of chocolate-y happiness that my buddy Daniel sent me!

I am trying to keep up with my many projects, and here is the latest knitting... (except that its crochet!)
The Book: Louisa Harding Accessories:

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The Yarn: Louisa Harding Inpression colour 04 (and a pic from the book):

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The project: Crocheted sock with crocheted cable on the ankle ~ you can just barely see it because of the varigated yarn. This is my own pattern that I created a couple of years ago. I'm going to post it on Silver-Apples with some other original patterns at some point!

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I really need to finish these because I want to make an altar cloth for my Deacon friend Daniel with embroidery and filet crochet edging in some medieval designs! Oh, to be at the ocean with a design studio over-looking the sea!!

Wednesday, October 5, 2005

Knitting to Sci Fi

Home from work early, feeling crummy, I spent my afternoon knitting and watching Sci Fi ("Make it So!" and 'Love that Stargate!' well, actually, love that Colonel O'Neill), and drinking champagne (hey, why not?)...

The Champagne, with orange juice in a vintage pink elephant glass:

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The result is a pair of cute fingerless mitts. This yarn:

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Balzac Wool (Classic Elite) superwash 100% wool in colour #2989
65 yards and 50 grams/ball
looks like sport weight

The Sci Fi inspired me to make them fingerless~ (easier to carry your communicator)

And the champagne made them ~elbow length~ just knitting and knitting without thinking until the yarn ball ran out! LOL

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{The mitts during the bind off process, almost finished, laid out flat before seaming...}

Cast on 36 stiches using size 8 US needles (5 mm)

Rows 1 - 4 Knit in rib stitch (Knit 3 Purl 3) across for 4 rows. You can make this part longer if you want it to cover more of the hand.

Row 5 Knit for 20 stitches, then bind off 2 stitches, then continue knit St to end
Row 6 Purl 14 stiches, then make one stitch (knit in front AND in back of next stitch) in next two stitches, then purl to end of row.
Rows 7 - 19 knit the next 12 rows in stockinette st (knit one row, purl the next).
Rows 20 - to end of yarn, Rib stitch, knit 3, purl 3 each row, each side. Leave enough of a tail to sew up the side seam.
Make two (well, one for each hand. If you're an alien, obviously you'll need more!)

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Finished mitt (not my hand, but shows how neat they work with lots of rings)

and this is the fingerless glove with its little skull on it:
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Gothic Lolita!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Why I stayed up till midnight

This is what I've been working on...Harry Potter gloves, well...really they're Severus Snape's Slytherine gloves... Image hosted by

Ta-da! (modeled by a friend of mine)

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The days have been rainy and the nights cold, with very bright clear stars. In a season like this, its definitely time to bask in the warm products of those virtuous needles!

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This is a mohair shawl with a cool vintage pin to close it that I found in the thrift store. Its really a softer rose colour than this picture. The beautiful soft rose yarn is from the Sheep & Wool fair, from Dorchester Farms.

Monday, September 26, 2005

All knits need buttons!

This week my friend from Down Under came for a visit and we went to the Brimfield Antique Fair, looking for vintage buttons. We were very successful and we saw John Malkovich in the button booth!

You know you wanted to see my friend Mark and all the antique Brimfield buttons:

This is Marky at my house. Isn't he handsome? He looks rather like John Malkovich himself! But what's that he's reading????? Its a facsimile of an antique knitting book from Pastimes Press!

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These are vintage Celluloid buttons from the 1930's, and down near the bottom right you see a Bakelite Scotty Dog button. I only have one, and Marky has the other.

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Now, these are Vegetable Ivory buttons and there are some unusual ones in this group! Near the top and middle are two Plaids, there is a carved Leaf, and look at the center bottom of the photo amd you will see a carved Spider - very rare!

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I bought this old button card for a mermaid of my acquaintance (my little sister) who is very into clothing design - its odd for a mermaid to be into clothes don't you think? It would seem more in keeping for her to be into seaweed, or seashells, or fish! But she's a very artsy mermaid!

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Friday, September 16, 2005

This evening I'm all about cotton crochet

Welcome to my new knitting blog! I am an obsessed knitter and corcheter, living in an old house in the Northeast US. I've been crocheting since I was five and knitting for about five years...

Tonight I've been reading Buddhist texts and finishing up a capelet for the
Silver-Apples Fall Collection. Here's the capelet; its called "chocolate".


Chain 29 stitches and continue with any design, stiches, and colours that take your fancy until you have reached 150 stiches...
Pretty random, I know... great fun to make though...very Zen...

Here's the Buddhist part of my evening...

Practice Love, Give Joy, and Protection

Arouse your will, supreme and great,
Practice love, give joy and protection;
Let your giving be like space,
Without discrimination or limitation.

Do good things, not for your own sake
But for all the beings in the universe;
Save and make free everyone you encounter,
Help them attain the wisdom of the way.


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Buddha said: "Believe nothing, no matter where you read it, or who said it, no matter if I have said it, unless it agrees with your own reason and your own common sense."