Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Stay tuned!

Coming Tomorrow! An exciting bit of news! Here's a bit of a hint:


 More of my obsession.  The Hubbo is beyond crazed about this.  He is now filling interesting round jars (with lids!) with mineral oil and all sorts of goodies.  And I'm taking pics left and right.  I have got to figure out a way to translate this into knitting.  If I were still in my embroidery phase, I'd do all sorts of mandalas with sparkly threads and such.   I did get 20 skeins of sparkly yarn yesterday, but I don't see me doing knitting or crochet mandalas with them.

This last pic is of some jewelry fixings.

Wall-to-wall books - I have another one of an earring I beaded about 15 years ago.  I lost one of the earrings but kept the other one.  And here is the result. 


Monday, November 29, 2010

Kaleidoscope Images!

For your delight and enjoyment. Click on them to get a wonderful picture.

These are from 4 different kaleidoscopes.  Aren't they fun.  Now how to figure out what to do with them with my knitting.  OK, color, but it's those wonderful repeating designs.

DJNL - Do try it.  It's an interesting challenge and fun too.  And since we don't pay to have these developed, free.  I like free.  

Scrabblequeen - Sneaky is who I am.  I sneak, therefore, I am.  Or something like that.

Friday, November 26, 2010

The Yarnarian Lazes Around All Day!

Yep, that's what I'm doing today.  *Playing facebook, knitting, reading, munching*, repeat all day long.

It was a wonderful Thanksgiving.  We celebrated my favorite holiday with friends and family.  I'm pretty much done with great big dinners; this year there were 7 of us, and I actually got to sit down and eat while the food was hot.  And enjoyed all the chat and laughter and the joy of Thanksgiving, my very favorite holiday!  I'm so thankful that we have a Thanksgiving Day.  Everybody in the world should have one.  That's it!  I declare Thanksgiving as a World Holiday!

Today's kaleidoscope pics!  

These are all from the same ball, and they are all pics of some Opal yarn I had in my stash.  The brightness is due to a tiny bit of light that was shining on the ball. 

Off to be a lazy bum!  Oh how I love it! And no shopping for me, either!

Oh, and if you want the laugh of the day, check out Attic24's posting! You will howl!

Pammy Sue - I think everybody is out shopping. It's nice to be quiet and peaceful at home. Oh, and the turkey soup turned out to be wonderful.

Linda W - Yep, there will be more because we are so entranced with this particular one.

Scrabblequeen - And I think I'll repeat today tomorrow. 

susieb333 - Thanks for reminding me.  I checked on the website last night.  Looks like lots of fun, especially the cashmere and the merino!  It was grand fun meeting you yesterday.  Fiber people rule! 

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

November and a new passion!

General stuff.  Chat.  Nonsense.  Sort of how I feel in November.  Scattered, gray, looking for comfort.  The best side of Nov are the birthdays and Thanksgiving.  After all the good stuff, Nov is just a prelude for the winter.  On the other hand, in 5 months it will be April, and that's pretty good.  I think I'll ignore winter this year.  Pretend it is not going to exist.  Tee hee.

Birthdays:  the Mommie, who turned 96!  A most amazing woman.  Yep, the memory is somewhat wonky, and her hearing is sketchy, but when she is on, wow!  She quips, she's fast, and she's funny.  Really funny!  Not "I'm mocking you" funny; just plain funny.  You make a comment to her; she comes back with a quick rejoinder.  Who knew this woman lived inside her?  She wasn't that way when we were growing up.  She is, beyond doubt, the person in this world whom I most admire.  She doesn't whine, complain; she's never negative.  She just gets on with life, and has always done so.  On her birthday, I asked her:  "Hey, Mom, guess how old you are?"  "96?"  "yep."  "Hmmm, I may get to 100."  And she just may do that, too.

More birthdays:  DSD and the Hubbo.   My dad would have been 101 on Nov. 19, which is also the birthday of my dear step-daughter.  And the Hubbo's birthday was yesterday, which is my parent's wedding anniversary.

Thanksgiving.  My favorite holiday of the year, especially since I've retired from big company.  I did lots of big Thanksgivings over many, many years, but a few years ago, I stoppedt.  Lots of work, not much cooking help other than the Hubbo, and enough was enough.  So now, we have BFF and her darling Hubs, DD#1, the Mommie, and the 2 of us.  A grand total of 6 people.  Perfect.  Mind you, I make the same number of dishes, but chopping veggies for 6 takes a lot less time than for 20-24!  And I really relax and enjoy myself, and I get to eat while the food is still hot.  I'm still exhausted at the end of it, but it is just a wonderful day.  No presents, no nothing except good food, good friends and company, and thankfulness for all that life has given us.

New Passion!  Kaleidoscopes!  I have always loved kaleidoscopes, and the Hubbo has gotten into the game.  So last week he brought home the most amazing one yet!  This one aims downward, and looks at a ball in a cup.  You'll have to excuse the crummy pics; sometimes cameras and I don't see eye-to eye!  (bad pun, not intended.)

Here it is looking downward, looking at (and through) the aperture.  All those little round balls are what can go into the cup.  This one is supposed to look like a night sky, and in fact, the best viewing is when it's darker in the room. 

This last picture is how the cup looks without any balls in it.  The colors you see at the bottom and along the right side are just how it reflects what was adjacent to the cup.  Neat, no?

Here are more pics.  The first batch is what I took just now at around 9:45 this morning.

This one is taken of a music box in a snow globe with a green, sparkly bird in it.  At night and late afternoon, the images just sparkle!

Here are pics taken much later in the day yesterday:

And here are some pictures taken through a couple of other kaleidoscopes we own.  I'll show you want the scopes look like another day.  I need the Hubbo to hold some of them so that I can grab the camera and shoot.

This little one is about3 inches long.  Try taking a pic and holding it at the same time!

Scrabblequeen - A lot of ours were acquired in garage sales!  Now the Hubs buys 4" ornaments that can be filled with stuff. We put in anything, and even yarn looks amazing through it.  I'll take more pics every day, especially the yarny ones.  As the room gets darker, the images look like constellations and the night sky.  Just gorgeous!

Wall-to-wall books - He's 63!  

Monday, November 15, 2010

Linda's Shawl

Here she is, Linda's Shawl, all ready for you to knit.  This sweetheart of a shawlette is knitted from the bottom up, not my usual top down.  You start at the lace border, work it without any shaping, and then go on to the stockinette part, which has all the decreases.  That makes it such fun to work.  You have all the fun of the lace while you are anxious to start, and then you just motor along on the stockinette part with each row having less and less stitches.  You'll be amazed at how quickly it knits up.  Once your rows start decreasing, you just go faster and faster.  Such fun!

Here's the story behind the shawl.  Lots of times I unvent or find a lace pattern where the edging has a nice curve or point, and I want that edge to be the outside edge of a shawl.  So, I decided to do this one, bottom up and take advantage of the edge of the design.  But this can be tricky because what do you do if you run out of yarn on the stockinette portion?  I have a bit of a priori knowledge here since I've made lots of these little shawls top down and I know my yardage and how many stitches I end up with.  So, I was somewhat sure that it would all work out.  Not totally sure but almost, kind of, maybe.  And indeed, I ended up with a nice little ball of left over yarn.  

Here's the thing:  When you get to the stockinette portion, the rows have less and less stitches, and therefore use less and less yarn!  So while you're sweating it out that you are just going to run out of yarn, you suddenly realize that you do have enough.

In the event that you do run out of yarn, there's no reason why you can't just loosely bind off.  Your shawl will work more like a curvy stole than a shawl, but that's a lovely shape, too and just as cuddly and capable of draping around your neck.  So it's all a win/win situation.

I used Bambi yarn here and a size 5 (3.75mm) circular needle.  The trick to these shawls is drape; you don't want tight knitting as you need for socks, you want a fluid garment.  So go up to a 4, 5, or even 6 needle to get your gauge, and you'll be so pleased to see how nicely it works up.

You can easily use a variegated yarn here; just make sure that the lace will be visible and not lost in the colors.  A solid or almost solid will be fine, of course.

Linda's Scarf

As a bonus, I've also included a scarf with the same lace pattern.  I loved working the lace, and wanted to do a bit more.  Hence the scarf.

You can also use the lace in a sweater, either as a border or an overall pattern, as a ruffle for mitts, even for socks.  It is so pleasant to work, one of my favorite lace patterns.

Needless to say, I have 2 new shawlette patterns to write up and have test knitted, and the other day, I started yet another one.  What a crazy obsession this is!  I have more shawls that I know what to do with, but I just love wearing them.  They've become knitted embellishment for me. 

pendie - You'll really like knitting this one.  I'm so in love now with bottom up that I have a gazillion ideas in my head.

Scrabblequeen - Not a problem; the shawl isn't going anywhere.  ;-)

LivvyLove - Thanks.  I do enjoy the entire process.  OK, not the writing up, but the designing and playing and knitting! 

Thursday, November 4, 2010

Malka's Shawl

Here's the first shawl I've designed with Heather Yarn (see previous post for yarn info). This yarn is clearly an obsession of mine. All I want to do is play with it and see what it does. I call this "the thinking knitter/crocheter yarn." You have to knit up a 4" swatch to really see what it does. And it's amazing. I thought it wouldn't work on lace. well, I was wrong; depending on the colorways, Heather does lace beautifully. I know it will do cables and twist stitches just fine too, and of course good old stockinette. I should play with knit/purl patterns, except that I can never get away from lace.


Now I have to write up the pattern and get it test knitted.

Scrabblequeen - I'm just learning my way around dyeing this yarn.  Very different from anything else I've done.  I'm quite infatuated with it.
merrilymarylee - Thanks.  Unfortunately, it's gone missing.  I wore it all day yesterday and didn't leave the house, and now I can't find it.  Kind of hard to miss it, so where did it go?

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

Heather and Yarn

Here is the most fascinating yarn I've dyed.  These are my new Heather yarns, named this way because they knit up as heathery colors.  The yarn is a 3-ply merino, and 2 of the plies are not superwash; one is superwash.  Because of the different way that the two types of wool take the dye, you get this amazing heathery look.  It does look like a barber pole, but doesn't knit up that way.  At first I thought it would look like tweed; nope.  Then I thought  it would act like a ragg yarn.  Also nope.  It really heathers and is just so much fun to play with.

Here are 2 examples of how it knits up.  These are in process, so the knitting is not nice and even.  But give them a good wash and/or blocking, and everything will smooth out. The first is a sock dyed in one color only, a dark teal green.  My camera refuses to do the color properly, but you'll get the idea.  This was where I thought I'd get a ragg look, but the more I've worked up the sock, the less it looks like ragg, and instead has a dark heather appearance.  It's a really crummy photo, but that's this morning's light. Anyhow, you get the idea.

This swatch is from a shawl I've been designing.  There are various blueish, greenish colors, which would work up into an almost solid in another yarn, but here you get this lovely haze of color.  I wish you could see it in real life; it's lovely!

Again, sorry for the crummy pics, but you can get the general idea of how it works up.

Here are the specs:
100% merino yarn, approx 420 yards, 3 ply, fingering weight, hand wash only.  Cost is my usual $20.

Even though one ply is superwash, this needs to be hand washed.  You don't want garments to shrink.  The yarn will make lovely shawls and scarves, socks if you are willing to hand wash them, even hats, mitts, and gloves.  The yarn has a different feel from my superwash yarns; feels more woolly, but is very soft and cuddly.  Is it worth making a shawlette or scarf from it?  You betcha!  This is one terrific yarn, and not generally available in a commercially-dyed yarn.  Make yourself a gorgeous knit shawl or crocheted scarf and amaze your friends.  They'll be sooo jealous.  Of course you could tell them where you got the yarn, but you'd be the first in the crowd to have it.

Here are today's colorways.  You can buy directly from me at fritzL234 AT yahoo DOT com or buy from my Etsy shop:  http://fritzl.etsy.com

Cinnamon Rose Heather
Echo Heather

Iris Heather

Laguna Heather

Quartz Heather

Sea Grass Heather

Knitting news:  This is my new Linda's Shawl.  It's in test knitting, and may be ready in a couple of weeks or so.  Knitted in my old Bambi yarn, and beyond easy.  NO shaping in the lace areas!  No crazy graphs for me to work out, just delightful knitting.  It's going to have a couple of variations on the lace bundled with it, so 3 patterns altogether.  The other two garments are in process, and not ready for even crummy pics, but as I go along, I'll post them.

Grace - Thanks! I'm in love with both.

Angelika strickt   - I wore it today.  Very cozy around my neck.  It was raining and chilly, and I was so glad to have my little scarf.


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