Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Shadow Knitting

Shadow Knitting by Vivian Hoxbro, a Danish knit designer. I'm sure some of the designs in the book are wonderful but for me this one is just not quite what I thought it would be.

Ms. Hoxbro has a very nice blog and web site I enjoyed looking at all her tools and travels. But my attempt to follow one of her patterns did not turn out well

I must have done something very wrong here. It came out huge! it's too long or I'm too short. The sleeves are way too long or my arms are too short. The neckline is way too big or my neck is too.... oops you know what I mean.

Shadow knitting fascinated the heck out of me a couple of years ago is still sitting and waiting to be finished. This sweater is knitted "side to side" so it was difficult to see how it was going to fit and look. I had to blindly trust the pattern. After all that knitting I wanted it to be Fabulous!

I'm modifying, cutting and sewing and adding we'll see what happens.

I don't like the way it looks I don't like the way it fits, well Hanne Falkenberg design it isn't but I have so much time and effort invested I'm not sure what to do. I keep looking at it and thinking that I should figure out something...... maybe a short row front piece, or maybe a Queen Ann's lace neck line ....... made of Noro Silk may be just the right addition....

Oh NO I have not had this stored properly and the evil moth got to it!

Right in the front, now it's going to need major surgery!

Is it time to frog?

But there was so much time involved in knitting this I am determined to make it work!

Somehow I WILL make it work! or Maybe not....... tune in again to be continued.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Buttons revisited

I confess I'm a button collector! I can't help it it's in the genes.

Here are some, mind you I inherited a big jar of buttons from my mother. When I was sorting these buttons my grown son walked in the room and to both of our amazement he recognized some of the buttons. He told me when he used to visit with grandma they used to play with the buttons.

Some tips on how to store your buttons:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

From Luxe to Leia

It started out as impulse purchase online. Ok I woke up in the middle of the night and was wide awake, what to do so I went shopping online. It looked really good at 3am and what a deal it came in as a kit. And I could just download the pattern, instant gratification that's always a good thing, so I went click and in a couple of days I got the yarn. So far so good.
Cable Luxe Tunic was on it's way.

The first part the pattern calls for is the cable around the shoulders. So I figured that maybe this will be like a top down sweater except with a lot of cables. So I got my stitch markers and my cable needle and I knit and knit and it was kind of fun and finished this round thing of cables. Well that is as far as I got, the picking up stitches the counting out the cables the pattern I got overwhelmed.

I changed my mind but I have all this yarn and the cable looks good so I was sorting through my magazines and I see this cover it kind of reminded me of the "Paprika" freeform vest I made a while back.

I started to knit but realized that if I wear this cable creation it will make me look like the a bubble. So it became a hat.

Meet Princess Leia

a few more finishing touches and a hat is born. The rest of the yarn well it's waiting for another brain storm.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Garbage Bag Tutorial

I'm not sure how I got started with this kick but here I am, cutting up garbage bags. Having friends save garbage bags and bringing them to me and getting all excited when they bring me an unusual color. My husband came home the other day with two black bags and I was just thrilled.

So here is what I am making, crochet bottom round with a J hook, then chain two and double crochet round and round.

This is how I cut the bags:

First I cut off the ends....

Then we have this nice "tube"

I lay it down flat and fold over the bottom 2 folds, oh about 4" each...

Then I start cutting .....

Then I shake all the cuts loose and it kind of looks like a squid with legs....
Place the uncut center in the center and cut from the side to the first top cut.....

And there you have it one long strand of plastic ready to knit or crochet...

If this was not crystal clear to you I was told that there were lots of tutorials online for this very craft. Apparently others find this amusing as well. I did look but all I could find is the bag cut up in circles then the circles joined together in a chain link style. I did try that method but this one I'm doing seems to go a lot further and is a thinner and more workable material for me.

Garbage Bags!

It's been so long since SHE let me come even near the computer I almost forgot how to write. I guess it's like riding a bicycle once you know how you never forget. But I don't know how to ride a bike oh never mind...... Anyway SHE has been on the computer constantly some website called I guess it's like catnip for knitters. SHE is spending hours and hours looking at other people's knitting chatting with them etc.

SHE is really getting on my nerves with this knitting stuff. There is yarn everywhere! There are what SHE calls "projects" started all over the house. You better not even try and sit down on the couch without checking to see if SHE left any sharp sticks around. I try and distract her and annoy her as much as I can but I can only do so much. I am totally being ignored, at least if SHE were to knit me a sweater BUT NOOOOO... no sweater for me just socks, and purses and who the heck knows what else for herself.

Mind you SHE has enough yarn to open a yarn shop and do you know what she is knitting out of? Plastic garbage bags! Yup like a mental patient SHE is cutting up plastic garbage bags and rolling them up so it looks like yarn then SHE is making a purse! Like SHE does not have a 100 purses already. Then some of her friends are collecting garbage bags too so now we look like the recycling place with all the collections of garbage bags! Help I want out of this madness, SHE has crossed over the line. The worst part about it is how she forces people to watch her MAGIC trick, which is how to cut the plastic garbage bags. I do admit it's pretty amazing the first time you see it but it gets old very fast. I do hope SHE gets over this kick soon.

Oh here SHE comes I've got to go, till next time.

The Bitch.

fyi: her user name on is bananaknits.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Kaffe Fassett book signing.

I love the colors and designs of Kaffe Fassett, I've never attempted to knit anything from any of his books but I still love to look at the pretty pictures.

He has a new book out so he is on a "Book Signing" tour and last evening he was at Wildfiber one of my LYS (local yarn store). Only a few minutes drive from my house and I do own several of his books and I was curious to meet him.

I went early because parking at this Santa Monica store is "gamey" at best so I thought there would be a huge crowd ..... well I was wrong in my estimation it was very poorly attended. Thank goodness there were a few regular customers to make it appear a bit more crowded. They had a huge stack of books on the table all kinds of lovely food and he had all his "sharpie" pens ready and there were no lines only a few admiring his knitting.

He did sign all my books and graciously showed his knitting technique. Natasha the new owner of Wildfiber and I remarked with surprise that he was a "thrower". Both Natasha and I are "pickers" and there was a sense of oh you poor dear you are a "thrower".

Is being a "thrower" bad, he asked? To which we both replied that throwers are slower than pickers. Although there are some fast throwers and Kaffee was certainly one of them. But Natasha and I kind of snobbishly felt sorry for all those poor slow pickers. Oh yes throwers are slower than pickers just in case there is any doubt. But this argument is like having a PC or a Mac.

I told him that his charts look far too hard to follow so I only admire the pictures and do an interpretation of what I see. I told him that I never really learned how to read patterns so I just make up my own. He laughed and told me that he can't follow patterns either so that's why he makes up his own patterns too. He was surprised that anybody could follow his complex patterns. So there you have it he can't follow his own patterns either but his sense of color is terrific.

"A purse I can't get enough of"

I wrote about the purse I never wear now I want to share a purse I made that I always wear. I can't seem to get enough of this purse. It wears so well feels nice a cozy access is easy and it stays on my shoulders!

When it comes to purses I have many requirements, not just any purse will do. First of all I seem to want them to hang from my shoulders to leave my hands free . I don't wear shoulder pads anymore, (oh I miss them so much) so I have a problem with the shoulder strap sliding off my shoulder and it becomes a constant fight. So that is the number one criteria, shoulder slippage. If you want to know more about my hand bag obsession I wrote about it here.

This purse is knitted in the round with a mixed content yarn. It was wool and silk and wet felted in my washing machine. The wool felted or shrunk more than the silk so it gave the purse a "texture" sort of wool with silky bumps. Then I crochet a "chain" strap but the purse still needed something more first I was going to needle felt a design on it but I could not make up my mind what color to add and what the design should be. I put it aside to think about it.

Months went by and one day I was rummaging through my "works in progress" pile, you know those unfinished projects that are just begging to be finished I seem to have a huge pile of. And I see this back of a sweater I started and got fed up with because it was too tedious. Suddenly it came together I just sewed it on the bottom of the purse. Now this is just what this project needed.

Take a look, the bottom has this great star design

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"A purse I never wear"

I originally wrote about this purse:

This is a felted purse I made and have decided to name it "Zita". It's very comfortable to wear and the colors work really well together. The lime green with the deep maroon and the tiny dot of yellow in the flower turned out well.

I made this in 2005 and since then hardly used it so I renamed it "A purse I never wear".... I have been posting my fiber creations on (user name: bananaknits) and realizing just how many things I've collected over these past few years of knitting.

I have been a life long knitter learned the skill very early in my childhood. It seemed like this was a mandatory skill we all had to learn in Post World War 2 Eastern Europe. At least this is my perception of it all. Ready made clothing was just not available so if you wanted a sweater to keep warm you had to knit it yourself or have somebody make it for you. The winters are frigid in Budapest and I quickly learned the skill to knit myself scarfs, hats, gloves, socks and sweaters.

We did not have pattern books just hand me down instructions mostly verbal. This is why my first instinct is to just start knitting and not follow patterns just create shapes. Even if I do follow a pattern I just can't help myself and have to "tweek" it. My privilidge.