Sunday, February 27, 2011

Madrona 2011

I didn't post last week because I was at the Madrona Fiber Arts Retreat in Tacoma, Washington. I love going there, not only because it is more specialized than some of the other fiber retreats, but also because many of my friends gather there. We all stay in the same hotel so it is easy to interact and hang out. The classes are also different from the ones offered at the NY Sheep and Wool Festival in Rhinebeck , New York.

I made excellent progress on my Rose Lace Collar. The yoke is done and I am now on the plain stockinette part.

I love the colors in this yoke. So muted, and yet so interesting.

My first class was from Janine Bajus on designing fair-isle yoke sweaters. I love Janine's approach to color in fair-isle. She is a wonderful teacher. I made a little American Girl doll sweater. I am not happy with the colors. I will post a picture one of these days. I have put away most of the stuff that came back from Madrona so it isn't readily available to photograph.

I also took Susanna Hanson's Bohus class. Yes, I know I have made a lot of Bohus sweaters, but the class covers the history of Bohus Stickning, and Susanna brings the vintage sweaters that she collected. She is also a great teacher. Very organized and methodical. I have updated the blog page so my photos of the vintage sweaters are a slideshow. There are too many photos to post on the page directly. If you want to see the whole album, it is here.

Lastly, I took a knitted and beaded beads class from Betsy Hershberg. Here are the beads we made in class.
The left two are knitted coverings on wooden beads. The right hand one is a soft bead made entirely of yarn and beads. We have instructions for a few more that we didn't get to in class. I plan to make these on my own. This class has given me lots of ideas that I want to play with. I wish I had more time in the day!

I bought this Betsy Hershberg kit before I took the class. It makes this lariat necklace from Knitters magazine. I bought it because it was the last kit with the gray yarn I wanted. The others were much brighter and I felt the colors would limit the opportunities to wear it. I think this could be a weekend project one of these days.

I bought a few more odds and ends but my biggest purchase was this lovely Hansen mini-spinner in purpleheart and maple. I have been spinning a little every day on it. I love it because I can really focus on my drafting skills without worrying about treadling and speed.
I also love the orifice threader I got with it. It is made of mono-filament and it much easier to use than a hook. I am busy spinning up odds and ends of roving that I've collected for practice.

This little ear-light is something that I'm looking forward to using when I'm in the car or in the plane, and the light isn't great. There is also a useful folding Ott light on my shopping list.

That is all for now... Back to spinning and knitting

Sunday, February 13, 2011


Progress is slow but sure on the Rose Lace Collar. I thought I'd have more done but I had a few busy weekday evenings and didn't get to knit. I hope to do a few more rounds today. I had to undo a 312 st round because I mixed up the colors as I was knitting. I somehow misinterpreted the chart and used the wrong colors so I had to undo and redo it. Oh well. Twice as much fun!

I wore the silk featherweight cardi to the yarn store yesterday and had a few pictures taken. This is the nicely blocked version. It really does look nice and it is a lot warmer than I anticipated.
The front.
The back

And the front again, with the front panels laying nicely. I was styled for this photo!

What is the common element among these two projects? The lovely yarn!

Sunday, February 6, 2011


Last week was an excellent knitting week. I was able to knit a lot and I was motivated to knit a lot!

First of all, the Swedish Heartwarmer Shawl: I was able to finish a lot of the plain stockinette. I have about 25% left to do. It is difficult to photograph because it is scrunched up on a relatively small needle and it curls up. The fabric is very dense and I like it. It will make a nice warm shawl. I wonder how the colorwork will look in such a fabric. The blue is a little deeper than the photo indicates and I love the very subtle shading of the different colors.

Next up is the Rose Lace Collar Bohus: I am about on round 10. There are 63 rounds but the st count also goes up as you work through the chart. So there is quite a bit left to do. But it goes fast once I sit down and start to work on it. There is a nice rhythm to each round. The problem I have is that once I start, I don't like to put it down and pick it up. I like to sit down and work on it for an hour or more and that sort of time is not as easy to come by. But it is so much fun!

Here's a close-up of what I've done so far. I started with a provisional CO as I prefer to work the neck later. I've done it both ways and I like this way better. I haven't decided yet on how I want to finish the neck.
This is what the knitting looks like. The markers are for the steek. I am going to make a jacket, I think. But all that is for later. Right now I am just happily knitting away.

I decided that my attraction (or lack thereof) to what I'm knitting is very dependent on the yarn and the fabric. Both of these yarns/fabrics make me happy. I love the feel of the yarn in my hands and I love the fabric I'm getting.

Next week I hope to show you the completed yoke. But maybe not! Wish me luck!