Monday, August 29, 2011

My response to Hurricane Irene

In my preparations for Irene, I decided that I needed to make a statement with my feet. So I painted my toenails blue. I was hoping for a darker, more iridescent blue-purple (as the bottle indicated). Instead I got a lighter, glittery turquoise. But I'm not complaining. I like the color.

So there Irene!

Sunday, August 28, 2011

What I did on my travels

Finally! I have blocked the shawls I knit in my trips in July and August. This is the Here Comes the Sun shawl in Madelinetosh Tosh Merino Light in Glazed Pecan. Here it is blocking with wires and pins.
Fully blocked and finished. Much prettier after blocking, isn't it?

This is a close-up of the lace pattern.

However, shawls don't have to be blocked to be useful. While I was on vacation, we went to Mackinac Island in Michigan. The morning started cold and windy and I wasn't prepared with a sweater or jacket. But I had my just completed shawl in the car. Voila!
It worked to keep me warm.

The other shawl I completed was Daybreak. The handpainted yarn is Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock in Neon and the tweedy blue is an old skein of Wildefoote in Tom Cat I had picked up on sale somewhere.

In a slightly better light so you can see the real colors. That's all for now....

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

The silence is over!

Sorry for the long silence. I was off on a business trip to far-off lands. Of course they had internet access there but the only camera I had was my iPad camera. I knitted half a Citron and ripped it out because I dropped a few sts and for some reason, couldn't fix it without a huge hole. I started to just rip out a section but ended up ripping it all out as I wasn't happy with it.

Then I knitted a Daybreak shawl. I will post pics after I weave in ends and block. I also have knitted half a Timantti. Pics are forthcoming in the next post. Yes, I know I owe you a lot of information but since I'll be home for the near future, there is plenty of time to catch up.

In the meantime I thought I'd share a picture of my bed in one of the hotels. I came back after a client meeting/dinner at about 11:30 pm to find this! Yes, those are orchids on the bed. The tray just contains the laundry bag and the breakfast menu. Don't miss the mat and slippers on the side of the bed. There was another set on the other side. I was so tired that I was about to shove it all aside and get into bed but then I thought I should share.

I put the flowers on the tray, moved the slippers/mat on my side of the bed, changed into pajamas and crashed. Despite the elegant arrangement, I much prefer my bed at home - without turn-down, flowers or a clean mat and slippers.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Tour de Fleece wrap-up

This is the first skein I completed during the Tour. Woolen spun, 2 ply of BFL/Silk from Corgi Hill Farm. I spun from a carded batt.

This is the second skein. I spun 2 of the singles during the Tour and finished the third single and the plying last week. This is a 3ply worsted spun from combed top, also BFL/silk. It is also from Corgi Hill.

I am very sad to report that knitting guru, friend and mentor Joyce Williams passed away on Tuesday. She was the author of Latvian Dreams and co-author of Sweaters from Camp and Armenian Knitting. I met her at Knitting Camp and was privileged to call her friend.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Exploring new media

Or, my camp contest entry...

The theme this year was Musicals. I wanted to explore something called electroluminescent wire. But, I am cheap. I didn't want to pay for shipping multiple times and none of the stores around me stock this. So I designed my project based on internet research and no actual experience with the wire. I don't recommend this

I planned to make a poster of the musical CATS with light-up yellow eyes and light-up white lettering. I carefully tried to size how much wire I would need. Failed miserably

I enjoyed the process of creating the intarsia patterns to make the poster and surprisingly, I even enjoyed knitting it. I am not a fan of intarsia but in small quantities, it is fun. I thought I would duplicate stitch the wire over the intarsia.

Then I ordered the wire and it came. It is pretty exciting stuff. Depending on the length of wire you need to light, you have a power system - an inverter and a battery or a plug. So you have to decide in advance how much wire you need so that the inverter can be sized accordingly. I ordered 4 ft of yellow and 4 ft of white.

Unfortunately, while the diameter of the wire is smaller than the diameter of the yarn I used (Cascade Eco Wool), and the wire is very flexible, it is not capable of being knitted or stitched at the same gauge as the yarn.

So I resorted to plan B.
Here is the poster, unlighted. I used the white wire to make cats' whiskers to highlight the fact that the poster is the image of a cat's face.Here it is lit up. I opted for a battery pack so that it would be portable. It is pretty cute lit up.I used the yellow wire to outline the eyes. Not wonderful but adequate.
I had to embroider the finer details around the eye to make the dancers in the poster.
This is the other eye.

While this wasn't the most successful project in showcasing the media, I am excited about playing with it. I can re-use this wire to see what sort of gauge I can get with the wire. Then I can actually knit with it. It will also help me estimate how many yards I need and get the right power source.

I came in between 5th and 10th (lost track of the counting) so it wasn't the best contest entry either. However, I won a prize that was tailor-made for me so I am very happy. I will give you the details of that and my Camp acquisitions next time.