Sunday, October 29, 2006

Hands that Give Comfort
On Saturday, for 5 hours and again on Sunday for another 5 hours, I will be knitting so that it gives comfort to others. I have always thought that a social conscience is a good thing, but I have never really excercised mine, but Saturday I did.

The month of October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. There are commericals on TV, radio, in print and at my local yarn shop, The Knitting Corner. So going there once a week as I do, I decided to let my hands give someone else comfort. We are knitting shawls to give to women who are undergoing Chemo treatment for breast cancer.

I was totally amazed how many women showed up to give a few hours of their time to the whole five hours. I stayed the whole five hours and will go back again today on Sunday to knit some more. Below are some picture of the selfless women who are doing the knitting.

The woman on the right in the white top, is a cancer survivor. I don't think she will mine me saying that.

Here is a close up of the colors for the shawl. It's easy to knit and uses size 11 needles. The shop provided the supplies...
but we supplied the hands that will give comfort.

Monday, October 23, 2006

I really don't have much experience with blocking, but like everything else concerning knitting, it's a work in progress. I knew from reading other's blogs that you really needed to block lace. To what degree of care, I wasn't really sure. So since I have been knitting the Wallis Knits Lace Scarf, I have been learning about blocking without pins or blocking wires. The stripped towel is just a cotton kitchen towel.
Then I took the iron and set it for steam. I also had a larger white wet towel. I laid the white towel on top of the scarf and then used the iron. It flattened it out a lot and help to smooth out the rough edges.

Below are the results laying on top of the green stripped towel. The scarf dried for a few hours and then was folded neatly to save for a Christmas gift. I will knit at least 10 of these between this year and next to give as gifts.

I found another lace scarf I want to try and knit after I finish this one..I will need some help on the new scarf because it calls for starting off with some crocheting in the beginning. I am not sure how that is supposed to work but I will learn and will post it here another time. I have no idea what is wrong with me, but I have gone gaga over knitting lace scarves. It usually takes one 50g ball and makes a quick knit for a price that is great. The lower the price, the more I can give as gifts. Now back to the pink scarf...

Monday, October 16, 2006

Contrasts in Color
I really have been very busy knitting every day that I can. I put off vacuuming, I am having a yard sale and haven't really looked at what's going out next weekend, need to clean 2 bathrooms, but knitting comes first. I even have challenged myself to do housework first and then knit as a reward for cleaning. Doesn't work, who are we kidding?? Only ourselves, so no more games. I just knit as the house falls down around me and frankly, I don't care. I think as you get older, you realize that time is ticking away and there are fun things still not yet done.

Since I am such a slow knitter, I only have so much to post. Today I actually have some pictures to post of what I have finished and what is in the works.

I have been working on my first "true" lace scarf It's been finished a while but I just haven't had time to get it up here. It was great for a beginner and I would recommend it to anyone wanting to try their first lace item. It was my first time working with baby alpaca. It was soft and a little fuzzy, but so easy to knit with.
I took this picture with an orange pitcher to show the softness of the green.

The funny thing about the whole experience is that there is one glaring error from the first row 7 throughout the whole length of the scarf. Since I am a beginner I did not realize that I had been reading the directions incorrectly from beginning to the end. Since I met the woman who designed the scarf, I had her watch me and she pointed one thing and a huge light bulb came on. Since I had already made the error in the 7th row for 52 sets of repeats, I continued on. The person who will be getting this scarf will not know there's an error every 7th row. So I am okay with it. I am chalking it up to beginner's errors. The error was... not knitting one stitch after the YO. The row reads k2, YO, k6. I did k2, YO,k1, k6. I thought you had to do a knit stitch right after the YO. Wrong. So it turned out well. I only ended up with one stitch at the send that shouldn't have been there, and I made an ajustment every 7th row.

Since I learned from my mistake, this is take 2... I am knitting at least three or four more of the same pattern for friends. The yarn itself only cost me $6.49. How inexpensive of a gift is that? It's cute and really soft since it's Misty Alpaca? I still have a white and a pink to knit. I am not sure what I will knit after I finish this one but maybe it should be that baby sweater that I started a while ago that will be a baby present?

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Tidewater Knitter's Guild
I have been trying for almost a year to get to my very first meeting of the Tidewater Knitter's Guild. They meet the first Monday of the month and I had a schedule conflict. So I have finally solved the conflict and went to my very first meeting on the 2nd. It was pretty crowded. I was surprised at how many ladies there were. I think the average age is in the 60s somewhere. Now, I don't look at that as a bunch of old ladies. How I see it is, there's a WEATLTH of information in that room about yarn, techniques, and years upon years of experince of fixing mistakes. Believe me, I need those ladies!

They have a program every month and I was very surprised to see that the program this month was going to be featuring someone that I have gotten to know at the Knitting Corner. It's Ruth. Ruth is a fixture at the shop and I think she has knows the family who owns the shop for many, many years. Ruth would have heart failure knowing that I have talked about her here. She is a modest person and shuns public attention, but lucky for us she agreed to show everyone "What's in Ruth's Closet". Here are some pictures of the items that Ruth brought to show. Believe you me, these pictures do not even get close to doing her work justice. She had some really super stuff. See below...

Ruth made this afghan. It's reversable and has beautiful things on both sides. She said she designed this whole thing herself.

This is sweater that Ruth made that is vertically stripped. I thought that was pretty tricky myself.

This sweater looked much better in person. It's shades of Blue. I should have had Ruth model it. There are to more pictures but I can't seem to get them to load. So I will post them another day. One of them is a very beautiful lace shawl. Ruth has done a great job!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Going Back in Time
This week I was lucky enough to go and sit/stand in the log cabin at the Virginia State Fair with Mary Scott from Serendipity Farm & Studio. I was ticked that Mary called and asked me if I would come and be with her at the cabin since I was going to the fair one day anyway. My hubby and I have never been even though we have lived here for 13 years. Shame on us! So I gladly accepted the two free passes and we went to Richmond for the day this past Tuesday. The weather couldn't have been nicer. Even though it was a bit hot to be dressed in three layers, there was a nice stiff wind blowing that helped to keep things cool.

I had never dressed in period dress before so, Mary was nice enough to dress me. I felt a bit foolish, but after a while I got used to it.
I am the person who is admiring Mary's masterful weaving. We are discussing the pattern name. Since I am not a weaver I am fasinated by the patterns she brought with her. This woman knows her stuff. She knows many, many weavers as well as spinners. She is the person who taught me to spin.

Mary's display had a Great Wheel, which I have seen but have never had the chance to spin on. It was a bit imtimidating but, it was fun after I got the hang of it. Thankfully, there are much easier wheels to spin these days. The Great Wheel is strictly arm powered. You spin the wheel with your right hand and have to keep it moving at a nice clip. Then the left hand holds the roving and while you are doing all of that, you need to move backwards to make the thread. It sounds really complicated but I got the hang of it and actually enjoyed it.

I was so excited to have Mary show me how to use it since a wheel like this is what started me wanting to spin over 20 years ago. When we were living in Upper Bucks County, PA, there was a yarn shop on one of the main streets. They had a Great Wheel in the shop window and I looked at that it everytime I went to Doylestown. I thought about how cool it would be to learn how to spin on one. I never went into the shop but have always remembered it. I ran into a lady recently who told me that the shop is now gone. It's too bad I couldn't tell the shop owner it's because of her I have always wanted to learn how to spin.