Sunday, April 29, 2012

3KCBWDAY7 Monogamy?

I came to knitting from crocheting. I had crocheted since I was a child and my grandmother Eileen and stepmother Jeanne both took turns teaching me. Grandma Eileen also tried teaching me knitting but that was a lesson in frustration at the time. Its actually my husband Brandon that kept pushing me to learn how to knit. He finally drug me off to JoAnn's and we found a booklet, some yarn and needles and off I went. I'm glad that he was so encouraging and proud of how far I've come. He'd love to see me designing too, so don't be surprised if that happens some time in the future. ;-)

I'm pretty firmly in the knitting, but don't mind adding crochet if its called for or using it to add beads. Do I want  to do it more often? Not so much. I do have an advantage over most crocheters I have found, I can read crochet patterns. In fact, I remember being frustrated by a few along the way. Just last night there were two young ladies that admit that they don't know how to follow a pattern. Both had also tried knitting, but didn't go far. Wonder if its from that lack of being taught how to read a pattern?

So I guess you could say that I am monogamous to knitting over crocheting, as a crafter, not so much. lol Not with costume making, spinning, and learning fun things like Norse Wire Weaving and the Portuguese Rug Making. I'd also like to learn Inkle Weaving and maybe Tablet Weaving. I'd love to get a Cricket loom too. I guess it comes down to the desire to learn fun new craft things.

Are you a monogamous crafter?

Saturday, April 28, 2012

3KCBWDay6 Mad Skills

Last year I thought I'd like to try Entrelac and I may still try it, but right now, it really doesn't excite me. Gasp! I don't know, maybe if I got some self striping yarn that does excite me and just calls out to become an entrelac something or other it will happen. Want to tempt me? ;-)

I was chatting with a drop spindler at the Irish Spring Feast and she had recently taken a Twined Knitting class. At first I thought she was talking about Double Knitting that I had finally gotten around to trying out this last year:

My double knitted hot pad I gave as a hostess gift to my cousin's wife at Thanksgiving.

Is an old Scandinavian technique that creates a denser fabric, here's the Knitty Tutorial on how to do it.  I've had a pair of mittens in my queue, also from Knitty, for a long time but don't think I realized they are Twined Knitted. I've added in a hat pattern to really help learn the process.

Do I want to moebius? I do have a few in my queue. What new skill do you want to learn this year?

Thursday, April 26, 2012

3KCBWDAY5 What will it be?

3KCBWDAY4 Knitter for all seasons

In the beginning I started out with small projects and then was a bit seasonal because I would try to knit Christmas gifts starting in the fall. So hats and gloves were the way to go.

I've grown to the last couple years to knitting all year towards Christmas using monthly themes with a Ravelry group - Christmas Monthly Make Ahead. It was kind of nice to have other people join you in your insanity and have a place to show off your projects along the way. You don't have to be rigid in only knitting your stuff in that themed month, but it can help.

This year, while still a member of that group, I've really gone insane and am trying to do a bunch of 12s. Hats, mittens, socks and shawls as well as sweaters. Then one of my groups, a sock one stalled me out on trying to use a purchased pattern for February and the sock pattern was incredibly fussy and an attention hog. It stalled me from some of the others and I had to take March off of knitting towards many of the groups.

It did help, I came up with a plan that I'm implementing for April. I stand a pretty good chance of making it work. That's for next week though.

I'm fair skinned and burn. The bright light of the sun can trigger migraines. What does that mean? I have a tendency towards being a semi-cave dweller with air conditioning. Thus, spinning or knitting with warm wool in the summer isn't going to slow me down. I do have some lovely cottons that I'd like to get knit soon for summer weather wear.

Does the weather affect what you knit? Or not allow you to knit? What do you do when you're not knitting?

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

3KCBWDAY3 Knitting Hero

Today is about heroes, knitting or crochet. I do crochet, but since I've started knitting, I mostly do that. So someone I admire for her knitting is Michele - PDXKnitterati. I've test knit for her once on her Zen Rain Shawlette:
This it at the State Fair. If you look closely, you'll see they put my tag on the wrong side and have it wrong side out. If that is how it was judged, I think it did pretty good for getting third place. Imagine if it had been correct side out?

Neither photo shows that there's silver in the yarn so it sparkles like raindrops in the sun. Its a lovely shawlette.
I've also knit one of her designs as a sample for local dyer, Lorajean for her KnittedWit yarns and fiber, Thrumbelina, that makes use of thrumming. Thrumming has been around for a few hundred years, but she's come up with a nice twist with her slippers:
Regular and Large sizes
 Showing off the thrums, the butterfly twists of fiber knitted in:

I plan to knit another pair or two really soon. I think they'll be great to take camping to keep feet warm. I have a friend, Andrea, with poor circulation and she always has cold feet and hands, so could really use a pair.

Michele is growing her designing and teaching classes at her local yarn store, Twisted, but has been getting invited to teach in other yarn stores and not just in town. She's taught all the way down in Corvallis for Stash.

Michele has also tackled knitting projects like entrelac successfully and then gone on to design patterns using this technique. The thrumming and then this weekend went off to the Columbia Gorge Fiber Festival and took a class with Mary Scott Huff on how to steek. That's purposefully cutting your knitting and there's no felting involved. There was also no steadying sip of wine beforehand, so really impressed. I think I'd have to have at least one drink before and I really don't drink. ;-)

Michele is always willing to share not only in her classes, but those of you not local, you can learn some of her techniques from her tutorials like how to two color knit and carry it in one hand.

I have several several of her patterns in my queue to knit in the future and hope to add many more. I also can't wait to find out what new knitting challenge Michele will tackle! Can you?

Found this and thought it would be fun to end with:
Tammy, Rachel and Michele all with their Turkish Drop Spindles. Michele had been tempted by them at Sock Summit and has spun a bit, but I think the designing is keeping her away from spinning. (The Turkish group grew that afternoon to at least five or more.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2012


I've had a neck nerve pinch causing pain all day, so another day of not knitting. Then there was the three hours on the phone talking and crying with my little sister. Her personal issue and reminiscing about our childhood. So all my daylight left before I could come up with something wildly creative to tell a story. I was going to re-use the photo from yesterday of the spinning and knit item with my Bleeding Hearts and while going to get that, I saw this one.

These are two sets of stitch markers that Kirky made and sent me (I haven't seen an Etsy shop or I would have linked to one, its her Rav name that I'm sure you could contact her if you'd like some of your own). They were a prize she donated for the 12 in 2012 group. I won them for my February entry, the green Ice Queen I also shared yesterday. The moderator of the group thought it showed a nice use of beads with a project. I found out I had won them the first day of the Rose City Yarn Crawl and thought they might be a good portent for my luck in winning a basket. Didn't exactly work out that way though.

As you can see one set is clearly pink! Yes, pink just seems to keep finding me. They are pretty and I'll use them of course. I think the little red ones seem to have an Asian influence to me. But I can't remember what it is about them that is striking that mental note for me.  Can you tell me why?

Monday, April 23, 2012

3KCBWDAY1 Colour or Color

Another year has gone by and it is once again the Knitting and Crocheting blog week. I try to blog at least once a week, but sometimes life and the ability to get good pictures slows me down. This comes in spring, so a little easier to get pictures, but still helps inspire posts!

We are finally having a few days of sunshine and while I don't enjoy the bright light, it can trigger migraines, I do try to get outside and soak up a few minutes of natural Vitamin D and take pictures. I grabbed up three finished projects and Brandon took pics for me. I think though that I'll wait until after this week to share them.

Today the suggested topic is about color, what predominant color is in your stash and projects page?

Looking through, I noticed that I'm definitely in the jewel tone range rather than the pastel range. Give me a good saturated color and I'm happy. I'm trying to figure out if I have more than any of one color and the closest I can come is I might have more blues?

I lost a server with all of my photos at the end of last year, so only have easily accessible photos for this year. Take a peak in my Ravelry stash and projects. What do you think is my most predominant color?

The funny thing is that I really don't care for pink, but somehow end up having a lot of it and knitting or spinning with it. I can sometimes get around the pinkness with a bit of Kool-Aid help:

I didn't buy this pink yarn. Rachel did. She didn't like it, so she tried giving it away at the WWSiP event. I scooped it up and saved it to make her something. I decided on the Summer Flies shawl. Then over-dyed it with Kool-Aid and Wilton's Cake dye.  She liked it, especially when I called it Trtlgrl green.
This wasn't pink, but it too benefited from being over-dyed with some green.
The pink was a birthday gift from my mother. I had used part of it and as you can see ran out. So I used some previously pink Lion Brand Sock-Ease to finish up the pair.

Then over-dyed with some Tropical Punch and Black Cherry Kool-Aid. Like them much more now.

I had over-dyed the yarn and then knit with it and as you can see, not all of the yarn was actually dyed. So why using the leftovers to do the above socks and then over-dyeing again got it all covered. I've since over-dyed this pair again and all the pink is definitely gone.

All other pink that I've knit with is because I've been asked to for samples or because I have little girls in the family and they seem to like pink. ;-)

This month I'm spinning some Stitchjones Merino/Tencel in a color called Quince Blossom that is a pale pink that I willingly bought, but liked how it looked when I bought it. Then with the cherry blossoms in bloom it just seemed to call SPRING so opted to make it my spinning project for the month. My Bleeding Heart is in bloom and I had knit a pink project and the sun was shining so I did a color photo:
Do you find lots of one color in your stash? Is it your favorite color or is it because you're knitting for others?

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Silk Banners and Wire Weaving

I showed the start of the silk banner painting, but forgot to take good photos of them all washed and ironed. Here they are after their steam bath:
Dawn-Marie's device

House of the Golden Bees banner

Andrea's intended device - its a peacock feather

Caterina's possible device - Tudor Rose with a bow on purple

Second House of the Golden Bees banner
So just have our two bee banners, and because they have been tucked on a shelf, still a bit wrinkly:

Can you tell that the blue background saturated differently? I think I mentioned that mine had the issue of the blue jumping the resist and went into the wing. It was easier to just use some black for the wings. Like the gold though.

Last weekend we drove up to Kelso, Washington for the Shire of River's Bend's Irish Spring Feast. It was a crown event, in that the King and Queen of An Tir (who live up in Canada) were attending. There was beef barley soup for lunch, Norse Wire Weaving for Andrea, Brandon and I. Andrea also took a Kumihimo class (Japanese braiding) and Brandon took a Beginning Hand Sewing class and learned a few new stitches and learned how to do one better.

My wire weaving:
Use use a dowel to make your tube.
Left is my first project, one from the dowel, probably will be a man's bracelet; second project was the necklace, will probably gift to a Norse friend; the little one was the last of my class wire and a bead experiment.

Close up of the beaded project

First one

Trying to show how the tube looks different by how much or little you pull it through the drawplate. The beads have only a few draws and the necklace went through them all.

Our friend Kellie receiving her Award of Arms from King Iuan and Queen Qwenyth

This weekend was our Baroness Birthday Bash with a potluck and cake and some silly medieval games of her choice. Also a discussion of how the Barony is going to do their Sargentry Trials. I have no interest, so I just half listened and knitted. ;-) Then on Sunday we went over to Milwaukie, just a couple blocks away from Make One (but I didn't get to go in because they weren't open yet!) and helped someone from the Barony of Three Mountains with part of their Sargentry Trials - Dance, Bardic - singing and story telling. Brandon and Dawn-Marie helped by being extra dancing people and then we helped the 12th Night crew with some of the decoration creation for the event. Dawn-Marie and I played with beads that will be used to help weight down banners and Brandon got to color with markers on a plastic to simulate a stained glass. It looked cool. 

Since we were in the neighborhood and to get back on the main road back towards home, we ended up pointed right at The Mill End Store. Brandon had never been there, so we had to stop so he could take a look. I found some hook and eye tape I can use on my German dress, so bought a couple yards.  

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Mellie Update!

Thank you to any of you that donated towards Mellie's surgery. I know I received a lovely Thank You card from Mellie's mom Greta.

If you didn't bookmark the page, here it is - Mellie's ChipIn.  She still needs help paying off the surgery. If you have dogs, Greta is an awesome trainer and can help with any issues you may be having. Check out Mellie's progress, she's doing so much better after her surgery.

PS: The ChipIn page expired, so Greta created a FaceBook page here -

Wednesday, April 4, 2012


I was reading a status update on Facebook about blankets that were donated by Leigh Radford.  I never did get one of the squares done, but had planned to join Leigh in assembling them together. The day she picked, a Saturday, I was coming down with a cold so stayed home and so didn't get to help out. It was a cool plan she had and implemented.

This reminded me about a discussion we had at spinning this week about blankets. That many of the knitted ones are definitely one sided and often don't have a terribly pretty backside. They might even not have enough weight to really feel like a blanket. So what do you do?

Some may remember my Cascade Lizard Ridge blanket:

It doesn't have a backing, but I have thought of putting one on. I haven't done it yet because one of my thoughts is to use the scraps of worsted leftovers and make another blanket and if about the same size, use it to back it. Odds are though that the second blanket won't be the same size. Things seem to work that way. So, unless I were to do a second Lizard Ridge Blanket, highly doubtful of this happening, I'm going to have two blankets facing this dilemma. Its also slightly felted from use and washing, something I actually wanted it to do a bit of, the felting. So I think there's also some shrinkage and if I backed it with a newer blanket, their felt/shrink rate won't be the same.

Do you back it with flannel or cotton and treat it like a quilt? Okay, maybe not a quilt in the true technical sense of a quilt, but with ties. (It wasn't until I took a quilting class that I found out that the "quilts" that my Grandma Eileen made for family weren't truly quilts, but pieced comforters.) I imagine that you could do some kind of quilting technique with the backing if you have stripes and squares, kind of a 'stitch in the ditch' quilting could work.

I do have the Beekeeper's Quilt pattern in my queue to use up those odds and ends of sock yarn. I had used a bit of them up to make those mini sweaters, mittens, stockings, etc for Christmas decorations, but don't feel like doing more of those. I need to get started on making those little hexapuffs. I think they'll be the perfect knit night knitting.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Carnivale 2012

We've been busy this month getting ready for the Barony's Carnivale di Venezia event. So lots of sewing!

I wanted to take the green dress I used for Yule and take it to the next level. I started out with the sleeves. Since I didn't have the same blue as the gores, I used a different blue that I thought would work well. We had also picked up some yellow satin. First was sewing the blue part of the sleeves, the upper part larger so that it could have the slashing and then the lower sleeves. Once the sleeves were all sewn, attaching to the dress and then having the satin pulled out of the slashes and then sewing beads to the top and bottom of the slashes so that the satin would stay out. After wearing it for a day, I'm going to have to do side stitches, probably with beads to totally keep the puffs from falling back in.

I tried out a trim around the neckline, but it wouldn't lay flat, so I had fun taking it back off. The next project was a new chemise. Brandon helped cut it out for me and then guided me through the sewing process. It came out pretty well, but after washing (should have remembered to wash the fabric first!) the sleeves seemed shorter. I have to try it back on again and see if it was the whole getting dressed by myself that caused the sleeves to seem shorter. We had some leftover of the chemise fabric so used that along with yet another blue velour type fabric to make an underskirt. I learned that even though I thought I had enough overlap of the elastic, the weight of the velour fabric meant that while getting dressed, I had to take three safety pins to make sure it stayed on for me. One to take in more of the waistline and two to pin it to the chemise so I didn't have to worry about it sliding off still. I think the underskirt was a great addition to the outfit! It gave the dress fullness and added length.

I wasn't done though with the dress! We put in slashes to the bodice and then there was the adding of yet more satin and sewing the beads in. These slashes stay in place much better, Must be the 'stuffing' behind them that helps. ;-)  This is the original inspiration for the dress. As you can see I flipped the slashing of the sleeves. That was an idea from another dress.

I shared the pics of the caul, so that leaves a mask. I started out by painting it a nice hunter green, then found a mask design that I liked and drew it on with a pencil and used a gold paint permanent marker to draw the lines. Much easier than trying to freehand it with puff paint like last year's mask! Then added in some green metallic paint for an eyeshadow effect I saw done on another mask. A pair of needle nose pliers, some glue and small flat rhinestones and I finished up with this:
I tied on some green ribbon so that it could be tied on.

Brandon made a new doublet and worked on a cape, so he was also busy sewing along with me. Here we are together:
 Can't see the underskirt peaking out here but I thought it was a nice photo of us together.
 Dawn-Marie with her mask. She bought hers.
Andrea with her mask. She made hers. The feathers and fringe might have driven me crazy.
Me with my mask. I had thought about adding a few green feathers to it. I can always do that for next year though and have a new look!
Amanda and her winning mask. The camera gave her red eye and I thought it kind of appropriate with the mask, so left them in. She made the mask herself in her ceramics class. Very cool!

Some other masks:

There was also a rapier championship, so men with long pointy metal rapiers:

The gentleman on the left in the German Landsnkecht was the winner of the championship. He isn't from our area either! Oh well.

Baroness Svava had asked for a launched combat - table top style, so trebuchets and the like:

Here's one of me showing the underskirt, it shows that we had some sunshine for the event:
Dawn-Marie took her Yule dress and changed out the underskirt. She also had some fun hair pins that she made with pearls and amethyst beads that went down her braid.

Court was opened before dinner and the new rapier champion was recognized along with the autocrats for the event. Finn and Neamhain also received recognition for all the extra help that they give to the Baroness. Then Brandon, as Ignatious, was called up and recognized with a first time award for artistry. Can't remember the exact name of it and I found I need to take a picture of the certificate, here he is with the Baron and Baroness:

Then there was dinner. I helped serve, so was busy going back and forth to the kitchen, eating in between sections and found that I probably expended more energy than I took in. Its not like I hadn't brought food:
Olives, cheeses, salami, apples, grapes and two different kinds of crackers
The nobles attending - Baroness Miranda of Stromgard, Baron Johann and Baroness Francisca of Glymm Mere, Baron Ref and Baroness Svava of Dragon's Mist, Baron Michael and Baroness Francesca of Terra Pomaria, and Baron Alfric and Baroness Jill of Three Mountains:
During dinner there was a mask contest and a garb contest and a presentation by a juggler and acrobat.

After dinner and after cleaning up the marshmallows (food fight during dinner), there was dancing, Baroness Svava even went out and dance a dance:
Baroness Svava in the striped dress, The Dance Mistress is in blue and gold.

Ignatious dancing with Lisette and Amalia. This particular dance was one the kids could also follow along and do .

I spaced and forgot to take pictures of the shadow puppet performance that was done. That was fun for the kids as well as the adults. Then were was a whole bunch more cleaning up returning the church back so that services could be held in the morning. It was a late night but a fun day!  Looking forward to next year's event already!