Friday, July 27, 2012

Finished Object Friday

Yeah it is Friday and I have the whole day to knit and work on patterns.  My finished object for today is my Shetland Tea Shawl.

I'm very happy with how it turned.  It's soft and light and warm.  I would totally recommend it.
I hope you have a great Friday and weekend and lots of time for fiber and check out Tami's and Wisdom begins in Wonder for lots of great fiber inspiration.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

This is a transition time.  Lots of blocking, finishing and planning for the next project.  I've realized that it is better to start planning the next project, before one is completely finished.  Nothing is worse than having thirty minutes to just mindlessly knit and then having nothing ready to go.

So I have been blocking.  I usually do this on our guest bedroom bed.  The Shetland Tea Shawl took the entire bed.  Just a bit short of 5 ft in diameter - I couldn't get a good picture of the whole thing while being blocked, and I thought I had a picture of the edging but I don't have one.  I even ran out of pins when blocking it!

That meant there was no room to block the Fritillary.  My son is away at camp which meant I could take over his room for blocking of sweaters and swatches.

The lace edging is on the grey towel so hard to see.  All of this has now been finished and removed.  My son comes home on Saturday and there is no trace that blocking elves were there.  He has a great room - lots of light - would be a great knitting studio.  College is still two years away so I'm not rushing him out but I would love to have the room.  How terrible!  I haven't seen him in over two weeks and I'm plotting for his room.

The Fritillary is put together and just missing the buttonhole band and neck edging.  It GREW like crazy when it was wet.  Who knows if it will fit my mother now.  I was trying to scrunch it up during blocking.

 Then, I have been working on a mitten and hat design set.  Lots of swatching and colors for fair isle.

And I have started a sweater using my new found knowledge of how not to design a sweater for sizing.  I have the pattern written for the back and front for five commercial sizes plus mine (I have broader shoulders than anyone in the fashion world thinks I should have).  I cast on last night.  The red squares are the swatches that have been blocked.  This is a great merino/cashmere/silk blend that is hand dyed.  The picture doesn't do the stitch pattern or the color justice.  Just a tease for later.

I'm on the board of my local guild and we met last night.  Lots of work to get the year started in September and also we're celebrating our 20th anniversary in August so planning that party as well.  Lots of great programs coming and it is so much fun to work with these ladies.  They are creative, talented knitters and very competent on getting the business of the guild completed.

For lots of other great projects, check out Tami's for inspiration.  Have a great Wednesday.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Not quite a finished object Friday

Despite good intentions, I have no finished object for today.  My pattern writing efforts ended in frustration but I learned a lot about sizing.  I can design and knit for myself and it will fit perfectly.  Which is what I did with the Mock Cable Pullover.  But what I found out is that my shoulder width is not close to what is considered normal for my bust size.  Which means just sizing up is not very easy.  Couple that with an all over ribbed fabric that I wore with -4 inches of ease - yes, that is a negative four - and this was pretty difficult to size up.  So I have a new plan for my next design - plan first, swatch, design and then knit.  We'll see how that works.

I did get my shawl finished and it is blocking but no pictures until next week.  My Mom's sweater is also almost done, ready for blocking and then seaming and edge finishing.  Not sure that will get blocked this week due to the shawl taking up my blocking space.

But I do have something to share.  In a way it is a finished object.  I am just not the one that did the work.
This is an antique pump organ.  It belonged to my great grandmother who received it as a sixteenth birthday present in 1909.  Unfortunately I don't have a before picture but the red fabric was black with age and had holes, the brass on the pedals was brown with dirt, and the wood was so dark that I thought at first it was black walnut.  Eighty years of weekly polishing by my grandmother and great grandmother with coal tar based furniture polish had turned it black.  Nothing worked on it.

When I inherited it almost ten years ago, I had dreams of restoring the wood myself.  Those ended after a three hour session that was frustrating to say the least.  So it sat in our garage for ten years - actually two different garages as it made one move with us.  When we decided last year it was time to down size, my husband said there is no room in the next garage - get it restored or sell it.  Well obviously I couldn't sell it.  Thanks to the internet I found a restorer and six months later, here it is in working order.

The craftsmanship, both originally and the restoration is amazing.

For those of us who appreciate craftsmanship in every form, it is really inspiring.  The woodwork and detail is fabulous.  The mirror is the original as are all the keys.

A little about my great grandmother.  Her name was Hester Mae and she lived in West Virginia - which in the early 1900's was rural by definition.  Her father had money as one of the first people to find natural gas in that area.  (He died penniless; his final advice to the family was never sell the mineral rights.)  He ordered this organ for her birthday from the Montgomery Wards in Pittsburgh and it was made by the Windsor Organ company.  It was delivered by train to the nearest station and then was brought by horse and wagon the last five miles or so.  That must have been a sight.  She loved to play the organ.  I remember her as a child but she no longer played.  My mother can remember her playing hymns.  She had 11 children and lived into her late eighties.  She willed the organ to my aunt as the oldest granddaughter and then it came to me as the oldest great granddaughter.  I think she would be very happy that it is back to its original condition and loved as she loved it.

For fiber finished objects, go check out Tami's and I promise to have something next week.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

Alas, vacation is over.  I got home around noon on Monday, so Wednesday snuck up on me.  I will be a day off all week.  Lots to do at home sorting out, catching up, lots of meetings this morning.  Had our Guild Board meeting last night and we are going to have a great year with lots of good programs.

Not much knitting done.  Travel back on Sunday took through Monday, with delayed planes and car trouble.  They don't tell you that letting a hybrid car sit for three weeks in the Texas summer heat without driving it is a recipe for completely depleting the battery.  The good news is if you find the right car mechanic, they have a magic box that allows you to start the car and then you just drive until the battery charges back up.  But it takes the right mechanic and there was a small bit of being stranded and losing sleep for a night.

But hoping to be back on track now.  Projects have not progressed that much, other than the Shetland Tea Shawl, where I am VERY close to being finished the edging.  Most people find that boring, but I haven't.  Maybe because I was on vacation and needed mindless knitting.  It's hard to tell from the picture but I am close.

Just a few last beach pictures because I'm missing my daily walks.

This sign in this picture is Latin and translates to "while I breathe, I hope."  It is generally attributed to Cicero but is also the state motto of South Carolina.  It is hard to see but there are parts of an old broken boat around this - therefore the upside down South Carolina flag as a distress sign.  

So keep breathing and hoping.  And check out all the great fiber works at Tami's

Friday, July 13, 2012

Finished Object Friday

Today I have pictures of a finished object and I was hoping to have the pattern done, but alas, not to be.
I'm calling this the Mock Cable Rib Pullover.

I'm still working on getting the sizing right for sizes XS through XL.  Hopefully by next week when I'm home with my reference books.

One final picture of seashells on the beach.

Head over to Tami's to see lots of great inspiring projects.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Work in Progress Wednesday

I have lots in progress, though I am mostly working on the lace shawl.

First is Shetland Tea Shawl from A Gathering of Lace.  I have been moving at a good pace and am halfway through the edging in just two days.  With more rain on the horizon, I'm hoping to finish by this weekend.  This is an alpaca and silk yarn and I love the feel and color.

Second is a sweater for my mother.  This is a technique experiment.  I've taken Fritillary by Louisa Harding and made it a top down sweater because I will not have enough yarn.  So far it is coming out very well.  I just have to finish the lace border for the bottom of the body and then I can decide how much longer I can make the body.

Then finally I'm working on the second fingerless mitt from Beth Brown Riensel's Latvian Fingerless Mitts' class.  

Go check out all the great projects at Tami's and have a great fiber day!  One last picture of the beach from this morning's walk.

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

A rainy day at the beach

Great weather for knitting.  We did get time on the beach this morning before the rain started.  Pictures turned out pretty good.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Finished Object Friday

This is a different sort of finished object post - but after six years of work (albeit with lots of breaks), I am finally a Master Knitter.  I received my pin last Friday night in Manchester at the Knit and Crochet Show.  

It has taken a bit of time to have it sink in that I'm finished.  Maybe because I know there is still so much to learn and so much I can improve in my knitting and designing.  I was truly honored to be asked to join the Masters Committee and I know that will be a learning experience.  I have a couple of designs in progress and am hoping to have finished objects that are truly made from fiber and have patterns to go with them shortly!  

In the meantime, I'm enjoying knitting for the fun of it.  I have three projects going and am swatching for a sweater design. I'm glad to have the time to do it.

Also I'm thankful that i have a great setting to do it in.  We're at the beach and it has been great weather.  Here are a couple of shots I've taken on my morning walks.  Awesome sunrise yesterday.

Seagulls on the beach this morning.

Strange patterns in the sand left by the waves.

 A very unusual shell I found - I have never found one of these before on this beach in 17 years, and this was almost perfect!

Morning Glories on the dunes - a la Georgia O'Keeffe

Have a great day and enjoy all the great fiber items at Tami's.  I know it has been months since I posted there, see my last post to explain why.  I have missed this so much.