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Archive for the ‘Friendship’ Category

bonnie-stacks-of-yarn

Avenue Yarns recently added this wonderful yarn – Caracol from Malabrigo – to their store offerings. Bonnie has knit at least six cowls…..and has set the stage for others to follow suit. This is a fast project….word has it that it’s a 2-3 hour knit! How fun and beautiful. Oh….what color should I knit??

 

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IMG_0191We have had the pleasure of watching the making of this beautiful project by Mayra of the Friday Morning Knitting Group (FMKG). She has provided us with the facts with some notes from me.

  • Knitted shawl:  Autumn Lace by Svetlana Gordon from Ravelry
  • Yarn: for the leaves and edge – Malabrigo lace weight Color 866-arco iris.For the rest, I used the Malabrigo yarn with a peach mohair yarn.  Don’t know the name or brand but it was a very light peach color.  (Carolyn’s note – her choice of color makes a very vibrant pattern elegant.)
  • How long did it take? I only know that each full leaf would take one hour. No idea how long the “main” body of it took me.It took about a year and a half year to complete.   I did a few other projects in between. (Carolyn’s note – She knits, she beads, she crafts…)
  • As you know, thanks to the suggestion of the members of the Friday Morning Knitting Group, I modified the pattern. (Carolyn’s note – Don’t we all do some modification to what we knit??? I know I generally do. The modification was to not add the leaves on both sides. FMKG felt that it was so beautiful with just one side of leaves and that the other side would get lost in the folds of the neck. Mayra ended that side with an I-cord bind off. ) For the I-cord I used the Malabrigo yarn without the mohair.
Thank you Mayra for letting us enjoy and share your stunning work!

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Knitting needles have been clicking and sewing machine needles have been seaming. The creativity that I’ve been seeing and enjoying is beautiful.

The other day I stopped by Avenue Yarns to visit Janie who leads a Knit Lab on Sundays (noon to 2pm)  so that I could thank her in person for the beautiful quilt that she and her sister Lyda gifted me. It had been “special delivered” to my home by Karen K. It is stunningly beautiful and I will enjoy it for many moons. In fact, it is the perfect size to hang on a chair in the studio….not only will I get to use it but I will enjoy the beauty of it every day.

Janie surprised (again) with another treasure….a hat knit in Koigu. The yarn is like silk to the hand, in this case literally the head. The pattern comes from “Vogue Ultimate Hat Book”. I tried it on with the ties and brooch in back, but in fact it can be worn with ties on the side.

 

Here are some other knit hats which have so generously and loving been knit by Barbara and, Alison and Juel. Let’s throw in the last couple off my needles…..the gray slouch and the red tower cap.

 

Friend Juel’s sewing machine has been steaming! She whipped out a few fleece hats!

And there are those hats that been been commercially crafted……a beauty unto their own. Thanks to all who gifted these.

IMG_0358My latest silliness includes this “Batman” cap. I had to let my nephew Daniel, who is a Batman geek and who also just began his first teaching job,  see it right away.Thank heavens for today’s technology…..I was able to send him photo via text. He loved but did suggest “dork” to me. Haha!

My thoughts about hats…..I love them and as long as I really have a need to wear now I love the different looks. Here are some from my closet.

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It’s time to give that update which I mentioned  back on Jul 2 on why I’ve been “away”.

IMG_0346The easiest way to let you all know that I was diagnosed with lymphoma on June 9 is to share my CaringBridge site with you. It was a sudden trip to emergency on May 24 that brought all this to light. I am now in the midst of chemo treatment with the last of 6 sessions scheduled for October 24. So far, I am on track with the treatment schedule and the prognosis is good. The specifics of this can be found on Carolyn and Mathilda……Mathilda being assigned the name to this tumor that is going to waltz right out of my body.

As I heal (lots of rest as well as exercise with Lucy dog and Bill to keep my body strong through these treatments), I have been knitting and sewing. Oh…..and truth be known I have been become obsessed with some of the mysteries on Acorn TV. I finished watching the  Inspector George Gently Series and now onto the Vera series. I should be done with that just about the time that the next season of Longmire airs.

I was recently possessed to knit a slouchy hat to add to the collection of wonderful hats that I have received. The pattern of inspiration for this top-down knit was featured on page 122 of 60 Quick Luxury Knits from Casade Yarns. As I often do, I see a pattern and then I make modifications.

  • I decided to use Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece  as I wanted cotton with just a little wool against my head. Of course changing from merino wool/silky wool to cotton/wool changed the drape of the hat. I am not unhappy with the drape, but think I will knit it again in wool/silk combo which will have a different body that  I can wear for special occasions.
  • The needles sizes used for Brown Sheep Cotton Fleece  were: 6 for the first section of top and 5 for the remainder of the hat.
  • I eliminated the top-notch i-cord detail as I did not like that look.
  • I changed the first section that included the increases from 4 stitches to 128 stitches to circular stockinette stitch as I did not like the way the increases set up in the seed stitch. I then knit 2 rows of reverse stockinette so that I could create separation between the next pattern of seed stitch.
  • With the cap of the hat completed, I then decreased stitches to 112 rather than 120. How did I decide that? I measured my head and then decided a 1/2 – 1 ” ease would be okay. Fact of the matter here is that I forgot that I do not have the volume of full head of hair to make hat fit a bit better. It works out okay…..but does create more slouch.
  • A tip that was shared for sizing for a top-down hat is to put it onto waste yarn when it is “full size” and then try on to be sure that circumference is correct for your head. My experience is that the hat wanted to fan out so it was not a good fit method. However, I am thinking if I had tied the waste yarn to the size as it lay flat the fit technique would have been more successful.
  • I changed the i-cord trim to a contrasting color. I also followed the i-cord pattern as described for an applied 4-stitch i-cord.
  • The last change I made was to the finished edge i-cord. I knew there was an applied i-cord out there that had a slip stitch involved that created a tighter lay of the i-cord to the knitted fabric edge. Off to google I went. I found this applied i-cord technique on the Berroco website. Here is my presentation of method.
  • For the blocking, I used the wet block method. I washed it by hand in Eucalan and a splash of shite vinegar (to set the contrasting color). The next step was to squeeze the excess moisture out and then set up to dry. In this case, I did not want a crease in the hat from laying flat so I stuffed it with a towel.
  • When the hat was almost dry, I tossed it into the dryer on UltraCare to complete the drying process.

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IMG_0156What better way to get back to the blogging world of Skein Lane but by sharing the celebration of Jean’s 80th birthday. She is much beloved by her fellow FMKG (Friday Morning Knit Group) knitting gang and it was much fun pulling 11 of the gang of 16 or 17 together for a surprise lunch at Skates on the Bay this past Friday. (Thank you to Merle for being the master organizer.)

Jean knew she was being taken to lunch….the surprise was the lunch location….as well as her joint gift certificate to Avenue Yarns (our favorite LYS). Those who weren’t able to join the celebration due to work commitments or travels were certainly missed…..they sent their greetings to Jean.

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Carolyn and Jan - 1Time to let go of the temporary writer’s block…..let’s start with the trip that Jan and I took this afternoon to Oakland City Hall and the Oakland Museum to see two quilt exhibits.

The quilt exhibit at the Oakland City Hall “Visions of Oakland, Made of Cloth” was recently featured in the Art & Design section of The New York Times: Quilts With a Sense of Place, Stitched in Oakland.  We saw some beautiful quilts depicting several Oakland scenes and history…..however, the ones that were featured in the news article were not on display. Maybe the young man who directed us didn’t tell us where they were all displayed….or maybe they have been returned to their owners. Here is what we did see. I particularly liked the quilt (bottom right) from the North Oakland Senior Center because of its words. “Our lives are like quilts – bits and pieces – this and that – stitched with love.”

Next stop was the exhibit of  “Yo-Yos & Half Squares: Contemporary California Quilts”” at the Oakland Museum. We just happened to arrive at the same time as a local quilting group led by instructor Barbara Rydlander. Jan and I  both benefited from hearing the guided tour while hanging on the edge of this group. We also learned once again what a small world it is – I immediately saw quilter and knitter friend of Skein Lane Studio – Debbie G.  Shortly Jan saw one of her friends. Yep….a small world!

 

 

 

 

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I am just getting ready to create some more personalized pillow cases and realized that I had not posted these from earlier in the year. Each was so fun for me to create.

The horse themed pillow cases were a wedding gift for cousin Colleen and her husband. The Tinkerbell theme was for cousin Amy’s high school graduation gift…yes, she is still in love with Tinkerbell. The last pair was a college graduation gift for cousin Jade. Her mom (my 1st cousin) helped select the fabric by sending a photo of Jade’s bedpread/comforter. In this case, I purposely made the trim on each pillow case a different color.

You too can make customized pillow cases with the help of this tutorial.

My friend Mary called the other day saying “you know I have this really good friend who made me a special pillow and can you believe I left it at the motel. Do you think she could make me another one?” Thus, I found myself at the fabric store a couple days ago and guess what I will be sewing? Here are some of my new fabric choices……stay tuned for how these pillow cases turn out! Hope to have them complete next weekend….although the next few days are really busy! Happy New Year all!

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The Saturday morning group had their second celebration on Dec 19th….the first one was a joint birthday celebration which was followed up with this  ‘tis the season gathering.

There were so many wonderful happenings. Susanne came down from Chico (she and her husband retired there last year). The cooking theme was desserts….there were many wonderful choices. Maurie couldn’t join us because she was sick but she still sent her GF (gluten-free) cookies. We had so much on the table including champagne, cookies (many made by Diane and Maurie), cakes, egg dishes, baked brie with homemade cranberry sauce, cheeses, and fruit….I fear I may have missed some of the dishes.  Here are two recipes from the dishes on the table. The  Biscotti was made by PJ using her friend’s recipe which is posted on Channeling Nonna’s blog.  I loved this cookie and will be making it soon. Another dish (also prepared by PJ) that many of us “loved” was the Bacon Onion Marmalade.

We even found time to knit when we weren’t eating. The latest showings were worn by PJ and Susanne. PJ’s stunning red cowl was inspired by the pattern for Oliva Cowl from Swan Islands…the yarn was of the same name.

Susanne’s Wallaby Hoody Sweater (pattern from Vogue Knitting) was a beautifully knit garment and fit her perfectly. You may recall my posting from a while back when the sweater was in its infancy stage.

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Not only did FMKG knit this past week, but we continued to celebrate the season with champagne, Chocolate and Almond Cake made by Debra (recipe from Nigella Lawson) topped with raspberries and whip cream , and David Lebovitz’s Recipe for Blueberry-Lemon Cake made by  Jan. To top this off Karen H shared some her latest creations which included a felted pillow, a nuno felted scarf and a knitted cowl.

The Infinity Scarf (cowl) is designed by Anita Closic and knit with Plymouth’s Baby Alpaca Yarn. Karen found this combo at Stitches West. She knit a shorter version for a smaller woman….42 inches long and it fits around the head twice, but close to the neck. For those who don’t like cowls that close to the neck, one could just knit longer.

Karen says, “The felted pillow and nuno felted scarf I did at Raina’s Textile House. Kim, the shop owner, gives classes and I have taken three classes there over the past six months. I used fiber that I bought at Stitches West, collected over the past few years and mostly bought  from Opulent Fibers in Oregon and Wonderland Dyeworks in Oakland.  I also found the pieces of Chiffon at Stitches and got the silk hankie at Stitches. Kim does have fiber and silk hankies at her shop and you can buy it there as well.”
Aren’t all of these new pieces from Karen stunning?!

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The Saturday Knitting Workshop Group just celebrated the first of two December celebrations. This one was to “shout out” birthday greetings this weekend’s gals – Diane, Maurie and Carole – as well as all those we may missed during last few months. Several of us in this group like to cook and others bring the complimentary foods – fruits, dips, cheese, cracker, chips, candy and drinks. We often want to share recipes so a new tab “Food Recipes” was begun yesterday on this blog site…..we will be adding more recipes as soon I hear back from the group.

New week we will celebrate ’tis the Season!

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