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Posts Tagged ‘Creativity’

Fresh off Merle’s needles is her version of the Jazzy Jacket from Cabin Fever. She chose Brown Sheep’s Cotton Fleece.…a lovely yarn for easy care. The buttons couldn’t have been more perfect. This is a great gift for that special baby in her circle…..or anyone’s special circle!

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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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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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My recent retirement from my UC day-time admin job of nearly 8 years has been such a blessing. While I’ve never really left the knitting community, I am now diving back into it and the wonderful community that is part of me.

Some of you may not know that before my Skein Lane retail chapter, I was an employee of the YMCA for about 18 months and went onto become a Board Member after I accepted a position in the software industry……most importantly I was an active user of the YMCA programs….in particular exercise. I stepped away from this wonderful resource about 10 years ago for a variety of reasons…..mostly my schedule and illnesses in my family.

One of my first missions upon retirement was to get back into a regular exercise program. I walked into the Albany YMCA….immediately reconnected with Gail, the Director, and Mary, Exercise and Program Instructor. I was back home! I’ve been enjoying Mary’s creative exercise classes since mid-January. Not only do I feel better but I have lost some weight…yeah! There is another most wonderful benefit….reconnecting not only with Y folks but knitters who are in the Y community.

I quickly learned about the (free) Brown Bag Speakers Forum, presented on the 2nd Monday of every month sponsored by the “Y” and Albany Library.. This month’s speaker was Lawrence Rinder, Director of BAMPFA (UC Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive). His presentation was so informative about the history of BAMPFA leading up to its new location.

2-barbaraLast month’s Brown Bag speaker was Barbara Hazard.….a former Skein Lane customer who spoke about her art work and time spent in Russia. Not only is Barbara an artist with paints but she is obsessed “self-described” with needlepoint. I recall how many lovely pieces she brought to Skein Lane to have finished into pillows. I do wish I had taken photos back then….maybe I did but that was before I had an iPhone camera with all its storage capabilities. But wait….Barbara has posted some of her needlepoint work on her site.  I am delighted that we are in the midst of planning when we can catch up over coffee before her next upcoming trip to Russia mid-May.

 

 

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I believe it was the Saturday before this past Christmas that I woke to dive into Facebook….well right after I got coffee….yep always looking for new ideas as well as connecting with my friends. This idea for potholders got me fired up.  I remembered I had some fat quarters of fabric that I purchased at a quilt show some time ago. I dug into my stash. Here are the results.

I really enjoyed making these. If you like to sew and want a quick gift, I highly recommend that you try this project.

 

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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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Karen L quilts and quilts when she isn’t working. This beauty is one of her latest…..made for her sister. I love the design and the colors. The fabric is Michael Miller and the design, color choices, quilting and embellishment are Karen’s creation…..so beautiful.

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