Friday, October 20, 2006


It's nearly the third week of "Socktober" and I'd say 4 socks is a respectable number.

Problem is I didn't make, to be more precise, I didn't make them this month. The problem is, IdaMae doesn't quiet understand the whole Socktober thing..........

Here are socks 1,2,and 3.

Where is sock number 4 you ask...

Not enough left to photograph.......sigh

Thursday, October 19, 2006

Oh Happy Day

So obviously I've been fretting over all the issues involved in the last post, and have been for a very long time....

Since posting though, I have received a multitude of emails from some truly lovely ladies that offered some wonderful advise and encouragement.

Here are just a couple of links that deal with my particular issue, as well as other issues that some of you might be interested in.

and another...

You can't possibly expect to hold either of these websites, nor the people behind them, responsible for dispensing any "legal advise" regarding your personal issues. You really do have to get your own atty for that. But the info they have provided, certainly has put the spring back into my step!!

All I can say is that yet again, (and at a time when most needed) the goodness of people has outshone the bad. Thank you one and all for you encouragement, and sharing of your expertise and knowledge!

Monday, October 16, 2006

Multiple Directions

Just to prove I'm still around I decided to post a couple pics of a cropped sweater/top I made a couple months ago. I had it briefly entered in a design contest this past spring. I yanked it from the competition......sigh....... I had a marvelous time designing and working this piece, but oh well. I did it for the fun of it and not the prize, so it served it's purpose.

First off, gotta tell ya, I made this sweater to fit me, not my 19 year old beautiful niece with the incredible bod!! I'm 5'6" , short waisted, and not, how shall we say it..."shapely" . Erin on the other hand is about 6 foot and a BABE! :-) So the shoulders pull and the it's a bit too short for her but you can get the idea of how the thing looks. To give you more of an idea as to how it is supposed to fit, in the second picture with the front closed asymmetrically...on me it is 3 blocks wide that line up perfectly in the front! LOL

If anyone is interested here's the low-down:

Made with Lion Brand Multi-Stripes and Wool Ease Sport
One piece construction
No Seams
Minimal ends to weave in (12 total not including ball ends)
No picked up stitches

Yes, it is made using some of "those techniques" and a few added bits from this knitter's bag o' tricks. But I'm not going any further ......I might be accused of copyright infringement.....she said I would be. How am I suppose know?? She's in the business, I'm not. It's a shame. I have some really, really cool designs using this type of technique, and they are fun to do, but I feel stifled because of her threats. All I can say right now is I'm dang glad the man/woman who came up with SSK or Ktbl or a short row heel, aren't around to stifle wanna be designers.

Here's a list of what I've actually been doing the last few days:

Made Joe a pair of sweat pants and myself a pair of yoga pants...we match ain't that sweet...barf. I picked up the material at my most favorite thrift store "The Church Mouse". I got all 5 yards for 50 cents!! I sooo love my "Mouse". It's staffed by the cutest bunch of little old ladies. I take the time to speak to "the Girls" and share what my plans are for this material, yarn, buttons, canvas, article of clothing, etc. They get a kick out of the stuff I do, so many have given up needlework because of poor eyesight or arthritic hands.

Made a couple of pillow tops..crocheted

Still working on my Fall coat...sigh....guess I could wear it in the Spring too!! But it's nearly done. Maybe a another couple of days. Most of the embellishment is done. I have the cuffs figured but not done. Still thinking about the collar/neck, and I've got to cut and sew the lining, but none of that will take too long. Like I said, another couple of days or so.

I picked up some needles on Friday and started a sweater. Was actually going to make an EZ rib warmer, but after the first short row corner it morphed. The bodice kind of meanders around ala Debbie New and EZ Badger with some gores inserted here and there. Turning out to be a nice finger tip, swing-style. Just the sleeves left to do. Selma's wearing it right now, as we try to figure out the best sleeves. I know I want the sleeves to have a tight cuff, which of course is going to look ridiculous with the volumnous body but this design is for me. I need something that is comfy and warm up in my workroom and won't both my arms. Heating the second floor of this house was not a priority for the builders in 1906 so while there are some heating ducts up there, there aren't many! Hm maybe a mutton sleeve???? Or maybe a full sleeve that can be rolled up out of the way with a tight inner cuff from the elbow down...hmmmmm

I've also been working on my "shape shifters". These are origami type sweaters (ala DN's tams and ouroborus, and EZ's ameoba-like surprises) Working on a pair of pants right now. Yeah I know knitted pants, but the mental gymnastics is what I'm after. I haven't made them full scale yet, just playing around, but considering how cold it is in my workroom right now and winter hasn't even begun...well.....don't be surprised. :-)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

My ADD is geographical

I can't help it, I'm a product of my environment. An hour ago this was happening:

Yep that is SNOW!!!!! First snowfall of the season.

Yes, it is a pitiful amount, but it came down with gusto! Just a preview of things to come I imagine.

Now it looks like this out there:

Ummmm yeah.......the difference an hour can make in my world.

this vs this

OK, maybe my environment isn't the ENTIRE reason for my ADD but come on, you have to give it some credit!!

I'll blame the rest on my family.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Mystery of the PK solved

I've played around with the Portuguese Knitting of the video and this is what I've learned....

In the video she is working a knit stitch. The yarn is in the back (although this is deceiving at first because the angle the working yarn has because it is around her neck.) She then inserts the needle/hook left to right, into the front loop, but then brings the needle to the front again (basically she is twisting the stitch she is going to work). Her thumb flicks the yarn counterclockwise around the tip. She snags that wrap with the hook pulling it through, and off the needle/hook......It really is NOT as "fiddly" as it looks and I was able to get a decent rhythm after the first few stitches. I think using a hook helps a bit, but it isn't necessary. In fact I found that a needle with a good point works better for me than the hooks. Especially if you are a tight knitter, getting the hook into the stitch in the first step could be problematic considering the bluntness of a hooks. And then of course we get into the whole Bates vs Boye hooks but I don't want to go there. LOL

In the picture below, the first two ridges of garter stitch were done my "normal" way, I thought a base to work off of and some comparison would be a good idea. As depicted in the photo, there was no difference in gauge nor the look of the stitches when I change the method. Let me tell ya though, working with hooks instead of needles was kinda strange...make sure the hook holding the stitches has the head facing away from you or your asking for frustration.

Next I messed around with how she prob'ly works purl stitches. It's just a guess, I can't find a video showing that.
I'm a switch-hitting knitter. In other words, sometimes I swoop, pluck, dig, snag, drag, throw, and sometimes I do any combination of them all.......NOW I have the "thumb-flick"! I really like purling in the manner I'm guessing she uses. I find it just as easy as the combined purl, but without the dreaded twist resulting!! WOO HOO

Purling "her way": With yarn in front insert needle right to left in the front loop. Thumb flick the yarn counterclockwise around the tip just like before, and pull it through. The thumb-flick makes the counterclockwise wrap so much easier that I'm not even attempted to do the Combined/Continental snag/drag that results in a twist. Plus this is sooooo much easier than the Norwegian purl!!

So wonderful to have "new" method in my arsenal!!! Of course the ease also lies in the working yarn being looped around your neck . Please don't wrap it around your neck thinking you need to tension it that way, we don't want any casualties!! :-P

Friday, October 06, 2006

Portuguese Knitting

Hmmmm verrry interesting. Gonna have to give this video some study. I have read about this type of knitting in the history books, and the fact that hooks rather than needles were used. Never knew that anyone still worked in this manner!!

If this video is truly embedded like I'm hoping it is as I write this post, be warned that there may be many more to come!! Gotta LOVE Youtube!!

Thursday, October 05, 2006

The koolaid day and geekdom

Sometime ago I bought 3 garbage bags full of wool from an estate sale. I wasn't thrilled with some of the colors but it was wool so what the heck. Apparently this woman was either going to make LOTS of Fair Isle sweaters or she just decided to buy 4 twin paks of every color the company offered. Here is a VERY small selection of the yarn and the colors that I didn't care for.

There are ten different shades of color here and 2 skeins each (2oz each). Um if I figure that correctly it's 40 oz. WOW...that was a lot of fiber to dye. After much debate with myself I decided the only way to do it "properly" was to dye it all at once, so maybe, just maybe, I'd be able to retain the color gradient. After deciding to dye it all at once the "proper" way of doing things flew right the window. Given the fact that I had never dyed more than 2 oz at a time, with koolaid, and in the microwave, the task seemed a bit daunting. Everything I had ever been told, read, or heard said that I HAD to use small amounts (an oz or two of fiber at most) when dyeing with koolaid in the microwave. Although it also struck me that there was never anywhere or anyone who could answer the simple question, "why not?" So being the lazy, stubborn, need to see proof, of person I am, I divided the wool into two piles of five skeins each (20 oz). I used 10 pkg of koolaide for each batch....OK, THAT is "proper" cuz my research told me so! (Although again for no factual reason I could find, thus the mega dose of koolaid in the crockpot dye job of a previuos post that worked wonderfully) So...into the microwave the fiber went, 5 skeins, 10 pkg of koolaid, 20 oz at a time. Without getting out my notes, if I remember correctly, it took three 2 minutes cycles to absorb all the dye.

I had used tropical punch and I wasn't too keen on the outcome. Not my colors, so I did the whole process again with strawberry with a couple of pkgs of grape thrown in as well. As you can see with the samples below, I lost a bit of the gradient in the second dye job, (there are only 5 now) but the colors are a bit more to my liking.

left to right: original wool, 1st dye job (tropical punch), 2nd dye job (strawberry and grape).

A beautiful day huh. And what do normal people do on a beautiful day such as this......

They dye by solar energy that's what! Doesn't everybody?!? Yep, if you haven't guessed by now, I am a GEEK.

Yes, that is a bunch of beer boxes covered in foil surrounding a coffee can containing a 4 oz ball of lace weight merino, blue dye stock, and yes that is a meat thermometer taped to the side of the can!

Wow!!! 150+ degrees!! BTW ambient temp was 82...Did I double the ambient betcha I did, although this is the highest temp I have recorded by photo. Dang I can be such a nerd and get so excited about the strangest things. I did take copious notes though and my best estimation* of the highest temp was 177 degrees.

*estimation cuz of the thermometer, it kind of lacks calibration marks.

Internally the temps were nearly identical.

Ahhhh, I had such good fun doing this, and look forward to another day in the sun. I have about a 1000 things I can do to make this "set-up" more efficient, but alas they will have to wait until another warm day, and those are now gone, it's October and the leaves are falling. Although.....there just might be a sunny winter day coming up soon. I wonder just how high I can get the temps on a typical Midwest winter's day, bet I can triple if not quadruple the ambient temp. LOL that's not saying much.

Yes, there are no bounds to my geekdom, and while most would think doing this type of thing is absurd. And most would be incredibly embarrassed for having documented it, let alone posting it to a blog for all to see, I on the other hand had good silly fun and got some yummy yarn that matched the color of the sky that day.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

WTF revised to OMG WTF

OK, fine, now it's all pretty again.....NOT A SINGLE FRICKIN' CLUE WHY


I am sooooo confused.

Don't know why the last post looks like it does. Everything was/is so nicely spaced and laid out in the dashboard. WTF is going on when it get published?!? Even looks right when I preview it, but then looks like a jumbled mess in the blog...............sigh...........IF there is someone out there that knows what I'm doing wrong, or even cares....please, please, please, tell me the secret.....Do I have to go into the "edit html" and manually enter the line breaks????? If so, how the hell do I do that?????

More Pix

Hmmmm don't really feel very wordy today, I'll just throw the pix up and just maybe I'll comment about them....or maybe not.

More purses:

Front and back of Freeform clutch.

Front and back of FF handbag.

Side and end view of felted crochet bag. Funky shape was caused by the uneven felting of the different stitches used.

Skirts and dresses:

All mine.

LOVE this dress!! I've worn it for about 6 years now!!! Not my design...vintage McCall's maybe?

Mine, with a scribble lace shawl ala Debbie New (my hero!)

Just another dress nothing special. (mine)


Pattern from Knitty. I think "W" is the name. Fun knit, worked side to side, I'll have to do this again. I did change it a bit...I never understand why people make designs with seams when there is no reason to. I did this in one piece instead of two with a provisional cast on so I could do a two needle bind off (ala Debbie New, told you she was my hero) and avoided all seams.....I can't stand seams!!!! Prob'ly cuz I can't do them well!!!

All mine. My first attempt with a crossed stitch. Of course there is only one seam. :-)

Worked this in crochet using the knitting diagram from one of the first issues of, umm, "Knit 1." maybe. It was the cover sweater done in red if I remember correctly.

The closest thing I'll ever get to a poncho!! This was my second knitted item, I must have been crazy to work all that stockinette!!!! But of course those who know me DO in fact think I'm first knitted item was a pair of socks on 4 dpn's!!!! Egads!!!!

This wrap was made with the koolaid/crockpot dye job.....did I mention that before?? Here's a pic of the newly dyed yarn. It's 400 yards of Knit Picks dye your own merino. I wound it into a single center pull ball and then threw it in the crock pot with just enough water to cover and 10 pkgs of grape koolaid.

In the pot!

Check this out...isn't it great!!! Look closely (if you can) there are about 1000 colors in this hank. There are even portions that are marled!!! Don't know how or why it did that cuz the fiber was 100% merino, but who cares, it's nifty!

OH!!! Speaking of NIFTY....what is that on the shoulder of that wrap????? Oh Yeah, it's a FABULOUS shawl pin made by a VERY talented glass artist........

My son Bart!!!

Yeah I know the pic sucks....I promise to get some decent photos of some of his pieces ASAP.

Thoroughly bored??? I am.

Many thanx to our wonderful model, Vivian. Yes, my dressform has a name, both of them do. Vivian as seen here and Selma who is really PO'd right now. I totally have the Tom Hanks/Wilson thing going on.