Creation Hive Knitters

This week I’ve been at Creation Hive looking at products and talking product development. Today we talked woolens, and as I had suspected, they are accomplished knitters!

Jane, middle, and Jacqueline, right, picked up my Bousta Beanie in Milarrochy Tweed and carried on where I left off. Jane then cast on her own hat using locally produced wool yarn. They don’t have circular needles here, but we’ve found a source for them.

I have great faith in these ladies developing a line of Fair Trade woolens in Kenyan merino wool yarn! It will support their textile economy as well. It’s a great solution and I’m thrilled to have played my little part in it. I can’t wait to see their creations and to bring them to the US through Global Gifts!

Vintage Is as Vintage Does

Yesterday I received The Vintage Shetland Project in the mail. What a glorious book! Quiteayarnblog had posted about it and I knew it would be for me. It has knitting, history, and patterns! But my real reason for mentioning it is I want to ask you a very important question. Do you think I can pull off wearing puffy sleeves?

I know we all say, “You can wear anything you want!” But honestly, I think I may feel ancient if I dress in — what appears to me to be — a rather old fashioned style. I loved to dress vintage when I was younger, and it was easy for me to pull off. I think I may also have had a sweater like this when I was in my 20s.

Maybe I’ll start with the mitten pattern and use my Fairlight Fibers gift card. I’ll add it to my queue anyway.

Aren’t pics of images funny? How they distort and skew but seem real? There’s an art project in there. Postmodernism at its finest. It’s probably been done.

Today I was thinking I might challenge myself to sketch a design for a knitting pattern every day. That would be good practice.

Here’s a knitting fashion quiz for you:

1. Do you think it’s true “if you wore it the first time around, you shouldn’t wear it the second (or third) time around?”

2. Do you believe there is a “first time around” anymore? Have you seen fashion produce anything new lately that you would like to wear?

3. Do you knit things you would never wear just because you want to knit them? Do you gift them afterward?

Here are my answers:

1. As I get older, my experience is that I don’t look (or feel) good in retro or vintage styles like I did when I was younger. I look and feel better in classic and/or modern but more sophisticated clothing. In other words, my Mother was right.

But I will never get rid of my overalls!

2. I haven’t seen anything new in fashion since the 80s. Everything is a rehash, except the jeans with the clear plastic over the butt cheeks and I wouldn’t wear that. (ETA: Bob thinks this was only in a movie, but I thought someone tried to make it a fashion after that.)

3. I only knit apparel I have in mind for someone to use and enjoy. I love beautiful things but I am prosaically practical. I do occasionally knit art that is for looking at and contemplating, although it’s been a while.

Please leave your answers in the comments, or on your blog and let us know!

Craft Corner

Bob and I got rid of an old couch we don’t need anymore and turned a corner of the living room into my craft corner. I’ve already broken it in with some jeans hemming. I foresee the shelves on the right slowly being taken over by craft supplies.

Just in case you were wondering, this is my tassel maker set from Katrinkles. I don’t make tassels very often, but these are so adorable I had to have them. I also signed up for her stitch marker of the month club!

Thanks to everyone who suggested I should color in the Winter’s Fern chart. Since the gold is my favorite color of the three, I made it the main color.

You would think someone with a degree in art would spend more time coloring, drawing, and sketching. But that is never something I think to do. I will try to do more of it when I am planning projects.

I’m going to finish up my Tread Hats and then start my Jessica Jones Cowl. What are you working on?

Artist Date Sunday

Today I took myself on an artist date to a couple of galleries in the Short North, an arts district in Columbus. It was a special day – Sunday Bazaar- when artists are working or talking about their work in the galleries and shops.

At Studios on High, an artists’ cooperative, I met Jennifer Jolley Brown, a printmaker. She was trying a new medium for her, woodcut.

We enjoyed chatting about art and life, and I love this image she is working on. She gave me some woodcutting tips in case I should ever try it. I must look like a serial enthusiast. (Is it that obvious?)

Then I came back to my studio and stewed in my juices a bit. After a long leisurely stare out the window, I opened my new planner/journal.

I had this binder made on Zazzle. This is a Carl Larsson painting. The knitting on the table and the textile on the chair, which must be Karin’s, inspire me. Really, the whole thing inspires me. It’s a home scene but so light and colorful — how I would like for my home to be.

I worked a little in my wardrobe planner. My aspirations are so modest here. Surely this is possible!

I was inspired enough to trace and cut out the Ottobre jeans.

The plaid is for the pocket bags.

I missed a few days blogging, but I did catch up on your blogs today!

Mistake, or Design Element?

You probably can’t tell from this photo, but on the edges of this border, I’ve been making a mistake: purling when I was supposed to be knitting and vice versa.

But since I’ve been making the mistake consistently, I’ve decided I like the way it looks and I’m calling it a “design element”.

We were supposed to go boating today but our lake excursion was canceled. What ever will we do today?

Blue Ribbon Beanie

This went really fast and I love it. It’s the perfect beanie: a little tam, a little slouch, but not too much to be a beanie.

And I love the color!

Yarn: Malabrigo Arroyo DK Matisse Blue

Needles: 1 size US 4 16″ circular, 1 size US 6 16″ circular, Size US 6 double points, or size needed to obtain gauge

Gauge: 5 stitches per inch on larger needles

Begin Pattern:

Cast on 100 stitches on the smaller circular needle size. ( I use crochet cast on for elasticity.)

Place marker and join to knit in the round.

Begin K2 P2 and continue for 2 inches.

Change to larger circular needle and knit in stockinette stitch for 5 inches (total length 7 inches).

Begin decreasing on next round: K 18 K 2 together 5 times (until end of round).

K 1 round

K 17 K 2 together 5 times (until end of round)

Knit 1 round

Continue decreasing in this manner (decreasing 5 stitches every other round) until you are at K 12 K 2 together, or 65 stitches total.

Switch from circular needles to double points when stitches become too small for the circular needle.

Begin decreasing in the same manner EVERY round, starting with K 11 K 2 together, until you have 10 stitches total left on needles.

Break yarn, and use darning needle to run the tail through the remaining stitches. Tie off and weave in loose ends.

Voila! Blue Ribbon Beanie. Enjoy!

Saturdeee WIPs

I’m making a little progress on Staghorn from A Fine Fleece. I decided I want to try to finish it before Celtic Colours so I’m making an effort to work on it more.

Celtic Myths is also coming along. If I stick to my goal of knitting two chart repeats of the border every week, I should be done by October. The mussel shell bug is a handmade treasure from my stepdaughter. As a rule, cockroaches are something I cannot abide, but these are charming. Probably because they don’t move unless I move them.

Lilac Heather Cumulus Blouse is also growing. This is great TV knitting.

I ordered some new cotton yarn. The Nature Cotton is my favorite and I used to design with it, but it’s now discontinued, so I bought up what I could find. The multi is Tolhuaca and worsted, but I think if I knit with two strands it might match the gauge of the bulky. I’m planning to type up one of my old designs and put it on Ravelry. I already have photos and everything, so I’m hoping this is a good baby step for me.

Back in the Swing

I went to the studio today and made a linen tee.

I found this fabric rather challenging to work with. It’s a tissue linen knit. Since it’s almost transparent I doubled the fabric on the body. I didn’t have enough to make them the same size so I went with the fluttery look by making the top layer a little shorter.

I left the edges unfinished. I accidentally sewed the neck binding on backwards, but you can’t really tell. Especially now that I’ve washed it.

I bought this fabric to make pj pants, but now I’m thinking of making the Lily top with it. What do you think?

I’m designing the perfect beanie with this Malabrigo.

I re-cast-on my lilac heather cumulus blouse. I tried to fix the messed up raglan shoulder, but wasn’t able to make it work. So I frogged it. All shoulders are looking good now!

What are you working on this weekend?

Catch Up and Q&As

“Three tomatoes are walkin’ down the street. Papa Tomato, Mama Tomato and Baby Tomato. Baby Tomato starts lagging behind, and Papa Tomato gets really angry. Goes back and squishes him and says: Ketchup!” — Pulp Fiction

I feel a little like Baby Tomato these days.

I finished my Emerson Pants. I’m pleased overall, but would like to suggest for the waistband that you fold it under on the inside and finish it by hand rather than what the instructions say. Because the pleats are thick I ended up with serger trauma.

It had been so long since I had sewn a waistband I didn’t think ahead on this one. I doubled-down on the stitching. Here’s hoping it survives the washing machine.

I am almost finished with the sleeve section on Cricket Hitofude and plan to be on to the next section today, unless my lilac heather cumulus blouse lures me away with its misty seamless stockinette lull. I finished one chart repeat on the edge of Celtic Myths, and it is so pretty. I look forward to diving into that monogamously at some point soon.

I bought two dress patterns from Grainline Studios and a custom fit jeans pattern from Bootstrap Fashion. I think I have enough natural linen left over to sew one of these dresses, but I’m hoping for an Etsy gift card for my upcoming birthday so I can order more linen from Lithuania.

This week I worked in my studio on some samples for our artisan partners in Kenya. I really enjoyed it and I’m hoping to be able to do more design work in future.

Today is my only day off this week so I’m parked on the couch with my knitting. Here are two Q&As from Karen and Kathy!

1. You’re sitting in your crafting chair or crafty couch, what else are you doing? Do you like to watch TV or maybe a movie? What are your favorites? Do you watch things more than once? Do you listen to podcasts? Do you prefer an audiobook?

I am usually watching a movie or tv show, preferably horror, sci fi, or UK/Euro mystery with beautiful scenery. I have recently started listening to audiobooks. The Shetland mysteries are my current favorite and I enjoy trying to say “murrrderrrr” like the narrator, and failing miserably every time.

2. What is your preferred drink? Are you having coffee, tea or maybe a tall frosty glass of beer? Do you have a snack? Do you like to reward yourself after a particularly long row or repeat?

Coffee or wine, depending on the time of day. I also like tea and shortbread cookies if it is afternoon. Sometimes I like herbal tea.

3. Do you craft alone or are you surrounded by your family and pets? Do they talk or whine while you’re counting? Are they understanding about the time you spend on your craft?

If I am crafting at home I am usually on the couch with Bob and our cat, JoJo. In the studio, where I do the majority of sewing and designing, I am usually alone.

1. What’s your favorite Pet movie?

I do not have a favorite pet movie.

2. Have you, do you play video games?

Not if I can avoid it. When the boys were younger they were always asking me to play video games with them, and I would only do so begrudgingly.

3. Discussing air travel with a friend recently, made me think about this question. Do you like take off and landings?  Do you enjoy the cruising time on a plane?

I enjoy the adrenaline of the take off and landing. I also enjoy the knitting/reading/sleeping time of the cruising. I enjoy air travel, except the waiting in line at the airport time.

4. Mason Dixon recently asked, Do you prefer fair isle or Duplicate stitch? So I’ll ask that of you as well.  Which do you prefer?

Fair Isle, of course.

5. Did you see the SNL skit last weekend about women who hate to shop for clothing?  It was spot on!  Do you like to shop for clothing?  Google it: The Shopping Experience for People Who Hate Shopping….

I did not but I will google it.

6. Some people love those interchangeable needles.  Do you?

I hate interchangeable needles because the yarn always gets caught on the join.

7. Have you ever called the Fire Department?

No, thank goodness.

8. Do you know anyone who had a home birth?  ( how random is this? at least the question is not did you call the fire department during your home birth.right?)

Yes I’m pretty sure I know several people who have had a home birth. My first two were born in a freestanding birth center, which was very like a home birth.

9. Boiled egg, Cadbury Egg, or Marshmallow Egg?

Marshmallow Egg.

10. When was the last time you rode on a bus?

Probably last summer. I enjoy riding on the bus!

Dang, now I wish I had a marshmallow egg.