Wednesday, December 12, 2007
2008 FALL KNIT & CROCHET SHOW
TKGA National / CGOA Regional Conferences
September 12-14, 2008 (Fri., Sat., Sun.)
Education - September 11-14
Shopping Days - September 12-14 (Preview Shopping Thursday evening for pre-registrants)
Oregon Convention Center
Friday, December 7, 2007
The designs in the book, Son of Stitch 'n Bitch, are diverse as was the audience on Wednesday. From grey haired ladies to aging hippies, to young, trendy, and punk, everyone was represented. My son was most impressed by the tall man who came in his suit, sat down in the next row and promptly started knitting.
Debbie has a great sense of humor and is to be commended for making it down to Portland from Seattle in time, depsite a closed I-5 and no trains due to the recent flooding. My son was constantly amused and entertained, and actually came away wanting me to knit him the Cetic double-knit hat (although when we got the book signed, he told Debbie he woould want the "Deady Bear". He liked a lot of the projects better when he got to see them passed around the room.
Overall I think his reaction is a good sign for the book's success, and I'm glad he needed to attend a book reading/lecture for extra credit in English. I think I just may take a break from designing to do a bit of holiday knitting, there are several quick projects that are doable.
Sunday, November 25, 2007
Well, I finally finshed knitting up the "Just Bamboo" Collared Blouse again (veryifying the instructions) so I finally had time to make it to another meetup.
It was a very nice couple of hours. Relaxed, good company and wonderful yarns to admire.
Kate brought her mother-in-law Donna, both shown in the first photo. Then they took a photo of Kathy and myself.
Then Donna took a photo of the three bloggers!
Someone else was having a birthday party there, so there were a lot of people hanging out and enjoying themselves on this long holiday weekend.
Donna is working on a black neck ring--very soft and I think she is almost done. Kate is working on a cap with a nice heathered alpaca and Kathy is working on a ribbed sweater (thats a sleeve she is holding up) which is also nice and soft, I am working on swatches for the CYCA Teaching program-- yes, I know, a glutton for swatching.
Sunday, November 11, 2007
It turns out Ravelry is a much better place to do what I said I would do in my blog heading-- document the knitting projects I've done over the years. So I am rather excited about that. I've put up my current WIP and posted one entry for an entrelac sweater I finished a couple of years ago. Now I want to photograph the old FOs and get as many as I can up there. I really do like the idea of looking back at old accomplishments every now and then.
Then I am really going to move into the stash. I have one of those true mountainous stashes, some in the studio, some in the home office, some in the bedroom closets, most in the attic over the garage... I really, really like the idea of having that documented so I don't forget what I have and so that I can have a true idea of what I can make out of each grouping.
There are so many great stash-buster projects, but that would be a waste (maybe/debatable) if I really have enough of one yarn to finish an entire garment.
Yesterday my sister and I went out (with my great-nephew) to a couple of Holiday Bazaars. It was great fun and I bought a lovely, truly lovely, batik large enough for a bedspread at one and at the other found Peggy McMullen of K2tog, the Oregon Live blog. She had some great stash for sale there nice wool that I was very tempted by, but having already just mentioned my stash here (and when I get it posted at Ravelry some of you will be able to see) that I just couldn't add to it right now... at any rate they also had some nice earrings (bought 2 pair) and I bought a cute organic cotton soap bag-- for all those little left-overs. A great idea.
We are planning on heading out Hillsboro way next weekend for more of the same!
Thursday, November 8, 2007
I did add to the patterns. Two of my designs. I will add more as I get the chance. And I may start chipping away at my stash... it could be interesting to see the list, but it may just take too much time.
I'm thinking first my patterns posted, then my projects.
The only thing I'm not liking so far is that the photos need to be square. So many of my photos are cropped and landscape. (wider than they are tall). Which basically means editing all the photos to be square before they can be posted.
For an example, take a look at the Aran Golf Cap on Ravelry (if you are a member) and you will see what I'm dealing with.
It is fun to take a look at what people are doing/talking about. And I know I will find more people out there to add to the friends list, and more blogs to read, etc.
Pretty amazing really.
Wednesday, October 17, 2007
The first day, I took a class from Carol Rhoades that covered the knitting of Marta Stina, who lived in Sweden over a hundred years ago. She worked large pieces (coverlets) in two-color work as well as sweaters. The technique she used is what we worked on in class, and involves twisting the yarn every stitch to create a really tight fabric. The good news is there are no floats. The bad news is that trying to keep the tension that is required going is harder on my hands. Beautiful pieces though.
I also took a class in color from Vivian Hoxbro which was a very different approach than the one I took at TKGA with Laura Bryant. Both were good exercises in thinking about color. In Vivian's class we also worked in stripes for our swatches, but the effect was not to blend so much. More graphic, less painterly. The last swatch of the day was done for whomever was sitting next to us. You were supposed to make a swatch that you thought that person would like. Then we exchanged them and that was really fun.
The final class I took was also Vivian's, this time in white. The topic was the Night Shirt from Falster. They knit the knit shirts in white and then dyed them. The patterning here reminded me of some of the ganseys. Mostly knit/purl patterning. Lots of stars (keeps away the evil-doers). Some twisted stitches (a la Bavarian Twisted stitch).
All in all a great time. The food was good, the coffee was plentiful (THANKS to the Nordic Heritage Museum Volunteers!!!!) I'm looking forward to the next conference, which I hope takes place in 2009.
Monday, October 1, 2007
Its always fun to take classes from Laura (especially for me as an old art major) because she has such a great eye for color and has a wealth of experience both teaching and creating her own art work. Took me back to my college days with references to Joseph Albers "Interaction of Color"...
After organizing the stash yarn that people brought and what Laura provided, we worked several swatches using different techniques of combining colors. The first photo shows using a finer yarn as a base and knitting it with varying other yarns.
The second swatch used striping and half-linen stitch to create different effects. Everything was an experiment! Now, I mjust need to take my stash out and re-align by color weight. Who knows what I can come up with then? Very inspiring.
Not only does she hand dye yarns, but she weaves and produces other art works (a show coming in May!). I have several books of hers that she co-wrote with Barry Klein ( of Trendsetter yarns) and they are always a pleasure to read.
Saturday night was the Chic St Fashion show and banquet along with the pinning of the master knitters-- more on that in another post (with photos).
Sunday I took an Introduction to Tunisian crochet with Jennifer Hansen of Stitch Diva Studios. Going to be another fun way to eat up stash, and the color theory from Laura's class combines well with the 3-color Tunisian crochet that Jennifer got us to by the end of class.
I decided on Sunday morning to go ahead and take a final class in the afternoon-- I had enough energy and the plane wasn't leaving until 8:30ish... So I signed up for a class with JCBriar. It was a "disaster recovery" class, which are always useful. JC describes herself as a technique junky (or something similar) and I know I'd heard good things... I enjoyed the class, learned a few things and got good re-inforcement on some of the things I've already been doing. It did help that I was in the middle of tinking on the Mystery Stole. I've successfully tinked and am back to knitting on that!
I was working backstage during the fashion show, so did not make it out on stage when the rest of the group got "pinned", but did receive the pin at the end of the evening.
I think that this photo is with the Master Knitters getting pinned. (I was backstage). So sorry, I don't know the names of the other new master knitters. More people are making it through the program, which is a good thing!
And here I am modelling the Stormy Sky sweater (pattern available at the Fiber Rhythm web site: http://shop.fiberrhythm.com/zencart)
Friday, September 28, 2007
I took a Design workshop from Nancy Nehring on Thursday afternoon and that was chock full of good information about publishing craft books and articles and how-to stuff. Well worth attending and very encouraging for people who might want to get into the business.
Today I slept in! (Thats the vacation part of this trip). Last year I had my schedule chock full of classes-- every availble time slot was filled. This year, I decided I needed to build in some buffer time. So that was good. I just finished taking the Slip-stitch knitting class with Joyce Renee Wyatt. Also full of good information and you can tell that Joyce has been teaching for awhile. Good progression of simpler to harder swatches to do and encouraging comments along the way. I have done some slip-stitches before, but there is always something new to learn.
Tonight is the TKGA meeting and then dinner with new friends. Tomorrow I will be taking the Stash class with Laura Bryant and I'm really looking forward to that. I've had quite a few bits of Prism yarn in my stash over the years... beautiful stuff.
Also tomorrow is the Chic Street fashion show (my Stormy Sky sweater will be in it) and I am really looking forward to that as well. I get pinned as a Master knitter and it may seem a bit corny, but I am proud to have finished the program.
I did finally get the Mystery Stole back on the needles. I had to buy a crochet hook for the beading though, as I couldn't find the right one when I was packing earlier. The one I got is really nice and works great.
I also am very interested in a project that I hadn't heard of before. Its the International Fiber Collaborative (http://www.internationalfibercollaborative.com/) and they are putting together an installation of fiber-crafted 3' x 3' squares that will cover an abandoned gas station. Thought provoking. I emailed my sister Dianne and it looks like Fiber Rhythm will produce at least one square for them. We'll discuss more when I get back home.
Thursday, September 27, 2007
I did this as a sample for a class I'll be teaching, but think I would line the bag with another fabric.
Sunday, September 23, 2007
Anyway... Mystery Stole might be a good airplane project for me and nice and small to carry around with me during the up-coming conference.
Wednesday, September 19, 2007
I have a ton of wool in my stash (well, maybe not literally). It would be such a shame to have accumulated those lovelies over the years and then have to say good bye without seeing what they can become. My hands are fine after working with it--so no rashes or anything like that.
Ah well-- this should be a relatively quick project. And then I'm off to TKGA conference in Oakland. I am really looking forward to that. I'm taking mostly classes that don't require homework (and no, that was not my requirement). And this time I'm leaving a couple of class time slots open. I did get a little classed-out last time.
I'm taking (in sequence) the Designer Workshop with Nancy Nehring on Thursday, the Slip Stitch Knitting with Joyce Renee Wyatt on Friday afternoon, the Yarn Stash Workshop with Laura Bryant on Saturday (I still have quite a bite of Prism stash around), and a Big Hook Introduction to Tunisian crochet on Sunday (another stash-buster technique).
Maybe after I get back, I'll get the bug to actually catalog my "inventory" of yarn. Could be sobering. Definitely have to wait until after the conferences are done, else I might not be able to enjoy the "marketplace"! Last year I got a great lace stole among other things.
Sunday, September 9, 2007
Both produce a really nice drapey fabric and ever so soft. The Silk City version is a bit softer because it has not been "ribboned" (if thats a word). The Sirdar one doesn't tangle as much.
Washing them is very interesting, because the bamboo really, really, really soaks up the moisture. I have washed both sweaters in the washing machine and dried them in the dryer.
I don't know about you, but if you don't dry them in the dryer (and this includes cotton sweaters I have), you end up with a really stiff sweater. Plus I like to know my sweaters are wash-n-dry.
At any rate, washing the bamboo is rather scary. It is because it soaks up the water so well, it looks like you have totally ruined your knitting!!! The wet piece is MUCH smaller and denser than that lovely drapey fabric you just had.
Drying is key. Once the piece is thoroughly dry, it will be fine. "Trust me". Mine turned out the same size after all was said and done. So no shrinkage.
I had to send my "Just Bamboo" knitted blouse through our dryer 4 times before it became thoroughly dry. (And the towels dried on the first go, so its not just my dryer).
I suppose you could get the same effect by laying it out flat to dry and leaving it for some really really long time, and then running for a partial run in the dryer to soften it up.
Just thought this might help someone else who wants to be able to wash/dry their bamboo knits.
Sunday, September 2, 2007
Friday, August 31, 2007
You can make one yourself, the pattern is now available at Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design.
Sunday, August 5, 2007
So here's the sneak preview of what I've been doing with the "Just Bamboo" I picked up at Twisted. The original plan was for a sleeveless top, a little blousy and with a collar. Thats now morphing into short sleeves and I'm still considering what I want to do for the collar/neck edge. I had at one time threaded a contrasting color yarn through the little eyelets you see here, but decided that was too busy. I'm planning on wearing this one at work (and even though we are done with the old dress-suit dress code days, its still helps to have something a bit dressier).
I'm wearing the tank-top version of this now, and I must say that the fabric is light-weight and very comfortable!
I'm guessing I'll be done in within the week and then we'll post the real photos (and the pattern will be available at the Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design website!!
Thursday, July 19, 2007
So. I've cast on and am knitting away. So far I have about 2" done on what will be the back. I want to get pretty far on it before I go back to the MS3 project, since I'm behind there anyway. Also the Just Bamboo is on size 9s so quite different from the lace knitting! I tried yos in a swatch and they were HUGE
Tuesday, July 17, 2007
I'm using Fino Alpaca with a twist (Alpaca/Silk) and US size 4 needles. The beads don't show up much in this photo. Will have to take a close-up again a bit later.
Lots learned while doing just this little bit. But have to head into the office and so won't be back to posting about it until later.
My son gets back from Germnay tonight, so I may not get back to this for a few days. We will see!
Tuesday, July 10, 2007
Well, it is done. I am really looking forward to using it. I have it loaded up now for the MS3 project and am waiting for lunch time to actually start.
I really like that I used a frame for the interior.... it means you get a really clear view of the pattern from both front and back.
The strap is also continuous, so you can adjust it to be just over one shoulder, or if you want, you can adjust it to fit diagonally across the body. I really like that flexibility.
I also put in what I'm calling a "Pattern holder". See the interior view (with the Aran Golf cap pattern in there). I have had a problem in the past with patterns falling all over inside the knitting tote and then you have to pull it out of the way to get to what you need.
Another side-effect of using the plastic canvas for the interior/frame, is that you can attach D-rings around the sides and then attach things to the D-rings. The detachable bag in the last photo is attached to a D-ring with a crab hook. The scissors are on one of those retractable holders for ID tags (found at Office Depot).
So much fun! but glad its done... itching to get to the Mystery Stole and a new way of attaching beads (for me).
(P.S. The knitting pattern for the bag is for sale now at my website Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design's shopping cart. Which btw has been very easy to add to and maintain so far, thanks Zen Cart!!)
I actually spent pretty much the whole flight to Spain working on untangling my yarn (This was before I read "No Sheep for Ewe" so I was foolishly trying to pull from the center of the ball... which, trickily enough, works great for awhile)
See the photo for my latest solution: Lollipop bags. I got them at Michaels. They are a pretty good size for small balls of yarn. They leave enough room for the ball to unwind (from the outside). And they are inexpensive.
For my next project with this yarn, I think I would try to put the two lollipop bags with the same color together in a larger drawstring bag. Just to make finding your two color ends a bit quicker....
Sunday, July 8, 2007
I was happy to see that there were several projects in Bamboo! Even a very nice top in the same Bambu 7 I've used for the Stormy Sky sweater and bag (different color). Gotta love it. And also inspired by the several MS3 projects underway.
Good to see Peggy McMullen again, (from the Oregonian knitting blog k2tog) and to meet Mims as well.
We pretty well had the room at capacity and snacks were provided ! My thanks to Knit Purl and the PDX-Knit-blogger (yahoo group) organizers (Bobbie, et al) and hope there are many more meetups in our future-- it will take me awhile to get everyone's names and their associated blogs down.
Well-- back to the "Stormy Sky bag"... just need to finish the strap and the pockets!!
Saturday, July 7, 2007
So that meant trips to the LYSs. My sis and I went out just before 7pm on Thursday. We went to Yarn Garden first, which is the closest, and they were out of the dark colors in the right weight... too many MS3ers in the area? Then we went on to Twisted (which fortuneatley is open until 8 pm) and found a very nice, very black Alpaca/Silk mix. Fino. Looks like 1 skein will work.
The beads I already have will work with that as well. Then I checked into the crochet hook stash, and the smallest I had was a 10, which is too big for these. I really like the idea of the crochet hook technique (and not stringing them all). So off again Friday night this time to Michaels. They had a single size 12. Looks like that will work for these beads.
So Happy again.. finished up a bit more on the "Stormy Sky" bag (another day? looking good), then up this morning (Saturday) to tackle some more knitting and got COMPLETELY side-tracked with a broken water hose (hot) on the washer (which was running)... so now its a day for cleaning up the basement.
What is that they say about best laid plans???
Tuesday, July 3, 2007
I've knitted the swatch and am going to block it overnight before I decide if I will use this yarn or not. I can already see that I can go up a needle size as the stockinette portion is a bit too solid looking, I think.
No camera with me today, but I'll post photos later...
Sunday, July 1, 2007
Ahhh... my latest purchase. Since I enjoyed working with the Bambu 7 (Silk City Fiber http://www.silkcityfibers.com/, available at Woodland Woolworks http://www.woodlandwoolworks.com/) so much, I thought I'd see what some of the other Bamboo yarns are really like.
Of course, I combined this with a visit to our newest LYS, Twisted (http://www.twistedpdx.com/). They just opened Friday! I meant to go opening day (I had heard about it on the SNB-Portland yahoo group) but missed out. So Saturday I drove by later in the day. Seems like a very nice place and lots of yummy yarns. Everyone was very welcoming and it was a fun visit.
This is "Just Bamboo" from Sirdar. Its ribbony and I understand that the swatches will tend to shrink up when wet. So should be interesting. I picked one of the Manilla and one Nutmeg (although it could have been Vanilla and Nutmeg really!) they have a few other colors in pinks, light blues and neutrals. (Not nearly the variety of colors of the Bambu 7).
But I am going to swatch and see what it wants to be!
Still have to finish the "Stormy Sky" bag though... its getting closer!
Friday, June 29, 2007
Now I'm trying to decide if I really need a knitted liner. A liner is definitely in order to cover the steek, but maybe I just use a nice either knit or nylon lining fabric. So the pattern would be combination of knitting and sewing. Steeking requires a sewing machine anyway. Especially with the slippery bamboo.
OK. Now I'm having a vision of an internal pocket/divider that is really a ribbed cylinder that then gets sewn in place.... hmmm. Liking that idea. And ribbing can go pretty fast. And it could be done on larger needles too.
So... finish the main piece, steek and sew liner to match. Knit ribbed cylinder, sew in place.
Sunday, June 24, 2007
I have finished setting up Zen Cart (other than putting a few more products in). I spent a good day just working on getting the look close to what I already had set up using WebSite tonight from GoDaddy.com. I did go ahead and purchase the "e-Start Your Web Store with Zen Cart" It was very much worthwhile. A big THANKYOU to Goh Koon Hoek for writing the book, it really saved me time. (You can find the book at: http://www.lulu.com/content/466605)
Well, at least I'm done with what I was planning on doing with it for now. I have the two patterns I have for sale (third to follow soon) for hand knitting up as well as my rag rugs.
I've added the ability to set up wholesale accounts and I've added a page for comments on the website itself.
So now I can get back to knitting! I lent my son my camera while he's in Germany, so likely not too many photos from me in the next few weeks. I'm about 1/3 of the way done with the front/back piece of the Stormy Sky bag I'm making. I was thinking of knitting the lining, but now am leaning toward using fabric. Hmmm....
Oh well, back to work tomorrow...
Tuesday, June 19, 2007
So I'm taking a day off of the real job to both be with the family that is in from out of town, and am taking a few minutes to work on the shopping cart for the Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design website. It may take awhile, but eventually everything will be up for sale there.
I have recently added PayPal buttons-- so the two patterns can be purchased online, without the email back and forth. I'm thinking though that I need to get the cart set up so people can download the pdf version and not wait for USPS.
For those of you that are buying patterns online, do you prefer the PDF? or the hard copy? or do you like to have the choice?
Monday, June 18, 2007
The bamboo yarn I used for the Stormy Sky sweater comes on cones and the sweater doesn't use the same amount from each cone. So I had quite a bit of denim color used, but not much of some of the other colors. So I figure I can knit the outside to match, and then the inside can use some of the colors I have more of. So that should be good.
I was thinking of writing the pattern up to have two versions: 1 with a flap that would fold over to close the bag, and one without the flap. So I'm curious whether people would be interested in having a bag without flap v. one with.
I'm expecting this to be a project bag-- so a strap long enough to go over the shoulder, if not cross over... and the bag part large enough to hold 8-1/2" x 11" instructions as well as yarn and project...
Tuesday, June 12, 2007
I have miles of stash yarn.... I have some UFOs as well.
I'm thinking maybe I work on something I might be able to finish quickly... like a summer top or a bag of some sort.... Hmmm... maybe a bag to use for summer knitting projects! (Not that I don' t have lots of bags already).
Big enough to hold an 8-1/2 x 11" instruction set without folding it... room for supplies... compartments for project and yarns... maybe a way to keep the yarns separate so they don't tangle... I like that!
What else would it need?
Saturday, June 9, 2007
A triplet of cables goes up each side
The top has a diamond pattern surrounded by waves and bobbles.
The back has a classic celtic braid.
Let me know what you think!
Friday, January 5, 2007
I did finally decide to double the yarn and knit on US size 4 needles (still need to take a picture of the swatch). This should be much easier on the TKGA reviewers. Still, the sweater is over 300 st around the body. Knitting time is limited, since I do work. I'm excited about finally starting and hoping to be done by early February. I may have to travel for work for a couple of weeks towards the end of January. Although that usually means airline knitting time, it really ends up being less knitting time overall since work gets pretty all-encompassing while travelling.