Friday, September 28, 2007

TKGA/CGOA Knit and Crochet Conference

I'm here at the Knit and Crochet Conference in Oakland. Having fun so far.

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 ( 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.

More later!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Entrelac Bag

Here is the photo of the Entrelac Bag. I used 2 skeins of the Noro Silk Garden Lite. This works up pretty quick, and you really just have to trust the color changes to the yarn. I did end up with the brightest colors at the end-- so they worked out to be on the bottom of the bag. Not sure how I might avoid that in future, since its hard to know what colors are really in the skein. But a fun and quick project.

I did this as a sample for a class I'll be teaching, but think I would line the bag with another fabric.
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Sunday, September 23, 2007

What to do? back to the Mystery Stole?

I just finished a small Entrelac bag to be used as a sample for the class I'll be teaching in October. (photos to be posted later). So now I'm trying to decide what to knit next. Lately all the knitting has been for patterns I'm designing. I think I may take a break and get back to the Mystery Stole. After all, Melanie has already sent the link to users of the group for their special deal (and yes, I did buy the official copy, I think its gorgeous). If you may remember, I left the Mystery Stole while other members were on Clue 4 or there abouts, and I had finished knitting half of Clue 1. I had also really acquainted myself with life lines and the absolute need I have for them. I did get a lot of picking up stitches without a lifeline and practice is good, right?
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

Wednesday night Musings

I'm working with wool again (and for the next couple of projects according to plans that are not written down anywhere, so can easily be changed). I'm finding my eyes start feeling itchy after I've worked with it for awhile. I really hope this isn't actually related. Maybe its something else in the air.

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

Working with Bamboo and washing!

Just thought I would post a couple of comments about working with bamboo. I have worked with two versions so far. The Silk City Fiber's "Bambu 7" (on cones) and "Just Bamboo" a ribbon yarn from Sirdar.

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

Bamboo and Alpaca Chemo Cap

I took the same patterns from the "Just Bamboo" blouse, and added lace weight Alpaca to it and created this chemo cap. It's stretched a bit when I'm wearing it, because I've stuck my hair up inside. Its really, really soft.

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Too bad, the photo doesn't really show off the Alpaca. But it adds some depth to the color of the Bamboo. It takes just over one skein of the Bamboo-- so I think I'll add a quick to knit scarf to the pattern. Might as well use up that yarn!
This pattern has been posted for FREE download at the Fiber Rhythm Craft & Design shopping site. You can get immediate download if its the only thing in the cart!