Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Deciding to be Thankful

Last night I had a bit of a drive for a work presentation, and I was in the car by myself. I forget how rare it is to be in car by myself till it happens, and then I think... "wow, this is kinda nice". So I turned off the radio and sang with all my heart.

The song I started with was "For the Beauty of the Earth" because I had recently heard that it was a Thanksgiving based song, and I found it to be so true. It also reminded me of Little Women, when one of the sisters gets married, Amy I think.

Please follow me through on this little journey through my brain here, so thinking of Little Women brought me to Christmas and then to Christmas Carols. For the rest of my drive I sang Christmas carols, and I must say I was surprised at how many second verses I know and just how many songs I know! For that I must say a huge thanks to Lowell Birkey and Waldo Mennonite Church for the years and years of Christmas caroling as a child - I can still vividly remember some of the homes we caroled at and the hot chocolate that followed.

After singing the carols and thinking how thankful I was for Lowell I was reminded to consider all the things that I am truly thankful to God for this holiday...
I am thankful for my extended family that love and care about me.

I am thankful for my husband whose silliness and love I can fully depend on.

I am thankful that there are more sunny days than gray days, but I am also thankful that the gray days come to remind me of how good we have it.

I am thankful for hobbies that bring me and others joy.

I am thankful for friendships that remind me I am an unique individual in this community of volunteers.

I am thankful for the wonder of agriculture, that our food grows up from the ground and for the men and women that work to provide it.

I am thankful that I know what it means to be loved.

What are you finding yourself thankful for?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Cotton Scarf

I realized I hadn't updated you on this wonderful cotton scarf I listed in my Etsy shop.

I had received some general request from folks her are allergic to wool to list some non-wool winter items. This scarf is made from 100% cotton and is a sort of neutral beige/peach.

It is knit with a seed stitch on one side and a woven stitch on the other, and the stitch patterns alternate on each knitted section. I also decided to add the extended stitch (I don't know it's technical name) to show the texture of the yarn and add a little more visual interest.

Lying flat this scarf measures 62 inches (157.5 cm) in length and 6.5 inches (16.5 cm)in width.

If you haven't wander through my shop in awhile come have a gander, and as always I am very open to custom orders.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

My First Winter Sweater - DONE!

Can you believe it? Finally finished! I'm really glad that the generous knitter from New Hampshire sent me 25 yards instead of 20 because I was then able to lengthen both sleeves another inch or so, which I like much better. This picture is a little funny, but I think it nicely shows the fit of the sweater.

For those of you who are just joining me for this sweater journey here are the previous posts about the knitting and planning. And for those of you not on Ravelry, I'll post my knitting notes and modifications to the Wicked pattern at the end of this post.

The picture of all the little strings is all the left over yarn, ha ha.

My Knitting Notes - can also be found on my Project Page

11/3 - I tried it on last night and decided not to do the increases after the waist. I really thought I would, but hopefully it was the right choice - we’ll see.

11/5 - not doing the increasing was the right choice it fits great.
The pattern said to knit till it measured 11 inches, well I didn’t like how short that was so I knit till it measured 13 inches then I added my pocket, and then I knit the same ribbing as the collar for just over two inches and used the Elizabeth Zimmerman sewn bind off.
Now I’m starting my sleeves - yay! Oh and I did the seaming on my pocket cause I knew otherwise I would dred it when my sleeves were done

11/6 - measuring from the under arm I decrease 1 stitch when it measured 5.5 inches, 7.5 inches, 9.5 inches, 10.5 inches, 12 inches, and one last decrease before beginning the cuff at 16.5 inches - total sleeve decrease 6 stitches… total sleeve length 18 inches (2.5 rounds of 4 round ribbing repeat= 1.5 inches)

11/7 - for some reason my mind tells me that the faster I knit the more likely it is I’ll have enough yarn to finish the sleeve, weird, not true, still weird.

Yup - I have all my ends woven in, the entire sweater looks lovely, but I am out of yarn with 2.5 inches to complete on one sleeve - see bad photo. But a kind soul here on Ravelry, raggedknitter, has a bit extra of this color and is mail it off to me - hooray! I can’t wait!

11/18 finished, finished, finished. I even added length to both sleeves with the extra 25 yards that raggedknitter mailed to me, and I’m glad I did - I’ll have to check, but I believe my sleeves ended up being approx 19.5 inches.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Table Cloth

I live in a furnished apartment, no complaints about that. I appreciate that my previous apartment was furnished as well, it just means you have to get creative with what you have. I have talked about this before, but today my attention turns to my small dining area.

Yesterday I decided most normal households have at least one table cloth, especially if your table is ugly fake wood, so I bought one. Then I saw this $2 center piece mat that I thought would add a nice bit of contrast.

All this to say that this table cloth and simple center piece have made me much happier with the "style" of my kitchen. Then I got to wondering if the puke colored chairs would hold spray paint. No, I haven't tried.

David pointed out that a couple of the chair colors are the same as the art piece I purchased for the wall, and I had to kindly explain that it only looks like puke on chairs not on the wall - right? I mean that makes complete sense...?

This reminds me I never showed you what the completed green curtains look like, or my little side table covers, well I guess I'll have to do some practicing with the new camera.

Have a good one.

Monday, November 17, 2008

afgahns for Afghans and entrelac

Yippee, our area knitting group sent off 19 pairs of mittens to Afghanistan through afghans for Afghans. If you want to see which ones I knit you can see the notes on flickr.

In other news I am still awaiting yarn to finish my sweater, but I have begun a new project in the meantime.

I was recently generously gifted a bag of Noro Kureyon colorway 150 - thanks Sammie! So I very excitedly went through Ravelry looking at all the possibilities for this lovely wool and I jumped into this knitting project:

Entrelac Wrap.

I really like how it is coming together and it is a wonderful distraction while I wait for my bit of sweater yarn and the cotton for the last of Christmas knitting.

What are you all up to this Monday?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Question: Emmy, what the heck have you been doing since you haven't been blogging?

-Impatiently waiting for 20 yards of generously donated yarn to arrive from New Hampshire so I can finish my sweater. (didn't I tell you? I finished all but 2.5 inches on a sleeve and ran out of yarn)

- Knitting a ridiculous amount of wash cloths and tribbles for Christmas gifts

- Spinning flax into linen for a market bag

-Making mittens for afghans for Afghans

- Learning how to work our new sweet Nikon D80

- Figuring out which sweater to make next, since I am loving the result of my almost finished one

-For some reason feeling in a overall funk this week

- Looking forward to going home at Christmas

(yes, I realize the last two are most likely related)

In relation to offering my leg warmer pattern. I have been doing some research and reading about offering free patters. I have found that it may be in my best interest as a fiber artist, who hopes to one day have a decent income from fibering, to offer it at a small fee rather than free. This means I will need to do some substantial editing and find some test knitters so it may be awhile, thanks for understanding.

And about felting, well it seems I don't have it in me to write more about it, so sorry. I suppose I'll have to wait till it becomes a passion so here is a blog that explains the further details of hand felting, except I never used a sheet.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I know, I know

I made so many promises this week. I will make good, but I've been having a blogging set back - complete addiction to knitting my sweater. No worries though, I just have one sleeve left, please pray I have enough yarn - ahhh! But I will continue my chat on felting and much more, but first, this sleeve!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

The Magic of Felting

One of my faithful readers (I don't have hundreds, but I do have a few) requested that I share some about felting. Having recently learned about it myself the info is fresh in my mind so I'll do my best to share some tid-bits.

The type of felting I learned to do is called hand felting. This type of felting is done with wool that is not spun into yarn or knitted. I found that I prefer to do it with carded wool or roving. We did a bit with raw wool and mine didn't turn our very well.

The simplest way I can think to explain making a piece if felt with carded wool or roving is as follows: take some fluffed or loose roving and lay pieces so the fiber length is going left to right, then lay more on top of that going the opposite directions (top to bottom), and then a final and third layer left to right again.

Once all the fiber is laid out you press your hands down on the fiber and gently shake without moving your hands from the spot they are in and firmly press with your hands flat. I realize this sounds odd. What you are doing is getting the fibers to attach to one another. You'll notice the poof of your piece goes down. After doing that initial shake/rub then you get hot soapy water and poor some over the piece and continue to do the same motion.

To be continued.... oh the suspense

Monday, November 3, 2008

Sweater Progress and a Tribble

Happy Monday to all - I know those two things (happy + Monday) don't often go together, but today is warm and sunny here in the valley and there isn't much work to be done at the office so I am feeling a bit cheery.

I am also cheery because of my Wicked Sweater progress... are you ready for this? I cast on Friday night before going out to dinner and here it is folks - tah dah! Yes, I am so excited about this sweater that I have been knitting nearly non- stop. David was feeling especially goofy so it was difficult to get a photo. The goofiness is mostly because even though the time changed we found ourselves up at midnight last night - ridiculous.

Also I have been teaching my fellow volunteers how to knit - so far they have produced four and a half wash cloths and just cast on a hat and soon a scarf. They are doing really well and I am excited to share my addiction. David says I'm like a virus. Maw-ha-ha-ha. But because of their furious knitting I was able to try out this cool pattern with some scraps. For some reason it is called a Tribble, and I think they are very cute and a fabulous way to use up cotton rag scraps. Yes, I realize you can just make another rag with scraps, but why not have a little something else to wash dishes with.

Things to come this week... photos of my cotton scarf, leg warmer pattern with photos, and my lessons in learning to felt. Hope your Monday is sunny too!