Tuesday, September 25, 2012

what I heard on "The Voice" tonight

"An artist isn't an artist
unless there isn't anyone
 else like 'em"

–Blake Shelton

quick snap

I have just a few more rows to knit and then I will split the top and just knit progressively smaller Vs to fill in the open spots on front and back.  Every time I knit garter stitch I am reminded how long it takes – yes it's practically mindless, but it also takes a lot more rows to cover the same area as, say, stocking stitch. 

Before it's all over, I will be picking up stitches along the bottom edge and knitting a row before casting off, just to tidy things up a bit.  Or maybe add a picot edge?  That might be fun....

Monday, September 24, 2012

knitted skirt 1.1

So within 24 hours of my last post about the skirt, it had been reduced to this.....

I came to the harsh realization that I would need to gain at least 20lbs to fit it, and as painful as it was to destroy four nights of work....it was not nearly so bad as being that big!  LOL!

I've made a bunch of tweaks and have almost caught back up again to where I had been.  When I start knitting I typically have factory wound balls or ball winder balls, but when I've unravelled I tend to just wind it back up by hand.  It's a quick and dirty job, but also makes it easy for me to see where I had previously stopped.  I think with tonight's knitting I will begin making real progress.  At least I hope so – there is some good TV on tonight, so I should be able to plonk down and knit away the evening.

I will try to take some pictures of the new and improved skirt version and share tomorrow....

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

yes, I'm knitting a skirt

This past summer was definitely 'the summer of the dress' for me.  More than any other summer than I can remember - and maybe even more than all of the last many summers put together - I was in love with wearing a skirt or dress and it quickly became my uniform most days.  While I have lost weight over the last couple of years, I think the real reason I shook off my 'fat leg syndrome' was when my (skinny) sister told me I was being ridiculous and quickly wrapped her hand around her own calve and then 'measured' mine the same way.  I was shocked that the difference was only an inch.

Now that Fall is in the air, I want to keep expanding my skirt wardrobe and start wearing lots of tights. I immediately thought of the Lanesplitter, but quickly thought about how I could make it without a seam.  With a few more days of pondering, I had the brainwave to mimic the lines of a favourite summer dress with a fishtail? hemline.  Well getting the idea was just the first teensy piece of the puzzle and a lot of thinking time and swatching time finally resulted in a real plan.  I started knitting for real on Sunday night...and if I can maintain my pace, I should hopefully have it finished in time for my trip to Rochester next weekend.  Provided it fits, of course!  LOL!

Sometimes when I am knitting with Noro, I have a tendency to micro-manage the colours.  I clip out those ones I think might aggravate me later on - usually the 1-2 colours that are a little bit lighter, maybe brighter or sometimes just a strange colour that does relate to the rest.  But not this time!  Nope, I am determined to just knit it as it happens.  The only choice I'm allowing myself is to choose which balls to knit with next, once one runs out.  It's so liberating!  ;-)

I'm still not 100% convinced that I like the two sides looking so different....but as Wendie says,  it will be like having two skirts in one - I can just choose which side I want facing front!  

Monday, September 17, 2012

I'm so excited....

I can hardly contain myself.  About a year ago I heard about a special trip to Guatemala for rug hookers that took place in February.  I wanted to go so badly, but I had just returned from England, and just couldn't swing it.  I promised myself that if it happened again next year, I would seriously consider going.  And guess what?  It's happening!

So in honour of turning the big 4-0 next March, I am gifting myself with a trip of a lifetime.  Actually all of the classes I am teaching this fall will be treating me....but it will be no less memorable, I am sure.

This group is near Chichicastenango. The rugs made w/a wide mixture of recycled fabrics- very little wool in their rugs because wool does not show up in the used clothing stores (pacas) in Guatemala.  (Photo from Mary Anne Wise). 
If you haven't heard about this trip yet and/or want more information, you can download the brochure here or directly from Cultural Cloth.  All proceeds benefit the non-governmental organization on the ground in Guatemala called Thirteen Threads, a group that helps over 500 women in democracy building skills, health and education opportunities (like rug hooking classes).  I heard the tour was about half-full or more, but there are still a few spots available. 

Mary Anne Wise is happy to connect interested people with participants from this year's tour.  Her email address is wisemaryanne AT gmail DOT com

Saturday, September 15, 2012

today's play

These little Ewe-Fuse pieces will soon become little pouches.  Lots of pressing, cutting, fusing, sewing, and more pressing this afternoon.  It's been a slice! (pun intended...LOL!)

getting back to the wool

Over the last several days week, I've slowly been getting back into creating mode.  Yes, there has been knitting happening, and cooking over the last while.....but there is something special and free about just 'doing' and having a loose plan in mind for what you want to make – or sometimes no plan at all – and waiting to see how it all turns out.   I find it's even more fun and exciting when I get to play with my hand-dyed wools and all sorts of colours, with no pre-set scheme or ideas guiding me. 

I've been wanting to experiment some more with my Ewe-Fuse fabrics, and since nothing gets me moving quite like a deadline (did I mention that I need a little project to demo at an upcoming speaking engagement?), I just dove right in this last weekend.  The project I settled on is a little pouch to hold scissors and hooks.....

After making my first prototype with plain wool, I was itching to start using some pieces of Ewe-fuse that having been nesting since the Spring.  After a few attempts and some refinements, I had soon finalized my pattern and construction and I was ready to go into full swing production mode.  And then, before I knew it I had not only used up most of the leftover bits and pieces....but I also had a neat pile of cut pieces of fabric ready to go.  With just a wee bit of sewing, this pile will be transformed into a whopping 7 more bags!  But before I get ahead of myself, I need to stop and thing about what samples I want to use to demonstrate each the various steps in the finishing.  I could easily - and quickly - finish them all off.....and then need to make more samples.  No big deal, except for the fact that need everything ready and packed in just a couple of short weeks.

(I actually wrote this post days ago, but dragged my feet in taking the snaps.  Now I am off to go and do some sewing!  :-D)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Fall is in the air

This morning I woke up in a cold room.  Well before I opened my eyes, my first instinct was that I was sleeping in my tent!    My body wasn't really cold, but I could tell the air was cold, my face was cold....and I was afraid to move on my pillow.  When I consulted WeatherEye on my iPad, it showed the current temperature as being just 1ºC, but by the time I was driving to work this morning my car said it was 4ºC.  Needless to say, the idea of getting back under my frame to do some hooking is no longer making me fan my face with my hands.  I am also wearing socks today for the first time in ages.

Speaking of ages, I really didn't think I would take quite so long of a rest in between posts.  I don't regret it though, it was actually quite sweet and I barely felt guilty.  I also don't really know that I have a lot to show for my time away, but I will try to take some photos of my recent knitting and other various projects to share in the days ahead.

This is one of the few photos I've taken recently - just a quick snap with my iPhone.  It's the view out the pack window of my tent, in the morning before I took it down for the season.

I've become a little disenchanted with my camera lately and not happy with many of the photos that it's I've been taking.  I'm not sure if it's the camera's fault or my fault.  I don't think I'm doing anything different from what I've always done, yet the photos are not as crisp nor accurately coloured.  Despite some experimenting, I can't seem to improve matters much.....other than to avoid the frustration by just taking fewer photos.  Not an ideal solution...especially when I'm trying to get my blogging grove back..LOL!  In the meantime, I will persevere, but I am toying with the idea of splurging on a new camera.  I would love to hear from anyone who has any experience with the Sony Nex series.

Welcome to September!