Sunday, November 30, 2008

Polymer Clay Necklace

These beads were designed by Hari, and strung by Aoife. Here she is modeling them!!!

Because of the Coat Buttons.....

This is all because I was going to make coat buttons for my pink/mauve coat. My son's girlfriend Hari, who has NEVER worked with polymer clay before, asked if she could play with the clay too, as I was getting out the supplies for the day. So, here are some of her resulting beads!!! Amazing. Then my granddaughter, 13, made some beads too, and we just strung them on some clear elastic and they are wonderful.

(The buttons will be in the next post.)

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Starting My Coat Project

I purchased three beautiful skeins of thick and thin merino/mohair yarn at Stitches East last weekend with the idea of making a swing jacket similar to the one my friend Shafer made. Her jacket used multiple strands of yarns to create a very large gauge - like 7 stitches / 4 inches on #13 needles. The pattern comes from Sally Melville, and is called 'Not My Mother's Jacket'. According to the pattern, each yarn in the strand needs to be 540 yds, but of course, I only have 480 yards of the lovely thick and thin purple. Sigh. So I had to put on my thinking cap.

I have a lot of yarn, on cones, and otherwise, from my long-ago weaving days so I pulled some out, and found some wonderful mohair, and wool yarn, both of which have enough yardage. I also found a wonderful skein of bulky weight plum merino wool, that I had originally bought for felting. It is 320 yards. Again, not enough for the entire project. And I really didn't want the jacket to look like I ran out of yarn!!!!

I also found a huge amount of 2-ply knitting worsted in a beige heathery tone, and so I swatched quite a lot and came up with the idea of knitting just one row with a strand containing the thick and thin, and one row with a strand containing the bulky plum weight yarn, and since I was knitting on circulars, but flat, I just push the work to the other end of the needles when necessary. So by knitting alternate rows, I have effectively cut in half the yardage needed for each yarn!! Pat myself on the back....

Then I had to deal with the beige yarn, so I played with koolaid and that worked beautifully! I used 8 packages with a glug of white vinegar for 2 four ounce skeins of the wool, which was soaked first. I brought the 6 quart pot to a boil and turned it off. I notice that the reddish part of the dye got absorbed quite quickly, leaving the water very blue, but soon that was absorbed as well. I really needed a larger pot for 2 skeins, but since I don't have one, the wool was quite blotchy. But it came out great that way. Sort of reddish-purple, and light blue-gray areas. You can see that yarn in the third picture above.

I am using 3 yarns for each multiple strand, as you can see above. I am hoping to have enough yarn but I'm worried. Stay tuned.....

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Black Topaz Spiral Knitted Bracelet

These bangle/bracelets were from a kit I purchased at Stitches East in Baltimore last week, and they turned out really well. They are knit on #0000 dpns with 3 stitches and 2 beads per row and were simple, if fiddly, to make. I originally intended to make a necklace but I was too worried about a tiger-strip effect and made 3 bracelets instead. They are very comfortable to wear, fit tightly when on my wrist, roll on and off easily and have no closures to make things difficult.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Acorn and Oak Leaf Socks

Those of you who know me can probably figure out why I chose this motif - ACORNS!!! I'm nuts about them. So when I came across this chart I knew I had to knit socks. The chart is one of the afghan squares from a booklet called The Great American Afghan, by XRX books, and it was loads of fun to knit. I used a now discontinued yarn, Peter Pan St. Ives sock yarn, which I absolutely love and am saddened that it is no longer available.

Lace Beanie and Wristwarmers

From 101 Designer One-Skein Wonders comes this cotton beanie and wristwarmers for my granddaughter's birthday. I used Lion Brand cotton ease since she is averse to wool, and I'm happy how it came out.

Ivory Lace Scarf

It's been quite a while since I have written anything to my blog, and you can blame it all on Ravelry. It's pretty gloomy and rainy here today, and I am betwixt and between projects so here goes.

This is the most glorious yarn imaginable: Handmaiden Mini Maiden, a merino and silk blend and handpainted with the most subtle of colors. And the touch around one's neck is fabulous. The pattern is from Monika Steinbauer and can be found on Ravelry, as a free pattern. Thanks Monika.

I am most pleased with this scarf.