Friday, October 31, 2014

Happy Halloween


That is a photo of Moogie in the catacombs in Paris,  yes, she has changed the color of her hair again.

For Halloween at the middle school where I am working, the Math Department wanted to dress in themed costumes.  We really work as a team, and the group likes to show this.  We needed something that had enough different characters for the whole department.  We decided to go as characters from the Despicable Me movies.  The 3 aides and the student teacher were to be the Minions, and the teachers the main characters.  Starting last Monday after the Eastside Knitters Guild October meeting (the Shibaguyz came! and taught is how to crochet on our knitting), I started making 4 Minion hats.
I used a free pattern by Crochet by Jennifer as a guide, but changed the pattern a bit because her hat is sc, and that was taking too long.  I needed the hats finished by Oct 30th in the evening.  The hats came out great, and the other aides really loved them.
I also knit the "bald patch" for the male teacher who was our Dru.
The students recognized who we were right away, and really loved the hats.  I have one boy in 5th period who keeps asking me to make him something.  I tell him that I will TEACH him how to make his own.  He seems interested, so I plan to bring materials for him next week, and see if he really does want to learn to knit.

shaping the planet on Halloween
shawl worn by a woman on the tour of the catacombs below St. Stephan's Cathedral in Vienna, Austria

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Eastside Stitchers, Last Wednesday in October


So I get to Crossroads at about 5 pm and no one is there.  The big round table near Half-Price Books and Starbucks is empty, and so is the 2nd big table in the corner.  I grab a seat at the table, and get to hooking.  I'm making 4 "Minion" hats for Halloween, and need to get them finished.  It hits 5:15 and still no one arrives.  5:30 and I am alone.  This is weird.  Where is GwenS and Addie?  Where is VanesaPolo and Emma?  Just when I was thinking that it was going to be a really weird night with NO Eastside Stitchers, CathieC arrived.

We had this HUGE windstorm last weekend.  On Saturday, our power went out when 2 trees took out power lines on the 24th St. NE hill.  I sat in the living room listening to fir cones hit my roof with a thud thud thud, the much louder THUDS as branches started hitting my roof.  Across the lake I saw flashes of what I thought might be lightning, but what were really the transformers blowing.  Our power cut out at about 9 pm Saturday night.  There were lights to the south, but east across the lake towards Issaquah, and north towards Sammamish and Redmond was total black.  I texted various members of Eastside Stitchers and quite a few of us lost power at the same time.  Some of the lucky ones got theirs back quickly (Skeinherder!) or really didn't lose power at all (JulieMustKnit!)  Sunday knitting at Panera had to be switched to Crossroads because Panera in Redmond had no power.  Since my house was dark and cold, I really wanted to go somewhere for breakfast, so I picked up GwenS and Addie, and we met a few friends at Crossroads where there was Light and Warmth.  My power came back on very late that night, or really very early Monday morning.  Doc and I piled extra blankets on the bed and hunkered down.  Poor CathieC didn't get her power back until mid-day on Monday.  But it seems that we all have power once more.

Anyway, I wondered if people were still digging out (or sweeping up and cutting felled trees) and so we would not really have a group tonight, but I was wrong as we ended up using both big round tables.

Wajio brought a Knitted Knocker.
She had a paperclip holding the nipple part together, we called it her "pierced nipple."  She has finished this first one and will get started on its pair soon.

GwenS is knitting another baby sweater.
The pattern is Curve by Terri Kruse and I'm pretty sure the yarn is Malabrigo.

Jessica brought her very first knitting project, a scarf.
It will be fun to watch her knitting skills and the scarf grow.

And now for the Exit 0 Shawls.  Let's hope I remember who is knitting which shawl.

This is JulieMustKnit's Exit 0.  She has finished the first 2 sections.

And, here is WireKnitter's:
They are at about the same spot, which you can easily see.  It is so interesting to see how the different colors look in this pattern.

WireKnitter also brought a finished shawl for Show and Tell.  The pattern is Ananke by Shannon Squire Designs, and the yarn is Blue Moon Fibers Socks that Rock.

And here is CathieC's Exit 0:
She was worried about a decrease that she missed, but there is no way to see it.  And we encouraged her to forget about ripping back (see the stitch marker, that's where the missed decrease is!) and knit on.  She is almost ready for the second section.

Ok, I think this next piece of knitting is VanesaPolo's.  I know she was starting a project that began with a TON of stitches.
Tara1682 finished her Iznik I Heart You Shawl.
I know this is a gift, and she was really motivated to get it off the needles.  This is absolutely beautiful.  The photo does not do it justice.

And lastly (because she arrived last) is domesticshorthair.  She brought her Concentric shawl by Melanie Dilworth.
I think she had put this away for a bit, and when she pulled it out, the yarn was in a bit of a tangle.  It is all straightened out now, and she is back to knitting.

That's all for now.  We are expecting wind again this coming weekend, so let's hope that all the weak trees have already fallen, and we will have a very uneventful storm.

shaping the planet with yarny friends.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Happy Birthday, Emma!


It was a super fun night tonight at Crossroads where the Eastside Stitchers met to knit and celebrate Emma's 1st birthday.  No photos of the beautiful birthday girl, but I can show you my gift to her which was an Owl Hat.
I used some Ella Rae yarn for the main part, with a garter stitch brim, knit a big tube, then did a 3-needle bind off at the top.  Then I used some white Cascade 220 and hooked two big circles (3 rounds of dc starting with 12 dc in a magic loop) leaving a long tail for sewing onto the hat.  I used some Cascade Heritage Sock yarn in black for the dark part of the eyes.  I hooked 12 sc in a magic loop, then did a 2nd round with 2 dc in each sc. but stopped with 20 dc.  I left a long tail to sew these onto the white part of the eyes.  The beak is a crocheted triangle of orange Cascade 220.  I think the yarns are a mix of wool and super-wash, but I hope they won't need to wash the hat...  I really had fun making it, and it knit up really quickly.

JitteryKnitter brought the last 2 pair of mittens for the Detroit Achievement Academy.  She has knit them flat in garterstitch, and I helped sew them together.

Our group made over 30 hats and 18 pair of mittens in about 2 1/2 months.  I am so proud of us!  Wajio was finishing up her last pair of mittens, too.
She made these top down using the Double Knitting method by Beverly Royce that she learned at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival.

Puzan brought a new project.  I want to say she is making a new sweater...
of course it could be a cowl...  The yarn is this really neat barber pole striped yarn, but when knit up, it has a heather look.

The next four projects were of the Exit 0 shawl.  Let's hope I match the shawl with the right knitter.

 JulieMustKnit has finished the first striping pattern.

 O Rats.  CathieC's photographed a bit burry.  She has finished the first page!  I really think she made a wise decision when she changed her colors.  These look just right together.

 GwenS has finished the  triangular wedge!

Wireknitter's shawl looks like it is about finished with the first striping section, too.  Great progress, everyone.  These shawls really make me want to knit one for myself.

After finishing her mittens, Wajio started another charity project, a boob, or more precisely a knitted knocker.  Here is the information on this charity:

Knitted Knockers are special handmade breast prosthesis for women who have undergone mastectomies or other procedures to the breast. Traditional breast prosthetics are usually expensive, heavy, sweaty and uncomfortable. They typically require special bras or camisoles with pockets and can’t be worn for weeks after surgery. Knitted Knockers on the other hand are soft, comfortable, beautiful and when placed in a regular bra they take the shape and feel of a real breast.
Tara1682 brought her beautiful beaded shawl, Iznik I heart you.  This is to be a gift, and Tara is in the crunch time for finishing it.  Here is an attempt at a close up so you can see how many beads she has used.
Domestic Shorthair brought her finished Fast Forward by Natalie Servant for show and tell.
She brought another project, but I'm not sure what the pattern is... I believe it is a shawl.
Nightorchid was also knitting mittens tonight, but she is making Puppet Mittens!
The "teeth" were crocheted, and sewn in.  We were all delighted with these so cute mittens.

So, Happy Birthday, again to Emma.  It is just amazing that a whole year has passed since the first 4 of our crop of new Eastside Stitchers were born.

We have some more baby birthdays coming up, but not until after New Years!

shaping the planet with wool.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Produce Bags

What a way to wake up.  It is impossible for me to NOT grab my camera and try to capture the dawn.

I have been working my way through the N. M. P. B. (No More Plastic Bags) E-Book by Kate Vanover.  You might remember that I test knitted one of the bag patterns for her earlier this Fall.

While knitting with cotton is not always a comfortable thing, it is not that bad for my hands, and I am fairly used to working with non-stretchy yarns. (see just about every afghan I have made as well as all of the washcloths I made last year!)

I like the colors and look for the first bag, Kate gave me the yarn to use, but I didn't want to buy more yarn (STASH DOWN!) so I decided to see if I had anything that would work in all of the crochet thread in my stash.  Last year a friend of a friend's mom stopped crocheting, and she was a huge doily maker.  The friend dropped off a plastic blanket bag full of cotton crochet thread in mostly white, but some off white.  I used some of it to make Christmas snowflakes this summer.  But the giant bulk of it sits down in the cave.  So I dug through the bag and found some size 3 Aunt Lydia Fashion Crochet Mercerized Cotton Thread in "Bridal White" which is a nice creamy color.

This crochet thread works perfectly for the bags.  I've finished a second bag

The first bag I made used the Knit Knot Mesh body pattern and the Bunny Ears Tie handle.  The second bag used the Buttonhole Handles ... handle and Diagonal Madeira Lace for the body.  I made the first bag using the smaller opening instructions because it was a test knit and I needed to get it done quickly.  For the rest of the bags I am using the larger opening instructions just to make bigger bags.  I also made this bag longer so it would hold celery comfortably.  And, you can see that it does.

I am on the third bag now.  For this one I am trying the Easy Drawstring Brim, option 1, and Fisherman's Net for the body.  This body pattern is super easy to memorize so this is a good project for me to bring to school to knit on my breaks.
I have one more brim to try out, and one more mesh pattern.  Then, I will use them all at the grocery and try to see if I prefer one over the other.  I have to admit that I enjoyed knitting all of the brims so far, and while some of the patterns are more mindless (therefore more portable), I like the way all of the patterns look.  I might just have to keep rotating through them to keep myself from getting bored with any one pattern.  I mean there are lots of variations possible here.  I have been knitting the "In Pattern" bottoms, and haven't even tried the stockinette bottoms.  So that is yet another possible way to make these.

Obviously, there will be more on this project in future posts.

shaping the planet with mercerized cotton.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Dont' Tell Me It's Too Short

I've finished the body of The Daily Sweater from Mason-Dixon Knitting Knitting Outside the Lines by Kay Gardiner and Ann Shayne that I am knitting for my daughter, Moogie.  First of all, Moogie is only 5'2" and pretty short wasted.  Secondly, although the sweater is more tunic length in the book, she specifically told me that she wants it to just hit her on the hip bone.  We measured the length from under her arm to her hip, and the sweater. unblocked, is that length.  Since it is top-down, if it IS too short, it should be easy to fix.

Now, I need to pick up the live stitches for the sleeves, and get those knitted.  The stockinette is boring, and although I like the color, the solid color is boring, too.  When I was knitting the body, I set myself a specific goal for each day, and wasn't "allowed" to knit or crochet anything else until I had reached the goal.  I will have to do this for the sleeves, too, or they won't get knit.  I am also going to try to knit them 2-at-a time.  It might be a bit awkward at first but I'm pretty sure I can do this.  If I don't, I'm sure they won't end up the same length.

Moogie is studying in London this fall, and because she doesn't have any Friday classes, she has  been able to do a bit of traveling.  I wanted to share some of her photos from Paris.

See what I mean about being short? Moogie is the blond on the right.

shaping the planet with a lavender sweater.

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Regular Wednesday Night for Eastside Stitchers

We had a nice size group at Crossroads for the regular Wednesday Night meet up of Eastside Stitchers.

I was a bit late because I stopped at Dough Zone, which is behind Crossroads, for dumplings which I brought for my dinner.  There were other people at our regular table, and the group was a bit crowded at a rectangular table nearby.  But there was a chair for me and we just sat close together until the group at our table left. and we could move over.

Addie tried out some knitwear, but she was more interested in her duck toy.

JulieMustKnit started another pair of mittens for the Detroit Achievement Academy.  I think we are down to 4 more pair needed. and tonight. Julie, Wajio and I were all knitting mittens.  We will have the amount we need by the deadline (next Sunday), for sure.

Wireknitter brought her Exit 0 Shawl.  She is using Madelinetosh tosh light.
JulieMustKnit brought a gift for Wajio.  Julie is the official librarian of our group, and after listening to Wajio's description of the class she took at the Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival on knitting mittens from the top down, Julie found the book by Beverly Royce that describes the special double knitting technique.
I hope to get a look at this book, too.  What was Wajio knitting tonight? 
Mittens, of course!

CathieC brought her Exit 0 Shawl.  She is making real progress.
I like to tease Cathie because I have seen her 3 times in a week, and when you see someone's knitting that often, it can be hard to see progress.  But tonight, I could really see how far she has gotten.

GwenS had been knitting that shawl, too.
It will be so much fun to compare the shawls when they are all finished.

nightorchid joined us again.  It is nice when we meet new people, and even nicer when they come back a second time.  She brought the cabled hat she was knitting last week for show and tell,
and the matching mittens:
Tara1682 brought her beaded shawl. Ratz, I forget the name of the pattern.  The photos is not the best, but if you look closely you can see the gazillion beads.
BlueBerryMary brought 2 different projects.  One is a Hitchhiker shawl that she is knitting in Halloween colors.
The other project Mary brought is a lovely lace and textured cowl in a hemp/cotton blend yarn.
The yarn shows off the stitch patterns perfectly.

I brought mittens, too, and hope to finish them tomorrow.  If I do, I'll post a photo.  I have really enjoyed making the hats and mittens for this school, and hope to keep it up next year, too.

shaping the planet one mitten at a time