Saturday, October 31, 2009

Halloween Night and knitting away the frights.

To quote Vincent Price, “It's as much fun to scare as to be scared.”

Tonight is Halloween and it has been a tradition that we set up a spooky entrance where someone decked out in costume jumps out and scares the living [insert your favorite adjective here] out of the Trick or Treaters.

My favorite part the next morning after the sun comes up, we go out to the front lawn and find all the spilled candy and rate our family's performance by the amount of goodies that have been dropped from the Trick or Treaters running for their lives.

Janeva and Jasper scarying Trick or Treaters

Can you find Jasper in the picture?

Tonight, Janeva is going to take the lead. She has fixed a black coffin lit by a strobe light where she will jump out and let out a scream as the Trick or Treaters start to leave with their treats. She has been at it for about an hour now....and from the screams I'm hearing we are going to need a shovel to pick up the loot off the front lawn in the morning. Uh...and I think some people are going to be doing a unexpected load of laundry as well.

(It isn't all horribly, we are hearing lots of giggles and claps from the parents at Janeva's performance)

Meanwhile, I have spent the day getting in the mood by watching horror flicks and knitting. A great combo I think!

IMG_0468 IMG_0473

I had the priviledge of being selected to test knit a new pattern for Kalurah's "Ireland Knit Version" a neck warmer that is a great knit. This evening I sewed on the buttons and took the pictures. I love the buttons!! I think they are perfect for this neck warmer. I used Cascade Pastaza yarn which after blocked is very soft. This is a fun and quick project, which would be a great candidate for some Christmas presents.

Now I'm going to go block another project! I am on a knitting role these days.

Have a Happy Halloween!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Epic Knitting - My First Lace Project

Epic Knitting. That is what my first lace project has turned into! I have never been interested in lace knitting before. When other knitters shared their lace projects I'd look, smile, nod, and appreciate the project with a "that is really pretty" while thinking, "not for me".

This summer my favorite LYS, Lori's Frames, Fibers and Frills had a Forest Path Stole KAL. The pattern looked overwhelming, and my first reaction was "I could never......". Then I heard my mom's voice in my head "Of course you can...." and not wanting to miss a opportunity to knit with friends, I signed up thinking that I'd do it to learn new techniques.

I have to be honest and say that at the very start of this lace project I was struggling and not really enjoying it all. The Lily of the Valley panels at one point just pissed me off because of the annoying little nubs, lumbs, nipples, pimples [insert your own here] doodads that had to have 5 loops purled together on the wrong side. As a typically tight knitter these little bulges gave me hand cramps and night sweats.

I think around the 3rd tier, I realized that I was not enjoying this project because I was stressing over those nubs. At that point I just surrendered and purposely focused on letting go of my frustration over knitting the little nubs, if nothing else, I'd be a nub pro by the end of this project.

Gradually, the enjoyment factor grew. I really was starting to get excited that I was sticking with it and this lump of lace was growing. I was also surprised how this very fine yarn was also very warm.......but then I was knitting during the heat of the summer too!

Ocasionally I would lift the lace work up and try to see the pattern of each tier....and while I could see that there was all the stitches that correlated to the charts, I just didn't see all the detail that I thought should be there. I began to worry about whether I was missing something. I continued on, compelled to finish.

THEN, I finished.

THEN, I blocked......I blocked late last night, the lighting was soft, (we need more light in the house!), I kept glancing at the clock as I was stretching, adjusting...pulling gently here, gently there, getting the edges straight, pinning and pinning and pinning. At 11:00pm, I stopped, I couldn't do more and I had to get up very early! I was tired...and so was Jasper....

Jasper was REALLY tired, apparently.

Anyhoo, I put towels over the top to protect this project from Jasper, the wonderfully fun and energetic kitty that has an incredible destructive streak when it comes to yarn.

This morning, I woke up and quickly checked the Forest Path to see if it was dry. I removed the pins and picked up the stole and then I stood there just amazed. Amazed at the airy, fluffy, light feel of this delicate lace that I was holding. I knitted this!! I am blown away!! I don't think the pictures really show the color and the pattern as nicely as being up close.

Forest Path Stole Forest Path Stole

I think I might be a Lace Knitter!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Taking the UP-Cycle T-shirt class

I have been attending the UP-cycle T-shirt Class being taught online by Stefanie Japel.

The class is in week two of the three week program. The course takes t-shirts through a recycle process: dismantle, various methods of dyeing (with a very good presentation on color theory) and then knitting the t-shirt yarn into new items. Stefanie also gives four patterns for projects with this class.

This is not your ordinary online course mind you. Stefanie will be adding classes as her site grows, but if this is just a hint of what is to come, this could change the way people take classes in the future. It is perfect for any busy person juggling jobs, family and squeezing time in for their knitting. The class is self paced and all materials readily accessible.

I highly recommend this class or try the Fitted Shawl class just to experience this online class format and see if you won't agree with me. It is great!!

Good thing that the class is self paced for me, Jasper has added some extra challenges as well as entertainment for the family throughout the class thus far.

IMG_0424 Laid on my work in progess every chance he got
IMG_0429 T-shirt yarn w cat hair