Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Knitting Ministry Shawl

I finished the easy traingle shawl and am ready to donate it
to the Knitting Ministry at my church to give to someone who is in need of comfort. I hope that they get a lift from the bright blue color. The crocheted loops on the bottom edge were much easier than I thought they would be and went very quickly. It was hard to get a good picture of the shawl. Maybe I should have made someone wear it and taken their picture in it.

I started a new knitting project, a Sari Silk scarf. I am making up the pattern as I go along and I tried to add some lace elements but you can't see them so I think that I am going to stick with a simple pattern and let the colors come alive. I plan on a long, relatively narrow (6 inches) scarf with fringe on the ends.
I also got yarn and a pattern in the mail from the Plimoth Plantation. I had signed up to be a volunteer knitter before Christmas and I got my yarn and glove pattern in the mail today. Now all I have to do is locate two sets of size two double pointed needles -- either that or finish my Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks and take the needles from that project.

Monday, January 28, 2008

January TIF and more knitting . . .

I finished my Take if Further Design Challenge piece. I used simple stitches and a variety of overdyed threads, some stone beads, and ribbon to stitch the spirit bear and flow visualization lines on a piece of silk dupioni. I still need to add backing to the piece. I think that I will make all the pieces the same size so that they could be made into a book. I used the theme from the challenge and chose my father as the person I admired. He is featured in the "Collectors Corner Column" in the Heard Museum Shop News. He shares his love of dogs and contemporary Native American Art in the article. You can see more TIF Challenge pieces on the Take it Further Challenge blog or in the Flickr group.

I also won the first contest I entered on the Knit the Classics Blog with my pocket for Belinda. I enjoyed reading Belinda and had fun making the Mermaid's Tail Evening Bag. Now I am working on a prayer shawl for the knitting ministry at church. I finished the knitting and now have to crochet 57 little scallops on the edge. I think it may take me as long to complete the crochet border as it did to knit the rest of the shawl. I am using Lion Brand Homespun in Color 329, Waterfall, and a Lion Brand Pattern for an easy triangle shawl. The color is beautiful and the shawl is very soft. However, the yarn seems to snag easily.

Monday, January 21, 2008

TIF progress and winter stitching

I made some progress on my January project for the Take it Further Challenge today. I have started stitching and have outlined the Spirit Bear and started on the fluid flow lines. I am not using the suggested color scheme because my father would not be able to distinguish the selected blues and greens since he is color blind. I have chosen instead to use colors from the American Southwest where he lives. I am using very simple outline stitches -- stem and split stitch. I have not decided whether I will leave the inside of the bear blank or fill it with stitching. I do plan to add some turquoise and coral beads and the top and some ribbon to tie the bundle of gifts to the bear when I am done.

I also worked on a very simple and quick cross stitch piece today. It is Winter Snows Me, a Secret Needle Night design from The Silver Needle. The different fibers are fun and sometimes it is nice to work on something that can be completed in a couple of hours. While I worked, I watched old movies -- Alice Doesn't Live Here Any More and The Apartment. I love to pick out movies at random from the collection at the public library -- I don't feel like I have to like them or to watch them all because they are free as long as I remember to return or renew them.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Knitting Finishes

I have finished some knitting projects this past week. The first is Sally Melville's Asymmetrical Vest from The Knitting Experience Book 1: The Knit Stitch. This is the first pattern book that I bought when I started knitting again six years ago. There is enough explanation and instruction for a beginner but the patterns are simple classics that are interesting but not difficult to make. My vest is knitted in Noro's Yoroi yarn which has been discontinued. I like the contrast between the muted colors and the bright, neon flecks. The yarn is very light weight but warm so it adds warmth without feeling substantial.

The second finished project is the Mermaid's Tail Evening Bag from Exquisite Little Knits by Iris Schreier and Laurie Kimmelstiel. I made it for Knit the Classics -- it is my Belinda Project. I used ribbon yarns from my stash. It is pretty and since it is knit in ribbon on size 3.5 needles, it is substantial enough to hold a pencil without it slipping through the knitting.

I also did some more work on my Bartholomew's Tantalizing Socks and am planning my next project -- Sally Melville's Best-friend Jacket in a Blue Lopi.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

A New Year, Knitting and Take it Further Challenge

I spent some time wandering around the Internet this evening. On Elaine Lipson's Blog Red Thread Studio she talks about picking a word for the year rather than writing traditional New Year's resolutions. Her word is magic. I thought about what my word would be and I think that it would be abundance. I really have everything that could possibly need but I often find that I need to be reminded to see things that way. Instead of resolutions which I think of as what not to do, I mad a list of goals for this year -- one of them is to stitch, sew and knit from my stash and to try and reduce both my stash and my collection of UFOs.

To that end, I finished the second side of a knitted pillow for my daughter yesterday. This side is worked in a purple fleece yarn with beads on it. The other side is knitted in an eyelash yarn that is purple, pink and electric blue. It will be perfect in her room once she gets her father to paint the walls purple for her.

Since I am done with the pillow cover, I am moving on to some more knitting for myself and am starting Sally Melville's asymmetrical vest from The Knitting Experience Book 1: The Knitting Stitch in a bulky wool, cotton and silk Noro yarn. I started rolling the skeins into balls and making a gauge swatch this morning. I love the subtle and bright variations in color in Noro's yarns. I think that I bought this yarn, now discontinued, 4 years ago.

I have also done some work on my Take it Further challenge piece for January. I made copies of some of the pictures and put them together in a 4" x 6" postcard size. This was my favorite combination.

Then I traced the bear and drew in some of the flow lines on tracing paper. I am going to start to put this on fabric this week.

I have a white silk dupioni remnant and some Impressions in a color called Adobe to play with. I bought the December 2007/January 2008 copy of Stitch magazine at the fabric store today to drool over the stumpwork and goldwork flower on the cover and instead saw the drawn thread and needlewoven panels on the inside of the magazine. I am envisioning a drawn thread bear -- I will have to experiment with taking apart my silk and see what I am able to do with it.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Take it further challenge --January

The January Take it Further Challenge is to create a piece of fiber art about someone I look up to and admire. I immediately chose my father as my subject. My mother has Alzheimer's Disease and he continues to take care of her at home. He is devoted to her but also makes time for himself and his passions -- playing tennis and collecting Native American art.

He spent his professional life studying turbulent flow and mixing phenomena. I helped with some of his flow visualization studies in his lab. The collection of pictures on the right are from the eFluids Gallery of Images. They are similar to some of the flow visualization experiments that he worked on. I love the patterns that the eddies form along the boundary layer between two different materials.

His other passion is Native American art. He has collected artwork for more than 40 years and donated much of his pottery collection to the Heard Museum. Pieces from the Neil and Sarah Berman collection have been included in museum exhibits around the world. He has been a friend to many artists over the years and currently volunteers at the Heard Museum. He enjoys collecting fetishes and has given us a number of them. The Zuni associate the white bear with healing. The bears come in various shapes as shown in the pictures on the left. Many of them have life lines made out of colored stone and carry bundles of gifts.

I am planning on combining a medicine bear with one of the flow visualization patterns in my TIF challenge piece. I have not decided whether I will include the pattern inside the bear or surround a white bear with one of the patterns. I also have not decided what colors to use. I don't think that I will use blue or green for my father -- he is color blind and can't see them. I have thought about adobe or sandstone colors from the desert or tennis ball yellow.