Tuesday, January 27, 2015

In Pieces

One day last week, I finished knitting all of the pieces for my "Everyday Sweater".  I blocked them in my usual way:  I hand-washed them and laid them out to dry on towels.  You can see that blocking has greatly reduced, but not totally eliminated, the natural tendency of stockinette stitch to curl.  I could flatten the pieces a bit more by steam pressing them, but I do not think it necessary.  Seaming will be next, followed by I-cord bind-off to finish the edges, and finally the insertion of a zipper.  Depending on my time and the winter light, I hope to share some photos.  

The pattern is "Cuirassier's Cardigan" by Emma Welford from the recent Winter 2014 Knitscene magazine.  I am using an old standby kind of a yarn:  Cascade 200 in navy.  This project is an attempt to knit a sweater that I can and really will wear everyday.  Over the years, I have made a great number of sweaters that I have rarely worn.  I would like to have a few that actually fit within my everyday workday wardrobe.  My goal for my next couple of sweaters will be wearability.  Time will tell if I am successful.

Meanwhile, how about a sneak peek of a design that my daughter has requested?

Unfortunately, the first "prototype" for this design has the wrong fit, and requires a complete "do over".  Not all bad, because I am always knitting anyway, and fortunately it is not a very large piece.  The yarns that my daughter selected from my stash include some navy Cascade 220 (I did say it was an old standby) in a different dye lot from my newer navy sweater yarn.

I have one more stack of pieces to show you.

It has been a couple of months since I finished knitting all the pieces for my "Unnamed Henley".  The pattern is "Sapwood" by Amy Herzog available at Twist Collective.  The yarn: Louet Gems Sport Weight.

I had been saving the finishing work on this project for the purpose of teaching finishing classes (at Gosh Yarn It!) but they were canceled (student sign-ups were below the shop's class minimum).  Perhaps they might be rescheduled; but either way, I do plan to create some tutorial posts during the finishing of this one.  The color is lighter and brighter than the navy, and this one involves some buttons and buttonholes.

Please leave a comment if you have any thoughts on these pieces, or on finishing, or on classes that you would like to take.  I would love to hear from you!  Thanks!

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Colorwork Meditation #13

"I fell in love with black, it contained all color. It wasn’t a negation of color. It was an acceptance. Because black encompasses all colors. Black is the most aristocratic color of all.... You can be quiet and it contains the whole thing."        ~ Louise Nevelson


Sky Cathedral/Southern Mountain, Louise Nevelson, 1958


"Women think of all colors except the absence of color.  I have said that black has it all.  White, too.  Their beauty is absolute.  It is perfect harmony."        ~  Coco Channel



“Any customer can have a car painted any color that he wants so long as it is black."   ~  Henry Ford


“I’ve been 40 years discovering that the queen of all colors was black.” — Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Read more at: http://www.sensationalcolor.com/color-meaning/color-meaning-symbolism-psychology/all-about-the-color-black-4382#.VLcaIcnLpQI | Sensational Color
“I’ve been 40 years discovering that the queen of all colors was black.” — Pierre-Auguste Renoir

Read more at: http://www.sensationalcolor.com/color-meaning/color-meaning-symbolism-psychology/all-about-the-color-black-4382#.VLcaIcnLpQI | Sensational Color


"I've been 40 years discovering that the queen of all colors was black."  ~ Pierre-Aguste Renoir


Two Girls in Black, Pierre-Aguste Renoir, 1881


"Black is not a color."   ~  Edouard Manet


"There is something about black.  You feel hidden away in it."   ~  Georgia O'Keeffe


"Black is a real sensation, even if it is produced by the entire absence of light. The sensation of black is distinctly different from the lack of sensations."   

                                                             ~  Hermann von Helmholtz


"Black is the most aristocratic color of all.... You can be quiet and it contains the whole thing."       ~ Louise Nevelson


Previous Colorwork Meditation: #12 (Red Sky)

Thursday, January 8, 2015

1430 Days (Approx.)

The first of my patterns to be published were two indie designs that I originally wrote for knitting classes that I taught in the early years of this century.  On February 5, 2011, I uploaded two pdf files on Ravelry and made them available for free downloading.  That was truly the day that I became a knitwear designer.

It took:
(4 x 365) - 30 = 1430 days (Approx.)

for this to happen.

Ravelry Patterns "Hot Right Now"  2015-01-06

I am not sure that this chain of events will ever happen again:
1) A couple months ago while preparing for the Indie Designer Gift-A-Long sale, I really wished that I had more patterns for sale on Ravelry. I knew that it was too close to the sale to change anything (apparently there are people who do notice a price change/increase timed too closely before a % off sale).

2) My two oldest patterns have been free since I uploaded them, Feb 5, 2011. They have been used many times (with no reported problems) to make many lovely projects. I decided to add a note to the two pattern pages that stated these patterns will be free until their 4 year anniversary, Feb 5, 2015 and then will be available for $2.

3) Since then, I actually thought of taking those notes down. I recently created some tidy little bundles on my designer page, and I liked the way the group of free ones complimented each other.

4) But then, just 3 days ago, a Raveler named ClioD posted about the patterns here and here. These are threads just for Ravelry “for sale” patterns being (temporarily) offered for free. Everyone loves “free”. The comments and hearts and queing were non-stop for a while there!

5) The activity is starting to slow down. After all the attention, I guess that now I have no choice but to begin to charge for them after Feb 5 :-)

The note on my pattern pages: 

"This pattern will continue to be free until its 4th anniversary of being offered on Ravelry. After February 5, 2015, this pattern will be available for purchase at a price of $2.00."

The patterns are Both Sides Now and TATU Sock.

Enjoy them while they are free.
Enjoy them after that.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

White Skies Ahead

A friend of mine once told me that I am an optimist for calling a sunless winter sky "a white sky".  She said that most people would call it gray.  (I have that going for me.)

On New Year's Day 2015 my family and I unexpectedly lost a good friend and neighbor.  (Too soon after the death of my aunt and godmother.)  Sometimes planes full of people accidentally fall from the sky, and sometimes school buildings full of innocent people are shockingly and senselessly destroyed in violent attacks by others who have lost their own humanity.  These are difficult things to wrap our minds around.  We must try to remember that life, even in its darkest moments, must be appreciated each and every day because of the fact that all who live will die one day.

Today we have white skies, and even though I do not want to begin putting away Christmas things, that is largely what this day will be about.

An angel sat on our treetop this Christmas season.  I took this photo Christmas evening.  (I used a photo editor to add more light.  Not one of my better photos, but I did have a houseful of people that night.)

I am thankful that my own home was so full of love and laughter on Christmas day and then all through the evening with both close and extended family members.  I was surprised that most of them came back again the very next night!

Our angel was a gift from my mother.  I do not remember what year she gave it to me/us, but I believe it was before my children were born.  This year, after a week where our little angel shone as brightly as ever in her lofty perch, her lights went out.  Most of the bulbs (many are inside the skirt) were burnt out and blackened.  It was the day before Christmas eve (my late aunt's birthday).  I fetched my step stool and brought our angel down to begin replacing all of the (10) bulbs.  I plugged her into a nearby outlet.  She lit up for about a second and then she burnt out again.  Next, I enlisted Mr K who tested the bulbs (and other things?) with his (voltage?) meter (maybe someday I will tell you more about my total non-desire for knowing more about all that is electrical).  Mr K did his testing for a while until he actually found a partial break in the cord, near the plug end.

I forgot to mention that somewhere in between my replacing all of the bulbs and Mr K finding the damage to the cord, we went out to dinner with our dear daughter.  While out, we stopped for replacement watch batteries at a Rite Aid store.  I never in my life thought that they would have a small string of white lights on a white cord, but I asked my daughter to look.  She found just that, and it was half price, and I bought it.  And so it was that late on the night before Christmas eve, I found myself pulling the old light strand out of our angel and replacing it with a new and brighter (20 bulb) one.

I am getting a little long here, but I took some photos of other Christmas things that my mother gave to us before I packed them up ready to go back in the attic.   

My mom always enjoyed going to "ceramics" where she would purchase unfired clay pieces that had been formed in molds.  She cleaned and painted them for glazing in a kiln.  The taller tree was a gift to me when I was in my 20's.  The smaller two were made for my daughter and son when they were little.

I had fun with this centerpiece set by filling the bowl with two of my most recent yarn purchases.  I always love a good red (Malabrigo Rasta).  The variegated forest green sock yarn was the November 2014 colorway of the Rockin' Sock Club (the photo does not show its true beauty).

I wish you a happy and healthy 2015!  Remember to look for as much white lightfulness as you can find when skies turn gray (and cherish fond memories)!