Thursday, November 17, 2005

Charity Challenge with Yarn Yoga


Charity Challenge with Yarn Yoga, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I hosted a charity drive with Yarn Yoga and here is their two month accomplishments! This group is loving and caring. They love to craft for others and their needs. This was a wonderful project and I really enjoyed it! We had 60 items in all to donate. Go Yarn Yoga!

My DH donated a purple scarf and a green one that he crocheted himself! He learned just for the charity! Go DH!

Ruinwen
:)

Me and Dalia


Me and Dalia, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Dalia is a wonderful woman who is not only an amazing knitter but a beautiful person as well. She loves helping others and is a blessing to our community...of course she also has the most amazing yarn! ;)

My LYS


My LYS, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This is my LYS. I love it here. I have yet to sit down and knit at the inviting table but I will someday! :)

Wednesday, November 02, 2005

Triangle Prayer Shawl Completed


Triangle Prayer Shawl, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is my first triangle prayer shawl. It is made in Lion Brand Jiffy yarn. It was quick to make up on size 15 needles. I enjoyed making this shawl and I will make it again in the future.

Happy Knitting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, November 01, 2005

Happy New Year!

For those of you who celebrate Samhain; Happy New Year!

I have a new mantra this year and it is; I do what I can. I am not going to worry about all the things I didn’t get done. I am just going to be thankful for what I did get done.

I have not written in a long while and that is because my summer consisted of making squares for charity. Where as I could of showed you each square as it was completed, it seemed a little tedious.

Then I began making prayer shawls and I haven’t stopped. I barely have time to get one done and send it off before the next one is needed. So..again, no pictures. When I finish this next one I will take a picture of it. It is the first triangle shawl I have ever attempted and I’ve really enjoyed making it.

I’ve enjoyed all of my charity knitting and crochet. I believe that giving back in whatever way we are able is as important as breathing. I’m happy that this great gift that I’ve been given can help some body in need.

So that is where I’ve been. As I look over the previous year, I really have come a long way. Vixenpath attended its first fair and we had a great time! I made clapotis and it was beautiful! I learned to slip stitch and I really enjoy it. I brought my stash close to zero…I saved a few things for some really time consuming projects…like lace. And…the most important thing is I made a bunch of new friends along the way.

Bright blessings to you all,

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, August 29, 2005

Tagged Twice in One Day!!!

Birdsong tagged me so here we go...

1. Go into your archive.

2. Find your 23rd post (or closest to).

3. Find the fifth sentence (or closest to).

4. Post the text of the sentence in your blog along with these instructions.

5. Tag one person to do the same.

Here is my exciting 5th sentence in my 23rd post!

Despite my problems in the beginning I really love this sweater.

I tag Sallee! Sorry Sallee!

Have a great day!

Ruinwen
:)

Eeek I've Been Tagged

I’ve been tagged by Sallee and I’m not sure what the question was but I think it is what are six pieces of music that I’ve been listening to.

Blister In the Sun – Add it Up - Violent Femmes
Ancient Mother – Ancient Mother
Bring Me to Life – Fallen – Evanescence
Shanti/Ashtangi – Ray of Light – Madonna
He Lives In You – Rhythm of the Pride Lands – Lion King Soundtrack
The Mummers’ Dance – The Book of Secrets – Loreena McKennitt

Sorry it took so long.

I tag Christine

Have a great day

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, August 18, 2005

It's Ready For a Night Out on the Town

Mom's lapghan is finished and I think it looks great. The black yarn is Cascade 100% Peruvian Highland Wool and the component yarn has a black base with auburn filaments flecked with black ribbon.

Usually wool burns my fingers and apparently Shetland, Icelandic and Aran make me sneeze and have an allergy attack, but that is because they are not stripped of the lanolin I've found out.

At least for me the processed yarns are a joy to work with. I loved this Peruvian Highland Wool it was so soft and slid so beautifully off the needle. The component yarn while beautiful became a terrible mess of tangles if I let it even touch itself...and forget frogging, tinking or any other activity! It is beautiful though and well worth all the bother! Mom is always worth it! :)

I'll let you know if she likes it or not.

Have a great day!

Ruinwen
:)



8/29/05 - Mom loves it! I am so happy! :)

Mom's Lapghan


Mom's Lapghan, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Up close and personal this lapghan is sleek and stylish. Just perfect for a night out or an early bird dinner.

Friday, August 12, 2005

Slip Stitch Cats


Slip Stitch Cats, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is my first attempt at slip-stitch. I think it came out pretty good. I had promised this year I would learn some sort of stranding technique and I have! I am so excited!

I really like slip stitch technique is also called mosaic knitting which was coined by Barbara Walker in 1976.

In slip stitch one carries only one color across a row so the piece is not as bulky as some Fair Isle but it does have a sort of texture to it where the slipped stitches are used.

My next attempt is a slip stitch hat with these cats which are from Slip-Stitch Knitting - Color Pattern The Easy Way - By Roxana Bartlett.

Happy Knitting everyone!

Ruinwen
:)

Friday, July 08, 2005

The Nature of Becoming

Have you ever worked on a piece and it just doesn’t come out right and you aren’t sure where you failed? Well I began a simple scarf that had a diamond lace pattern in it and I frogged the whole thing six times and tinked back more times then I can remember. It really frustrated me. I had the knowledge, I understood the pattern and this wasn’t rocket science.

Then I read a post by a fellow knitter and it all made sense. This yarn was supposed to become a clapotis and here I was making it into a scarf. I think it was insulted and fought my new choice for it’s design. You can laugh and think I’m crazy but I’ve spoken before on the yarn teaching me and this time is no exception.

This beautiful patterned yarn wanted more then I was offering by my simple scarf. So I explained that in the months ahead my time might be limited by some of my choices and this scarf would be my Red Heart Knit project for Fall Fest. I also explained how the fringe would be beaded with Swarvoski crystals and it would sparkle in a rainbow of colors like the sun hitting new formed ice at dawn.

Suddenly, there was no problem. The four hours I spent agonizing were erased by the ease that I now possessed. The 20 rows pinnacle that I never before reached was achieved in 22 minutes. The yarn had agreed to what it was becoming and together we are creating this scarf.

The teaching of this yarn brought me much as I reviewed the choices in my life that were ones that I had chosen because they rang true vs. the ones that to this day I struggled with. I realized that the ones that I didn’t enjoy were not harmonizing with my nature and my inner knowing self has been trying to show me that this is not me by any means necessary. But I ignored all the signs and plodded on.

In last night’s meditation I took the strands of my life and looked at each one to see if it brought me joy and peace and if it didn’t I no longer let it continue on in the tapestry that is my life. I thanked each strand for the good and bad and let it go. I also lovingly caressed the strands that were now shining like spun silver and invited them to grow. I watched as they filled in the spaces left by the things that I let go and I could feel my heart well up with love and happiness. I left that meditation feeling renewed and vibrant.

Today I continue to carry on that meditation by writing the letters and making the phone calls that will allow me to let go of those areas of my life that are not me. And as I settle into thoughts of the weekend I have created more room for the things that I love and that bring me pure unadulterated joy.

May you find your true joy,

Ruinwen
:)

Friday, July 01, 2005

Create a Beautiful Day :)

"Imagine a hot tub for the mind. That is what meditation is; it can bathe your mind in relaxing thoughts."
-- Eknath Easwaran

"Sometimes the most important thing in a whole day is the rest we take between two deep breaths, or the turning inwards in prayer for five short minutes."
-- Etty Hillesum

There is a Buddhist practice of focusing on one body part throughout the day to bring you back to yourself. After all we are not a mind with a body we are a body with a mind. But too often the mind runs the show and when you are always thinking it is hard to ever truly be. The monkey mind is always on churning which leaves us little time to be present in the moment.

But it is this never resting mind that brings on stress. Stress is alleviated by the breaths in between the thoughts; the moments that we are actually showing up for our own life. I saw a car ad that stated, “I am not the sum of my errands.” But that is how we sum up our day; I went to the bank, picked up some groceries, swung by daycare, came home, cleaned the house and made dinner. This is a to-do list that doesn’t make one feel alive it makes one feel tired, stressed and ready for bed.

These things have to be done but how can we slow down the pace enough to be present while still getting the to-do list done? Have you noticed when you are rushing that it doesn’t really help? Try slowing down at the bank take time to smile at the teller and relax while they are working on your request.

At the store pick out something for yourself or smell a flower. Take a moment to focus on you and find something in the store that brings you a moment of joy. For me that is a Mocha Light Frappuccino. I slip my coffee decadence while I shop and with each delicious drop the stress melts away.

By the time I pick up my child I am renewed. Since this is when my day truly begins, I need to be fresh and ready for the ball of energy that is my son. Now is our time when I get to be alone with my little boy and he tells me all the wonderful things he learned or experienced and I have found a Mother’s bliss.

When we get home the cleaning and the dinner gets done because I am blessed enough to have a house and a family and both need tending. My whole view has changed and with a little help from my son everything is ready and on the table by the time Daddy gets home.

Did this all happen in a day? The resounding answer is, “No!” Bit by bit I told my husband I was trying something “new” and worked on changing the way I did things. When I used my mind all the time, everything seemed rushed and hurried and I was just happy for the day to be over. Now I can’t wait until my family gets home and I prolong going to bed as long as I can because I have this well of energy that fills up in me and allows me to do more by thinking less.

I guess it is like a new knitting pattern. You read the pattern and it is all mind. You work the pattern and refer back to it often but you aren’t really feeling it yet. Then you get to a moment when you know the pattern and you are knitting and confident and there is a flow, a rhythm to it all.

I’ve discovered that this flow, this feeling of serenity can be felt in everyday moments. There are things that I have done a thousand times before and yet I was putting all this thought into them. But now I enjoy the moment whether it be shopping or giving my child a bath because they are all the beautiful moments that make up my life and how I face them shapes me and who I am becoming.

Create a beautiful day!

Ruinwen
:)

Friday, June 03, 2005

The Prayer Shawl

"The successful man is the average man, focused."
-- Source Unknown

I’m sorry that it has been so long since I have written. My life seemed so unfocused there for a while…but now I feel reborn. :)

It all started with a prayer shawl request. Simple enough…But I just can’t make a prayer shawl. It needs to be full of prayers and well wishes and this cannot be accomplished without shutting myself away to work on it.

I had been trying for days to find some time alone to work on it but I wasn’t being successful. Finally, realizing that the yarn tangling and other events involving tinking were trying to tell me something…I listened.

I locked myself away and put on the I-Pod and chanted and prayed and worked. My husband tells me that I was there for two hours, yet time stood still for me.

For the first time in a long time in a week I felt centered and totally serene. As I stitched and fringed something was being rewritten on my soul. I was changing deep inside and it felt so right.

Finally the shawl was done and I felt as if I woven all the peace, goodness and prayers that I could into it. But as I stepped back I realized that my inner weavings had changed too. I felt no need to do anything but watch the waves on the river. I was truly at peace.

I still carry that peace, it courses through me and wells up and over flows out of me from time to time during the day and I just have to smile. :)

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, May 16, 2005

Me at our Table


Me at the Table, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Hello everyone! We had an awesome time this weekend! The Fair was so much fun and we met some super people!

Here I am at our table which is full of my husband's beautiful chain mail bracelets!

To my right (your left) is the clapotis for Sallee's Red Heart Knit Along which I raffled off. A lovely little girl won who asked her Mommy to enter so she could have two chances! Also many people said what a great idea it was to have the info about heart disease...including an RN!

My sister joined us for both days and she got a lot of crocheting done as did I and it was so great to have her there! My husband made three bracelets over the course of the weekend! It was so relaxing to have nothing to do but sit and talk to people and craft.

My son was with us both days and he was very good for being cooped up in a 10X10 booth.

We're already looking forward to this Fall!

Ruinwen
:)

My Wares


My wares, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here are the blankets and scarves I have been working on since Feb.

Vixenpath at the Fair


Vixenpath at the Fair, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is Vixenpath's booth at the Fair!

Monday, May 02, 2005

Rainbow Blanket


Rainbow Blanket, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Warning: The following entries are about crochet and have no knitting content what-so-ever. Thank you for your understanding. :)

A friend of mine gave me a family blanket to fix because it had "dropped a stitch". The thing that confused me was that she said it was a crochet blanket. Crochet does not drop stitches.

On examination I found the drop stitches to be chain ladders in between double crochets. I had never seen this pattern before and after fixing my friend's blanket, I had to try to make one of my own.

The result is this weekend's entry. I have left one drop ladder so you could see what I was talking about before I finshed it into a neat braid. Also the original pattern had tied the braid at the end but that is why it unraveled. I chose to weave the last chain through the finished braid thus holding it for all time.

I really enjoyed this blanket and I think I will make another. It crochets up very fast because of all the chains.

Thank you again for your understanding. Hopefully my next post will be on some knitting. :)

Drop Stitch


Rainbow Blanket, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is a close up of the drop stitch.

Braid Stitch


IMG_0002, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This is a close up of the braid stitch.

Side-By-Side Stitches


Rainbow Blanket, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This shows the dropped stitches side by side with the braid stitch.

Thursday, April 21, 2005

The Rhythm of the Needles

There is a time in knitting when I’ve memorized the pattern and suddenly I become one with my project. It is in that moment when my breathing slows and my heart follows the rhythm of my fingers.

It is a well known fact that your heart will follow a sustained beat. In shamanic drumming a beat can take you on an inner journey and reveal hidden knowledge. Rhythm is very powerful

In knitting I find there is an underlying beat. A song forms from the sound that the needles make when they “kiss” as they create a stitch, the quiet “swoosh” of yarn as it moves from needle to needle and the unseen element of muscle memory as my hands follow the pattern’s journey. The result is a lulling quiet place where my mind starts to furiously fill the void with to do lists and things I could be doing.

But I quiet my mind wish a gentle, “Shhhh,” and ask it to enjoy the moment of serenity and it sits and waits and speaks up again and once more I gently urge it to enjoy the moment. This time and so many others it tries to break in and muddle my thoughts and I take its hand like a small child and lead it back to the place of stillness.

My mind may be stubborn but my body is more then willing as I feel my breath slow and each muscle gives up its stored stresses. Finally my mind is quiet and I am totally serene and blissful as I sit and knit.

Soon my mind will wake up and begin again and this time I let it unload, surprised it cautiously hands me my to do list but now it has changed. There are things that no longer need doing or the way they need doing has changed. I think secretly my mind likes our little sparring matches and is more then happy to be at peace for once in the day…but I don’t let on that I know that. :)

As much as knitting is to make beautiful projects it is also a place to come to think or to let go. Either way take time once and a while to visit that place that comes out of the mists like Avalon when the knitter, yarn and needles are one.

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

To Thine Own Self Be True

"Let the waters settle
you will see stars and moon
mirrored in your Being."
-- Rumi

I have nothing to show for my knitting efforts as of late since I have done nothing but frog my three attempts at lace. You see I forgot that knitting is my solace the balm that allows the stress to be erased from my being. I forgot the simple joy of creating and got caught up in the end result.

I could blame it on being an Aries because we are go getters with no follow through, but the cause of my forgetfulness lies not in blame but in falling back into old patterns where my needs come last.

I forgot about my needs being just as important as everyone else’s and that will not do. You see I crochet blankets (one a week) for my business and then I sell them twice a year at spring and fall festivals. I got so caught up in the joy of making my clapotis that I missed making four blankets. Now I am trying so hard to catch up that I have no time to knit. And with no time to knit I feel the stress kicking up through my being eating away at all the good I have done. It is akin to fasting for a week and then devouring something full of grease and fat and feeling it seep into your cell walls and clog up every artery. With one bad choice you can feel what you have done to your health.

This is what I have done to myself. Don’t get me wrong I love crocheting but I don’t do it for the same reason which is why I don’t usually mention it. It doesn’t give me the same joy that knitting does. I can’t explain it…but I find so much peace and connection in knitting and I really loved knitting clapotis. It was the finest thing that I have ever made and it taught me more then any other piece I have worked on has. I felt so in tune and serene (even when I was pulling my hair out) and my whole world seemed balanced.

But I haven’t knitted like that for a while and each time I try it is a “quickie” between an exhausting day and bed. The result is that since I have not honored my yarn and let it teach me, it creates a mess which needs to be frogged. When I was frogging for a higher purpose it didn’t bother me so, but now I am almost in tears.

So I have decided and you dear readers can be my witnesses: twice a week I will not even look at my blankets…even though I am behind…if I rush and suffer in the process then all will be for naught. So on Tuesdays and Thursdays I will give thanks, cast on and begin a new chapter in my life... Tuesdays and Thursdays will become devoted to my knitting so my life can have balance again.

When you find that one thing in your life that allows serenity to slip into your being and set your soul ablaze, hold on to it like a dear friend and cherish the gift you have been given…now I need to follow my own advice.

Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, April 13, 2005

Broken Needle and Understanding Lace


Broken Needle, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Alas, my plastic needles that are older then I am broke today. This is my little blanket that I carry with me to knit in the car or in a line and now I have to mix needle types and hope there are no problems. *sigh*

I have begun making lace. I have frogged, tinked and otherwise started over three times but last night I think I got it!

I always have trouble with YO. Some patterns they tell you what stitch needs to contain the YO and others expect you to magically fathom what they are thinking. But after three tries I think I understand that the YO comes before the K2tog.

So when I have more then 6 rows I will post some of my lace. When I have a good enough grasp of it I will make a shawl out of actual lace weight yarn! My sister gave me some beautiful angora hand-spun yarn for my birthday and it begs to be something beautiful. Also in my stash (which is down to 201 skeins) I found six skeins of beautiful lace weight yarn that I want to make the Falling Leaves Shawl from Lavish Lace,

So, I'm slowly being enveloped by lace. It is consuming me. I love the look and once I understand the pattern, it seems to flow. I think making the clapotis helped me in that department because I learned so much that helped expand my knowledge of stitches.

A whole new world has been opened up to me and I bravely walk through the gateway.

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, April 05, 2005

The Feel of Yarn

"Too often, people focus only on results. But getting results without learning something or without having fun are incomplete. So is having fun without getting the results, or having fun without learning something new to help and empower you in the future. Accomplishment is all three: the result, personal growth and having fun."
-- Peter L. Hirsch

I was knitting away on a baby blanket today and suddenly I realized that my gaze was on the flowers coming up through the renewed earth and not on my project. Some how I had forgotten to look at my knitting and my hands knew just what to do.

I wondered if it was a fluke so I decided to “test” my new gift. Once again my hands knew how to finish the row. Suddenly it was if a whole new world had been opened up to me and the grass seemed a little greener and the world took on a brighter hue.

I’ve learned from knitting and watching movies how not really watching makes me hear things that I don’t notice when I am viewing the movie. Little sounds under the music come alive but when I try and find them again with my eyes, it is as if they have disappeared.

The same thing is happening as I knit. I suddenly “feel” the yarn. Now that I can’t see it with my eyes, my hands are seeing it as if for the first time. I can feel how it is thinner then my other yarns that I have been using as of late also it is not as soft. But it moves very well from the ball to the needles with little resistance.

I must admit I am drawn to a yarn by its color scheme. But now when I cannot see the color, I wonder if I would have picked it on feel alone. Maybe after my diet is up I will go to a yarn store and take home whatever feels good to my fingers…they deserve a treat after all.

I don’t know how much automatic knitting I’m going to do in the future but maybe once a day for five minutes I will allow my fingers the simple pleasure of sensing the yarn. Who knows what it will teach me tomorrow?

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Yarn Diet

I have decided to follow my friend Sallee and participate in a yarn diet. You see I was blessed by two Grandma's giving me their stashes and that alone fills up 12 copy paper boxes. I also have other various sorters and a dresser filled with left over yarn from projects.

Earlier this year I gave away two copy paper boxes full to charity...but I didn't really make a dent in the stash.

So, I Ruinwen hereby solomly swear to not buy any more yarn until I have used up EVERYTHING in my 12 copy paper boxes!

I have figured a way to do this you see. I will learn Fair Isle which has been on my list of things to do and this way I can strand the colors in projects. I will also use the thinner yarns together in projects that call for two strands...but I will use up the old stash before I buy any more new yarn.

I have even put a Yarn Diet button on my blog to remind me of my promise. Speaking of buttons, I now have some thanks to my DH and my sister drew our Vixenpath logo and I turned it into a button all by my self!

May you all be my witnesses to my pledge!

Ruinwen
:)

Saturday, April 02, 2005

Clappy Close Up


Red Clappy, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I was just so intrigued to see this all come together. Me and clappy have had some seriously tense moments but in the end she came out beautifully! Here is a close up for your viewing pleasure!

The Knit Red Knit Along Clapotis is Fini!


Red Clappy, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

After long last my clapotis is done and I am so happy with it! I am going to make another in a few months with the rainbow Dreams Carron yarn in Rosy Forecast...but it will be smaller...this one is huge!

Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

The Courage To Be Imperfect

Sorry I haven’t written in a while. I hope for those of you who celebrate you had a Happy Easter / Ostra. We had the family over and 1 surprise guest. I strayed from the traditional path and served seafood (shrimp, mussels, clams, scallops and flounder) and huntsman’s stew (sausage, pork chops and chicken thighs). Everything was good but it left me little time to knit.

On Monday night our neighbor had smoldering wires and we had three fire engines and two ambulances with strobes going arrive to our neighbor hood around 11:00 pm and stay for quite a while. Everyone was fine though the house took a little damage. Needless to say I never got back to sleep.

And that said, I knew I shouldn’t knit when I was so very tired but I did and now today I find that as I unravel my ladders on my clappy there is a big, most terrible mistake in my work. And I was about to just rip the whole thing out when a voice in my head said, “You can fix this. No it won’t be perfect but only you will know.”

And it made me think about the reason for this clappy and that I probably talk to people who have some sort of inner blemish that none of us can see but makes them who they are. For me it is my inner ear it was damaged either in formation or when I got really sick one year and now I have vestibular neuronitis. If I lean to far one way without leaning the other way I get vertigo for about three weeks. But you wouldn’t know it to look at me.

Most people that have heart disease don’t look any different on the outside. But on the inside there is some trouble with their heart. You see my clappy is still teaching me about life and it wanted something hidden that no one else could see so that it could become a symbol…a symbol of the Courage to Be Imperfect.

I think imperfection is harder then perfection. In perfection you are striving towards something that cannot be but you can forever work towards. In imperfection you have to accept yourself and all that makes you a whole and complete being. I feel it is far scarier to accept ones’ self as we are.

It is that lesson that my clappy teaches me today. Isn’t it beautiful? If you didn’t know about the mistake you might never find it, though now I bet you will look for it because you know it is there. Yes, I will leave it there and remember this lesson and just maybe I can look at myself with a little more love and a little less criticism...after a much needed night of sleep.

Enough of that. My clappy is on the decrease rows and as soon as she is finished and blocked I will put up pictures.

I have worked on nothing else since the last posting…so will have nothing else to show.

I have decided to make another clappy. Originally I bought a poncho from Old Navy that is a clapotis sewn together poncho style and then stitches were picked up for a neck collar. I like this idea and I may make one this way later…the jury is still out on this one.

I hope you all are enjoying the sun if you have it.

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Obsidian


Obsidian, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This is Obsidan and he is eyeing my yarn. He is a huge black ball of love. He is a beside your lap cat and he talks to us all the time.

Widdershins


Widdershins, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Widdershins my pint sized kitty is eyeing Obsidian and his swishing tail.

Scarf with Tail


Scarf with Tail, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This is the latest scarf with Obsidan's tail in the background. I loved this eyelash yarn but working with it was really frustrating! I used size 15 needles and it seemed to help...but golly all those lashes get tangled up and caused me a lot of grief! And I tried to frog the piece I first created but it would not unknit! Crazy stuff!

Investigating the Tail


Investigating the Tail, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I think cats love clapotis because they are both drawn to it. Widdershins is looking for Obsidan's tail and not allowing my DH to take a good picture!

Widdershins Chasing Obsidian's Tail

As you can see the final outcome of my clapotis shoot was Widdershins trying to find Obsidian's tail. I thought that this no longer bordered on cute and whisked away my clapotis to a cat-free zone!

Dropped Stitch


Dropped Stitch, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is my first dropped stitch!

Summer Tank Top in Pink


Summer Tank Top in Pink, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I am making another tank top since my camo one found a home with my sister. I have decreased the size and I am knitting it on circular needles. I love circular needles! This way I never miscount my rows and there are no side seams. Also it knits up so fast. This is an hours worth of work!

This tank is for me since I love pink. My sister says it is really comfortable and keeps her warm so I am looking forward to having one in my wardrobe too!

Ruinwen
:)

Son's Green Sweater off Circs


Son's Green Sweater off Circs, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I really miss the easy nature of the circular knitting needles! This sweater is knitting up faster then I expected and I really love the colors that my son picked out!

Thursday, March 17, 2005

I'm Sitting on a Lily Pad at the Frog Pond

"If we are to achieve a rich culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place."

-- Margaret Mead

In the vastness of the Universe I am contemplating the role of frogging and how it applies to me because it is easy to become frustrated and rip everything you've done in a "dark night of the soul" moment. I know...I've done it so many times. I used to just start over instead of painstakingly unraveling each stitch because it seemed so much easier.

But as of late I have been trying to let the yarn teach me. Patience has never been a strong suit of mine...being an Aries I am very headstrong...

I have learned that there are degrees of frogging. Sometimes you have to rip the whole thing out and it is unavoidable, but other times you only need to rip out a few rows. And unknitting takes patience you can't just unknitt. You need to see the flow of your piece and make sure all the stitches aren't twisted as you transfer them from needle to needle.

It seems this is a lesson that I must learn since both my son's sweater and my clapotis decided last night would be a good time for a class in frogging. So here I sit on a lily pad beside the frog pond unraveling my work stitch by stitch and row by row and somehow I realize that this is a good thing.

Frogging helps to fix mistakes that might probably later ruin my work. So it is a necessary part of knitting, it has its place in the Universe and right now I bow to tonight's lesson of patience

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, March 14, 2005

The Blessing of the Red Clapotis


Red Clapotis, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I really love the Encore yarn that I am using for the clapotis. It reminds me of the warm days ahead with its blazing reds.

I've gotten into the groove of this now and at least for the section I am on, I have no trouble following the pattern.

I substituted my rubber band markers for these little white plastic ones and now the piece moves freely back and forth across the needles.

Since this is my project for heart awareness I am working on it mostly before bed and meditating on all the wonderful "hearts" that fill my life on a daily basis.

I am truly blessed with wonderful family and friends. I have a Mother and Father who have always been the pillars that I could lean on when I was too weary to go on. They have supported my interests over the years even if they haven't understood them. No one could ask for more loving parents.

I have a wonderful sister who also has been there for me in my darkest hours. I can always count on her love and support and kicking me in the butt when I need that too! :)

I have a partner who weaves his interests in with mine to form a beautiful life together. His hand has always been intertwined in mine when I am starting to falter. I can always count on his love support to get me through anything.

My son shows me daily new ways to appreciate life and how to really see the beauty in it. He is really amazing. And when he says, "Mommy I love you so much!" my heart just melts!

I have wonderful friends who uplift and support me and we have so much fun together!

I have e-friends who I've never met who are so sweet and wonderful!

So as I said before, I am truly blessed and as I knit and purl I am weaving all this goodness into my work.

I am going to raffle the clapotis off at Spring Fling with flyers on the heart info so that I will actually educate people in the process.

So there you go, the yarn is shaping me. What started out as a love-hate project has become an appreciation of my life and the people in it project.

Ruinwen
:)

Green Sweater For My Son


Green Sweater, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is the green sweater that my son picked out the yarn for in the early stages of knitting. I love using circulars because for stockinette every row is knit. So it really goes fast! I love the contrasting greens he picked out too!

Despite my problems in the beginning I really love this sweater. Oh, I also learned how to stop a hole from forming when making the first join. Cast on one extra stitch and then knit that stitch and the joining stitch together...and voila! No hole.

Ruinwen
:)

Three scarves for Spring Fling


Three scarves, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here are two scarves completed and one still on the needles for our town's spring festival. I really liked working with all the different textures in the yarns.

On a side note my wonderful sister wanted the Summer Camo Tank Top that didn't fit me. It fit her beautifully! So I am so happy that the tank has found a good home!

Ruinwen

:)

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Knitting in the Round and My Clapotis Woes

Have I mentioned that I really hate seams? Well, I do! So, I have been trying patterns on circulars so I could cut back on the seams and all and I didn't understand what was happening to my knitting. It was all coming out stockinette and I couldn't figure it out after all I was knitting one row after the other. So I dug out the reference books and found this little tidbit...

Knitting in the Round

To make garter stitch: knit 1 round, purl 1 round
To make stockinette stitch: knit every round
To make reverse stockinette stitch: purl every round

So I frogged what I had done and now it is working and I am really happy with my knitting in the round. If you scroll down to my LYS trip you will see the lovely yarn my son picked out for his sweater. I decided to do the trim in the kelly green and then the rest in the lime which he picked as his main color.

I must say I love this Encore yarn. Normally wool burns my fingers but this stuff only has 10% and it is so soft and dreamy without the pain. This may be my new favorite yarn...which is good because I bought it in three other colors one of which is becoming my clapotis.

Yes, you kitting-chicks did it to me...I've come down with clapotis fever. It really frustrated the heck out of me in the beginning but Chelle helped me over my pfb dilemma as well as some other problems I had in the first few rows. Thank you Chelle!!!

But needless to say I got to the part with the ssk, another stitch I had never seen done before and I stopped. I know that all you clapotis gurus are saying but that is only the first 12 rows and you would be absolutely correct. But I made it that far...baby steps...

Now I know how to do the ssk stitch the sister to the K2tog stitch...and I am pretty excited to work on the clapotis again tonight!

So, they say slow and steady wins the race. I am not one of those people who read through a pattern and find all the stitches that are unfamiliar before hand...so they always surprise the heck out of me! But that is part of the process...to learn and grow... :)

As much as we shape the yarn, the yarn also ends up shaping us.

Ruinwen
:)

What Kind of Knitter Are You?

Knitting Adventurer
You appear to be a Knitting Adventurer.
You are through those knitting growing pains and
feeling more adventurous. You can follow a
standard pattern if it's not too complicated
and know where to go to get help. Maybe you've
started to experiment with different fibers and
you might be eyeing a book with a cool
technique you've never tried. Perhaps you
prefer to stick to other people's patterns but
you are trying to challenge yourself more.
Regardless of your preference, you are
continually trying to grow as a knitter, and as
well you should since your non-knitting friends
are probably dropping some serious hints, these
days.
http://marniemaclean.com


What Kind of Knitter Are You?
brought to you by Quizilla

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Camo Tank Top Finished

"I’d gone through life believing in the strength and competence of others; never in my own. Now, dazzled, I discovered that my capacities were real. It was like finding a fortune in the lining of an old coat."

-- Joan Mills

I finished the camo top but when I took a picture of it...it came out looking just like the previous picture. Then when I tried on the top it was way too big...even after washing...and it is not the top's fault...it seems that somewhere between starting and finishing I have lost a size or two up top and well...while I have finally lost what having a child sometimes bestows...I find myself fitting loosely into tops and such.

But, I am not disheartened. I love the top and it is really easy to make and after I make my son's sweater I have some ideas how to improve on it and of course I will make the smaller size... :)

So here is another quote that I felt fitted my experience. For it is the experience and the journey that is the true joy...the garment at the end is the journey's gift.

"People become really quite remarkable when they start thinking that they can do things. When they believe in themselves they have the first secret of success."

-- Norman Vincent Peale

I believe in myself and my love of knitting and so I begin on my son's sweater. You probably can pick out the green in the previous stash picture. He picked out the color and after consorting with the wonderful Knitting Chicks I hope to have a better idea about some things.

They really are angels in disguise those lovely women. :)

Today the forecast says it is 58 right now and it will drop to 42 with rain/snow/sleet...sigh...I feel some knitting time is in order. This bright green will inspire thoughts of spring.

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Camo Tank Top


Cammo Tank Top, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I finally finished one side of the Summer Tank Top! I just haven't had a lot of time to knit with family being sick and all the snow. So I was happy to get one side done. I am half-way through the second side and hope to have the completed top by next weekend.

Ruinwen
:)

LYS Trip


LYS Trip, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

" ... we can no longer afford to throw away even one unimportant day by not noticing the wonder of it all. We have to be willing to discover and then appreciate the authentic moments of happiness available to all of us every day."

-- Sarah Ban Breathnach

Today was such a wonderful day the sun was shining and the birds were singing and all seemed right with the world. The family and I went to visit our new LYS and even though it was small it was crammed with all sorts of textures and different styles of yarn. I couldn't resist sampling quite a few of the treasures as you can see from the photo.

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, February 24, 2005

What Kind Of Knitting Needles Are You?

bamboo
You are bamboo.
Warm, cozy, and thoughtful, you take your time and
enjoy how things feel, smell, and taste. You
love the craft and beauty of traditional
things, and you value the comfort and
experience of knitting as much as the results.
But while you are reveling in your warm cozies,
don't get stuck. Warm is wonderful, but so is
the whole wide world!


What kind of knitting needles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I've Been Tagged

Melanie just tagged me so here we go:

The questions are:

1. What was the last book you read or are reading?
The Lemmony Snicket Series and skads of knitting books…

2. Where did it come from (library, bookstore, gift, etc.)?
Borders

3. How many books do you read per year?
20 or so

4. What is your favorite genre?
Fantasy

5. Who will you tag now?
Sallee

Have a great day! It is snowing here and I think my leg is recovered enough to shovel...whoopie!!!!

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, February 22, 2005

One More To Show The Pretty Yarn


Heart Blanket, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

The title says it all.

:)

Two Days of Work


"Heart Blanket", originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Wish I could have gotten more done...but oh well...here is my Valentine Heart Blanket so far. My hubby took 14 pictures of it so that one would be perfect and I thought this one showed the colors the best even if it is a little bright!

Love that hubby!

:)

From the Heart :)


Heart Blanket, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is one of the hearts in the Valentine Heart Blanket. My husband lovingly took the photos yesterday and if you read about yesterday then you know that I am not going to complain about them being dark. I am instead going to praise my wonderful, supportive husband. :)

So, now that yesterday is out of the way I wanted to tell you that I had a great weekend! My scrap booking, play date, dinner party went great! We all had a wonderful time.

I also wanted to thank Kitt for all her help. As you can see I have added Blogs I Enjoy and I started on Yarn Stores I Frequent as I learn some code. But Kitt has been amazing and I want to send a thousand thanks to her! :)

This weekend I had a most startling moment. For one reason or another having another baby would a) either hurt me or b) hurt the baby. But my darn clock has been ticking away and I couldn't shut it off. But Sunday we went to a birthday party for my Aunt and a girl walked in with a cute baby. All I saw was the Fair Isle sweater he was wearing and the poncho she had on. I swear it was like a total change in my clock it just shut off and the knitter in me rang. So I found out she got the poncho from old navy and I bought one yesterday so I can try and make it for a later project.

Have a great day!

Ruinwen
:)

Camo Summer Top and Why It is Backward


Camo Summer Top, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is the progress on my Camo Summer Top. This is actually from the back. Why you may ask? Well, have you ever had one of THOSE days? Yesterday our child got sick in his sleep so in the am there was much clean up. So off to the car I go and I slip on the only piece of ice on our property crashing down full force on my right knee. My bags lay strew across the lawn with all their items emptied. I stand up since no one is up on a holiday at 6:30 am and realize that my favorite pants are torn and they are tinged with blood. So I go back to get my car with my husband's help and he is sweet and picks up everything and puts it in the car. Then I was running mostly on time when I find my car door was left open all night so I ask my husband for a jump since he and my son had the day off and I did not.

I realize at work that I should clean the wound and put ice on it but there is nothing but soap and water which sting like the dickens and no ice. Oh, I forgot to mention our sweet little cat is peeing blood. So I had to find someone who is open on a holiday. I find a cat, dog and cow doctor. She won't pee there so they can't do tests and they are keeping her overnight. Can you hear my son crying for his kitty in the background?

My head is fuzzy from the pain of my knee which I keep hitting on the metal desk at work. Everything is metal at work so each time you walk from the desk to the filing cabinet you get a big "shock!" So it goes like this "bang", pain running up my leg, reach to steady myself, "shock" all day long. I also mess up things and have to do them over, which begins to make me sad.

Then, I gave Gwen the wrong directions for her glove making problem and I just get down right disheartened...even my knitting seemed to betray me. So by the time I get home by leg is swollen and I just wanted to sit but I promised to have a picture in here and I feel bad so I ask my hubby to take pictures and he takes them of the wrong side and I really think that is perfect for this day.

I would have had them up last night but the computer crashed until today when the world seems to have done a 360' and I hope all is well.

Ruinwen
:(

Friday, February 18, 2005

T.G.I.F.

I don't have a quote today but T.G.I.F !!!

It has gotten quite cold here which makes me knit faster for some reason. I have almost completed the heart pattern for one set of "boxes" on my heart blanket. I also have about 6 inches done on the camo tank top.

This weekend is totally booked and I won't have any time to knit but that is okay…she says with a sigh…I do hope to get pictures up of my progress though…well see…

To all the wonderful "knitting chicks" at Yahoo…thank you!!! You are the sweetest people in the world!

A special thank you to Sallee and especially Kitt (the Goddess of code) who are helping me edit my site. I'm really new to this blogging thing. :)

Have a wonderful day!

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, February 17, 2005

The Real Me

"You cannot fake a relationship and feel right with yourself or anyone else. Changing yourself to fit what you think other people want doesn’t work. Pretending to be someone other than yourself only broadens the distance between the person you are and the one with whom you’re trying to establish closeness."

-- Mary Manin Morrissey

I found that quote yesterday and realized how it applies to me. Since I took the time to listen to my inner self and my needs, I have realized what things are really important to me that others always laughed at me about.

For instance I love my husband and I love doing things with him. People used to think it was weird when I would bring him to events…they would say that I was trying to portray a happy marriage or something…but I am happy…now that fact keeps me centered and alive but before I would feel that I was wrong somehow to feel those feelings. :(

I used to have doormat on my forehead and everyone's needs came before mine. But now I balance everything and I make time to do the things that really make me happy…like knitting…everyone pooh poohed my knitting obsession…saying it was a Grandma thing…well I have something to say on the subject…Grandmas are the coolest…they know more then we do and they are wonderful giving people that share their lives with us…I don't have any Grandmas left…and I miss them…but Grandmas…they rock…if someone compares me to one…well, then I must be doing something right. :)

So here is my declaration to the world…I love to knit…I love the feeling of joy I get from the purchase of a new skein to a finished project. I love taking a ball of yarn and making something…creating something with the hours of my life…something that will live on after I am gone…I love the peace that comes when you are in synch with a pattern and you effortlessly stitch and your mind unloads all its worries until it is empty…and suddenly your heart is a little lighter and your step is a little happier…

Last night a knitting group met at my house and I loved listening to these special women and I feel more centered today…more myself…and now I know what that means and I have become the real me. :)

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Camo summer top


Camo summer top, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

"Bringing order to clutter is about bringing the twin poles of of spiritual life; cherishing life and holding it sacred, while knowing it will pass away."

I found this quote today and realized that sums up most of my knitting philosophy. I make things that I really enjoy and love and never keep any for myself...I always give them away and that is okay most of the time but I would like to hold something sacred this time..

Also I have quite a knitting stash so instead of going out and buying more yarn, I went to the stash and found this camo print by Red Heart. When I bought it I thought wow this will make a nice green blanket, then the camo pattern started to form and I was flabbergasted.

Well, this is my new project for me this time a summer top in camo from BHG Hip Knits. They say when you make one you will want more...let us see...

By the way it is 50 today; what strange weather we are having!

Ruinwen
:)

Blue Scarf Complete


Blue Scarf Complete, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

It was cold today and it snowed, sleeted and then rained. I used the time to finish up my son's scarf. He really loves it!

Now I get the pleasure that every knitter loves...I get to buy more yarn and start a new project!!!

I think this time I will make something for me!

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, February 13, 2005

Heart Blanket


Heart Blanket, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This is a heart blanket that is composed of seed stitch borders with hearts in the center of the blocks.

I started this blanket on practice yarn which was way to thin for the pattern to really show. So I frogged it and began again yesterday. I wanted enough that you could see the colors and pattern forming but again I didn't have the time I thought I would yesterday.

I wanted this done for Valentine's Day, but that was not to be. I love hearts and I love the colors of this Caron Rainbow Dreams yarn. I have never tried this kind of yarn before and I really like it. The only drawback is it has a dye lot so I hope I bought enough! :)

Ruinwen
:)

Heart Blanket


Heart Blanket, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is a close up of the blanket colors.

Blue Scarf


Blue Scarf, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This is the scarf I am working on for my son. I wanted to have it done but things have gotten crazy this weekend.

We moved all my knitting books and patterns to the living room so the knitting group can have access to ideas and patterns.

I'm excited about meeting up with other knitters!

Ruinwen
:)

Close up of Blue Scarf


Close up of Blue Scarf, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

My son wanted a scarf to go with his mittens so I tried to keep it to pattern.

Start with an even number of stiches in cast on. It is a simple pattern; s1, k1 all the way across on the right side and purl the wrong side. It makes a thicker fabric for extra warmpth.

My Son and His New Blue Mittens


My Son and His New Blue Mittens, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

My son was having trouble with finding mittens his size so I made him a pair. This was my first try at mittens and I think they turned out great. My son really loves them!

Saturday, February 12, 2005

My First Post

Welcome to my knitting blog. I have loved knitting since my Mother taught me how for a Camp Fire Girl project. We had to make homeless people scarves. At first I thought I would never complete such a simple task but in (don't laugh) three months I finally finished. And guess what? I wanted to make another scarf for my boyfriend. This one took only a month and I realized I loved knitting! I have been knitting ever since.

I am new to blogging so be kind. I hope to have the pictures I took today uploaded soon.

Ruinwen
:)