Saturday, December 30, 2006

Happy Holidays!


I realize I've been late with everything this year so forgive the lateness of my wishes. I'm sorry that things have been so hectic I have barely looked at your blogs in so long...I plan on catching up when I wake up on New Year's Day.





So here is a shrug I've made out of ribbon for the shop. The Vixen is not the easiest to work with because of the cord that holds everything together. But I do like the fact it lends itself into being more tube like then flat. This is easy as pie and a snap to do. I will make another one later in feather and fan for Spring.





This is a poncho that I made for Yule. You YO, K2, YO in the two corners on every other row and it increases beautifully. I used Patons and Cascade ribbon and I really liked the way this came out.







Here is shawl I made in EL Silky Wool and Cascade ribbon for my MIL. It is classic Red Hat style and I really enjoyed making it. The pattern is in Lavish Lace and I will be making it again.





I hope everyone had a safe and wonderful holiday season! And....Indigo - thank you for the beautiful dish cloth. I ran out of cotton but yours will be on its way soon.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, December 10, 2006

See Penguins Do Live In My Fridge


Welcome Pablo the Penguin to my menagerie of animal critters. He was really hard to make. Most every part of him confounded me since the directions were not the best and took three knitters to figure them out. But that aside, I did the best I could and I think he is cute. I just hope my sister likes him.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, December 04, 2006

Finding Serenity in Chaos


This was the first weekend in so long that I went to bed on Sunday feeling a sense of harmony. That’s not to say the weekend didn’t have its ups and downs but I was able to meet them with grace and not kicking and screaming. And let me tell you it is a good feeling. :)

I’ve been so crazy as of late that I had forgotten how to let go. But (deep breath) I am remembering how to find serenity again amidst the chaos of life thanks to this weekend. Funny how something so normal and insignificant can make you feel whole again. So can rows upon rows of merino. Ah merino…


This is the pin wheel blanket that I’ve wanted to finish but other things got in the way. Notice the picot edging. I have fallen in love with this edging. And I think it is a good part of why I feel so serene; silly as that may be.


Here is Mom’s new lap blanket with (you guessed it) more picot edging. This time I was going for a rolling edge and I really like it. I used SWT soy and EL silky wool. I have to make something else that I can put this edging on…

“Don’t look at me,” says the penguin.
“Not me either,” says the sheep.

Oh well…you both have to sleep sometime… (heh)

Okay so I guess I need to update since this is a new month and all.

NOVEMBER GOALS

* Finish shrug – never got to
* Make another dishcloth - done
* Make a penguin – almost done
* Work on pinwheel blanket - done
* Work on sheep – never got to
* Make another lap blanket – done

I’m really not going to complain considering how crazy November was.

DECEMBER GOALS
• Finish shrug
• Finish penguin
• Finish sheep
• Work on crochet class I, II, III
• Write up shrug pattern
• Work up reversible cable class

I guess after seeing my goals you might have a question or two. I decided to teach crochet at the LYS and I’m making a blanket of stitches that you can make in three parts or two or whatever your desired skill level is. I have always crocheted in between my knitting so I think this provides a nice break for me.

Also because of some slander at another knitting shop about my ability as a teacher which I will not rant about since I am feeling so darn serene today…I have decided to go for my TKGA Master Knitter title. I know it will not be easy but knowing is half the battle (yo Joe) and I would rather be knowledgeable then fight someone who feels they have to demean others.


***Thank you for everyone's prayers and good thoughts. They mean so much to me!***

***I wanted to send Von, Sue and Denise a special shout out. Thank you for the lovely dishcloths! I love them!***

***Also for all you gamers out there…may this serve as a warning…the Wii is so much fun that you will find it hard to put it down…if only I could knit with it!***

So whatever you celebrate (Chrismahannukwanzawalisolstice) I hope the seasons bring you serenity within the chaos that warms your heart and enriches your soul.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

What Color is My Brain

I got this one off of http://plainjaneknits.blogspot.com

Sorry for the lack of knitting content lately. I had vertigo last week and not much got done. I hope to have some pics soon of everything to share.

This quiz result is so me that it is scary! :)








What Color is Your Brain?




BLUE:

At work or in school: I like to be with people, sharing with them, inspiring them, and helping them. I work and learn best when I can take into consideration people and the human element. I flourish in an atmosphere of cooperation.
With friends: I always look for perfect love. I am very romantic, and I enjoy doing thoughtful things for others. I am affectionate, supportive and a good listener.
With family: I like to be happy and loving. I am very sensitive to rejection from my family and to family conflicts. I really like to be well thought of and need frequent reassurance. I love intimate talks and warm feelings.
Take this quiz!








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Monday, November 06, 2006

What Kind of Flower Am I?

Brein (http://lansingerland.blogspot.com/) wanted us to take this quiz...so I did.


I am a
Daffodil


What Flower
Are You?


Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Happy Samhain! :)

First of all I want to wish everyone a Happy Harvest, Happy New Year or Happy whatever you celebrate today.

Today I usually set goals for the coming year so I feel it is a good place to start…

OCTOBER GOALS

* Work on sheep – have 1st side done
* Finish nursing home lap blanket - done
* Work on pinwheel blanket (finish one ball) – worked as hard as I could but still have some to go on the ball – but the size is bigger then 80 inches of Denises!
* Make another dishcloth – never got to
* Finish shrug for LYS – never got to
* Finish one sleeve of sweater – sweater is done!

I’m not going to get upset at the stuff I didn’t get done. I was really sick last week and still am under the weather…

I’m happy with what I did get done and I really love my sweater. :)

NOVEMBER GOALS

* Finish shrug
* Make another dishcloth
* Make a penguin
* Work on pinwheel blanket
* Work on sheep
* Make another lap blanket

So there are my goals for this month. Hopefully I will have a little more time to complete them.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, October 23, 2006

I'm So Happy the Sweater Fits! :)


The happy sweater is done and I am in love! I love the color and it fits me perfectly. It would have been perfect for Fall Fest, which was my original intention...but I got hung up on the whole dpn thing. Thank goodness dpn's are no longer a problem! :)



I plan to make this sweater in my son's size next. It should take half the time this one did. I love the mindlessness of it! Sometimes you need a project like this and it really helped me de-stress after all the stuff with my Mom and Dad who continue to improve... :)







Widdershins is showing her amazement that I finished the sweater. Obsidian is winking at me because he knows that it is time to buy more yarn...which I did. I am working on a surprise project which I'm going to have to figure out before I will share...but if it works I will be ecstatic!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, October 19, 2006

One Day at a Time

Thank you to everyone who sent well wishes to my parents. Dad goes into surgery tonight and is in good spirits. Mom had a rough day but is healing a little more each day. One day at a time.



Here is Mom's Lapghan completed. She likes these to cover her knees so I made this one special. It is sooo incredibly soft! The yarn is Acapulco and it is a merino blend from Italy. I would love to make me something out of this beautiful yarn!



Here is my sweater on dpns. See I just love using the ChiaoGoo needles. They are so smooth and easy to work with. I think I can finish the ribbing tonight and start on finishing the second sleeve. Then I may just cast on a sock...simply because I can!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

GOALS FOR OCTOBER

* Work on sheep
* Finish nursing home lap blanket
* Work on pinwheel blanket (finish one ball)
* Make another dishcloth
* Finish shrug for LYS
* Finish one sleeve of sweater

These are my October goals. I realize that the month is almost over but if I had one good day off I could knock out this list so I know that it is totally possible.

My mind has been consumed with family stuff as of late and having some concrete goals is my way of keeping sane. Anyone who wants to send prayers, reiki, good vibes or just some happy thoughts to my Mom and Dad are more then welcome! :)

With the encouragement of my Mother I was able to knit something successfully on dpns! So I was finally able to start the pinwheel blanket that had been eluding me for so long. It is now off dpns and on circs. Last time I checked it was a little bigger then a large pizza. Yeah me!

So it seems I am finally ready to tackle the sleeves of my happy sweater which have made it down to dpn proportions. I’m feeling so good about the whole dpn thing that I might even start a pair of socks…somebody stop me…. *tee hee*

Hopefully I will have some pics later but please forgive me if my posting gets even more sporadic then it already is!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Ewe Kidding


So here I am knitting Ms. Ewe. You know people are a helpful lot. They keep pointing out that my knitting is terrible with all those little loops in it And the truth is that it is a terribly naughty little stitch but I don’t like people talking bad about Ms. Ewe.

Me: “Thank you for your helpful criticism but I’m knitting a sheep and the curls are her fleece.”

People: “No really. Maybe you should go to that new knitting shop in Mt. Airy…something about chickens.”

Me: “Its Knittin’ Chicks and I work there.”

People: *laugh* “Well you’re a terrible knitter with all those loops hanging all over the place.”

*Grrrr* How dare they talk about Ms. Ewe like that! Or me for that matter.

Then I get where I’m going and everyone bleats out sympathy:

“I’m so sorry for ewe.”
“What baaad people.”
“I’d like to pull the wool over their eyes!”

Poor Ms. Ewe. If she had ears I’d cover them to save her from the mean nasty people who swear she’s a sweater gone bad and the terrible punsters. But ears are last right before the tail so luckily she will go happily through life only hearing the oohs and aahs of, “Wow you made a sheep,” and you watch all those ‘people’ will want one too. But my next project after Ms. Ewe will be Pablo the Penguin named after one of my favorite child hood books The Penguin That Hated the Cold. I wonder what people will say about that?

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, October 09, 2006

When A Good Ewe Goes Baad

Nothing is lost upon a man who is bent upon growth; nothing wasted on one who is always preparing for - life by keeping eyes, mind and heart open to nature, men, books, experience - and what he gathers serves him at unexpected moments in unforeseen ways."
-- Hamilton Wright Mabie


This weekend turned out to be wonderful. Yesterday was so warm and sunny and we did really well at the Fair. It was wonderful having my family come visit and my sister found some new yarn and crochet hooks that she adores. :)

I cast on (with help from DH) a new project I’ve been thinking about for a while and worked on it after completing two bonnets for the table. I’ll show you if it works out.

So, I asked my son what he would like knitted for the colder weather. Thinking a sweater might be nice or some new mittens (he outgrew the ones I made him last year). But my sweet dear son wants a sheep. He wants a little ewe to sit on his bed and keep him company. And who am I to judge the dreams of a child?

So, I asked at the LYS and everyone pulled out books and found me a pattern. The owner donated some yarn and now I’m ready to go. Or so I thought…the pattern calls for sevens and for reasons unexplained, I have none. The two sets which have every size have sevens in use.

You see I thought there was no needle size that I didn’t own. I have to organize my needles in this huge slotted monster. All other sizes have DPNS, Straights long and short but not sevens…so no starting Ms. Sheep today.

I have a feeling that Ms. Sheep is going to cause me no end of trouble. But the smile on my son’s face will be worth the endurance of baad puns and a loop stitch that rivals any I have ever seen.

Happy knitting,

Ruinwen
:)

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Many Are Cold But Few Are Frozen



Frozen describes how I feel as I start to thaw out by the heater. Today was cold and wet and I was disturbed that I could see my breath. For having no one really we did pretty well. I'm not upset because...
















I finished the 2nd stole for the LYS. This is the beloved Ms. Dalia at Knittin' Chicks and Fiona. Whew... a whole bag of yarn gone and a project to boot! Yeah me.

I'm cold but home now and all I want to do is...nothing at all.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Friday, October 06, 2006

One Stitch at a Time

I was watching the beginners take their first stitches at the LYS yesterday and I couldn’t help getting a little misty eyed. I love it when a new generation of knitters is born.

It amazes me how far I’ve come from those awkward days of my first stitches. Thinking about it made me refer back to the pattern where I first purled.

I went years making garter stitch scarves before I tried to purl. My DH’s Nana had just passed and there was no one to talk about knitting to. I tried to understand the whole purling thing and it just wouldn’t click. I got so frustrated that I almost gave up. But I looked down at the yarn I was using and knew it had been lovingly picked out by Nana for some project she never had to make and I started to cry.

I cried because she was gone, for my Grandmother who taught me how to crochet and for the Grandmother I never met. Somewhere between all these tears I moved the yarn to the front and made a stitch. It was my first purl; I will never forget how I felt that Nana and my Grandmothers had reached through the veil of time and space to teach me that stitch.

Last night I wanted to make that scarf again thinking that now after all this time and learning it should be simple. Wow…was I wrong. It is amazing I even finished that first scarf at all since all the directions are wrong. I rewrote the directions and placed them in the book for future reference.

For this scarf which I will be gifting to a friend who helped me out when I was beyond help I’m using Superwash Merino by Zitron in Stormy. I love this yarn; but it hated this pattern. So I decided on a simple basketweave pattern. This yarn is so soft and yummy and the color is painted on so it looks like stonewashed jeans of various colors. Yummy.

Another knitting milestone was reached this week when I finished A World Lit By Fire. She is blocked and ready for her Fall Fest debut…which I fear may be a little wet. Thank goodness we have side flaps for the tent. Anyway, this was my first lace project and I offer it in loving homage to all those women who live in my heart. I am also raffling it off for women’s heart awareness.

I remember struggling to read the chart for this pattern. I must have cast it on a dozen times and even then I really didn’t know what I was doing. But after learning charting and making a few patterns of my own, knitting AWLBF became very enjoyable. I will be making this again in the future.

As my beloved family descends upon us for Fall Fest I find myself so happy I can hardly contain it. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful family on all sides of the proverbial tree…and that includes you too. I’m very thankful for each and everyone who reads my blog! :)

Finally…after all that sentimental stuff I thought you’d want some eye candy. This is Palatte by Knit Picks. You can conveniently order every color for Fair Isle creation. So after this weekend…a swatching I will go. I know I can do this because of all the things I’ve conquered before. Thanks for coming on the journey with me.

Have a great weekend!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

I feel terrible...

I've murdered an innocent...

Sweater.

She was only a year old and I could never seem to get her to hang right. The stitches were large and fussy and caught on Widdershins paws too easily. Her left arm was longer then the right and sadly she was way too squat.

So...I ripped her apart and decided that the pattern and the yarn never meshed and these things happen.

Sadly I will not miss her because her demise means one less thing on my side bar. Her yarn is still with me, haunting me with the need to cast on and try again. But that will have to wait...

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Of Mice and Merino

It seems we have a mouse in our house. DH says he might be living in my yarn which is a no no as far as I’m concerned. I’m a very tolerant person…usually…but mess with my knitting and watch out. Still, we hope to catch the little bugger and set him free miles from here. I hate hurting any living thing especially when I know he’s just trying to stay warm.

So I’m going through all my projects and realizing how many things I never got to this year. I also find myself pretty thankful that I bag my yarn instead of letting it hang out loose…even though mice can chew through almost anything if they want to…my yarn seems to be safe.

There are so many patterns I downloaded and bought and yarns I still haven’t even cast on needles in my stash…why does this happen?

But then I designed four items this year; a scarf, 2 shawls and a cowled sleeveless sweater. And it isn’t as if I haven’t made anything. I’ve made baby booties and bonnets, prayer shawls, scarves, bags, slippers, blankets and even a sweater and shawl for me.

I’ve worked hard to balance family, knitting and everything else and I think I’ve done okay. But my stash says otherwise. And I just added to it this weekend when I ordered 30 skein Sampler Pack of Palatte at Knitpicks. I have a hankering to design something in Fair Isle.

No, I don’t have a fever. Those of you who know me understand that this is a big step…getting over my fear of Fair Isle…dpns will be next. My biggest problem was I couldn’t change colors, but I had to learn that technique in order to do slip stitch…so I can’t use that excuse anymore. That sampler pack has been calling to me for a while now. So we’ll see what comes of it in the months to come.

So where does that leave my stash? Waiting…waiting for me to have enough time to make something just for the fun of it. But that is rare. I make things for the shop, for classes, for charity, for new babies and mothers, for gifts and for Vixenpath but there is little time to make anything just for me.

In all other walks of my life I’ve made a place for me-time but not knitting. I’ve consoled myself this year that anything that lives at the shop will eventually come back to me…like my beloved slip-stitch cats. >^..^<

But to grow as a knitter I need to try new patterns, learn new stitches and techniques, find new ways to shape items and sample new yarns. It is the nature of the beast. So I’m going to start my resolutions early this year.

I Ruinwen will:

Design two new patterns for each quarter – eight in all
Have patterns ready and made BEFORE I volunteer for the class
Make something in Fair Isle
Take four months and devote them to Vixenpath
Make at least four items for me
Not get upset when I don’t have time to blog
Not feel guilty when I don’t have time to knit

Okay, that seems simple enough. Now I just need and extra day in the week…don’t we all? :)

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Some Bunny Loves Me


Demon Bunnies, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I had forgotten that for each cowl class I was supposed to have a slip-stitch square also. So today I quickly made this square and when I turned it upside down my cats turn into demon bunnies *wah ha ha*

How utterly cool is that? :)

I got the cowl pattern written up with the 2 slip-stich pattern so that is another thing off my plate. *yeah*

Also my shawl class participants gave me leave not to finish the shawl so I could use it to work in the class instead of having to make a new one. Again, how cool is that?

I feel as if a huge weight has been taken off my shoulders and for the first time since Friday I can heave a sigh of relief. And since the shawl is pink...it will fit right in step with Breast Cancer Awareness Month...I'm just tickled pink (pun intended).

So, thanks for cheering me on and sticking with me during this difficult time...you make this all worthwhile. :)

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, September 18, 2006

The Laurene Shawl Revisited


Laurene Shawl, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Thank you so much for your kind words and advice. I have restarted the shawl in the merino and I am enjoying knitting it beyond words. I think the stitches are more defined and the twisted stitches are sharper too. I'm very happy with the way this is turning out and I was able to do about eight inches this weekend which makes me happy...I'm still behind...but I just can't worry about it.

I was having this dream last night that I hadn't done my homework which is a common theme in my dreams. For me it signifies that I forgot something that is due really soon. Well, I looked on the calendar and it seems I am teaching the slip-stitch cat class tomorrow. *eek* But if you've been with me for a while you know I'm a flyin'-by-the-seat -of-my-pants kinda girl. So, I worked on it at 5 am and voila I'm almost done. Yeah me! :)

Also, I've been looking into payloadz.com which would allow me to put my patterns on my blog for download...but that will have to wait until I get them all into PDF format and after Fair which is in 2 weeks. I say *eek* again!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, September 14, 2006

I Need Your Help...Please?

Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.
-Scott Adams

I have been crafting this shawl for my Mother for a while now in a yarn that just isn't working for me. If you remember a while back when I was on vacation the maid careless threw said shawl thus dropping 26 rows. Well, crunch time is upon me. I'm teaching this shawl class at the end of the month...count 'em; 16 days...and I need this shawl done by next weekend to show in the LYS.

Now I know I've taken on more then I can chew and all that. That isn't in question. I know how much of an idiot I am when it comes to trying to do more then I possibly could ever hope to...the question is...

Is it wrong to start over in a yarn I love...the yarn I swatched when I designed the shawl? I bought this lovely shade of pink merino and I so wanted to see the shawl made into it. I love merino. I love working with merino. It would be a thicker yarn and thus in theory make up much faster then this thin lace weight stuff. So dear readers is it okay to admit a yarn just isn't right for my pattern and start over with the one I wanted?

Thanks for your imput.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Slip-Stitch Cats Fini


My sweater is complete. Maybe one of these days I will actually design the sweater first...nah...

All in all I am thrilled with the way this turned out. I used 220 Cascade and Feza Zarone and I think they worked together well. I used ribbing on the arm decreases so it wouldn't be all wonky. I also used my first spit-join so I wouldn't have to hide ends in my cowl. I may never add a yarn a different way again!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, September 04, 2006

My First Dishcloth



I joined a dishcloth swap and decided to make round dishcloths in Linie 12 Clip Egyptian cotton. I think this pattern actually scrubs pots pretty well. It is made using short rows and is a pretty fun pattern.

I have 7 more to go for the swap...but I have plenty of time so it is okay.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Slip-Stitch Cats Preview


"Enlightenment must come little by little -- otherwise it would overwhelm."
-- Idries Shah

Here are my Halloween slip-stitch cats. They took a good portion of Sunday and three hours yesterday to graph. If you know about slip-stitch, then you know that there must be a stitch to slip in order for the pattern to work. And since you carry only one yarn across a row and slip the other, it varies every two rows. Thus round things and curves are very difficult.



But all in all, I love this pattern. It is all mine and I worked very hard to get the tails in the center to curve in a neat way. I also think they look kinda spooky and if you look at them long enough you see other things...or is that because is is 5 am?

Now hopefully the rest of the sweater will design itself. *grin*

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

The Cats Were Tagged...

Meezer from knitnana.blogspot.com was nice enough to tag my cats so here they are...

Five Weird things / habits about me Meme

1O. Obsidian here, I love to be brushed. You know how other cats can hear a food dish being filled from a mile away?...well, I can hear a cat brush. I love it when my little buddy brushes out my long silky fur…it is such a purrfect feeling!




1W. That's truly silly. Widdershins here, I do not have weird habits but I do like to burrow. My big pet says I am part ferret to which I answer by nibbling on his toes. I like mystery. I love to be in dark burrows and wait for the chance to pounce on some unsuspecting victim.

2O. I love grass…the green kind outside on the lawn. It is soooo tasty. But we have leash laws and it's been sooo hot that I haven't gotten in my nice safe cage in a while. I try and sneak out the door and get some yummy grass every chance I get!

2W. I like everyone to look when I am eating. I'm a girl who likes a crowd of one. But I need to be in the limelight or what's the point?

3O. Wow, I have to do five of these? I'm a big cat who needs lots of sleep. In fact you keep on waking me up for this survey….oh okay…I am not a fighter. I have no front claws and even the squirrels in the backyard can beat me up.

3W. I on the other hand train constantly. I am a sleek white and black ninja that sneaks up on milk rings, fuzzy mice and unsuspecting toes.







4O. I understand human speak and am constantly talking. When the phone rings I always add a word or two. I am the only one who can wake my little buddy up. He loves having me sleep next to him and then gently sing him to consciousness in the morning.

4W. Bah, any cat knows human speak…*sigh*…see what I have to deal with? But back to me... I love to flop in front of my pets so they can adore me and see how sleek and lean I am. They always stoop to fawn and adulate me so I know they love this little ritual of ours.

5O. Yawn…I love when my person starts knitting. She is always so relaxed unless the yarn is misbehaving. I curl up next to her and provide support. It is my favorite time we spend together.

5W. My person is an IT dude and I am always getting my head in there reading up on what's new in the world. No matter how busy he is I can always worm my way in front of the screen. He absolutely adores me.

There, done. Should any furry purries want to answer this Meme...feel free to do so. I'm going back to sleep...

Happy napping,

Obsidian and Widdershins
>^..^<

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Tension

“You never will be the person you can be if pressure, tension and discipline are taken out of your life.”
--James G. Bilkey

"Life begins at the end of your comfort zone."
-- Neale Donald Walsch

Sometimes when I start a project I leave my brain somewhere else…my Mom likes to say it goes off to Hawaii…ah, Hawaii…

See, like that.

First of all this project is Halloween themed, so my main color is black. As a punk in the 80’s (now they would call what I was Goth) I loved black. As a knitter in 2006, I really dislike it. I can’t see my stitches as clearly and I can’t knit in a dark room. So, only bright cheery days for knitting on this cowl… *cue the thunder clap*

Secondly, when I started on the cowl yesterday, I accounted for the fact that 2X2 ribbing should be in multiples of 4 + 2. I checked my gauge and cast on 182 stitches…the problem is that I’m knitting in the round so that means that one round counts as a knit row and the next as a purl…which basically made a HUGE mess. :(

So I ripped out and recast on 180 stitches and now I have wonderful, beautiful ribbing. *yeah* :)

I am really pushing to get this sweater done but I realize that I probably have a lot more woes coming my way…my Aries self has been talking to my yarn again…

Aries self: “Hey why don’t we change the design at the last minute because one cat over and over is pretty boring don’t you think?”

Yarn colored a shade of Halloween spice answers, “Cccccould there be pumpkins?”

Aries self: “Sure; pumpkins, bats, cats, ghosts and whatever you want. I’ll get busy graphing all of them so Ruinwen can swatch them while she’s stopped at lights in traffic.”

Yarn: “Er, didn’t she want the slip-stitch done by the time she got to the LYS.”

Aries self: “Do you want pumpkins or not?!?”

Yarn: “A swatching we will go…”

So, I’ve been working with a scene that could be on the front and back and…what was the lesson of the day again…oh yeah, tension…causing tension to me and my knitting. Graphing a ghost is much harder then it seems…but everything that pushes me (not to the point of insanity) actually makes me a better knitter.

I have found the projects I enjoyed making the most are the ones that I learned something new while making them. I’m hoping this cowl will be one of those projects…since I get to remake it for each and every month of the year (what was I thinking?!?...must have let an Aries self moment slip by again)...

Well, I must get a move on there are only so many hours of light in the day ya’know!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Meme

I usually don't do these...but I'm in a giving mood. ;)

The ones in bold are the things I have done.
01. Bought everyone in the bar a drink
02. Swam with wild dolphins
03. Climbed a mountain
04. Taken a Ferrari for a test drive
05. Been inside the Great Pyramid
06. Held a tarantula
07. Taken a candlelit bath with someone
08. Said 'I love you' and meant it
09. Hugged a tree

10. Bungee jumped
11. Visited Paris
12. Watched a lightning storm at sea
13. Stayed up all night long and saw the sun rise

14. Seen the Northern Lights
15. Gone to a huge sports game
16. Walked the stairs to the top of the leaning Tower of Pisa
17. Grown and eaten your own vegetables
18. Touched an iceberg
19. Slept under the stars
20. Changed a baby's diaper

21. Taken a trip in a hot air balloon
22. Watched a meteor shower
23. Gotten drunk on champagne
24. Given more than you can afford to charity
25. Looked up at the night sky through a telescope
26. Had an uncontrollable giggling fit at the worst possible moment
27. Had a food fight

28. Bet on a winning horse
29. Asked out a stranger
30. Had a snowball fight
31. Screamed as loudly as you possibly can
32. Held a lamb
33. Seen a total eclipse
34. Ridden a roller coaster

35. Hit a home run
36. Danced like a fool and not cared who was looking
37. Adopted an accent for an entire day
38. Actually felt happy about your life, even for just a moment
39. Had two hard drives for your computer

40. Visited all 50 states
41. Taken care of someone who was drunk
42. Had amazing friends

43. Danced with a stranger in a foreign country
44. Watched wild whales
45. Stolen a sign
46. Backpacked in Europe
47. Taken a road-trip
48. Gone rock climbing
49. Midnight walk on the beach

50. Gone sky diving
51. Visited Ireland
52. Been heartbroken longer then you were actually in love
53. In a restaurant, sat at a stranger's table and had a meal with
them
54. Visited Japan
55. Milked a cow
56. Alphabetized your cd's
57. Pretended to be a superhero
58. Sung karaoke
59. Lounged around in bed all day

60. Posed nude in front of strangers
61. Gone scuba diving
62. Kissed in the rain
63. Played in the mud
64. Played in the rain
65. Gone to a drive-in theater

66. Visited the Great Wall of China
67. Started a business
68. Fallen in love and not had your heart broken
69. Toured ancient sites

70. Taken a martial arts class
71. Played D&D for more than 6 hours straight
72. Gotten married

73. Been in a movie
74. Crashed a party
75. Gotten divorced
76. Gone without food for 5 days
77. Made cookies from scratch
78. Won first prize in a costume contest

79. Ridden a gondola in Venice
80. Gotten a tattoo
81. Rafted the Snake River
82. Been on television news programs as an "expert"
83. Got flowers for no reason
84. Performed on stage

85. Been to Las Vegas
86. Recorded music
87. Eaten shark
88. Had a one-night stand (Who actually admits to this stuff?)

89. Gone to Thailand
90. Bought a house
91. Been in a combat zone
92. Buried one of your parents
93. Been on a cruise ship
94. Spoken more than one language fluently
95. Performed in Rocky Horror.
96. Raised children

97. Followed your favorite band/singer on tour
98. Created and named your own constellation of stars
99. Taken an exotic bicycle tour in a foreign country
100. Picked up and moved to another city to just start over
101. Walked the Golden Gate Bridge
102. Sang loudly in the car, and didn't stop when you knew someone
was looking

103. Had plastic surgery
104. Survived an illness that you shouldn't have survived
105. Wrote articles for a large publication
106. Lost over 100 pounds
107. Held someone while they were having a flashback
108. Piloted an airplane
109. Petted a stingray
110. Broken someone's heart
111. Helped an animal give birth
112. Won money on a T.V. game show

113. Broken a bone
114. Gone on an African photo safari
115. Had a body part of yours below the neck pierced
116. Fired a rifle, shotgun, or pistol
117. Eaten mushrooms that were gathered in the wild
118. Ridden a horse
119. Had major surgery

120. Had a snake as a pet
121. Hiked to the bottom of the Grand Canyon
122. Slept for more than 30 hours over the course of 48 hours
123. Visited more foreign countries than U.S. states
124. Visited all 7 continents
125. Taken a canoe trip that lasted more than 2 days
126. Eaten kangaroo meat
127. Eaten sushi
128. Had your picture in the newspaper
129. Changed someone's mind about something you care deeply about
130. Gone back to school

131. Parasailed
132. Petted a cockroach
133. Eaten fried green tomatoes
134. Read The Iliad - and the Odyssey
135. Selected one "important" author who you missed in school, and read

136. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
137. Skipped all your school reunions
138. Communicated with someone without sharing a common spoken language
139. Been elected to public office
140. Written your own computer language
141. Thought to yourself that you're living your dream
142. Had to put someone you love into hospice care
143. Built your own PC from parts
144. Sold your own artwork to someone who didn't know you
145. Had a booth at a street fair
146: Dyed your hair

147: Been a DJ
148: Shaved your head
149: Caused a car accident
150: Saved someone's life

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Holiday Slippers



"Imagination is more important than knowledge. Knowledge is limited. Imagination encircles the world."
-- Albert Einstein

Here is a new pattern that I will be teaching at the LYS. It is fun and easy and beginners will be able to make this project with a few challenges.

I used Feza Zarone 100% wool in dark green.

Now, I need to graph some Halloween critters for my Holiday cowled sweater. The idea is that each holiday I can change the border and the color scheme to fit the season. The color changes are done in slip stitch so I have to remember to graph the yarn so it carries to the following row. *what she said...*

I wanted to make a decorative border but I think I will forgo it because the cats, bats, cauldrons...or whatever I decide on, should be the focus of the piece.

Sorry no great earth shattering insight today. I'm just happy to get the slippers done. *sigh* I'm even happier they liked them at the LYS! *happy dance*

And finally I'm super happy I got the PDFs done and the pattern is being approved as we speak. I feel like I actually got something major done. *yeah me*

Now I go sleep... *zzzzz*

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

The Rhythm of the Needles

"The soul requires duration of time -- rich, thick, deep, velvety time -- and it thrives on rhythm. Soul can’t be hurried or harried.... We may go through many events in the day and experience nothing because the soul has not had the opportunity to feel them from many different points of view."
-Robert Sardello

The heart will follow a beat if it is sustained long enough. When I find myself worrying these days I listen to the ocean. My heart finds peace in the gentle rhythm of the waves and slows down to match nature’s pulse. I wish I lived by the ocean. I don’t live anywhere near water; but I do knit.

Knitting provides that same sense of peace for me. The weaving of fibers harmonized by the gentle clicking of needles offers me tranquility that reaches into my soul. I read yesterday how they are recommending knitting (or any repetitive craft) for insomniacs. The beat that is created by doing something over and over causes the mind to relax and unwind. There is a chance if your pattern behaves to even loose track of time and experience that moment of knitting euphoria when your project and you become one.

They’ve also found that by turning off the part of the brain that counts the seconds you add years to your brain power. Just five minutes a day of shutting off the part of the brain that controls time can make you feel totally refreshed. How often do we immerse ourselves so deeply in something that we stop watching the clock; or better still, forget the clock even exists?

My DH is great at it. I think that is why he is so laid back and calm all the time. He loves IT stuff and as long as I’ve known him, he’s been able to work on the computer and forget anything else exists. I admit it takes me a while to reach that state of no-time. All the stuff I should be doing runs back and forth across the screen of my mind until I attend to it or it goes away. But then the reward is so sweet. Suddenly it’s all about the knitting (or writing) and I can immerse myself so deeply that everything else disappears. And for a moment my life becomes timeless; an endless now-of-thought…a flash of pure unadulterated bliss.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, August 13, 2006

I'm Open to Change


“Change. It has the power to uplift, to heal, to stimulate, surprise, open new doors, bring fresh experience and create excitement in life. Certainly it is worth the risk.”

-- Leo Buscaglia

True story: My popcorn caught on fire this week. I nuked it for the required time and it was smoking. When I mistook the smoke for steam and shook it up a bit like I always do, it burst into flames. I threw the mess in the sink and ran water on it until the steam stopped.

I find it totally out of character that my popcorn would catch on fire after years of not doing so. I mean what changed in the Universe to create such a phenomena?

Life changes on a dime all the time; emotions, schedules, lifestyles and preferences all are subject to the whims of change. But there are certain rules to the Universe like gravity and such that never change right? When something as simple as your popcorn catching on fire happens, it can shake your core beliefs pretty badly.

Which is why I relaxed with some knitting. But as I knitted my stitches I realized as a knitter, I have to be open to change. What happens when the yarn you are using is the wrong one and you know the gauge is so far off that it will never become the chosen project? You change something.

When I change yarns or projects and someone asks where is the sweater I was working on is, me saying, "I frogged it," really requires no other explanation. Knitters know that yarn they loved in the store may not want to be the perfect scarf even if it is the right gauge. Colors don't always look the same when you wear them as they do on the skein.

Knitting is all about changing your mind, your texture, and your preference and altering a pattern on a whim. I've been focusing on the later.

The picture above shows the three yarns I've been playing with to make the tank top in. Evita in Spring which, is a lovely cotton blend that really shows definition and has a lovely drape. Linie 12 Clip in 199 which, is Egyptian cotton and also has spectacular definition and loves to hold its shape (good for busts). And last but not least Vixen in Magenta which, is a breathtaking ribbon that is more tube shaped so it acts more like a yarn then a ribbon.

I love them all and maybe none of them will be the tank, but who knows what will happen in a world where popcorn can catch on fire?

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, August 10, 2006

The Courage to Try



"You have to decide what your highest priorities are and have the courage -- pleasantly, smilingly, nonapologetically -- to say 'no' to other things. And the way you do that is by having a bigger 'yes' burning inside."
-- Stephen Covey

When I began knitting seriously and looked at lace my inner critic told me, “There is no way you can do this.”

I didn’t start with something simple either: I began my lace journey with charting. In the beginning, I couldn’t read a chart to save my life. It just didn’t click. I called on the Yahoo knitting gurus to help me and I still didn’t get it.

But I never gave up. I kept failing and somehow I had this extra stitch that wouldn’t disappear (even when I K2tog) but I never lost hope that one day I would make lace.

So I tucked away my project and went on to other things.

After a year went by I was making lace with line by line instructions and wanted to learn charting. So I sat down with a chart and meditated on it like a Mandela and suddenly it all made sense. I wondered why I’d even made it so hard for myself.

When I designed my first class project I wanted it to be lace and I wanted it to be charted. The scarf was a success and people found it easy to use the charts I created.

This month I realized that ball of yarn in the corner of my bedroom shelf was that same project I had put away so long ago. The cycle had come full circle and this is the WIP I have been working on this week. I love the simplicity of the design and I really enjoy this pattern. It is a World Lit Only By Fire in Lavish Lace.

The moral: After I finish this scarf which I am raffling for Women’s Heart Awareness at the fair, I’m going to take out my tank again and meditate with it. I know that this time it will make sense and this time I have the courage to create it.

Happy Crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

In the Heat of Summer

"Every moment of your life is infinitely creative and the universe is endlessly bountiful. Just put forth a clear enough request, and everything your heart desires must come to you."
-- Shakti Gawain

I realize that I’ve been away from the blog for a while but I just needed a breather to work out how to fit all the important things in my life into my life…and it has been so darn hot that I've been lazing about.

I’ve been knitting and working on WIPs and trying to create something new and wonderful that no one has made in quite the same way before. Creating something new is exhausting but exhilarating at the same time.

I’ve been working on my idea of the perfect tank…which may not be your idea or anyone else’s idea…which may in fact, make it a bad idea…but I’m still working on it.

I still believe I will find a way to knit in a bra thingy or create a really tight, supportive fabric that will hold everything in place. But it has been slow coming and nothing is working quite right. Everything is kinda wonky and I’ve put it away for a while.

That is why I am working on the WIPs…because they are there and they need to be done. But it has been so hot that I find it hard to do anything and stay focused on it.

Truthfully as soon as that first day when the trees start to turn and I can feel the tendrils of winter reaching through like icy fingers into my soul; my creative fire is stuck on low. I’ve always found my best ideas come in the winter when I am in my bear cave of inspiration.

The way I work is, in the fall I start stockpiling yarns and ideas; like a squirrel. And in the winter I take these treasures and create until about May when it starts getting hot again and then my creative juices wane and I find it hard to do anything without effort.

In the colder weather everything seems so effortless that I get spoiled. The funny thing is I really dislike the cold yet it is always so good to me (except when I spun out on that black ice on Christmas morning). Conversely I love being warm yet my mind shuts off like a heat pump covered in ice. I just don’t get it.

Anyway, I’m trying to strike a balance between all the things in my life; hot or cold. This blog is one of the things I really enjoy because I get to meet wonderful people like you.

So give me a chance to get caught up on the blogs I read on the side bar and I will (hopefully) get some pictures up later on in the week of my WIP.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Monday, June 26, 2006

Knitting at the Beach


Well, we just got back from OC and here I am knitting in the few minutes of sun we had before it started to pour again. But I was happy I cast on Bridget's clapotis down at the beach like I wanted. I even made it into the increase section.




The yarn Heather made is gorgeous! I love working with it because it knits up so nice. The colors totally express the weekend we had. After this picture was taken it started to rain. And the water from the sea and the sky was ice cold. So we did the only thing that made sense and went ice skating. :)

It wasn't a bad trip. I enjoyed being with my family and spending time with my sis. We actually had a lot of fun but the weather wasn't playing nice. As we checked out it became the perfect day and the sun was shining and I think I might have braved the water with the sun out. But we needed to get on the road and I'm glad we did 'cuz 50 was flooded out already from the storms that were heading our way.


Oh, on Friday morning after staying up all night knitting on the Laurene Shawl and feeling pretty good about the whole thing *insert Jaws music here* I left my knitting on the bed and the maid carelessly tossed it to the couch thus dropping a stitch which unraveled 26 rows...I cried and called my LYS and the owner helped calm me down...needless to say I couldn't work on the shawl the rest of the trip...but doesn't what I have done, look nice?

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Kool Aid Dyeing Tutorial




My wonderful sister was nice enough to let me take pictures of the dyeing process so here we go...First off the things we needed were: A bowl to soak the yarn in, a Pyrex dish that fit in my microwave, yarn and 12 packs of no sugar added Kool Aid. Not shown are the 12 little Dixie cups we used to mix up the dye in.





Soak the yarn in COLD water. Hot water could encourage the yarn to felt and felting in this project is BAD. While your yarn is soaking fill the Dixie cups with one dye packet each. My sister has a nice little system going as you can see.





Now fill the cups with about two tablespoons of water each and stir.


Take your yarn out of the soaking bowl and wring it carefully. Then lay it in the Pyrex pan and now the fun starts!






Now gently pour or liberally dump as your design demands. My sister had an idea in mind and didn't want any white showing so she carefully laid down each color and smooshed it with her fingers to ensure the dye made it all the way through. (Next time rubber gloves might be in order.)





Here is the yarn all ready to be nuked. Isn't it lovely? And look sis has fingers to match her yarn! :)






Here is the yarn in the microwave. You want to nuke it for two minutes at a time. You don't want the yarn to boil yet you need the yarn hot enough to absorb all the dye.






You are looking for this cloudy stuff. The water never really runs clear because of all the powder. It will look like this. Now let your yarn cool. It is very hot so use GREAT caution when checking it.





Now that it is completely cooled the yarn goes back in a cold water bath.





More gentle smooshing to get all the powder out. The water should run clear and not be cloudy when you are done.





Isn't it beautiful! :)





Here she is all wound up and ready to be made into something lovely! My sis had fun making her and I hope you enjoy your Kool Aid dyeing too!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen