Thursday, March 30, 2006

When Yarn Tangles...

"For a long time it had seemed to me that life was about to begin -- real life. But there was always some obstacle in the way, something to be got through first, some unfinished business, time still to be served, a debt to be paid. Then life would begin. At last it dawned on me that these obstacles were my life."
-- Fr. Alfred D’Souza

It seems as of late that I can’t seem to find time to blog and I realized it was because I was waiting for life to stop for a few precious seconds. And then I read that quote above and it all became crystal clear; there will never be time because life doesn’t stop for me to blog. I just have to do it and then suddenly, “poof” that time I have been craving has been birthed into existence and a new entry is born.

Lately life has seem so unbalanced; like a center pull ball that tangles and you spend hours trying to calm it back into a some semblance of yarn.

On Tuesday I spent a majority of my precious knitting time helping a fellow winder with a hank gone bad. I guess, because it wasn’t my problem it actually was fun to work with her untangling this mass of spring-green wool. People asked us what we were doing as they entered the store and we joked, “Abstract art, yarn-chi and just plain having fun.”

The funny thing was I did have fun doing nothing more then slowly rolling a ball out of the yarn that escaped the moorings of the huge snarl. I would find a path that would release a little more precious wool back into my care as my partner teased the knots loose one by one.

My life as of late, is a lot like that ball of yarn. There are places where it has gotten a bit tangled and I have a choice to see these roadblocks as boulders in my path or rest-stops where I need to pause, asses the situation and breathe before finding where this new knot is going to go.

The next time I find myself with a tangle in my fiber I will remember that the Universe is not out to get me but rather it is giving me a yarn-awakening. (The Universe uses yarn to teach lessons all the time.) The yarn is telling me that I’ve overdone it again and it is time to slow down.

I will take time to breathe and remember that this is my life. Yoda said something to the effect of, “There is no good or bad, only thinking makes it so.” It is so true I can label every yarn snarl in the road of life as bad or take a tip from my cat and breathe, stretch and play. >^..^<

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen, who loves hand winding her yarn

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

My Beautiful New Knitting Bag

New Bag, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

First and foremost, please let me apologize for the counter in the background. But it was the only place with good lighting at 5:30 am. :(

I love my new bag from Nana Sadie Rose! I got to pick out the pattern which I loved at first sight! Sallee put a beautiful cat button on the front which really sets it off.

It is so roomy; I can put patterns, even books fit in there. Right now I have six balls of yarn and it is not even full!

Thank you so much Sallee! I've been giving out cards to everyone 'cuz they all love this bag.

Happy Crafting,


New Project

New Project, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I fell in love with this top and it seemed the perfect yarn just appeared at my LYS.

It is from the latest issue of Vogue Knitting. You make it in a bunch of pieces and then put the sleeves, front and back all togther on a circ. I'm insane for even wanting try it now. Everything is so crazy trying to get ready for Fair. But when you're in love, what can one do?

So once again my poor Queen of Hearts shawl has gotten pushed back. I'll get to it just not until after Fair. :(

New Yarn!!! :)

New Yarn, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

My LYS has a wonderful woman who makes spins and dyes her own yarn and I love it! She had a special trunk show this week and this is what I took home.

The ball that is on the left is all wool in blue, green and purple hues. It goes from super thin to chunky and my son picked it out to make a baby sweater. The problem is that I've swatched it twice and it comes out different each time. I've also cast on twice only to find that the sweater is bigger then two of me! But I promised my child that this would turn into a sweater and by all that is sacred, it will...just not today. :)

Next we have more yummy merino in a lovely sky blue color. It has already been dedicated to the capped top above.

And last but not least, the spring rose garden cotton/wool blend. It was so beautiful I couldn't pass it up but I have no idea what to make with it. It also changes sizes throughout so the three things I've cast on didn't look quite right to me. Any ideas?

It really isn't like me to buy yarn that isn't slated for some project. C'est le vie.

Butter Baby Sweater Update

Butter Baby Sweater, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I've almost finished the butter baby sweater. All that's left is the left side seaming. But I thought it looked nice enough to take a pic.

This is a fun sweater to make and since it is all in one piece, there are only two side seams. You can pick up and cast on for a hood or a collar. I chose a simple collar that increased one stitch on each side for six rows and it looks nice IMHO. Now all I need is a set of booties to complete the outfit!

I'm going to make another one of these in teal King Cole yarn. I love the King Cole it is so smooth and soft!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Serenity Chain Lace Scarf

Serenity Chain Lace Scarf, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is the prototype scarf for my class. It is made out of Knitpicks Decadence 100% Superfine Alpaca in Winter Berry. The color is totally off; it is more of a deep burgandy.

You can't see the texture either that defines the chain but c'est le vie.

I've been knitting it like mad to get it done to hand into the LYS today. The chart really helped. For my class I'm going to make it in something thinner to see how it looks in a different yarn.

Happy crafting,


Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Uncharted Waters

Charted Lace Pattern, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I don't know what gave me the sudden gift of being able to read (and write) a kntting chart, but I am ever so thankful!

This is my chart for my lace class. My DH downloaded the knitting font for me. He is always so sweet and helpful!

I don't know what finally clicked, but when I looked over all those lace patterns I knew how much easier they would be if I charted them! So I did. It is so much easier to knit from a chart then from the written out pattern! I couldn't believe it! I was able to follow the chart while watching TV in the dark, I might add.

So after May Fest I'm going to pull out all those lace patterns that I had previously deemed confusing and gleefully complete them!

Happy crafting,


Friday, March 03, 2006

Ode to Mom, Butter and King Cole

It is days like this that I am glad my Mom taught me to knit. She is a textile goddess and used to make the most beautiful things before her arthritis took hold. I know she misses creating things from beautiful fabrics and it makes me sad to see such a wonderful gift taken from her.

I know that being able to knit is a gift and I will treasure it as long as I am able; just like my Mom. Her cancer has come back again. I know she is scared and mad because I am too. I can do nothing but love her (as I have always done), be there for her, pray and send Reiki. Even so, I feel helpless, lost and desperately out of control.

The only thing I can think to do is knit something simple; something she will like. So I am knitting another baby sweater. My mom adores babies. Something comes alive in her that is so beautiful to see when she is with my son: something akin to spring gracing a barren world. So I am making this sweater out of King Cole Smooth in buttermilk. It is the softest acrylic yarn I have ever touched. I feel like I am knitting with liquid butter. I know mom will love it too.

I had to re-gauge the whole pattern for the King Cole and let me tell you after casting on and frogging 6 times I thought maybe this wasn’t the project for me! My Mom is a mathematician. She would have figured out how to convert all these stitches on the first try. I did not get that gift but I do have tenacity and I was not about to let the yarn win on this one! I finally figured it out and the pattern is working.

I’m enjoying row after row of smooth buttery garter. Simple, classic and wonderful to come back to after such a stressful day; again just like my Mom. My Mom has always been about the simple pleasures in life. She loves spending time with family. She taught me family is one of the most important gifts we have. Ours celebrates every milestone with a dinner. She also taught me that while you are alive you need to eat and it should be something you enjoy. She is a wonderful cook (I really think the math helps there too). I love her home cooking she always puts so much love and care into everything.

The color of the King Cole reminds me of Mom and butter. She would spend hours sautĂ©ing mushrooms until they were just right. Everything in our house was cooked in either olive oil, butter or both. It was never greasy but mmmmmm just right. My favorite thing in the whole world is my Mother’s potato pancakes. She would always make them when I couldn’t eat anything else. I’ve tried to make them the same but mine while good, are not moms. There is something about all the love she put into stuff that I can’t seem to duplicate.

There is no one quite like my mom. She always makes me laugh and cheers me up when I am down. She will give a stranger the shirt off of her back to help him out. She is talented beyond belief. She is has a sweet romantic side balanced by the Alias side. I can talk to her about anything and she really listens. I’m not saying she is perfect, because no one is, but she has ALWAYS been there for me and there is no greater gift then that. What can I say, she’s a great mom, and I am so blessed that she is mine. :)

As I knit some more rows on the sleeve level of this sweater I start to think about the cute little arms that will fill it. We’ve been trying for a while now. I’ve had to dissociate myself from the outcome because I was getting too disappointed each month. Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy with my family the way it is and I will be happy if we have another child. It is all blessings to me and it is all out of my hands. The waiting is always what I’ve been bad at…

So I will knit and cherish my Mom and all of my family and friends; which includes you the reader. All of you make life more enjoyable and fun. I will be happy and content with what I have and if more comes I will open my arms and take it in. And I will knit with this beautiful yarn in simple stitches over and over until I reach meditative bliss.

Happy crafting,


Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Charity Items

Charity Items, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here are the items for the Changing Lanes Charity. The booties are really washed out but they are white with flecks of pink and blue eyelash. I really had trouble knitting them on size three needles with the eyelash getting in the way but they came out really cute.

The jacket I did in a popcorn type yarn that was also surprisingly madding to work with. But I think it came out cute as a button and I would make it again popcorn and all. It was a very fun pattern done in one piece and then sewed at the sides.

I wish I could have made always...but I'm really happy with the items I made!