Friday, May 26, 2006

Ponchette Is Fini!


Ponchette, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Ignore the fact that I glow like casper...here is Ponchette all seamed and ready to go.

I love this pattern! I am going to make it again in linen after I finish a few other projects!

Happy crafting!

Ruinwen
:)

Close up of Ponchette


Close up of Ponchette, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

I love the lattice effect of Ponchette!

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

When You're Up, You're Up and When You're Down, You're Down, and When You're Only Half Way Up, You're Neither Up Nor Down




Since Bridget is my patron Goddess; I wanted to make Her a healing mantle. I had this idea in my head about how it should look and I searched high and low for the right color but nothing was quite right. Then I remembered one of the bloggers I follow, dyes her own merino and I asked her to custom design me some "hues of winter yarn."





Isn't it beautiful? She did such an amazing job! It is exactly what I wanted! Thank you Heather; a thousand times thank you! I've added her Etsy shop to the side bar of Yarn Stores I Love to Frequent.





This is my "Happy Sweater." I am in love with the simplicity of the top-down way of knitting. There are no seams and I can try it on as I go. This is that lovely October hand-dyed merino I bought at the super-bowl sale. I am in love with it! I can't wait till Fall to wear it.

I've decided I want this sweater to cover half of my butt, so I have a little farther to go...but I'm at my waist now. I swear this sweater seems to knit itself...like Mrs. Weasley's sweaters... :)





Finally this is the dreaded stake marking where the fence will go in our yard. There has been good and bad this week and I'm going to focus on the good. I've got a mantle to make and new yarn to fondle... )

And....the Laurene Lace Shawl is on the needles and since it is itsy bitsy there isn't enough to show yet. But it is shaping up like my design; and that makes me happy!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, May 23, 2006

My Son's Dragon


son's dragon, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

He wanted me to share this with you because it was the highlight of his day. He showed everyone his dragon. :)

Simple pleasures. *sigh*

I just finished frogging his sweater to recast it as a top-down. Did you know when you frog wearing a leather jacket the leather makes noises like little frogs? Okay, so I am not quite recovered from this weekend...I didn't sleep well last night.

Yesterday we found out where our back property line is because they are building a fence there. The fence goes smack dab through our back yard. It is a little disturbing. We don't know if they are cutting down the trees that we love so much or how close they plan to be to us now. But I'm sorry I don't like it. :(

I've burried kitties up on the hill...we even named it Kitty Hill because of that...it's where I have my Goddess garden too. *sigh*

I read somewhere take a day to mourn and then give it to God. So I am mourning today the loss of half of my backyard which is full of memories of good friends and good times and then tomorrow I will let it go and have more knitting to share with you.

But today I think I will go up to Kitty Hill and fondly remember all the felines that are up there esp little Shadazar who only lived for three days but was so sweet. >^..^<

Tomorrow I will talk to DH about where to put the new Goddess Garden. We just put in new stone retaining walls and I have some stone left...maybe I can do something with it?

Is it silly to be bummed over something so trivial? DH is bummed too. He didn't sleep last night either. We are a duo of zombies today.

Well, today is LYS day and I need to get cracking on the Laurene Lace Shawl. I've got all the motifs but one and now that I frogged all this yarn I have needles and yarn to swatch...imagine that! :)

Ruinwen
:)

Sympatico


Table view, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

This Fair was the first time that the LYS and Vixenpath promoted each other. I showed more then one person who exclaimed, "Gee I wish we had a yarn store here," that we do indeed have one and if you turn around it is right behind you. :)

I also was able to advertise my classes at my booth and once again promote people to Knittin' Chicks.

The LYS pointed out that Vixenpath was at the fair and to come and check out our booth. We helped out Dalia with breaks so she could actually eat during the day and she provided us a place to visit now and then that was quiet and calm. :)

I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship! :)

Ruinwen
:)

Knitted Stuff


knitted stuff, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is my drying rack of o'stuff. Fall I've decided, will be different. I would like to have shawls hanging along the walls, a few sweaters in different sizes, the baby items and socks.

I'd like to bring in my dress dummy and have her wear an adult sweater...that will hopefully be designed by then...and maybe a really nice scarf. But scarves just aren't selling because everyone has them. I even had nice lace ones and they were in different styles then anyone else and they still didn't sell...so I'm not really going to make a lot more for Fall fair...although they might sell when it was cooler...but it was pretty darn cool this last weekend!

Ruinwen
:)

Heart Bracelet


heart bracelet, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

DH always asks me to make some jewelry too for variety. So I whipped up four pieces with Swarvoski crystal and Czech class all in sterling silver. I liked this one so much I might make one for myself.

Ruinwen
:)

DH's Chain Maille


DH's chain maille, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Here is one of the new pieces DH made for fair with Swarovski crystal. They really sparkle in the light. He is so talented. I love that we can do the fair together and each of loves what we are doing. :)

Ruinwen
:)

The Tank Top Saga


Colwed tank top, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

When I made this tank top I wanted it to look like Matt's on Digimon. It did not turn out at all like what I was looking for. But every project teaches us lessons and I learned a big one from this tank. I hate seams.

This led me to learn about top down sweaters and I am in the process of making a raglan right now. Pictures later. The ones I took at fair no longer do it justice since I am a foot beyond that point. :)

So, when the raglan is done I am casting this tank on again from the top down and designing the Matt sweater. I've even found the perfect shade of green on kpixie.

Also, I am ripping out the two sweaters I started for the kids and redoing them top down. I can try them on as we go and no seams. Plus they will make up twice as fast...a win-win in my book.

Ruinwen
:)

Spring Fling 2006


Spring Fling 2006, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Sorry I've been away but we were gearing up for Spring Fling. Here is our tent; notice the new walls? Where if it had rained they would have been wonderful...the wind nearly carried us away. The tent next to us did blow over and had to be bolted to the parking lot.

We had fun and broke even and then some. :)

My sister happily crocheted away with us and my MIL, BIL and all the kids had a great time too!

All in all it was a really breezy, fun weekend. :)

Ruinwen
:)

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

What's Up Doc?

So, I’ve been thinking about what my DH said about getting an angora. I mean it would be wonderful to have my own angora to spin and dye and make a few things a year out of. Plus they make wonderful pets and my son would love a pet rabbit.

But being an Aries I know I’m going to jump in and get overwhelmed by my emotions before really thinking it through.

So yesterday I researched angoras and came up with a plan. I also learned a lot about them that I didn’t know…like they are very prone to heat stroke, they get wool block (like fur balls but they can’t expel them) and they can be litter trained at an early age.

So here is the plan. I bought a simple drop spindle with some wool yesterday on E-Bay and I will see if I can even spin wool. If I can’t then that is that. If I can spin wool then I will get some angora/wool blend and learn to spin that. If I succeed there then I will buy some angora roving by itself and work on spinning that. Finally I will by the raw wool (fresh off the angora itself) and work on spinning that. After all that spinning, if I still enjoy the whole prospect of creating my own yarn, then I will go on to the next step.

Then we have to ask ourselves some serious questions about where is our bunny going to live? We will need supplies and a hutch for our angora and to learn everything we can about taking care of our new family member before we even go look at angoras.

Then we will start looking at types and decide on which angora breed will be best for our needs. I personally am thinking about a satin because there is a really nice sheen to their fur. Also we will have to decide if we ever want to show our angora. Some breeds are not approved by the judges.

Finally, we need to visit angora farms and actually find the bunny that meshes with our family.

<*whew*>

This process may take months or years but I don’t want to rush it and get involved in something I can’t handle. So we’ll see how I do with my new spindle when it comes in and anyone who wants to leave any advice about spinning is more then welcome. I feel I will need all the help I can get!

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Sheep & Wool Festival -(picture laden)



I love alpacas. Here is one lounging after being sheared.



The reason we were here was to be in the lamb cook-off. Here are the judges eating and critiquing.



Of course another reason was the beautiful yarn. This is some kid mohair that I wanted but resisted.



Everyone was so talented. Watching them weave this shawl was amazing!









Here is something I couldn't resist...a totally washable micro-fiber that feels like silk. I bought it in a teal/purple with my prize money. I also bought some merino/hemp to try. Both of these yarns I had never seen before so we'll call it research...yes that is my story and I'm sticking to it. :) Oh, I also bought the pattern that is in the picture.



So, I came in third but that is okay. I lost on plating technique by three points. It gives us room to improve for next year. Yes, next year...we had so much fun that we are going back! You should have seen the mobs of people as they gobbled up our samples out of dixie cups...they didn't need a plating technique...heck, they didn't even have spoons at the end and it was all good. :)

But seriously, we had an awesome time and my son got to see more sheep then he had ever thought possible. He even conversed with a few and was over-joyed when they answered him back! DH had fun serving the masses and sneaking the shank bones off to nibble on. I even got to knit a few rows on ponchette! So it was a great day for everyone!



The last thing I would like to leave you with is the angora woman. She is my fondest memory in years gone by of the Sheep & Wool festival. She calmly sits her angora bunny on her lap and pulls fur off of her and spins it...just too cool! DH said of all the animals we saw today a bunny to sit on my lap and spin would be okay...maybe some day! :)

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Friday, May 05, 2006

Size really does matter...

"A man may fall many times but he won't be a failure until he says someone pushed him."
-- Elmer G. Letterman

"I haven't failed. I've found 10,000 ways that don't work."
-Banjamin Franklin

I was on the last row of my ponchette when I realized that it was way too small. Looking at the pattern my DH remarked, "Hon, you are using the 5s right?"

After I nodded he added, "That's for the centimeter needle. In the US sizes it calls for an 8."

"Well", I smiled, "At least we know what went wrong. It looks like I have some frogging to do."

So after dinner I sat at the frog pond and ripped all 23 pattern rows out (something like 240 actual rows)...knowing it was the right thing to do.

The old me might have tried to keep repeating until I had enough to wrap around me, but I knew that this was not something I wanted to do. What drew me to this pattern was the lace and the drape of the fabric. In my piece the lace while pretty, was closed and precise. It should be more open and airy,

So, I will begin again on my dear ponchette. This time I am armed with size 8 needles and I have learned one way not to make this pattern.

I hope to have it done for Sheep and Wool this weekend where I am entered in the lamb cook-off. But if I don't, well that's okay too. :)

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)

Thursday, May 04, 2006

I'm Innocent I tell you...really! :)


Yarn Project Focus, originally uploaded by Ruinwen.

Okay, I know you are saying, "Ruinwen you said no more yarn until you finish your projects..."

And you are right, but I didn't buy any of it myself, it was all gifted.

My sister blessed me with The Sweater Workshop by Jacqueline Fee A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swanson, Kniting From the Top by Barbara Walker and The Knitting Way: A Guide to Spiritual Self Discovery.

With the exeption of the last book (which was a surprise) these are books I have been chomping at the bit to own. Thank you sis! :)

My parents blessed me with yarn from Knitpicks. Six skeins of each: Merino Style in Storm and Wool of the Andes in Hyacinth.

I've already started the ponchette on kpixie in the storm and I love the pattern.

My LYS wonderful lady blessed me with an cable and bobble sweater in pumpkin spice. It was last year's model and it fits me to a Tee! And she also blessed me with 5 skeins of Maggi Knits Multi Linen Color 102! It is like pumpkins and fall all rolled into one. I've been wanting to try it and she gave it to me to make a ponchette for me! Isn't she the best!?!

So see dear readers, I did not buy anything new, I have not broken my promise and all is right with the world.

Happy crafting,

Ruinwen
:)