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
:)