Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Catching Up.

I hope everyone had a weekend. I usually don't get a long weekend for memorial day, but I did this year. I stayed at home the whole weekend, and used the time to get caught up on some projects I have gotten behind on.

In the spirit of getting caught up I have some over-due "Thank You"s to make:

About a week ago I got a mysterious package in the mail, it was rather large, and light and I didn't recognize the return address. I opened it up to find this:

This is two half pound balls of hand carded, hand dyes rovings from Jehovah Jireh Farm. It was a gift from Deb for helping out at her booth at the NH Sheep and Wool Festival.

In Addition to saying thanks to Deb, I would like to put in a prayer request here. I won't share any details, but Deb is going through a tough time, and could certainly use some extra prayers right now. Please pray for her well being.

Another Thank you goes out to Terri, my partner in the exchange for the MonthlyBookmarks group. I received this wonderful package from her a few days ago.

She included two hand made bookmarks. The flower bookmark is counted cross stitch, and the red and black bookmark is a beaded lace knit bookmark (it's red thread with black beads). I love them both, especially since I do not do cross stitch or bead work, so these are both items I would not make myself. She also included some Canada souvenirs- including chocolate loonies- and a pewter zipper tag that is a sweater still OTN. Thanks Terri!

Slightly embarrassing since I am the "group owner", but I am actually late sending my package to Terri. I do have a good reason, though. I had been hunting all over for materials for a special project for her. Last week I had given up on ever finding what I wanted, and was about to mail her package out with out it when I finally located what I was looking for. There will be pictures after she receives it.

Now onto the things I have gotten caught up with:

This crazy little animal is a toy I have had in the works-aka in a bag in the back of my closet- for about 2 months. He is based on a cartoon character, with whom I am unfamiliar. My friend's little girl had asked Santa for this toy for Christmas when she saw him at the mall last December. He told her he had lots of these dolls in stock. Well, Santa was confused, and no one makes a doll for this character.

I had a picture about 2x3 inches big to go on, and I've never made a stuffed animal before. Hopefully I will never have to again, but this little girl has spent the last five months wondering why Santa didn't fulfill his promise to her. Hopefully his will look close enough to the real thing to pass.

I have a friend starting Chemotherapy tomorrow, and have been saying for three weeks now that I had to knit up some hats for her. I finally got to that this weekend, too.

The brown hat was a free online pattern, the Lace Edged Women's Hat, made in Classic Elite Premiere. As I was knitting it I realized I had never knitted a hat before. What a wonderful instant gratification project!

The blue hat is made with Knit One, Crochet Too Wick. I'd never tried this yarn before, and I loved it. It makes a thick and spongy, but breathable fabric that wicks moisture away from the skin. I have to get more of this stuff.

There was no pattern for the blue hat. I knew that I didn't particularly care for the shaping at the top of the other hat, so I just did what I thought would work better, and luckily it did!

I actually got caught up on a bunch of other projects, but as this post is getting very long I will give you just one more for today.

I started to work on a shawl for my mother, and got about 8 hours worth of spinning in. Unfortunately I was spinning and being social at the same time, and my plied yarn turned out thicker than I had wanted, so I will have to start over with that. I am very excited about the yarn I am making for this project, and will post about it another time.

The shawl itself will be of my own design. I have been charting and swatching, and I came up with this:

Yes, it looks like something you would find in any stitch dictionary on earth! That part is slightly disappointing, but I do like it, and am going to use it. I will just have to design some fancy edging to make it more unique.

The good part of taking the time to chart, and test knit this is that now I am so acquainted with the pattern flow I will not need to look at the chart at all when knitting the shawl. I didn't even need it for the swatch. If I had taken the pattern from a stitch dictionary I still would have had to convert it to fit into the four wedges of the square as it grows out from the center.

The sample was knit in a 50/50 linen cotton blend from my stash. It's sport weight yarn on size 4 needles. The actual shawl will be much lighter yarn, on much larger needles. This was just to get an idea of how the pattern would look.


Unraveling Sophia said...

You never cease to amaze me with your talent, creativity and incredible production!! All that in one long weekend??? Amazing!

The bunny is especially adorable. And I love your own design for the lace shawl - the placement of the leaves is unique. I hope the pattern will be avialable for free or for sale when you're finished!

Lil Knitter said...

Very nice goodies you've been getting there. I think the toy is cute...kinda looks familiar but I can't place him. You did a great job and I'm sure she'll love it.

Your Mom's shawl is beautiful. I really like that swatch color. I'll try not to bug you too much about getting it finished. (yeah,right) lol You're totally not giving yourself enough credit...I wasn't thinking stitch dictionary at all. It's gorgeous!


*will keep Deb in my prayers*

Joansie said...

Wow, you were so productive over the weekend. That little girl will love the bunny (the little girl in me sure does). The swatch looks great as well.

Your chemo friend will surely appreciate the hats, especially seeing that they were knit by someone who cares.

Unknown said...

Dear Brian- This leaf pattern that you swatched and designed yourself is nothing short of heirloom. I have gotten some ancient pattern books from various sources and this is a masterpiece truly. Try the library and take out the book "knitting counterpanes". You have created a pattern uniquely artistic and nothing in any book I have found looks like your design. You have such talent. That swirl shawl is gorgeous too.

Anonymous said...

My goodness! You have had a busy weekend, and some fabulous pieces to show for it.
The rovings look so very tempting.

Love and good thoughts to all who need them.


Crystal said...

What a great weekend you had! Your chemo friend will truly love the hats you knitted for her. you are a special friend. The shawl for mom is special, how intricate the design. I love it and I am sure she will too. Can't wait for more of your work.

Anonymous said...

Wow hon you definitely have been busy. I love everything you've made, especially that first chemo hat. I will definitely check out that link.

I will definitely keep Deb in my prayers.


LDSVenus said...

You have been soooooo busy!!! The hats look good, I know they will be appreciated. I love your design for the shawl for your mom, it will be georgeous. Will it be a triangle or rectangle?

How sweet of Deb to send you all that wonderful fiber to spin!! I hope she will be alright, I will keep her in my prayers as well.