25 September 2016

When the cat decides, and putting a scarf on a tank.

I decided I'd try to blog at least once a month, and of course the month has been busy.  Among other (non-job) things:

And of course, a certain amount of travel.  I managed to connect a business trip to the North Carolina Opera premiere of "Das Rheingold", which was the first time the opera had been performed in the Southeastern USA since it premiered 147 years ago.  And although not fully staged, it was quite a wonderful production - and I've seen a lot of operas, a lot of Wagner, and several Ring Cycles.  The benefit of a partial staging is that the performers and characters and story really get to shine.

I've decided not to enter the Berlin Fair this year, but I will work on a couple of projects with an eye towards next year.  I was thinking of being on a retreat that weekend, then some other things came up, and I'll be traveling elsewhere.  Either way, it complicates the dropoff, or pickup, or both.

I finished the last set of blankets for my niece's birthday gift, and when I counted I realized I made one more than needed (she's 16, I made 17 total), but I had been having fun playing with yarn and of course they were handy sizes to carry around and work on whenever.
I'd made another in these colours, and
had plenty of yarn left for a second one.

Basic diagonal pattern, different yarns.

This one is based on the Ten-Stitch pattern

This extra number came in handy because my niece's cat decided that one of the blankets is HERS.

I also made pieces for the Sherman Tank at the WWII Museum in New Orleans.  They asked people to make pieces of a certain size and yarn and colours to celebrate the Knit Your Bit 10th Anniversary on September 17th, at which they gave scarves to veterans.  (They distribute scarves regularly, and have established local outposts to shorten the travel.)  I was going to make one piece, but someone posted about doing one in every colour, and I managed to find all of them (some stores had sold out), so I did also.
The pieces I made - US#35 needles!

Museum staff model the finished scarf.

The Sherman Tank with its scarf.  Booyah!

Now I'm working on baby blankets.  Which I decided to do somewhat spontaneously, and will post more about once they are done and delivered.

17 August 2016

There and Back Again

I thought that when I got back to town I would do more to keep the blog current, and of course this has not happened,  Let's see, a quick summary of the last year or so:

  • I got a new job and moved, temporarily, to Madison (WI).
  • The job wasn't what I expected, and my old boss made a determined campaign to keep in touch and let me know he'd hire me back - which happened.
  • So I moved back to the Hartford (CT) area.
This involved selling things, moving, moving back, and buying replacements for things like a bed.  At all times, of course, I kept reading (I am definitely going to miss A Frugal Muse and being near Half Price Books) and yarny things (including a visit to the market at the Madison Knitters' Gui;d Knit-In and the impressive yarn section at the Wisconsin Craft Market, and joining a couple of meetups, and the crafters group at the local makerspace) and enjoyed the Dane County Farmers' Market's winter markets.  I also went to Madison's Winter Festival and volunteered at their first MakerFaire, helping Eepy Bird with their Coke® and Mentos® performance.

And I didn't do much with the blog, because I didn't bother to do an internet hookup at the temporary location, and the wifi in the common area didn't work well, and I didn't feel like saying after hours at work to do the blog because it was about an hour's drive (in good weather) and I was trying to have a social life.  So.  No blog posts.

Now I am back in Hartford.  And trying to not get involved in too many things at once.  I did volunteer to help staff a booth at the Bishop's Corner Farmers' Market because it's associated with my old CSA (I got back too late to rejoin), and the person who was staffing the booth suddenly got a job on Maui.  It's not bad, mostly hot and boring, but I take yarny things and have some sales.  It ended up with a few dates as guest vendor at the West End Farmers' Market as well.

I'm involved again at MakeHartford, of course,  An apparently am considered a volunteer for Bici Co., although I don't participate at the location, although I helped to build some of their storage while home visiting one weekend last fall.  And designed a hat that won a contest and brought them some money when they were getting started.

What else?  I am still deciding.  This is a chance to not get quite so involved, or to do so in ways I wasn't able to do before.  Once the Farmers' Market season is over, of course!  And this period in October when I am traveling quite a lot - to the ACC Annual Meeting (I spoke at two of their previous conferences this year, this makes a hat trick) and then to the North Carolina State Fair for our annual family expedition (being the cool auntie who goes on the more exciting rides).

In the meantime, I have the Berlin Fair to look forward to entering - I didn't last year due to the move.  And this event sounds cool, maybe we can do something like it in Hartford?  I'd suggest it for DFW Fiber Fest, but the crocheters would be annoyed as I think fewer people can crochet while walking than knit while walking.  I can do both, but not everybody does.  I know there are people who drop spindle while walking.  Hmmmm......

07 June 2016

Some yarny things I've created recently

I'll catch up on where I have been lo, these many months that the blog has been dormant, but as a quick kickstart back into blogging, I'll post a few photos of items I have made.  For some reason, this post doesn't look like what I created - there shouldn't be a big blank area, and the pictures should be more neatly organized!  Sorry about that.  Obviously, I'm out of practice.

First, the annual collection for Mittens for Akkol's annual collection of items for graduates of the two orphanages in Kazahkstan.  One set of grads were known and asked for specifics; for the other orphanage we had just genders and had to guess what they might like.

The two "known" grads for whom I made items - one boy wanted a white and spring green set, for which I crocheted a scarf, and the other wanted a white sweater (but he was OK with off-white) and black accessories.  Someone else volunteered for the accessories, I just knit the pullover.

Wrist-to-wrist yoke, vertical body.
Very slightly green in the white, an ancient fingering wool used tripled.

Sweaters are usually the last things for which people sign up, so I tend to make a lot of those.  This year, I got to make a few sets, which I enjoy because the accessories are more portable.

Handdyed multi from Fiberlady and Patons Classic Wool in
'Lemongrass' - mittens are the Siena Mittens from Knitscene
and the hat is  a variation of the knitpicks 'Garter Stripe' hat.
Scraps of Lopi from another project.
Patons Colorwull, Lion Brand Fisherman, and various other yarns.
Knit mittens and hat, crocheted scarf.
Patons Classic Wool in 'Shades of Gray' with some of the related
greys and black solid for the scarf.  Knit mittens and hat, crocheted
scarf and sweater (knit neck and wrist ribbings on the sweater).

Mostly Lion Brand Fisherman yarn used double,
with some oddballs added for accents.

For the sweaters, I made up the patterns based upon measurements.  At this point, my hands and brain have "go to" patterns for mittens, hats, and scarves, so that mostly autopiloted.  I've put links where specific patterns were used.  Even the white sweater was mostly designed on the fly.  I was not going to do a very complicated pattern, partly due to time limitations, but also didn't want to do an absolutely plain white sweater, so this is my compromise.  And yes, the cables on the sleeves twist in two different directions, that was a deliberate design choice.

I also created a number of scarves for the Knit Your Bit collection at DFW Fiber Fest.  The scarves will go to veterans, and they asked us to use mostly neutral colours as there are more male recipients than female.  These photos show just a few of the ones I made, mostly in plain stitches (garter stitch quite often, or a 1dc 1sc crochet stitch) with interesting yarns.

Lion Brand Kool Wool (left) and Wool-Ease (right)
Lion Brand Tweed Stripes.
Loops and Threads "Charisma" in Ashes and Woodland.
Anne Geddes Baby yarn from Red Heart, doubled.
Grey and blue Caron Simply Soft held together, with accents
of Lion Brand Wool-Ease left over from other scarves.

Lion Brand Wool-Ease in the
KYB Mistake Stitch pattern.

Top Scarf is Red Heart Super Saver, left over from another project.
Bottom Scarf is Lion Brand Vanna's Choice 'Woods Print' with
some stripes of Wool Ease in 'Forest Green Heather'.

Lastly, my grandmother snuggled under her birthday blanket, knit from a new Bernat yarn called "Home Bundle" which is available only at Joann's.  It goes through four different yarns, so there's very little work involved, but the end result is soft and warm and light, and she loves it!  Since my grandmother is always cold, blankets are an appreciated gift, even for her May birthday, and even though she lives in Florida.

The teddy bear was a gift for her birthday also, which my grandmother had to spend in hospital because her gallbladder has been giving her grief.  Hence, the rather medical-looking surroundings.  My grandmother is itching to get home, and should be soon!