Sunday, August 28, 2005

Lace Dream

You work for months on a shawl and finally you finish and it looks like this.

Doesn't look like much, does it? Well, how about this?

And here's the closeup.

And another closeup.

Better, huh? Isn't blocking amazing? It measures about 76" X 20". I ended up skipping the last pattern repeat of the shawl mainly because I was impatient to finish, but I think it just might be big enough anyway. This shawl is "Lace Dream" from the Best of Knitters: Shawls and Scarves. I used size 3 needles and Knit Picks Alpaca Cloud "Midnight". Although it is black, it has specks of blue and green in it. I am absolutely in love with this shawl.

Thursday, August 25, 2005

In case you can't tell, I love lace

I'm about 80 rows from finishing Lace Dream. Being so close to finishing I had to start another project when my new Shadow yarn came from Knitpicks yesterday. I got Vineyard and Jewels and they are both beautiful. The color is rich and has very subtle color variations. The yarn is just as soft as Alpaca Cloud and I think I like it even better. Vineyard is a beautiful reddish purple.

Here is the border of the Faux Russian Stole which I've begun. The yarn is working up beautifully.

The Jewels is a blue purple and the picture just does not do it justice.

Monday, August 22, 2005


This is what I was up to over the weekend, making buttons out of polymer clay. First of all, I took some buttons and made molds out of white polymer clay. To make the molds, I brushed the buttons lightly with cornstarch (to help with release) and pressed it into prepared clay. Then, I carefully took the clay off the button and baked it per the instructions. Voila, a button mold. Then I took my clay and pressed it into the mold (that had been lightly brushed with cornstarch) and carefully removed it. (Sometimes it takes more than one try.) I used a small brush and Pearl Ex powders to "paint" the colors on, then baked the buttons. Pretty, huh? You can also use acrylics to paint the buttons after baking, but they can stay sticky for a while. A coat of varnish (they make some especially for clay) usually helps. I plan to coat my buttons with varnish so the powders won't rub off.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Okay, Madli, you win.

Okay, Madli, I give up. I admit defeat. I can tell that for some reason you do not want to be made by me at this time. Is it the yarn? Because I thought you'd look lovely in it, a lavender silk with specks of pink and blue. But I have now started you three times and I can't seem to get past the border without a glaring error that I can't figure out how to fix. Twice I've ripped you out and restarted. And this last time I was so careful. The nupps looked nice and I thought I was going to make it. Until I got to the last row of the border and figured out that once again I had messed up. I could just leave the mistake and unless they looked really, really close, no one would ever know except me. But perfectionist that I am (see number 4 from my previous entry), I just can't do that. I could probably fix it if I really tried and I might try to fix it at a later date. But for now, I accept that you do not want to be a shawl for me.

Monday, August 15, 2005


I've been tagged by Pugknits for five idiosyncrasies, so here they are:

1. I have a short attention span. I have to have many projects going at any given time so when I temporarily lose interest in one, I have another one to work on. My current knitting projects include two lace shawls and toy kangaroos. Other projects include a miniature needlepoint rug, a room box and I just made a miniature polymer clay doll which I'll have to dress. (I'm not happy with the head, so I'll have to re-do that.)

2. I can learn just about anything from a book. Knitting, crochet, tatting, polymer clay, temari – if there is a book on the subject, I can learn it. The only thing that gave me fits trying to learn from a book was the kitchener stitch. That took a lot of trial and error and a better set of directions.

3. I am a chocoholic. Anything chocolate, the darker the better.

4. I am a perfectionist only when it comes to my crafts. I'll restart the same project countless times until I get it right. I also know where most of my craft books are as well as all my materials. It drives my DH crazy because the perfectionism streak doesn't seem to carry over to cleaning the house...

5. I am a procrastinator. I used to wait until the night before a paper was due and pull an all-nighter. I still procrastinate things until they absolutely can't be put off any longer.

Vee, consider yourself tagged.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Miniature Carpet

Not exactly knitting, but I've been working on this miniature "Turkoman Rug" from Dolls' House Needlecrafts by Venus Dodge. I'm thinking this would look nice on a wood floor with a comfy chair by a fire and a Christmas tree in the background, knitted stockings hung on the mantel and maybe a knitted or crocheted afghan on the back of the chair and a knitted work (or two) in progress.

Monday, August 08, 2005

Heirloom Knitting

I received my copy of Sharon Miller's Heirloom Knitting last week and have been drooling over the lace ever since. Wow! Beautiful stuff. Now I just need to find the time/courage to try something from the book.

I'm back to lace after taking time out for my Market Square Bag. My first night working on lace again wasn't good. I picked up Madli's shawl, did one row and realized that I had to frog eight rows because I just couldn't figure out why some pattern repeats had eleven stitches and some had twelve. I was obviously doing something wrong. Thank goodness I had put a lifeline in at the border. I ripped out and picked up the stitches and promptly put Madli down for the night. I picked up Lace Dream. I was working a pattern row and figured out that last pattern row that had been worked was missing a couple of yarnovers. Easily fixed (luckily). Lace Dream is about 2/3 of the way done.

I'm still spinning some lovely aqua merino and seafoam wool/silk blend for a Forest Path Stole. Now that I have some entrelac experience, I really want to start that one soon!

Wednesday, August 03, 2005

Market Squares Bag

The Market Squares Bag is now finished.

Here are the before-felting pictures.

And the before close-up.

I threw the bag into a pillowcase, tossed the pillowcase and a couple of tennis shoes into the washer on hot for only about ten minutes. The after, while drying on a huge canister.

The after close-up.