Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Loving the summer knitting!

It is early, I know, but I have the Spring/Summer fever. Using cotton and linen for weaving was a natural thing to do, but for some reason, knitting them was not on my agenda. All of that has changed. I started with Elsbeth Lavold's Hempathy, great yarn and great colors! I finished my "Marilyn's not so fitted cardi" from Knit and Tonic. Love it. I am just waiting for it to dry to get the photos posted. On the needles right now is "Hey Teach" of fame. I am making it in exactly what it calls for, Knit One Crochet Too 2nd time cotton. This is not my usual method for selecting yarns and patterns. It was one of those things...I will tell you.

I was shopping at one of my favorite knit shops and saw the yarn. The color is a great linen color and I was thinking of making some kind of sweater...maybe the cover of the Interweave Knits? But the guage was not great. In the store was a cute little sweater that I recognized...Hey Teach! Guess what it was made in??? That is right...guess what size....MINE! So I tried the sample, loved the fit, the look and the yarn, bought it an knit the back right away. I did notice that my usual method of marking lace sections was not working out about the 7th repeat in the lace pattern. Good old Ravelry...I looked up the forum comments and found that others had the same issue. So, don't marked the sections, 7th row messes it up and you will go out of your mind wondering what is going on! At least, I was.

The first evening of knitting on this, with friends and chatting, found me repairing a little stitch that slipped away about 3" down. I picked them up and worked them in, but my neurotic side couldn't deal with it. I went home frogged to the "good" part and started back up. So far, I am loving it and the yarn is great.

This little beauty is short sleeved and could be layered, but I am holding out for the 80 degree weather that is promised for this weekend. All I need is a little tank or tee and the sunshine and my summer has begun...all that from the excitement of summer yarns!

Friday, April 17, 2009

Yeah for Casting On!!!

This is the time of year that I refer to as "Neatening the Nest." It is a form of spring fever that makes me open the windows, air my fleece and yarn and cast on for summer projects. Part of the neatening this year was my desire to start adding magazine issues to Ravelry. It never fails that I will find a great pattern, see it available for a purchaseable download and realize (later) that I actually have the magazine where the pattern first appeared when I PAID for the issue!

So, now with everyone in a necessary phase of being green for the environment and not wasting paper, and being conservative with their cash, not wasting dollars, this seemed a sensible thing to do.

I must say, it was not as bad as I was anticipating! Less than an hour allowed me to enter about 65 magazines and find about 40 that were not on Ravelry's database yet. Now I have magazine cases that are Ravelry checked and those that are not....

Maybe this will help ease my pattern purchasing a bit. I know enough to alter a pattern to update the look using yarn, details or shaping. I have enough yarn and patterns to keep my entire guild busy and clothed for all eternity.

Which brings me to the next neatening adventure...adding those cases of yarn that have not made it onto my stash yet! I was feeling the guilt and slowed down a bit, until I noticed another member's stash WELL over mine! She knows who she is, she reads my blog. I will not name names, but am sure that she does not know enough feet for the skeins of sock yarn to warm. Or maybe she does....I hope she puts me on her list, I could use a pair of hand-dyed hand knit socks.

My most recent cast on is "Marilyn's not so fitted cardigan," a Ravelry download purchase (I know, I have plenty of patterns, could have modified one for this, blah blah blah, but I was in mental distress. I broke down on a spring day in Michigan that was grey and beginning to snow amid a growing pile of personal concerns.). I am using Elsbeth Lavold's Hempathy (love it) and it is moving at a great pace...I just hope I did not make it too big. Pictures and reviews coming since I am on the second sleeve waiting to decide 3/4 length or long. Always a little turmoil at this point in the project, but I hope to be past that this weekend.

Neaten your nest and get started on the Spring projects! It feels so good!!!!!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Knitting with Purpose

The Renaissance of Latvia's ethnographic mittens (reprinted and translated from the "Iberian point of View") Be sure to check out the links at the bottom for the examples of the many patterns! Amazing.

What will 9.000 hands have in common during the NATO Summit in Riga this November? 4,500 pairs of traditional hand-made Latvians mittens!That's what the NATO Summit Latvia for Task force there are prewall Summit guests. The mittens were specially knitted by hundreds of women and men around the country ranging in age from 30 to 86. Each to pair features to unique design, utilizing to wide variety of traditional colors, patterns and symbols. For Latvians, mittens plows much dwells than to way to warm your hands. Every ethnographic Latvian mitten tells to story, marks an anniversary and represents to specific region in Latvia (Vidzeme, Zemgale, Latgale and Kurzeme.) Some intended mitten designs plows specially for weddings or to other special events. There is of even to rich tradition folkloric etiquette associated with the wearing, storing and displaying of mittens. (Story Dwells about The of to thousand to year old Latvian mitten)All, mittens for men and women plows different in size. Men's mittens in general plows to bigger. In addition, and dwells dramatic reserved colours plows characteristic for men's mittens. The colours in women's gloves plows to brighter and dwells cheerful.
The ornamentation elements plows “blended in” from one neighbouring region into to another; therefore the identification of to mitten to particular region dog sees characterized dwells precisely by the composition of its colours and shades. Latgale is to land of linen; therefore linen-congregation light colourings predominate in gloves of this region. Similarly, bright and joyful colours plows characteristic for Latgale and also Kurzeme. Also the Word “rakstaini” dwells precisely characterizes mittens from Kurzeme, because to their ornamentation is to brighter than in other regions. Calm and vibrant earthy colours plows the basis of mittens from Zemgale. However, light and beige colourings plows for typical Vidzeme.
For most Latvians, this project is to national special source of pride, because it you combine tradition, culture and history with something of lasting practical VALUE that will sees enjoyed around the world.
Please, enjoy it!
Galleries of the mittens.
Download all mittens here (200 MB to.rar case out) NEW
Latvian mittens men `s from the Zemgale region of Latvia (they men `s/women `s)
Latvian mittens from the Kurzeme region of Latvia (they men `s/women `s)
Latvian mittens from the Latgale region of Latvia (they men `s/women `s)
Latvian mittens from the Vidzeme region of Latvia

February Ladies Sweater, but it is April!

Well, I am nearly there. I am in the home stretch on my February Ladies Sweater. You saw the pictures I posted, it is in handspun that I got at the Chelsea Fiber Fair. Since there was just barely enough yarn (and I discovered an orphan yarn that I THOUGHT was the same stuff when I bought it) I knit the yoke and sleeves and am finishing the length to fit the yarn. Almost done. It was not actually started in February, so it is no great crime to finish in April. In fact, it was my pre-Lenten cast-on in keeping with the Black Sheep tradition of no new cast-ons during the 40 days before Easter. It has nothing to do with religion or the holiday, but is a way to see if we can limit ourselves or finish the UFO's during this time. So far, so good.

I finished my Sneaky Sheep Swap one skein item for a member of the guild. I have a sock mostly done from my trip to San Miguel de Allende and a second from a pair of socks from a previous project in the home stretch.

School is winding down (or up, depends on how you look at it) and conferences are the last big hurdle of the year. That and writing final report cards. But the end is near and I am ready for the summer break. We always go west to Colorado and opted for the Korean ceramic adventure last summer, so we are longing for our own mountains to hike. Plus, the cat, our adored Tomasina misses travel in the camper. But before we go, I have one last adventure of my own.
I will be traveling to Spain! The Smithsonian Adventure tours was offering an art and architecture tour that starts in Madrid and moves in a horseshoe to the border of France and ends in Barcelona. We will take a couple extra days there for our own little adventure and head home in time to pack the camper. Yippee! My next step in preparation is to check Ravelry for yarn stores in Spain. Wish me luck!