Saturday, January 24, 2015

CMS/Colloquium knitting

I started the lace edging of my Gradient Multnomah shawl this week.  It feels like it's going a lot slower now that the rows are so long.  I weighed my remaining yarn after the first feather and fan pattern row, and I had 48 grams left (of a skein that claimed to start at 75 grams).  When I was choosing the pattern for this yarn, I came across a pattern with a wide lace edging that said to start the border when you have 50% of your yarn remaining, so I'm guessing that my lace edging will be quite wide.  That's okay with me!  I'm really enjoying how the shawl is turning out and how great the shifting colors look.

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Cello Bow Sleeve

 I finally got around to making a sleeve for my cello bow.  One of the issues I have with my cello case is that when it is closed, the bow touches the front of my cello, leaving rosin residue on the instrument that I can't seem to get rid of.  It's really not good, so for a long time now I've been planning to make a sleeve to store my bow in and protect my cello.  A lot of violinists use a blanket or a bag around their violin, but for a large, vertical cello case, I think this is a more manageable solution.  I used a piece of fabric I got in a Hawthorne Threads scrap pack.  It was about 4.5" wide at its narrowest point, and is a large-scale print that I didn't think would benefit from being cut into smaller pieces for some hypothetical future project.

I cut a piece of fabric 4.75" by about 35", which was the longest piece the original scrap of fabric would allow at that width.  I made a wide (about 2.5") double hem at the selvedge end, and then did a narrow french seam around the raw edges.  I used a few internet french-seam-pillowcase tutorials for inspiration.  The sleeve fits the cello bow perfectly, with enough ease to get it in and out easily, but not so much that it gets in the way snapping it into the case's bow holder.  Here's an action shot:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Seminar knitting

I've been knitting along on my gradient Multnomah shawl.  This week my department had two job candidates visiting, so I knitted in both of their talks.  We've got another candidate tomorrow and our two regular seminars on Thursday afternoon, so by the end of this week I should have some good progress to show on the lace section - I'm one row away from starting the lace.  I took it to church yesterday and worked on it between services and I got a lot of compliments on it - including from some people who don't usually comment on my knitting.  (Although I did hear the story about the time one of the choir members sat on another choir member's knitting needles in the middle of a service.  I hear that story almost every week, from the same man.  It has a faintly misogynistic note about it: a cautionary tale about the danger that a woman can pose to men, paired with a reminder that I should be careful about where I leave my knitting needles.  I've given up trying to tell him that I've heard it before and I don't want to hear it again - when I did that a few times, it was like he was genuinely surprised that he'd told it before and he was very apologetic about it.  It was super awkward.)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Cross-stitch Roses

This is one of my loooooong term UFOs.  I started it in high school.  I was kind of on an embroidered pillowcase kick, because I was using a set of pillowcases that my mom had embroidered with her grandmother's help when she was in high school.  I decided to embroider some pillowcases and started two sets, including this printed cross-stitch rose set. The first case is finished except for some stem-stitching, but in the 10+ years it's been in storage, it's gotten some pretty bad brown stains.  I don't want to wash it before it's done for fear of washing off the pattern, so I'm just going to finish it and hope it washes clean.  This is probably my most depressing UFO.
I couldn't face all the stem-stitching, so I started the cross-stitching on the second pillowcase.  I like cross-stitching a lot more than stem-stitching, plus the brown discoloration isn't anywhere near as bad as it is on the first one.  Also, I'm going to run out of the green thread soon, so I might as well stretch that out until I get to the craft store again.

Saturday, January 10, 2015

Gradient Multnomah

I started a new knitting project last week with some of my Christmas yarn.  It's a Multnomah shawl in Freia Handpaints Ombre Lace.  I'm using size 6 needles and I'll probably make the shawl a lot larger than the pattern says.  The pattern calls for one 400-yd skein of sock yarn, but I want to use my whole  645-yd skein of laceweight, so I can get the full effect of the color changes.

It's knitting up pretty quickly so far, and the pattern is really easy to follow.  I came up with a clever stitch-marker scheme to keep track of whether I'm on the row with the yarn-overs or the row without them without writing down how many rows I've done.  I'm almost to the first color change in the yarn!

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Christmas Yarn

I got some lovely yarn and fiber for Christmas!  I was given a very generous gift card to a really awesome yarn shop in Robert's home town, and I bought the light brown organic sock yarn and the gradient dyed lace yarn, and I still have some money left on the card!  I found the little knitted gnome kit in my stocking.  The purple yarn is a lovely super super soft alpaca that is local to a family member, and the fiber is a sparkly alpaca blend local to another family member.  I'm so excited to knit and spin this lovely bounty!

First up is a Multnomah shawl with the gradient-dyed lace yarn.

Monday, January 5, 2015

First 2015 Finish!

 These Business Casual socks are my first finish of 2015: I finished them night before last.  I now have only four UFOs!  This is the smallest number of works-in-progress I've had in recent memory, and I'm stopping my finish-two-start-one rule.  I think five projects is a reasonable number for me to have, since I'm interested in knitting, spinning, quilting, garment sewing, and occasionally some embroidery and tatting.  My self-imposed guideline for 2015 is no more than five total projects and no more than two of any one craft discipline.  (At the moment, I have two embroidery and two quilting projects, so I'm going to make an effort to finish off at least one of the embroidery projects soon.)
I really enjoyed this pattern.  It was easy to follow and easy to see progress.  The yarn was in my stocking last Christmas (Thanks, Mom!) and it is really soft.  It also has fantastic stitch definition in this pattern!

Pattern: Business Casual (the smaller size, with an eye of partridge heel flap)
Yarn: Redfish DyeWorks Silk Sock (25% silk, 75% SW merino)
started: September, 2014
finished: January 3, 2015

Friday, January 2, 2015

Handmade Christmas

My dad and his wife collect paintings of the mountains that are the view from their kitchen window by local artists they've met.  The walls of their house are overflowing with gorgeous landscapes.  They are also really difficult to shop for.  If there's something one of them wants, they buy it, and they don't like to have too much stuff lying around.  So for my dad's Christmas gift this year, Robert made a maple candleholder with the mountains carved into the front.  My dad has always really liked light natural wood, and this past summer he had the kitchen re-done with maple cabinets.  Robert and I think it turned out beautifully, and we hope my dad enjoys it!  We gave my dad's wife this shawl, and it seemed like she likes it a lot.

My mom made these hot beverage cozies for Robert and me.  The coffee press cozy is made from her handspun yarn that she and I dyed with coffee last August.  The bottle cozy matches one of my favorite pair of socks (which my mom knitted for me when I was in college).
Last but not least, Huck got this awesome bandanna from my cousin, who has recently started a business making these and doggie bow ties.  He looks so dapper in it!  He also seems to like (or at least not notice) wearing it.  It's cleverly constructed to fit on the collar, so he doesn't have something else tied around his neck.  I've tried to make him wear stuff before, and he's never been willing to put up with it, so I'm impressed that he is so happy to wear this!