Friday, May 10, 2013

Heart Health

I recently attended a benefit for the American Red Cross' Go Red For Women initiative that raises awareness for women's heart health.  If you haven't already seen Elizabeth Banks' video on heart attack symptons, please watch it.

On a lighter note, I won a silent auction lot at the benefit which included a basket of yarn, a knitting and sewing pattern kit, a cashmere wrap along with Laura Zander's Knit Red and Sew Red pattern books.

Those of you who know me know that this is a little too red for my taste, but it was for a good cause and I'm sure I'll figure out a way to downplay all that ghastly red. :)

As for new projects, I'm currently working on some cotton and linen kitchen towels.  I used the warping reel for the first time and I think I'm a convert.  It's much faster than a warping board and I didn't get as dizzy as I thought I would.

By the way, that yarn in the warp is not red, it's dark pink.

I'm now in the process of sleying the reed on the Gilmore loom (yes, it came home!) and trying to be zen about this tedious task.  Back to the loom...

Monday, April 15, 2013

Spring Cowl

I love cowls/loop scarves for their look and also functionality.  I can wear them long as an accessory, wrap them twice for extra warmth around the neck, and they don't get lost and left behind like traditional straight scarves.

When I saw the Striped Cotton Cowl on the Purlbee site, I knew I had to knit one for springtime.  The Purlbee cowl is knit with Blue Sky Cotton held with different colors of Sashiko thread.  My version of the cowl is also knit with Blue Sky Cotton in the Drift color, but held with Habu Fine Tweedy Silk, a dark brown and a natural.

The color effect, especially the striping, is more subtle than I anticipated, but I still love the way the cowl turned out.  The colors are so neutral, I can wear the cowl with almost anything.

Since the cowl is knit in cotton and silk, it's just right for spring or in my case, possibly year-round since I'm in an area with a temperate climate.

This cowl is a fun and really quick knit on size 10 needles!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Getting over the fear

I'm afraid of my sewing machine.  There, I said it.

I rarely use it so whenever I need to, I have to get reacquainted with it.  The machine can do a lot of fancy things.  I even took a class to learn how to use it.  But I don't remember much.  One of my goals is to get over this fear and make this machine my friend.

Today I took step one and sewed up some kitchen towels and dishcloths with my handmade cloth.

The towels aren't sewn perfectly, the weaving isn't perfect either, but I'm happy with the way they turned out.  One step at a time.  I'll keep working on it.

I'm excited about weaving more cotton/linen cloth to make more of these.

The silk wrap is also woven and completed.  I don't know what's come over me.  This is definitely a record for me, completing multiple projects.

I must be avoiding having to do something else.  It is tax season after all. :)

Friday, February 8, 2013

Traveling Sweater

My knitting mojo had been misplaced for quite some time, but it's definitely back with a vengeance.

I finished the Traveling Sweater that had been languishing on the needles.  There was so much ribbing and then I temporarily lost the completed body of the sweater during a move.

Once I finished knitting all the pieces, I also had some trouble trying to figure out how to piece the whole thing together.  I knew that many others had done this before me, so I wouldn't let it defeat me.

All is well now and I've just about gotten over all the pain and suffering from stitching it all together.  I'm so excited I'll have something new to wear to Stitches.  And it fits!

My current knitting obsession is a Courthouse Steps blanket.  I cast on this blanket years ago, but it's been so long that it's interesting again. 

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Road Trip

The girls and I took a little road trip to TNNA , a needle arts trade show, to help Irish Girlie Knits (IGK) with her first ever booth to showcase her beautiful knitting patterns. 

Except for the food poisoning incident (not to worry, everyone involved has recovered), it was a great time and IGK had a successful first show.

Since it was a needle arts trade show, I was like a kid in a candy store.  So many beautiful yarns, patterns and fun new ideas.  It was a good thing it was a show and not a market or else my pocketbook would have taken a serious hit.

The highlights for me were some great new tools.  I discovered that Addi makes a knitting machine called the Addi Express, very similar to a toy knitting machine I had when I was growing up.  I loved this toy knitting machine and made all my Barbie doll clothes with it.  Barbie had knit tube tops, tube dresses, and just about any other garment that can be made with a tube.  With the grown-up version I can imagine whipping up some human-size scarves in no time. 

Another favorite was the Addi Quick, an electric needle felting tool.  Cheeky Attitude was especially smitten with this tool.  In the photo above she's demonstrating how to make a felted flower.

Last, but not least, was Schacht's new Zoom Loom, a portable 4x4 loom which can be used for weaving samples or other fun projects I'll have to blog about another time.

By the way, there were a few things for sale... Yes, the Zoom Loom came home with me.