Friday, March 24, 2017

Beautiful Things


Have you ever walked through a large museum and found yourself so overwhelmed with masterpieces that your mind just becomes inured with seeing beauty?

Sensory Overload

I remember thinking a number of times as I went through the Louvre in Paris, "Oh look...another fucking masterpiece."

I learned that for me, it was easier to go to museums that were more manageable or focused.  I found two other museums on that same Paris trip were much more enjoyable (Musée d'Orsay and Musée Picasso).  I also found that the Frick in New York City was a much more enjoyable experience than MOMA.

All that being said, I'm hopeful my two latest acquisitions of beauty in one photo aren't overwhelming.


Dan from Gnomespun had some beautifully combed Dorset in a rich, rusty-ish red color that I loved and he also had a shocking green hank of sock yarn.  Here are closeups of each so you don't get too overwhelmed.


I can't wait to spin up the Dorset and I am also really looking forward to making something stunning with the sock yarn.

Current Crochet

I finished up a second scarf using the Crochet Broomstick Ripple stitch.



This one is done in a vibrant Christmas red (with sparkles...in fact it's Koigu's Sparkle yarn).  It will make a nice Christmas-y scarf...almost looks like a poinsettia, no??



After I block this scarf, it will be soft and beautifully drapey.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Learning Success!

As promised, since I was able to learn how to do the Crochet Broomstick Ripple Lace stitch based on a tip from a blog reader, I created an English language tutorial for the stitch and put it on YouTube.



Continued Fascination

I have honestly never gotten over the fascination of being able to create fabric with needles and yarn.  To this day, I continue to be enthralled by how I'm able to not only create fabric, but also create fabrics of different density, drape and laciness.

I don't think I'll ever not think that is an amazing thing.

The latest stitch, demonstrated in the tutorial was one of those stitches that I could almost have figured out if I put enough time and energy into it.  Fortunately, watching the Turkish (?) video gave me all I needed and also gave me some great tips on how to work broomstick lace in general.

I mention it in the video, but if anyone has any questions on the stitch pattern, try and put the question in YouTube comments, so that all questions and answers can be kept in one place.


Current Knitting/Crochet

I finished the first Broomstick Ripple Lace Scarf using the newfound technique.





I'm thinking I'll block this scarf a bit bigger, but I'm not sure how the percentage of nylon in the yarn will react to any blocking, so I'll start off very gently.

I also finally finished the bottom border of the Logo Blanket.


Finn insisted on helping with this photo shoot...he's so helpful for showing perspective/size of the blanket.

I plan on picking up the stitches for the top border soon, because if I don't do it soon, it will never get done.  I know my failings as a person and how to get around them.



Thursday, March 16, 2017

I Love Noro






Mostly, I love Noro because nobody does color like they do...rich, vibrant, deep, saturated, luxurious color.

Designing With Noro

I was reviewing the latest Noro design book - Knit Noro Accessories 2


I was realizing how difficult it can be to successfully work with vibrant, multi-colored yarns.  From the cover photo, which I found drab and uniteresting and then as I started paging through the projects in this new book, I was thinking that most of the designers had no idea what they were doing.  I was starting to think, there would only be a few hat designs worth making in the entire book.

But I continued to look and it's clear that Noro put all the good designs toward the end of the book!

Jacqueline van Dillen's Brickstich Scarf in Silk Garden creates a sumptuous scarf in beautiful colors:


Lisa Craig has a rich red and pink cowl also done in Silk Garden that I think is fantastic:


I was thrilled to see that Charles Voth had a gloriously interesting and beautiful scarf, called Tuck Stitch Scarf (I will definitely be making this) - also done in Silk Garden:


Two other great designs are an Art Deco Wrap by Cheryl Murray and a great Peruvian Chullo hat by Matthew Shrank.


Definitely a book I'm glad to have in my library!

Current Knitting

I'm actively working on two projects at the moment...trying to finish the Easton Logo blanket and also trying to test out a design using the Pinterest lace stitch I mentioned in the last blog entry.


Who would have believed adding 15" borders to a blanket would have taken so long?  I decided I wanted the finished blanket to be 70" x 90", so that it would be the suggested size for a single/twin bed.


And despite seemingly endless knitting, I'm not even finished with the first long border.

For the Broomstick Lace Ripple stitch, Bill Miner gave me the clue I needed to get me started when he wrote in comments:

Joe, just read your last post. I did a google search of Eyla Orgu Sedef and found a U-tube video showing this crochet stitch. Unfortunately, its in what I think is Turkish which I don't understand. The video is very clear and with your talents you may be able to figure it out.
 The following video shows in a  clear enough way how to do this stitch...



so I'm trying it on a larger scale with 340 stitches.


We'll see how it works out!

Wednesday, March 08, 2017

Please Like Me


This isn't a request...it's the name of an Australian television show called "Please Like Me", written by the person in the video above (he's also plays the main character.

Gay and Sexy and Funny

Everything you'd want in a television show as far as I'm concerned.

This is one of those shows that are excellent at carving out my sense of what is funny and clever and appealing...a perfect way of delineating whether others have the same taste as I do.

If you haven't seen this show (I think they have 3 seasons out), and you think you and I would have similar tastes, I would highly recommend this as the perfect binge-watching.

With the upcoming snow, I may go back and re-watch all of the episodes.

Current Crochet/Knitting

I've been trying to replicate an interesting looking stitch I found on Russian Pinterest.


The only clue I've found on how to do it, is a blurry little video in a some foreign language:

https://www.facebook.com/EylaOrguBySedef/videos/481263528674909/

Anyone care to help translate this?  If I figure it out, I'll be sure to create an English language video tutorial for it.

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

Patience


Anyone that knows me, knows that I'm not a very patient person.  I get an idea in my head and I need to act on it immediately, even if that means having a less positive outcome.

Intolerance for Lack of Immediacy

Honestly, I just have little tolerance for waiting for things to unfold naturally.  In some ways, this isn't the best way to handle life...instead of waiting for a wound to heal naturally, picking and prodding it just seems so much more satisfying.

In other ways, immediacy forces results much more quickly.

Thaddeus is great when it comes to patiently waiting some things out.  He'll wait until our vitamins go on sale before ordering them...even when my mind is screaming..."What if we run out?!?!"  He'll calmly watch for the perfect planting vessel for his cannis to show up at the local flea market even as Spring approaches way too quickly for my tastes.

I, on the other hand, can't seem to wait it out.  I wanted display heads for my craft show and paid top dollar for them instead of trying to find something that would work for me.  I ended up buying these heads...


...and then these two beauties showed up at the flea market for less than half the price.


They show off my knitted items very well.

 
I even found a spot to store them that makes them easily accessible in case I want to use them for staging photos for the blog.


So, being impatient ended up having me own four mannequin heads for display even though I may have paid more than I would have otherwise.

Current Knitting

I've been focusing solely on finishing the knitting of the Easton Mountain logo blanket.


I've completed all six panels, joined them together, finished the side borders and now I'm working on the bottom border.  I also wove in most ends, but I still need to find an appropriate fabric to use as a backing for the blanket.  I'm thinking about getting some flannel fabric to back this with.

Anyone have any reasons not to use a flannel or fleece backing?

Friday, March 03, 2017

Duplicitous


Is there no end to what skills can be learned in the hobby of knitting?

Duplicate Stitch

In thirty years of knitting, you'd have thought that I have done everything there is to do in knitting, but as I was working on my current intarsia project (which needed to be fixed) I realized I had never actually done duplicate stitch before.

In the latest photo of the Easton Mountain logo blanket, you'll note that the slopes of the purple mountains don't line up in the two panels.






I have ripped out almost as much as I have actually knit on this project and I decided I would try fixing this gaffe with duplicate stitch. 


After a short period of stitching, I had successfully fixed the top section of the mountaintop.


Now I just have to fix the bottom half.

Trying out a new skill in knitting never seems to get less exciting for me.  If you'd like to try out some adventurous knitting skills using a Lucy Neatby Craftsy course, I'd highly recommend her Fearless Knitting course (which happens to demonstrate duplicate knitting very well).

Current Knitting

The duplicate stitching was prompted by the fact that I had finished the sixth panel for the logo.


Now I just have to graft it onto the rest of the blanket, knit a border and then line the blanket.  I'm grateful I have until May.