A little bit of this and, a little bit of that, makes a little bit of me.

Archive for the ‘wool’ Category

Stay in Charge


Learn to say no to the unimportant and remove the chaos from my life. This helps me focus my energies on forward motion.

Today, I choose to stay in charge of me, not let the outside world control me. (Guess it’s why I don’t care much about watching TV, especially reality TV shows.)

As I continue to plan out fall projects, I realize I haven’t shared freebies for quite a long time.  So. here are a few.  Melanie Gibbons aka PinkLemon just released Mermaid’s Escape rectangular shawl pattern.  It’s FREE through August 15, 11:59 PM CDT!  No promo code needed!  You do need to click “Use a coupon code” at Buy It Now.  Total will be adjusted to FREE.

Crescent Hearts is one of the newly published knitted shawl pattern for the week and it’s FREE.  Thank you, Reah.

Crochet anyone?  Baroness – 12″ Square patternpart of a Royal Family design collection–is FREE ’til August 16th.  Coupon code at check-out is: baroness (pattern rated “easy.”)  Don’t you just love the textured center created by interlocking chains, surrounded by V-stitches?  I am going for a timeless, classic afghan using silver and grey or beige/ivory combination.  How about you?

I know I’ve said I wouldn’t knit another boxy sweater. This is just so dang cute and inviting with added color splashes. Did you see the pockets? Avignon pattern is a free download. No coupon needed.

I share free patterns on my Facebook page regularly.  Like the page (HandstitchStudio) if you don’t want to miss the limited-time offers.  Pictured WIP is a hooded lace cardigan on needles. Sadly I am running out of the specific yarn and am contemplating what to do next–black current for the hood, perhaps.  What do you think?  Yay or nay?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

In the Nick of Time


I joined a Knit-Along two weeks ago and finished earlier this week my interpretation of Surry Hills, beautifully designed and gifted by Maria Magnusson (Olsson).

I truly enjoyed the modifying progress, experiment in MadelineTosh new Dandelion line using Needle Sizes 2/3/4, and the knit-along experience–seeing my non-cropped Free Spirited Centaurea Montana (click here for keys notes) vision to a pleasing fruition.

Like it?  It’s not too late to grab your complimentary pattern and join the Knit-Along here.  You don’t have to make it too hard. Enjoy today for the simple fact that YOU GET A TODAY.

Source: Maria Magnusson (Olsson)

Need another creative boost? Thanks, Kay Hopkins, for a fun/textured completely seamless top-down, in the round, with raglan sleeves and ribbing at cuffs, neck and hem.  Free offer of ROADS END (click here for free download) expires on June 20, 5 p.m. Pacific Time.  I’m milking over several of my favorite color combinations (or even in a monochromatic or neutral scheme.)  Of course, mine will be adjusted–modifying numbers for lighter-weight yarn and gauge differential. I just love knitting for myself, once more.  Don’t you?

Source: Kay Hopkins

Now for the geek/math knitters, how about a pair of brainy slippers?  Awesome but eerie, right?! Does it make your stomach turn? Perfect complement to the viral brainy hat we’ve all seen for a few years.  Get the complimentary pattern here.  Nothing to it. It just takes a VERY long I-cord. I am doing mine in smaller ~2-3 feet portions and then sewe the pieces on as I go.

Source: Heidi Arjes of Craftimism

Last pattern of the day is this adorable Fuss Free Baby Cardigan (click here for free download) by Louise Tilbrook.  Great use of odds and ends.  Perfect addition to my charty-knit stash.  What a sweet sweater design and beautiful gesture.  Thank you for the “gift,” Louise.

Source: Louise Tilbrook

My Ocracoke lace has been making its way around town today–having fiber fun–in celebration of Knit in Public Week.  Did you do something fun in public today?

Source:  https://www.handstitch.wordpress.com    Life.  Nature.  Inspiration.  Motivation.  Creativity. Craft.  Fiber.  Knit.  Handmade. Family.  Photography.  Fashion.

If you are unfamiliar with WWKIPD, read all about it here.

It’s a glorious day here in the high desert.

 

I’m thankful for another “today” and being alive.  If that’s not something to smile about, then I don’t know what is.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Falling in Love


in love–with lace and knitting all over again. My needles have been busy…with more lace cardigans. Details are coming up soon.

I’ve been a bit spotty in my musing here for months, busy living life, hanging out on Facebook, fundraising for music programs and national archery competition, and cranking out quilts in between.

Have you been celebrating Knit in Public Week? Here at Handstitch Studio, “knit” means “do something fun with fiber” and what’s important is the IN PUBLIC part.

If you are unfamiliar with WWKIPD, read all about it here. Are you in need of some inspiration? How about a free E-MAG from Cooperative Press aka Shannon Okey? Get issue one of Knit Edge for free here. Freebie is set to expire on July 8. A ton more of free patterns is coming up next. Stay tuned.

Be fearless and creative. Perfection does not exist.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Keep My Mind Active


Studies confirm what knitters and crocheters already know

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WVEbBh4KvTk

–knitting and crocheting are good for my health and mental well-being.

One of class samples for my crochet class started earlier in the week

I like that it keeps my mind active as I try to figure out complicated patterns or stitch motifs.

It’s also incredibly calming.

Another sample for a crochet class

How does knitting, crocheting, or your craft help you?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

To Be Better


My goal is not to be better than anyone else, but, to be better than I used to be.  Here I’m referring to my fiber passion.  But, how?  I like to be specific about the things I could do to improve myself.  I need a refresher and adjust my attitude.

Last week, my prayer was answered.   A friend from Team Jazz Hands recruited me to join Nerd Wars (not the TV show or movie) on Ravelry.  Every project that I do, I try to tie it in to a Broadway or movie musical.  It’s been great fun so far planning projects to fulfill nerdy challenges.

For my first dissertation in my first Nerd Wars, I have chosen crochet freeform as my New Frontier challenge with concentration on Irish Crochet (lace) study.

When Kate Middleton walked down the aisle at her wedding to Britain’s Prince William, the lace that adorned her gown was immediately copied in fashion centers around the world.

For centuries lace has been a fashion favorite, where in the late 19th century it decorated the wardrobes and homes of only the wealthiest members of society.  1930s fashion was an era of feminine and romantic style as influenced by America’s captivation with silver screen stars who wore sensual silks, luxurious lace and backless gowns.

1950s style marks an era of feminine glamour… ’50s clothing inspired women to embrace their figures with hourglass silhouettes and hip-hugging cuts a la the pencil skirt and wiggle dress…and not without the elegant embellishment of lace.

Another sample for a crochet class

I’ve had the passion for making lace since I was in my teen. Next three months of studying a new form of crocheting is thrilling to me.  I love accessing the creative side of my brain.

The constraints of the tournament will motivate me to move this study along in a good pace.  As each motif is small and portable, I can consistently crochet at least one or two a day. This project will take 3 months as it involves a lot of trials and errors, ripping, and re-doing. Mid-way would be having individual scrumbles all done up and have their placements against my tunic template. I will concentrate on picking a mesh design (or a few) to use for making up the background and joining the scrumbles, then, writing up an essay to support my thesis and what I’ve learned specifically and without wandering.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Paisley (light fingering Wool/Nylon, Red/Pink): 1.5” x 3.5”
Ridged Leaf (light fingering Wool/Nylon Yellow/Orange): 3” x 3.5”
and Curly-edge Leaf (Bulky Alpaca Wool, Maroon): 2.5” x 7.5”
Hook 4mm (G)]
Small Leaf (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2” x 4”

Project Summary:  Freeform/Irish Crochet study. The latter is totally foreign to me. Through the process, I like to make a freeform tunic with the help of my freeform knitting knowledge/skill already in my tool box.  I don’t quite get the presentable way to crochet/join the pieces together in a garment yet.  Instead, I did a knitted mock-up for a visual guide while I progress in the study.  People sketch with pencil and paper.  Me?  With yarn and needles.

Pattern:  Freeform crochet, by some definitions, is a combination of stitches and colors, worked in a multi-directional way. Style of freeform typically doesn’t follow a pattern. It involves a combination of small pieces of knitting and crochet into patches (scrumbles,) that later be joined together to make a larger piece of unique and extremely tactile fabric. It means not only that I don’t follow a pattern, I don’t necessarily follow the standard “rules” of crochet. I add stitches anywhere I see fit. I start blocks of fabric and then end ‘em and start anew. It is a form of painting with yarn and a hook instead of canvas and a brush. The yarns, hooks, stitch type and direction are constantly changing. It gives the scrumble its appealing variety. Sometimes a new yarn is joined in and the work carries on; other times, it’s necessary to break off the yarn and begin again with new yarn in another place on the scrumble. These are decisions made as I go along.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Irish Leaf with center ridge (light fingering Wool/Nylon Red/Yellow): 1.5” x 3”
Hook 4mm (G)
Starflower (Aran Acrylic Ref/Purple): 2” x 2” and
1/2 flower (Aran Acrylic Red/Purple): 2.5” x 4”

Yarn:  Red hues in Merino, Bamboo, Linen, Silk, Blend, Acrylic, Alpaca, BFL, cotton thread, cobweb singles, lace, light fingering, DK, Worsted, Aran, Bulky, Super Bulky…use everything I have in my stash including handspun.

Swatch:  Gauge doesn’t really matter for this project, but, I got a general gauge that I liked on 1.25mm, 2.75mm, and 4.00 mm.

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Red Rose (Sport weight/Acrylic): 1.75” diameter

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Spiderweb Square (light fingering Wool/Nylon ): 4.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Fan/Shell (Silk Haze lace weight): 2” x 4”
Circle (Silk Haze lace weight): 1.5”

Hook 2.75mm (C)
Celtic Leaf (Sport weight/Acrylic Red): 4.5” (tip to tip between two leaves)

Hook 4mm (G)
Large Leaf (Aran Acrylic, Red/Purple): 5” x 10”

Hook 1.25mm
Padded ring (Cotton thread, Red) 1/2” diameter and
Ruffled Flower/ring (Cotton thread, Red) 3/4” diameter

Team tie-in:  The red colorways of the scrumbles in my tunic can be linked to the playful swing dress Tracy Turnblad had on in You can’t Stop the Beat, in Hairspray.  Mine will also ‘keep spinnin ‘round and round’ as in the line You Can’t Stop the Beat.  ‘The motion of the ocean. Or the rain from above. You can try to stop the paradise…,’ but, you can’t stop my making of this New Frontier.

Writing up the mini-thesis proposal took me back to college days where I sweated for days as I went into its writing totally clueless…then the wait for grade was even harder; it made me nervous.

I did it.  It took me two days of researching and preparation.  I submitted the proposal last night and received approval to proceed with the study earlier today.  I’m thankful for the supportive teammates who encouraged and walked me through all the steps.  Let the game begins.

Are you on Nerd Wars?  If not, what are you doing to challenge yourself to be better than you were?

Hook 4mm (G)
Bullion Stitch Scroll (Worsted Merino, Hot Pink): 2.5” x 5”

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Welcoming Happiness in the Home


The kolam, or rangoli is a traditional mandala, a geometric pattern, that women design in front of their houses during festivities.

Isn’t she awesome…just as women are?! What a voice she has found.

In Tamil Nadu, culture is a strong form of expression by the women, who express their feelings in this secret way.

During Diwali, the festival of lights, all Indian women make rangoli in front of their houses. If they live in small flats/apartments, then a small one in front of the main entrance door.

The white powder is made by crushing glass at factories, usually from cups and saucers collected from scrap. This plain rangoli powder is also mixed with different colors and used in the patterns.

Rangoli making competitions are held during different festivals.

It can be a square foot for homes to several square meters for Rangoli competitions.

Rang means Colors and Oli means lines/pattens.  Making a rangoli in front of the door represents welcoming happiness in the home.  It’s a everyday affair for women in Tamil Nadu.

What brings you happiness?

Preparing for Nerd Wars’ T10 Dissertation/New Frontier thesis proposal

More crochet class samples plus felting and embroidered embellishments

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

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ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

A Single Moment


In the end, I only regret the chances I didn’t take,

One of class samples for my crochet class started earlier in the week

the relationships I was afraid to have

and the decisions I waited too long to make.

Another sample for a crochet class

Don’t waste a single moment.

Class sample felted and awaiting needle embellishment

There’s something about participating. It’s almost my religion. If the world is still here in 100 years, people will know the importance of participating, not just being spectators.~~Pete Seeger.   RiP.

In honor of the Ravellenic games, Katy Swift is offering her patternscuff-down socks and shawl designs–for free through February 23, 2014.  At check-out, use coupon code playfulrav.

Another sample for a crochet class

When you make any of these patterns, I would love to see the finished pictures…please.

More crochet class samples plus felting and embroidered embellishments

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

ღ¸.•*””*•.¸¸ “
ღ(✿◠‿◠)˙•٠•●ღ
ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Let Go and Start Fresh


If I want to live my life in a creative way, as an artist, I have to not look back…too much.  I have to be willing to take whatever I’ve done and whoever I was and toss ‘em away.

A leaf neck gaiter for my mother-in-law for Christmas

A leaf neck gaiter for my mother-in-law for Christmas

Mental prejudices, faulty education–these things will only lead to a blank pain of incomprehension.  It is time to begin transformation–though it may take centuries before I can truly see any difference.

The jump is so frightening between where I am and where I want to be.  Because of all, I may become…I will close my eyes and leap.

My identity must always be determined by irredeemable pasts and irrepressible futures.  Life is hard. I aim for a 19th century patience and prepare to display a 22nd century innovative-ness. Most of all, I must try.

Today’s Free knitting pattern (to Ravelry members) is An Awful Lot of Running To Do cuff-down sock.   Use coupon code at check-out RAINBOWSRULE, good ’til the Winter Olympics next month.   Thanks, Leslie, for the nice gift.

Foxy key cozy for the crocheters, complimentary of Susanne Madsen.  Download your copy here.

When you make any of these patterns, I would love to see the finished pictures…please.

Neck gaiter for father-in-law for Christmas

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

The Greatest Gift I can Give Someone


is my time.  ‘cuz when I give my time, I am giving a portion of my life that I will never get back.

When my cyber-sis expressed how much she would love her beautiful designs knit up by me, without hesitation, I cast on Pretty Little Things, two-at-a-time, this afternoon to work on during guild meeting this evening.

Due to chaotic schedule this week taking older teen to District High School Honor Band rehearsals, I chose light worsted yarn, in Size 1 needles instead of fingering yarn and Size 2 needles.

The teeny tiny goof on the fair-isle motif is miniscule so I forged ahead with a possibility that I may go over the center stitch with the main-color yarn.  No gut.  No glory.

The folded, picot hem adds a little bit of oomph to the socks to make the ordinary extraordinary.

Mine isn’t as pretty as the designer’s.  But, I know I will never want to get out of bed again with this pair of comfy, toasty warm socks.  Pretty Little Thing (designer’s sample below) is a great design and super easy to knit up.  Purchase your copy herea nice treat for your feet.

Today’s free pattern (to Ravelry members) is Adult Knights Helmet.  It’s so dang cute. Thanks, Brie Crochet.  I’m looking forward to hooking this adorable helmet up during Ravellenic games.  How about you?

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)

Want to be Happier?


Try making my life a tad harder, preparing for Ravellenic games.  It’s epic.  I am on two teams, already!  Heehee.

Have you read Little House on the Prairie books?   Just imagine…scrubbing my menstrual flannels in a bucket, stewing up endless turnips, and chasing off the locusts.  Oh boy…my volumizing hair would surely have been greasy…petticoats grubby and encumbering…cuticles raggedier than my kids’ rag dolls.  Yet, the Ingall-Wilders were connected to their own lives.  Their every happiness and very existence were created from the work of their own hands.  Pa fiddled by the firelight while the girls knit themselves stockings with Ma sewing pantaloons.  Don’t forget…kids skipped school ‘cuz it’s time to boil maple syrup, harvest rutabagas, or cut ice from the lake.  I am full of envy.

My longing is no mere fantasy.  I’m actually happiest when accomplishing tangibly productive work–cleaning dishes and putting ‘em away in proper places and stacking order, shoveling snow, replacing a shirt button for the boy’s jeans, cooking up feast, picking up hair from dogs and girls–rather than crossing virtual tasks off my on-screen to-do list.  I love seeking out activities that cultivate mindfulness.  The sense of oneness with my activity whether it is crocheting an afghan square, knit a sweater, or we felt.

The repetitive work helps me in two ways.  Counting chains/stitches and shingling fiber, a cognitive distracter,  distract me from stress while I’m doing the craft.   I get a great sense of accomplishment when there is a clear connection between my physical efforts and results.  My reward chemicals increases while the anxiety/stress toxins–heart rate, blood pressure, perspiration and all–drops.   This is a pretty nice cocktail, wouldn’t you say?!

Leisure turns out to be complicated and important.  But, any type of repetitive motor activity can calm the brain.  What do you do to ease the anxiety?  Will you be participating in any of the Ravellenic games?  Here is a pair of newly published Carved Heart Socks, perfect for Valentine’s Day gift, I plan to cast on for the kick-off ceremony and knit during the games.  Coupon code at check-out is Heart for your free pattern, good ’til January 8.

Kate Heppell of Shetland Story have made Love in Cold Climate FREE for the run-up to and duration of the Olympics as her little way of helping to raise awareness of the plight of the LGBT community in Russia, subject to terrifying levels of persecution, discrimination and abuse. You may read a little about this here.

Other candidates for the games are:

    • To Zola With Love, a prayer shawl worked up/designed by Kay Meador for a special someone in her life.  Free to Ravelry member. No coupon needed.

How’s that for starter?  I will show you my Ravellenic queues of JenJoycedesign by my dear friend next.  For now, Pin-striped Fingerless mitts is a free download to Ravelery member.  Grab a copy.  Sharpen your needles.  Dig in your stash.  Cast-on away.  Now, I must get to my daily walk.  Come back soon for more Ravellenic enabling.

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ƸӜƷ•.¸¸.• ƸӜƷ

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook, a smartphone, and a little bit of texting!)