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

Posts tagged ‘Strand’

You say Apple. I say Eple.


Secret no more.  After sharing a glimpse of my Blue Lagoon Amandine cardigan earlier in the month, I took on another test-knit pair of fair-isle socks–Eple (blogged here) from Andrea Rangel.

The top-down, heel-flap pattern is Eple (Rav Link.)  This is a wonderful training wheel project for first-time stranded color knitting and duplicating stitch work.  Stranding is when I carry the colors along, the entire time, with frequent changes.  Some folks experience their stitches tightening up with their work–stranded knitting versus one color–this is a terrific knit to improve your stranded, color work skills.

No modification as designer wished.  But, wait…I am sneaky (rather clever, I feel.)  I did play with needle sizes to get the tailor-fit result I desire and knit 2 rounds (instead of 1) between first 4 toe-shaping decrease rounds.

  • Estonian cast-on with 1.75mm
  • Switch to 2.0 mm for 4 rounds past ribbing.
  • Switch to 2.25 mm for 14 stockinette rounds
  • Switch to 2.50 mm for fairisle work
  • Switch back to 2.25 mm for 50 stockinette rounds before heel flap.
  • Knit 38 rounds for foot length before toe shaping.

I love this yarn–it’s really squishy, it’s incredibly bright.  Even though it’s a fingering weight and small needles, it knit up rather quickly, two-at-a-time with two circular needles.

A couple of tips on stranded color knitting…Once you get it down, evaluate your system of switching.  Which hand you employed to hold your yarns in depends on which color is used more frequently.  Too often, we hold each color at different tensions and, over a sweater project, switching may lead to uneven results.  It’s better  to continue holding the same color in the same hand throughout.  If colors change through the pattern, then adopt the pattern color in the left hand and background in the right as most often that results in the pattern color being the dominant color, i.e., shows a tad more than the background color due to the relative positions of those colors during the stranding process.

It isn’t always necessary to wrap, weave, trap the carried color frequently.  But I do…a personal choice.  Weaving on a frequent basis results in a denser fabric which may be an advantage in some cases, disadvantage in others.  Doing shorter floats takes more time; over an entire sweater, it does make the going slower.  (Click on image below–link to my flickr page–for yarn and dimension details.)

Another reason to think about its use is that the trapped yarn often shows through–sometimes no problem at all when the colors are close in value, but, other times really shows up to the point of distraction.  The pattern (and yarns) are wonderful.   Buy the pattern just for the golden tips on producing stranding work smooth and beautiful.

My ability doesn’t do them justice.  What is your favorite fair-isle knits?  Here’s a boy knitting in the round, in rib, but flat (which I don’t do.)  Children knit their bit as part of the wartime effort.  That’s some advanced knitting for such a little one…and a boy to boot!   Inspired??  I sure am.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

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Best Laid Schemes of Mice and Men


…often go awry.  This was my grocery list today: Figs, prosciutto, wild salmon, mangoes, papaya, mints, raspberries, heirloom cherry tomatoes, avocado, baby bok choy, coconut water, lemons, limes…bacon.  Yep, that’s just for me.  Rest of the family are on their own.

Only things I ended up with from the list were Tomatoes, avocado, baby bok choy, Pineapple (not on my list) and raspberries.

Can you believe fig season is over?  That’s what I was told this afternoon?!  Anyone knows of a big fig tree in town needs picking?  Or, I’ll have to go to the valley and pick off someone’s front/backyard.  Late harvest there as it appears.

No matter how well I plan something, stuff” happens.  So, I remind myself to just relax and get over it.  It isn’t the end of the world.

It’s time to work on my design…to relax.  It keeps me happy…and that is the honest truth.  You know it.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Once Every Four Years


The world allows to play catch-up in order to keep our calendar in line with solar system and seasonal changes.

Since a child, I have always wondered why the mysterious earth needs an extra day, every fourth year.  Simple phenomena?  A year is approximately 365 days and six hours long.  Almost every four years, we need an extra day–this is also why only one century year out of every four is a leap year!  Just before 1600, corrections were made to keep things straight!  In order to know if any year is a leap year, divide the year in question by 4.  2012/4 = 503 exactly.  It came out a whole number (no remainder or fraction.)   The exception is when years ending in 00–century 1700, 1800, 1900 were not leap years and 2100, 2200, 2300 will not be.  For a century beginning year to be a leap year, it must be divisible by 400.  1600 and 2000 were Leap Years.  The next century leap year will be 2400.

Courtesey: 1amme.wordpress.com

Today is like the Olympics, it happens every four years.  And nobody notices until it’s over. This leap year may mean my kids will make leaps and bounds in positive direction.  Lofty dream, huh.

For the extra day, lets see how much I will get caught-up today. 😀

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

I ♥ This World


and want to experience every last inch of it.

to explore all the remaining nature while I can!

With limited resource, I am destined to explore via the internet…for now. It’s a wonderful experience. ♥ Have you ever wanted to travel the world? Where have you all been, my outdoor loving friends, that’s most memorable? Feel free to share your travel photos, videos, and stories.

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

Coming together


for the Music Enthusiast.

I have been nipping at my heels, creating, doing something about my work, logo, pattern template, graphic design…

That’s one of the great things about designing. I am making an effort to MAKE a picture

not just take one.

This picture is something completely different for me.

Sometimes a picture comes together just how I see it in my head. Other times, it’s all about trial and error. The key is to take ideas and run with them.  I am learning to not be afraid of sharing photographs that are different, out of my comfort zone. Keep on moving forward, upward…where I may reach other fabulous, creative minds.

Dueling piano is number two in the musical instrument series designed by my friend Anne Pickering of Owl & Otter Designs.  These socks are knitted toe-up, in round, two-at-a-time.   Keyboard was stranded, intarsia knitting in flat.  Lace-less option is provided if ribbon-lace isn’t appealing to you.   Both socks can be made yin-yang as Anne had done instead of an identical pair.

The original wasn’t quite a full octave.  It wasn’t difficult to add few more keys, however.  I like mine lengthened to calf long–but wish I’d have continued to a pair of stockings.  Yet, I am very pleased with the modified outcome.  The pattern was easy to memorize and creates beautiful texture.

My test sample was finished back in November.  Only today, did I finally get around to compose some modeled shots.  Pattern is now available at Craftser or Ravelry.  Next up will be a clarinet.  Can’t wait!!!!

What’s on your needles?  Or creative plate?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…)

Peeking In and Out of the Window


With family, social commitments, workouts…plus more making up my daily routes, it feels more difficult than ever to slow down and take the time to appreciate the simple pleasures in life.  Doesn’t it?

The clutter in the closet and the never-ending to-do list make even days that should be relaxing–such as today–be filled with guilt at all the things I am not accomplishing. I keep telling myself that things don’t have to be so hectic all the time.  I know.  It’s time to evaluate what’s really important and scale back so I don’t feel overwhelmed by the things in my life. I need to re-learn how to have more fun, be more organized, and pare my life down to the things I really care about. Any good tips?

At last, here is the finished 12″ by 30″ prototype I named Peeking In and Out of the Window, reflecting my current frame of mind. Fitting, don’t you think?

The piece was inspired by one of the quilts in City Quilts. Window of a skyscraper becomes a block, the supports become the sashing. The freedom to design is open to anyone who takes the time to understand the components, structure, and construction of a quilt…and converting to a knitted piece.

Now that I’m getting a sense of gauge and drape, I’m ready to up-size it to a lap throw.

What’s your latest inspiration?

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…but caved into Facebook!)

I Am Such a Wuss


50ºF has become totally sweatshirt-weather for me!

Any time it gets below 65ºF inside, I’m wearing long-sleeved tops, long pants, and felted slippers.

Are you ready for winter?

It’s amazing that there are only 32 days left until 2012.

Last day of November typically means the end of the seemingly darkest month of the year…plain dullness, depressing pre-holiday time.  Not so fast…today

Not the typical purgatory of months, relegated to nothingness but required into order to pass into next season with cold winter awaiting.

Day at the park will be a soon-to-be-distant past.

Soon…more twinkles of snowfall and sparkles in the sky. And I will soon get back into the swings of things, I hope.

I wish it were so easy to assess my knitting performance these days.

On the one hand, I have been swatching and sketching and even–gasp–submitting design ideas. On the other hand, I haven’t really been knitting. After a full day (and then some) trucking the kids around, attending to chores and errands, my brain is absolutely fried. I can’t think about what’s for dinner, let alone what to knit.  I’ve been a bad girl. In my defense, I’m still recovering from last week’s illness 😀

Happy crafting and keep those creative juices running!

(still doesn’t do texting, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, StumbleUpon, DiggIt…)