Saturday, December 30, 2006

My first attempt at Filet Crochet, inspired by the squirrels around the Kingston house.

It was worked in Size 10 Crochet Cotton with a 1.5mm hook. I wish the gauge were a little tighter but I may let the piece soak before blocking-it's 100% cotton so maybe it will shrink to a more opaque finish. Either way I'm really pleased. I used a chart originally published in The Antonie Ehrlich Crochet Book, c.1915. It has been made available here by Sandi Marshall. Next I'm going to tackle a bunny and an elephant from 1911-as you do.

Filet Crochet hasn't caught the eye of new crocheters quite yet and it doesn't have much of an online presence outside of Vintage Clothing sites. has a good article on the basics in addition to external links. Click here for some great instructions on increases and decreases in filet crochet. This site also has a great selection of vintage patterns.

I'd like to say hi to a couple of new and very important readers of the blog. Happy Hogmany Lindsay, and to the entire family. It's been so wonderful to hear from you. I owe everyone big, long letters. You can read about Lindsay McCrea's work and about his gallery here. Secondly, a very happy holiday to a dedicated reader somewhere in Halifax. Thanks for all the googlings and hits-wish i had more than a hopeful guess of who you are. Hope all will be revealed in the new year!

Soundtrack: "She Loves Him Still", Stevie Nicks

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Another thing about coming home for the holdays is that you get to be reunited with projects you left behind (and never got a chance to show off at kol)

This is Michelle Ciccariello's Aran Weight Lace Shell w/ Raglan Cap Sleeves (which can be found in Elann's Free Pattern Collection here.)

As you can see I've changed it quite a bit, removing several repeats (b/c I'm short). The biggest change however is that I made it into a jacket. There was a KAL started on craftster where many participants were trying to create a deeper v-neck, so it was a pretty common reaction. I also used short rows at the front centre edge to create a long point to echo the long v neckline. I was aiming for this kind of effect:

But I kinda fubared the buttons.

Soundtrack: "Santa Claus is Coming to Town", Chris Isaak & Stevie Nicks

Monday, December 18, 2006

Bwa ha ha ha...the triumphant return of my camera. One of the best things about Christmas in Kingston (being a hole notwithstanding- see previous post) is that our neighbourhood is full of birds and beasts. We celebrate First Foot with the animals in the backyard each year. This year we have a new generation of squirrels with white tips to their ears. They are very nice and all seem fat and fluffy. Most importantly they are not evil (I had altercations with some of their ancestors growing up). Ginny the cat is very entertained by their antics and has made a few new friends. Her other friends include sparrows, cardinals, pigeons, outdoor cats, starlings and a mummy skunk. Thankfully she has not met the racoons that pillage based on a keen sense of karma.

Also superb about being home is getting to use the Drama Room space at the high school where my Mum teaches. Now we have photos of the Fiddlesticks Raglan (hmm it needs a new name) on me. If my needles were longer you could see the front too (though I'm worried it's a bit of a mess in places. I will be closing and creating a lot of eyelets come blocking time.

I've been wondering through big bookstores (something I hardly ever do) looking at all the new needlecraft books thinking what would really come in handy-at least in terms of knitting-is a guide on turning a pattern for one thing into another. Elizabeth Zimmerman and Barbara Walker have explained how to make things from scratch-based on measurements and percentage systems-but nobody has really stripped down an existing pattern and explained how to change it from any given point. For example-gauge switching, changing from straight to circular in terms of stitch patterns and colour work, when you need to factor for salvage stitches, how to remove elements and features without distorting the flow of a garment or least all in one book. It would be a handy thing and I would buy it.

Soundtrack:"In Bed All Day", Tilly and the Wall

Friday, December 15, 2006

Fiddlesticks' "Garden Shawl" +Inca Gold "Baby Silk Cashmere"=

The beginnings of a lace Top Down Raglan. It knit up fairly quickly and I didn't have to re-work the shawl charts much to make them work as a sweater -until I hit the fern lace about 1/2 way down. Now I'm having to alter not only for purl rows (the shawl is worked circularly and I'm keeping my piece an open jacket) but also for alignment. I'm not complaining though-in fact I'm sort of delighted.
More photos to follow. Thank you to Jennifer (whose name rhymes so wonderfully with Eleanor Rigby that I can barely stand it) for letting me know that problems persist on the blog. She advises that it may depend on the browser you're using to visit my site, but as it looks perfect to me (or at least looks how i had intended) I'm not sure. Please leave a comment if you're having trouble too, or if you have any suggestions. I've been trying to post from different browsers, but as I'm home for the holidays I don't have access to many computers. ps Kingston is a hole now.

Soundtrack: "All in Good Time" Ron Sexsmith,

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

I've joined a couple of new blogging events;
Take a Stitch Tuesday and Illustration Friday. I do well with jobs that are assigned to specific days. Tuesdays and Thursdays are my nites for knitting in public. Thursday is also library day. Saturday is my morning for almost sleeping through the Farmer's Market but waking up in time for Morgan Waters (who sent me -and a lot of other people- a message about Sweet Thing playing at the Silver Dollar Room but I could not make it to town in time. Soon, momo, soon, for I am single as can be.) Friday is for rearanging the Manos Del Uruguay at The Loop, and Sunday is for taping the Coronation Omnbus, going to Meditation, watching the 3h of Corrie, doing laundry and yelling at the screen.

The Tuesday event doesn't get going until the new year but Illustration Friday has been around for some time. I'm still suffering from camera problems else I would have posted last week (though I didn't come up with much). This week's theme is 'Mask'. ooo I hope my camera situation is sorted by friday. Of course, when I think of masks I think of Masked Balls (because I like dressing up more than any other epic romance mysterious stranger cannoodling in the gazebo kissing of gloved hands kind of ball related fantasy reason *edit: yeah right.) I say bring the Masked Ball back. Not just horrid charity or black & white balls. Real ones with spies and scarlet pimpernels and harlequins and diadems with opera gloves. Or what about victorian-20s costume balls-where everyone has to present a vignette. Or what about Natalie Clifford Barney's where Collette would ride in bare back and naked and Mata Hari would dance? Or The L.A. Come as Your Madness party-does anyone have the movie that was made of that? Anais Nin as a caged bird with Rupert Pole? Whatever happened to happenings?
Of course going to an event like a Masked Ball would involve leaving the house....

To read about Take a Stitch Tuesday visit Sharon's In a Minute Ago Blog.
Information about Illustration Friday can be found here.

ps. blogger just added a 'new' entry from november!?!?! it's down there at the bottom now....

Soundtrack"Just Like The Movies", Regina Spektor

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

For christmas I want adobe illustrator for my wee mac. I used the 30 day trial version to make all this great pomoboho stuff and now that i need it (and the 30 days are waaaay up) I’ve discovered that they all have little typos. Any thoughts on the cheapest way to get this program (not bit torrent-the final installation files all go bananas when you try and open them-i’ve heard)

Back in the summer I cast on a lace weight fichu for Granny in Crystal Palace Kid Merino. It’s meant to look like seafoam, a nod to a seafoam shawl (incidently shaped more like a proper fichu than this) that she crocheted and that I used to borrow when I was small. It was dk weight, white, and all scallops and fans. I have it put away somewhere safe where I can’t find it.

I’m trying to finish this one before Christmas. It is my only Holiday Knitting Project. The problem is that I’m sick to death of the stitch-”Shower Stitch”. After a while of working it, the seafoamy waves began to look like spiders to me. Now they look like the little guys from Gorf (which i still miss playing on my Vic 20 computer.)

I think I will switch to a strawberry or fawn’s eyes pattern-something eyelety. Maybe to save yardage I will work a giganto border on each end in a white merino/mohair (if I can’t find more light blue merino). I had thought of switching to something without any loft -like misti baby alpaca, but i think that might be a bit too sophisticated.

I wanted to say more but i’m dealing with a hit or miss wireless connection here. Sorry to blogs i don’t get a chance to read. In the mean time enjoy:

Sunday, December 03, 2006

My very own colourways! The ‘Blued Scarlet’ on the right was dyed with Shibori and Resist techniques, and the Multi on the left was Handpainted. I used Weak Acid Dyes for both. They were both “Natural” Misti lace weight baby alpaca to start with. I’m very pleased with both of them.
I have nooooooooooooooo idea what to do with them.
Varigated lace shawls are really not my cup of tea. Or gin. No cups.
Ok i just had a wacky idea; what about knitting a variety of lace edgings, to layer inside a skirt (like I usually do wiith dollar store lace ribbon to make my own petticoats.).
I think that might be perfect.
Either that or it’s the gin typing...
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