Friday, November 29, 2013

Wovember Wool Fair Isle Hat Entry

Ending November 30, all contest entries must be sent in to Wovember.  Details are here.  I just made the contest deadline in time!

To recap about the contest:
This year – as with last year – Wovember will be focused on closing the gap between producers and consumers of yarn. The month of November will feature a sequence of woolly contents on the Wovember site, divided into 5 sections:

*growing wool
*harvesting wool
*processing wool
*working with wool
*wearing wool
A range of specific people were invited to contribute guests posts for each section, but in addition to this, ALL were warmly invited to help shape the celebration!

Jamieson & Smith Wool Brokers are giving this prize: adequate quantities of yarn to make Felicity Ford's pattern Blayter, as well as the pattern.  Blacker Yarns is doing the same, and Foula Wool is also supplying a woolly goodness prize.

So although it took me all month, I did finish the Shetland Heritage Hat today with their 100% wool, 2 ply yarns, in various colors, from Jamieson & Smith's.

 
All details are here.
 
 
(top of the hat, poor color correction !)
 
Here is Felicity Ford's Baby Jacket called Blayter:
I really wanna win the pattern and yarns so, pick me, pick me!

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Making a Tree Fairy Ornament

Taking part in a fairy ornament holiday exchange, I first went to Pinterest to look at a few fairies.  This site from a Japanese blogger had a face that looked like it might work if I could craft it from clay or paper mache.  It appeared to be made from molding clay, so I began crafting a face with white Fimo.

After making the head and face, I stuck it on a cottonwood twig and baked it for half an hour, then wound some yarn over a pipe cleaner for fairy legs.


 Leaves and silk for her body covering


 Fairies gotta have wings!  Feathers glued underneath plastic butterfly wings, covered on the back with silk leaves in fall colors.


Now we have arms snapped off a bush

 
Tomorrow, the finished fairy.  Hold your breath that she actually looks like a wood fairy.  No peeking, PomPom.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Happy Birthday

Today is the husband's birthday.  Then:

 
Now:
 


Love, love, love!


 
 
He is 65, officially Medicare eligible.  Wow.  Pretty old.  Who would have thunk it?  Love you, Gene!

One of his gifts: a sheep hat creation for walking the dogs.  Pattern is Classic WWII Watch Cap.
This hat pattern was probably knit at least a million times during World War II, and remains one of the most enduring hat designs. Watch a movie or television program which takes place during the winter months, and somewhere in each outdoor frame will be someone wearing this hat.


Archived link to the pattern here.

(sheep were added as a whim to match the dogs' coats)

 
 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Oyster Stitch

In her post today for Wovember, Kate Davies showed off her new pattern that is sort of like a swingy, loose coat sweater.  Not planning to knit such a garment, but I was intrigued by the stitch she described.  It is an old stitch, apparently, and inspired by the grey bi-valved oyster.  She says it has an easily remembered cadence to the pattern.

That certain book that Davies referenced for the stitch pattern was a paperback, and I have pretty much vowed to not yet again buy tangible books that sit on shelves waiting for dust to grace their tops. So I rummaged through my stitch pattern dictionary that still huddles in a bookcase with older books that were mercifully saved from a prior trip of donations to Good Will.  (Some beloved books just cannot be parted from their owners); The Big Book of Knitting Stitch Patterns was one such relic.  Alas, no oyster pattern to be found within its pages.

YouTube did show how to knit that stitch, courtesy of NewStitchADay.

Kate Davies knitted her sweater from a grey color, naturally.  Oysters are grey. But there is a voice in the back of my head that echoes from an older woman, even older than I, that whispered once "grey is not a pretty color for a woman to wear".  I am trying not to listen.

Regardless of that little voice trying to dissuade me from using the color grey in knitwear, there are some gorgeous, classy looks using that neutral shade.  It seems to be quite the favorite color now, even for baby clothes and blankets.


Thinking about oysters, they have lots of colors, not just grey.  Browns, blacks, greens, yellows, ivory, all make up the ubiquitous grey of the oyster.  We saw lots of oyster farms while in Shetland this summer.  And we even ate a few, which were quite delicious.  Oysters Rockefeller are a favorite holiday appetizer for the hub and me.  Soon.

So using a pretty grey one ply merino yarn, I may make up something in an oyster stitch...perhaps mittens from a free pattern supplied on Ravelry by Rebecca Blair.  We shall see.  There are two other projects on the needles still needing a bit of attention before we sally off on another adventure.

 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Where Is That Bridge

over troubled waters?
The shattering revelation of that moment was that true peace, the high and bidding peace that passeth all understanding, is to be had not in retreat from the battle, but only in the thick of the battle. To journey for the sake of saving our own lives is little by little to cease to live in any sense that really matters, even to ourselves, because it is only by journeying for the world's sake—even when the world bores and sickens and scares you half to death—that little by little we start to come alive. It was not a conclusion that I came to in time. It was a conclusion from beyond time that came to me. God knows I have never been any good at following the road it pointed me to, but at least, by grace, I glimpsed the road and saw that it is the only one worth traveling.
                               Fredrick Buechner. THE SACRED JOURNEY

This week has not been cheery.  Some of my many failings have been noted.   One of my friends died Tuesday, my favorite aunt a few weeks ago.  A neighbor whom I have tried to help has pretty well scorned me in efforts.  The sun is waning, not helping the SAD (disorder).

This seems the appropriate time to mention that the husband noted last week the Japanese have five words for gratitude, and they all mean resentment to a lesser or greater degree.  So "thank you" might be harder for some to say than for others.  (More Heinlein here.)

But, I digress.  Libby Sweetpea and I are visiting this morning for Hospice: a new patient with dementia who, in a past life, worked as a gemologist.  I'll be wearing big rings my dad made from onyx years ago.  Maybe she will notice.  Maybe she will remember something that made her happy in her work.


And the knitting continues, the reading continues, the walks have resumed in the beautiful fall weather.  Trying to keep perspective and counting the blessings.  Trying to journey the road Buechner references in The Sacred Journey

Finished socks, incorrectly knitted, but good enough for a gal like me:

 
What about you, how has your week gone?

Monday, November 4, 2013

It's Wovember!

Since today is my first post in November, it should rightly be a topic to which I have given more than enough thought (ahem), and that is knitting with wool, specifically Shetland wool.

Many die hard knitters have begun thinking of November as Wovember.  This link will take you to a more in depth look at the appreciation of all things wool.  There is a Ravelry group you can check out that has many responses to what knitters are making to join in with the Wovember theme.  Many interesting projects there.

From this site sponsored by Kate Davie, Felicity Ford and Tom van Deijnen:
Wovember is about showing our collective appreciation of wool by wearing as much of this fabulous fibre as possible, and by celebrating its unique qualities in stories and pictures throughout the month of November. Through our enthusiasm and creativity we can raise awareness of what makes wool different, and jointly create a force for wool appreciation strong enough to effect changes in how garments and textiles are described and marketed.


Joining in with Wovember, my scant offering will be the knitting of the Shetland Heritage Hat (pattern by Leslie Smith Designs).   I substituted the colors of the Shetland 2 play yarns, using a palette of muted shades of lilac, blues and greens with a splash of dark purple.




This is well worth a listen,  Click on the arrow for a BBC short radio feature by Felicity Ford in conversation with Richard Martin, proprietor of Cotswold Woollen Weavers.



Lastly, this is one of our dogs wearing TWO of the Kate Davies designed coats (A Wolf in Sheep's Clothing) since it was chilly out.  And there are other photos from my rocking chair out back just because it was such a lovely evening.