Friday, August 25, 2006

We interrupt this knitting...

...for a bit of sewing!

My son recently requested some new tablecloths. He knows that this is one of my favorite quick 'n' easy sewing projects, so really, all he had to do was bring up the subject!

Son and Fiancee lived in Japan for a while, and managed to collect many Japanese antiques -- and their whole decor reflects this influence. Their dining room features a several-hundred-year old armoire-like black painted chest (which is really a dish-drying closet) and a contemporary black lacquer table & chairs. It is a striking combination of old and new styles.

Here are details of the two tablecloths I made for them. In each case, the skirt is a coordinating fabric bound by a strip of the main fabric. The crane fabric has a tiny bit of metallic gold in the design.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Summer Sock Update

I am definitely deep in the throes of my Sock Phase. This follows hard on the heels of the Stitch Diva Scarf Phase, which was preceeded by the Felted Clog Phase. Well, there are worse phases to endure -- just ask the parent of any teenager! :) Of course I have other types of projects in progress, but it really is nice to have a portable no-brainer tucked in my purse for odd knitting moments and knitting-while-chatting opportunities. The socks are finished before you know it -- and there are SO MANY wonderful sock yarns to play with!

These "watermelon" socks are from yarn dyed by the very talented Vicki Suan. Doesn't it work up cute? The "seeds" are perfect! Here is the stitch marker I knitted into the second sock:
These cheerful pink/lavender/blue/green self-stripers are knit from Fortissima Colori Disco: there is a tiny thread of silver running through the yarn. I used Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Feather and Fan pattern with her loose bind-off. I re-did the bind-off four times before I just decided to go with it. As Wendy says, it looks a little wavy off the foot, but it looks just fine when you are wearing the socks, and doesn't stress the yarn.
Here's the knit-in marker.
More sock pictures soon!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Beading With Joan

I have long been a fan of Joan McGowan-Michael's White Lies Designs. I have knit a couple of them, and the Milinda is on my needles. Some of Joan's latest designs feature retro-style beading, which I find absolutely fascinating. (Of course, I find nearly anything with pretty beads fascinating!) So I jumped at the chance to attend her beading class on Saturday, sponsored by the Sacramento knitting guild.

Joan is a very patient teacher, and provided everything except our knit swatches -- and proper lighting. The lighting in the classroom was, well, awful! It would have been fine for a regular knitting class, but when you are over a certain age and working with teensy beads and teensy needles, good lighting is a definite plus! To be fair, I doubt that any venue would have had sufficient lighting for this type of class. A couple of smart people brought their portable Ott lights, and shared them generously. (Joan made a note to be sure to add portable lights and extension cords to her class supply list for future sessions.)

But I did learn a lot about vintage-style beading techniques, and Joan was very generous with her tips and tricks of the trade. She had some beautiful vintage sweaters for show-and-tell, and shared some wonderful anecdotes about her experiences restoring fabulous movie costumes worn by actresses such as Cyd Charisse and Judy Garland. In all, it was a fun class with a great instructor and a perfect way to spend a pleasant Saturday morning. In my book, this is one of the best advantages of belonging to an active knitting guild.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

A Visit to the Sailing Knitter

While in San Diego last weekend, we paid a visit to Terry, The Sailing Knitter. Terry and her husband have abandoned the Sierra foothills for a life of adventure on the high seas. Many just dream of shedding the suburban hustle -- Terry actually did it!
However, Terry did make sure to keep her most important treasures with her -- like her yarn stash and her library of essential knitting resources. It's amazing how many little boat cubbyholes can be adapted to hold yarn! Let's just say that the Niki Wiki is very well insulated!
The sailing life seems to offer ample opportunities for knitting, too. This is Terry's Charlotte's Web out of Koigu. Doesn't this remind you of a beautiful sunset on the ocean? "Red sky at night, sailors' delight..."
We also got to see the marvelous and famous (infamous??) Hooter Heaters -- the popcorn bra which Terry created for the "movie" theme event at Meg Swanson's Knitting Camp. We even found someone to model them! (The model reported that, indeed, The Hooter Heaters would definitely keep one's front regions from getting a chill in an overly air-conditioned theater.)

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Amazing Lace Challenge 5: Where's Waldo?

Shh-h-h-h! Peacock is sleeping!

After a hard day on the needles, a piece of lace-in-progress needs her beauty rest!