Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Magic Carpet Ride

I was feeling good about myself. Head up, chest out, life was sweet.

Then things took a turn...

I got that terrible head cold congestion from hell that Wooly was just getting over after 10 days.

Then it started snowing Friday after dinner, and kept snowing all through the weekend. Remember, this is MID APRIL! I kept asking Wooly, "Where are we living?" I seriously considered making another hat.
My poor tulips

Saturday morning I was grafting Magic Carpet and it wasn't lining up. I had reversed 2 charts over 12 stitches on the second half. Thankfully, it wasn't in a beaded area. I blame it on congestion from hell. ;)

"Kamati, that's where YOU were standing on it!"

"NOT! I was standing on the first half, this is the second!"

I cringe every time I see someone doing 'surgery' on their knitting! I decided to try it, the worse that could happen is that I would have to rip it all out and start over, right?!

It all worked out and blocked beautifully.

"Ala Shazam! I felt it move! Hold on Smoothie!"

"That was Dad walking by..."

Presenting... Magic Carpet Ride!

Magic Carpet Ride by Susan Pandorf

Woolen Rabbit lace yarn kit - Moroccan Spice

Foxden beads - 1400 - 8-0004F

Lace Addis Needles - 3.25mm or US3

12" x 60"

For Linda

This pattern is beautifully dramatic and the beads weren't too heavy. Just remember that Susan loves beads. I learned that I don't enjoy stringing and 'carrying' beads on the yarn. I would rather hook them on. (Susan's next release - Crocus Pocus is 2500 hooked on beads in Handmaiden Seasilk!) The Woolen Rabbit merino yarn is fabulous. I love the color and the way it blocked beautifully.

Life goes on...

I woke up Monday, looked out the window... No snow! Headed back to work, feeling better, but not 100%. Braced myself for a terrible day. Opened my email. My brother sent me this...

"I've got a Happy Dandelion for you!!"

I almost cried!

Life is worth living again!

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

New Perspective

For those of you who can't just run down to Main Street Yarn and have a look...
Here's your 'ohhh & awww!'
Wooly and I stopped by to say, "Hi!" to Marie. We were pretty much the only ones there, except for the small class. I was all, "ooohhh... wow... ooohhh... wow... wow... oooh, this is a perfect display... WOW..." Then I caught myself, turned to Marie and said, "heh! Here they're my shawls and I'm all 'WOW!' " She said there were people who wanted to touch them and she just said 'no.' She's really good at that! That's what the sign says... in a nice way.

New Perspective

So, I was really wishing you all were there with me so we could have had a discussion about 'positive and negative space'. Seeing them hang against a window revealed a new perspective for me. This is my opinion, not saying anything bad about anything.

Wing o Moth & Simurgh

Wing o Moth, in all her KSN mohair fluff goodness, looks too thick or dense - like Papa Bear.

Simurgh, in all her silky fine lace goodness, looks too thin - like Mama Bear.

Simurgh & Leaves and Trellis

Leaves & Trellis, in her Zephyr lace weight with US0 needles, looks just right - like Baby Bear.

See how you can really see the design and there's definite positive and negative space?

A real eye opener for me.

However, when just held, like you normally would do, they're all equally gorgeous. You know how color makes a difference. Just food for thought. I'm being ultra picky.

So, when I got home, I gave Laminaria the 'window test.' Even though this photo is closer than I was at Main Street Yarn, there's definite positive and negative space. (Just squint, yes, like in quilt layouts!)

See! I think she's an 'all around winner' in my book! Oh, how I love her!

Still in Morocco

"Ala shazaam! Alabababoo! Up, Up and Away! Mom! It's not working!"

So, Magic Carpet is half done. Kamati and Smoothie are trying to get it to 'go' or fly, but Kamati is stepping on it. I keep telling them it's not going to work until it's all done. Nobody listens to me.

I'm off to string 500 beads for the second half (not counting the ones I'll impale for the diamonds.) So, it's a bead madness day for me. I'm worried it won't block nicely or be too heavy. We will see... yes, me of little faith! *rolling eyes*

Oh, and guess what Wooly was talking to Marie about...?!


Happy Knitting or beading or whatever!

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Presenting... Laminaria!
Laminaria - Elizabeth Freeman
Misti Alpaca - Hand Paint Lace #14
Addis Lace Needles - US5 or 3.75mm
70" x 37"
For Mary

My first Estonian Lace project. Everything about this shawl fascinated me and I am totally in love. Lots of squealing and happy dancing once I got it pinned out - see how it's a chevron block?

This shawl has it all! Grace, elegance, flow, challenging & rewarding pattern, and the color really does look like it's from the sea.

I have my trust issues with alpaca and was nervous that a tear would appear while blocking, therefore, Kamati wasn't allowed anywhere near it. I told him, "No hoofs or horns!" Yes, non stop chattering, then pouting resulted. ;)

I love this so much that I'm going to make another one for myself out of my precious Alpaca with a Twist (alpaca & silk) that's a dark red. The pattern should show up clearer with a solid color.

Trip to Morocco

So, now I'm working on Magic Carpet Ride by Susan (A Few Stitches Short) with beads. Yarn & pattern kit from Kim (Woolen Rabbit.) My rabbit's label says it's name is Smoothie, which is appropriate, since the yarn is smooth.

The dye job has such depth, that it looks like it has silk in it, but it's merino. The color (Moroccan spice) looks like paprika.

Marie - owner of Main Street Yarn

Okay, long story about me. :)

So, a year ago, I went to Main Street Yarn in Mill Creek for their annual sale. I went to pay and Marie looks at me over her glasses and says, "You're a fabulous lace knitter, aren't you?!" I nervously giggled and asked what made her think that? She said, "I hate to admit it, but I was watching you! You went straight for the lace yarn, picked out all my favorites, then did a quick walk through the rest of the shop. Nobody buys that kind of yarn unless they're fabulous!" I was speechless. She asked me to bring in something I'm proud of (not to be confused with something that you like, but there are problems with, blah blah blah...)

I showed her my Leaves and Trellis shawl - Zephyr-Aegean from VLT. She pranced it throughout the shop, showed all her workers and friends and left me to entertain her class. She came back and said, "oooh, look at me! I'm holding it like it's something precious! which it is! We were going to hold a lace contest, but you would win because you would be the only entry." Again, I was speechless and thinking, little does she know, but I wouldn't enter a lace contest!

She asked me if I wanted to display my lace in her shop. I told her I give everything away and the one she's holding is the only one I've kept. She told me that I could display my work for as short as a week if I wanted. I told her I would think about it.

I was in denial. Every time I walked in her shop, she would say, "Hey! You got something for me?" I would be looking around wondering who she was talking to! :) I had my blunder (unst) and got distracted with sweaters and gifts. Then 2008 rolled around and I was thinking about my life. Wooly could tell something was on my mind and called me out. I told him about Marie's offer to display my shawls. Wooly told me that it's an extreme honor to be asked to do that, so I had better get off my ass and make her some shawls. (Don't you love him?!)

I decided my deadline was the sale in April and managed to make Simurgh and Wing o Moth to take along with Leaves and Trellis. I liked that I had a variety of shapes, yarn & methods - something for everyone.

4/4/08 rolls around, and I walk in thinking I'm going to drop them off, shop and be gone since they're busy. I walk up to Marie and tell her I've got something for her. I made her day. She says, "We're going to do a Tah Dah!" I'm looking for an exit. Marie says, "Michele, follow me!" I say, "You know you're killing me, right?!" She says, "Yep, but we're doing an 'oooh & aaaw!' " So I follow her across the busy store to a table full of women knitting (a class). She stands at the head of the table and announces, "Okay, we're doing an 'oooh & aaaw!" Everyone's excited. I'm standing next to Marie, bending over trying to make myself look small. Then I feel the blood rush to my face, so I stand up and put my hands over my face (Brigitte - I swear it was paybacks for laughing so hard at Atticus' vet visit!). Marie's still talking and has everything out of the bag and is showing Leaves and Trellis. Then she pulls out Simurgh and announces that I knit it in a week - which totally snapped me out of my panic attack! I said, "What?! Marie, wasn't it a year ago that you asked me to bring in something!" So, then I help hold Simurgh and Wing o Moth, then tell Marie I'm going to shop now. She corners me later and says, "You know me, I'm going to do a perfect display... did you see that lady touching your shawl? I wanted to yell out 'NO TOUCHING!!' "

See, Marie 'gets' it! They are precious... that's why I love her and trust her with my babies!

Oh, and hooray for me for getting off my ass and taking advantage of an opportunity! :D

The Laminaria I'm making for myself will be the next one I take to Marie... chevron, Estonian Lace...

So, if you're in the area, go say "hi" to Marie. I can't wait to see her 'perfect' display! :)

Happy Knitting!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

Cherry Blossoms

Ah Spring! Cherry blossoms, blue skies...

And then there was SNOW! Total whiteout from my window at work last Friday.
I wasn't thrilled. My co-workers immediately blamed me because I was admiring Ruth's Hat.
See how sophisticated and lovely hers is... reminded me of my cherry tree.

I had the pattern and Kauni yarn from Village Yarn & Tea and decided to make one too, since the snow returned.

Kamati had to help... by singing,

"I'm a model, you know what I mean, and I do my little turn on the Kauni (catwalk)... Mom! Take my picture!"

Sure enough! Now that I've got a new hat... the blue skies and sunshine are back! Hooray!

Am I too old for my hat?

Ruth's Hat - by Ruth Sorensen

Kauni yarn - EG & EL

Turbo Addis Needles - 3.25mm (US3)

Beads - opaque rainbow

Pirate Jack

Remember our social experiment for 2008? To see how long antenna Jack would stick around until someone stole him?

Look at him now...!

He lost one eye. Wooly got sick of seeing him, so he ripped off his hat and threw him away. I was disappointed that he was gone, so Wooly decided to retrieve him and make him into Pirate Jack! LOL!!!

Maybe I should have made a Pirate Hat instead, eh?

Nah, Wooly wouldn't wear it and I love my cherry blossom hat. I'm thinking of making more for Christmas for my friends who don't have 'hat hair' issues. :)

If you can't beat them, join them... you might get what you're wishing for in the end!

Happy Knitting! :)