Sunday, October 30, 2005

Navy Carry Bag in Process

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I made myself a small tote bag to carry around smaller projects, but didn't have something larger for more "stuff". I found this pattern while shopping at Yarn Lady one day and knew it would be perfect. This has taken a while to knit as it uses 4 skeins of Cascade 220, double stranded. I felted the bag portion today (took almost 3 trips through the wash cycle) and now it's drying. The strap will get done whenever - it's one strand of Cascade 220 and one strand of Koigu Kersti carried along with it. Love that yarn! Since it has to be 12 feet (yes, 12 feet) long, it will take a while and whenever it's done, I'll felt it then attach it to the bag. The strap actually goes underneath the bottom of the bag for additional support and the bottom of the bag is a double layer so that a piece of plastic canvas can be slipped between the 2 layers to add support. Hope it works!

Grey Alpaca Sweater

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I purchased two large skeins (about 1300 yards in all) of some wonderful charcoal grey 100% alpaca from Heritage Spinning and Weaving in Lake Orion, Michigan, while I was there visiting my parents.  The yarn is about DK or sport weight and very soft.  After trying a couple of things, I have decided that I need to knit with it so that it has a little more body and have started this sweater that is actually a pattern (after the 2 x 2 ribbing) of knit 1 purl 1 on the knit row and straight purling on the purl row.  It creates a little bit more texture and body to the finished product.  The pattern I'm making is a short sleeved cardigan with a low (but not too low) rounded neckline.  Since I'm using size 6 needles, this will take a while!  Will post finished sweater whenever I eventually get it done!

Stash Buster Bag

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Finished product!  I didn't pay attention really well when I felted the first Pink Lady Bag I made and it shrunk down really small.  Sooo - this time I paid closer attention and pulled this bag out of the washer before it was too small.  I love the way that the colors muted and melded together.  This felting addiction is here to stay, I think.  My dear husband has shown my blog to some of the women he works with (he is an elementary school principal) and now he wants to take the bags I have made to school and "show and tell".  I told him that would be fine, as long as he brings them right back home (as I use them!)

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I had one skein of Cascade 220 in this beautiful purple color, and two skeins of Noro Kureyon that blended well with it.  After searching my patterns, I decided to do a variation of the Pink Lady Bag (without the tab closure and made the handle a little longer and finished it off differently).  I started the bottom of the bag with the Cascade double stranded.  Then dropped one strand of the Cascade and picked up 1 strand of the Noro and carried it along with 1 strand of the Cascade until reaching the top.  Then I switched back to double stranding the Cascade and knit the handles until I ran out of yarn.  Perfect! 

Small Green Bowl

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Here is the bowl after felting - it holds it's shape nicely, but wow - - - did it ever take a long time to felt!  After felting it's quite fuzzy, but for this bowl, it looks neat and unique that way.  I added a strand of a metallic gold in the last 3 rows I knitted before doing the i-cord bind off and then the ruffle.  It kind of gets lost in the fuzz, etc., but you can see it and it does add a little interest. 

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I thought I would try my hand at knitting a small bowl (pattern from Carol in my felted bag KAL group) with yarn I received from my secret pal.  The amount of yarn I had was almost perfect for the bowl, only about a yard or so left over!  I'm not sure of the brand or anything as she said she purchased it at a fiber festival on the east coast, but it was 100% wool, so I was pretty sure that it would felt.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Bag of Many Colors

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The bag is dry! I probably wouldn't have designed the colors of this bag the way it came out (but I was attempting to use up some stash), however, I'm happy with it and it's really something different than I normally would make. I guess I'm trying to step out of the box a little. The pattern calls for the top band to be turned down, but I plan to leave it up as I like it better that way on this particular bag. I shaved it just a little and left a little bit of the fuzziness on it. I'm thinking that I might get a few turquoise beads and embellish it right under the turquoise band to give it more of a southwestern look. Just have to find the right beads. The felting took about 25 minutes and blended the colors nicely. We'll see what the girls at the office say tomorrow. . . . .

Friday, October 14, 2005

Super Secret Pal

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Look at what I discovered this morning! Apparently this package came from my secret pal yesterday and my dear hubby forgot to tell me about it. He just put it in "my room" and we went off to our niece's volleyball game. I didn't see it until this morning when I "happened" to go in that room before going to work. I debated on whether to open it this AM or wait until tonight - obviously curiosity got the best of me. What a great secret pal - thank you, thank you, thank you! The yarn is 100% wool for felting and I love the colors. A funny thing about the patterns; I had just visited that website yesterday and found these same two patterns and really liked them. Rather than pay to download them right then, I bookmarked the website so I could go back later and spend a little more time looking and then purchase them. Now I don't have to! And the goodies she sent are my favorites! The Mint Milano cookies will get opened tomorrow night when 3 girlfriends come over to play cards. Thank you again, secret pal, you're the greatest!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Bag of Many Colors

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Bag of Many Colors (or Southwestern Bag because of the colors and finished look) is felting as I write this post. Attempting to use up some of my stash (to make room for new yarn, of course) I selected a skein of Cascade 220, color # 4008, which is a neat brick red, grabbed a portion of a left over ball of Lamb's Pride in a shade of turquoise, and added a skein of Noro Kureyon, color # 163, to bring it all together. I knit the bulk of the bag on a size 15 circular needle, carrying a single strand of the Cascade along with a single strand of the Noro. Then I switched to a double strand of the Lamb's Pride for the band around the top, which will fold down when felted. The I-cord handle was knit with a double strand of the Cascade on size 13 double pointeds. The whole thing only took 2 evenings. I've used this pattern before from the Knit One, Felt Too book and really like the finished product. It's almost done felting and I will post a picture of the finished bag when it's dry.

I was so excited to see a large envelope in my mail today which was supposed to contain two pattern booklets I ordered off the web for Manos Cotton Stria yarn, only to find that the supplier sent me the wrong booklets. They sent booklets for using the Manos wool yarn and I don't really care for the patterns. Sooo, a quick email should fix the problem (I hope) and I will have to be patient as the correct booklets work their way through the postal system. I saw the Manos Cotton Stria yarn at a yarn shop and just loved the look and feel of it and a finished sweater they had on display. The stash is ever growing, even though I keep digging into it and making things!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Stitch Markers from SMS Secret Pal

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I received my stitch markers from my third stitch marker swap secret pal! Here they are - all the way from North Carolina! Thank you secret pal!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Vintage Bubble Bag Bottom and more . . .

To answer "anonymous" who asked a question about the bottom of the Vintage Bubble Bag: I finished the bottom just as the pattern called for and it did make kind of a line across the bottom. When I stuffed it to dry, I pulled it really hard and stuffed it hard on the bottom in order to try to "flatten" it out somewhat. It ended up with the bottom being OK and it will stand up on it's own. I have thought that if I make another one, I will finish the bottom a little differently - trying to make it rounder or at least eliminate the line at the bottom.

I'm currently working on a tote bag that I think I will really like. It has a nice large, flat bottom that you insert a plastic piece in to give it stability. Knitting it with Cascade 220, navy blue, double stranded and the handle is actually a strap that's felted separately and then sewn onto the bag - going up both sides and across the bottom, which will give it strength, I hope. The strap is out of one strand of Cascade 220 in a purple shade with a strand of Koigu wool carried with it that is a variegated of shades of blue, including navy, and purple.

I'm also working on finishing two tank tops, just have a little left to sew them together - why don't I like finishing as well as I like knitting???? Then - I'm almost done with the front of another short sleeve sweater I'm making out of a really nice Elizabeth Levold wool/silk combo. Then there are the sleeves and sewing together. If I'd just get the finishing touches done on these three - I'd have 3 more sweaters/tops to wear!

I went to a fabulous yarn shop with my daughter last Saturday called Common Threads in Encinitas. Besides being 1 block from the beach, it was in a really fun area to shop, and it was a beautiful day. We stayed there 1 1/2 hours and her kids (my grandchildren, of course) were angels. They carefully looked around the store and checked out the yarns, feeling them and oohing and aahing just like we were. That deserved a trip to the ice cream store across the street when we were done! I purchased a yarn I have been looking for a long time called "Denim Silk" by Berroco. Love it, love it, love it! I've already got it wound into balls and am trying to decide between 2 or 3 patterns. I discovered another yarn I immediately fell in love with called Manos Cotton Stria. Wow! Fantastic feel (really soft) and wonderful colors. I don't know how I kept myself from buying some, but I did. Have to have it, though. Maybe on my next trip to visit the kids!