Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Finishes, Major and Minor

The Valley Forge Dogwood scarf is finally off the loom, and I was mighty pleased with the results if I do say so myself. 

This is the pattern made me want to weave. Like the dogwood blossom it's named for, I cannot get enough.

Pick whichever ones makes you happy, and that's the "right" side.

This shot shows the two ends. I'm rather proud that the circles are fairly close in size, which means I was keeping my beat pretty even throughout the project. Pretty good, considering how long the thing was on the loom!

For those that keep track of these things, the piece is 5" wide x 6' long.The warp and tabby are 2/10 cotton, and the weft a lace weight merino yarn that I wound tripled. It's warped and woven 24 threads to the inch, and the pattern comes from the "Overshot Novelties" section of Marguerite Davidson's Handweaver's Pattern Book.

Got it into the mail and off to the biggest big sister just in time for Christmas.

The minor finish was finally framing a piece I've had for several years. Michael Everett (http://michaeleverettstudios.com/) is a Florida artist who does wonderful pencil drawings of Florida landscapes. I bought this print from him at a local art show. I've been wanting to frame it, but for some reason they don't seem to make the sectional pewter frames anymore; they've been on back order at several major suppliers for years now. So I got a black frame on sale and spray-painted it.

 It's still not the optimal frame for this piece - I miss having my professional framing buddy Jenn  from Jacksonville handy! - but at least I can get it on the wall.

And in the spirit of New Year's Eve, I leave you with this little ditty by Odgen Nash...

Tonight’s December thirty-first,
Something is about to burst.
The clock is crouching, dark and small,
Like a time bomb in the hall.
Hark, it's midnight, children dear.
Duck! Here comes another year!


Saturday, December 14, 2013

Frog is a Verb, Not a Noun

NOT the kind of frog I'm talking about.
I'm not sure where the term "frogging" came from, but for those who don't know what it means, it's when you pull a knitting project completely apart, wind the yarn back up and either completely give up or start over again. I'm told it comes from saying "rip-it, rip-it, rip-it" as you pull your work apart. There's been so much frogging at my house, you'd think we lived in a swamp.

I went back to work on the Wool Peddler's Shawl from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. First I had to do some un-knitting and re-knitting to get the stitch count right. But more trouble lay ahead. When I had started the project, I kntted American, not Continental Style. And I knit tight. So tight, that when I tried to purl the knits and knit the purls to begin the lace section, I could not get the needles into the stitches. So "rip-it, rip-it, rip-it" and start over again Continental style. Unfortunately, when I reached the point where the lace begins, something went very wrong very soon. I don't think third time is going to be the charm with this, so I'm going to take it to my LYS after the holidays and hope that I can just un-knit back to where all was well and get myself sorted out. I hope.

Off I went to a third project, the Lacy Prairie Shawl from Folk Shawls by Cheryl Oberle. And it just would not work. It's like I had a mental block about this thing. It's not that hard a pattern, but I was knitting it and ripping it out so much, I felt like I was in a time warp. I finally decided that the problem is that I've already one triangular shawl, the Garter Stitch Prairie Shawl from the same book in the exact same yarn, Cascades 220 Heather. I used it to teach myself garter stitch. So why am I making another triangular shawl in the same yarn from that book? So it is officially frogged. I bought all the yarn Oberle called for in her pattern, but stopped it well before the number of stitches called for - the thing was getting quite large, and I wanted a shawl, not a blanket! So I've plenty of yarn for another project. Which will not be another triangular shawl.

When you have this...

You don't really need this.

I went back to the Seriously Simply Shawl that I had started at a class a while back. No matter how I knit and un-knit, it just would not work. So I studied on the thing, and realized I had made a serious error fairly early on in the class. Nothing for it but to frog it. I re-started it several times, realized the pattern was actually asymmetrical, decided I didn't like it, and, well, "rip it, rip it. rip it."  It is well and truly frogged.

Back to the stash, until inspiration strikes.
  But all has not been lost. I got a ball of King Cole ZigZag superwash sock yarn off the sale rack a while back. It looked bright and fun, but proved to be very frustrating. I tried various patterns, but the colors pooled terribly and the projects were frogged. I finally tried the Easily Enjoyable Lace Scarf by Polly Macc, and it was just what the doctor ordered. The color variegation couldn't be falling more nicely, the pattern took about 3 repeats to memorize, and it has become the perfect waiting room/doctor's office project. I'd hoped to have it ready for Christmas. It's not quite there yet, but not to worry. We have a tradition in our family. We promise projects for Christmas, but we never specify which one!

This piece is not going to go bounding off the lily pad!