Friday, March 25, 2011

Yarn Bombing at Home

We had our living room floor done last week.

Six years ago we bought this brand new house, carpet in the living room was default. Trinket and Bucky were nine and ten, so we decided to keep the carpet for the old joints. In the past year we occasionally talked about a new floor "after", and now we finally have it. It's so nice not having to live with that dirty carpet any more!

Now with hardwood under our feet, 17 feet ceiling above our heads, our voices start to echo, much like frogs living in a damp well. Ok, maybe not that pathetic (frogs, pathetic? never mind), but you get the gist. So I came up a brilliant idea to add some texture to the living room with the hope that the wool padding would absorb some of the excess sound waves. Actually I was inspired by some talks on Ravelry about Yarn Bombing in San Francisco and Berkeley.

If you are not familiar with the concept of Yarn Bombing, I'm sure you've heard of graffiti, so just imagine a brave fiber artist spreading her knitted fabric on public properties, in very bright colors, usually at night, ducking around the cops. That's what I did, but instead of sharing my artistic work with the general public, I turned some swatches into stair railing covers. For now they are all wool pieces, a few of them were dyed with Koolaid and felted. One piece had some cables, but of course I manage to sew it onto a red pole and it just pretty much disappears into the background. Kinda defeats the "bombing" concept.

Give me another ten years, I'm sure I'll have the living room covered.

Friday, March 18, 2011

Parker Cardigan Progress, Mystery KAL

The latest and greatest with Parker Cardigan. Back is done, and got couple of inches on one of the fronts.

Most knitters I know usually have multiple projects on the needles, but I'm stubborn and I'm a monogamous girl, I always have only one main project at a time. There are small, plain, carry around things I do, but big projects, always one at a time. This one project may take a few months, and when it ends, it's like saying goodbye to an old friend, or a special child, or a limb. Then I get into the planning mode for the Next Big Thing. I start flipping through all of my books and magazines, digging up yarn from each box, running random searches on Ravelry, asking silly questions on Ravelry and Facebook -- I'm lost, can you help me? I'd go crazy for a cute pattern, but can't find the right yarn for it (because I don't have enough yarn, duh); or I'd be determined to use the long discontinued Passport Yarn that I bought from Michael's years ago, but of course I wouldn't be able to find a pattern I like.

Lately I've been wondering about life after Parker. I have a bunch of very pretty sock yarns that I didn't want to use in Que Sera Sera, because they are too pretty to be a blanket. They, or maybe just one of them, wants to become a nice little shawl for the cool nights in the summer.

But of course I can't find a good pattern for it.

So when my friend Jocelyn posted on South Bay Knitters Yahoo group that there is an interesting Mystery Knit Along coming up with designer Laura Nelkin, to make a small shawl that uses 400 yards of fingering weight (sock) yarn, my ears went straight up. Since it's a mystery, all I can show you is the yarn I'm using. This is Watercolors Sock Yarn hand dyed by my friend Karin, aka Periwinkle Sheep. Aren't they pretty? I think the green one will be a perfect spring shawl.

Don't forget to visit Andrea and my other fiber friends at Fiber Arts Friday on Wisdom Begins in Wonder.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Parker Cardigan Progress

Pattern: Parker Cardigan by Deborah Newton, IK Spring 2009 
Yarn: Garnstudio Drops Alpaca
Needles: US Size 4
Previous entries: planning
Notes: I'm not too crazy about this pattern. The stitch patterns are not charted, it's hard to judge how the ribs are supposed to be stacked, especially when there are increases and decreases. But the lace bud pattern on the bottom is very cute. I made that part too long (guess I really like the stitch pattern!), but too lazy to rip it out, it'll just look different from the pattern.

The buttons I ordered from Black Water Abbey Yarns came in the other day, and the Marilyn pattern. The buttons are so cute, it's fun just looking at them.

My friend Carol wrote up a very nice report of our annual knitting retreat, with lots of pictures. Check it out! And don't forget to visit Andrea's Fiber Arts Friday main page.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Fair Isle Hats Finale

Catching up on my finished knitting from before Stitches.

Top: Boxes
Bottom left: Purple Temple
Bottom right: Red Crown

These hats are loosely based on a Paton's fair isle tam pattern. I increased significant number of stitches to make the crown bigger, and recalculated the decreases on top. All were using leftover Classic Wool from my Great American Aran Afghan, with one strand of variegated yarn as main color and one strand of solid yarn as contrast. Interesting thing to point out, Boxes and Red Crown shared the same variegated yarn, but by using a different solid yarn, the color palette turned out completely differently. Towards the center of Red Crown I ran out of the red contrasting color, so you can see how the variegated yarn looks by itself (click on the picture to see a larger version).

A few more pictures from different views.

Something extra from Rascal never hurts. I made this mobius toy from a knitted strip, felted, and sewed the sides together, tied a knot, then sewed the ends together. He loves to stick his nose in the loops.

Don't forget to visit other Fiber Arts Friday blogs, all listed on Wisdom Begins in Wonder, where Andrea hosts the alpaca yarn feast.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

Rascal the Littlest Lumberjack

Rascal had some fun in the backyard going after a gopher. One night Bill took the pup outside for the last potty break and caught him half way down the gopher hole, with just the butt sticking out. When the gopher wasn't around, Rascal went after the roots and branches for entertainment, and we saw the results in days.

There used to be trees here.

There used to be bushes here and we had to replace them after Rascal uprooted them.

There used to be bushes here too.

Rascal waiting for his punishment.

On a positive note, we don't have a gopher problem any more. Apparently Rascal took care of all their food source, or in his view, he scared them out of town. Good boy, Rascal !

Don't forget the read Henry's puppy update from couple of weeks ago. They are best of friends, but Henry claims to have nothing to do with the lumbering.