Sunday, October 26, 2008

Finally an Update to Blogspot.

Ok, so it has been about 2 years since I posted anything here, been busy in other areas, sorry!

Ravelry has taken up most of my online time along with my thousands of postings on Flickr with my digital camerawork. Photography is still one of my huge loves as well as fiber arts.

Recently I have also been recycling Carhartt clothing into bags for knitting projects and every day schlepping. These are a few examples of what I have produced.

Other life changes:

My VW New Beetle's self igniting dashboard fire which totaled the vehicle in August.

My beloved cat of 5 years, Binx died in my arms from complications of ingredients in cat food from China.

A new furry creature 'Pindo' has joined the ranks and has brought unmeasurable delight to help fill the void.

Things feel like they are looking up.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Musings at Mabel's on a Sunday Afternoon

Greetings Sibs.

Had a wonderful weekend and got to spend some quality knitting time with friends from the Knit-List on Sunday morning and early afternoon.

Melissa B., Duffy, Leigh Witchel and I got together at Mabel's, chewed the fat, [and a couple of scones] threw some stitches and spun our own yarn about our past, present and future.

Melissa was working on her first Afghan, using some Alpaca yarn that had a wonderful feel to it and doing Mitered squares from the outside in. There are some images of the finished squares on her blog.

Duffy was working on her patch-toe-up-sock technique that looks a lot easier than the figure-8-cast-on that so many try to indocrinate others into the shadiness of the 'Darkside'. Duffy would be more than happy to give pointers to the ease of use of her technique. There might even be a posting on her blog.

Leigh was working on a baby Aran sweater for a friend. What a lovely bit of work. He was using a superwash in a natural white and we had a nice round robin discussion of the benefits of an easily washable fiber choice considering the anointments and body fluid offerings most likely to be contributed by the recipient of this lovely gift.

Leigh is a bit photo shy [at least without a stylist on hand to address his tresses] but I don't understand why, he is quite handsome as he is [Duffy, Melissa, no jealousy please, you already know I carry pics of you two in my wallet ;-)].

I would give a link to Leigh's blog, but Phyllis Stein would probably get wind of it and link to me on her knitting site for amputees.

In all, the day was delightful, in spite of the rain and nothing spontaneously felted.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

On the needles

Ran across this image while surfing around the other day, can't remember where it came from, but It struck me as quite humerous, I love the expresion on the Wolf/Coyote's face as he is leaping over the back of the grazing sheep.

At the moment I hvae several projects on the needles. At least two hat projects, and the first in my attempt to knit sox. Will have some pictures up in a few days of the most recent finished projects. I have been off of work for a while recouperating after surgery and have done my best to keep my hands busy on my fibering projects.

While in the hospital for three days, I knit 9 washcloths in Kitchen Cotton. Didn't drop any stitches which I think is meraculous considering I was on high doses of Morphine at the time. Over the course of the next several weeks, I managed to knit several hats using up a good amount of my stash yarn.

Back at work now, in diminished capacity and will be back to full operating potential in about two weeks.

More later.....Gary

Saturday, July 22, 2006

New Punkin on the Vine

Here is the latest version of the Fruity Baby Hats I have been making lately. The Tomato Hat started the whole thing, then I started making changes to the pattern and switched colours to see what I could do to come up with different friut shapes.

OK, so this one took me a bit longer than a couple of days to finish. This Punkin is a variation on the previ0us one, with a different set of decreases at the crown utilizing the pearl stitches that comprise the grooves up the side of the little melon head.

The weaving that the hat is displayed on is a beautiful Cotton Warp, Wool Weft Coverlet from arround 1840. It has a pulled thread here and there, and could use a bit of conservative re-weaving, but still in remarkable condition for being nearly 160 years old. Not bad for $5.00 us at one of the local GoodWill stores. I do love a bargain.

Next in the Fruit Hat lineup, [I think] is going to be a Bananna. Doing the engineering in my head at the moment, will move it to paper, then to the needles soon.

Saturday, July 01, 2006

An Odd Nut!

While setting up a screen house in the back yard for summer barbequeing I was picking up debris so it woulnd't be underfoot. I picked up this intact walnut shell, and having a particular likeing for walnut shells for casting, I put it directly into my pocket, not examining it any further considering I was already engaged in another project.

When I got inside the house after setting up the screenhouse I emptied out my pockets and at that time took a look at the walnut I had just found and discovered this:
The shell doesn't divide into two halves as normal (sorry to use that word,) it cleanly divides into three. The nut inside the shell had not developed or had become rotten so it was never opened by a squirril, thus leaving it intact much to my pleasure.
Not sure what I am going to do with it now, except enjoy it's individual oddness, but I am sure something will come to mind.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Punkin Prototype

Finished the prototype for the Punkin Hat. There will be a second variation with a different application of decreases at the crown coming up shortly. Like the previous hats in this series, this is knit in Machine Washable/Superwash 100% wool, the Orange is Heirloom from Australia and the stem is from CascadeYarns.

The way the top formed with this set of decreased reminds me of an Ice Cream Cone . . . Giving me ideas for another design.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Infants Eggplant Hat

Here is the latest Baby Hat. Similar to the Tomato hat, but with more rows before the leaves and plain rows between the decrease rounds to lengthen the top, and last but not least, a curly-que finial cause this one too is just off the vine.

This hat is made of Easy Care Machine Washable Heirloom 100% wool yarn from Australia and is size Newborn.

Next in the lineup, an Orange Pumpkin in the same wool.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

Vine Ripened

It took me a while of googling to find this pattern, I was looking for an apple hat instead of a tomato. After I got that out of the way finding the pattern was really easy.
The pattern was written by Kate Buchanan and is located at the knitchicks website. The pattern was a bit vaugue in areas and I had to visualize and work around those spots, but I am happy with the way they turned out.

The hat in the forground was knit on size US 7 circular needles and is newborn size, the one behind it was knit on US 10 circular needles and was made to fit a toddler without making any other adjustments to the pattern.

I used Cascade Yarns 220 superwash 100% wool in color #809 for the red and Patons La Laine Superwash Merino Wool in color 6233 DK weight for the leaves and stem.

The part of the pattern that seemed sketchy, is where the second color is introduced. After working even on 72 stitches, the instructions say to "*K1, K9* around", that's it. That makes 10 stitches to the repeat, and for it to work out evenly one should have been working on 70 stitches instead of 72. I just worked the pattern as it said, which ends making each leaf slightly different, more natural looking, and I like the finished effect. (But, it would have been nice to have had that explained, maybe?)

One can link to the pattern for this hat by clicking on the title [Vine Ripened] above.

I have a feeling I am going to be making a few more of these as time goes by and the spreading infection of pregnancy makes its rounds of my workplace.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

A Chulo for a Chum

One of my co-workers wanted a Chulo style hat, so, not having a pattern, I started to wing it. Starting at the top, I knit a square of 10x10 stitches x rows, then picked up ten stitches on each of the other three sides of the square and began knitting on two circular needles, increasing at the beginning and end of each row until I had the number of stitches I wanted to start the pattern rounds.
I used his initials, 'LC' as the main body pattern, then added a section of twisted cable underneath. Next came the ear patches, which I positioned
based on my own ears, then again just winged it.

The challenging part was the I-Cord border (I did have to cheat by referencing several patterns to learn how to do that part. After it was finished, and I was convinced that I could repeat it for the person involved, I showed the prototype to him at work. He instantly liked it, but when he realized that his own initials were the basis of the pattern around the headband, he got quite excited. I measured his head (he referred to it as his 'Mellon' and started out on the final project.
The original yarn was Lion brand Fishermen's Wool in Natural, and Berry Blue Kool-Aid dyed. I wanted contrast to show off the charting. For the final project, he preferred something more muted, in his color range. I used the same wool, dyed with Berry Blue, Black Cherry, and Lemonade for the main color and the secondary color was done with Orange and Grape for a nice rich golden brown.
The patterning was more subdued, yet pronounced all the same. Tomorrow I get to give it to him, will see what he says, and will ultimately see if he wears it. Hmmm, if it turns out as planned, I will have to call it "Chulo-Vista".

Happy Knitting Subs.

Friday, March 03, 2006

Sweaters For Men

I know that the percentage of women who knit is far higher than the percentage of men who knit, but, men still need sweaters and it is nearly impossible to find patterns for men's sweaters that don't look like the ones the step-father wore in 'The Santa Clause" if you know what I mean!

That's why I was pleased enough to fork out the $35.00 bucks US yesterday when I visited my LYS (Local Yarn Shop) for this book. It has some nicely shaped garments and some beautifully illustrated colorways (not that I intend to follow the colorways, but they are inspiring all the same).

The book is by Tricoter and is titled 'Simply Beautiful SWEATERS FOR MEN' Linden Phelps and Beryl Hiatt.

This book is full of garments designed by women, knit by women and published by women (you know I have nothing against women, but, guys we need to organize a project of goods for men designed by men who would wear them after they have been made, don't ya think?).

The Lion and the Frog

On the Needles is the newest hat project. I am using the Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool and the Frogged Lambswool from the sweater en'thrift.

Something experimental on this one, same cast on and beginning, but I an experimenting with stepped decreasing to try and get a tiered effect if it works out the way I want it to. I want the top to be stepped more like a Zigurat. Time will tell.

Variations on a Theme

My Buddy David expressed interest in wanting a pointed hat, I just found another wonderful sweater en'thrift in orange lambswool that I had just frogged and he was interested in Orange for his pointy hat.

I used my basic Beanie pattern, added enough stitches to go around his head, changed the ribbing to a knit-6 purl-2, a ribbing style I have come to enjoy the look of much more than just a k-2, p-2 (I really hate all those Y-O's if you know what I mean). Then, instead of decreasing for the beanie dome effect, I decreased 2 stitches evenly spaced every 4 rows of knitting (on two circular needles) to get the long pointed effect.

Here is the resulting ribbing with the k-6, p-2. I have heard many people on the knit list ask how to get rid of the gap where the cast on stitches are joined to form the circular work. I knit about 4 rows of straight stitches back and forth, not in circular leaving the cast on tail for use later, then I join these few rows of straight (excuse the term) knitting into the circular and knit away. When I have finished the project, I use the cast-on tail to sew the first few rows closed, and the resulting edge is only detectable when I look for where I have worked the end of the yarn into the body of the item. Works for me, and it is a lot easier than dealing with sewing an entire seam up the item.

Here are the finished pointy hats. The Orange one is for David, the other is mine. I knit mine in Lion Brand Fishermen's Wool (the only decent product I think they make, remember, I am a Dyed in the Wool Yarn Snob here,) after I finished knitting it in the white wool, I dip-dyed the bottom edge in Kool-Aid "Tropical Punch", flipped it over and dip-dyed the pointy end in "Grape" Kool-Aid leaving a center section un-dyed natural.

Frogged Pencil Roving Ideas

Some would call me thrifty, some would call me the cheap bastard that I am. I love wool, good wool . . . friends call me a Baaaaaad Boy, perhaps Ewe might too. Recently in my thrift shopping cirquit, I located a sweater in this wonderful white pencil roving 100% wool. I frogged it, threw some of it into sample batches of Kool-Aid, my dyestuff of choice, then carded some of it to see how the loft was.

The Blue is "Berry-Blue", the Red on the left of the ball is "Watermellon-Cherry" and the Orange is, well, I think you may have guessed, "Orange". If you want to know the basics of Kool-Aid dyeing, has it in the archives, that is where I got introduced to it, and I have played with a lot of different applications since that indocronation.

This particular wool that I frogged from the sweater cards out wonderfully, and feels like either lambswool or Merino (more like Merino, yummmmmmmm!). I like doing small batches of dyeing, then blend the batches together for the consistant inconsistancy. Looking forward to doing more with this project, as the resulting roving weighs in at just over 2 pounds avoirdupois and I think it quite a bargain at a purchase price of $6.99 US Dols.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Just off the Wheel, and off the Needles

Took a trip to the Upper Left Corner of Oregon to Astoria last week and brought my Spinning Wheel and Drum Carder home. They are both Clems and Clems, I built the Wheel from a kit I bought in 1975. The Drum Carder I bought about 15 years ago, both had been idle for far too long. Along with them, was a nice sized bag of dyed and blended fleece in shades of Magenta, Burgundy and Black.

It didn't take me long to spin up the two pounds of prepared fleece, I steam set the twist and got out my Chrystal Palace Bamboo Circular Needles and Cast-On.

This is the finished beanie, it took less than 24 hours to spin, set and knit. Not quite the Throckmorton Coat, but I was happy with the results.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

The Walnut Series

For several months last year I was out of work and had a lot of time on my hands. I would take a walk each day up to the local thrift shop to see what was new. On these walks I would take a plastic bag with me and look for the English Walnuts Black Walnuts and Filberts/Hazelnuts that were surfacing in the spring as well as the ones that the Squirrels were diggin up and eating, so I would gather the discards too.

When I got home each day, I would look over what I had found, clean them out, melt down some scrap gold or silver and cast the molten metal directly into the shells. I soon discovered that by sawing the shells open at different angles, I could predict what shape the mold would produce, but with the unpredictability of the internal dimentions and the volume of metal used, nature still does the directing to reach the final product. No two are ever going to be alike

I call this casting, the lovers and friends. When looked at from this angle, the one is kissing the other on the cheek, when it is turned upside down, they are just holding hands.
This has to be the smallest English Walnut I have ever seen, the tree it came from is said to be over 100 years old, the older it gets, the smaller it's nuts are.

Here are a pair of Filberts or otherwise known as Hazelnuts. The one on the left is cast in Sterling, the one on the right is cast in 14K gold. I will be doing a lot of internal work to remove the excess metal so they will be a lot lighter than they are now, and make them into pendants or perhaps as a ring would be nice.

The differrent castings seem to take on anthropormorphic like shapes, this one in 14K of an English Walnut reminds me of a male torso.

This English Walnut cast in Sterling when struck, rings like a bell or a tuning fork. Trying to come up with a way of using it so that it doesn't loose that wonderful tonal quality.

Sunday, October 16, 2005

Link to:

Friday, October 14, 2005

Link to the Sarah Bradberry's Mostly Knitting site

Sarah's First Book:

Kids Knit!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

The List-Mum's Wonderful Book, Buy it please!

Click on the dots above to link to this wonderful book that I hope to add to my personal collection very soon. It is "The Any Yarn, Any Size, Knit Hat Book" by Sarah Bradberry. Buy it today, keep your head warm tomorrow!

Sterling Crochet Hook

Been working at the jewelor's bench agian, this time I made a crochet hook to add to my knitting accessories kit. I used a Sterling Silver bangle bracelet as my working material and re-fashioned and work hardened the silver so it wouldn't be so 'soft', then began filing and shaping the hook itself. It still needs more final polishing but the hook glides smoothly and doesn't catch or snag. I am trying to think of something appropriate to ad as a finial to the end, but haven't quite hit on it yet.

Saturday, September 10, 2005

Kool-Aid Rainbow Scarf

For this project, I started out with 8-ounces of three-ply bulky weight white wool yarn, made a large hank and used 7 16 ounce plastic containers in a circle and tucked an equal amount of the hank into each of the containers. I used two packets of Kool-Aid [got the instructions at] per container, mixed it in a glass measuring cup with 16 oz of water and microwaved each mixture for about 2 minutes before pouring the solution over the wool, one color, one container at a time. Let it set until the water in each of the containers was pretty much clear, all the color absorbed by the wool, then transferred it to the sink and rinsed away.

Then came the knitting, I used size 13US bamboo needles with 20 stitches and knitted the whole thing in garter stitch. The finished project kinda looks like a group of kids all puked Kool-Aid on the scarf! The colors are bright, and it goes with almost anything!