Thursday, June 29, 2006

Eye Candy!!!

Ohh my first shipment of yarn arrived today, destined to make a Kitty Pi for each of our cats as well as 4 other cats belonging to friends. and some lovley baby alpaca silk lace weight, for a shawl for me :-=}

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Knitting for soldiers

As I knit on a new project involving a long strap of garter stitch I found a memory from when I was a kid.
I thought all my relatives were crocheters rather than knitters, but as I watched my strap develop I suddenly remembered my grandmother, Lola Metzger, knitting yards and yards of beige fabric in garter stitch on miniscule needles. I remember her saying they were bandages and would be shipped overseas.
This morning I did a little research and found this:
Knitters also produced 15-20 foot stretch bandages. The bandages were knit with 100 percent cotton yarn in garter stitch. Garter stitch (all stitches knit, none purled) produces a stretchy fabric that lies flat on the edges. The finished bandages were sterilized and shipped to medical units worldwide.
The entire article, which discusses all sorts of knitted products made specifically for soldiers can be found HERE

and a similar article HERE

One of the points the articles made was that, despite machine-made knitted garments being readily available, the hand-made items wore better, and had the ineffable benefit of letting a soldier know someone at home cared about them, whether they knew that somone personally or not. It also helped those left behind to feel they were reaching out, contributing what they could while thier loved ones were overseas, often in grave danger.

During the Civil War, women even made quilts to raise money to buy gunboats, as discussed HERE

It won't surprise you to know that there are modern groups doing similar things for our soldiers today. Quilters, knitters, and anyone who can afford to put together a care package are all doing what they can to reach out to the men and women fighting overseas.

Here are some links, in case you are interested in helping too:

Operation Home Front : Quilts for Soldiers

Quilts of Valor


Suitable patterns for 'Troop Knitting'

making helmet liners

photo: monkshood

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Signature Quilt

Years ago We had a signature swap on a group called Quilters Coven.
I finally put them together into a quilt this past year.

Byzantine Strawberry Bag

I finished my very first ever knitting pattern, so I'm pretty excited today! I used Recycled Sari Silk. Its luscious-looking stuff but can be hard to work with, mostly because the gauge of the fiber changes so much. Lots of slubs and fluffies, and super thin spots too. It is recommended to use a companion fiber to help it stay strong. I chose to use a metallic, and and it came out pretty cool! My first pattern is called "Byzantine Strawberry Bag" I plan to sell it for $6 a pattern.

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Knitting knitting knitting!

Just finished a test knit of a pattern for a felted purse designed by my sis-in-law Lynn (pic below, BEFORE felting)
Working on a pair of cotton toe-up socks in a Sugar and Cream green/blue/yellow colorway (pic below) I also bought the same yarn in a lovely orange/pink/yellow combination.
Also working on my winter hat. Its being done with hand dyed finger-weight alpaca on size '0' needles. I like working small. Good thing, Oscar found the yarn he wants me to make some special socks on. The fiber is a teeny tiny wool/cotton blend in shades of grey by DNC Senso. I'll practice on other kinds of socks before starting, I'd hate to rip this stuff out after getting an inch or two into the project!

I'll also be making some knit bags for sugar gliders, from recycled silk. I tried a few times with the silk alone and with companion yarns, but it was too weak on the one hand, too bulky on the other. I found some lovely strong metallic gold skinny thread I'll be working with this time.

I moved some fabric over into deep storage to make space for yarn... guess its official.. I've got the knitting bug! Its handy, The more I knit the more I forget to eat. I've lost 2 pounds this week, for a total of 12 pounds lost this summer!

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Hot Pink Woven Stitch Phone Bag

I knit a phone caddy/bag out of hot pink contractor's twine (100% nylon) using the knitted woven stitch, then I embellished it with beads. I made it to carry around the cordless phone here at home, so I could have my hands free, especially when working in the garden. Here is it modeled by my husband, Oscar (He's such a great guy!!!)

Friday, June 09, 2006

Making Serendipity Doo-Dah

Years ago, whenI was with my first husband, we had very little extra money for art. I desperately needed an artistic outlet. At the time, I was working as a telemarketer (yes, times were desperate) my then husband was losing a battle with alcholism (which is an expensive habit) and every cent went to the bills and food.
At a rummage sale, I found an old paint by numbers set with left-over oil paints. I used the cardboard back of a note pad and just started painting one day. Even though the colors available were not ones I would have chosen, it felt good to create, and I liked the result so much that I've kept it all these years. It's also a great reminder of how wonderful life is now :-}

Thursday, June 08, 2006

My first sock!!!!

I finished my first sock!!! It is not a thing a beauty, but anything that fits my lump of a foot would not be. It IS warm though, which is more to the point! and I can get it on all by myself! I no longer have to struggle to find enough cat fur to keep my feet warm until somone can come put socks on me :-} No really, I could just cuddle under a blanket, but when I'm on the move in the chair that just doesn't work very well.

I am still working on sock number 2. Also in the works; a hat made on size 0 needles out of fingering weight alpaca in lovley shades of the palest blue, aqua and lavender. I plan to make mittens or a scarf to match.

I also want to make a phone cozy for the phone I need to carry around the house with me.
Something I can hang around my neck.

The pic is of a hat I made from my sis in law's pattern (Button Hat) on

Tuesday, June 06, 2006


I'm leaving a Quilting cycle. I have a few projects to finish up, to fulfilll previous commitments, then all my quilting material is going into three plastic storage containers int eh corner of the studi. Out will come my paints, and my collage things and some glue and dye and gel medium and whatever else I feel like playing with. Its not just a summer thing. In part its because much of my attention is going toward writing. Also, quilting takes up loads of space, which we can ill-afford in a 843 sq ft home. To keep my hands busy when I'm not writing or collaging or painting, I will knit. I've gained enough skills to start a sock which excites me no end! (Thanks in large part to my sis-in-law Lynn, of I'm pretty certain I will eventually get the itch to quilt again, but in the meantime, all that lovely fabric will wait patiently, while I explore other media and get a book or three finished.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

Ewe-nique Yarns and Wristwarmer Compliments

A friend saw the wristwarmers I made a while back and asked if I could make some for her. Because we were driving to Brighton to visit with my mom-in-law, Oscar suggested I find a yarn shop there to buy the yarn for the project. I found a lovely place called Ewe-nique Yarns, right on the main drag, and after a luscious long time looking at EVERYTHING before making up my mind (With Oscar not even minding the wait! I love him!) I found the perfect yarn. Is from Plmouth Yarn's Jelly Beenz collection. Not too expensive, but the perfect colors and weight. Of course I had to buy the size 8 Bamboo Double Pointed needles too. It was in worsted weight, so the first one knit up just slightly faster than the ittty bitty yarn I used for me ;-} It took less than a day to complete #1, and I'm working steadily on #2. Her hands are a little bigger than mine, so it looks large on me.