Saturday, June 24, 2006

Camp for Mom

Sometime last fall, the idea of weaving, in addition to knitting, became implanted in my brain. (Sound of Silence, anyone?). So I read books, and searched on-line, and found some wonderful weaving groups. The desire grew to the point where my main Christmas present was a Kromski Rigid Heddle Loom. Unlike knitting, where the initial outlay is small, weaving requires a loom. While I like the Kromski Harp, it seems like only the bigger floor looms really allow the weaver to experiment with patterns and colors and such. While I enjoy the rigid heddle loom, it's not what I'm looking for.

With the Kromski Harp, I've made several kitchen towels, and the ill-fated scarf/shelf runner. Clearly, this is not something that I'll be able to teach myself. So, way back in January, I discovered that Harrisville Designs, in Harrisville NH, offered a week-long Learn to Weave workshop. From 9 to 4 each day, with access to the weaving room outside of those hours, I could learn to weave. The town is charming, and the Weaving Center offers a boardinghouse for those who wish to stay there.

This is my idea of heaven:
- 5 days with other fiber-addicted adults. One assumes that all will be women; we will try to keep an open mind.
- The cost of the workshop is exactly the same as one offered locally, only the local workshop is half the hours of instruction. If I'm going to use vacation days, I want it to be a whole day. The local workshop is 10 - 2.
- 10% off of everything at the Harrisville store. 'Nuf said.
- I'm going by myself. I love my family, but I need some me time. DD is off to Florida on a mission trip to rebuild houses wrecked by Hurricane Katrina. Let's not get into the request that all bathing suits be modest. DH and DS are off to mid-NH for a week of swmming and video games.
- No internet connection. No checking email, no requests to provide information for the folks at work. If I decide to drive the 13 miles to Keene to use the free wireless connection at Panera bread, it will be due to the coffee and pastry.
- Time for walks and knitting (Icarus, I hear you calling).

So, I may be incommunicado for the next week. I'll take plenty of pictures, write a poem about my Amazing Lace, and recharge for another year.

P.S. DD is working at the Cold Stone Creamery in Brookfield, CT. Make sure you leave a tip, especially if the red-haired kid is working. She's probably the one singing the loudest.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Icarus - too close to the sun?

I made it all the way to row 36 of the pattern when I noticed this:

The feeling that something wasn't quite right had been nagging me for a while now, possibly the reason that I hadn't been working on Icarus very much. There were a few minor errors, nothing major, yet still there it was, the urge to frog and start over.

With the discovery that I had knit the stitch counter into the shawl, the decision to frog was made. Despite paying what I thought was close attention to what I was doing, the error with the stitch marker was made 4 rows back, and I hadn't noticed. Next week is Learn to Weave (camp for adults) at Harrisville Yarns, so I'll have time to concentrate on Icarus. (I'll also read the manual for my camera to learn how to focus better on shots like this.)

Icarus B.F. (before frogging):

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Secret Agent Knitter - apparently not

It's a good thing I never wanted to be a spy, because the Secret Pal stuff is a bit of a challenge. The spoiling of the secret pal is going well, it's the secret identity that I'm having problems with. So far I've left a comment on my Secret Pal's blog as my real self, then I left a comment as anonymous, but didn't put anything in the comment as to who I am. My Secret Pal is smart enough to figure it out, but still...

Silver Arrow Knits had the suggestion to use the not-quite-a-scarf to display antiques, and I decided to go with that theme. Below you see some of the souvenirs of our trip to Jordan last summer - the brass shows up nicely.

Knitting update - I had a whole blog posting planned around my lace knitting taking a trip to Lafayette IN where I went for business this past week. Knitting on the plane, in the car, at the River Knits yarn shop... but I forgot my camera. We chatted with the owner, and showed off the iPod case, but didn't get her name. I picked up a couple of skeins of yarn, which may get described at some future date. One is destined for my Secret Pal, so won't be mentioned until it's in the mail. She already let me know that she will try to resist the temptation to follow the link of the comment back to here, but I don't want to take chances on spoiling any surprises.

Much of my travel time was spent working on the lacy socks, so here they are: Arizona Lace in Green and Broadripple in Pink. Both are now good travelers, having been to New Hampshire and Indiana.

Arizona Lace is waiting for the gusset pick up, and Broadripple is ready for the heel flap. Tonight I'm going to spend some time with Icarus - it's been neglected as of late.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

I used to be good in math...

Warning - this post contains whining!

But first, here's the iPod cozy I knit for myself:

Gotta love that Cascade Fixation yarn that is stretchy. I didn't like the look of jamming the earbuds in with the iPod, so I made another little bag and attached it to the cord of the bigger one. This design effort was successful.

Then we move on to an amazing error. I like math, and pride myself on being pretty good with numbers. So when I decided to weave a scarf, my first non-kitchen towel type weaving effort, I was very careful with the calcuations. I measured ends per inch, and length of skein (Berrocco Chinchilla) and picks per inch and double-checked that everything would work out as planned. Then I started weaving, and things seemed to go okay.

I finally finished weaving the scarf on my rigid heddle loom. It seemed as if I had been weaving, and winding up the cloth, for quite a while. Certainly my scarf was long enough, since I had used up all of the yarn. So I cut it off the loom, tied knots in the warp for fringe, ran it through the washer and dryer (it held up nicely) and here it is. I love the purply color, and the black fringe contrasts nicely:

There's only one little problem - after all that work, the "scarf" is 18 inches long. I had calculated 60 inches. There are very few uses for this woven object, which I can't even call a scarf.

Any suggestions?

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Extreme Knitting - Trampoline Style

For this challenge, Branching Out volunteered to take the mission. In addition to being the furthest along, it's the heaviest weight yarn of the team, thus sturdy enough for the knitter be able to knit under stressful conditions. In addition, the pale green color is best suited for outdoor activities - blends in better with the foliage. If threatened, Branching Out would be able to hide from predators.

Why knit on a trampoline? Most would question the wisdom of knitting while jumping on a trampoline. As with many people in this day and age, the knitter has limited time. Given the opportunity to knit and exercise and spend quality time with DS, trampoline knitting is the perfect solution.

For those tempted to follow this exercise/knitting regimen, as with any exercise program, consult with your physician prior to beginnng.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Blatant advertising for a (Mostly) Self-Taught Knitblogger

Just a quick post to let everyone know what a great job Karen, Musings of a (Mostly) Self-Taught Knitter, did with designing a banner for my blog! She has just started a service, Graphics of a (Mostly) Self-Taught Blogger, designing banners and buttons. She even helped me get the banner on my blog - when I did it myself it was definitely wonky. Next up is to get the button on-line, but getting the banner to look right is enough html for tonight.

Off to finish my Ipod cozy.

Saturday, June 03, 2006

And in their Amazing Lace debut, it's Team Random!

First up, team captain: Branching Out. The combination of knitter, yarn and pattern is at the top of their game, with weeks of practice in a number of different situations. The versatility of this player is unmatched - with social situations and cocktail parties, Branching Out is a star.

Special Teams: Two players are ready for that most challenging of knitting competition - travel knitting. Broadripple, recently recruited in pink and green, has stepped up to the challenge.

In a surprise move, Arizona Lace has come back from the minors to play a critical role on the travel knitting team. "AL" had been benched for being just too big - baggy lacy socks are not competitive in today's environment. "AL" contacted it's original coach, Trek, who provided the necessary pattern modifications for "AL" to regain it's championship form.

We are thrilled to have Arizona Lace back in the majors!

Team Random would not be complete without it's newest member, Icarus. While young and new to competition, Icarus is a trooper! Equipment problems plagued the first few practices, and have since been worked out. Icarus will play a minor role during the beginning of the competition, with the expectation of a big finish at the end of the summer.

Thank you for the opportunity to introduce Team Random! We're looking forward to a fun and exciting Amazing Lace!