Shining Star

Too tired to be much more than random this week. I’ll do my best to wax lyrical in future posts.

~~~

Completion!

The last three days have been a slog but… it’s finished. After 14 months it’s finally finished.

I give you Evenstar in all her majestic glory:

Evenstar Shawl Complete

It’s knit in vintage winter white Bucilla Wondersheen Super Mercerized Cotton (so vintage in fact that it proudly declares itself “boilproof” on the label) on 3mm needles.

I can now move on to the rest of the Christening set for my future nephew.

Compared to the shawl, the christening set should be a cakewalk. I hope.

~~~

Spinning

This weeked I spent some quality time with my wheel and some pretty blue Corridale:

Handspun Blue Stunner

The roving is from Lakehouse Loft and is called “Blue Stunner”. Totally lives up to it’s name πŸ™‚

Spun on my wheel and then plyed on my new favorite plying spindle from Highland Handmades, it’s 111g/205yds of 2-ply in approximately a DK wt.

Delicious.

~~~

Quickie Project

I love making bags. I just do.

This was Saturday’s project:

Spiral Berry Bag

Spiral Berry Bag

It’s the Spiral Rib Bag from One Skein by Leigh Radford.

A good use for an orphan skein of Cascade 220 Handpaints that didn’t match ANYTHING ELSE in my stash (col. 9926 “Cherry Berry”) and even though the pattern didn’t call for it, I handsewed a liner for it:

Spiral Berry Bag, liner

Denim was the only choice in my mind to go with the yarn, made from an old pair of jeans.

A great small muckabout purse that can double as a project bag. WIN!

~~~

Sock Progress

The Crocodilian Socks are coming along slowly. I did a repeat or so when I needed something mindless to work on (generally while watching the NHL Playoffs).

The May Mystery Socks have been retitled “BliosΓ‘n Socks

Janel revealed the name of the pattern with the second clue – “Artichoke“. “BliosΓ‘n” is artichoke in Irish Gaelic.

I haven’t had much time to work on Clue 2 in the rush to finish Evenstar, but I did manage to complete the chart for the first sock:

I think I’m going to continue the pattern on the leg by another 3″ to make it a comfortable height.

Will work on them tomorrow.

~~~

New Arrivals

A pretty pair of Peacocks were waiting in the mailbox yesterday:

Highland Handmades Peacock Roving

I couldn’t help it – I had to get the Tussah silk too. I am a weak, weak woman.

We also gained a new furry member of the family on Tuesday night.

Lily

Meet Lily. She’s a 2-3yr old tabby and used to live with my 87yr old MIL who could no longer care for her properly.

She just loves BadgerDan and, well, she didn’t have anywhere else to go.

Maverick and Tomi seem to be taking the news of their new sister fairly well so far. The boys are giving her a wide berth and the growling and hissing has been pretty minimal. Give it time.

~~~

Until next week…

TTFN.

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Published in: on May 12, 2011 at 9:59 pm  Comments (4)  
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This week’s post brought to you by the colour GREEN

Since I have a slight bit of writer’s block tonight, I’ll just quickly fill you in on what I’ve been working on this week without too much in the way of rhetoric.

~~~

May Mystery Socks

May Mystery Socks - Clue 1

This month’s Sock Knitters Anonymous Mystery Sock is by one of my favorite sock designers Janel Laidman.

Using up the seemingly unending stash of Scheepjeswol Invicta Extra in electric green. (I was given 3 balls of it from a destash – 2 pairs of socks later I still have 2 balls. There is something distictly odd about this yarn. But I digress…)

The beads I’m using for the socks are from a mixed batch of #6 Miyuki Glass Beads in greens with an Aurora Borealis finish.

Still trying to think of a better name for these pretty socks, something Irish maybe…

~~~

Garden Stroll Socks

Garden Stroll Socks - Sock #1 Complete

Finished the first sock! Ain’t it cute? πŸ˜€

~~~

Crocodilian Socks

Crocodilian Socks - Sock #2 Toe

Finished the toe of the second sock and started on the entrelac instep.

~~~

Cotton Mini-Basket

Cotton Mini-Basket Empty

Needed a container that could hold an entire box of cotton swabs in the bathroom – so worked up this adorable little thing during a hockey game (go Vancouver!) using some #20 Cotton Crochet Thread held quadrupled with a 3mm hook for a nice tight gauge.

Couldn’t be happier πŸ™‚

Cotton Mini-Basket - Full

Worked out so well it got me thinking that I may design a crocheted box for all those DVDs I organized last week.

~~~

Evenstar Shawl

Evenstar Shawl - Clue 6 Complete

I finished Clue 6 last night (YAYYYYY!!!!) and after much thought and consultation decided to skip the beads on the border to avoid problems for the baby it is intended for.

Hoping to have this finished by next week and a good start made on the rest of the Christening set for our nephew.

(He’s due next month – OMGMUSTKNITFASTER)

~~~

Sweater Recycling Program

Since it was such a gorgeous (if a bit chilly) spring day today, it got me thinking about warm weather yarns and my lack of them.

So I pulled out one of the thriftstore sweaters I had put aside for “upcycling” and had a lovely time dismantling it.

Recycled Cotton Blend Yarn

This particular sweater I really liked but it didn’t quite sit right on my frame and so warranted a re-work. I even got a couple of matching buttons in the deal!

The yarn is a cotton/acrylic/nylon/wool blend, approximately a DK wt and the sweater yielded 7 balls at approx 52g/209yds each (total = 1463yds) Not too shabby.

Thinking using it for a nice big shrug-style open cardigan or perhaps a tunic. We’ll see.

TTFN.

Published in: on May 5, 2011 at 11:25 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Breaking Even

Remember back in March when I told you about the master plan to work my yarn stash down to more reasonable levels?

Well, I encountered my first fullblown challenge to the plan a little over a week ago while out shopping with a girlfriend at the local Salvation Army Thriftstore.

You see, I found yarn.

Good yarn. Wool yarn. Useful yarn.

Lana Grazia Lavabile

2 balls of Lana Grazia “Lavabile” (100% Wool, DK, 110m/50g) in a lovely camel colour @ 99c each.

Simpsons Supremacy 4-ply

1 oz ball of vintage Simpsons Supremacy 4-ply “All Purpose” Fingering Yarn (50% Wool/50% Nylon) @ 79c.

Total purchase price = $2.79

Now here’s the kicker – at that point, I had only earned 30% of a single new yarn purchase. A deficit of 2.7.

Translation: I would need to use up a full **27 balls of stash yarn** before even looking at any new fiber purchase. ACK!!!!!!!

After I finished thwacking my head against the wall for a bit, I girded my loins and decided to face the monster head on.

~~~

First up – finish the Sampler Baby Blanket.

I simply couldn’t afford to wait another 2 months for the CAL patterns.

So a few more filler squares, a couple more February squares, four of the April squares for the corners and a sewing marathon later, I had this:

Sampler Baby Blanket - Sewing Complete

Added an improvised border and VOILA!

Sampler Baby Blanket - Complete

One crib sized baby blanket ready for the baby nephew πŸ™‚

~~~

Next – finish the Exploding Plum Blanket.

And holy cow, did it ever explode! It’s almost 6 ft wide!

Exploding Plum Blanket

Had to get a little creative at the border due to goofing up the pattern sequence a little and not wanting to pull it back to correct it. It’s not perfect, but it still looks pretty cool :).

~~~

Well that’s 22 balls down. Need 5 more. Hmmm…

I *had* planned on using some Malabrigo for this month’s Woolly Wormhead KAL Hat (“Waffle Slouch“) – maybe I’d better check the wool “oddball” case instead.

Rummagerummagerummage

Here’s 22yds of a dark brown mercerized wool (okay, that’ll totally work for the brim…), 71 yds of brown tweed Aran wt (nice for the body… but will it be enough? Better be sure…) and 28 yds of red heather (well, it blends a *little* with the tweed… maybe some stripes?)

Crossing my fingers, I used the stitchcount of the smallest size with larger needles and hoped for the best.

The brim yarn yielded a good 2″ of ribbing on 5mm needles. (The pattern said 3″, not too bad.)

Upsized the needles to 5.5mm for the Aran wt tweed and got to work. After a couple of repeats, decided that I’d need the red heather after all and threw a single repeat of it after every 2 of the brown tweed. Had *just* enough tweed to finish the hat. (Whew! That was close!)

There’s still a little bit of the red heather left… hey, how about a flower applique? There’s that one in the Knit 2 Together book

Add an army surplus button from ye olde button box and…

Crunchy Granola Hat

The Crunchy Granola Hat is born.

I swear to you that the red heather wool isn’t NEARLY as pink as the photo suggests and actually blends with the brown.

I’ve been wearing it for 2 days now – it’s cute as Hell.

Webcam Hat Shot

~~~

Damn – still behind by 2.

It’ll be summer soon… maybe it’s time to do something with those pesky balls of shiny cotton-blend ribbon yarn.

Enter the Steampunk Safari Scarf.

Steampunk Safari Scarf

I offset the ribbon with some heavier mercerized cotton braid in a deep rich brown.

The pattern is called “The Age of Brass and Steam Kerchief” by Orange Flower and only calls for 240yds of DK wt yarn.

BTW, did I mention that it’s *FREE*?

Webcam Shot, Scarf

Lovelovelovelovelove. OMG – Must. Make. More.

~~~

Beginning Yarn Stash Talley: -2.7
Current Yarn Stash Talley: +0.1

And that, dear Reader, is why this week’s post is a day late.

Now there’s the small matter of the 9 more balls that need to be used up before this GORGEOUS Highland Handmades Corridale can come home.

Highland Handmades Peacock Corridale

I *really* need to get on that.

TTFN.

Published in: on April 15, 2011 at 7:14 pm  Comments (2)  
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A Little Bit of This and That

Just a few random things today:

DivaRomana Shrug - Complete

As promised, this is how the DivaRomana Shrug looks like on me. I’m quite surprised at how comfortable, light and *warm* it is.

(Note: please excuse the hair – it was still wet from the shower.)

~~~

Treetop Kneesocks - Sock #1 (halfway through leg)

Wednesday was spent working on the (very tricky) leg of my Treetop Kneesocks and wondering what the heck my husband was up to and where.

The first chart section on the leg is now done and I hope the next section goes a bit faster. Bamboo DPNs aren’t the fastest needles to work with, but I chose them so I wouldn’t brutalize the recycled wool.

(Long story short: It turns out that BadgerDan was driving all over the Greater Toronto Area trying to find a Passport office that could renew his passport the same day.

Unfortunately, he wasn’t as lucky as the YarnHarlot’s Joe this time round and he had to miss out on a lucrative 10-day assignment to Tennessee.

Suffice it to say that he was none too pleased when he got home last night.

He has since picked up a few jobs in Toronto for the weekend and had a client pay a large outstanding invoice in full so doesn’t feel too bad about it now.

See? Things always have a way of working out. πŸ™‚ )

~~~

Moderne Log Cabin Blanket (Block 3 - 50%)

I’m about halfway through the 3rd Block on my Moderne Log Cabin Blanket.

Believe it or not, I keep this in a basket on top of my TV in the living room and work on it when I’m too tired or stressed out to think. With all the complicated stuff I do, it’s kind of nice to have something mindless to reach for when I need to.

~~~

Thursday was a spinning day:

This is some beautiful custom blended roving from the amazing CJ Kopec called “Sunset” that I picked up a little while ago.

It’s 2/3 Merino, 1/3 Colonial wool and all YUM.

I’m about a third of the way throught the 4oz batch – not bad for a novice spinner, I think.

~~~

The Round 4 specs for Sock Madness 4 were recently released and had me (and most of the other competitors) scrambling through the sock yarn stash in sheer desperation:

US 1/ 2.25mm, US 2/2.75mm – 4 skeins Knit Picks stroll (231 yds/50g)

Do the math – that’s 924yds/200g of sock yarn.

Oh. Em. Gee.

I don’t know about you, but I only get *maybe* 100g of sock yarn at a time. This sucker is also a cabled pattern making me think that I really don’t want to try and stripe them. Buying yarn is out of the question, so what to do????

The only thing I could think of: Raid the Laceweight Stash.

Lisa Souza Laceweight

You may remember this yarn:

Lisa Souza Wild Things

It’s a whopping 2520 yards/226 grams of 2ply extrafine merino (Lisa Souza Laceweight, “Wild Things”) which when I swatched it doubled…

SM4 Round 4 Swatch

… actually gave me gauge and is muted enough to pass as a semi-solid.

Halleluah – crisis averted.

~~~

And last, but not least:

alynxiathelacemonster

Ain’t it the cutest? This little guy is “alynxiathelacemonster” created by the ever-talented Miss Violet who is on a bit of a monster kick at the moment.

Thanks V, I love it lots. πŸ˜€

Published in: on April 23, 2010 at 1:17 am  Comments (2)  
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Wrapping Up the Year

Yep. 2009 is over as of midnight. Is that loud cheering I hear? I think it might πŸ˜‰

Suffice it to say that it’s been a tumultuous year for us and practically everyone we know. Thankfully, we have survived and are beginning to see bigger and brighter things coming to fruition for 2010.

But before we ring the old year out, there’s some final things to show you:

~~~

I promised to share this year’s crop of holiday gifts and now that they’ve all been distributed, I can!

(I won’t go into too much detail or else this post will turn into a novel, so click on the links to go to each project’s Ravelry page for additional info)

Holiday Insta-Afghan #1 Holiday Insta-Afghan #2

Holiday Insta-Afghans #1 & #2

Mom's Mystery Slippers 1 Mom's Mystery Slippers 2 Dad's Lopi Slippers of Doom
Mom’s Mystery Slippers & Dad’s Lopi Slippers of Doom

BD's Winter Socks Dad's Diamond Socks

BD’s Winter Socks & Dad’s Diamond Socks

Maine Morning Mitts - Pair #1 Maine Morning Mitts - Pair #2 Maine Morning Mitts - Pair #3
Maine Morning Mitts – Pairs #1, #2, & #3

Happy Stripes Tea Cozy Garter Mug Cozies Noro Coffee Sleeves

Happy Stripes Tea Cozy, Garter Mug Cozies & Noro Coffee Sleeves

Overpass Cowl Frosty Ottawa Morning Cowl Chunky Dean Street Cowl Jade Infinity Cowl

Overpass Cowl, Frosty Ottawa Morning Cowl, Chunky Dean Street Cowl & Jade Infinity Cowl

Rock Out Guitar Strap Sock MIL's Fancypants Apron

Rock Out Guitar Strap Sock & MIL’s Fancypants Apron

Joseph, The Amazing Technicolour Octopus 1 Joseph, The  Amazing Technicolour Octopus 2 Roxie's Bunny Nugget 1 Roxie's Bunny Nugget 2

Joseph, The Amazing Technicolour Octopus (for baby grand-nephew) & Roxie’s Bunny Nugget (who’s pompom didn’t last 2 minutes LOL).

Roxie & her Bunny Nugget

She loves it though :D.

~~~

BadgerDan spoiled me rotten this year with a much needed Royal Ball Winder, a set of Addi Clicks and a replacement foot pedal for my 1950s Singer Sewing Machine.

Royal Ball Winder Addi Clicks

Among other wonderful gifts, I also received some precious family heirlooms to look after. My Grandmother’s mink stole (circa 1950s), antique drop leaf table (circa 1920s) & my great-grandmother’s tea table (circa 1900s). The furniture looks wonderful in our “parlour”

My Furnished Parlour

In other good news, Hubby has finally gotten our Jeep insured and on the road – The Mork & Mindy Mobile Lives!!!! Woohoo!!!!!

(Photo will be added later)

~~~

On Christmas Day, I started a pair of socks from some leftover yarn and completed them yesterday:

Burning Rings of Fire Socks 1

Pattern: Burning Rings of Fire Socks by Kirsten Kapur
Yarn: Lang Super Soxx, grey/brown; Sandnes Garn Lanett Superwash, black; Lady Galt Kroy 4-ply, col 118 (brown)
Needles: 2.5mm circs (magic loop)

What a great little pattern! (It’s a free Ravelry Download, btw.) Fits like a dream and works great with handpaints, self striping and stashbusting – I think this one might just become my go-to travel sock pattern.

Burning Rings of Fire Socks 2

I wore them all day yesterday – lovelovelovelove!

Being in total stashbuster mode, I also cast on another pair:

Niagara Falls Socks 1

Pattern: Niagara Falls by Janel Laidman (from The Eclectic Sole)
Yarn: Lang Super Soxx, col 630.0045 (41.6g); Paton’s Scotch Fingering 3-ply, white (8.3g) (for the heel & toe)
Needles: 2.5mm circs

So far so good πŸ˜€

And my last cast on of the year is in support of talented designer and Plurk/Ravelry friend, Lisa Dykstra (aka YenforYarn), who’s just started chemotherapy.

YenforYarn's Happy Socks

YenforYarn’s Happy Socks

Pattern: Periwinkle Socks by Lisa Dykstra (from Crystal Palace Yarns)
Yarn: Kroy 3-ply from Stash, Burgundy/Blue/Green Twist (27g); Solid Burgundy (40g)
Needles: 2.25mm circs

This is one of the free patterns she did for CPY, but she has also done some fantastic work for the WoolGirl Sock Club and has a great sock pattern called Manhatten that I’m planning on casting on for in January.

Grab those needles, choose one of her patterns and send her lots of healing thoughts and good will!

~~~

On the shawl front, I have 12 more rows to go on Wings of Horus which I hope to finish sometime in January. These last rows are taking *forever*! (Did I mention that this shawl is huge?)

Wings of Horus - 12 rows to bind off

Mystic Waters and my Shetland Faroese haven’t been touched in a while, but I’m going to be firm with myself and not cast on another lace shawl until they’re finally off the needles.

So the WIP count going into 2010 is a whopping 2 pairs of socks and 3 shawls. I’m doing pretty well, I think :).

~~~

In Yarn/Fibre Pr0n news…

For our wedding anniversary, BD bought me these to make the Mystic Embers Stole:

2 skeins of Cables & Lace Frog’s Hair (70% Merino, 30% Silk 2-ply laceweight, 440yds) in “Rusty Hull”

Simply Gorgeous!

Note: Knitting Dragon has put his dyeing on hold for a while as he pursues a degree in Fiber Arts & Fashion Design – All the best Eric!

When I first saw this roving, I completely lost my mind and stalked TisJewel until she had it up in her etsy shop:

Jekyll & Hyde Combed Top

4oz of Merino/Tussah Silk Combed Top, “Jekyll & Hyde”.

You know when all rational thought goes out the window and all that’s left is your inner child screaming “MINE”? Yep. Totally what happened.

And when it arrived, I was totally speechless…

Then I immediately went to her website and ordered the other one, as NO ONE ELSE MAY HAVE IT!!!!! MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!!!!

ahem.

A few other wonderful fibery things will be arriving in the new year … of which I will fill you in later.

Lastly, I won another prize from the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous Group! πŸ˜€

This time for the 2009 October Challenge, donated by SandraSingh – a copy of Chrissy Gardiner’s Tangled Vines Socks:

Tangled Vines Socks

Very cool! Will have to figure out what yarn I want to do them in…

~~~

So, are you ready for the final project talley?

Got your smelling salts handy? Sitting down?

Okay, here we go:

Pairs of Socks: 52
Pairs of Slippers: 4
Pairs of Mitts/Gloves: 7
Hats: 7
Scarves: 7
Cowls: 5
Shawls/Apron: 3
Sweaters/Tops: 7
Afghans/Blankets/Rugs: 7
Pillows: 2
Bags: 3
Dishcloths: 9
Placemats: 4
Cozies (Teapot or Otherwise): 8
Accessories/Ornaments: 4
Stuffed Toys: 2

2009 FINAL TOTAL: 131 Completed Knitting and Crochet Projects

I think I might need a stiff drink.

~~~

Wishing you all a Safe & Happy New Year!

New Year's Eve Greeting

See you in 2010!

From Books to Nuts

Or rather from Nuts to Books…

So, with no further ado, I present to you the long awaited pattern for the “Little Knitted Acorn Project Bag”!

Little Knitted Acorn Project Bag

Little Knitted Acorn Project Bag

Click on the above link for the PDF instructions and enjoy!

My humblest thanks go out to my testknitters and the people who have been patiently waiting for me to get around to writing out the final copy… and then re-writing it when the original died along with my Dell laptop. You guys rock.

I can’t begin to tell you how happy I am that things are finally settling down enough for me to start transforming my patterns and ideas from jumbled notes & sketches into tangible instructions that others can follow. That and having a computer that can not only keep up with me, but actually do what I tell it to do, when I tell it to do it! (If only the husband was as well trained…)

As of right now, the pattern for the Classic Crocheted Shawl is being tested and should be available for download soon. Progress!

In addition to my new computer, I’ve acquired another couple of useful items recently that have made me squee with joy:

This would be my “brand new” Singer 306K (circa 1955) picked up for $20 at the local Salvation Army Thrift Store. It fits in my Nana’s sewing machine table perfectly and BadgerDan is on the hunt for a new pedal (the current one is kinda wonky) and some of the missing attachments for me. Colour me happy πŸ˜€

However, not as happy as my new spindle makes me!

Murano Glass Spindle

I picked up this gorgeous little guy from Butterfly Girl Designs over on Etsy. Now I just need to get some fiber worthy of spinning on it!

Now to bring on the yarn pr0n…

As I mentioned in my first blog post of the year, I have given myself some rules for stash enhancement and that also entails that I share with you my yarn acquisitions, full price or otherwise, lest the guilt monster haunt me for life.

In the spirit of full disclosure, the following was a bit of a splurge – but it was a special occasion. And I felt entitled as I completely missed WWKIP day.

Cables & Lace Yarns

Cables & Lace Dragon Toes in “Strife” and Lizard Toes in “Beltane”. Incredibly, it was the first mail we received at our new address. (They are destined for a pair of socks & a scarf – as soon as I’m able to stop petting them.)

I also ended up purchasing the yarn for the Lover’s Knot Wedding Afghan (2 (400g) balls of Phentex Worsted in “Natural” and 1 (125g) ball of Loops & Threads Impeccable Solids in “Chocolate) due to a lack anything suitable in my stash for it. As it was for a wedding gift with next to no yarn leftover from the project, I think I can let myself off the hook for this transgression.

However, what follows now is the Yarn Score of the Century found at my local Salvation Army Thrift Store:

Yarn Score of the Century

20(Twenty!!!) balls of Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb and 4 200g hanks of Worsted Wt Wool (I think they’re Romni Wools house brand, but could be wrong.)

All for the grand price of… $16 CDN.

(I’ll allow you a moment to do the math.)

Needless to say, I think I broke the landspeed record getting from the cash register to the car and after getting home, spent a good 3 hours jumping up and down.

Deciding to share the joy, I subsequently gifted about 10 balls of the Lacey Lamb to various knitterly buddies of mine over on Plurk, still leaving me with at least 5 shawls-worth. (That delicious wine colour has Mystic Roses written all over it.)

There has also been some forays into dying, both project-related and otherwise:

Not having enough yellow yarn in the stash (read: next to nil) to do the Sock Knitter’s Anonymous September 09 Mystery Sock (the challenge this month was the colour “yellow”) written by the illustrious Nancy Bush, I had to improvise. A little digging around yielded a couple of skeins of cream mystery 2-ply “workhorse” wool and a box of Gold Tintex Dye.

The resulting combination henceforth officially dubbed “Mango Margarita”:

Mango Margarita Wool

Not too bad for a fabric dye. (The socks, btw, have been worn and washed with little to no colour-bleeding – so far, so good.)

Yesterday, after colouring my hair, there was quite a bit left over and inspiration struck. I re-skeined 2 balls of some seriously ancient laceweight wool and had a bit of fun.

Following the same directions as for hair – I did one in solid and one “a la Jackson Pollock“:

Hair Colour-Dyed Laceweight Wool

It worked – who knew? (lol)

Last, but not least, some books magically made their way into my library…

In separate trips to the local Value Village, I scored these (both in hardcover and $3.99):

Family Album by Kaffe Fassett & Zoe Hunt

Family Album by Kaffe Fassett & Zoe Hunt

Welcome Home by Kaffe Fassett

Welcome Home by Kaffe Fassett

Thus, bringing my Kaffe book collection up to 9 (not including Rowan publications.) MUAHAHAHAHAHA!!! One day they will all be mine!!!!! (Ahem.)

My friend Betty (of Sheeps of Egyptian Cotton) sent me her extra copy of A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swansen and earned my ever-lasting love and devotion.

A Gathering of Lace

And on the “free for the taking” bookcase in our building’s party room I found a copy of this:

Knitted Shawls, Stoles and Scarves

Knitted Shawls, Stoles, and Scarves by Nancy M. Wiseman

Note to self: check bookcase every Wednesday after little old ladies needlework group.

Wishing a very Happy Thanksgiving to my fellow Canadians (and happy Diwali to those celebrating it).

TTFN.

{Note: *Wince* I realize after reading this entry that my writing style leaves plenty of room for improvement. I’m working on it. Really.}

I may just have a problem…

4 days later… I know I said “tomorrow” in the last post, but I just wasn’t able to get into a writing state of mind.

Anyhoo, here’s how my WWKIP day went in a nutshell (no pictures 😦 – see last post):

– Wished good luck to Heather and Wendy at Unwind (they were having a HUGE sale)
– Caught the bus into Toronto and started work on Simple S’mores Sock #2 (1.5 hour ride).
– Took TTC to Queen Street West and stopped in at Americo. (unfortunately they were out of what I was looking for, {handspun silk}, will try next time).
– Walked a couple of blocks to Romni where again I couldn’t find what I was looking for {Fiddlesticks “Cosy Scarves” Pattern} (they were out too, dang it).
– Made a beeline over to the festivities at Lettuce Knit where I came upon Stephanie playing with some dry ice.
– Sought out Rachel H (armed with her “Clipboard of Power”) to sign in for 1000 Knitters Project.
– Drooled around the store and bought some sock yarn and a copy of Cookie A’s “Twisted Flower” pattern.

Yarn from Lettuce Knit

Thats STR Lightweight in “Smoky Blue” (gorgeous) and 2 hanks of Art Yarns Ultramerino 4.

– Met, knit on the sock and hung out with a wonderful bunch of knitters including Stephanie, Rachel, Ken, Juno, Denny and a whole bunch more whose names unfortunately have escaped me. Said “hi” to Amy Singer, although didn’t talk to her much. Took a bunch of photos including the requisite sock w/Harlot shot.
– Was introduced to Franklin and sat for my picture. We had a nice chat while I knit on the 1000 Knitter scarf and he snapped away. I have to say, bar none, that Frank is one of the nicest and most darling men I have ever met. I had a couple of great shots of Franklin (including one where he wrapped himself in my Halloween Mystery Shawl in imitation of his grandmother arriving at Ellis Island – killing myself for erasing that one!).
– There were door prizes being handed out – this is what I won:

Bambino Sock Yarn

Cameleon Colourworks handdyed Bambino Sock Yarn (Wool/Bamboo) in Lavender/Gold. Not my colours, but it’s going to become a pair that the Lovely Fiona is going to flip over.
– I have never seen such a parade of cupcakes and muffins (most homemade)! Too bad I couldn’t eat any :(.
– Around 4pm, went back to Romni to rummage in the basement for a while and happily came out with these:

Romni Basement Finds

a ball of Regia Canadian Colour (4743 – name? anyone know it?) and a ball of Brown Sheep Wildfoote (SY-09 Mums).

– Walked back to Lettuce Knit where things were wrapping up (quite literally – everyone left posed for a photo with the scarf around us on the steps of the shop). Sun/heat was beginning to bother me a bit.
– Went back to Queen West, got a wrap from a cafe selling Gluten Free food (kewl!) and hopped on the streetcar heading to Islington (was meeting BadgerDan at some friends in Etobicoke where we were staying over). A surprisingly nice ride if you’re ever wanting to blow an hour or so sightseeing in Toronto. Takes you all along Lakeshore and by some REALLY expensive houses.
– Caught the Islington bus to the station where I promptly got on the Casino (Woodbine) bus by mistake instead of the Northbound. Was at Woodbine Center before I figured out what was going on – oops! Got off and grabbed the next bus heading in the opposite direction. Was totally not feeling great by then – too much time in the sun.
– Finally made it to our friend’s apartment around 8:30 or so where BadgerDan was dead asleep on the couch (long day for him too). He had made ribs and the smell just put me over the edge. Tossed my cookies, then headed for the spare room where I slept through until morning. (We’re pretty sure I had a touch of sunstroke – felt much better when I woke up.)
– BadgerDan drove me to Finch where I caught the bus back home so I could make it to work at noon.

Well that’s pretty much how that weekend went.

Here’s some of what I picked up at the Unwind sale:

UYH - Sale Yarn

There are plans for those 2 balls of Noro Kureyon Sock – Colour 150 is going to become a pair of Rivendell socks and 188 will become Nancy Bush’s Chalet Socks.

The other one is Araucania Ranco Multy in blue/brown.

I also brought home some adorable Sweaterkits sheep buttons (which might be made into magnets):

SweaterKits Sheep Buttons

(My sheep are brown not white like in the photo.) How can you not grin at those?

A sweater’s worth of dark green Nature wool and the remaining 2 hanks of Misti Alpaca Handpainted Lace (“a thousand lakes”) that I needed for the Slow Bee shawl also came home along with a replacement set of 2.75 Pony Pearl DPNs (I gave away my previous set of Boye’s because they were driving me nuts).

Arriving last Monday:

Lana Grossa Sock Yarn

My order from Red Bird Knits of some sale Lana Grossa Meilenweit: Two in One 8501 (Teal) and Marmi 7001 (Brown) which the husbeast has already claimed.

Arriving this Monday (aka yesterday):

The Eclectic Sole

Squee!!!! Rivendell socks can now be made. Just a note – Janel is also the designer behind the Chameleon Colorworks SotM Club which gave birth to the book.

I’ve been dealing with some serious startitis over the last few days:

Woven Basket Cloth

Pattern: Woven Basket Stitch Dishcloth by Chris Silker
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Hot Blue/Somerset
Needles: 5.5mm
Hook: 5mm

I was using up leftovers for this cloth. Did the centre 4″ square as per pattern and then improvised a crocheted border around in contrast. Not my favorite – my MIL will like it though. This was the KAL cloth I missed doing a couple of weeks ago.

New England Socks

These are New England by Nancy Bush from Knitting on the Road in Araucania Ranco Multy (Peacock) done Magic Loop on 2mm 32″ Addis for the May/June 2008 KOTR KAL. I would like to finish them before July…

Friday was the release of Clue 1 for both the Casablanca Mystery Shawl KAL:

Casablanca Shawl - Clue 1 Done Casablanca Shawl - Clue 1 closeup

(I changed out the beads to some cognac A/B #6s and am much happier than with the teal. Using 4.5mm needles and am pretty pleased with the results.)

AND the Slow Bee II Mystery Shawl KAL:

Slow Bee 2 Shawl - Clue 1, Side 1 Complete Slow Bee 2 Shawl - Clue 1, Side 1 Closeup

I still have to undo the provisional cast on to do the second half of Clue 1, but already I’m in love with this shawl. It’s actually knit on 3.5mm 10″ Brittany Straight needles and transferred to circs for the photo. Fiddly, but fantastic!

My Goddess Knits Anniversary Mystery Shawl finally got underway:

Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl - Clue 1 done

Clue 1 is done (I went with Chart B for this clue) and Clue 2 should be done before the week is out (probably going to choose Chart B for this one too).

This morning, I did some design work which has, lets just say it, been driving me completely bananas the last week or so. Mixing cables can do that to you – arghhhh!

So, coming across a bag pattern among the scattered graph paper, I immediately grabbed yarn and needles and cast on some stress relief knitting:

Keyhole Carpet Bag

I’m beginning to think that this case of Startitis might become terminal.

A little perspective

Boy, is it hot – there, I said it. Global warming has definitely made it’s appearance in Ontario this past week. Thank heavens for our little air conditioner or our tiny apartment would be an oven!

I’ve been pretty busy lately, so let me catch you up:

A couple of lace swatches…

Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl Swatch Mystic Meadows Swatch

The first one is for the Goddess Knits Anniversary Shawl KAL which starts this Saturday (WWKIP Day – remember!) out of Misti Alpaca Baby Alpaca 2-ply Lace (Mushroom) which I’ll be using in conjuction with their gorgeous Handpainted Lace in “Seattle“. This one is a circular Pi-shaped shawl. When I run out of Seattle, I’ll change over to Mushroom on the next round.

The second swatch is for the Mystic Meadows Shawl KAL, which began a week ago and I have managed to get to Row 56 of Clue 1. This one is taking a bit longer to knit for some reason. I was originally going to use the Aubergine Alpaca from Celtic Memory for this shawl, but decided at the last minute to change over to some 2-ply Shetland wool that I frogged from a second-hand Marks & Spencer sweater due to the perfect heathered meadow colours. That, and it blocks like iron. I’ll save the alpaca for a future project.

Mystic Meadows - Row 16 Mystic Meadows - Row 56

Clue 2 was released today. Hopefully I can catch myself up. With all my recent sock knitting, I’m a little out of practice!

Secret of Bad Nauheim has stalled a bit. I have only 15 rounds left on the border – but at over 800 stitches per round and growing, it takes a while.

Speaking of socks, I’ve finished my first qualifying pair for the 52 Pair Plunge II (and my 14th pair of the year).

Beaded Gypsy Dancing Socks (w/shawl)

My “Pele’s Party Socks” have been re-dubbed “Beaded Gypsy Dancing Socks” – aren’t they fun?

Beaded Gypsy Dancing Socks -  Complete

Pattern: Godmother’s Socks By Deborah Swift of MountainMom Designs (Round 6 Pattern for Sock Madness 2)
Yarn: Koigu KPM Handdyed Semi-Solids, Colour 1110 (50g skein – 160m); Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock, Origin Colourway (32g)
Needles: 2.25mm KnitPicks Circs, 2.75mm DPNs for cuff
Beads: #6 glass beads in various coordinating colours – used 1mm crochet hook to apply.

I’m also halfway through the Optional Round Pattern – “Woven Cable Eyelet Socks” by Technoknitter:

Woven Cable Eyelet Socks

Yes, they are loud and I like them that way! Using up some old DGB Confetti Superwash (Col. 193) that has been screaming at me for awhile, but couldn’t find the right pattern for.

Woven Cable Eyelet Socks top Woven Cable Eyelet Socks - Cables

I altered the pattern slightly using a stockingette toe, sole, a flap heel (using the heel instructions from the Diamante Sock pattern by Deb Barnhill on Knitty modified to accommodate the smaller stitch count) and smaller needles than called for (2.25mm for foot/heel, 2.5mm for leg and gusset).

In knitting these two-at-a-time together, I ran into some major needle issues as I do not as yet have any 40″ circulars. Suffice it to say, they have now been separated onto their own individual circular and I have some 40″ lengths on order. What a nightmare.

Weekly KAL dishcloths:

Banana Waffle Cloth (Front) Banana Waffle Cloth (Back)

Pattern: Waffle Texture Ensemble by Maile Mauch
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Banana Yellow
Needles: 3.25mm

Sorry about the photo quality, but the texture wasn’t coming through. Both the front and back are really nice. I had a very long tail left from the cast-on, so I crocheted a little hanging loop.

Baby Fern Dishcloth

Pattern: Baby Fern Pattern Dishcloth by Vaunda Rae Giberson
Needles: 3.25mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Stripes, Tie Dye Stripes

I used smaller needles, added two additional rows to the top and bottom border and eliminated 3 stitches in the main pattern to balance it out. All in all, very happy with the result.

Another square for the Sampler Afghan:

Lacy Granny Square

Pattern: Lacy Granny by Dayna Audirsch
Hook: 5mm
Yarn: Mission Falls 1824 Wool, 016 – Thyme, 005 – Raven

This is the CAL square for June. One more filler square and my 2008 Sampler Afghan will be at the halfway point and so will 2008. Incredible. Where does the time go?

Some Yarn Pr0n for ya:

Regia Kaffe Fassett and Liza Sock Yarns Norwegian Wool

Scored on a recent trip to Needles and Knits in Aurora. In order from L-R, we have:

Regia Kaffe Fassett Sock Yarn – Landscape Twilight (just a single ball, I have a perfect mixer solid in my stash)
Liza Sock Yarn – this is a one-of-a-kind handpaint by Elizabeth who works at the store. Stunning colours and really good yardage (462yds/422.5m)

Found in the discount room:

Selbu Husflidsgarn – Heathered Dark Grey, 100g/210m, Sport/DK (destined for BadgerDan socks)
Naturegarn no. 1, 50g/55m, Lopi-Style Chunky, Col. 754 (another stripe or two for the Lopi Blanket)

Autumnal knitting preparation:

Kimono Jacket Yarn

I finally decided on a substitute yarn to use for the cover Kimono Jacket from Freedom Spirit and Wool Book 456 (my primary reason for purchasing the book). Not that I have anything against Freedom Spirit – I love it – I just wanted something a little different. Going with Auracania Nature Wool Worsted – this is a light worsted wool that will knit down to a DK or up to a Worsted so I think it should work just fine. I plan on doing the main body of the sweater in the lime green and the borders/trim in the dark brown. It’s going to look great.

Yes – I do knit the occasional sweater. For a while now I’ve been telling myself and others that I’m not really a sweater knitter. The other day, I stopped and actually counted how many sweaters I’ve made in my knitting career. Eight sweaters in under 5 years with 2 more currently on the needles. Um, let’s just say, my tune has changed a bit.

Perspective is everything.

Published in: on June 9, 2008 at 2:29 pm  Leave a Comment  
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The Knitting Never Stops

Wow, where did May go? This month just flew by…

Thank you Anita and Rhonda (and all others) for your comments (and compliments – blush)! It’s really great to know that I’m not just talking to myself here :1).

Rhonda, I totally agree that my Mystery Lace photo looks like a “nether region cover”. In fact, on the group’s message board, one lady was scanning the finished Clue 1 pictures and her daughter walked by and asked her why she was looking at g-strings on the internet! Too funny. As to knitted lace g-strings, I do have a pattern for one from one of last year’s Interweave Knits issues. BadgerDan thanks you for your suggestion and consideration, but thinks that although very pretty, it isn’t really worth my effort to knit as it would probably get damaged beyond repair and spend most of it’s time on the floor (wink).

As for sleep – let’s just say that I’m a bit of a night owl and leave it at that. :1)

I promised you some finished objects this post, so with no further ado…

Mystic Light Shawl - complete

Mystic Light is DONE! (Bet you didn’t expect that, did you?)

Pattern: Mystic Light by Anna Dalvi
Yarn: Austermann Step, Colour 01
Needles: 3.75mm Addi Turbos/4mm Addi Turbos (Clue 3 onward)
Beads: #6 Miyuki Glass Beads, 6-142S (Silver-lined Berry colour) 2 vials [applied with 1mm crochet hook]

Baby Surprise Jacket - complete

My first BSJ too!!!

Pattern: Baby Surprise Jacket by Elizabeth Zimmermann (1968 Original Pattern as reprinted in The Opinionated Knitter)
Needles: 3.5mm Brittany Straights
Yarn: Sirdar Baby Bamboo (Taupe, Olive, Cream)
Buttons: Glazed Terra-Cotta from Sweaterkits

I have to re-knit the collar as the i-cord is way too tight (my bad). I’m just going to pick up and do a few rows of garter stitch instead to match the button band.

Note: The original recipient of the jacket will have outgrown it by the time it would get to him. So this one is going into the “hope chest” and he’ll be receiving a nice crocheted hemp sunhat instead. What do I know about growing babies? Apparently not sizing.

Sunny Scalloped Dishcloth

Sunny Scalloped Dishcloth

Pattern: Scallop Pattern Dishcloth #009 by Love 2 Knit Dishcloths
Needles: 3.25mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Creamsicle/Hot Orange

This is the Weekly Cloth from last week. Had a little fun framing out the centre pattern with the solid using intarsia. Just a little note – the pattern doesn’t include the border stitches, so remember to add them.

Naturally Purled Eyelets Cloth

Naturally Purled Eyelets Dishcloth

Pattern: 2008 May Mid-Month Dishcloth (Monthly Dishcloth KAL) by Sue Schaefer for Harvest Moon Designs
Needles: 3.25mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton, Natural Ombre

I made this cloth quite a bit smaller (by 12 sts in fact) than the original and using smaller needles. My finished cloth is about 6″ square. No pattern link for this one unfortunately.

Simple S'mores Sock #1 Simple S'mores Socks - Sock 1 Done

Finished the first Simple S’mores Sock yesterday. I used a caramel-coloured stash 3-ply for the heel and 3″ 2×2 cuff (doubled for heel, single for cuff). Stopped at 6″ for the leg as I thought that was plenty (plus I was really bored with the stockingette). Fits very well, but the heel IS a little squared off.

Secret of Bad Nauheim - Clue 5

This green alpaca blob is what a 6′ long stole looks like with 852 border stitches picked up around it on a 32″ circular needle. Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole is well on its way to completion with only 38 border rows to go. I may just make my self-imposed June deadline!

I received my Irish yarn swap package from CelticMemory the other day – Squee!!!

Stash Swap Swag

From the top:

50/50 Silk/Cashmere, Natural Heathered Tweed (280m) [I totally have to make a summer top with this]
90/10 Merino/Nylon “Mousse” laceweight , in Teal and Olive (200m each) [I would call this a baby boucle]

And OMG!

Celtic Memory Merino Tencel

A skein of her OWN HANDDYED MERINO TENCEL!!!! She calls this colourway “Deep Sea” and it is sooooo pretty! This is actually my first merino/tencel sock yarn. Way too nice for socks though – destined for a lace scarf, maybe some beads…

Thank you so very much Jo. Now we need the Irish postal system to hurry it up so everyone can see what I’ve sent YOU!

A little more stash enhancement has been going on:

Araucania Ranco Multi

Araucania Ranco Multi Sock Yarn – “Peacock” and “Kaleidoscope”

As you can plainly see, I have been spending so much time at the shop lately that the yarn fumes have been getting to me again. (You do NOT want to see how much I have put aside in the back…my poor paycheque!)

The local Value Village had a half-price sale on Monday, so naturally I had to check it out. No Lopi for my blanket, but I did find this:

The Knitting Machine

The Knitting Machine from Mattel Canada (circa 1970s) for the whopping price of $2.50.

How could I resist that?

It’s a plastic circular knitting machine complete with instruction manual. Unfortunately too small for doing socks (only 32 pins), the patterns are mostly for little puffs that you sew together to make things. Typically tacky. I don’t DO puffs. I’m going to experiment a little and maybe see what comes of it – thinking wine bags might work.

On a different note, ya’ll might remember that Worldwide Knit in Public Day is coming up on June 14th. Also, quite coincidently it falls on our beloved Yarn Harlot‘s birthday this year – her 40th (by her own admission). Let’s make it one for her to remember and really help out those in need around the world by making a donation to Knitters without Borders. Every little bit helps, especially with current world events being what they are.

For the locals, she and Rachel H. have cooked up a big event at Lettuce Knit and are flying Franklin Habit up from Chicago to take shots for his 1000 Knitters Project. (PS – check out his forthcoming first book.)

Guys, if you haven’t figured it out yet, I’m a little camera shy. I just have those reflective eyes that look possessed in every dang picture and it bugs me to no end, not to mention my hair has a mind of it’s own.

However, for my beloved Franklin I will make the exception. Yep – I am going to be one of the 1000 Knitters!!!!! So if you want to see my mug, it’ll be there for all posterity. :1)

I’m totally chuffed (and BadgerDan is so proud, he’s telling everyone I’m going to take part in an international art project).

For now, though, I have to get back to the border on the blob.

Movers, Spinners, Sparklies and Swag

Okay guys, here’s the scoop: we’re moving to BC!!!!! BadgerDan has scored himself a position with a company just outside of Vancouver and needless to say were totally excited!

I’ve been packing like a fiend in anticipation, even though we don’t have a date yet – it’ll be within the next couple of months. Hence, the lack of blogging, for which I apologize.

On the project front:

Cosmic Ripples Socks - Complete Cosmic Ripples Socks - Sock #2

The Cosmic Ripples socks are done and are incredibly cute with the beads. The second sock came out much better than the first one, even if it took a little longer to do.

I finished the first sock of the Sock Madness Round 6 pattern:

Pele's Party Socks - Sock 1 Complete Pele's Party Socks - Cuff Detail

“Pele’s Party Socks”
Pattern: Godmother’s Socks By Deborah Swift of MountainMom Designs
Yarn: Koigu KPM Handdyed Semi-Solids, Colour 1110 (50g skein – 160m); Fleece Artist Basic Merino Sock, Origin Colourway (32g)
Needles: 2.25mm KnitPicks Circs, 2.75mm DPNs for cuff

I beaded the cuff on this pair as well, using #6 glass beads in various coordinating colours and a 1mm crochet hook. I’m just beading everything these days…

The true colours just aren’t coming through in the picture – much richer lava reds on the foot and royal purple in the cuff. I was going for an erupting volcano look. Took a little more of the cuff yarn than expected and I’ll have to cheat a little on the leg of sock #2. Not a big deal – it’s a foldover cuff and won’t show too much.

I’m holding off on knitting socks until next month with the start up of the 52 Pair Plunge II (June 1st) and the Summer of Socks 2008 (June 30th).

I’ve signed up for both and a couple of new sock KAL groups (Six Sox KAL, Townsend Socks KAL) in preparation, not that I’ll be running out of patterns any time soon.

In the meantime, I’m trying to finish off a couple of neglected lace projects before the new wave of Mystery Shawl KAL clues come my way. After a bit of thought, I decided it would be sheer lunacy on my part to start my Secret of Bad Nauheim stole over again since I was so far into it. It has 1.25 pattern repeats done now, with another 1.75 to go before picking up for the edging. Hoping to have it finished before next week so that I can tackle the rest of the Mystic Light shawl.

Secret of Bad Nauheim Stole

Here’s last week’s dishcloth:

Diagonal Ripple Dishcloth

Pattern: Diagonal Ripple Dishcloth by Leanne Cooper
Needles: 4mm
Yarn: Bernat Handicrafter Cotton Prints, Summer Print

Yet again, another one I should have made in a solid colour. When will I learn?

I may skip most of the 1st pattern releases of the month for the Monthly Dishcloth KAL because I’m just not too much into the pictoral dishcloth thing. The 2nd patterns are a textural pattern which are more to my personal taste. There are always exceptions though :1)

And look what I finally brought home:

My Wee Spinning Wheel

YEEE!!! My first wheel!!!! We’re pretty sure it’s a circa 1970s Kromski – ain’t it cute?

And remember I mentioned an additional item that I picked up on my trip to Gemini Fibres? Well here it is:

Forrester Orifice Hook

A handmade orifice hook by Thomas C. Forrester (in Imbuya wood)! It was the only thing I was missing for the wheel (which even came with 4 extra bobbins!) and matches it almost exactly. This I could afford to splurge on. :1)

Oh, and the worsted weight undyed silk? My friend Ruth pounced on it for her weaving and traded me a brand new Schacht Hi-Lo drop spindle which can be used either as a top whorl or bottom whorl. I love versatility and since I’m a bit of a beginner this will be ideal. (Psst!!! She also has Ladybug Wheels – pass it on!!)

A little bit of stash enhancement has been going on:

Swag from The Loopy Ewe

I was a very bad girl over on The Loopy Ewe‘s website – I blame Sheri and all of her virtual sock yarn fumes.

They are –
Top: Schafer Anne – Morrison (OMG!!! I can’t stop petting this one)
L-R: Duet Skinny Sock Yarn – Afton Manor; Zen String Lotus Toes (Sport) – Mount Monadnock; Lorna’s Laces Shepherd Sock – Edgewater; Louet Gems – Fern Green

Yep – sock yarn fumes, definitely.

I have a new friend Celtic Memory over in County Cork, Ireland who’s traded me this gorgeous aubergine fingering weight alpaca for some Addi Turbos and Blue Sky Patterns that are tough to get over there.

Aubergine Fingering Wt Alpaca

She had a whole CONE of it – can you imagine? This is what I’m going to use for my forthcoming Mystic Meadows shawl – it’s going to be fabulous!

I’ve also sent her out a Canadian care package which I’ll share with you once I know she’s received it – I want it to be a little bit of a surprise.

[She just got back from her vacation to Crete with some great photos (go take a gander at the local shepherd). Just don’t cross her dog Muffy the Yarnslayer – adorable, but what she does to cashmere will make you weep.]

Last, but not least, look what I picked up today at the local antique market:

Antique Needlework Magazines

These are antique “Needlecraft” magazines/newsletters (they’re each the size of a newspaper) from 1917-1919. A lot of really nice patterns for crocheted and knitted lace. A steal at $5 a piece on sale. They have come to a very appreciative home.

Okay, I think I’ve got ya’ll up to date now. With any luck, I’ll have a few more completed items to show you pretty soon.

TTFN.

Published in: on May 15, 2008 at 3:18 pm  Comments (1)  
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