Friday, December 15, 2017

Cat pods-a beginning

Right now our community is building up strength and resilience after the devastating fires two months ago.  Any and all kindness adds to that strength and helps in the grieving process.   When I first returned to Sonoma and witnessed the loss, it was overwhelming and sad.   In my other life, I'm a hypnotist and Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping) practitioner.   I have been meeting with groups and individuals to assist them in grieving and moving forward.  Most who have lost their homes (over 5000 structures were destroyed) are still in shock, yet doing their best to figure out "what is the next step".   For some it is rebuilding, for some it is moving into a new life path, and for most who are in survival mode, it is about allowing themselves to grieve the loss and find some kind of normalcy again.   There have been many fundraising efforts and events.  There is a active search for lost pets and many have been reunited with their owners, every day.  People are going into the burned out communities and hanging holiday lights where nothing is left.    Light gives hope and peace.

This may sound strange but perhaps you have experienced this affect; I stopped knitting/crocheting for a while during and after the fires.   Just could not do it.  All my energy was focused on Tapping and there was no desire to create.  But I have so much yarn---bags, totes, plastic containers, baskets and drawers full of yarn.  If there is any type of container out there I probably have it and it is filled with yarn.   So what can I do with all this yarn?  How can I add kindness to this community?  My goal for 2018 is to create knit/crochet donation items.     I had to start with something simple.  

CAT Pods for the shelter in town.   I made bunch and now on to hand warmers.

Tuesday, November 07, 2017

What a Surprise and a bit of flare

The folded Hexagon crochet jacket is done and although it is so cute it needed a bit of flare to add to the outfit.

Here is the finished baby cardigan and a cap to top it off.  

 Hippo modeling!!!!

Cardigan-   from 2008/ 07 / 01

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Fall sweater completed

I finished this sweater on Sept 23rd.   Hopefully by the time this post posts, I will have worn it in the beautiful Fall weather of the Poconos, PA.

Buttons are hand made fired clay from Mendocino Wool Festival
Drops pattern Magic Web

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Kids Sewing Zippers for Fun

Kids love to sew.   It's so rewarding when they see what they can create.    Gerry asked me to teach a winter break class at the quilt shop.    There are so many cute zippered pouches and bag designs out there.  

lining, outside fabric and zipper sewn togethe

A few things to make to easy to sew
1. sew tabs on the zipper
2. place zipper on the right side of fabric and then place the lining over it.  Match all three edges and sew.
3. insert pull tabs
4. Press as you go.  

Monday, October 16, 2017

Vogue Knitting in Sonoma

So excited to see that Vogue Knitting was coming to Sonoma.   I was able to sign up for a fantastic class with Nicky Epstein.

She is so down to earth and amazingly creative.   How she can turn a square into a cute and cuddly creature is wonderful to watch.     I so wish I had been able to spend the rest of the day with this creative group...but alas I could not.  

Maybe next time and definitely need to work on my penguin.   

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Crocheted Surprise in the works.

What a surprise!    Crochet!!   Folding this octagon into a cute sweater!  Boy, have I got ideas running through my mind.   How can a I add a little bit extra??  

Monday, October 02, 2017

Sweater progress report 2017

Began this sweater a few months ago and wanted to keep track of my status.   Body is complete and the sleeves are next on the list.

The yarn is Knit Picks City Tweed DK, a blend of Merino Wool, Superfine Alpaca, and Donegal Tweed.    The feel of this yarn is fantastic and the drape of the fabric is perfect.
The pattern is from Drops: Magic Web Cardigan.  

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sharing a Wool Week Adventure

Paula is courageous and adventurous. She shared the experience of traveling (alone) to Wool Week on the Shetland Islands at a meeting of the Sonoma Community Center Fiber Arts group.   She described the wonder of the landscapes, the creativity and resilience of the townspeople, the food, the fibers and the wonderful instructors.    It was a great presentation and I would guess that she inspired most to take a crafting trip.  

Here she is with her Sonoma County Fair Award winning blanket.   All natural wool (no dyes), knit in the round and then Steeked.   I think Paula had over 700 + stitches on the needle as she knit the border.    A true labor of love and respect for the craft.

This is a Shetland Style Shawl, knit by Suzzane.

Absolutely stunning.

Ladies, Thank you for sharing.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Mendocino Wool Festival 2017

I hadn't traveled north of Santa Rosa and it was about time to take that drive further up 101.

The best reason- Mendocino County Fair and Wool Festival, last weekend.   Boonville, CA,  site of the fair, is a rustic small town surrounded by orchards and forests.

The  Fair was lovely, especially the Angora Rabbit Fiber presentation.
This rabbit is 10 years old and generally they live 5-7 years.  So well cared for and loved.
Here they are combing the fur and spinning it.   Bunny to yarn in moments!!

Wednesday, September 06, 2017

Warm Up Texas

As if the state of the country wasn't in enough turmoil, mother nature is creating so much chaos and despair.   You want to help, and other then sending money and positive energy & thoughts, there isn't much more one can do, if you are not close by to help.   Thankfully yesterday a notice came from Knitting Universe about their efforts to help out.   Fundraising for Houston Food Bank and also supporting Warm Up America to distribute blankets.    Here's the link   to Stitches West fundraising info.


You can send blankets to:

Warm Up America
Attn: Hurricane Harvey
3740 North Josey Lane Suite 102
Carrolton, TX  75007

 These are going in the mail today.   

Thursday, August 17, 2017

Lost Control -Well not completely

When I sat at the computer today to write a post, the first thought that came to mind was that I just have too many projects started....I lost Control!

Some items in the photo are just a few steps from completion -- weave in a strand or sew on buttons. Others are half finished and some are really just me designing- make a sample swatch or knitting a shawl as I design it.   There is crochet and knitting in the mix.  Charity and gifts.

And did you notice the lovely bags to hold my projects.
(Thanks Katie and Brenda)

Now I could beat myself up about this situation, but the truth of the matter is I need diversity.   I need to have different skill level projects to meet the needs of knitting know it's best to have a mindless project when you knit at Murphy's Pub.  You understand, just in case a cool beer or Margarita fits the bill that day.   
(as an aside, this has been the hottest summer ever).  

How many projects do you have started?   
I have 9. .  No wait, where is that beautiful chevron scarf with the Spanish Yarn????

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

So Many Ideas - A Royal Jacket

I live in town where there are groups of knitters who enjoy getting together to knit.   How fortunate for me cause I love to knit.  I knit a lot, probably more then I should.  I also love to design kids garments, but I haven't been designing much recently. There are many ideas running around in my head and I finally completed a swing jacket pattern last week.  At our last meeting "show and tell" I shared the swing jacket and everyone loved it, except someone wished it had been designed for a little boy.  I did not want to disappoint, so I got to work on a boy's version.  

Same lapel collar, but a few changes:  full raglan increase,  added a stitch pattern to the body. double breasted and box shaping.

What do you think?  

This is the Royal Jacket for Kids
and I think it's lovely for boys or girls  

Monday, July 24, 2017

Adventure in knitting---Learning new techniques

Went to Beverly's Fabric and Craft shop the other day, with the intention of just picking up fabric for a project I'm working on.  I did find the fabric and it was exactly what I needed, but since I had some free time I figured walking around the store would be fun.  So I found this tiny skein of yarn, so cute. Just enough to make a pair of baby socks.  Could not resist...........

I usually knit socks toe up, two at a time but since the project was so tiny thought that 4 or 5 double points would be best...and of course out of the thousands ( maybe hundreds) of needles I own, I did not have the correct size.   So I needed to order needles..I like knit picks, so knit picks it was.

After casting on and knitting the ribbed cuff, I researched heels on You Tube.  Watched the Japanese short row, German Short row and finally found this Short row method that worked beautifully for this fine yarn. Here it is from Knitting Blooms

Kitchener Stitch is a great way to finish the toe and Guess What I found a knitted Kitchener Stitch and loved the way it worked.   Much easier to me and definitely a smooth outcome for such a tiny sock.

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

A Little Swing Jacket

There are so many designs running around inside my head....
 and I love to knit them, but to get it written down is a chore.   I've created formulas, read about writing patterns, taken classes on the subject,  written patterns and had them tech edited before,  but it just seems that I need to be in the right frame of mind for all of it to click.    It takes time: constructing it, engineering the process, figuring out the math and then editing the work.    

I designed and knit this pattern years ago, but never finished writing it all out...

So last week I picked the draft up and started knitting and writing again.  Today the pattern is complete and was just posted on Ravelry (ElizSCKnits) and Love Knitting....

Pattern on Ravelry  Elizscknits

This is knit top down and in the round.  No seams and very little weaving in of yarn tails. 

Sleeve stitches on a stitch holder or yarn

Dividing the sections of the yoke
Knitting the body and adding the swing  
 After knitting the body and seed stitch hem, it's time to knit the sleeves in the round using two circular needles.   Here I have transfered the sleeve stitches from the holder to a circular a needle and picked up three (3) stitches at the underarm.    The Sleeve will be knit in the round.

Underarm stitches

Wednesday, July 05, 2017

So it came apart in the wash......

I guess the gentle cycle on my washing machine is not that gentle.   This is The Purl Bee's Cap Sleeve Lattice Top from Purl Soho.     It was constructed a couple of years ago and now it's being reknit...finished the front lattice portion and now have the back to complete... stay tuned...

Sunday, July 02, 2017

Color Changes in Crochet

Changing colors in Crochet  
Make sure to place your last color strand to the front of the work before taking the next stitch.

Saturday, July 01, 2017

Rainbow at the end of June

I saw this and just had to have it.   
Well it was a fabric quilt, but I decided that I would rather have it as a crocheted Baby Afghan.    After much trial, error, ripping out and restitching I am finally satisfied with the result.  

Rainbow Heart Love on Ravelry

This piece is done using alternating rows of cluster stitch and half double crochet.   
A bit of texture and lots of color.   The pattern includes stitch charts and written instructions (color chart too).

My intention was to make this a corner to corner design but I found that with the number of color changes within each row, hiding floats (strands of yarn) was a challenge and I was not happy with the look on the back.  This is a reversible blanket.  

 This piece is crocheted side to side so you are only working with three colors at a time.   
You can get this patten at my  Ravelry shop   

How To: Changing colors, hiding the float and setting up for the color change in the next row.

The key to hiding floats is to set up the dropped color yarn so that it is in the correct location when you pick it up on the next row.    Notice that it is important to pick up the new color yarn on the last stitch of the first color.   

On cluster row-
1.     On the last dc of the cluster, pick up new color and pull through the last two (2) loops on hook.  

      Always bring the color yarn you are changing from (white yarn in photo) to the front of your work.   Place it on top of new color yarn strand and below the tip of your hook. 

Skip 2 stitches,  Single Crochet 
White yarn will be anchored to the front, when you make the next stitch, a single crochet. 
 This yarn will be properly placed for pick up on the return row. 

Notice the white yarn is hanging in the front.

Yarn over, pull through, yarn over and pull through 2 loops. The White yarn is anchored to the front.  

Changing Colors on a Half Double Crochet Stitch

hdc- yo, insert hook, yo draw up st,  3 loops on hook.  Pick up new color, yo and draw through 3 loops 

Ravelry shop