Monday, January 28, 2013

Busy Students

Well, I may not be pulling loops, but my students certainly are busy!! I got together with some of them during the week - one only by email - and got progress pics of where they are on things.

Although weather and distance make it harder for us all to get together as often as I would like, they are amazingly dedicated and get here when they can. And they all are able to carry on without me (at their individual paces) and are wonderful about sharing photos so that I can see how they are progressing. I offer advice when requested - and even when not.

Here is a pretty much completed 'photo to mat' done by Barb. I LOVE it. She is very excited about these little "postcards" and has a bunch more lined up and ready to go.

Cindy has shared pictures via email of her progress on the new moose mat that we designed together. She is a new hooker and this is her biggest project yet - it will be a 16 x 16 pillow when it is done.

Shania has started a very large project, based on the design I did for my stacked washer/dryer mat. It's hard to believe that she was once timid about textures and only used Dorr wool.  Her foray into a primitive rug that is all textures - and is 24 x 40 - will be fun to watch. Here is her beginning.

And last, but certainly not least, is a picture of yet another project done by my most prolific student.
I met her at a workshop in August - she had never hooked before. She has now done 2 rugs, a bench cover, this runner. Wow! Unfortunately, she has gone back to work and can't join the Wednesday class, but we get together when we can to plot her next project. She was here this weekend to get help designing two pillows. Here is a little geometric runner she completed for her "purple" dining room.

They will all be checking in with me while I am away. The internet is a wonderful thing!  I will continue this "not hooking" stretch for another 6 weeks, since my suitcase just doesn't have the space. But I will be back with a vengeance when paradise is lost. LOL.

Monday, January 21, 2013

More NOT hooking.

Another busy week that saw nary a loop pulled. Lots of stitches of the sewing and knitting kind, but the hooking has definitely been put aside for trip countdown. Here is this past week's yield:

Motley is finished.  Motley is a re-knit of the fabulous Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn that I frogged from a crop jacket that definitely did not turn out like the picture!!! Fit issues and scratchy issues, so I am sure I will be happier with it's successor.  I definitely still love the colours here and it was my first entrelac knitting adventure, which turned out quite successfully. All those little keyholes give you a zillion ways to fasten this when you wear it.

It may be my transitional piece on the plane to Barbados, over my jean jacket, over another top. Then I can just remove it and the jean jacket once I get to the tropical climes at the other end.

Here is a little top I made that may go under the jean jacket. It has a number of the same colours in the print as Motley, so may just do the trick. These wonderful jersey fabrics are so nice to work with and sew cool as well. It will be a great top and/or coverup when I get there, but for the flight down can even handle a long-sleeved t underneath. Layers are definitely the way to go when spanning a 40+ temperature fluctuation.

Another little dress got finished, made from some very bright, fun jersey that I found in Florida last year on my first venture into a Joanne fabric store. This is light as a feather and should be multi purpose as well when I get there. I think I will see if my button stash has these colours for another necklace.

And the hexipuff pile continues to grow. The total is now 34, with 7 being done on the trips to and from Oakville this weekend for Scott Family Boxing Day. I can see them becoming the new way to measure "time and distance" lol. I will soon know: "How many hexipuffs to Barbados?" And though I may lose track of what day it is, I will be able to say: "Oh, that was 26 hexipuffs ago."

That designer was not kidding when she said they have taken on a life of their own. Sort of like that Star Trek episode, The Trouble with Tribbles, where those little furry things kept multiplying (why do I remember things like that?)

At this number, I have still not sampled all my little balls of leftover sock yarn. I have a couple that were knit from the same self-striping sock yarn but look completely different, since they come from different parts in the pattern.  It's incredible how little yarn they use, so I really think - unless I want some different colours - I can probably do a few hundred without spending a penny on more yarn.

Only 9 more sleeps till we are on the plane. This coming week will be about list making, and test packing, and getting all the things I need onto various electronic devices. Books on kobo. Recipes on computer. 

And, if I have any extra time, I may just pull a few loops so that I don't forget how.

We have a house sitter this year, so no worries as to what the dustbunnies are up to while we are gone. The only niggle was making sure the sitter gets out for the weekend visits by our kids. But it is good knowing the house will be left secure in very capable hands. 

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Busy NOT Hooking

Well, two weeks today and we will be in the air, en route to paradise.

So, I have been busy making things for that. Each year, I revisit the wardrobe - what worked, what didn't - what did I not have enough of, etc. So this year, only a few change ups - more skirts with multiple tops and more coverups (decent enough to wear to the grocery store on the way back from the beach).

So here is a shot of the production this year. Two skirts, one top and a cover-up/dress. The skirt pattern is a simple A-line from Amy Butler called Barcelona. Although she tends to line everything, I didn't want these to be too warm, so I didn't. Instead, I inserted a contrasting colour zipper and did a waistband out of bias tape to match. So easy - so comfy - and I hope so cool. (weather, not fashion). I also really love the overskirt in the pattern, but definitely don't need another layer for Barbados.

Since I had lots of the black and white batik, I made a little tank top to go with the black skirt. And the white cover up can also be worn with the black skirt. So a few options there.

The next thing I made was a "button" necklace, from my various button jars. It was based on a necklace that I bought last year (on the right in the picture). The purchased one was made of wooden disk beads that were strung with small beads to hold the disks and larger beads to separate them. It had a cluster of bright shells and beads in a cluster on one side (in the left of the photo)

When I bought it, I thought it was a great way to use up my buttons. So I bought some hemp thread and some wooden beads in anticipation of making. When I sat down to actually do it, it was fast and fun. I just need to attach some ties and it is good to go. I see a few more in my immediate future.

Next, in order to keep my carry on as light and efficient as possible, I decided to pack my large ipad holder in the bottom of my suitcase and make a sleeve for on the plane. I chose some blanket weight wool I had in my stash, attached some fusible batting, appliqued on a few red wool pennies, some buttons and a tab and it is perfect. Protects without weighing me down. And it was easy to figure out.

Last, but not least - and not really to take with me, but to get the pattern firmly etched on my brain - I made quite a few "hexipuffs" for the Beekeeper Quilt  I posted about last week. Once I got the hang of the cast on, I find that they incredibly quick to do and, as described, the perfect mobile project. So my carry on bag will contain a ton of little bits of wool and a little bag of stuffing, which will become puffs while in the air. If you have a sizeable sock yarn stash, or are just curious, spend some time looking at the 4900+ posts on the pattern page in Ravelry. It is incredible what some of the folks have done.

It is not an overstatement to say they are addictive. Like the potato chip adage, this is a case of "bet you can't knit just one". It is so much fun to see them unfold that you can do two or three in an evening. Or in between curling draws on Bonspiel day LOL.

Of course, this means that sock production has fallen off, but something's gotta give, right?

I have 20 in this picture and so far have not exhausted the stash of leftover sock yarn. Once I have done "one" from each mini ball, I will start to do multiples. But it is quite an eye opener to see them all sitting together, versus having the leftovers in a bucket on the shelf. And since each one takes so little yarn, I will be able to keep going for a very long time without purchasing a thing.

All of this has pushed the hooking aside for a bit. But I am thinking I might just have to pack my tiny frame and some warm weather hooking materials like sari silk and panty hose in case the hooking bug bites while I am gone. I do have a couple of ideas in mind and really, is there anything more inspirational than the scenery in paradise? I think not.

Monday, January 7, 2013

Happy 2013

I can't believe it is this long since my last post, but it was a scramble into Christmas and then a blur since then. We just recovered from New Year's and then celebrated hubby's birthday on the 5th.

We had a wonderful Christmas. Both kids came plus daughter's beau. The boys had to head back to the city on Boxing Day, but Laura stayed till the Friday.

They LOVED their pillows and I was able to take a couple of pictures to share.

Daughter and beau with pillow #1 of 2. Second under way.
Son hiding behind his pillow. His words - my design.
Oh, can also share the un-shareable photo from before Christmas - the gift that I made for Jennifer.
Here is a pic from the designer, Tiny Owl Knits. He is called Mr. Mini Fox and there is a bigger version of him as well. The designer has a very funny video about him on her home page.  And if you check it out on ravelry, there are lots of adorable versions of him. Here is a link to her page on ravelry. All her designs are a little quirky and lots of fun.

My next project (besides the ones started and languishing) is this Bee Keeper's Quilt, also from Tiny Owl. I figure it is the perfect "travelling" project. And a great way to use up all the leftover sock yarns that I have. You knit each of those little "hexipuffs" and then tie the corners together to make the quilt. Or, you pack tiny balls of yarn into your suitcase, to be replaced by tiny hexipuffs on the way back.

I am not a big resolution maker, so as much as I would love to say I will finish all my UFO's or something equally as sensible, I probably won't. I know myself too well and there is always that NEXT thing calling my name.

But I wish you all a wonderful year of fibre adventures. Happy hooking and knitting and felting and whatever else you undertake.

Boxy Chevrons by the Sea

Happy to report that the colds are gone and we have assumed our positions down on the deck at the Beach Club by the sea. And after having ...