Friday, December 29, 2006

Another Necklace

I usually don't like making the same thing twice but since this pattern is so easy I thought I'd do it again to help me gain some speed and dexterity. I used size 11 seeds, iris metallic olive and metallic copper.

After attaching the clasp I came back across the top adding a seed in the space between each motif. (see close up of the previous one)

I didn't like the way I attached the clasp the last time - it seemed a bit stiff, so I added a little loop and attached the clasp and ring in the center of the loop. I guess that means I didn't actually make the same thing twice.

I find doing this netted beadwork very relaxing. Much akin to spinning. Once you've decided on the yarn you're spinning or the pattern you're beading then you can let your hands take over and allow your mind to wander.

ETA: I forgot to mention where I got the pattern for the necklace. It was Basic Net Necklace designed by Sandra Halpenny.

Sunday, December 24, 2006


After I accidently pulled the needle out of 1/4 of the stitches, I decided to bit the bullet and rip the Sheep Shawl. As you can see progress was slow. Although I enjoyed watching the pictures develop I knew I wouldn't enjoy wearing it as much. I want a lightweight shawl that will work for spring or summer. Meet Kimono from Folk Shawls.....

I finished a few more repeats since I took the picture, but I'll spare you repetitive blob pictures. If you want to be wowed you need to travel over to Snail Spirals and see Sue's Urchin Shawl! She charted the original design, knitted the fantastic shawl, and then dipped the finished shawl into the dye pot. What an undertaking!

Monday, December 18, 2006


I started weaving placemats using Sue's twill draft.

When I looked at the draft on Fiberworks I didn't think the floats on the sides would be a problem, but working with supersized yarn (4/4 cotton) is a whole 'nother story!

I stuck with it for for the first mat which was probably a mistake. We'll see what it looks like after washing, but it can always be a mat under the espresso machine. I have enough warp for at least 8.

I added floating selveges and wove in 2.5" of plastic bag strips to hold the fringe. I think I'll use two strips of cardboard between the other mats but thought I needed to get the floating selvege anchored before starting the next one. It made such a difference. The selveges look great.

The close up colors are truer than the larger shots.

I sett mine more open than Sue's, 140 ends at 10 epi and 10 ppi.

I found some blank Shrinky-Dink plastic while rummaging through some of my stuff. Just right to make a dishwasher button for my mom. She hasn't used her dishwasher much in the past few years but now we are coming and going and we're not sure if the dishwasher is clean or dirty. A little velcro and we're good to go!

Friday, December 15, 2006

Look What I Found

I opened a little used drawer last week and rediscovered a sweater that was almost done. I started it in 1998. I know that because I have the Knitware directions with a start date of January 8, 1998. Four years ago, after Claudia asked everyone to share their UFO's (see 9/16 entry). Sunday I devoted a couple of hours to seaming and sewing the button band on. Now I know why I love knitting sweaters in one piece. I HATE sewing sweater pieces. The band is a little wonky at the top of the button side, but I can fix that. I need to get buttons and it will be ready to go. The stitch definition of Bendigo Colonial is fantastic. I forgot how much I liked this yarn.

I don't know if this actually qualifies as Cooking with Intention, but after making a double batch of the Cheddar Broccoli Soup and a double batch of Vegetable Beef Soup I knew I had to make something to satisfy my mom's sweet tooth. Carrot cake baked as cupcakes with cream cheese icing.

3 cups grated carrots
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon baking powder
4 eggs
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup crushed pineapple -- well drained
1/4 cup oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup walnuts -- chopped
1/2 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 325. Line muffin tins with paper or spray with Pam.

In a large mixing bowl beat eggs until well blended. Add sugar, oil, carrots, pineapple, and vanilla.

Add flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder. Spoon into pan. Bake for 25 minutes.

Dust with 10X sugar or frost with cream cheese frosting.

I got 24 cupcakes and enough leftover to fill two large custard cups. For those eagle eyed readers, Josh got to one before I could snap the picture. The containers are waiting to be filled with soup!

No picture, but I made some Cheddar Onion Bread to take in too. It's great right out of the oven or toasted later on. I use my bread machine through the first rise.

1 1/8 cups milk
1 1/2 tablespoons oil
1/4 cup grated onion
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/4 teaspoon granulated garlic
3 1/3 cups bread flour
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast

Heat milk to 80 degrees. (30 seconds on high). Add ingredients to bread pan in order. Set for dough. Remove dough, punch down, knead gently and form into loaf. Oil bread pan and roll dough until lightly coated with oil. Cover and let rise until doubled. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes or until internal temperature is between 190 and 195.

Sunday, December 10, 2006

New Necklace

I finished the necklace and wore it last week. The shiny beads are silver-lined blue zircon delicas, the main beads are olive iris seed beeds. This was an easy to remember pattern. I'm making it again in moss iris beads with bronze metallic seeds for the accent.

This lump is the finished, but unblocked, Swallowtail from the fall IK.

Here it is blocking, but I must have skipped a zero when typing in the thumbnail size. Since I'm at school I can't correct it.

I have to get some TIG wire (recommended by Sara) as trying to pin out the points was getting tedious. I can only imagine how tired I'd be if it were a full size shawl. This is from the singles I bought at WEBS last spring. There was so much energy in the yarn that I had to hold it up and let it unwind every row or two.

I finished Butterfly a month or two ago but finally got around to blocking that. This going to be a laprobe for my mom. I didn't keep any ball bands, but it's a German dk superwash I got in a swap a few years ago. Not enough for a sweater, but it blocked out to a 46" square. This was a very easy knit. I would do it again in a laceweight for a largerer shawl.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New Beads

After several attempts at figuring out how I wanted to attach the clasp I made one vital error!

I fixed it and here's the finished necklace. Just what you wanted to see - a 55 year old neck close up!

When I took the right angle weave class the instructed has us use Nymo B doubled. I see instructions for netted or woven beads using single strands of Nymo D and some with single strands of Nymo B. In this necklace you can see where I had to go through beads more than once and I don't really like that. Any suggestions?

I started a new necklace which is much prettier in real life. I've used Topaz Iris seed beads but you can't see the beautiful shading. I forget what the blue beads are called but they are cylindrical.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Fulling Makes the Blanket

I tried to take a picture that would convey the wonderful drape of this light, but warm blanket. I lost a few ends while weaving but it was easy to fix before twisting the fringe and fulling. The only problem was the selvages, they are a little ratty looking. I'll have to fix that before the next warp with this wool.

Because I was a little discouraged by the energy in the singles and a few broken warp threads I decided to just experiment with the fringe. Using the Conair Quick Braid I did 2 groups of 2 ends each on one end and 3 groups of 2 ends on the other. I really like the fuller, rounder fringe. It took a little more time, but it looked better than doing 2 groups of 3 ends. Just like the roundness of the three-ply that is still in process.

Kathy was spot on when she told me that I would love the texture in this singles blanket.

So now that I've decided not to ply the remainder but to try a twill doubleweave instead, I've got to figure a way to get a little more control over the yarn. I'm going to use one color for the entire warp so I will definitely be using B2F. I don't think I'll use the trapeze, although I really like it for cotton warps. Maybe sizing or spraying with hairspray to strengthen the yarn during the weaving process?