Sunday, January 28, 2007


I've never really identified myself as a compulsive person, but it happens at times. Like when I should have been packing for my trip to Seattle and instead had to make a pair of mittens. Last night compulsion struck in the form of beadwork. I can't explain it. Instead of politely doing my homework, I kept sneaking off and playing with beads.

A picture says a thousand words

Examine this picture. It tells many things. It may tell you things it doesn't tell me. Some of the important points I see in this picture are as follows:

1) I have a swift. It is a lovely swift! My father made it for me this last summer.

2) I have a ball winder. It is a lovely ball winder! My children gave it to me for Christmas.

3) Having a ball winder AND a swift together is marvelous. Much better than having either alone.

4) I am preparing to knit with Knitpicks's gossamer in blue jeans. This is a springy merino that is fabulous to knit with and wear.

5) I am blessed to have children who love to wind balls for me. This contributes to my quality of life. I can hand the yarn skeins to the slaves and have them returned to me in pleasingly plump center-pull balls. In the case of this skein, #1Daughter is preparing it to wind while I linger over my breakfast tea. She asks, "Can I really just break these knots?" as she removes the ties that hold it in a skein, and I assure her that she can. She proceeds, and then comments, "I just broke the yarn to get the tag off, too, that's okay, right?"

6) She broke the yarn in the middle of the skein!!!!! Have I mentioned how much I hate joins? How much stress they add to my knitting? What lengths I will go to in order to prevent any extra joins?

7) Here's the kicker: No one got hurt! That must have been some good tea, because I did not leap up and take her down.

8) It turned out not too badly. The break was near the end of the skein, so what's leftover shall be set aside in case I'm approaching the end of my project and I feel like I absolutely need more yarn. If that doesn't happen, it will probably become some shawl for a knitted babe.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Knit Mitt Kit Swap

Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
I used to particpate in swaps when I was a member of the Stitchin' Bitches, a hippie sewing group that proceeded the S-n-B craze by many years. I haven't done a swap since then, and it was fun to immerse myself in one again. I swapped through the Knit Mitt Kit Swap. My swap angel was Beth, and she really spoiled me! She made a lovely knitted/fulled bag in dark colours with lovely stripes, and included some Baby Alpaca that is soooo heavenly and soft. And did I mention what a big fat skein it is? It's a whole lotta wonderful yarn! She included candy goodies, like the biggest roll of Smarties I've ever seen (did she know I was once the Smarties Fairy, running about campus distributing Smarties to all?) and some way cute Knitting Girl mints in a tiny tin that's definately a keeper. I got some extra tools: a funkity measuring tape and some tapestry needles. (I was looking at a photo of those tapestry needles in some one else's kit with curiosity, just today). And lasty, she gave me a fabulous mitten book! It's called Favorite Mittens and has all these really cool folk patterns. I'm all excited to get knitting!

Uncluttered body, uncluttered mind

joy's underwear
Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
Joy likes to get comfortable before she meditates, and in this case, comfort means just her underwear. This underwear was cut from a small blue sock.

Joy's beach wear

joy's beach wear
Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
This lucky young lady sports a multi-coloured one piece bathing suit, and a warm cotton hoodie to cover up with. Her big SWIM TEAM towel was not pictured.

Joy's athletic wear

joy's athletic wear
Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
These pants and hat were cut from a lovely soft t-shirt that I pulled out of the donation bag. It's so soft I almost wish I'd kept it to wear, but the decoration on the t-shirt was unsavory. The top was made with cotton yarn, inspired by a pattern in the Knit Babes book, but as I couldn't locate the book at the time, I just knit it how I thought I should.

Joy's ball gown

joy's ball gown
Originally uploaded by forestpixie.

Sewn from vintage fabric, this dancing dress is made of cotton with textured embossed polka dots. When Joy modeled this gown at a family event, my sister-in-law was delighted to recognize the fabric, and identified the yellow as a remnant from a dress her sister wore as a child, and the orange as scraps from shorts she made for her son, who is now all grown-up, when he was four. When she first saw the dress, my daughter said it reminded her of the the gorgeous colourful dresses of the Ballet Folklorico. She has always wanted a Mexican dancing dress, so Joy has spent much time dancing in this gown.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Paper Written

I'm back in the thick of schoolwork, and it's not been easy. I just realized I forgot to contribute to one of my classes this week, and we have participation grades. Oooops! I have a paper due tomorrow evening. I don't have much time after work to get it done, so I had to finish it tonight, so all I have to do is reread and revise tomorrow after dinner. I've emailed it to work so that I don't lose it accidentally. It's been difficult, though. I'm not settling down and concentrating. At least it's done!

I hate to be repeating myself, but this school work is really in the way of my knitting!!!

project bag

project bag
Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
When I cleaned my sewing room, I sorted my scraps. This bag is made from unused dress trimmings, all with little viney designs. I <3 the orange ribbon. At the moment, this bag carries my Wildfoote columbine yo-cable socks, as yet unblogged, and soon to be heeled.

Recycled project bag!

Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
When the bottom of my son's zip-off pants ripped off, leaving him with perma-shorts, I kept the leg with a pocket. The zipper is still intact. I sewed the bottom hem shut, and sewed a circle around the leg where the knee would be, just above the zipper. The top zips off. I added a handle, so I can loop it over my arm when I knit on the move. I like it!

Dance on!

Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
The dolly's name is now "Joy". She has a full wardrobe, which she will model whenever she is ready, and a box where she lives when she's not hangin with my Number One Daughter. She attends many different kinds of dance classes, the tutu comes in handy for ballet class.

Half Circle Fan shawl.

Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
Yarn: Knit Pick's gossamer in sunrise, 3 skeins.
Needles: Addi Turbo Circular Size 5.
Pattern: Fan Stitch Half-circle Shawl from Traditional Knitted Lace Shawls by Martha Waterman. This pattern features pi-increases.
Started: July 15, 2006
Finished: Jan 10, 2007
Modifications: The pattern as written only made a shawl that would not even fall to my elbows. I continued the pattern to the next increase, and then finished with a diamond-shaped pattern and a very simple perpendicular edge.

Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
There were times while I was knitting this, I would think, "What am I doing? I'll hate this!" I wasn't sure I would like the half-circle shape, but I'm finding that worn like a scarf, this shawl keeps me toasty at work and looks fabulous.

Hang on to that cat!

Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
I blocked the shawl late at night and left it pinned to the floor all night long. I knew that at night, the cat sleeps on our beds and would not likely be downstairs. However, I didn't remember to hurry downstairs first thing in the morning. My son found the cat pulling the pins out with her teeth. Apparently she was looking for comfort, and the pins were in her way!

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Look what the cat trashed

sewing room wall
Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
Soon after moving into this house, I filled the shelves with boxes, and the cat claimed the shelves as her personal ladder and knocked them all off. My father nailed a board along the edge of the shelves so I could stop having my boxes knocked off. The cat continued to access the window, she just clawed her way up the wall, totally trashing the wall in the process. My latest adaptation has been to offer her a ladder so she'll stop ruining things.

FO: recycled-mittens

Originally uploaded by forestpixie.
It was Tuesday night, and I was busily engaged in packing for my morning departure to Seattle. Or was I? Somehow in my packing I had seen my stack of felted sweaters, which I had actually felted to make diaper soakers, lo, so many years ago. I had a sudden overpowering urge to make mittens. The first sweater was a faire isle black-white-and-grey number that looked really cool. Unfortunately I botched the mittens and they were rather squat boomerang shapes. This pair came next, made from a nice wooly sweater I bought for its simplicity at an army surplus shop but I never wore, because it was too hot. I was dying to decorate them but couldn't locate my one and only felting needle. So I had to fly to Seattle wearing undecorated mittens. In Seattle, I stopped by the Weaving Works and bought a Fiber Trends Felting Kit. I got back to the hotel, ready to decorate.... but the kit lacked needles!!! The following day was a busy one, trying to get some sight-seeing in before I flew out, but I managed to get back to the Weaving Works to exchange the kit for a proper one. The next day, at home, I sat with my daughter while she watched the American Girl Molly movie, and needle felted on the decorations. The yarn is Paton's SWS. The mittens are toasty!