Oh My

Just booked airfare to Dublin, Ireland, leaving a week from tomorrow. No hotel reservations yet; no tour or car reservations either. Last minute travelers, flying by the seat of our pants. Yep, that's us. (Got a great deal though - $388 round trip from LAX. Whoohoo!)


I've Always Wondered

why the SciFi channel is always playing in our house. Today I got my answer. This is Dick's 'I'm not an alien, I just want to breathe' getup, used in his woodshop and while picking and steaming wallpaper off the walls. He's been doing this all week. I'd be pulling my hair out by now but Dick just keeps at it. He's definitely a better (and more persistent) person than I am.


Knitting Along

I'm making good progress on my Cozy Cabin jacket. The front and back sections are done and tonight I joined them all together and started the shoulders and collar. Very carefully joined them, I might add. After the last mistake, I wanted to make sure I didn't do something studip like join these backwards or twisted or something. I'm hoping Anne will show me how to start the sleeves Thursday night so I can keep working.

Also made some progress on the second Noro striped scarf.
I'm loving the reds and purples together. Much better than the combo I tried before this. Can't wait to get this done and see all the colors together.


Imagination Boy

Miles and Leia come over for a few hours today. Leia was asleep almost as soon as she hit the doorway (I didn't think to get a photo until she was awake, darn it) so Miles made the most of having our attention all to himself.

He brought book after book for grandpa to read to him (each one multiple times, of course) -
this is a pretty new phenomenon; up till now, Miles has been more interested in toy cars and running around than in sitting still for books and stories. Can you tell that grandpa likes the change? Miles is also good about entertaining himself. If other kids are around, he loves playing with them but he can keep himself happily occupied for hours with some blocks, cars and a vivid imagination. In the course of about ten minutes, this set of blocks was a gun - a musical instrument - and a camera. All complete with the proper sound effects. Kids are so amazing.


Two Steps Forward, One Step Back

Step forward : Found a silk garden colorway (#251) that I love to go with the red (#84) I'd already chosen for my second Crocheted Noro Striped Scarf. Step back: there was only 1 skein in stock. Of course. I picked two different but similar colorways (#205 and 251) to get this project back on track.

Step forward: Finished two body sections on my Cozy Cabin jacket before class tonight.
Step back: Yeah. The wrong sections. See that big empty space to the left of my needles? I had almost all 80 rows done before realizing that's the hole where the sleeve goes. Riiiiiiipped it back and started again, one section over. Step forward: I only have to knit three of these sections, not five as I previously thought. So even after ripping out an entire day's work, I feel like I'm coming out ahead.

Bonus: Still loving these colors. Mr. Noro is a genius.


200 Miles

Since I retired, there are very few things that will get me up at 7:00 a.m., let alone drive almost 200 miles (round trip) into the desert. The promise of a craft day with Vickie and Ellen is close to the top of the list (we missed you Nona!) Just to make sure I didn't fall back asleep, Vickie sweetened the pot with this - 100 grams of Supreme Possum Merino yarn from New Zealand, in purple of course. (The NZ version is different from the N. American creature. Thank goodness.) This stuff is yummy - so soft and thick. Can't wait to make something with it.

So what did I work on? I warped my new Ashford Inklette loom (I'm still amazed at how small and light-weight it is)
and wove a test band in red, yellow and purple 8/4 carpet warp. A couple of hours later, I had this - my selvages are pretty wonky but that will improve with practice (I hope.)

My first band, which I started in class at the Riverside weaving conference, came off the big inkle loom last night.
Also made with 8/4 carpet warp, this one is about 2 yards long. I have no idea what I'm going to do with these, other than take them to Guild for show-and-tell. But they sure are fun to make.


Sweater Progress

My Cozy Cabin sweater is coming along nicely. All four blocks are seamed together, I picked up 168 stitches across the top, and have 7 of the needed 8 rows of garter stitch done. Next up is dividing stitches for the fronts, back, and underarms; just a little bit scary since I haven't done much of that yet. Crossing fingers . . .


Right On Schedule,

Only one week behind. This - is now this - the four log cabin blocks I need for Anne's Cozy Cabin Jacket (Ravelry link; non-Rav link). I was supposed to have these done by last Monday's class, but - surprise! - I'm a week late in finishing them.

My goal is to seam these together, pick up the 160 or so stitches I need for the body, and have a few rows of garter stitch done by next Monday's class.
I think this is a realistic goal only because in seaming and picking up stitches I use what to me is the ultimate fiber tool - a crochet hook.


History of the Scarf

About a month ago, I got a bad case of 'Brooklyn Tweed Envy' - specifically, his knit version of the Noro Striped Scarf (Ravelry link here; Flickr group here) - and I had to have one. The problem was that if I knit it, I'd still be working on it when I was old(er) and gray(er). And I wanted it NOW.

The obvious solution was to make a crocheted version. I searched Ravelry and the web but couldn’t find what I wanted. So I looked through my pattern books and swatched - front-post/back-post ribs were pretty but too stiff (the knit version is a 1x1 rib, so this was an obvious place to start); shells were too wavy - straight lines were needed here; and double or half-double crochet was too . . . crochet-looking. I don't mean that in a bad way; I just wanted a pattern that people couldn't identify at a glance.

I finally came up with this design and it's exactly what I wanted.
A bumpy texture to mimic the original's ribs, straight lines (but not too straight), and easy enough for a beginner, but still challenging for more advanced hookers.
I'm really pleased with how it turned out. So much so, that I'm in the process of unraveling 2 old Noro scarves so I can combine them into another one of these. Stay tuned!

Scarf Pattern

Crocheted Noro Striped Scarf
aka Brooklyn Tweed Envy

By Elisa Purnell

Copyright March 2009

The story behind the scarf is here.

  • 2 colors of Noro Silk Garden, 2 skeins each (4 total). I used Color A: white multi – Color #269. Color B: blue-green multi – Color #264.
  • Size “H” crochet hook


  • Changing colors: there is no border on this scarf so both edges need to be neat and tidy, not an easy thing when you are changing colors every 2 rows and carrying the yarn not in use up the side edge. The cleanest method I’ve found is to twist the 2 yarns together just before you join your new/carried yarn in the last hdc of each row.

  • Foundation Single Crochet (Fsc): chain 2, insert hook in first chain of chain 2 (nearest your slip knot), *draw up loop (you'll have 2 loops on hook); draw through first loop (**ch 1 made - still 2 loops on hook); draw through remaining 2 loops. Fsc made. Insert hook in ch 1 of previous stitch, repeat from *.

  • Front-loop Slip Stitch (Fss): Slip stitch in front 2 loops of stitch indicated (rather then in traditional “V” on top of row – see photo)


Row 1: With Color A, foundation single crochet (fsc) 24

Row 2:

  • Ch 1, turn;
  • slip stitch loosely** in top of first fsc, (**You’ll need to work into this stitch on the next row; this is much easier if the slip stitch is worked loosely.)
  • hdc in next stitch,
  • *slip stitch in next stitch, hdc in next stitch,
  • repeat from * across, ending with hdc in beginning ch 2.

Row 3:

  • Ch 1, turn,
  • slip stitch loosely in top of first hdc,
  • hdc in next slip stitch,
  • *Front-loop Slip Stitch (Fss) in next hdc, hdc in next slip stitch,
  • repeat from * across, ending with hdc in last slip stitch.

Row 4 and 5: With Color B (See “Changing Colors” above), repeat Row 3

Row 6 and 7: With Color A (See “Changing Colors” above), Repeat Row 3

Repeat Rows 4 – 7 until scarf is as long as you want, ending with Row 5 or Row 7.

Next Row: Ch 1, turn, sc in each stitch across.

Last Row: Ch 1, turn, sc in each stitch across.

Fasten off; weave in ends. Wet finish, block lightly and enjoy!



It got a bit chilly at Naia's softball game yesterday, so Miles, Leia and I elected to wait it out in the car. Miles entertained himself by making faces for the camera and then begging to see the resulting picture. Leia entertained herself by mugging Miles. And a good time was had by all.


Conference Fun

The weaving conference was a blast! Lois and I loaded up the cars Thursday night with stuff to sell and headed out Friday morning. We were set up and ready to go well before the doors opened at 5 p.m. Lots of temptation in the vendor hall; unfortunately, the shoppers all seemed to be watching their wallets pretty closely. We talked to several vendors and all said the same thing - very few checks, even fewer credit cards and customers all saying they brought a specific amount of cash and when that was gone, they were d.o.n.e. shopping.

Saturday's class on planning your cloth and weaving drafts with Sharon Alderman started out full of promise - I had several 'aha!' moments in the first 2 hours - but by lunch it was well over my head.
Sharon wrote the book, literally, on weave structures; she had tons of samples and a wealth of experiences to share. I took lots of notes and hope they will make more sense as I continue to weave.
Sunday was inkle weaving with Daryl Lancaster. Daryl had to be exhausted after teaching for 5 days straight, but she was full of energy and information. Definitely one of my favorite classes.

The loom I used in class belongs to the guild. Although it had an inkle band on it when it was donated us, Daryl thinks it may actually be a card weaving loom (but will work for inkling too).

I came home with a woven band well under way. And a new inkle loom of my very own. (I'll post pix of it as soon as Dick puts it together.) My baby weighs just over a pound and fits in the bottom of a tote bag or on an airline seat tray. It won't do a 15-yard, 4" wide band like the guild loom but I think 2" wide and 2 yards long is a fair exchange for portability and affordability (just over $50). Other than the loom, the only things I purchased were 2 shuttles I needed for class (handmade in exotic hardwoods, of course), blown-glass stitch markers (gorgeous!) and 3 cones of 5/2 cotton to make towels. And yes, I went with a specific amount of cash, just like everyone else. When it was done, so was I.


Weaving Conference

My classes:

Saturday - Drafting: Planning Your Cloth on Paper with Sharon Alderman
This workshop will take you from defining terms and notation systems to working through several kinds of drafts; structural drafts, pattern only drafts, profile drafts, turned drafts. It will also cover how to read and use industrial drafts.

Sunday - Inkle Weaving with Daryl Lancaster
The inkle loom is portable, easy to warp, easy to weave off, and makes beautiful belts and bands. Participants will learn to make heddles for the loom, follow a draft and warp the inkle loom. Participants will be able to finish a small project by the end of the day.

An entire weekend of fiber - classes, shopping, fashion show, and more. Are you envious yet??


New Look

And the (construction) beat goes on . . . Dick and Gary have been working on the master bedroom for the past few weeks. All the furniture is in the middle of the room, the carpet is gone (it was original to the house; good riddance!), the curtains are down and the windows are covered in aluminum foil (to keep out the aliens??) The back wall was covered in plastic drop cloths until today to keep the dust down. A necessary but not very attractive look; I'm glad to have it gone.

Gary's current job is peeling wallpaper.
A buddy told him that using a hairdryer speeds up the process and it looks like buddy was right. He's almost done with the bottom section; just some strips remaining near the ceiling that he needs to get down.
Dick started framing the new closet this morning. He'd made a lot of progress by the time I got back from running errands. At this rate, he'll have it finished before I get back from the weaving conference in Riverside on Sunday night. That just leaves painting, wallpapering, and flooring - piece of cake.


So Spoiled

Look what I got for my birthday! A custom, handwoven rayon chenille wrap in colors specifically chosen by me. I love Fall colors; can you tell?
Dick decided this is what he wanted to get me for my b-day and had me order it back in December from master weaver, teacher, guild-mate, and friend, Deborah Jarchow. It's even softer and more beautiful than it looks in the photos. I'm in heaven!


Woven FO

Can't believe I forgot to post photos of the rayon chenille scarf I wove for Dick. I finished everything except taking out the waste yarn that was protecting the fringe before we left for Colorado a month ago and Dick has worn it several times. Warp (the long threads, including the fringe) is dark blue, light blue and white rayon chenille; weft (the sideways threads) is the same dark blue. I used a plain weave pattern and really packed in the weft so the fabric felt almost like cardboard when it came off the loom. A trip through the washing machine - gentle cycle, cold water, no detergent - and the dryer - low heat until it was very dry - softened it up amazingly. I love the fabric's drape and feel. So soft and silky. Too bad chenille is such a pain to work with. I don't see a lot of this in my future, at least until I become a more accomplished weaver. I think it's back to dishtowels and lots of practice for now.