Not Monogamous

With projects, that is. Seems like when I finish one, I start 3 -- or 4 -- more. Good way to keep from being bored.

Project #1- baby blanket to be gifted in October. Two strands of baby-weight yarn held together, worked with a "J" hook. Love this ripple pattern. Still debating whether to put a big, fancy border on here or go with something simple. Probably decide based on the amount of time I have to meet the deadline.
Project #2 - a sweater for Addy. I'd like to have this done so she can wear it when we meet up in Albuquerque on Sunday. Think I can make it? The sweater has another row of circles below the white ones seen here. If my super-secret idea works out, it should be super-cute. And if it doesn't, there's always the frog pond (for that row, not the whole sweater.)

I'm really pleased with this new pattern from Patons Yarn. It's an true intermediate-level pattern, with side-shaping and lots of other goodies. I'm glad there are lots of easy patterns out there for beginners; but it's nice to have more interesting/challenging patterns for the rest of us. So thank you, Patons!

Project #3 - a sweater for me. I've had this pima silk yarn in my stash for awhile, and I put this sweater in my Ravelry queue over 8-months ago. Finally put the two together. Since I'm getting gauge exactly, it
was obviously meant to be. It's a very traditional cardigan design, which is exactly what I wanted.


Wooden Goodness

Look what hubby made me! A holder for my collection of fancy crochet hooks. The entire thing is walnut, one of my all-time favorite woods. Dick turned the spindle from a piece that was harvested in 1947 and has been drying for the past 60+ years. It's perfect for displaying my little pretties. And now that I've got pictures of the gorgeous holder, I can start loading it up with hooks.



Just added my Feather and Fan Scarf pattern to Ravelry. You can get it free here or get a PDF file of the pattern here: download now. This one came about when I fell in love with a knit feather and fan shawl at my favorite yarn store. I'm a slow knitter, so it would have taken me forever to make. But with crochet I could make it and wear it the same week. I love the drape and texture of this scarf; it feels so elegant in Blue Heron's Rayon Metallic yarn. And it would be easy to enlarge to make a shawl (directions are in the pattern.)I've got 10 of my patterns on Ravelry now. I feel so designery.



I've always loved how little minds work, especially when it comes to language. If you click the photo below, you'll see Addy - all decked out in her grandma's favorite color - with her Cinderella umbrella. Or as Addy calls it, her "Cinderberella".


Whole New Meaning

This gives new meaning to 'tying one on'. Rather than re-thread the loom, I'm tying on a new warp so I can weave another overshot rug. 319 weaver's knots later, I'm ready to wind on. Sure beats spending the next three days re-warping the loom.


Moving On

The waffle towels are done - and I've decided to move on. I left the old warp on the loom so I could tie on another set of towels - but I don't love this weave structure enough to bother. If I did another set, I'd just rush through them so I could get on to something else, and what's the point in that? Especially when I found a pattern for overshot placemats that uses the same fiber I was going to use for the towels. Overshot rules!



The third towel is done and the whole bunch are off the loom and in the washer. Once they are dry, I'll cut them apart and hand-hem each one. Now I need to decide if I want to do another set of waffle weave towels in the brown and pink I bought in Solvang - the benefit here is I could just tie on to the current warp and not have to rethread all the heddles, saving several hours of work - or start an entirely new project like a scarf or shawl. Decisions, decisions.


Waffle Up

The first of the three waffle weave towels is done and I'm halfway through the second. This is the 'Martini' colorway from Halcyon Yarn; I'm not quite sure how teal blue relates to martinis but I'm not complaining since it's my favorite color. The weft for the third towel is the darker green that's on both sides of the blue above.

I was going through crochet withdrawal - I haven't had a project on the hook for almost a week - so I started a baby blanket tonight. It's a feather and fan pattern using two strands of stashed baby yarn held together, one white and one a variegated blue. Since I have more white than blue, I'm going to do stripes with two strands of white every three rows or so. If it turns out like I'm picturing, this will be a gift for a friend's soon-to-be grandbaby. If it doesn't, I'm sure it will find a good home in my LYS's charity bin.


A Waffling We Will Go . . .

The waffle weave towels are on the loom - finally. Seems like it's taken an unusually long time to get these warped, between changing out the heddles, working with finer threads (8/2 cotton) and taking a hiatus while Addy and Rachel were here. The threading pattern was simple - an 8-thread repeat - but it gave me fits off and on across the entire 402 thread warp. Tomorrow the pattern weaving begins. Cross your fingers for me.


Photo Op

We took advantage of having all four baby grands in one place to have professional photos taken. That poor photographer! Working with four squirmy, fussy, unfocused kids is not my idea of a fun job. It took her awhile, but we finally got 11 usable photos, two of which had all the kids smiling. I love this one; the way the baby has her hand on Addy's head, while Miles gives his best silly face.

Miles, 3; Naia, 8; Leia, 13 months; and Addison, 2

How did the rest of the photos look? Kinda like this.
Leia usually has the best temperament, all smiles and giggles. But she was NOT happy that grandma wasn't holding her. Dick and I finally had to leave the room and let Matt and Rachel wrangle the kids. Definitely worth the trauma, though. The photos are priceless.



Rachel and I are big Top Chef fans, so one of our top priorities during her trip was to have lunch at Cafe Firenze, Fabio Viviani's restaurant in Moorpark.

Fabio was nowhere to be found (bummer) but the restaurant was very nice, with 2-story ceilings, tall dark furniture, beautiful chandeliers and a golden color sponged on the walls. Dick had the best dish - the Chicken Marsala on mashed potatoes with spinach was wonderful. And I loved the flourless chocolate cake we shared.

But the highlight of the day was 2-year-old Addison eating - and liking - calamari.
Ahem, her mother told her it was popcorn chicken.


Done and Done

The third wedding shawl is done and blocking. The bride didn't want the sides coming to a point, so I modified the pattern a bit before starting the decreases. All three shawls get delivered tomorrow night. Sure hope the bride likes them. My craft room redesign is also done - a good thing since Rachel and Addy are sleeping out here while they visit for the next 3 days. With the counter gone, I have lots more floor space - plus my new weaving corner, complete with Baby Wolf, comfy chair, and a hanging rack for coned yarn and project bags. And yes, I have a lot of bags. Some women collect shoes, something that's never interested me. But I just can't say 'no' to a project bag.



My Baby Wolf came with Texsolve heddles when I bought it used in 2005. They've been ok but aren't the most fun to move around when warping the loom; push the top, push the bottom, repeat (and repeat) across the bar. With metal heddles, you give them a flick and they move out of your way. Texsolve heddles weigh less than metal, which was also a consideration since I use this loom for workshops.

Over two years ago I bought big-eye
metal heddles specifically to put on Baby but never got around to it. It's a fairly big job for a newish weaver and I admit I was a bit intimidated. But last night I decided it was time. It took a few hours but look what I've got - so pretty and so easy to use. Wish I'd done this years ago. Guess who may get a second pair of hand-crocheted socks? Rachel texted me this photo tonight. Love seeing crocheted socks in the wild.



After a quick trip to Solvang with the Fiber Ladies (if you can call a 6 hour trip 'quick'), I spent the evening warping the Baby Wolf for my next weaving project. I've had this waffle-weave towel kit for about 2 years. I was inspired to get it out of the cabinet and onto the loom by this project. I know it doesn't look like it, but this is actually an organized mess - a separate helping hand (warp cross holder - Dick made them, of course) holding each of the towel's four colors. It took almost four hours but the 400+ threads are all in the reed.

I probably could have finished sooner but I kept having to deal with Miss Sulky. AJ knows that night time is when she gets to sleep in my lap while I crochet or knit. She is not amused that warping the loom is an up-and-down process, meaning no lap to perch on. Her current method of showing her displeasure? Chewing through any warp threads that hang down from the loom. Yeah, I'm not amused either.

Tomorrow I'll start threading the heddles with a goal of having the warp tied on and ready to actually start weave by Sunday.


Moving Along

I've been cleaning my studio like a mad woman, getting ready for Addy and her mommy to visit next week. Lots of old magazines and books being donated to the local library; craft projects getting organized and up off the floor (thanks to the hanging rack hubby built me). But I do have a couple of FO's to show off.

This is wedding shawl #1 - my all-time favorite shawl pattern done in Tahki Cotton Classic.
I'm making three shawls using the same pattern but different yarns; this one is for the groom's grandmother. Love the drape and texture of this yarn. Wedding shawl #2, for the mother of the bride, is done in Crystal Palace's Panda Silk. It's almost the same color as #1, but the yarn is thinner and lighter; the shawl almost floats in the air. I'd used the DK size of Panda Silk for another project and hated how splitty it was. This stuff was heavenly. So soft and silky; a real pleasure to crochet. I should have the bride's shawl done later this week, if I don't get too caught up in the cleaning.



So excited. My first ever overshot project is off the loom. Love it, love it, loveit.


Where's The Kitty?

This is for Addison. Can you find where the kitty is hiding? Where, oh where can she be?

Oh - there she is - hiding in her favorite place.
She's going to miss these boxes when they go home.



Today while Leia took her nap I got started weaving the overshot rug. I'd put the warp on last week (here), then got distracted putting the Guild books online. The project is from the March/April 2007 edition of Handwoven, where it was done in the more traditional blue and natural. The draft is 'Orange Peel' from Josephine Estes' 'Miniature Patterns for Hand Weaving' published in 1956. I had planned to do this with red rug wool, but the more I looked at the cone, the less sure I was that I'd have enough. The green is more subtle but I love how it looks. I've woven three of the ten repeats; tomorrow we're driving to San Diego for a wedding so I won't get back to weaving until Monday. Once I get this off the loom, I'm seriously thinking of tying on another warp and weaving another rug. Hey Rach - want a rug for your house?


Still Crazy

Want to see what I've been working on lately? Go look at this. Almost 500 books and videos from the guild library entered into LibraryThing, a cool, (almost) free book cataloging program. Now, rather than keeping this stuff in cabinets locked away for most of each month, members can see what we have and make arrangements to borrow items any time.

So, 16 bankers boxes of books, packed up when the guild lost its home, are now cataloged, sorted, photographed, spreadsheeted, then checked, checked and re-checked before being packed into 16 nice new plastic tubs, ready for distribution. Until we have a new home, a few members are going to store the boxes for me.

It was a big project and I'm glad it's done, but I have to say I really enjoyed the challenge and the chance to see/touch/savor the wealth of books we own. Now I just need to sort and re-pack the remaining 16 boxes of magazines and swatch books. Yay.

Before I retired, I was the queen of special projects. Nice to see some things don't change.