Monday, February 25, 2008

Jade and Pearls

I'm a sucker for fresh water pearls. But put them with yellowy-greeny jade and I'm done for. The supplies are from everywhere. Jade disks are from Potomac Bead Company in Virgina, the pearls and cool copper flower bead cups are from Beads and Bling in Dublin, copper ear wires are Wal-Mart and wrapping wire comes from Canal Bead Shop in Winona Lake. They are yummy!!

I did a long lariat necklace with the same things including the brown stone disks, a few crystals, clear glass beads and the celadon squares that I used in the crocheted necklace I made during the summer. It's about 40 inches long, so it wraps around several times.

I really need to get a good book on stone identification! I
used to think I'd remember what they were, but then the shape, colours, combinations, possibilities and time got in the way. Wishful thinking.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Falling off the Wagon

As of the first of the year, I started my yarn diet again. Last year was very good and I only bought a few balls of yarn. Mostly for felt projects. Although I've done a lot of knitting, I really haven't made a dent in the stash. Redo!

Ah, the Avoca Sale! For those who don't reside in Ireland, Avoca Handweaver's started as a weaving mill, down in the Vale of Avoca. Bet you'd never have guessed that by the company name! Television show Ballykiss Angel was filmed there. Apparently it looks exactly the same. I never watch the show, but those who have can attest to the likeness.

Back to the sale.

Every year, around Valentines Day, they start a Yarn and Fabric sale. Cones of yarn, mostly weaving sorts, but cones of lovely yarn that is from the past weaving season or two.
Fabric, nothing much to talk about in years past. Mostly, very plaidy plaids. They're know for them. Nice Sunday suit for the Misses or a day out with the ladies for Gran kind of plaid.

This year was a whole new kettle of fish. I did some damage, but I have to say. At 5 euro a meter, you can't go wrong. I don't think you can buy interfacing for that. Oops, what's that sneaking out from under that lovely celery green voile? Oh yeah, I bought some yarn. A kilo or two of steel blue chenille.

This has been calling my name for several years in the store. They've been using this thick and thin in woven scarves and blankets. There is possibly 2 kilos of this and I've seen a couple of Louisa Harding patterns that would work great.

It Orange!

This is the haul. Above is the plum linen with a metalic shimmer to it (9 euro for 6 meters!!!), stripey tan and chocolate, tan linen, embroidered dark brown tweed, lovely celery voile (3 meters for 5 euro!!) washed grey-blue linen, cream linen and a lovely citrus green mohair with ribbons and silky yarn running through. I'm making a lap blanket or throw for the couch. Don't know what, but it was really good value.

So, minimal damage with yarn, but good value and lots of clothes worth of fabric. And it only took two personal trips and one personal shopper via friend going down again to pick up something I forgot to buy along with all her stuff trip.

Saturday, February 16, 2008

Create As You Go

Knitted from the stash from Summer 2005. I picked up the brushed alpaca for a sweater. After several years in Ireland, I've noticed that my skin colour can at time be close to the same celery shade of the yarn. Lack of sun does that. I used to have a fair bit of tan year round in the US. Even in the sub-zero temps of winter.

After some consideration, I decided to divide the yarn and knit things that wouldn't drain my complexion all the more. To bad, because this stuff is next to the skin soft and fluffy. Yum!

They started out as wrist warmers or fingerless gloves. I started with the rib back at the wrist and did the garter stitch on the rest. Fitting it as I went along. They were knit flat and seamed up the side leaving a whole for the thumb.

My hands are always cold and mostly it's my fingers. Why make fingerless gloves and leave exposed the coldest part? Mittens!

This is the rib from the back side.

I went and bought an assortment of shell buttons and used a good quantity from the button stash as well. Used green thread to sew them down and am pleased with the over all design. Pretty basic, but the green is a winner for me.

After wearing them today, they just seemed a bit baggy, so I may knit them again on smaller needles instead of threading elastic through the back. I may put it off to the summer. It has been sunny for the last couple of days. You never know, I may not need mittens soon!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Happy Valentine's Day

Hope everyone has a lovely day! We had this waiting for us this morning from DD. She was busy at school yesterday. I love it!

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Earings to Match

Over the weekend I did some beading. Trying to catch up with some of the jewelry that I have, but need additions or things that are starting to pile up. What I don't want to do is to start stock piling. Don't want to have to do a bead diet in a few years. I also find that I buy beads with a specific project in mind (most of the time) and then loose the inspiration after a while.

Narration aside. The lovely pearl necklace that I got for my birthday needed ear rings, so into the stash I went and found powder blue potato pearl, silver beads and a larger aqua bead. The are very similar. I'm fond of the cluster stacking with pearls or anything else, now that I think about it. I like jewelry with dimension. Good thing I am learning to make my own.

Over the summer, when I first got into this, I found a great little shop for beads and jewelry. Little did I know how great it was and the extent of the products that were packed inside of a small space. Lucky residence of Winona Lake!

These are cinnabar tubes, beads and flowers. Real Copper ear wires irritate my ears so I opted for the faux. I did use the original wires for the beads and the main body of the ear ring. The oxidizing process is really cool. Found a website that give directions for doing a non chemical process. You have to use urine... Where shall I get that much? Start drinking water... Lots of water. Press on, Next topic. Well I don't have one for today, but never the less, Move on.

Monday, February 11, 2008

Bit of Colour

I did some dyeing on the Blue Face Leicester from the stash. Have several pounds of it from Craftspun Yarns. It's gorgeous. Spins and felts like a dream. It also takes up dye really well.
I recently sold the Duck Egg / Lavender felt hat that a friend ordered from me. Good -bye lovely hat...

It was also the last of the blue/green fibre that I had left. Love that colour! Anyway, after searching the internet for the perfect replacement, I was unsuccessful. Hey, I'll dye my own. I have lots of wool just waiting to be transformed into something lovely.

The Acid Green was the first attempt. Not sure what I was thinking, but maybe went a bit to hard on the chartreuse?? Didn't add enough blue. I don't have any plans for it yet, but the colour is bright enough to use as a beacon if the power fails.

Second attempt came out just as planned. Variegated a bit, but that's how I was hoping it would go when I did stripes in the dye pan. Gives a deeper effect when it's felted without the many varieties of colour.

Red, Orange and Yellow again. Went a bit light on the red. Meant to match a red hat. I may sew in bits of red felt along the way. I have to say... I hate Navajo Plying! I haven't done it that much and that may be part of it, but it really gets away from you quickly and becomes an uneven mass of curly Q's. Plus I think it really wastes yardage. It's probably the way I do it. Hack job, this one.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

Fat Baby Booties

Our next door neighbor just had a baby girl. What to make? Felt a baby hat or booties? Knit a cardi or hat? Hmmm??

Cheryl had mentioned that she was going to knit a pair of fulled baby booties. I thought they sounded really cute.

Little did I know that they came from Interweave Felt magazine that I had picked up this summer. So last Saturday, I went to knitting in the city all prepared to start knitting and Cheryl had finished hers and brought them along . I was very inspired.

These are my choices. Lopi, spare bit of pink Manos and a lovely novelty yarn I picked up at Loop, on a trip to London a couple years ago. Should be pretty and girly. I'll embroider a daisy on the front and put a little button or something on it.

This is a pic from the magazine of the back of the boots. Pretty simple I think. Buttons and elastic shouldn't be to tough to find. HA!

Knit One, Crochet Two is the maker of this yarn. Close up shot! Pretty fine, lumps of colour and sparkley throughout. Says "Dry Clean Only" It's only trim and with the pink, it shouldn't matter. Right???

Here they are. Notice anything different??? Love the Lavender, Celery and the tiniest hint of Pink. Isn't the daisy on the toe cute? Old Manos was never meant to be washed. It was used for knitting. The 1980's were not for felters or fullers. So, it's always a gamble as to what will come out of the washer on this. The other, well, apparently it's not colour fast as well, but, I have to say, I really got lucky and love the colours that surprised me.

These things are so hairy!! Hard to get a good photo of them. The lens keeps moving, trying to focus on what? Fuzz! I've already trimmed them once and will have to do it again after I brush them. It's like having a really hairy pet. The Lopi always does that with fulling though. Sasquatch... That's all I can think of.

This is the improvising that I did. White elastic was too white. Black, well... Black and colours are non existent. I was laying in bed not sleeping, so I was thinking of how to fasten them off in the back. SKINNY HAIR ELASTICS!! They come in LOTS of colours. I've been picking them up off the floor of my DD room for years! Cheap too! 1.50 euro for about 10 skinny ones, plus you get the fat ones to give to the DD. More bits to pick up.

So this is how the back looks with the new adaptation. I like it. The gold goes so well with the pink, yellow and orange yarn. Don't you think??

Opted to use buttons from the stash. I have a tendency to cut buttons off of things that I'm getting rid of, if they're nice. I usually recycle the fabric into craft bits and use the buttons to decorated my craft area, now that I have one. They use to go into jars until they were needed. So, I don't remember what this came off of, but I had 4. Perfect.