Thursday, January 12, 2012

Catching up

I've gotten really behind on my blogging so I will try to catch up.

The Mammoth Cave Retreat was wonderful and the "inchies" swap was a huge success.  I covered a wooden frame with polymer clay and put one of everyone's inchies on the frame.  Ron Lehocky made hearts for the four corners which made it look great.

Then we had a drawing to give the frame to one lucky attendee.  There was only one frame but everyone got a great set of inchies to take home. 

In the evenings, we played Left, Right, Center which is always a hoot.  We played for big beads the first night. 
And we played for poker chips the second night.
Here are a couple of shots of my work table.  I used the scraps from my Mitered Crosses inchies to make a kaleidoscope cane for a big button to go on a hat that I knitted.
 These two little sculptures were made by Leslie Blackford by special request. 
Leslie gave my children two kittens a few years back and my daughter's cat is black so the cat is for her.  My son requested a dragon so he gets the dragon.  They both play soccer so they have little soccer balls too.  I just love Leslie's work and Leslie is one of my favorite people in the world.
  I traded the Shizuku scarf  with Leslie.  She loves my knitting and I love her polymer clay!
And here is the great polymer clay button that I made.  The hat pattern is Robin's Egg Blue Hat and I knitted it in some super soft Alpaca that I bought from a local alpaca farm.  My niece is wearing one of the two mystery knit a long hats that I knitted recently.
  The pattern is Corella and it is also alpaca.
This is the 2nd mystery knit along hat called Rubbish Mojitos.

I just loved knitting both of them.
We took some pictures of the grandchildren while we were at my mom's for Thanksgiving.  This was her Christmas card picture. 
But this was my favorite picture.  My daughter was a biter when she was a toddler and this is proof that she still has it in her when it comes to having to sit so close to her little brother.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Off to a retreat!

I'm headed off tomorrow for my annual polymer clay retreat at Mammoth Cave, Ky.  We always have such a great time and learn some fun new techniques.  And I love seeing all of the friends that I have made over the years.  This year we are having an "inchy" swap for the first time.  Everyone makes one inch squares of decorated clay and we will all swap them so that everyone will go home with some great little works of art.  We will have 36 in attendance and I made 42 so that I will have a few left over.
 I decided to use the  Mitered Crosses blanket as my inspiration.  I mixed a fall colored pallett and made three different blends so that I could make three different one inch canes for variety. 
Then I took slices and baked them.  

We also have a brown bag swap where you make something from polymer clay and then put it in a bag.  Everyone gets to pick a bag and see what kind of goody is inside.  I decided to knit something and add polymer clay buttons but I can't show what I made until after the retreat.  But I can show you the buttons.
I will have many more pictures from the retreat in my next post.

I have been knitting like crazy of course.  My daughter is playing on three different soccer teams at the moment and my son on one team so there is lots and lots of great knitting time while I watch and wait.  She is #16 in white on her middle school team in the picture above.  
While sitting at a rather cool game a few weeks ago, I decided that some wrist warmers without fingers would be nice.
So I used some of my first handdyed handspun to knit these great and easy wrist warmers called Toast.

I also knitted this very fun little cardigan called Bilateral Cardigan
It is made up of two hexagons which are folded and sewn up the back and along the shoulders.

After blocking the hexagons and then folding them, the arms stuck up so I reblocked into a better shape for a cardigan.
After all of this, it turned out a little too small for me so my cute little (but older) sister was happy to take it off of my hands.

The mystery Knitalongs have lured me into four more mystery knits - two from each designer.  Another She-Knits KAL for a shawl called Tuck with a surprise scarf named Oh Delilah that was thrown in as a bonus.
I have done several of She-Knits mystery KALs and they are always great fun.  For the second time, I am signed up for Woolly Wormheads mystery KAL for hat A and B.  The clues for the hats come out on Nov. 1 and I am travelling with my son's class to the Chattanooga Aquarium so I plan to take these two projects with me for the bus trip.  I've already bought my yummy yarns and swatched so I'm ready to go.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Mitered Crosses Blanket

I finished my Mitered Crosses Blanket and I just love it!
I started this blanket back in April when Kay Gardiner published the pattern, shortly after the tsunomi in Japan, with all proceeds going to help Japan.  She has now sent more then $17,000 to Mercy Corp.  I used Noro like the pattern called for but instead of Noro Silk Garden, which is an aran weight, I used Noro Silk Garden Sock. 
I started this for myself but soon decided that my mom would love this blanket so this will be her Christmas present.  I also know that I will eventually inherit this blanket back so that made it an easy decision. 

I have also finished a wonderful scarf called Spectrum by Stephen West.  I used one skein of Noro Silk Garden Sock and one skein of Knit Picks Stroll Kettle Dyed Sock yarn.  Short rows create the gentle curve which makes the scarf drape nicely when you wear it.  This scarf will be my sister's Christmas gift.  I'm really impressed that I am getting so many gifts made ahead of time.

I'm working on many more projects which I will show in future posts.  I attend a polymer clay retreat every year  in October at Mammoth Cave, Kenturcky.  I'm working away on the projects that I will be taking to this event.  We are making one inch squares called "inchies" for a swap and I decided to make little mitered crosses like my blanket.  They look great and I will show them to you soon.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Earth and Sky

I finished the Westknits mystery KAL "Earth and Sky" a few days ago.  After a good blocking, I decided that it needed a really nice background for the photo shoot. 
I drive past these two great historic cemeteries every morning when I take my children to school.  Each is surrounded by beautiful old dry wall fences and are filled with old head stones belonging to people who were born and/or died in the 1800's.
There are many Civil War soldiers buried here also.   In fact, the newest resident to be intered here was a Civil War soldier who's bones were found in 2009 during road construction near the Franklin battlefield.  Along with the bones were several Union buttons and a mini ball.
A monument was erected at the Unknown Soldier burial site using column and pediment pieces that were from the State Capital in Nashville.   We really enjoyed walking around the cemetery and reading many of the old headstones.
Oh, yes, and back to the shawl.  I love it.  It's nice and big and will keep me warm this fall and winter.
 I decided to make a matching shawl pin from polymer clay.

I mixed some colors to match and then used techniques found in Julie Picarello's new book Patterns in Color.  For the pin, I used one of my favorite Knit Picks size US0 double pointed knitting needles that one of my children sat on and broke!  At least it has been put to good use.

Thursday, August 25, 2011


I finished Gwen last week.   Gwen is the second of the two mystery shawls that I knit from designer She-Knits
I think it turned out really well.  I usually follow the charts on lace knitting but this chart was really big and very complicated with many unusual symbols and would have needed to be printed off and then enlarged to make it readable so, I chose to follow the written instructions as I did with Donna.  This worked out just fine but it made me "follow blindly" rather then "read my knitting" like I would have done with a chart.  So, it was not as enjoyable because of that.  But I do love a mystery and I really enjoyed getting the next clue each week and making sure that I finished each clue before the next clue was up.
The only thing that I would have changed if I had seen the pattern ahead of time, is that I would have chosen a contrasting color for the flower beads.  As it is, the beads show up only when the light hits the silver lining in the beads.  But that's part of the fun of the mystery. 

I am almost finished with my third and final mystery shawl of the summer.  I have just started the bind off of the nearly 500 stitches of the Earth and Sky Westknits Mystery KAL.  I will block it tomorrow and get some good photos.