Plain Jane Knits Up A Storm

A few musings about my needlecraft hobbies - knitting, crocheting, quilting, & cross-stitch along with my other love, genealogy. While growing up, I used to HATE the term "Plain Jane", but when it comes to knitting & crocheting, I've realized that I really *am* a Plain Jane in that I don't use fancy yarns.

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Location: Northern Detroit Metro area, Michigan, United States

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Finished Designs & Samples

I haven't really been as lazy as the lack of blog posts might indicate. Instead, I've been working on designing items in the recycled Sari Silk and knitting up the samples to be photographed for the patterns. The box is packed and ready to ship off to Stephanie at The Wool Peddler , so I thought I'd show you a few more of the projects that have been keeping me busy.

This belt is a quick project - it took about two hours to make last night and it looks great on a pair of jeans. I think that a 100 gram skein of Kathmandu Twisted would make at least two belts and perhaps more.

Kim designed a crocheted version of a Lightning Bolt scarf, so I had to come up with a knit version. It's worked on size 15 needles and took about 150 grams of Kathmandu Handpicked. It's another project that can be completed in an evening or two.

This is the idea that started the whole project. Merry, who is now acting as our agent, wanted a pattern for a knit bowl in the silk yarn. This rectangular one is knit in the round without any seams and stiffened with white glue.

Remember that little tease from a few weeks back? It was a close up shot of this place setting complete with mat, napkin ring and table runner. There are also two more designs, a simple lacy pattern and a window-pane design.

Another quick Christmas present is this cell-phone bag which is also large enough to hold a digital camera. There will also be patterns available for the purse and three amulet bags. There are photos of the purse and two of the amulet bags in the August 16th & 22nd posts.

This shawl would take a little more time, but it's a classic. The weight of the silk yarn combined with the easy lace pattern makes it easy to wear. It's shown here held together with a shawl pin (ok, it's really one of those barrettes with the long pin, but it works), but it will hug my shoulders without being pinned on which is more than I can say for my Clapotis. It was difficult to pack this one up for shipping as I wanted to keep it!!

So that's how I spent the month of August. {g} All of the patterns will be available soon through The Wool Peddler (link above). Many thanks to Stephanie who has given Kim & me the opportunity to do some designing!

Wednesday, August 24, 2005

Tagged, Once Again

Sallee at Knitnana just tagged me for a Musical MeMe - "6 musical pieces that are favorites at the moment." I sort of remember doing something like this a while back, but I can't find the entry in the archives. Forgive me if anything has changed in the meantime.

1. Señor - a Bob Dylan song as played & sung by Jerry Garcia on the double Jerry Garcia Band album. This whole album is full of magical music, but Señor is the one that sends the most chills up my spine.

2. Weep for Jamie - Peter, Paul & Mary, Album 1700, 1967. The Great Mandella on the same album is powerful too and a song doesn't come much funnier than Big Blue Frog.

3. China Cat Sunflower - by the Grateful Dead - Ok, the lyrics don't make much sense, but I can't hear this one without wanting to get up and dance.

4. Mountains of the Moon - another Grateful Dead song (are you sensing a pattern here?)from the AOXOMOXOA album. This song has the feel of the Childe Ballads and I actually learned to play it on an autoharp many years ago.

5. Amanda - by Amanda McBroom. It's another ballad. I couldn't find the lyrics on line, but it's worth the price of the album all by itself. Another one of those songs that sends chills up my spine.

6. For the sixth choice, I am - once again - going to wimp out and say just about anything by the Grateful Dead and/or Jerry Garcia (barring Space & Drums). The music is so eclectic that it doesn't matter what mood I'm in, there's an album or a song to match. Country? Try American Beauty or Working Man's Dead. Want a bit of disco? Shakedown Street fits. My all time favorite album is probably Europe, '72. Try them, you might like them.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

The Finished Scarf

As promised, I was able to get a better photo of the dropped stitch scarf now that it's finished. The colors are a bit deeper than shown as the flash washed them out some.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Silk, Silk & More Silk

I've been busy designing more projects for The Wool Peddler and I thought that I'd show some of them off. Today, I finished the Mitered Square silk bag - this bag is 10.5" square with a 3" wide gusset & strap so lots of stuff would fit into it. It's made from three skeins of Unrefined on size 10 needles.

And I'm working on a diagonally knit scarf on size 13 needles with Handpicked. I've added a line of elongated stitches to the pattern for interest and I'm very pleased with the way that it's working up. I'll try to get a better photo when it's finished as it's really much prettier than it looks in this photo. The colors in the Handpicked silk yarn are such that I think the scarf would look nice with almost any color coat.

The knitting & crocheting class met today and while I still only have two students, I couldn't be prouder of them. Diane has finished the main part of a beautiful crocheted afghan (3 strands of yarn and a size Q hook) and is now working on the edging and the rosebud embellishments. Gloria has been tackling learning how to both knit & crochet! She finished a garter stitch scarf in variegated rose, white & teal with solid teal trim and is now knitting a matching hat. Plus, she's crocheting a lap robe in teal, gold & cream alternating with rows of solid teal. They've both come a long way since we started classes a few months ago.

Friday, August 19, 2005


Comments are disabled for the moment and hidden until I can figure out how to get rid of the spam that was inserted as a comment over night. For some reason, even coming in through the dashboard isn't allowing me to edit posts from the blog or delete comments. I'm going to try rebooting my computer and attempting to get where I can edit so the comments can be shown again.

Update: It took a bit, but the spam has been deleted. To prevent it happening again, I've added in a verification step so that the auto-spammers can't get through. It will mean that to comment, you'll have to type in a word shown on the screen in a wobbly font. I've run into this on a number of other blogs and now I understand why. Sorry for the inconvenience.

Thursday, August 18, 2005

Amulet Bags

Here are two of the small projects I've been doing for Stephanie of the Wool Peddler with the recycled Sari Silk yarn. These little amulet bags are just big enough to hold a credit (or library) card, a license, a key and some cash. They're a neat way to travel lightly and would make great gifts as they only take a couple hours to make. I estimate that one 100 gram skein of the silk would make 5 or 6 bags. The one on the left is fastened by a button while the one on the right is held closed by the weight of the tassel fastened to the flap. There's also going to be a pattern for a cell phone holder (my digital camera will also fit, so it could be a camera bag instead) with a nice thick shoulder strap. The original projects (and upcoming pattern) are three different knit place settings in beginner, easy & intermediate levels. My friend Kim has been designing the crocheted versions and we have lots more ideas up our sleeves.

Happiness Is..........

Nuf' said???

Friday, August 12, 2005

Out Of The Blue....

I was surprised today when I saw the mail truck pull into the driveway instead of just putting envelopes & magazines in the box by the road. The doorbell rang and there was a BIG box sitting on the porch. Return address showed that it was from my Darling Eldest Daughter and here's what was inside - yarn, all for the K4 group! Two 6 ounce skeins of Red Heart baby yarn in green for Pat's baby sets and two each of three "guy colors" - 8 ounce skeins of cranberry & beige & 6 ounce skeins of Blue Ridge variegated. That's going to keep me knitting for quite a while. Thanks, Becky!!!

I spent today finishing up designing the third and last item for one project. Now it's on to designing another pattern for the second project. Lots of other ideas perking around just waiting to be hatched.. {g}

Thursday, August 11, 2005

ROTFL---- (you know the rest)

As it was Thursday, it was K4 day. What a blast!! We were laughing so hard (once again) that we had people sticking their heads in the craft room to see what was going on. As we told them, when you get Chicks With Sticks together all bets are off. My sides still ache a bit from laughing that much.

Because I've been working on designing things in Sari Silk for The Wool Peddler I'm afraid that I didn't get as much charity knitting completed as I usually do in a week. I had two finished hats to turn in - there would have been a third, but I forgot and left the tin with my yarn needles & scissors home so I couldn't close the top and run in the yarn ends on that one. I did knit about half a hat during the get-together.

Here's another teaser - this one done with the Millefiori & undyed Rayon yarns.

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Between Kim & I, lots of ideas are perking for ways to use the yarns on Stephanie's site. Stay tuned...

Friday, August 05, 2005

Pardon My Back

Here, finally, with a little help from DH is a photo of the back of the second shrug that I made for the K4 project.

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This one was made 8 stitches narrower than the previous one in hopes of getting more length out of an 8 ounce skein of worsted yarn, but I still had to break into a second skein for the second cuff and ruffle. I think that three 3.5 ounce skeins would be a better choice other than having to join yarn along the way.

At the K4 meeting yesterday, I turned in the shrug and six more hats. I'm concentrating on "guy" colors - black, grey, brown, rust, dark green - as last year FISH, the local charity organization that took on the responsibility of getting the hats we donated to people who needed them, came back and asked if we had any more hats in colors suitable for men. This year, I want to be prepared.

We were very happy to receive two boxes of donated yarn. One came from Mary, who lives in Georgia, who sent along her left over baby yarn after reading a couple weeks ago on this blog that we were running low. Thanks, Mary! Pat, our crocheter extraordinaire, took your contribution home to turn it into baby hats, sweater & afghans. She was especially happy to find multiple sets of more than one skein of the same dye lot in the box as that will let her make a sweater and matching hat. The odds and ends will go into striped baby afghans. If anyone cleaning out their stash of machine wash & dry type yarns - any weight - is looking for a home for them, our K4 group will put it to good use. The place to send donations is the Lake Orion Senior Center, 21 East Church St., Lake Orion, MI, 48362. As I mentioned before, we're even willing to frog half finished items that you don't want to think about anymore and put the yarn to good use. {g}

As for the design work Kim & I are doing for the Wool Peddler, I can't show you the finished items until the patterns are on line and ready for sale, but I can tease you a bit with the yarn I'm using:

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Aren't the colors *beautiful*? It's even brighter and more jewel toned in person. This is Unrefined Kathmandu on a size 10½ needle. Stay tuned for further developments!

Monday, August 01, 2005

Ratzzen Fratzzen Skeeters!!

Fair warning: RANT in progress!! I hate mosquitoes and the little blood sucking vampires love me as much as I hate them. If there is a mosquito within flying distance when I'm outside it will make a bee line right to me and chomp. I swear that they must view me in much the same way that I view a Dairy Queen Peanut Buster Parfait - yummy!! To make matters worse, I'm fairly allergic to the bites. I can tell almost immediately that I've been bit and the itch goes on for three to four days. We've had a lot of rain recently in southeast Michigan and despite removing everything that might hold water from the yard and changing the birdbath daily, we have a bumper crop of skeeters. They're especially bad out around the garden where we can't use the Cutter spray that helps on the yard & bushes. I tried to pick beans last week after applying a liberal coating of a new non-greasy repellent from Cutter. The skeeters swarmed. I ran for the house and sprayed down with OFF - I did manage to get the grape tomatoes gathered and half the row of beans picked before I accumulated about 8 bites and gave it up. This weekend, after several days of existing in a fog because benadryl is the only thing that will help the itching and it knocks me for a loop, I tried again. This time I donned two pair of jeans, two pair of socks, a long sleeve t-shirt and a sweatshirt over top on the theory that if the extra layers were thicker than the mosquito's proboscis I might be able to thwart them. I pinned a piece of netting to a brimmed hat and gathered it around my neck to keep them away from my eyes, nose & mouth. Suffice it to say that I looked like a total idiot, but, along with the same repellent sprays, it worked. Beans & tomatoes gathered and no bites. Rant over, but I still hate mosquitoes!!

On the knitting front, I've finished the second shrug which, despite being narrower in the sleeves & body, took a little over 8 ounces of yarn. I still need to get a photo of it, preferably from the back. I've finished six hats and now I'm embarked on a design project in partnership with my longtime friend Kim. She explains it on her blog, Knittinology, so I won't repeat it here other than to say that the colors of the yarn are absolutely beautiful. You can see the yarn at Stephanie's The Wool Peddler.

Acrylics Anon/a