Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Been all around the world......

.......well not quite but it sure feels like it.....I don't even want to think how many hours I spent sitting on a plane or in an airport! Yikes! However it was well worth it. Great to hang out with my parents and siblings up in Shetland and get some catching up done. It was very weird to be away from my own kids especially when we were separated by thousands and thousands of miles....good to see them in the flesh again!

Here's a wee piece of artwork showing my parents cottage recently done by Mary Gibbons (who just married by sister-in-law's brother) obviously there are no stone walls or extension but I really love it. The colours really represent the Shetland landscape.

Thought I should include a wee pic of me so here I am almost being blown away at Eashness in Shetland. One thing I realized I do miss living in California is weather. It's so changeable in Scotland- constantly going from windy, rainy, to bright sunny spells and in central California it's stays the same most of the time...sun...sun and more sun!

Now onto some knitting I accomplished whilst in Shetland....amazingly I actually made something from someone else's's been so long since I did that....just what I needed.
It's the Shetland Triangle shawl by Evelyn A. Clark from Wrap Style worked in Jaggerspun Zephyr silk. It came out smaller than the pattern measurements but I wasn't really makes a decent small shawl/scarf.....and my sister is now the happy owner!
I took a lot of pictures of this shawl....great location for photo shoots....should have seen me battling with the wind though!

Next post.....some new organic Shetland wool!

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Little Black Dress (and other projects).

So.....this little black dress has been secretly hiding for a while (submitted it to one place but they weren't biting) but it's time for it to be exposed! I designed this right after finishing Hip In Hemp, inspired by revisiting photos of floor length dresses my mum designed in the 70's. It is also made with Elizabeth Lavold's Hempathy yarn. I wanted it to be simple but have an interesting texture so went for this all over Jacquard stitch from one of the Barbara Walker books.
It was knit as one piece starting at the shoulders and worked back and forth until the wrap- over was united under the bust area. The skirt was then worked in the rnd down with ribbing to separate the bands of Jacquard stitch. Increases were worked into the Jacquard pattern evenly around. There is an eyelet rnd under the bust where ribbon can be threaded through (the one I ordered is a little skinny so I had to use two strands-may order something different- the place I ordered from had an amazing selection). The hem is finished with Zigzag trellis lace (also from BW) and then a picot cast off. Sleeves edgings were picked up and worked back and forth using short rows in the same ribbing as on the dress.

As you may imagine this project took quite a while to knit and it didn't help that I did quite a bit of significant ripping back during the process! However I'm pretty happy with the end result but whenever I try to have photos taken of me in it I don't like them (partly has to do with the glare of the California sun and my white skin against black)! I am wondering how much I'll wear it and am considering ripping back to just below the hips so that it is more of a top (as you can see I like wearing it over trousers)...or I may give it to someone else (I'm taking it to Scotland so I can try and get some better photos of my sister in it as none of mine really do it justice-perhaps she'll want it)!

The only other thing I'm regretting a wee bit is the eyelet rnd as it has stretched a little with the weight of the skirt (but there is no way I'm ripping back to there)!
I can see why this would be a hard sell for some's all black (don't see that that often) and it's a big project. Price wise though it is good value - I used 10 balls of Hempathy so that works out to about $60 from certain retailers that give bulk discounts!
Anyway I've been wanting to share it for a while and I decided not to submit it anywhere else... whether I get around to writing up the pattern for my blog is another question!
As I was getting myself organized for my trip back home, which involved bringing warmer clothing out of my closet, I came across this poncho I made last winter in Colorado. The pattern comes from a poncho called Rap On Stripes (by Veronik Avery) from Wrap style (for a free download click on the Rap on Stripes link above) Well as you can see I didn't do the stripes and worked reversed stockinette st bands in between regular stockinette st in a solid grey (love grey) of cascade 220. However when I finished I found it fell off my shoulder too much and of course I never got around to working more decreases. So last night I ripped back e and made the neck opening a little smaller. Now I can add it to my pile of woolies to take to the windy Shetland islands!
I'm now trying to decide what to take as projects for the trip (although unfortunately I'm not allowed to knit on the plane...what a waste of hours and hours of what could be very productive time) and after looking at Wrap Style again I'm considering the Shetland Triangle shawl by Evelyn A. Clark (as can be seen here by grumperina) appropriate thing to work on I think...and I have some lovely Jaggerspun Zephyr wool-silk in lace-weight that would look great for this project....and it does say it's surprisingly easy to knit!
I have two other completed is the design I was working on for Gryphon.....can't give away anything until she puts it up on her etsy site but I am very pleased with how it came out and really wanted to keep it for myself! The 2nd project...well that's a secret....!

I'll be back soon with photos of my trip home!