Patti Purls

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Bitten and Smitten!

For years I have wished to learn to spin but hesitated because I knew it would probably mean a redirection of my limited resources such as time, money, space and the like. It also seemed to mean travel time and so, I held back. I reasoned that I was content with the quality and consistency of commercially available fibers.

Well, that's over. I lost my spinning virginity at a friend's house last night and I can't wait to do it some more! The drop spindle, left, shows some of my first yardage. Isn't it slubberly?

Here she is, my friend Debi, ready to lead me down the road to ruin! She did a great job of indoctrinating me. She is showing me one of her many drop spindles. She has a few (wink! wink!)

Debi and I have known each other for about a dozen years, give or take, and used to pursue quilting together in a big way. Our husbands are friends, too, but we kind of lost touch when our kids grew up a bit, I returned to the paid workforce and picked up a master's degree. While I was learning about library management Debi learned to spin. How handy is that? Now she's teaching me.

Here is some silk Debi spun on this lovely little spindle. And the china basket, among other things, holds some other samples of her work. (Then there were the dressers, the gentleman's chest, the former china cabinet, the bags on the floor...)

I hope Debi knits this up soon. I found it incredibly tempting. Maybe a Baby Surprise jacket? Debi has a bit more fiber and tools than you see here, and all of it enviable.

We were together for about two hours, we spun and knit, and never got around to using any of her three spinning wheels. We need to get together again, soon, to do it all again.

Now, I proudly present, my first attempts:

My spindle, filling up, with my first spun yarn!
Debi is a good spinner and teacher. Her url says it all: Look her up!


Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I'm a Cast On Knitting Scout!

Brenda Dayne continues to be my favorite knitting podcaster and she has a camp theme going on right now on her site and podcast. Sign me up, Brenda!

"Wherein it is acknowledged that members are:

  • Not opposed to alcohol.
  • Into badges.
  • Mostly in agreement that there is no right way to knit.
  • Committed to diligent positive and accurate presentation of knitting and knitters, to editors, producers, directors, and those generally presumed to be part of “The Media” in an effort to close the gap of Public Knitting Literacy."
Here are my badges earned so far:
This MacGyver Level I badge symbolizes my knitting cleverness using non-knitting objects in a knitting related scenario. Well, lever back pierced earrings have shown up in my stitch count in a pinch. Paper clips, too. I've also used short bamboo skewers or mini golf pencils for cable needles when mine has disappeared down the cushions of a chair or between the seats of the car.

MacGyver Level Two represents my use of a knitting tool in a non knitting scenario. Well, that would be my resourceful use of size 2 DPNs to unlock the bathroom door. We do not even own a key. If you needed a key to my bathroom door I would hand you a size 2 knitting needle.

Proselytize Knitting Badge: Every scout must earn this one. According to our scout leader, Brenda, "the recipient must do his or her bit to present knitting in a positive light, whilst at the same time avoiding all references to “hipness”, grandmothers, and yoga." Well, I blog positively about it, do it in public, do it in private, talk about it and politely try to wait until others have inquired about before I start going on about it. I believe my behavior is a positive display of knitterliness and I hereby accept my badge and will do my best to honor it.

Knitting Under the Influence Badge. This summer's official drink of our Thirsty Knitters Club (the alternate name of our DKC) seemed to be Long Island Iced Tea, best when consumed by the lake while knitting with the club. Co Founder and Co President Susan and I even have official DKC glasses for use at our gatherings. (Where are they, anyway?) Why, Susan even makes award winning wines! Cheers!

Take a look at the Order of Cast On Knitters' links to see about potential further achievements. I might submit a pattern to a knitting magazine just so I can earn one of those sassy rejection buttons!

By the way, go here to wish Susan best of luck at the New York State Fair where she has gone to collect medals for her wines!


Monday, August 27, 2007

Pea Pod is an expeditious knit! What you see here was cast on one evening and knitted on, off and on, the next day.

I wouldn't have selected the pale blue for this particular knit had I thought it through. Maybe a cozy red since Baby C ought to wear a 6 month size sweater at Christmastime. I do like it, though. It may come off too dressy or delicate, but that will be Stacy's problem, not mine.

My pictures have not improved with my new, fancy camera. I would say they've gotten worse. Go ahead, say it!

Here is my little wool pig. After taking a few photos in my usual location (on a white bed spread under a skylight) I folded up the baby sweaters and set them on top of the Pea Pod in progress. Miss Figgit found them and tossed them about until she reached the piece with the highest wool content, and then sat down on it. The red white and blue is 100% cotton, the two arans are mostly acrylic and the blue Pea Pod is Plymouth Encore DK, 75% acrylic, 25% wool.
She knows what she likes.

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

More Golden Oldies

Knitting cotton is like working with mop string but cotton sweaters are nice to wear. This sailboat sweater is probably my first foray into mop string knitting, 1986 I believe. It measures about 14" long and Son1 wore it when he was 2-3 years old. The pattern probably called for something smooth but I had this textured cotton yarn and made do.
It is a delight to see your child wearing something you made by hand. This is the picture from the Hayfield pattern book that I used so often when the boys were small. The cover says, "Hayfield Make Prettier Babies" number 7062.
Here are two of the sweaters that I made from it. I purchased yarn to make one as a gift for Stacy's baby, but yesterday, when I went to cast on for it, I revisited the pattern. No chart! Just prose. I had a cup of coffee and thought it over. I have come to prefer charts over prose when it comes to cables and such. I considered graphing my own chart. I knew I had enough time and ambition to cast on OR graph, but probably not both. It didn't occur to me that I certainly could have used one of my own sweaters as a chart...
Instead, I changed patterns and cast on the Pea Pod baby set. I found it attractive that the back and front are knitted together without seams and the sleeves are expeditiously done in stockinette. I don't see it as laziness but as taking a realistic view. I've go to go back to earning a living in another week and that is so seriously going to cut into my knitting time.

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Saturday, August 18, 2007

My Peculiar Aristocratic Title is:
Grand Duchess Patti Purls the Decent of Old Tonbridge Wafers
Get your Peculiar Aristocratic Title


Monkey socks past, present and future!

How I love knitting these socks! On the left are the Trekking XXL that I entered in the county fair, on the needles are Fortissima Colori Disco Socka Color (With metallic silver flecks! Funky!) and patiently waiting above that is my latest acquisition Austermann Step "mit Aloe Vera und Jojoba Ol." One quick fondle of that in a yarn shop today and I was smitten. I chose a subdued color in shades of gray. Should be a lovely pair of Monkeys!

Another acquistion is this nifty Viking Safety Pin, more commonly called a "penanular brooch" that I bought from a viking metal smith in the Viking Village at the local Scandinavian Festival this year. This one is stainless steel and quite simple. Others are more ornate. It works really well on this sweater and I hope it will be even niftier on the Arwen. And, I really look forward to wearing it on this next show and tell piece:

Not my mother's Clapotis!

At last, my own Clapotis! It was only a matter of time and money, really. (Isn't everything?) I had wished to knit one for myself and wanted it to be slinky and a bit shimmery, as opposed to my mother's worsted wooly one. I got my wish when I met this Lang Oasis yarn at a shop in Snyder (Buffalo area). It has white, seafoam green and periwinkle flecks of color and is smooth and silky to the touch. It drapes nicely! It scrunches up for a scarf and spreads out for a stole. I love it. I cast on for it about two weeks ago. It accompanied me to various concert venues and helped me through a day-long workshop (not a knitting one!) I used about 8 and a half balls of it, between 800-900 yards, I think.

Back to this little blue sweater with the pin, for a moment. I showed it last summer but almost never wore it because of a problem I created. Originally it had a self made button which looked quite cool until I put it on. Then it would flop, drag down the buttonhole and draw lots of attention to the design flaw that it was. It offended me, so I cut it off and attached the new pin. Now it is my new favorite .
I love what the yarn overs and short row shaping look like in the shoulder. It is called "Bridemaid's Choice" from Interweave Knits Summer 2001 and was designed for mohair. I knitted it from this mop string type of summer yarn that is nicer to wear than it is to knit and trimmed it in a linen yarn. Yeah, I mixed unknown yarns, but how often should I need to wash a little cardi like this?
Looking back over this post, I really SHOULD have joined the knit blue blog.

Oh, yeah, and now I'm moving up on the Ravelry waiting list:
  • You signed up on July 8, 2007
  • You are #15138 on the list.
  • 5716 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 11407 people are behind you in line.
  • 34% of the list has been invite

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Sunday, August 05, 2007

Just sittin' and knittin' while I wait.
  • You signed up on July 8, 2007
  • You are #15138 on the list.
  • 7213 people are ahead of you in line.
  • 7937 people are behind you in line.
  • 33% of the list has been invited so far

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