Friday, March 26, 2010

She's a Traveling Woman

Lisa and Her Traveling Woman Shawl

My friend Lisa is awesome. When she wants to do something, instead of talking about it, she does it.

She started a website, Then came a podcast, speaking at conferences, writing for other blogs, etc. etc. etc.

Now she wrote a book. Cool huh? Look here. She will be off circling the country soon on a whirlwind of speaking engagements and book signings, as our newest celebrity.

Her only fault? She's allergic to wool. I know, not really her fault, but I had to find some imperfection. Anyway, she is the lucky winner of shawl #3 of my 10 shawls in 2010, aptly named "Traveling Woman".

This little shawlette is made from Berroco Comfort sock yarn, which has no wool in it for Lisa and her sensitivity, but is still soft and was lovely to work with. The pattern is from Liz Abinante, a nice gal I was fortunate to meet at Stitches last month.

Happy traveling Lisa!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Cool knitting commercial

So, my sister's threatened to remove me if I don't blog. I am working on a few projects, but until they're ready to share with the world, here's this I found this morning. Coolness.

Monday, March 22, 2010

Double Knitting

Alex wanted a hat. A Saints hat. He announced that around the time of playoffs, when the Saints were on the verge of going to Super Bowl. My time was limited. I did what any "frugal" mom knitter would ordinarily do - I went to Joann's, bought cheapo Vanna yarn and using the free chart on Ravelry, made him a hat. It took about a day and a half.

It was UGLY. Very ugly.

I didn't want Alex (who's 6' 2") to wear evidence of my ugly knitting on his head, for all to see, towering above everyone in its ugly knitting glory. I had to do better. The floats on the backside showed through, black through yellow, it was not good.

I started looking at double knitted hat patterns on Ravelry, and started wondering if I could do it that way. I had never done double knitting, but there were excellent youtube videos on it, and after doing some research, I figured I could do it. I got much better yarn (Sublime merino, ahem a little more expensive than Vanna) and started in.

It was kind of fun. It is two sided knitting, done at the same time. Both the front and back stitches are on the needle at the same time and as the pattern switches colors you reverse them. Hard to explain, but hecka cool. Here's what the beginning looked like:


It took me around 3 days. When it was done it was too big. Way too big. Big lesson there - gauge is really different when double knitting. But, being handy with a sewing machine fixed that up really quick.

Here's Grace modeling it. She was a much more willing model at the moment I had the camera.

I was on a double knitting roll at that point. I saw in the Stitches brochure a Market class on double knitting where they made these cute little heart coasters to learn the double knitting technique. I grabbed my pink and red left over Cotton Ease and whipped up a few to give to my knitting buds.

They were really cute!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Shawl #2 or How to Give Yourself a Yarn Heart Attack

I was given a lovely skein of pink silk/seacell blend laceweight. 700 yards. Good stuff. And I wanted to make Haruni. What a beautiful shawl! The perfect combination for Ravelympics, a challenge to make something during the Olympics - something that wouldn't be too easy, but doable. You have to finish before the torch is extinguished - to get your virtual medal. I would be at Stitches, but armed with an iphone and a little help from Alex to get the photo posted, it should all work out. Right?

I cast on as the opening ceremonies began, and started my project. It went well. The pattern calls for arond 450 yards of sock yarn, so I knew I had plenty (red flag! Danger!) so I made it bigger. The first section has "stems" and the pattern called for 12 and to make it bigger you had to increase in increments of two stems. I made 16. On to the edging.

"Ooooh, this is taking lots of yarn," she thinks to herself while knitting merrily along. (danger! danger!) "Oh, but I have 700 yards!" NO PROBLEM. By the time we were leaving for Stitches I had a wee little ball left and about 5 rows to go. Five LONG rows. I knit in the car, keeping the little ball hidden from Tracy so she wouldn't shriek in horror at the amount I had left. After every row I squeezed and felt how much I used, and it seemed like it could POSSIBLY work. Right? Gotta have faith, right?

I was on my last row during the opening session at Stitches. While listening to Jane Slicer Smith talk miters and design options, I started the bind off. The pattern calls for a crochet loop bind off which is really pretty, but I knew I was pushing it to have enough for a regular bind off. It took most of the session, since it was close to 500 stitches, and the wee ball was now more of a wee lump, but I did it (and resisted the urge to stand up and cheer when the last stitch was done!).

I steam ironed/blocked it in the hotel room and wore it the next day. Photo below taken on the bed in the hotel.

With several days of the Olympics to spare, I might add.

Now I want to make one with the loops.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Cindy Pressure

Oh, those Cindy Knitters! They innocently mention a little knit a long and Boom! I'm off.

This time it is 10 shawls in 2010. Clever, right? Doable, right? I hope so. I enjoy lace, am sick of socks, so seems good. And the new crop of shawlette patterns use up around a skein of sock yarn, and BOY do I have some to choose from.

I started January 1 in the spirit of the thing, and cast on the Valentine Shawl. I figured it would get done by Valentine's Day. I had some lovely red Hana Silk that had been waiting for me to use it, so it was a match.

I finished on January 21. It was an easy knit, starting at the tip and increasing at the sides until a triangle was formed, at the same time knitting in little hearts. A snap.

I gave it to Mom, since she's my Valentine and all. She likes red, and is my number 1 fan, so why not start at the top? Here she is at Whole Foods (where we meet and knit on Fridays) modeling the shawl while other people buy carrots.

Note: all links are to Ravelry. You have to sign up to see them, but it is free and instant, so go look!!

Shawl #2 next post.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Back from Blog Vacation

That's right, I'm back!!

Blogging isn't what it used to be. So much competition. Facebook, Ravelry, iphone apps -- they all take up lots of time and are lots of fun.

I started blogging as a means to document my knitting and my life (somewhat) and the above things have pretty much done that for me with, lets face it, less effort. Blogger is a pain, the uploading and editing, etc. When you can take a photo with your phone and instantly send it to facebook or Ravelry, it seems like a lot of duplication of effort to do it here too.

So I decided not to stop blogging, but to take a blog break and see. After a few months of that, I think I miss it. So here I am. I decided that personal stuff will continue on facebook since folks I know keep up with me and my family there. But the knitting...even though I update Ravelry pretty faithfully, I don't really get to talk about it much there. And the crafting - I have been feeling the "itch" to do other sorts of crafting, and that isn't documented anywhere!

So Yarn Paper Scissors will continue as my adventures in knitting and crafting. My posting may be sporadic, as is my knitting and crafting life due to family and time constraints. I may only have 2 readers, but hey, that's okay.

If you are still reading at this point, look soon for new posts of what I've been up to since the new year began, and maybe a freshening up of the blog look.

It's good to be back.