Saturday, May 31, 2014

Work in Progress: Tatted Floral Edging

I usually use this blog to record finished projects, but here's a current project in progress that I decided to include. I started working on this edging a few years ago, stopped to do other tatting projects, picked it up again this year, ran out of thread, tracked down more thread, and am back to churning out enough for a border on this black chiffon scarf. I'm not sure how long the edging will be since I've found more of the purple variegated, but may not be able to get more of the green variegated. So I've left one end of the scarf unhemmed in case I need to shorten it to accommodate a shorter length of edging. 

That's the problem with using vintage thread and/or discontinued colorways of thread. The purple is DMC size 80 tatting thread in color #52. I started the original piece in what I thought was the same shade, but when I acquired a new ball of #52, I saw that it didn't match what I'd already tatted up. I started completely over with the new thread which I'm now almost out of. This is a colorway that I can't find locally and not many online websites offer it. I found 2 more balls on eBay at a reasonable price and free shipping; they're on their way to my home. I'm not sure what the green thread is as I've lost the label, if I ever had it; it's from my stash of size 70 & 80 vintage threads that I bought online a few years ago.

The pattern is "Figure 2. Edging" from Tatting Patterns by Julia E. Sanders (Dover Publications, 1977, pg. 4). Here's a closeup of the edging:

It's a pleasant pattern to work and I always love the combination of purples and greens together. One of my first big tatting projects was a mat in these varigated colors in Aunt Lydia's crochet cotton, size 10.

Friday, May 23, 2014

Off the Needles: Still More Beaded Wristlets

More beaded wristlets. Knitting these can be quite addictive!

The red wristlets are knitted in Sensations "Bamboo & Ewe," a superfine blend of 55% wool, 30% nylon, and 15% rayon from bamboo. The beads are Japanese size 8/0 in matte black. The bead pattern is a Fair Isle pattern from Knitting in the Old Way by Priscilla A. Gibson-Roberts and Deborah Robson (Nomad Press, 2004, p. 166).

The cream wristlets are knitted out of  Patons "Pearl Twist" in 80% acrylic and 20% nylon, the same yarn I used in the wristlet with pink beads. The beads are Japanese in size 8/0, in Dark Caribbean blue. The bead pattern is "Border 1" from Scandinavian Knitting Designs by Pauline Chatterton (Scribners, 1977, p. 123).

Monday, May 12, 2014

Off the Needles: More Lithuanian Beaded Wristlets

I made these two pairs of wristlets for daughters of one of my friends. As with the previous pair, they're knitted in garter stitch with the beads prestrung and knitted along each row. Since the girls have small wrists, these worked up fast with a cast-on of about 35 stitches compared to the 50 stitches in the adult size pair I started in last month's Unwind retreat class taught by Donna Druchunas. 

V's favorite color is pink so I used pink beads on a cream yarn. The yarn is from my stash and has been discontinued for some time. It's Patons "Pearl Twist" in 80% acrylic and 20% nylon. The seed beads are a Japanese brand called Dyna-mites, size is 6/0, color is fuchsia. The beads around the edge were crocheted on after the wristlet was knitted and sewn up.

One of E's favorite colors is teal which worked out great as I had both a teal yarn and teal beads in my stash so I could create a tone-on-tone effect. Again, I used a discontinued yarn that has been in my stash for quite some time. It's Phentex "Fingering Tricot Fin" in colorway Waterfall #52 Niagara. The fiber is 100% acrylic. The beads are also Dyna-mites in teal.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Off the Needles: Lithuanian Beaded Wristlets

I finished one of the projects from classes I took at this year's Unwind knitting retreat.  I started making one of the Lithuanian Beaded Wrist Warmers in a class taught by Donna Druchunas and finished it and its mate this week. The red yarn is Knit Picks "Gloss" in scarlet. This fingering weight yarn is 70% merino wool and 30% silk. The beads are white glass Czech beads provided by Donna in our class. The beads have to be strung onto the yarn before knitting. For this pair, I cast on 50 stitches. 

This wristlets are great fun to knit. They're all garter stitch, and you can use almost any charted design for the beading. Since they're meant to be worn under a coat, only the ends that will show need to be beaded. This makes them even quicker to finish. I've already started another pair for a daughter of one of my friends. Since her wrist is only 5" around, it's going really fast; one is finished and I'm halfway through its mate. I have plans for at least 3 more pairs of these. They are so lovely and so easy to ideal project.

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Knitting in the Mountains


This past weekend for the first time I attended Unwind, a knitting retreat in Blowing Rock, NC. What a wonderful experience! I took 3 classes, won and bought lots of yarn, met great teachers and other knitters, ate some tasty food, went shopping at many little stores, and just generally had a terrifically good time.

One of the classes was on Lithuanian Beaded Wrist Warmers taught by Donna Druchunas. I've already finished the one I started in class and have cast on the second of the pair. These are fun to knit so I know I'll be doing more. I think they'll be a good way to work through some of my bead stash.

I took Liberating the Labyrinth with Jolie Elder. I've done mitered square knitting in the past, but Jolie's class takes the technique and goes into a realm where decreased and increased squares connect into sweaters that emerge after origami-like folding. I'm still trying to wrap my brain around her techniques. One of her projects that I may attempt is a knitted seems, to me, more doable than a sweater.

The third class I took was Charles Gandy's Embellished Knitting. I've done a bit of the techniques that he had us practice (adding beads, bobbles), but the class inspired me to explore more of these additions to plain knitting. I bought his book The Embellished Sock: Knitted Art for the Foot to get more ideas. I'm adamantly not a sock knitter, but everything from the ankle up in his book will serve as inspiration for my own projects, probably for knitted hats.

I hate when I take a class and then don't follow through, don't finish the class project, or never use the lessons learned. So this time I'm going to challenge myself to make at least one thing based on each class I took and record the results on the blog. With one finished wristlet, I'm almost one-third the way to the goal I've set for myself.

* The photo of the duck was taken through the window in my room at Meadowbrook Inn in Blowing Rock where the Unwind retreat was held.