Thursday, March 22, 2007

Cute Boy Models Quilt

I'm going to let the pictures do the talking today. I promised a tutorial on making a quilt from your child's artwork and that will follow in a separate post.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Sneak Preview

Shop update tonight! 7pm Central time. Happy spring knitting!

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

And That's No Yoke

Zipping along on Ariann's yoke!

Get nagging feeling that something is wrong!

Ignore it and keep zipping!

Twenty rows (fronts, back, and sleeves together: those are LONG rows) later, I decided it was time confront the nagging feeling and check my work.

It turns out that I wasn't actually decreasing. I've googled Ariann yoke decreases and re-read the knitalong posts and haven't turned up anyone else (who admitted it) who had this problem. Dozens (hundreds?) of people have knit this sweater and I seem to be the only person to mention this. So, at the risk of looking like a complete idiot, on the off chance that one other person on the planet has this problem and googles into this post, I'm going to out myself.

This lace pattern consists of sections of six stitches that pair a YO increase with a decrease. I would get to the raglan seam, and continue to do the YOs, even when there was no longer a decrease part of the pattern left. Kept increasing, no decreasing. Getting a lovely raglan seam up a yoke that went straight up instead of at an angle. As if I'm shaped like a cartoon character with square shoulders, or perhaps, as refridgerator.

So, moral of the story for the lone person on the planet that I might help: when you get to a six stitch lace section, when one of those stitches is involved in the raglan decrease, turn all six stitches into stockinette.

And now, off with her yoke!

Whenever I am ripping something with yarnovers, I frog quickly back to the last row, then carefully tink that row back onto the needle. I end with a wrong side row, because then you have actual stitches to put back onto the needles, not yarnovers, which are hard to see.

Ramen for dinner, anyone?

Up next: Dino quilt.

Friday, March 09, 2007

An Ode

Oh Knitty,
New Knitty,
Whyfore must you do this
to me?


I haven't even cast on my intended from the last one (or the one before that)! And here they come with some great new patterns. Can't. Keep. Up.

I have 3 sweaters that are more than half way done* and three more started**. That's too many even for this multiple-project-lovin chick. Must focus! Must finish 3 sweaters before casting on anything else. And now, the new Knitty springs up (get it?) and whacks me over the head with this. I love it! Simple, but interesting. And the collar is great. Very wearable! Seriously, I want to cast on TONIGHT!

Black Cotton Ease, Baby! Yes, my beloved black C-E, sitting there in my dark closet for so long, this is what you have been waiting for all your life!

What do you love from the new Knitty?


Ok people, about the comments. I have loved each and every one, but seriously, they have been most unhelpful. (I mean that in the nicest way.) The votes are all over the map, and, Mary Beth, dude, you even voted for something that wasn’t on the list! (hee hee). And my brother voted for himself and claimed that, if you add in all the people who said "see everything" that he won.

But I'm kidding! I loved the comments and thank you! It gave me an idea where to start. How about this: Ariann progress.

Here's where we left off. Love/Hate relationship. Love the pattern, knit on it....hate the yarn/put it down. Spend a few days or weeks questioning whether I should frog the whole thing and start over. Pack it up to return unused yarn to shop. Get it out again and look at it. Repeat cycle.
I finished the body up to the armholes and finally decided that it just wasn't working and it needed a time out til next fall when I could re-evaluate it with fresh eyes. But....I happened to be taking a workshop with Miss Chicknits herself (shout out to Bonne Marie!) and I brought it along to show her. She agreed about the time out, but she mentioned that she really liked it. I was concerned that the hairyness of the yarn was obscuring the pattern, but she and everyone else who saw it that day said the pattern looked good.
Well, I know, what are they going to say..."That looks like crap?" Anyway, it motivated me.
The next thing I knew, I had two sleeves.

Photos: unblocked and blocked.

I started knitting a sleeve in the round, but I have a hard time knitting lace in the round. Same thing with cables. I'd rather have the plain row as the wrong side, so I don't have to keep look closely at the knitting to figure out if I'm on a pattern row or plain row. When it's knitted flat, it's obvious if you are doing the purl side or the pattern side.

So that means I had to sew them up before I joined them to the body. I usually use my tail at the cuff to sew up partway, and join yarn to the armhole to sew down, so if I'm off by one stitch, it'll be under the arm in the middle, not at the cuff.

And here, we have the beginning of a yoke! There's no giving up on this anymore. I'm on the downward slide!

*more than halfway done: Ariann, Central Park Hoodie, Belle
*also started: Zigzag, Tweedy Aran Cardigan, Pullover F'03 VK

Monday, March 05, 2007

Good Mail Day

Anybody remember this?

Well, lookie what landed in my mailbox yesterday!

It's the Art of Quilting DVD, from PBS. They came to Chicago more than a year ago to interview me and my buddies about art quilting and the Chicago School of Fusing.

It's airing around the country in March during the pledge drives. It was produced by Wisconsin Public Television, and they offer it to all stations, but each station individually can choose to pick it up or not, and they also individually determine the air date and time.

So, while I wish I could say, "watch it on so and so date, at so-and-so time", but instead I have to say "Check your local listings."

My mom will be watching it in Muncie today at 12:30! Hi Mom!

So far I don't see it listed in the Chicago area, but I will keep you posted.

The big thrill yesterday was seeing my quilt on the cover of the DVD. It even has the quilt on the actual disc itself! Pretty!

The background looks grey in the photo but it's really more of a light blue. If you want to see a better photo of the quilt and close ups of the quilting, it's here. And if you can't find the program in your area, you can get the DVD and support PBS here.

Thanks for all of your comments yesterday! Keep those votes coming. I took a lot of photos yesterday and have projects to show.....

Saturday, March 03, 2007

I Miss You

I miss you guys. I haven’t meant to be so absent in the blog world, but parenting has been challenging, home-ownership has been challenging, keeping everybody healthy around here has been challenging (one daughter just came down with her fourth illness since December, everyone else has been hit twice, including that special throw-up virus that’s been going around)….and “Emily time” has been pretty scarce. I write the blogs in my head as I’m driving in the car or falling asleep, but they never seem to make it down onto paper. Er, computer screen.

I mentioned earlier in the year that this was going to be so productive because for the first time in many years I had two mornings to myself. But the past two months those mornings have evaporated. Assorted kids/husband/self home sick, snow days, and a few miscellaneous emergencies.

Last week Dave and I were having our ritual morning coffee-and-chat and he knew. He knew it was the first time in several weeks that things were going smoothly and I was going to have my sacred 2.5 hours. He remarked about how excited I must be, and asked what I was going to do? (!) I hardly dared breath, for fear of the roof caving in, or somebody throwing up. But, no. The coast was clear. Really, seriously, I was going to have 2.5 hours of peace and quiet to do my projects!

I dropped off my son at elementary school and was driving the girls to preschool, sitting at a stop light and daydreaming about my projects.

All of a sudden someone knocked on my car window and I turned my head to see a scruffy man standing there. Split second reaction--I screamed. (Can we say "Girl on edge?") He motioned for me to calm down and called out (no, I didn’t roll down my window) that my rear tire was flat. I apologized for screaming and thanked him.

I drove gingerly the next few blocks to the school and unloaded the girls. I expected to see the tire low, but no, it was FLAT. Pancake flat.

My first free morning in several weeks.

Flat tire.

Pancake flat.

I went into the church (it’s a church preschool) and within minutes had both the minister offering to help me and a teacher phoning her husband to come and pump up my tire. He brought an air compressor and pumped it up enough that I could get down the street to a tire place and he even followed me in his car to make sure I got there ok.

There is a very big bright side. I was in a very good place. Downtown Geneva, within a block of a good friend’s house, a fabric store, a Starbucks, and the world’s best yarn store. My friend wasn’t home, so I had a good browse at the yarn store and within an hour I got a call that my tire was repaired. So, no projects done but at least I ended the morning in a good frame of mind and that’s really what my free mornings should be about: clearing my head from the parenting buzz, whether it involves projects or not.

And, honestly, even without my 2.5 hours, I do work steadily on creative stuff here and there and I have a small backlog of things I’d like to show and tell.

So, if you’re still reading, let me throw out a question. What do you want to see? I don’t know where to start. Please help me jump start the blog again. Tell me what you want to see!

Knitting WIPs:
Central Park Hoodie
Chevron scarf

Diamond Fantasy Shawl
Lace Scarf
Noro Silk Garden scarf and hat

Slipcovers and pillows
Christmas present for my brother (that you would never expect!)
Dino Quilt
Whole cloth quilt
Another baby quilt

I thank you in advance!

And to close, since I don't believe in having a blog entry with no photo, this would be the place where I show a photo of my cat looking cute. But I have no cat. So how about a miscellaneous photo of a quilt from my past?

Detail: Blue Colander, Emily Parson 1999.