Monday, June 11, 2012

Flowers, Fiber, and Finished Projects


I remember reading somewhere that craft bloggers need to make certain that they actually find time practicing the hobby to which their blogs are devoted.   I agree with this suggestion.  Hence, as a full-time working mother, I find that if I am posting about my actual knitting, writing once or twice suffices, as I have limited time to knit.  As a teacher, however, summer break allows me a wonderful opportunity to spend more time delving into my knitting and spinning, after the initial few weeks off (where I am busy unearthing my closets, cupboards, and garage from a school year’s worth of junk and cleaning out the refrigerator, car, children’s drawers, etc.).  I’ve been home for a few weeks now, though, so for the last several days I  have shirked housework and have been finishing up a couple of projects that require quite a bit of attention to detail.  I was also able to visit a World Wide Knit in Public event yesterday. 
Last week I finished knitting some gifts for my younger son's teachers
and then made these gift tags to include with them.  The web site A
Good Yarn is a great place to find free vintage knitting images. 

One project that I finally completed is this Iris Schreier shawl shown below, an item which is also featured in a knitalong on Ravelry.  In an attempt to save money, I did not buy the Artyarns suggested in Vogue Knitting (spring 2012), but, rather, decided to use Sublime yarn (still very luxurious) and add my own beads.  After three or four trips to Michael’s craft store(roughly eight miles from my home) for more and then more beads, I’m not certain that I saved any money (especially with inflated gas prices) and I know that the interminable hours I spent stringing beads added to the time required to complete this project.  Oddly enough, however, I found a certain soothing pleasure in the repetitive stringing of beads.  Maybe I should hand out beads and string at our next faculty meeting. . . .

The beads and the silver yarn make this
shawl quite dressy. 



I also finally completed Spud, using wonderfully soft and elastic Spud and Chloe sweater yarn.  Each twist in this sheep’s wooly coat is hand-turned.  The knitter knits a stitch and leaves it on the left needle.  She then draws out a two-inch loop and twists it until it bends back upon itself.  To some knitters, this process is a bit vexing.  In fact, a woman who works at my local knitting shop kindly gave me two skeins of Spud and Chloe yarn in the proper colors to complete this project, as she had started to knit Spud, but the twisting became too frustrating for her.  Oddly enough, once again, while a bit tedious, I found the twisting a bit soothing in its mindless repetition.  I must really need to relax. . . .
This soft Spud and Chloe yarn makes a perfect for a gift for a baby.  I used some
leftover Noro yarn for the bow tie.   

In addition to working on these two and other projects, I drove to Stowe Gardens in Belmont, NC yesterday for a Worldwide Knit in Public event.  The natural areas at Stowe Gardens, each with a different focus—such as the Orchid Conservatory, Ribbon Garden, and Meadow—present the eye with a riot of color and texture.  The juxtaposition of vivid yarns and flowers was, like the beading and twisting, soothing to my weary school-teaching spirit.
There were a few animals on display at Stowe gardens, including Camilla
and Hampton, the sheep pictured here. 
Go to www.homespunclothier.freehomepage.com for
more information. 
Things Remembered framing and yarn shop provided needles and yarn for visitors to
create small plant bags.  (Soil and a plant are placed inside.)   

Stowe provides lots of opportunities for color inspiration. 
Yarnhouse, located in the Noda district of Charlotte, was one of the
vendors at the event. 

Today, rested and pleased with my finished projects, I plan to cast on a cow using Spud and Chloe yarn and pattern from the book Spud and Chloe on the Farm, where the pattern for the sheep, Spud, is also found.  I also plan to spin some fiber and hope to show the results here soon. 




6 comments:

  1. Oh wow, you had such a fantastic day! Isn't summertime the best? When I move down, I'm definitely going to go visit those gardens, they look so beautiful. The shawl is so beautiful and it looks great on you! Congrats on finishing something with beads, what a challenge.

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    1. Stowe Gardens are really great. Of course, you need to go to the Biltmore House, too--beautiful gardens, winery, house, etc. Thanks for the compliment.

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  2. That shawl looks absolutely wonderful and you look wonderful wearing it! I love the way you have woven in the beads like little points of light in the silvery knitting. I have to say that I also love the colour of the wall behind you - that intense deep turquoise is just beautiful. I am looking around the house to see if there's a corner I could replicate it in! You have clearly hit a major creative streak at the moment with that shawl and the very endearing but very complicated-looking Spud! He's gorgeous! Must have taken ages to turn all those twists in his fleece though. You must have the patience of a saint! Is the cow Chloe? If so, I do hope she too doesn't have a shaggy coat requiring individual twists! Enjoy your time of creativity and freedom to unwind and relax! E x

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    1. Thanks so much for the compliments. The paint color, I remember is named "Aruba." Apparently that color is popular there. I need to add more color to other rooms in my house, too, but I've been delaying doing the work or spending the money to have someone paint. At some point, though, I'd like use some pale green.

      Chloe is the name of a doll, a little girl, who is featured in the pattern/story book Spud and Chloe on the Farm. I might make her, too, someday.

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  3. You look gorgeous in the shawl!

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