Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Knit Through It...

During the last year ChezLinoleum has been a household plagued by such predicaments as my spouse's unemployment, my own stagnant salary combined with an increase in work hours, a condominium worth less than what we paid for it and oh so much more. Although I've done my share of complaining about my family's current straights, I find that vocalizing my discontent to be less than satisfying and pretty much solution-free. So, instead of constantly kvetching I have decided to completely immerse myself in productive activities outside my regularly scheduled work regimen. Meaning, needles, hooks, wheels, looms and sewing machinery are operating daily at top speed until my eyelids need propping open with toothpicks.

The beneficiary of my current compulsion to avoid and create is grateful for the increased production levels...

Yes, that is the offspring wearing her new Silk Shrug.

This pattern is from Erika Knight's Classic Knits book. I'm a big fan of Erika Knight patterns as I think she's a wonderful designer. Her work is smart, classic and the patterns are always well written. Two thumbs up as far as I'm concerned.

Lena picked out Kraemer Silk and Silver yarn in Heavenly Blue for this little sweater and I think she made a wonderful choice. Looks great on her!

Now that I've finished this delightful knit, I will be starting work on one of the cardigans in the same book. The next one is for me!

I am determined to knit (crochet, spin, weave and sew) my way through this difficult time...Call it coping or call it avoidance. All I know is that busy hands quell my worry. Now there's a solution!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Seams Difficult

LittleLinoleum benefited from my new found seamstress abilities (yeah, right) this weekend. I fashioned a pair of PJ pants for her in a festive cupcake print.

Lena was so cute, putting them on immediately upon completion. Thankfully, she didn't see all of my mistakes!

I'm telling you all, sewing continues to be a vast frontier for me. Pattern directions that are seemingly simple upon first inspection always prove to be just a wee bit above my head when the project is underway. Peeps, I struggle with even the most simple of sewing processes (i.e., buttonholes are never in a straight line, turning corners inside out gives me a run for my money and let's not even talk about sewing evenly around zippers). My fellow tailors and seamstresses, will this ever change or am I destined for perpetual sewing reform school?

I sure hope I can overcome my sewing issues because I recently invested in one of these...

Friday, February 13, 2009

Crazy Batt Diamond Shawl

Here's another example of one of my woven diamond shawls. This version, however, was woven entirely from my homespun, which in turn, was spun up from some of my crazy carded batts, a technique I learned from Lexi Boeger at Camp Pluckyfluff last fall. Each diamond is a little different (or a lot different, depending upon your viewpoint) and I have to admit, upon first arrangement of the diamonds into their final shawl form, I thought the project looked a little too nutty even for me! Nonetheless, I threw caution to the wind and proceeded anyway. I am nothing if not a taker of risks.

I put everything and the kitchen sink into those batts. There is leftover yarn, old Christmas tinsel, fabric, wads of knotted thread...The batts were nutty to be sure. However, the whole lot of diamonds seem to be pulled together by the black crocheted borders...whew!

Definitely a fun project that worked up fairly quickly.

Project Stats
Loom: Hazel Rose 12" Diamond Loom
Wheel: Lendrum DT (purchased at Paradise Fibers)
Drum Carder: Louet 8" Standard Carder (purchased at Village Spinning and Weaving)
Yarn: LadyLinoleum's Schizophrenic Homespun & Brown Sheep Lanaloft in black

Are you getting the feeling that my house looks like some weird fiber sweat shop???

Copyright 2009 Regina Rioux Gonzalez. All rights reserved.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Weaving 101

I finally had a chance to road-test my Ashford Knitter's Loom only a year after having received it as a Christmas gift. Jeesh. Anyway, weaving on my new toy brought forth memories of my floor loom days, only on a smaller scale and sans the eight harnesses, warping board, etc. Yep, this loom is easy peasy to use, warping directly onto the loom itself. Neato, let me tell you as I always found dressing a biggie floor loom to be a bit tedious.

Within an hour of beginning I had the Ashford dressed with some worsted weight wool and ready to weave! Check it out...

The weft is some of my hand-dyed looped wool, which I space-dyed last summer in subtle blues and greens. I bought the nekked yarn at Art Fibers in San Francisco on one of my northerly jaunts up the coast.

I didn't get fancy with the weave. It's just plain (over 1, under 1), but I think it looks quite nice nonetheless.

Throwing my shuttle to and fro I finished the 8 x 108" scarf in an afternoon. Not a bad way to whittle away the hours as far as I'm concerned!

I see some serious woven stash busters in my future...

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Happy Birthday Lena!

It was 16 years ago today that I gave birth to my wonderfully intelligent and beautiful daughter. I couldn't have hoped for a more loving, loyal, talented, silly, smart and exasperating young creature to have taken charge of my life. She is truly the most magnificent creation I've ever made. Please join me in wishing my lovely little girl a joyous birthday!

I love you Lena more than you'll ever know.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Git Yer Pie Patterns!

I just finished writing up the patterns for the Pie-rets AND the Fruit Tart Fascinator! Now peeps everywhere can wear their pies (and tarts) as well as eat them!

I have put all three crochet Pie-ret patterns in the pack...Pecan, Lattice Crust and Pumpkin! As a bonus I added the Fruit Tart Fascinator for those so inclined. That's four fab patterns in one! Never too early to get started on your holiday gifties...

Pattern is available on my sidebar. Let's hear it for woolen pie!

Um, yeah.