Happy Cruddy Photo Day to Me

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I'm here at Stitches West and it's been quite an adventure. I should preface this by saying that Leo and everyone I work with have been sick for the past month or more. I said to my mom, a couple weeks ago, "I bet you anything, I’ll catch a cold right before Stitches." I was wrong, I caught a cold the day OF Stitches. Lucky me. So between hacking up a lung and not sleeping well, it's made me less than 100% of myself.

But I did go to Sally Melvile's speech the first day.

This was just before she went on stage, so do enjoy the view of everyone’s head and nothing else. She was discussing the process she used for designing pieces in her newest book, Color.

Here's my mom modeling a scarf/necklace thingy she knit and felted. Oooh, so cute. This is apropos, nothing, really, I just think she's cute.

She and I both had our first class together. We took Debbie New's Labyrinth Knitting course. If you aren't familiar, it's a technique from her Unexpected Knits

Here are some of my swatches.

None of mine are exactly right, but I got the concept. You basically make a jigsaw of your knitting and work them out to fit exactly into a certain shape. Very interesting stuff.

Between classes I've been working on my Voodoo top. I actually got an email from someone who wishes to remain anonymous, but who took umbrage with my last post, so I've taken it down. I believe it to be at least partially, a misunderstanding. I think this person thinks I plan to figure out the construction of the inspiration piece and write it up as my own pattern for distribution. This is simply untrue I've just knit this piece for myself, but I'm afraid I wasn't able to coherently communicate this and it's clear the offense has pushed the issue beyond reconciliation. I feel bad about that but I can respect this person's feelings on the topic.

That said, I'm very happy with the results so far. Here is the piece with all the knitting done and none of the ends sewn in. I still need to crochet more trim and add a closure.

I originally planned to use a frog closure but I lost mine in the travel from LA to here, so I've since bought some buttons, which I'll post soon.

Unfortunately, I can't find any pictures online of the original inspiration piece. It's called Red Dragon and it was issued by GGH/Rebecca magazine, but it's a bit like this and this. I just love that look and incorporating it into knitwear poses some interesting construction challenges that were fun to play around with. Don’t worry, all those ends will be woven in and there is more trimming to do. Oh and it needs a serious blocking as well, but just pretend that bottom hem is straight. I’ll post all my notes and a decent picture, as soon as I can.

Well, times a-wasting and it is my birthday, after all.

Last we met, we were discussing my stitch marker collection. Here they are again:

While I have plenty of uses for the split and locking stitch markers, they don't do much of the heavy lifting here at Chez Marnie. I have to say, though, the feedback I got from the previous post was interesting. It appears that most people fall into one of a few disticnt groups.

There are the people who are most concerned with aesthetics. Having something cute or sparkly brings a smile to the knitter's face. While others are economical and practical. Using bits of string, hair elastics or a cut up straw means never worrying about lost markers or spending too much. Finally, there are people like I am. So without further ado, go ahead and read a bit more about the madness to my method, after the bump.

I don't believe that I use any sort of ninja death grip when I knit. My hands don't get cramped and my gauge is fairly loose. Nonetheless, I have managed to break stitch markers while knitting.

For many years, I have happily used my Susan Bates stitch markers. They are readily available and cheap as can be. A small box of 20 will run you less than $2.00. It was not until I crushed a few, mid row, that I decided I needed to see what else was out there.

Now my collection of stitch marking paraphernalia looks like this:

In my knitting nook, I have a set of those dishes you put your soy sauce in when you eat sushi. In one dish, I keep standard safety pins, some with the loop at the bottom, some without. In another dish, I keep a variety of closed ring, circular stitch markers. In the third dish, I have split ring and locking stitch markers, and in the last, I have a beautiful set of hand made stitch markers my friend Amy gave me.

If I haven't bored you yet, read the rest of my post on stitch markers, after the bump.

Not much progress

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I haven't had as much time to knit as I'd hope, so the shawl is going slowly. Admittedly, that's partially because I don't consider it a traveling knit. I really have to focus on it pretty well to make sure I don't mess it up and that means it's hard to work in poor lighting or while commuting. But, I am still really happy with it and am channeling all those words of encouragement from folks.

Wanna see more?

It kind of looks like it did in the previous post, huh? But I'm not just knitting for it, I'm spinning for it too.

Here's everything I've spun to date. It comes out to about 74 grams sock weight yarn.

My most recent batch is 67 yards and weights 20 grams. Anyone have any idea how many yards/grams I'll need to make an averaged sized shawl?

I'm almost reluctant to post this

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I'm back to trying to design a shawl with my handspun, and once again, I'm starting from scratch with a new design and new yarn.

For those of you who visit regularly, you are probably well aware of my current fascination with my Autumn Spice Cotswold from Nistock Farms. It will then come as no surprise that I want to actually knit what I've spun.

This is what I have so far.

I like it. So why am I reluctant to post this? Because I'm a bit worried it will go awry, as my previous attempts at a shawl have. I'm not terribly fond of repetitive knitting. I'd much rather work something with an intricate stitch pattern or lots of shaping, than something that's very repetitive. I can manage a scarf or sock, here and there, but it's hard for me to keep my interest. So will this piece ever be anything more than a glimmer in my eye? Time will tell.

Even more questionable, though, is whether or not I'll ever spin enough of the roving with my spindle to have a shawl large enough cover my shoulders. I suspect I’ll need quite a bit once my rows get a bit longer.

More spicy goodness, after the bump

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