Thursday, March 31, 2016

"Summer" Hooked Panel FINISHED!

"Summer" is finished and I say hooray!  This has been a long time coming.  Hopefully the next hooked piece won't be so long in completion unless it's really BIG (shush, not going there).  Next step is to figure out how to mount and/or fame these four pieces.  I'm thinking......have several ideas cooking....

The hooking was easy but the embroidery was really a pain in the fingers!  There's a reason people don't do embroidery on hooked pieces so I'll leave it at that, LOL!  Only moi would endeavor to do something so silly and painful but these panels were so small that it was almost impossible to get any amount of detail without resorting to something other than hooking.  I'm mostly happy with the outcome except maybe that darn black bird in the tree.  I did that bird three times and still he looks like a duck ready to topple out of a fir tree.....!

I have enjoyed doing the embroidery and was even thinking, while punching away, on designing another piece but do it this time in wool appliqué and much easier on the fingers to work on and a lot of flexibility.  We'll see where I go from here.  

I currently have one afghan in yellow and blue medallions to finish and I might go back to that (if I can figure out the crochet stitch since it's been so long since I worked on it) and get it finally put to bed, no pun intended.  I also want to hook a long narrow runner to go in front of my TV.  I'm thinking "Cat's Paw" design since I need to keep the design simple to go next to a large busy Oriental rug in the room.  I could use up the tons of cut wool strips I'm drowning in (hopefully) and rid myself of them once and for all.  Believe it or not I also have about four paintings to finish at the moment....maybe I should give up sleeping me thinks.

This was hooked in all hand dyed wools except the very bottom or foreground and the sky.  Sky is a wool gabardine.  Bottom or foreground is a wool plaid off the bolt.  The cuts are #4 and 5, wool tapestry yarns, spun wool yarns and pearl cottons.

Hope you like it!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

"Summer" Update

Progress to date on "Summer" panel.  Wool flannel and wool Gabardine for the sky.  Gabardine is a stringy tightly woven fabric but it was what I had on hand in the right color and it works.

Broader perspective or comparison.  I can see I need to make a few adjustments in color on the trees plus fix a branch that looks likes it's stopping short of the bushy part of the tree.  The ladder and birds will be put in using embroidery wool when finished with the hooking part.

Friday, March 25, 2016

"Four Seasons Summer" Panel Design Process

Roughed out sketch in my note book to get some ideas laid down on "Summer" panel.   I went directly from this rough sketch to the final drawing below.  Changed several things as you will see.

Final drawing on rug warp.  The extra inside vertical and horizontal lines were the old size lines that I managed to exceed with the very first panel I hooked so I've had to make adjustments to each panel along the way.  I decided to eliminate the small tree and adjust the positioning of the trees to free up the center for something a little more interesting and more like summer; i.e., sun high in the sky, ladder, clouds, birds, apple basket and mountain range.

Hooking has begun!

Sunday, March 13, 2016

"Four Seasons" hooked panels UPDATE

"Four Seasons" Panels

Hooked and embroidered with beads for accent using wool strips in #5, pearl cottons and wool embroidery yarns plus wool fleece that I over-spun into yarn for the snow  See closer details below.  All panels are 6" x 8."
All that is left to do now is "Summer."

You will notice that I made the fir trees all a little different and this was on purpose in my attempt to try hooking these trees in different styles and shapes.

Clearly I don't even have the "Summer" panel drawn yet.  Still thinking about what I will put with the trees and foreground.  Summer leaves open a lot of possibilities.  Many ideas floating around in my head at the moment.

Hope you like the results so far.




"Sidewise" or "Cuff to Cuff" Sweater"

Remember that sidewise sweater I had started knitting eons ago?  Well, here it is finally finished!

I've yet to block this sweater.  I've also not worn it either!  It fits perfectly and all my fussing and agonizing about whether this whole sideways knitting was going to work out - well it worked!  Would I make another one using this method is the bigger question?  Maybe, depending on the style of sweater I wanted to wind up with.


The cuffs worked out fine and gives me the option of turing them up or down.  All-in-all I'm satisfied with the results.  Must get around to blocking so some of the more loose tensioned stitches even out better but otherwise the project was a success!


Tuesday, March 1, 2016

"Boring Gray Leg Warmers" and "Long Leaf Lace" Socks

 "Boring Gray Leg Warmers"

Could a knitter find anything less interesting to knit?  I doubt it!  I started these leg warmers last winter and just recently finished them.  Speedy Road Runner I am not, but in my defense my mind was engaged in so many other tasks daily that I was almost too exhausted for even this mind numbing project at night.  I did think for a few passing moments about "decorating" these mundane mosey pair of warmers but figured I didn't have the time and who was going to see them anyway so they will stay boring gray, undecorated and hidden behind my pant's legs.

They are knit out of Paton's 100% sport weight washable wool yarns, 16" long and big enough around that they will fit over the leg wearing a sport weight sock!  It gets cold here in Maine in the winter.  They will be nice when I want to wear a pair of my too tight fur lined Merrell clogs 
( to a get a heavy sock into the shoes and have to go bare footed.  I can also pull them over another pair of knee hi full socks for that added boost of warmth.

* * * * * * * * * * * * 

Now that we have the boring leg warmers out of the way.  Here's a pair of 100% Wool Super Wash yarn socks from Knit Picks, hand-dyed with detail work down the back of the calf socks I knit a while back.

The back lace pattern design is from Alice G. Walker's book "A Fourth Treasury of Knitting Patterns."  The chart is a pattern in the lace section called "Long Leaf Lace."  This pattern was not complicated if you can read a chart.

Do I expound on knitting charts? Okay, I will but if you are not interested or already know how then you can just skip this part.

I LOVE KNITTING FROM CHARTS!  Can I yell this any louder?  Probably, but I'll save your ears and my fingers typing it again.  I never really knew how to knit very well at all until about 20 years ago unless it was simple.  One day I ran across a DVD on sock knitting and I really wanted to learn how to knit socks so I bought it.  Oh, I had made a couple of sweaters, one about every decade of my life for gifts, simple projects but I really really wanted to learn to knit socks.  Reading the patterns made my eyes glaze over and looked oh so complicated but I just had to learn how to knit them.  I bought the DVD and went through it dozens of times, took notes and eventually learned how to knit a sock!  Hooray, SUCCESS.

I HATED with a fierce passion reading, tracking and getting through a knitting project with those complicated long drawn out written patterns.  I always managed to mess them up and they were just a mystery to me for the most part and a struggle UNTIL I learned to read charts!  Wowser, CHARTS opened the door to a knitting world that I never thought I would be allowed to enter.  The universe of knitting came flying out that door and landed squarely on my head!  That was a very good thing!  Once I got a few chart symbols under my belt then I was off and running.  I was knitting anything, everything and making up knitting patterns.  It was like living in another world of x's and o's and a few slants.  I couldn't be happier.  Then it was on to knitting in the round, Fair Isle and all forms of complicated design work.  What a joy to be able to finally visualize (from a chart) where I was going.  Of course along came the Internet and You Tube so another learning resource that was visual helped a lot along the way to make things easier.  CHARTS, the only way for a visual person to learn knitting in my opinion.

If you struggle with the endless and laborious written knitting instructions for the millions of knitting projects out there then pick up a book on knitting charts like Barbara Walker's and you will be in knitting heaven.  Once you have the basic knitting principals learned then the road will widen and the horizon will be limitless.  You will never look again at the miles of knitting verbiage that passes as fun and easy.

On to my "Long Leaf Lace" socks and the back of the calf!