Thursday, September 20, 2007

"Deadline" Pillow Finished

The pillow for Ben Franklin is finished. I am working now on putting the pattern on paper. I just made it up as I went along, since it is such an easy project. Now I'm trying to type it up and it sounds more complicated than it is. Hope it doesn't scare off newbies. I will give the pattern in another post when it is complete. Writing a pattern isn't as easy as I thought. If a pattern this easy can be difficult, then how do those amazing designers who create complicated knitted sweaters do it???

The Diagonal Garter Stitch Pillow is made of import yarn, inexpensive and fun to play with for a project like this one. There were all kinds of colors and textures to choose from. I just chose 4 colors that would compliment each other and they worked beautifully. This pillow would look very nice in stocking stitch, also.
Having a blog sure illuminates to one when one's life is boring. I think sometimes of posting and then wonder, "But what will I write? Nothing is happening that anyone would be remotely interested in!" Work, knit, sleep, knit, eat, knit...sneak in a chapter here or there of a good book. (Right now is Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire) No, my life isn't made of the extraordinary, but I have had enough drama, difficulty and crisis in my past to realize what a blessing the mundane can really be. So when it is ordinary day after ordinary day, I thank God humbly and say a prayer for those who are having dramas, difficulties or crisis right now. Hopefully, that does not describe you today, Reader and Friend. But if it does, please remember that you can endure just about anything for "a while". This too, as they say, shall pass. And even if it doesn't, as some of my own life has shown me, we can be all the stonger for having endured and fought the fight. To quote Elisabeth Elliot, one of the women I most admire, "Underneath are the everlasting arms..."

P.S. Since I brought up Elisabeth and suffering, I might as well recommend her most excellent book A Path Through Suffering. It was the book that helped and comforted me through my parents divorce, and other painful times of crisis and loss. As those times of hurt leave us feeling vulnerable and alone, I advise the thoughtful reading of it to any who are in need of encouragement and assurance during trials of any sort.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Leggings and Deadlines

Working away on the Nethers. Going 'round and 'round. Making me a bit dizzy, but still kinda fun! The first picture is of the increases I'm doing on that back of the calf. The pictures are weird, since taking photos of black yarn is difficult for my camera, but the flash helped me to show a little of the detail. I'm doing a simple M1 to increase on both sides of two stitches on every third row.
Here are both legs. The longer one is a side view so you can see how those increases are working. I slid the long one there on some waste yarn that Josh had in his knitting supply bag and then tried it on Danielle. She sat on the floor with her leg in the air like a Radio City Rockette (should have took pictures of that, I know!) until her foot was falling asleep while I tugged and patted and smoothed and counted and measured. Poor girl. She didn't know what she was in for when I suggested these leggings for her! First was the indignity of the measuring, and now she realizes that the fittings will be numerous. She is a good sport, though, my Danielle.

I sort of volunteered (along with others in the Friday Night Knit Group) to complete a demo for the store. Fortunately for me, mine is a small project. But I have a *drumroll please*..............................DEADLINE! Now I know why the word deadline includes the word "dead". First Pi, where my "deadline" came and went, and now this. My deadline, because it will help me to confess it and be accountable, is September 30. Well. Doesn't seem too difficult to design a pattern, swatch it and knit it up. Two weeks. It is just a pillow. Nothing spectacular, because the yarn is beautiful and textured, and so it can be just a simple pattern. But why is working with a deadline so daunting for me when knitting is concerned? I must explore this facet of my personality. But then again, some things are better left unexplored.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

On this day

September 11. I want to recognize this day by reminding everyone to take a moment to reflect on their blessings, to cherish their country, to hold close their loved ones, to breathe deeply and to remember that there is a God who loves us.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
Proverbs 3:5-6

Monday, September 10, 2007

Nether the less

On my way out the door, to go to work this morning, but just wanted to pop in and show you what I've been working on since Friday. These are the beginnings of the leggings, i.e. "Nether Garments" from the Knitters Almanac. I am making them in black Knit Picks Swish, as Danielle requested. So far I casted on, knit 14 rows in garter stitch, then knit a bit, doing some increases for the calf and now I am about up to the knee. I will cast on the second leg today and bring that one to the same point before continuing. I love working with this yarn so far. It has a lovely hand and drape. If I must knit in black, at least it feels luxurious!
Ok, as I say toot-a-loo, I must thank everyone for all of your sweet comments and compliments on the Pi. How nice to hear your feedback. Again, thanks to all of you! And Mom, Pi is in the mail today! Love, love, love you!!!

Thursday, September 6, 2007


I've not dropped off the planet at all. I have had trouble finding time to blog this past week, but here I am at last. And here is Pi! After all the groaning and whining I have done, the shawl is completed at last and I have pictures to prove it. So those with dial-up, my apologies, but this post is very picture heavy. Be patient with me and wait for them to load, it is worth it, just as knitting Pi was worth it!

I began knitting Pi on July 3rd. I believe. I finished knitting on Saturday, September 1. Taken from the Knitter's Almanac, by Elizabeth Zimmerman, the pattern was supposed to be July's project. So I can safely say that EZ was capable of knitting at least twice as fast as I!!! Are we surprised? Here are some blocking pics to start the ball rolling. Josh took these shots.

The day after Pi was completed, Lizzie and Josh helped me put together my huge foam interlocking blocks, purchased for this occasion from Toy's R Us. I had envied the blocks that The Knitting Doctor uses for this purpose, and decided to try a less expensive version for now. I washed Pi gently like a baby, and rinsed and rolled Pi in a few towels. Then we went to work. I didn't have enough pins to pin out each and every loop on every scallop of the border, but it didn't matter. We used three pins per scallop and though it looked a bit weird while blocking, it came out just beautifully, and looks as if each space were pinned. Goal accomplished. Pi was stretched out to a wonderful 72" across. I didn't measure before washing, but this did stretch it significantly.
Here is Pi yesterday, lying around in the backyard, taking it easy.
Closeup of the gull stitch and also the border, which I found here. It is #46, Kilgorie edge. A lot of knitting around, but totally worth it, as you can see.
After knitting this project for the past couple of months I can say that it has taught me a lot of myself as a knitter, and a human being. This will be one project that will be remembered fondly and with joy. Long after it is shipped to my Mom as a Late Birthday Present, I will be thinking of Pi and the good times we had together. Thanks to the Yahoo Group "Elizabeth's Year" and Knit Picks Kelley Petkin for the help and support. The September Nether Garments are next on the list.

And now for the most fun: I had a photo shoot with Lizzie and Pi. For Pi's public debut, we went to the Tacoma Museum of Glass. We walked over the Bridge of Glass, and had a thoroughly wonderful time photographing Pi and observing the wondrous glass exhibited there. If you are ever in Tacoma, it is a worthwhile stop to make.

The Bridge of Glass spans Highway 705, that comes into the City Center in Tacoma. It is a walkway leading from one side of the highway, where the Museum of Glass and the Marina is, to the other, where downtown is. Here is a view of the bridge. And here are some views from the bridge.

Here is a glimpse of the marina, viewed through one of the glass displays, a reflecting pool with panels of glass.

This is a large display of glass sculptured "flower vases". Beautiful colors. Here is Lizzie and Pi, next to a beautiful vase.

Here are some more glass photos. This is a small portion of the glass "overhead". As you cross the bridge, you walk through this covered portion, this glass is in the ceiling overhead, with the light shining through. Photos can't begin to do it justice.

The rest of the pics will be of Lizzie and Pi, save one. Enjoy.