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Lost in a sea of yarn and needles. Lusting after handmade socks and all things lacy


Shui Kuen's Shawl

Here she is in all her glory. Shui Kuen is a friend from Elann Chat, she allowed me to post a large picture of her finished shawl.
Birds Eye Shawl design by Sharon Miller Shui Kuen used 1 ball of Devon 25x50, US7.
I am amazed that all that shawl came from just one ball of Devon yarn. She is a beauty Shui Kuen, I hope we get a picture of you wearing it :-)

By Suzann
On Tuesday, November 21, 2006
At 11/21/2006 08:46:00 AM
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Into The Wind

A friend recently gave me a link to this video, and I found it beautiful. Since there isn't much blogging on Sundays, I thought you might like to see it.

There are more videos at Theo Jansen of the same artist, with different shaped beasts. Although it is hard to call something so beautiful a beast. It must be the wings.

I read on his site that he would like to build more of these and leave them to wander the beaches. I would love to see a beach full of these sculptures.
I think they are like lace, in capturing air and space.

By Suzann
On Sunday, November 19, 2006
At 11/19/2006 11:12:00 AM
Comments :

Lacy Stuff

In textile classifications, there are only two types of true lace. Bobbin Lace with is akin to weaving and Needle Lace with is akin to knotting. All other laces are imitations of these two.
I tried Needle lace, but lack the patience to produce two million buttonhole stitches. But it is so so beautiful.
I also lack the patience to really make Bobbin Lace. Bobbins are wound in pairs. So if someone says they have 50 bobbins on their pillow, they really have 100 bobbins. And while it looks very impressive, like knitting with double point needles. You only work 4 bobbins at a time. No matter how many are on the pillow. If you can count to 4 and know your right from your left you can make basic Bobbin Lace. The learning curve is steeply upward from there. There is a lot of leeway in how Bobbin lace is worked. Size is left up to the lace maker. How the bobbins are hung at the beginning is also left to the lace maker. And if Kirchner stitch makes your teeth hurt, try sewing together pieces of bobbin lace made with thread finer then your eyelashes.

A piece of Bobbin lace I made. I have it in a plastic case on my keychain

Links to interesting bobbins. Do look at the hanging bobbins :-)

Bobbin Museum

By Suzann
On Thursday, November 16, 2006
At 11/16/2006 11:26:00 AM
Comments :

Bobbin Bobbin Who Has The Bobbin

I thought you might like so see some Lace bobbins up close. The first group are called Midland Bobbins (English Midlands) They are use exclusively in English type laces. The bobbins are very light weight so to maintain tension the bobbin was weighted with beads, called spangles. Many antique bobbins have hand made glass beads or buttons in their spangles. I have seen bobbins with uniform buttons from the Napoleonic wars. The bobbins were home made from wood, or bone. The bobbins I have are modern and simple. There are Mother and Babe bobbins. Where the shaft of the bobbin is carved and a miniature bobbin is inside.

Many old bobbins have messages on them from the person who made them to the lace maker. They were often given to women by their sweethearts. But make no mistake lace making was not a romantic occupation. The lace makers worked for a lace dealer. He supplied the pattern, called a pricking and the linen thread. He would come back and inspect the work. If it was unsatisfactory he took the work and the lace maker was now in debt for the cost of the thread. The linen thread was very very expensive. In some places in England, lace makers worked in groups in a cottage. There was no electricity so water filled glass bowls were place in front of candles. The best lace makers worked closest to the candles. Woman and children worked hunched over their pillows for 12 hour days. Many lost their eyesight. When the Industrial Revolution was in full swing, many mothers saved up to send their daughters to work in the factories rather then see them become lace makers. In some areas men worked on lace during the time when the fields were fallow. But it is doubtful that men ever worked on really fine work, because lace making was a finely honed skill. I added a ball point pen for size reference.

These bobbins are called Continental bobbins. They were used all over Europe except for England. They are heaver with the weight at the bottom of the bobbin and did not need spangles. Although a pillow filled with Midlands bobbins looks beautiful, I prefer working with Continental bobbins. The longer bobbins are called Bayeux bobbins and the shorter are Danish bobbins. Their are many different types of Continental bobbins, developed to deal with the different types of lace made in various areas of Europe.

There are many many tools used in bobbin lace. Lace pillows can be more expensive then a bathtub full of cashmere yarn. A lot of lace makers make their own pillows. My Mother and I made three of them. I will put up pictures at some future time if anyone is interested. Pins, prickers, pin lifters and pin pushers. The pins have small heads and after awhile you get holes in your fingers from pushing them into the pricking/pillow.
Linen thread, very expensive. I was never that great a bobbin lacer so only rarely worked in linen thread. Pillow stands, divider pins the list goes on and on. :-)



I had already started these socks toe up. So I have only used the stitch pattern part of the pattern. My daughter doesn't care for stitch patterns on the foot. She sometimes wears slip on shoes and the patterned stitches can be a bit uncomfortable. The pattern is really simple to do and fun. Dawn said she thought it would look nice with matching fingerless gloves in the same pattern. :-P I have got to teach her to knit.

I made just one mod. Instead of doing M1 (as in a lifted increase or picking up the thread between the stitches) I did the backward loop over my thumb. Worked out fine, no holes and I find it is quicker.
The foot/heel part of the sock is done on 2.25mm needles. The leg is done on 2.50mm. I went back for to the 2.25 for the cuff as the leg seemed to be a bit loose on my victim.
I just cast on for the second sock. This is the first pair of toe up socks that actually fit her in the heel area. I don't get what is so great about toe up socks, especially if you are going to do a heel flap. You might as well make it easy on yourself and go cuff down. But hey, different things work for different people.
The second sock I will follow the pattern from the toe up. It looks like an interesting heel.
I ordered this kit to make for my daughter. She loves dolphins. The kit is sold out, so I have no idea when they will actually get made

I have a doctor's appointment on Friday. Because I just can not get out of my own way. Dawn has been walking me around the block on the theory the fresh air will wake me up. She hasn't sorted out yet, that walking equals less knitting. I come home and collapse in the chair and sleep for an hour. Prime knitting time lost :-)
I need to take a walk though everyone's blogs and catch up.

By Suzann
On Tuesday, November 14, 2006
At 11/14/2006 09:16:00 PM
Comments :

Democracy is Exhausting

I have a new link >>> This is the blog of the designer of the Knitty pattern Diamante A beautiful pattern. Deb also has a pattern for a felted Patons Soy Wool Stripes Felted Bag I know Jayne had great success with this yarn making slippers. So naturally I thought of her when I saw this pattern.
I am frogging the leg pattern on the Tweedy Goodness socks. I really like the looks of the Diamante sock and I think my daughter will like it also. Well I hope so :-)

Democracy is exhausting. After toting the ladies to vote, several gave me those granny cocker spaniel eyes and wondered,sigh, wondered if I would mind making a quick stop at several places. I don't mind but I am not as energetic as they are. So we went to the post office, several grocery stores (had to be the one with senior citizen discount day) I got kissed, patted on the cheek and told my Mamma would be proud of me, cause I am such a good girl. They play me like a harp.
They are all praying for T and her family. And they are a power to be reckoned with.
And the ladies were eyeing my sock in progress. Comments, so nice and warm. Shame I never got to make socks for my Mamma, but that doesn't mean they would mind standing in. But not those wild colors, pink is nice or a pretty blue. If you hear harp music it isn't heaven, it is me being played by the masters :-)

By Suzann
On Thursday, November 09, 2006
At 11/09/2006 10:50:00 AM
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Damned for Eternity

Do you know what happens to people who sign up for gift exchanges and then promptly forget all about it? Do you? Do you know which circle of hell they are assigned to? Apparently I signed up for the Elann gift exchange then promptly forgot I had signed up, and went on my merry way. And now I have to break the news to the saintly T that I am in effect gift less. No cute boxes with cute key chains will be wending their way from my house to hers. Damned I am. As punishment I will spend the rest of the winter wearing one of these. It was this or having FOOL branded on my forehead. And there is no point in stating the obvious is there

They will snicker at Wal-Marts and guffaw at the yarn shops, foollllllllll will echo around behind me all winter

This wild pattern is from a great new online knitting mag


Their motto is "You're Going to Die Anyway, So You Might as Well Knit"
Love it, and I love their Goth Girl attitude
I am off to email T with my news and I hope she won't kick me between the eyes

By Suzann
On Friday, November 03, 2006
At 11/03/2006 11:29:00 AM
Comments :

Tweedy goodness

Trekking XXL Tweed yarn. I bought this last year and it has been vacationing in my stash.
I finished Dawn's Wickerwork socks and when I get them back I will take a picture. This pair was supposed to be for moi. But then she kept fingering the yarn and sighing over the rich autumn colors. The pattern is a plain foot with a simple pattern on the cuff. When you are knitting for a size 12 foot there is a lot of foot to knit :-) At 13 rows to the inch, it is going to be awhile till I get to the fun part.
This toe up is created by knitting a rectangle and then increasing out till you have the correct number of stitches. Which works for me as I am short row impaired.
I have been really tired lately. And not because I have been doing anything. This is related to my heart problems. I am seeing my doctor next week. I already take so many medications, I really don't want anymore. When I was first diagnosed the doctors said if they couldn't stop my heart from growing, 2 to 3 years. If they could then pretty much a normal life span. And they did manage to stop it growing for a year or so. But last year it started increasing again. Shake up the meds and another stent. It is stopped again. But the whole thing makes you want to clean out your undies drawer so no one else has to do it :-)

If you like Pete's Pond, try this one. Also from Africa, I think Joan mentioned it in the comments
AricaCam It is a watering hole at a resort in Africa. The water area is less but the picture quality is great. You can't screen cap the pictures, unless you subscribe to their service.
I think Pete's Pond probably has a greater variety of animals showing up. Yesterday there was a lion lurking about. Everything got deadly still. I was too shocked to capture a picture. The camera is operated by volunteers and has not been all that great this season. Here is a LION and the camera operator zooms in on a tree. The camera operator (whoever he/she is) has been nicknamed Botswana Bob
Have fun

By Suzann
On Thursday, November 02, 2006
At 11/02/2006 08:15:00 AM
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