May 30, 2007
As you can imagine, I'm a knitter with lots of irons in the fire. On any given day you can find knitting projects and accoutrement strewn across the house -- a sock on the dining table, a sweater on the couch, patterns by the computer, a doily God knows where, and a crochet blanket on the ottoman. Clearly the projects have taken over our modest, relatively uncluttered living area and need to be curtailed. Enter the Tub O'Knitting. With this handy contraption I intend -- but cannot promise -- to keep my current knitting projects corralled, yet always at the ready. Hey, it even zips up if I'm ever inclined to take the Tub along for a ride.
February 25, 2007
Today was my day to visit the market place at Stitches West. I find it best in these tempting situations -- ones with lots and lots of highly desirable goodies -- to decide how much I want to spend and then to take that amount in cold hard cash. When the money's gone, the buying's done. Which leads us, inquisitive reader, to the 2 questions on the minds of all -- "What did you get?" and "How much cash did you come home with?". The answer to the first must wait for tomorrow. As for the second, a picture's worth a thousand words:
nona spent her allotted wade at Stitches today,
returning home with 4 cents.
March 29, 2006
I've always attributed my smarts to an excellent childhood, a fine education, and a healthy dose of curiosity. But recently I've learned the truth -- my intellectual prowess is due to the fact that I have 5 -- yes five -- wisdom teeth. Actually, I should say I had 5 wisdom teeth -- one was extracted yesterday, leaving me with the standard set of 4. On the bright side, my time in the dental chair was not all bad. Not only did it provide me an opportunity to knit, but I also returned home with a tooth to put under my pillow.
What do you suppose the tooth fairy brought nona?
You know the mouse drill by now, don't you?
February 28, 2006
A Dirty Little Secret
Psst, you there -- yes you -- come close, I've got a secret to tell -- a dirty little secret. Promise you won't tell? Last weekend I found myself in an absurd situation, I found myself hand washing sweaters and enjoying it. First there was Tubey to block, and then Rogue to block, and then -- what the heck -- I pulled out my favorite handknit sweater and preceded to wash that. What can I say, I was in a groove. Here's the dirty part, that sweater turned the water a deep brown -- not once, not twice, but three times. It was gross! How long had I jauntily been wearing a filthy sweater?
January 31, 2006
Fulling vs. Felting
Yesterday I had the pleasure of eating lunch with a very intelligent, very creative, 13 year old fiber enthusiast. Over blueberries we discussed the projects we were working on, the fibers we loved, and the ideas we had brewing. One of my latest ideas is to combine knitting with quilting. To begin I plan to knit a small quilt top, lightly felt it, and use decorative stitches to attach the quilt layers. To this idea, my partner in crime replied, "I think you mean fulling not felting". A bit of googling found these definition in Llamapaedia's Fiber Glossary
Fulling -- A finishing process in which the woven or knitted cloth is subjected to moisture, heat and friction causing it to shrink considerably in both directions and become compact and solid. In heavily fulled fabrics both the weave and the yarn are obscured, thus giving the appearance of felt.
Felting -- An ancient technique that produces a non woven sheet of matted material which is most frequently made from wool, hair or fur created by the entanglement of a mass of fibers that takes place when heat, moisture and pressure are combined
My young friend was right! Keep your ears open, my friends, you never know where -- or from whom -- you'll learn something new.
May 12, 2005
Sleeve Cap Saga
nona has a question for the wise sages of the universe -- why is it so damn hard to reliably design a sleeve cap to fit into an armhole? Let me give you some context, I'm designing a sweater -- think bolero, tie-front, v-neck, 3/4 sleeves -- and am in the home stretch, the sleeve cap.
Being of mathematical inclination, I'm convinced there must be some equation, some formula, some reproducible way to calculate the height and slant of a sleeve cap to match the height and slant of the armhole! I've tried the Pythagorean theorem -- you know C squared equals A squared plus B squared -- and I've tried Vogue Knitting's handy sleeve cap formula. And let's just say, I've tried twice and ripped twice.
Does this discourage nona? Heck no, it just fires me up to figure the darn thing out. Just let me sleep on it...
May 05, 2005
nona saw Maroon5 in concert tonight and believe it or not, I did not take my knitting. This is not to say that I have never knit "in concert" before -- just not tonight. Flashback to the Summer of 2003 -- you do feel a story coming on, don't you?
nona-son-the-elder -- a huge Dave Matthews Band fan -- was thrilled to learn that DMB was playing 2 nights at our local outdoor venue. Excited to see both shows with a friend and determined for me to see DMB perform, he bought 2 tickets for Friday night and 3 tickets for Saturday -- all lawn seats. The week before the concert we had a little conversation, which went something like this...
nona-son: Mom are you excited about seeing DMB this weekend?
nona: Absolutely, I won't miss it! I'm really glad you got me a ticket.
nona-son: Now you're sure you don't mind sitting by yourself?
Sitting by myself! This was news to nona!
nona: Sure, I don't mind, as long as you don't mind if I bring my knitting.
So there I sat, by myself, on a beautiful summer evening, with a beer, in a lawn chair, knitting until it got dark, enjoying a wonderful concert. That's the beauty of a teenager -- they want to share their interests and excitement for life with you, just as long as you don't sit with them. nona can live with that.
February 19, 2005
Nona's Been Busted
"What is that?", nona-sister asked accusingly. "That" was a crumpled brown grocery bag I pulled out as we sat down after dinner. "That's not your knitting is it"?, nona-sister continued. nona-sister, who has been properly brain washed by nona's insistence on respecting your knitting, was horrified at the thought that the garbage bag -- I mean grocery bag -- might, just might, contain my knitting.
"I can explain", I insisted, "It was raining and I wanted to take my knitting to nona-son's baseball game, and my knitting is so big that I didn't have a nice bag handy, and the grocery bag has nice handles, and, and, and..." Never mind, there's no excuse for the bag -- nona's been busted!
(If I were a curious reader, I'd move my mouse over the bag.)
January 29, 2005
My Friend, The Knitting Intuit
My friend, nona-friend the oldest, is a Knitting Intuit. You must remember nona-friend -- she's the one who opens Christmas presents early. nona-friend is very crafty with an art degree no less. She is also a new knitter who is already addicted. Let me tell you the story that confirmed her title of Knitting Intuit.
Over the holidays, nona-friend gathered with the other females in her family for a three day crafting fest. Her teenage niece was making impressive progress on a circularly knit bag when, much to her horror, she discovered that the stitches were twisted. We knitters can all sympathize with this disastrous situation -- the first time you realized what "join the stitches, being careful not to twist" really means. Now if this was nona's niece nona would have said something like, "I'm terribly sorry nona-niece, but the only way to fix this is to rip it out and start over". Not so for nona-friend, the Knitting Intuit. She adroitly crochet two vertical lines down the bag creating a thin channel. She then -- hold onto something -- cut the bag down the channel, untwisted the knitting, and seamed the bag back together. Her niece was back on the needles and knitting in no time.
This, my friends, is why nona-friend is a Knitting Intuit and why nona will be calling her for knitting advice. nona believes the best knitters are those who think outside the box, trusting their intuition to guide them to successful solutions.
January 21, 2005
Are you a sweater stalker? Answer these quick questions to see how you fare:
- Do you follow someone for blocks trying to internalize the details of their sweater?
- Do you find yourself explaining to the woman in front of you in line at the coffeeshop why you are staring at her? I know, you're not staring at her, you're staring at her sweater.
- Do you touch strangers on the arm just to feel the fabric of their sweater?
If you answered yes to any of these questions then you, my friend, are a sweater stalker. Don't worry, nona's a sweater stalker too. This afternoon, nona stalked a great sweater. This was an intarsia sweater made with two yarns. One was a fine string yarn and the other, a bulky chenille yarn. When combined in an improvisational intarsia pattern, the fabric oscillated between lacy and open and plush and dense. nona's going to have to swatch this before it leaves her noggin. You'd think I'd learn to carry my digital cameria with me for just these types of stalking opportunities.
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