Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Is it really February???

 Cuz it sure looks alot like December around here!!! This is what fell in a couple of hours.....and it's still snowing!! The snow storm that has moved into the area is due to hang around until late Thursday night. It will be interesting to see exactly how much of the white stuff will be left behind once the storm moves on.  I know my sheep are thankful that they are still fully "clothed.  :.)

Monday, February 7, 2011

Lots of Needle Action.....

....... (as in knitting needles) has been happening lately. It's been a good thing.  :.) I've been finishing up projects that were started eons ago.....and enjoying new ones. One of the new projects is the teddy bear pictured. He's made from hand-spun Shetland yarn (from my own sheep!) and is almost 9" tall sitting. He was fulled enough to where a firm fabric was created while still retaining the stitch definition. Of course this made the yarn really soft and fluffy. Just makes you want to hold him all the time.  :.)

He's a fairly simple bear with button eyes. His nose was needle-felted using some really soft Suri Alpaca wool. His facial features were also needle-felted. He's such a happy bear.  :.)

For a bit of whimsy, he sports a hand-knit, lightly fulled flower pin. The flower pin is knit from hand-dyed, hand-spun wool yarn. A lovely button adorns the center of it. The flower petals are all held in place by small, sparkly beads. The entire pin is backed with wool felt and has a small pin it can be taken off if so desired. This little bear was tons of fun to do.  :.)

The sweater pictured is one of the projects that was started eons ago. It's my Harriet sweater.....or, more correctly, Harriet Vest. This had started out as a sweater. I had all the pieces knit....two fronts, a back, and two sleeves. Went to put it all together only to discover that the sleeves were too small for the armholes (and I had knit the larger least I thought I did). So the project was set aside for quite some time while I tried to figure out how to tackle this small stumbling block. One day I was watching a knitting show on my local PBS station when it was mentioned to use a running stitch and simply ease the sleeves into you do when sewing a garment. So out came the sweater and I gave it a try. Wasn't real happy with the end results. I really didn't want to put the sweater aside again so I decided to finish up the collar and the front while I tried to figure out a way to make it all work.  It was while I had the incomplete sweater on that my loving hubby saw it and said "what a pretty vest!" Yes, the lightbulb finally came on.   :.) I decided to turn my sweater into a vest. I had thought about using the same treatment that was used on the collar to finish out the armholes. I even toyed with the idea of repeating the scallop section on the bottom of the sweater for "sleeves". In the end, I simply turned a small seam allowance back and stitched it in place. It just seemed to be the right way to finish the armholes. I got lucky and happened to find the perfect buttons for it as well. All in all, I'm pretty happy with it. So much so, that I'm ready to attempt my next "big" project.....another vest.  :.)

 A little something about the can be found in the book " A Fine Fleece". I had knit my vest using a hand-spun Shetland lamb/Kid Mohair blend (from my own animals.....and it's been years since I've had Angora goats so the yarn is some of my first hand-spun). This is a lovely pattern with lots of really pretty detailing. It has Shetland lace inserts in the front and back (and both sleeves). The lace inserts and scalloped edge are separated by an eyelet detail. The same detailing that is used for the collar.

There are lots of firsts in this project for me. It was the first time I had attempted to knit lace....which was rather easy and fun once I learned to mark all of my repeats with stitch markers. It was the first time I had tackled a project with so much detailing.....the scalloped edge, the eyelet, the lace. While it was my second sweater, it was the first one I had done with set-in sleeves. My first sweater had raglan sleeves....which went much better as far as fit. Unfortunately my first sweater was way too large on me....and very unflattering.....but my friend loves it to pieces.  :.)