Monday, July 31, 2006

Knitting in the Capital

Hey all,
I am in Washington DC this week for a science literacy conference. Fun stuff. I am meeting up with a friend I haven't seen in years, since I was in the Peace Corps in Thailand. Loooooonnnnnnggggggg time ago. Anyway, She has a baby, so I made her a little hat. I used swiss darning to put her name on it, inspired by the "geek" baby hat I made at my last class at Yarn Garden. Thanks to Leyla for the advice.

Also, I am going to be on a game show tuesady night (August 1st) on the GameShow Network. It is called "Starface" and is hosted by Danny Bonaduce. It airs 6:30 pacific time, and 9:30 eastern. Check your local listings for time and station.

I am currently knitting a pretty little thing called the Brea Bag. LOVE IT!!!! I have all the pieces and must assemble it and add a handle. The color I am using is cranberry-like. Can't wait to use it!

Oh, the craziest thing happened on Friday at home. My neighbor across the street heard a loud noise (we heard it too) and she went into her backyard to see what happened. Her neighbor to the back had driven his car through their shared wall, and into her POOL!!!!! Her housekeeper jumped in and rescued the older man who was driving. He was in shock. The fire dept. showed up and all was ok, except that Christine had a Honda Accord in her pool. Saturday morning a giant crane came
to haul it out. Lots of people, the news crews, etc. Here is a pic of the car "flying" over Christine's house and into the street. It was a sight to see! Her pool is a mess, and it looks like they will drain it and repair it. Bummer, since this is prime pool weather!

Hope to see some of you at Yarn Garden next week for the Swiss Darning class. Third time is a charm. 6:30 to 9:00. All materials are included. Call Tiffany for more info. That is August 10th.

Sunday, July 23, 2006

My New Obsession!

I am in love with Swiss Darning! It totally rules! I bought this really cute shrug sweater at Banana Republic (on sale at the Camarillo outlets!) and decided the back needed a little pizzazz. I used the simple Swiss darning technique to add a crown and some jewels to the back of the sweater.
I LOVE IT!!!!!
Here's how I did it:

1. I found a picture that I really liked of a crown. I did a google search for images of crowns.

2. I plugged the image into a cool program I found here:
This website turns pictures into knitting charts.

3. I printed this chart and found that some of the squares were not clearly defined, so I used some blank graph paper to map out the exact crown I wanted, with the help of the computer-generated graph.

4. I used my new graph to add the crown to the back of my sweater. I finished with some jewels at the tips of the crown.

Now i just have to wait for the heat to go away so I can wear the darn thing.

I am teaching a class on Swiss Darning with TONS of pattern ideas and tips this Thursday night (6-9 pm) at Yarn Garden in Studio City. Call Tiffany if you are interested in signing up 818-980-6667. $30 for all the materials you will need during class, plus a huge packet of graphs I have done and loads of blank graph paper. And, I think Tiffany is still offering an incredible discount on yarn to people in the class. Call for more details. You don't need to bring anything with you, but if you have a sweater of other project that you want to add an image too, bring it with you and we can go from there!

Sunday, July 16, 2006

IT IS SO HOT!!!!!!

I found this cheap purse at PacSun. So I bought three of them. Great. I decided to try dyeing them different colors then I thought I'd give them away. My first attempt at adding color was sort of a failure. The lime green dye, turns out, is NOT for cotton, only protein-based fabrics, like silk and wool. I dabbed the dye on, let it soak...

...and the finished product looks like a highlighter leaked in my purse. Not exactly what i was hoping for.

So, I went with the tried-and-true RIT DYE. I donned my gloves, and filled the washer. First I did pink, and I like the results.

Next came dark green. I love this purse and am considering keeping it for myself.

Since I had a washer full of dark green dye, I rummaged through my stuff to find a few more things to dye. I came up with a flower hankie and a slip. The hankie is great and the slip didn't work. Let me tell you...when the package says that polyester will not dye, they are telling the truth. I let it soak for over an hour. I did everything I could think of, researched online, pulled out a few-too-many-hairs, and still, as the results show, polyester will not dye. At least not with RIT or anything else that is super easy. Oh well, I am thinking of cutting it into a short dress and wearing a tank top and slip (redundant).
Something else I finished up this week was the felted revolver purse. I added a scarf handle and it is perfect! I love it!!!!!

Here are a few pics of my garden. It was such a hot day and normally I would be inside, but the flowers and the orange tree were posing so well.

This week, I am teaching swiss darning (easy intarsia) at Yarn Garden in Studio City. Call Tiffany to sign up. $30. All materials are included for use to practice during class. Plus you get a big packet of patterns and knitting graph paper! If you want to bring your own supplies, I suggest a tapestry needle, and maybe some size 7 or 8 knitting needles. This Thursday from 6:30 to 9:00 pm.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Finished Pirate Purse

Here is the pirate purse, felted and with handles.

I have felted the next one, a clutch with a revolver on one side and "BANG" on the other. The lettering was hard to do and I am not sure how it turned out yet, i'll post pics when it is finished. Here is the revolver side, pre-felting.

Thanks again to everyone who helped with chart making. I found some pretty cool stuff out there. If anyone is interested in making their own graph paper, I found this great website. Who knew there were so many kinds of graph paper out there!!!!!

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Pirates of the Caribbean, I salute you!!!!!!

What kind of socks was the pirate's wife always knitting for him?


Mike and I went to see Pirates Part Deux on Friday and LOVED IT! In honor of the movie, I am knitting then felting a Jolly Roger purse. Pink on pink, of course. Here is the purse before the handles (which get added after felting), sitting on a chair (for reference size). I'll felt it this afternoon then take more pics later. I used Lambs Pride (from Yarn Garden,Tiffany has a GREAT color selection!!!) since it knits up so quickly. I did this on a #11 needle. So easy!!!!!!!

Thank you to all of my fellow stitch-n-bitchers (am I allowed to use the entire name?) who advised me on how to go from jpeg file to intarsia graph. I settled on, an awesome website that converts files into charts. Go check it out! That is how I did the skull! Simple. Jules pointed me to them. Thanks, Jules.

On my drive home from YG this afternoon, my thermometer in the car said it was 97 degrees in the valley. As soon as I crossed over into Hollywood, the temp. went down to a managable 84. I don' tknow how all of you valley folk do it. Stronger than i, that's for sure. I would be melted into a little puddle in my livingroom, not leaving my house until midnight.

I am teaching another class this week at Yarn Garden. SHHHHRUGS and SHHHHAWLS: secrets exposed!!! Here are some pics of things you could do. If you are interested in the class, please call Tiffany at 818.980.6667 to sign up. Space is limited.

here is a pic of the shrug with a close up of the sleeve. so pretty!

this is a basic shawl, front and back.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July everyone!

A few things I have been working on lately involve absolutely no patterns. The best kind of projects. I decided that I should be able to just cast on some stitches and "go for it". I had a few creatures in mind, kept them in mind every row, and increased or decreased when needed. This all started when I was designing a Deep Sea display in my classroom. The background is black felt, runs floor to ceiling, and will be filled with hanging creatures fromt he deep. The only problem, no one makes deep sea stuffed animals. I have found some plastic models, but they are too small and not ideal for my creation. My boyfriend Mike jokingly suggested I knit the scene, and after some thought, I realized it might just work. I ran to the yarn store, this time Joann's in Santa Monica, for some cheap and bulky yarn. Usually, I like comfy yarns that make my hands feel good, but these unknown animals needed a lot of yarn, so Joann's was my place. This weekend, while watching 2001: A Space Odyssey, in high definition no less, I began with a big red jellyfish.

I cast on 7 stitches, and started increasing each round. Trial and error was my motto, so i just kept going around until I got to the circumference I wanted, then I started decreasing. At this point, it looked like a weird red beret. I kept decreasing until about 15 stitches remained, then I stuffed it with fiberfill and cinched these last stitches. Voila! A jellyfish body. I added lots of long tentacles and I had my first animal.

I moved on to the gulper eel, my favorite deep sea creature, then added a club-tipped anemone and another small red jelly. My deep sea "aquarium" is shaping up nicely.

Somehow, I will also hang the giant squid hat in there so that it is "fighting" with a sperm whale I made from a piece of styrofoam. Pics to follow of the whole scene.

I have moved into my new classroom at Pali, a much bigger room with 5 saltwater fishtanks. This is a new experience for me, since I have never owned a saltwater tank before. I have been going in to school everyday this summer to feed the fish and make the move from my old room to the new room. I filled a dumpster with stuff from my old room and TWO dumpsters with stuff from the new room. The retiring teacher just walked away and never got rid of anything. I found specimens in his cabinets of preserved animals from the 50's. Scary. The coolest thing happened yesterday in the coral tank. The pufferfish blew up! i have unofficially been calling him Bloat (from Finding Nemo) and now I know he can do it. Here is a blurry pic of his exploits. Sorry for the blur, but he would not stay still.

FYI: I am teaching a lace bolero jacket class this Thursday evening (6:30 to 9:00) at Yarn Garden in Studio City. Should be fun, we had a blast with it last month, so it is back by popular demand! See you there!