Amy Artisan

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Category: Dishcloths (page 2 of 3)

Back home for a bit…

…46 hours to be exact – that’s the elapsed time between when the cab dropped me off on Friday evening & when the cab will pick me up on Sunday evening to head back to the airport.

When I got home on Friday I was pleasantly surprised to see that my Knitters Tea Swap package was waiting at my front door (instead of held with the rest of my mail). I quickly opened up the box & was thrilled with the goodies.

 – 2 beautiful balls of Louisa Harding Kimona Angora that contain so many of my favorite colors – A box of Dutch Stroopwafel cookies – I’ll have to do the traditional “way to eat” & warm one over a cup of hot tea. – 3 boxes of Revolution Tea: Decaf Honeybush Caramel; Sweet Ginger Peach & White Pear. This is one of my favorite brands of tea so it was a perfect selection. I had seen the Pear online but hadn’t had a chance to pick up a box yet.

Thanks to Nancy in Arizona for a lovely box!

Travel Pocket

Now that Carrie has received her Knitting Vacation Swap box I can post the picture & details about the knit project I made for her. A travel pocket (or envelope clutch) – to hold a journal, pen, postcards, stamps, maps, travel brochures and any other paper while on the journey.

Yarn: Dalegarn Baby Ull in Pink (4504), Red (3718) & Orange (3507) all held together

Pattern: My own design. I knit half of a “Grandma’s Favorite” dishcloth for the flap before switching to a stockinette rectangle. After steam blocking, the side seams were zig-zagged on the sewing machine & then overstitched in yarn. The button is a vintage one from Mom’s button tin.

Also included in the swap package a set of custom “Vacation Swap” stitch markers from Katie’s Pink Sheep shop. I’ve enjoyed all the cute sheep that Katie has made & when I emailed her about a custom order for this swap she said “no problem” & went to work. Unfortunately the sheep were intercepted somewhere in the mail. Katie quickly made a replacement set of sheep & mailed them to my parent’s house so they could be included in the package. Thanks Katie for helping me out!

Dishcloth 414

– aka another Ballband…So named for the hotel room I was in this week where 90% of the knitting was done – notice the lovely ottoman pose

Sugar’n Cream yarn – Violet Veil Ombre & Hot Purple

S is for…

No…this isn’t an early entry in the ABC-along; rather, when thinking of what to include in this post several “S” words bubbled to the top. So, here they are.

Summer Splash

– aka Mason Dixon Ballband Dishcloth #1

Ballband Dishcloth #1

I’ve “finally” finished my first cloth from this fun book! I have to admit, I had a couple of false starts with the pattern (code for user error) but this was a fun knit to do. In fact, over the weekend I picked up 2 more color combos at Michael’s so I would have something to work on in the hotel this week. (Poor late night packing last Sunday meant I didn’t have room for much yarn in the suitcase.) Sugar’n Cream Yarn: Summer Splash & Hot Blue

Swaps

Before I knew that work would have me traveling this summer I signed up for several swaps. The great thing about being a part of a crafty/artistic family is that I was able to finish up my swap packages this weekend without being near all of my supplies. Monday afternoon I assembled the packages that needed to be sent to complete my participation in some assorted blog fun. I left Mom with a stack of packages to be mailed (thanks Mom!):

…My Knitting Vacation Swap package is en route to California. Once this package has arrived at it’s intended location I will post a picture of the knitting project that was included.

…The Knitters Tea Swap package I pulled together is en route to the Northeast.

Gift Tag Swap

…Tags for the Gift Tag Swap. Dacia is hosting a gift tag swap where you make 10 gift tags & receive an assortment of 10 gift tags from the other participants. On Sunday evening I whipped up a batch of gift tags using paper from Mom, my sister’s scrapbooking tools and some stickers I picked up at the local scrapbook store. I only wish I had made more for me to use.

Papa's Quilt

…My green square for Papa’s Quilt is on it’s way. Another softie using the Bernat Cotton Tots in mint green and the “grandma’s favorite” pattern.

In addition to sending out swap packages I also received my first swap package over the weekend. Because the Vacation Knitting Swap was not a secret Judy asked where I wanted my package sent when she saw my travel schedule & sent my swap to my parents’ house. What a fun package to open!

Vacation Swap Package

The first thing I saw was a lovely Booga Bag in great summer colors. I have seen this project on many blogs & thought it would be a fun one to have. It will definitely be used!; Next was a great water bottle: feeling unraveled…knit!; The cutest little knitting basket magnet; A fun notepad with sheep; A pattern for a broken rib scarf – I have yarn in mind for this project; 2 balls of Katia Papiro yarn – a cotton & linen blend that is perfect for summer.

Shawl

As I mentioned in my last post, my big secret knitting project in the last month was the shawl I made for Mom’s birthday. The sun-filled breakfast room at home was a great place to capture the colors of the shawl.

Monet Shawl 

Details: Morehouse Farm Merino – Monet Variegated Merino Lace in the colorway Houses of Parliament; Pattern: Morehouse Capri Shawl; Customization: The open triangle in the center has 17 rows – Mom’s birthday is May 17th. This was another delightful knit from Morehouse – I really enjoy working with this yarn. This colorway was so neat to see unfold, there are so many different colors in it.

Summertime

Other signs of summer over the Memorial Day weekend…A bit of shopping that included sandals & also a great summer fragrance that reminds me of the perfume I bought on Capri last summer…Lazy afternoon naps – every afternoon my cat, Maggie, had the right idea. This is her spot on the wicker love seat in the breakfast room. The look on her face says that life doesn’t get much better than this.

Sunny Maggie

Iced coffee – I taught my sister how to make the yummy iced Nescafe (Cafe Fria, Frappe, Freddo…) that we enjoyed frequently in Italy & Greece last summer. These are well enjoyed on hot summer days & sipping them in the states reminds us the trip…Watching the National Memorial Day Concert on PBS. One of these days we will be in the audience on the mall in Washington!

Fiber Fun…

That was the subject line of an email I sent to my friends Jen & Kristy on Friday suggesting a Sunday outing and it pretty much sums up my weekend activities.

I discovered on Friday morning that Debbie Stoller was coming to Arcadia Knitting on Sunday afternoon to sign books & talk about SnB: The Happy Hooker. The afternoon was a lot of fun – we all managed to pick up some yarn – I picked up some yarn for a current secret project as well as some Lorna’s Laces “Glory” that was on sale & also the HH book.

Debbie’s talk about crochet (& a bit of knitting) was very fun & we all enjoyed the modeling & passing around of some of the items from the HH book. Afterwards I had her sign my copy of the first SnB as well as the HH – on our way home I realized that she signed HH to the name of the woman ahead of me, oh well.

When my grandma gave me her stash of knitting needles several years ago she also gave me her crochet hooks – they have just sat unused since then. Over the next couple of months I want to learn some of the crochet basics & then maybe make a few of the items from HH – the one skein scarf looks fun. Of course, any adventures in crochet will be chronicled here.

After the yarn store we all came back to my place for an evening of knitting, dinner from our favorite Thai place & watching Sense & Sensibility. I got both of them started on knitting in the round & we are all now working on our first felted bag projects. Kristy is doing the clutch from One Skein, I’m doing a bag based on the tote from One Skein & Jen is working on a bag based on a couple of felted patterns. I also got started on the secret project with the yarn I picked up in the afternoon.

    Help Please: Does anyone have any experience (good or bad) with attaching circular bamboo handles to felted bags? It dawned on me this morning that we might have crossed bag concepts when we were yarn shopping a few months ago…maybe the circulars were when we were thinking non-felted bag & then when we moved to felted bag mode we didn’t ‘drop’ the handles. Any insights will be greatly appreciated!

In other Fiber Fun this weekend…

Yarn Organization – Saturday afternoon included a bit of time working on the stash & getting yarn organized. All partial skeins have now been wound into balls, similar yarns are all grouped together in ziploc bags & I now have a better handle on what I have on hand & what projects I want to make with them.

The Clara Pearl Afghan – Over the weekend I also finished up the lap afghan for my Aunt – this weekend I will give it to her for her 70th birthday.
Clara Pearl's Lap Afghan

The Knit Details: Lion Brand Homespun WATERFALL; about 2 ¼ skeins of yarn; size 17 circular needles; it is 70 stitches wide in celebration of her 70th birthday.

I love the way that the Homespun colorways reveal themselves as you knit and the end result feels so soft and cuddly. However, the actual process of knitting with this yarn has to be one of my least favorite. Why? The kinks & fluffs that develop as you go.
Homespun Kinks & Fluffs
You know what I’m talking about – the yarn bunches up all tight ahead of your needle & as much energy is spent relaxing the yarn before it goes into stitches as is spent on the actual knitting. I had several instances where the yarn got so bunched that when I tried to loosen it the center string just snapped & I had to cut the yarn & restart it. As for the fluffs, the tail ends of the yarn become a pile of fluff & can be hard to sew/weave into your work. Any suggestions for how you handle these ‘issues’ with this yarn?

Monthly Dishcloth KAL – I got a late start on the mid-April Monthly Dishcloth KAL & I have to admit that I don’t know when I will finish it. The pattern is fun; however, in the practical kitchen use category I think it is scoring low.
April Mid-Month KAL
Since I make dishcloths to actually be used (vs. “oh, they are too pretty to use, I’ll just look at it”) and have a lot of other projects to be working on in the coming weeks I won’t be rushing to get this off the needles. The yarn loops that form the “bow ties” seem like they are in a prime position to get snagged or cut when in the water actually washing dishes & especially utensils.

Socks – While at Arcadia yesterday I signed up for a 2 session sock class “Sock on Two Circular Needles” in early May. I took a sock class there (um, 3 years ago) & never finished the 2nd sock – since being in knit blogland I’ve loved seeing all the socks being made, have picked up some pretty sock yarn & decided that this year I would get going with socks again. For this class I’m to bring my favorite sock pattern – I think right now a simple sock pattern is in order. To my sock knitting friends – what pattern would you suggest as a good “reintroduction” to socks? This class comes at a great time for me – there is a possibility of work related travel in the coming weeks & months – socks seem to be a great travel project.

Sunny Sunday!

After a chilly Saturday today is a spectacular spring day! The sun is bright, bulb flowers are in bloom, neighbors are mowing the grass & the birds are singing loudly. As I finish up this post the ice cream truck has just come down the street on his first run of the year.
Spring at home!
In my front yard the crocus are blooming. At my back door, Doris the dove is a proud mama to 2 baby doves.

Colore Rosso e Colore Rosa
First up today, a belated Red & Pink Project Spectrum entry. These are the postcards from my March postcard swap. I was paired with Karla who is living in Rome with her family for a year. (How fun!) Her postcard shows her red & pink interpretation of Rome.
March Project Spectrum Postcard Swap

This image is even more appropriate for me because of my trip to Italy & Greece last year. When we toured Vatican City we were able to go into the Sistine Chapel – it is truly amazing to look up at the ceiling & all the details of the mural. You are not allowed to take pictures while in there; however that didn’t prevent some from blatently framing a shot & using the flash – ouch! I have seen an amazing “no flash” picture of the center of the ceiling where a random snap at the ceiling yielded a great shot.

My postcard included a detail of my double ruffle pink hibiscus from on my deck last summer.

Introducing iPocket
I have finished up the cozy/case for my iPod. I have dubbed this “iPocket” & it is loosely based on the Techno Cozy from the first SnB. iPocket is larger than the iPod & is meant to house my iPod & the headphones & be easily found in my purse or other bag.
iPocket
The Knit Details: Cascade 220 (7814, 7803, 8886, 7919, 7827) on size 8 needles. Knit as a rectangle with decreases to form the envelope flap. Sides seamed together. One large snap to keep it closed. Yellow button is decorative only.

Simple Knits – Springtime Gifts
The April Monthly Dishcloth KAL was a watering can pattern. I had previously seen the pattern when I discovered the double heart pattern & planned some springtime dishcloths to match some spring towels. Some of these will be gifted around Easter with some fun spring themed towels.
Water Can Dishcloths
The Knit Details: The Watering Can can be found at Melissa’s Knit Dishcloth Page. All on size 8 needles. Sugar’n Cream yarns (Daisy Ombre, Playtime, Cool Breeze Ombre, Yellow). This pattern definitely shows up better using a solid yarn; however, the variegated yarns are very springy & match some towels. Since each of these includes orange or yellow they are part of my Project Spectrum craftiness for April.

Warming Grace (& Simone, too)!
Warming Grace
One of the things that I have enjoyed about being a part of this knit blog community is the way that everyone comes together when a need is identified. After the blue square for Christine’s Comforting Jef project I have been busy with pink squares for Cynthia’s Warming Grace project. Cynthia is creating 2 blankets of 5×5 pink squares for her neice, Grace, & Grace’s best friend (Simone) who are both battling cancer. These will be on their way to Canada this week.
Pink Squares for Grace & Simone!

The Knit Details: Frog Tree 100% Alpaca Wool, Sport Weight, Pink (#208), Melissa’s Knit Valentine Dishcloth pattern (removed 4 stitches from each side & 4 rows from each end), knit on size 3 needles (Hero brand, from my Grandma’s collection of needles).

Italian Reading
Italy Reads
In addition to finishing up all these knit project this weekend I also managed to finish up my most recent fiction read: The Almond Picker by Simonetta Agnello Hornby. This was a great read about a Sicilian house servant. The story begins with her death & over the next couple of days & months the details of her life begin to unfold through gossip and flashbacks. I had never heard of this book prior to my last visit to Costco – it was another excellent Costco find. The trip to Costco that yielded this book also included the purchase of The Silver Spoon cookbook – the classic volume of Italian cuisine. This is a huge book that is a delight to look through & contains thousands of recipes & lots of great pictures. Dinner tonight will come from these reads: Chicken in Almond Sauce & Asparagus with Orange.

Looking Ahead…
Last weekend’s road trip to Michigan got us looking ahead to summer & on Monday we booked our annual girls weekend in Michigan for mid-June. I can’t wait to go back to Harbor Country! This month I joined the Vacation Knitting Swap & look forward to creating a vacation knit for a fellow knit blogger. Also, now that I have the Oneskein book I have joined the One Skein Knit-Along. Links to both are on my Joining In the Fun! page.

In Project Spectrum news, I didn’t have a chance to do the Orange & Yellow hunt around the house this weekend – pictures to come in coming weeks!

A Wee Bit of Irish…

A knit shamrock especially for you…Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Shamrock Dishcloth

This was the March Monthly Dishcloth KAL – my Mom is the lucky recipient of this one because I will be home with the family in GA this weekend…and able to enjoy Mom’s corned beef & cabbage for St. Patrick’s Day (even though I make it myself… hers is so much better!)!

I’m also looking forward to seeing the spring buds & blooms in Dad’s garden – maybe I’ll even end up with some “color” pictures for Project Spectrum!

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