Saturday, February 23, 2008

Beautiful heirloom net doily

Yesterday I open a package and found a simply gorgeous net doily. Nancy Day had sent it to me to see if I could reproduce it. It has about a 9" diameter and so won't fit completely on my scanner, but I had to try to let you see it.

The 8-sided figure in the center is only 1.25 inches in diameter.

Each of the 38 small circles that go around the edge are only 3/4" in diameter.

I am still trying to figure out how the person who netted the doily did some of the things that were done.

Like these small details which occur in the middle of the doily. These two diamonds only join at the bottom, but show no sign of a knot at the end of the diamond shape.

Too bad all the knowledge and skills did not get handed down. I know my great-grandmother had some netting techniques that her daughters could not remember how to do and so my grandmother could only say that her mother had joined circles together (maybe like the edge of this doily) but she did not know how to do it, so I do not know how either.

Looks like I am going to have to invest in a good magnifying glass so I can see what was done and maybe figure out how to do it again. Actually, I am kind of excited to try this. It will certainly not be completed quickly.

Knit Finger Puppets

On Wednesday, as my cold was coming to an end, I spent the evening knitting with a group of delightful women. Because my car had two other places to go that evening, my middle daughter gave me and her younger sister a ride to the shop where the group was meeting.

During the evening the other women asked my youngest daughter what she was making. When she showed them the finger puppet she was knitting, they all wanted to know where her pattern came from.

I had to confess that I had created the basic pattern about 2 and a half years ago. They all wanted a copy of the instructions. Since they were willing to test the instructions for me, I went home, found my handwritten instructions and entered them into the computer. Then to see how to explain attaching the skirt, I made another one.

For Christmas 2006 I made my young granddaughters some finger puppets and you can see some of them on my finger puppet webpage .

Socks, Socks, Socks

Either my days have been blessed with fewer hours than usual, or I have been busier than usual. Blogging has taken a back burner for most of the month. Time to show and tell what has been going on in my life -- at least as far as crafts go.

I have made a few sock over the past 40 years, but only with worsted weight yarn. My middle daughter is very persuasive, so, many months ago I started a pair with thinner sock yarn. I finished the first heel in October. I wanted to knit both cuffs at the same time to get them the same length, so I started the second sock shortly after that. Well, I finished them both a few weeks ago.

Now with these socks done, I could start the learning socks in Cat Bordhi's book New Pathways for Sock Knitters. I was given some leftover yarn by my enabling middle daughter (I still love her),

and the Little Sky Sock - the first learning sock- was soon finished. Amazing how much quicker baby socks knit up. (Especially when the yarn and needles are bigger.)

That meant I was ready and eager to start the second learning sock. I decided to use my
leftover sock yarn this time.

Little Corilolis worked up almost as quickly, so quickly in fact, that within a week I had finished 3 pairs or socks. (Of course 2 were baby size, but I'll try to ignore that.)

Now I thought was a good time to get back to work on my brown sweater -- supposed to be for fall, now to be for spring.

I even spent enough time on it to reach a point where I need to begin shaping the sleeves and armholes. Then the week-long school winter vacation started, I came down with a cold, and life seemed to get busier. Oh well, cold is now gone and vacation is almost done.

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Shrugs and tiny mesh net bag

I've decided it's easier to find time to knit and net than to blog. Time having been at a premium this past couple of weeks, it got filled with knitting and netting and no blogging. So to make amends . . .

I saw a picture of a shrug recently in Lace Style called Retro Redux Shrug designed by Mercedes Tarasovich-Clark. I liked the look of it and wondered if it would keep my arms and shoulders warm. So, I found some unlabeled worsted weight wool I had been given and gave it a try.

I was pleasantly surprised at how warm it did keep my shoulders and upper arms.

My next thought was, "Can I create a net shrug?"

So I dived into my left-over-from-other-projects yarn and grabbed some fluffy type of yarn. Using just a plain net stitch, I came up with a pattern that will serve as a springboard for other shrugs.

My biggest problem was that I used up all the yarn I had in that color and type of yarn. The shrug will work, but in the future I will want to add more length to the sleeves, and more of an edging to the rest of the shrug. I also have some ideas for fancy stitches and shrugs.

I was delighted with the way it kept my arms and shoulders warm, while at the same time it didn't get into things while I was cooking or cleaning like a cape or shawl would.

I finally got the heel turned on the second sock and now I can work both socks at the same time and not need to worry about one being longer than the other.

I guess at this point in time knitting socks is not exactly on the top of my list of things to do, since the heel of the first sock was turned back in October. I do hope to finish these sooner rather than later, since I really want to get into Cat Bordhi's new sock book and I am insisting that I will finish this pair before starting one from her book (which I got for my birthday).

Oh, yes. One other project that has been gradually making progress. The very tiny mesh net bag.

I finished the circle going from the center to the edges.

It looks like an oval because it is not stretched out evenly.

A bit of pinning took care of that problem.

Then I needed to create a foundation loop in the middle of a circle. I took some crochet thread and formed a square in the center of the circle (seen here from one side, and then the other).

(No I didn't change the color, the computer / camera did. The bag is still a lovely shade of light purple.)

The white doubled crochet thread becomes the new foundation loop. The orange stitch marker indicates where the first circular netting round began.

Now it is just a matter of netting around and around until the bag is as tall as I want to make it. Then I will net some handles.

The mesh is small enough that size 2 knitting needles will not go through the mesh, although size 1 will barely. The mesh stick is a 0000. I am hoping to make it large enough that it will hold a ball of sock yarn and the needles as well as the socks being made.