Monday, October 31, 2011

A Mask for Halloween

Theresa loves Halloween and has a houseful of spooky beings to prove it. I think it's the Angel of Death standing behind her. This year her birthday fell on the date of the Halloween party she throws for her interns. I thought it should have something special.
The summer issue of Interweave Crochet introduced Maire Treanor and Clones Irish Crochet Lace. There was a picture of a mask Maire made. So there was my inspiration!
The mask I made doesn't have any Clones knots. There were no details given with Maire's mask; so I was on my own. She apparently used much finer thread than I did with perhaps a smaller hook. My motifs came out larger than hers. The end result was I had no room for a net background. The packing cords were size 10 and the crocheting thread size 20. I varied between a .75 mm hook and a 1.00 hook.
You can see I used a shamrock, several scrolls, a bunch of grapes and grape leaves. There are 2 roses but they are on the sides. I stiffened the mask so it would hold its shape. I'm rather proud of how it turned out but I still have a way to go to perfect my Irish Crochet skills. Even though it's not there, I can make a Clones knot!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

More on Felting

One of the usual directions for felting is to put the item to be felted in a pillow case cover.
I personally have never followed that direction. Maybe I should.
When Carol tried her latest felting activity, she put the item in the bag. The first picture shows how much "lint/flutz/crap" came out of the yarn. The second picture shows what came out when the tote finally felted. It actually looks to me like the yarn disintegrated.

So now the questions are: Does this happen with every yarn? or just some yarns? What condition is my new washing machine in now? Anyone out there have any info for us?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Last But Not Least

Maria finished her Special Olympic Scarf just in time for them all to be mailed out. Maria has difficulty with arthritis in her hands and when we were all making our scarves, Maria's doctor told her she needed a little break from knitting.

Maria is back to knitting now but is very careful not to overdo. She made a combo garter stitch and stockinette but felt the edges needed a more finished look. Maria, who barely crochets, put a sc edge down the sides which is difficult for anyone since you really have to go with feel and no real instructions.Then she added a short fringe.
Maria was worried how the scarf would turn out, but it's another great scarf to add to our other 21 scarves that were mailed today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


Spotted at the Seattle sit-in supporting the 99%. A knitter!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Felting for Holiday Sales

Before Joe & Lyn went West, they stopped by the group. We looked at Carol's felted tote (a work in progress) and talked about making handles. Then Joe gave me a tote he had knitted and "allowed' me to felt it. When talking about felting, there's always the discussion about how much will it shrink and the standard answer is 1/3.
Since I was felting I thought I would measure. The bag was 21" across and the handles looked a fine length. With a front loader, I wasn't sure how things would go. I used a super hot setting and checked at a 1/2 hour (Dawn detergent & old jeans for agitation), but it didn't look like much was happening. I checked in another 1/2 hour and was it felted! I put it through a cold rinse & spin(high). I think 45 minutes would have done it. The bag was now 14" wide.
It was spun out enough that it wasn't dripping so I let it air dry. The handles were more felted than I liked so I hung the bag on the door with wine bottles inside to stretch them, and stretched the opening a little. (I've had the suggestion to use rocks instead and drink the wine. I say to each his own). It probably took a day and a half to dry ; I turned it inside out at one point, too.
Rebecca told me later that she thought some of the yarn might have been cotton. If it was evenly dispersed, it must have evenly felted anyway.
Joe followed instructions for the size, but he had to make up the color pattern for the yarn he was given. Everyone thought the result was a great tote (hanging on the door). You can find it at the Yarn Sales: Dec. 2- 10.

Monday, October 17, 2011

A Present for Amelia

Paulette knitted this vest for Amelia's 2nd birthday. Amelia hasn't been in the blog lately. Babies seem to disappear from Panera's once they can say "No! Mommy"!
If you look closely you can see elephants. That's all the hint you're getting.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Soft Afghan

Paulette crocheted this afghan from Berroco's Vintage. She loves this yarn and says it is soft and drapey.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

A Present

Paulette made this sweater as a birthday present for someone, and it wasn't me! This is Berroco Souffle, a bulky yarn made of acrylic, wool, and alpaca. Paulette used a Berroco pattern and size 15 needles. I love the colors and the yarn has an unexpected sheen for the fibers.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

First Try with Beads

This is a scarf made by Paulette. This was the first time she actually strung the beads and then knit. Looks like a lot of beads to me. I like the way the beads lie along the entrelac rectangle and emphasizes the shape of the design. These particular beads really show up on the dark yarn. Sometimes it is difficult to photograph beads or reflective fibers in work: they don't seem to show up. Well, Paulette took the picture or someone close to her and they may be better at lighting than I am.
Oh yeah, she made the runner, too.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Update from Seattle

Randy came in from Seattle and Judy came from New York to celebrate Pat's birthday.

Of course, Randy had to stop by and say hello on Oct.1 to all of us at Panera's.

Pat is wearing the sweater Randy made for her. Looks a perfect fit. You can also see Pat working on her tote which she intends to felt. Apparently Randy and Judy refer to her project as "the boat". They'll be jealous when it's done.

They talked for awhile with me and Rebecca whom you can see working on something for Robyn's latest endeavor. She is very brave in my book: I never bring a Robyn project to group because I'd make so many mistakes, I would only have to do the work over .

Randy is making a sweater for her daughter Julia. The pattern is called Cobblestone and the Yarn is Shelter Yarn both by Jared Flood ( How does someone in Seattle get their hands on this yarn? They get on a ferry to Bainbridge Island and order the yarn in their chosen color at the Churchmouse Yarn & Tea. Randy's holding some well traveled yarn!

But here is a story for the generations. Pat taught Randy to knit (apparently several times). Randy taught the sweet young girl with her knitting project how to knit. She is a daughter of one of Randy's business partners. Randy says she picked it up like a natural. She's making something for her mom. Next, Randy is going to teach her how to crochet. And the beat goes on!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Carol Keeps Busy

Carol does her best to make sure that Linus Project always has afghans. She also uses this chance to put together new stitches with colors that don't look like they should go together. I think she's getting rather good at it.

Everything she makes is developing that experienced look. She works hard at really expanding her skills. I'm sure she told me info that I've forgotten by now. Sorry, Carol. Maybe you can add something in the comments section, too.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Long Awaited Projects

Just to show you how lax I was all summer, Paulette showed us these two scarves in June. Two really different what I think of as decorative scarves that you put on to finish off an outfit.
Then she went on vacation and made the sweater (she wasn't gone THAT long either). I know it's made from yarn she purchased at Highlands Alpaca. She was very nice about sending me info about the pattern but that email is long gone.
Paulette is like the energizer bunny; she just doesn't stop. But if she happens to check this blog and still has the missing info maybe she will add it in the comments section.