Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's been a while...

... I've been doing stuff, just not posting about it.
Yesterday I went to buy rags for my rugs and found some really great stuff. On my way home I always pass by the Pendleton woolen mills outlet store. I have always meant to stop in but never have, until yesterday. After weaving the blankets they cut a narrow strip off the edge, and, they sell those strips at the outlet store. I bought a bunch of them. I was lucky enough to get 4 1/2 pounds all in the same color. I think it was trimmed from this blanket.
I also picked up a bunch in several different colors.

I spooled up the glacier wool and started weaving,

It looks like this. I'm pleased.
I've also been busy working on a hat pattern. This picture shows them all inside out, the one on the head is the only one that is not fully reversible.
Here it is from the right side, the rest are the same hats as above, just from their reversed side.

transferring the process from inside my head to a written, understandable set of instructions is proving challenging though.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Im published, sort of.

My knit Market bag is now available in 4 Portland, Oregon area stores.
Close knit
TheNaked Sheep
Happy knits Please click on these links for more info on each store.
and Twisted.
Happy knits and Twisted will be carrying an expanded more comprehensive version, "The Knit Mesh Maket Bag Tutorial", and will sell it to you as an individual if you call them. I still have to supply them with copies, (wait until Wednesday to call, unless you want to express anxiousness to get the pattern.)
Close knit has not yet had an opportunity to weigh in on which version they will carry, they only know about, and have, the abbreviated version, "Knit Mesh Shopping Bag" or whether they'll sell it to you if you call. I have no doubt that they are willing to do that though. I'll be talking to them again this coming week.
The Naked Sheep has opted to sell only the abbreviated version, at this point. That may well change. They will probably also sell it you if you call, I forgot to ask when I talked to her today.
I personally will not sell it to you as an individual. It is not available from me on-line. I want the pattern to be available only to locally owned and operated yarn shops and their customers, and support local businesses and economies. I have initiated contact with Wild Purls in Billings, Montana. Not local to me, but perhaps local to you. Call and tell them you're interested. That is my intent. I have a freind in Texas who will be visiting The Tinsmith's Wife in Comfort. Again not local to me, but local to others.
Do you understand the theme here yet? I want to support any locally owned and operated business, anywhere! Put your local shop in touch with me. My pattern is not available on the web.
The abbreviated "Knit Mesh Shopping bag" walks you through the basic pattern and 2 variations, with a basic instruction on how to use the pattern to go further. "The Knit Mesh Market Bag Tutorial" will give you a basic pattern, a few instructions on stepping outside of the set parameters, it only takes a few for us mischief makers, 9 variations on the basic "body" of the bag, and a couple of hints on how to spice up the overall design. Your imagination is the only limit on the possibilities.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

I promise...

...I've not been ignoring you all. Lots is going on, I've just been lazy about writing. new stuff coming soon.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

The whole neighborhood smells delicious

...and the smell is coming from my house. I'm baking chocolate chip cookies. I won't claim, like everyone else, that my cookies are the best chocolate cookies ever, but I will claim that they are pretty darn good.

Cream together:
1 cup (2 sticks) Butter and
1/2 cup white sugar,
1 1/2 cups dark brown sugar ( the more it smells like molasses, the better.)
The creaming should last 3 to 4 minutes, more fluffily mixed equals better cookies.

1 teaspoon vanilla extract, real vanilla
a dash of almond extract
2 eggs, 1 at a time beating well between additions

Sift together;
2 1/2 cups flour, (1 cup can be whole wheat if you have a wierdo living in your house
that insists even cookies have to be healthier)
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoons salt, (kosher or sea is best)
a generous pinch of cinnamon.

mix dry ingredients into butter, sugar, egg mixture just until incorporated. Do not overmix.

gently stir in 3/4 cup chopped walnuts and 1 or so cups each of chocolate chips and butterscotch chips.

Put generous tablespoonfuls of cookie dough onto a baking sheet about 3 inches apart and bake in a preheated 350 degree oven for 12-14 minutes. Allow to cool on the sheet a few minutes before removing to a cooling rack.

Be adventurous, use different kinds of nuts, I like sweetened coconut flakes. If using salted nuts though, use a little less of the actual salt in the recipe.

Peanut butter chips and white chocolte chips are also fantastic substitutions!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Making an old chair new(er)

Some 25 years ago I rescued 4 pieces of furniture from a barn in Wyoming. One piece is stamped with "Old Hickory, Hendersonville, Indiana." It looks like the company still exists, though in Shelbyville. The original seats and backs were rotted away so I used some cotton clothesline rope to weave new seats. It was all I could think of at the time.
Not a great solution, but it's lasted all these years. For years I've been thinking I should learn to weave rush chair seats, but never got around to it. I've seen chairs with shaker tape seats, but hadn't really thought about it much. Several weeks ago I scored a huge piece of denim at the thrift shop. I'd been collecting old jeans, but haven't gotten around to weaving a rug out them yet. Yesterday i decided to use the denim and weave a new seat for one of the chairs. I cut the material into 3"/7.5cm wide strips.
Sewed the ends together, folded them in half, folded the edges to the middle and stitched this into a 3/4"/1.75cm wide "tape".
To add a little extra padding to the seat I mixed together oak shavings from my surface planer with some loom waste and stuffed it into a fabric envelope.
About half way across the seat as you're winding on the "warp" you tuck the pad in between the two layers of tape and continue to wind on the warp. I used only the large piece of denim for the warp and then used the old Jeans scraps for the weft.
Splices are done on the bottom of the seat. The use of a thimble is highly recommended!
With the seat complete I proceeded to cut off the cotton clothesline from the back. I love my old hunting knife.
I couldn't resist. I had a piece of heavy weight red cotton twill and decided to use it to jazz things up a bit. The front porch never looked so cheerful.
Next up, the love seat. If you were a fan of "Green Acres", you'll recognize this as same make of love seat that the Ziffels had on their front porch, Arnold courted Susy Hainey on that love seat.
I may need to take a few weeks off before I tackle that though.

Sunday, August 8, 2010

To market, to market... a grocery bag.

Portland is considering banning plastic grocery bags. I agree, the litter they create is immense. I cannot, however, endorse the use of paper bags. The line of trees left along the highways does not hide the miles and miles of deforested land behind them.
I decided to revist the traditional european string shopping bag. I looked around on the internet and found some knit or crochet option patterns. I took that info and came up with this.

I had a 5 pound cone of 12 ply cotton/ poly string. I weighed my finished bag and had 8 ounces/.25 kg. Any cotton, hemp, linen string would be acceptable.
I used a 24 inch/60cm size 6US/4mm and a US10 1/2/6.5mm circular needle. I would probably use a size US9/5.5mm on my next one though.
The bag holds a lot.
On the smaller needle, cast on 42 stitches, knit about 4inches/10cm in garter stitch.
Pick up and knit 20 stitches on the short edge, then the 42 stitches on the long edge, and 21 stitches on the final short edge.
There should be a total of 125 stitches.
Knit 3 or 4 rows in the round.
Change to the larger needle and knit 1 row.
Begin pattern.
I opted for; yarn over, knit 2 together through back loop/twice, knit 2.
One could also do ; yarn over, knit 2 together. Any lace pattern is going to work if you do the math right.
Just keep going until you have about 10 inches/26cm of bag.
Switch back to the smaller needle and knit about an inch. Do garter stitch for an half or so inch.
Final row. (based on my count, your count will be based on your pattern and numbers)
knit 6, the distance from bag sides to handle. Knit 8, the handle stitches. Bind off looseley 14 stitches using a larger needle. On the working needle knit 8 handle stitches, the 6 handle to side stitches, the 20 side stitches and another 6 side to handle stitches, total of 32 stitches. Knit another 6 stitches and then 8 handle stitches. With the larger needle bind off 14 stitches. Working needle now knits 8 handle stitches. Knit the remaining stitches, 6 handle to side, 21 side and 6 more side to handle. You should be back to the first 8 handle stitches. Knit these back and forth in garter stitch for 12 inches/30cm. Measure the 12 inches/30cm with the handle band stretched out. place the handle on top of the next 8 stitches so that after binding off you will be able to continue on without breaking off the string. Do a 3 needle bind off of the 8 handle stitches.
With larger needle bind off 32 stitches. Knit the second handle to match the first, attach with 3 needle bind off. Bind off remaining 33 stitches with larger needle. Weave in and secure the loose ends.