Thursday, June 24, 2010

Sonoma Vineyard Wrap

This, my latest piece, has been dubbed the "Sonoma Vineyard Wrap" .....I knitted it for my younger brother's wife, Layne, who I made a semi-drunken promise to at my sister Stephanie's wedding this past May.....I thought it would be appropriate since the pattern is actually called the "vineyard" lace pattern and Layne does actually live in Sonoma was knitted with size 4's using Plymouth Buckingham (a super soft fingering weight blend of 80% baby alpaca and 20% silk) ....I got the pattern from the "Lace Knitting * to go" swatch book ...I've mentioned this great book of lace swatches before in previous posts pick your swatch and make your own item around it...the fringe can't be seen in the pics, but I threw some tassels on the ends of this delicate piece for a little added drape and flair....the wrap is about 7 feet in length after blocking was quick (about 15-20 hours) and fun to make, with pattern work on the knitted side only ..... it will drape nicely over Layne's shoulders as she sips her favorite wine at the Swiss ... or, with a few wraps, keep her neck warm when she takes Shep for a walk in the morning ....hope you like it, Layne! ya...Darrell

Saturday, June 12, 2010

My Big Blue Summer Sky Shawl

I just finished my latest piece ...I call it my latest piece becuase anything sounds really artsy when you attach the phrase "latest piece" to it ....and technically, if it takes you more than 50 hours to make something, it qualifies as a work of art (regardless of whether or not anyone else actually likes the "latest Piece") ....The shawl is the "Delicate Lace Shawl" in the book "Timeless Lace", by Nazanin Fard ....I'd have to classify the shawl as an intermediate level project due to the fact that there is a fair amount of pattern work on the purl side .....this is a no talking piece talking while you're knitting it!!! ....Although it is semi-masochistic to undertake any project resembling a triangle lace weight shawl, the end result is well worth the extra effort ....I knitted this one with about 1,300 yards of Cascade Baby Alpaca lace (color 1409) you can find some here ....I used some Destiny Ebony Wood size 5 circular needles from Lantern Moon, because this shawl deserved nothing but the best...the needles pivot on the cable and have a flawless transition, which is a must have for my lace projects....wrestling with a sizable shawl in your lap is hard enough to do...the last thing you want is to have to wrestle with your circular needles as well...higher end circulars are well worth the extra money ....Addi Turbos, Lantern Moon, and Colonial are some of the best out there ...thats enough rambling for now ...I've got a coffee bean fingering weight lace scarf in the works for my brother's wife that I must attend to...Darrell Bush

Thursday, April 15, 2010

beaded Paris Night lace ....

I just finished this beaded lace scarf....well they start out as scarves, but I always make them a bit larger...we can go ahead and call this a wrap or a shawl...I used 1 skein of Paris Night Malabrigo Lace...usually I would never use such a highly sought after color because I always put my customers' wants and desires ahead of my my defense though, there were about 12 skeins of Paris Night lace on the shelf when I decided to use this one .....I did the bead work myself...I know you can't really see the beads in the pictures, but there are about 1,000 seed beads hand strung onto this project...half gunmetal and half clear with silver took 5 days (about 2 hours per day) just to string the beads, but the end result justifies the time spent...the pattern is called the "Phoenix" and I found it in a great sampler box called "Lace Knitting *to go", by Andrea Tung ...the small box has 25 different lace patterns to choose from...they are really just 25 lace swatches and you design your own project from the kind of project simply because I don't like being told what to do...I used about 3/4 of the 470 yard skein and worked with size 5 straights....the finished item is about 7 feet long and 15" wide sister Stephanie will be the proud new owner of this wrap...what to knit next??? ....I'm thinking big triangle lace shawl, but you'll all just have to wait and see!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

By the way, here are the mitts. You can see I hadn't blocked it yet, but only God is perfect!

Spring is Here!

Spring is here and there is hope for warmth. Hopefully, all of the items we knitted that we did not give away have staved off the ability of the cold to creep through our apparel, our mittens, our thermals, and keep us warmer than we otherwise would have been. Either that, or we made a courageous attempt at adding another layer of adipose tissue to our frames.

Since moving back to California to begin a new job, I have been so glad to be near good produce, Panera, and other fantastic Mexican food, that I am one of those who has added a layer of fat. Darrell is running the store, as only he can, and I am developing an independent living program for "unaccompanied refugee minors," who were trafficked and rescued by U.S. agents. This includes children who have sometimes walked all the way from Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and Mexico to the United States, been kidnapped by the Mexican Gangs, and held for ransom so that their families will pay more for their relase. Most of them have suffered and witnessed unspeakable things. I have to say, besides being a mother, a grandmother, and knitting, social work is my life work. But I digress.

Spring can be, to use a psycho-babble term, bipolar at times, hot, warm, wet, and cold, I made some fingerless mitts to keep by paws warm while on the computer or knitting. I found the pattern on Ravelry, of which there are many. The wieght called for in my pattern was DK weight, which I think makes a perfect fingerless mitt, as it is not too thin, and not too thick. Malabrigo DK silk and marino would make the perfect weight, as would Great Adirondak silk and bamboo, or any of the other sport or DK weights we carry in our store. It took very little time to do, and, as I was knitting them, I thought what a great gift it would make for Easter or National Mandarin Orange Day, National Whatever Day, for that matter.

In addition, it is the perfect time to be cranking out our summer tops and other frocks. Happy knitting! Cynthia Schroder

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Simple hats and scarves

I know you're all still diggin' out, or swimming out, or drying out your CD cases by the heater because you left your car window down. As Shakespeare said,

"Now is the winter of our discontent."

Certainly this winter would qualify for that famous quotation. It seems like it has been winter for a year, so it's not too late to whip up a simle cap and scarf, just to break the monotony. Darrell did the for his sister Lauren, (left) and her friend Jackie, (rright).
Lauren's eggplant scarf and hat are simple ribbing made with Plymouth Yarn Baby Alpaca Grande. Jackie's grey hat and scarf are also made from Baby Alpaca Grande. The hat is the Amanda hat, free on Ravelry, the scarf a simple garter and drop stitch pattern. You can contact Darrell for the pattern, but it's so easy to knit a couple of rows, the do yarn-overs and drop tham on the next row. A new hat and scarf in dark days of winter, when we're looking for our children , or ddigging our car out, or traveling long distances in the snow, fog, rain, ice, ad nauseum, is a pick-me-up. And while you're knitting your winter item, you can be meditating on what you are going to knit for spring. Honest, it's right around the corner.
"The sun'll come out, tomorrow..............."

Friday, February 12, 2010

This is the Queen Ewe modeling the Whirligig Scarf knitted with Art Yarns Beaded Silk and Sequins. This one is for sale for $225.00, as it took three hanks of this high quality and heavily beaded and sequined yarn. The longest part of this twisted scarf has 1250 stitches on it. It would make a great gift for a very special person.
Once again, we would love to hear what other yarns you would like us to carry, especially for Spring and Summer. We do have Cascade Sierra, a cotton yarn in beautiful colors that knits up beautifully. (Clilck on our yarns button to see all of the warmer weather yarns). We also have Great Adirondak silk and bamboo in beautiful colors, a real quality yarn. I have knitted three Clapotis with this yarn and always receive compliments when I wear them. The clapotis pattern can be found on and can be knit with many different yarns. We hope those of you in the Midwest and East are digging out without too many problems, and are wearing all of those great items you have knit to stay WARM.