Tag Archives: Knit

Crafting Balance: Knitting and Music 3KCBWDay7

Day 7 of Knit and Crochet Blog Week is all about crafting balance. The original question had to do with knitting and crochet, but I don’t really crochet much. I use it for edgings and now for steeking, but don’t really intend to go much further. I’m a knitter! And an occasional beader, too.

taki

But I do look go back and forth between knitting and music. You can tell from my blog header that making music is important to me. Music is the reason this post is late: Sunday was a music day for me, and I needed some time to recover.

My knitting has taken a back seat to music for the past couple months. I was so moved by my experience in Nicaragua that I wrote a song about it. I was inspired by the warmth of the people in the Nicaraguan village where we worked, and also by the group that I was with. The other inspiration was the moon. In the northern hemisphere, a crescent moon looks like the letter C. Closer to the equator, that crescent moon looks like the letter U. It’s the same moon, but it’s all a matter of perspective. The song is called “Grace Unforeseen,” and here are the lyrics (link to recording below lyrics):

Grace Unforeseen
Words/music © Michele Bernstein, 2012

God sent us to meet you, to lend you a hand
We started as strangers; now we are friends
We don’t share a language; smiles were our words
We met each other through the grace of the Lord

The moon shines on me, and shines on you
As you gaze at the moon, maybe I’m gazing too
We are friends around the world

Your lives are so humble; so are your homes
You made us feel welcome, with smiles so warm
“Pueblo” means village, people not a place
Your wealth is each other, your families’ embrace

The stars shine on me, and shine on you
As you wish on a star, maybe I’m wishing too
We are friends around the world

We thank God for water, sunshine, fresh air
The gift of each other, people who care
God calls us to service, in giving, receive
From sisters and brothers–grace, unforeseen

The sun shines on me, and shines on you
God smiles on me, and smiles on you too
We are one in God’s own world

We celebrated our trip in church on Sunday, and I sang this song with some friends. I had a technical issue with my recorder on Sunday so this version (link to recording) is from a practice session. We were outside on a sunny day; you can hear the birds and kids wandering through.

If you look at the word amateur, you’ll notice that the root of the word is love; amateur musicians pursue music out of love for it. I won’t say we’re ever perfect, but we love what we do. Before recorded music, the only way to hear music was in real time. You could go to a performance, or you could get together to make music. It was perfectly natural. Now that we have recorded standards, it’s much more intimidating to make music; we think we have to be as perfect as the music we hear. But music is so ephemeral. At the end of a song, do you remember a fleeting wrong note, or the overall feeling that was conveyed? I’m still learning to get past my perfectionist tendencies, and I think I’m getting there. Finally!

Thanks for reading along. The third annual Knit and Crochet Blog Week has been fun for me, and I hope it was for you, too.

And how was your weekend?

Playing “Beat The Clock?”

Or maybe it’s a case of March Madness. I’ve been knitting away on my Leif Slipover, wondering if I can finish before it’s too warm out. This morning the weather is suckering me into thinking there’s time.

crocus

I’ve finished the left front, and even slipped it on to check shoulder height. It’s OK on, but it may be just too bulky for me. I’m having “meh” feelings. It will take at least a week for me to finish, and I’m not sure I want to invest the time right now.

leftfrontleif

Should I set it aside for fall?

stringynew

I ripped out the String Theory on size 3 needles, and started again with a US 5. Now it’s just flying along. Sometimes ripping is just the right thing! This doesn’t look like much right now; the fun is in the finishing. I’ll keep you posted; I’m looking forward to the finished product.

What else? I’m looking forward to the launch of Among Friends, a pattern and fiber club that begins in April. I’m the designer for April! And I can assure you that the design is stellar, fun to knit but not overly challenging or overly repetitive. There’s still time to sign up; the club closes on March 25. See details here. Come join the fun!

And now for the fun: I’ve picked the winner for my blog anniversary giveaway. Congratulations to Linda Gaylord! I’ve emailed her and will be sending her the yarn and VK Socks book.

prizes

What’s on your needles, winter or spring?

A three-peat, and current projects

What kind of knitter are you? Do you love the thrill of the new idea, technique, or project? Or do you find yourself revisiting favorite designs, over and over again? I’ve just finished knitting three versions of the same thing, as part of a design project. I can’t show you yet, but it’s really cute. I didn’t mind the repeats, because it’s a fairly mindless knit, good for multi-tasking or on-the-go knitting. (I’ll admit to watching a lot of Downton Abbey with this project!)

My other project is the Leif Slipover, and I’ll only be doing this once! I love the look of this, but I don’t like having to keep charts with me. I’d rather that my knitting be more intuitive. This isn’t a take-along project, for sure; I can only work on it at home! I’m up to the point where the previously flat knitting of the bottom portion has been joined in the round for the waist.

P1050076

And since I need a carry-along project, I’ve started Vivian Aubrey’s String Theory. Go look at the rav link; it’s gorgeous! The yarn is what makes this, so choose a very special skein of something smooth and wonderful. I’m using Malabrigo Arroyo.

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I have a big project coming up, so I”m going offline for a bit. I’ll catch you on the flip-flop! Oh, don’t forget, my Thrumbelina pattern is on sale through the end of this month…

Wool ‘N Wares

Last week I went to Wool ‘N Wares in West Linn to visit with owners Karen Schellinkhout and Vickee Cosentino. I needed to deliver a pattern order, and since I’d never been there, I thought it would more fun to deliver them in person. The shop is cute, brightly lit and well-stocked.

I discovered that Vickee and Karen have a great love for entrelac, as I do. Here they are with the Lady Eleanor wrap. I also saw an entrelac cowl, and further conversation revealed that it was Athena. Someone had given Karen the Athena pattern, and that’s how she learned entrelac! I’m so tickled to be an entrelac evangelist. I love cool techniques.

Speaking of cool techniques, I’ll be teaching The Thrill of the Thrum at Wool ‘N Wares on March 31. If this is your LYS, come on over and you too can be enthralled. You’ll want to register early so you can get your homework done. We want to spend less time casting on, and more time thrumming!

And for those of you who read to the bottom: The winner of the Interweave Knits winter issue and the sunny orange Malabrigo worsted yarn is Debbie, the 22nd commenter. Congratulations! I’ll be contacting you for your address. Thanks for playing along, everyone!

Rose City Yarn Crawl

The Rose City Yarn Crawl is coming! This event will be held at 19 shops in the Portland metro area March 1-4. Yes, there are that many; it’s an embarrassment of riches. Can you visit 19 shops into four days? Well, you can at least try!

Each of the 19 shops will have a prize basket with goodies donated by sponsors, plus something from the shop. You can enter to win a basket in each of the shops. If you make it to all the shops and fill out your shop passport, you can enter to win the grand prize basket.

Lorajean Kelley of Knitted Wit and I are teaming up and donating a Ziggy Hat kit to each of the baskets. The kit includes my Ziggy Hat pattern and her dreamy Polwarth Wool/Silk DK blend in assorted colors.

ziggyhat 1

The shop owners are organizing the crawl themselves this year, and I love the buzz they’re creating on Facebook and Twitter. There are daily fun facts about the shops, trivia quizzes, and giveaways going on daily. You can follow the fun on the Rose City Yarn Crawl Facebook page, or on twitter. You’ll find the full shop list and more information on the Rose City Yarn Crawl website.

Get set to crawl!

Out of my comfort zone

The key to my current project.

needles

Yes, size 15. But at least they’re ebony. I’m not enjoying this as much as I thought I would; something about P2tog tbl is really not very comfortable with giant needles and super bulky yarn. But this pattern was so cute, I had to try. It’s the Leif Slipover by Adrienne Larsen from the winter Interweave Knits. The pattern actually calls for size 17 (12 mm) needles, but gauge is everything, right?

mag pic

I thought I’d get most of it knit this weekend while I’m away, because the yarn is so bulky, but working with charts and multiple P2tog tbl is slowing me down. When your needles are size 15, certain accomodations are required. Stitch markers? How about some yarn ties?

leif

It’s Crafty Moms Weekend, so I’m at the Oregon Coast with 10 of my favorite people, and one of my favorite views outside the window.

beach

It’s been really stormy this weekend, but it cleared enough for a walk today.

jellyfish

I love these little jellyfish dots; they’re about the size of a nickel.

jellydots

A very different view from last week’s!

ala wai sunset close

Oh! One other sighting from last week. We went to Morimoto Waikiki for dinner on a whim, since it was only a block from our hotel. We’d been there in December at CollegeKiddo’s request, but Chef Morimoto wasn’t there. (He was there a week later for the Obamas.) There weren’t any tables available, but there was room at the sushi bar. DH wasn’t wild about sitting at the sushi bar. I thought it would be fun to watch the sushi chef.

morimoto 2

It was Masaharu Morimoto himself! Way cool. Do you watch Iron Chef? CollegeKiddo introduced me to it; it’s a fun show.

sashimi

Beautiful, silky sashimi stacks. Oh, pro tip: Don’t finish your dinner at high end Hawaiian restaurants. The takeaway bags are lovely. Heavyweight paper, lovely chopsticks.

morimoto

Our favorite meal was at Alan Wong’s. The bag isn’t as lovely, but we had the five course tasting menu, and each dish was exquisite. I couldn’t finish!

alan wong

OK, back on topic. Have you knit with big fat needles? Do you like them? Any tips for me, other than taking breaks?

This Little Ziggy went to the pumpkin patch

And a grand time was had by all. It was a glorious sunny fall day.

pumpkin 3

LJ2

I needed to take some pictures of another vest, and o was the perfect model.

pumpkin 1

His Papa helped, too!

P1040158

I’m so blessed to know Lorajean. I love designing with her beautiful yarns, and her family is delightful.

Oh, this is the airplane knitting I showed you before! There was even a warm cookie involved. First class rocks.

IMG_1521

This is all to let you know that the This Little Ziggy pattern is live! You can go here for more details, if you’d like to knit your own.

Now I have lots of swatching, and nothing on the needles! What’s on your needles?

Sneak peek! This Little Ziggy…

is going to market…the market at Oregon Flock and Fiber Festival. Come by the Knitted Wit booth (I think we’re on the lawn) and see the Ziggy vests in person! Pattern will be there, too, hot off the press. More details on the pattern later…

2 ziggys

Thanks to Lorajean’s li’l guys for modeling!

slide ziggy

jeep ziggy

Bye; see you at OFFF!

bye ziggy

Another pretty place

but this time I forgot to take a picture with the sheep!

I took this one instead, as my friend P contemplated the roaring cataract of the Middle Falls on the north fork of the Lewis River.

middle falls view

The Lower Falls were rather gorgeous, too.

lower falls 2

We had a late spring this year, and the water is high and fast. Here’s what it looked like in 2009 (different angle, but you get the idea). That year, we took the kids across the river to play behind this very same waterfall. Not this time!

IMG_4114

On a hike between the two waterfalls, I could hear the musical tinkling of rocks rolling down this cliff. The erosion has created quite a sculpture.

eroding cliff

I liked the Dr. Seuss quality of the lumpy moss on the dead tree standing by this nurse log.

nurse log

And I never get tired of this view.

up

It was a quick overnight camping trip; we’ve been camping with the same families for several years, and last week we realized that this week was the only one where we could all go at the same time before the kids head to college. The other families stayed for two nights, but I could only do one. It was fun, anyway. I did get some knitting done on my ruffle tank, and now it smells like a campfire. Good thing I’ll be washing and blocking it when it’s done.

What else is up? I’ve been playing Words With Friends, with several friends. Addictive and a productivity sink hole, but I love it anyway. Everybody’s playing, including Bells from BellsKnits and Kay from Mason-Dixon Knitting. Kay just beat me two in a row. C’mon, you know you want to play, too…

Sakura to Hanami, and Japan

I’ve made some tweaks on the design formerly known as Sakura, making it shallower and wider. I like the way it fits me, and it looks great on Bobbi, too.

sakura1

I’ve decided that I want to publish this two ways: One, through Ravelry, featuring the beautiful Sakura Silky n Single yarn that Knitted Wit dyed as a fundraiser for Japan disaster relief. This pattern is ready now; you can go to the pattern page here.

hanami set

I also plan to publish this through the Knit Picks Independent Designer Program, which means that I need to re-knit it in Knit Picks yarn. Almost done! I also need to re-name the pattern; there’s already a Sakura in the IDP. Sakura thus becomes Hanami, which is Japanese for enjoying the beauty of flowers, traditionally through cherry blossom parties. Who doesn’t love a party? Alas, the cherry blossoms are all gone now, so I’ll have to find a different backdrop for the IDP version of this pattern.

In other news, I sold 90 copies of my Pacific Shawl pattern in March and April, which is $534. I have sent $534 to the American Red Cross for Japan disaster relief. Thanks so much for purchasing the pattern. Now I want to see your projects on Ravelry!

pacific