Monday, December 24, 2007
Here is the deal. Leave me a Haiku about sheep, warm and fuzzy for the holiday season, in my comments. Funny gets special points. I will select the Haiku that I enjoy the most, and send the author a Run Quickly Sheep to enjoy! Be sure you leave an email address with your comment, because I can't reach you if you don't!
Here is my daughter's Sheep Haiku, to get you started:
Come, sheep in your white
Coats of warmth, to my spinning
Wheel, to give me wool.
Peace on earth and good will to all! Meow.
Thursday, December 13, 2007
I used an entirely different technique for The Veil of Isis, because I started with only four stitches, which is a different challenge. You can see the entire process for that technique here: http://badcatdesigns.blogspot.com/2007/07/what-is-on-my-needles-circular-start.html
Another blogger, Rosemarie Buchanan, shows yet another excellent circular start here: http://mytwosticksandsomestring.blogspot.com/2006/05/belly-button-start-for-circular.html , which she calls a "belly button" start. Another great option for a center start with few stitches.
Yet another excellent resource can be found here at Judy Gibson's site: http://tiajudy.com/ocker.htm , which covers Emily Ocker's circular start. You can also find an illustrated description of the same start here, in this wonderful book.
The circular start is at the back of the book, but it comes along with a discussion of Pi Shawls (and other great EZ stuff.) Just think! For very little money, you can buy this book, see an excellent circular start AND try it to make a Pi shawl! What could be better? Maybe a doily, you say? Well try this: http://www.yarnover.net/thisthat/beginner.html
This website is owned and maintained by Nurhanne Reckweg, who has translated some of the best doily patterns on the Internet, and the above link takes you to some tips and tricks for doily knitting. While you are on her site, I suggest you look around and find the free doily patterns, which you can use with any of these circular starts. CAST ON!
12/15/07 Addition! Fleegle sent me this link: http://fluffyknitterdeb.blogspot.com/2005/10/knitting-made-easier-turkish-cast-on.html which shows a Turkish style cast-on. The selling point of this technique is that you do not have a hole in the center when you are done. This might be a good option in certain situations, and Fleegle says it is an easy way to negotiate just four stitches for a center start. I have only used this technique for starting socks from the toe and hats from the top, but I will try it for lace the next chance I get. Meow...
Sunday, December 9, 2007
You can really see those "texture" stitches here, along with the decrease lines to give the large leaves a veined appearance.
Here you can see the "veining" of the leaves clearly and also good use of single yarn-overs up the center of the leaves, and double yarn-overs inside the flower petals.
Monday, December 3, 2007
I was visiting a dear friend the other day, and she was "organizing" her things. In the process, we discovered she had DUPLICATES of several old magazines filled with doily patterns. I quickly relocated them to my home, under the guise of helping her "organize."
So here you have them, all in perfect condition, with the charts completely unused. How lucky am I??? I have the most wonderful friends. When I got them home, I sat and looked them all over very carefully, choosing the perfect "first" doily. I have knit many things with a center start, and even things you might call doily-esque (at least my husband always called my lace knitting doilies) but I have actually never knit a real doily. I wanted something nice, but not crazy, with charts that made good sense without intensive research. My husband has dubbed these new magazines (and any new doily things I will now collect) as Stricken Chicken books (referring to me and not the magazines, really.) I apologize to my European readers for his American humor. It is kind of funny though...
I selected a doily pattern by Zdenka Holacka, From Special Diana D944. She knit it in #20 thread on 1.5mm needles and I am using #10 cotton and 1.75mm needles. The cotton was all I had around when I "needed" to cast-on. Since that time, I prevailed upon a friend in California to send me a bit of the 60/2 Tussah Silk from Lacis, that you can see in the picture above. That little package has 500 yards in it! That will be doily #2. I used an excellent start that was illustrated in the magazine, very like the circular start Fleegle showed us (http://fleeglesblog.blogspot.com/search?q=circular+start) using two circular needles, but instead using double-points which is what I did. I really like double-pointed needles, but I know others don't feel the same fondness... It starts with 12 stitches, so is relatively easy to do. I am on row 85 of 119 (considerably further along than the picture above) and will post a blocking picture, I bet by the end of the week. I am loving it and already looking for what I will do next, with that 60/2 silk. Excuse me while I go dig out my reading glasses from my embroidery box...
Saturday, December 1, 2007
My Final Materials and Finished Size:
-I used #8 square-hole, gold lined Japanese seed beads for all beads.
-I Used 1 skein of Elann Baby Lace (Alpaca/Merino lace weight yarn) 50gms (600 yards/skein.) Another great choice would be Jade Sapphire Lacey Lamb (one ball.)
-I Used US 2 knitting needles. My gauge was 5 stitches to the inch firmly blocked in stockinette stitch. My finished dimensions were 11 inches wide and 51 inches long blocking. It relaxed after I unpinned it.
-I used a US #13 crochet hook.
-Yarn needle for finishing and T-pins for blocking.
Monday, November 26, 2007
Thursday, November 22, 2007
We are a frenzy of cooking, so I thought we would share more recipes. First we have sprouts, which will be roasted before serving. I modified this recipe and left out the bacon, to please my vegetarians: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/233407
Next we have the chestnut stuffing, which is almost this recipe: http://www.epicurious.com/recipes/food/views/810 Some is in the turkey and some is in a pan and will be baked away from the bird, also to please my vegetarians!
Here is the red wine my brother sent over. The white is equally as good and in the fridge chilling. You can start drooling any time now...
Here is Hello Kitty, dissecting the turkey ventricle. I would like to point out that she is one of my vegetarians. She won't eat it, but in the name of science, she will make the most of it.
Here is the fourth chart for The Saigon Scarf, in case you have nothing to knit between dinner courses! There is one chart left to go after today, which I will post early next week, along with the alternate ending for those who selected symmetry. The final picture below the chart shows you the entire scarf, blocking, with an indication of where each chart begins. Please remember that this is one in a series of posts, and you need to review all the posts with the Saigon label to follow along! Meow...
Wednesday, November 21, 2007
The man made his pies, and they look delicious. The whole house smelled edible. He uses soft wheat and grinds just the amount of flour he needs for the crusts. Here we have another Kitchen Aide attachment we love. If we ground flour all the time, this might not be the right tool, but for the occasional fresh-ground flour, this is perfect. It doesn't take long and the taste is worth the extra effort. Because it is soft wheat, and the flour is fluffy from being freshly ground, you can get away with 100% whole wheat and still have a tender and flaky crust.
Here they are, tomorrow's dessert, cooling tonight. We will warm them up and serve them with fresh whipped cream. Tomorrow I will make stuffing, roast the turkey and an assortment of root vegetables, make gravy and prepare brussel sprouts. How does that sound? I'll try to post the next Saigon chart tomorrow before my guests arrive (along with the details of cooking escapades...)
Monday, November 19, 2007
Sunday, November 18, 2007
So fast and simple, no big deal! This was like an early holiday gift for the man! We can't believe it took us this long to buy one.
So this big pile of steamed pumpkin turned into this large bowl of creamy pumpkin puree in a jiffy. Now we cook it down very slowly, so it gets really thick, use the secret family recipe, make the crusts and bake the pies! Later this week I will show you how the engineer grinds wheat for flour, to make his special pie crusts. That involves more good tools!
So you shouldn't think I have forsaken Saigon, I promise the next chart and progress shots tomorrow. I will need an excuse to take a break from the dreaded cleaning...
Tuesday, November 13, 2007
The kitty says "knit on!" Meow.
Saturday, November 10, 2007
Heartstrings US 00 (1.75), 000 (1.5), 000 (1.25)
Clover Bamboo and other needles procured in SE Asia:
US 0 and larger
Grandma Rose's old metal needles assorted 0s - 2s
Susan Bates "sock set" (a very good investment): 5 each of
US 1 (2.25), 0 (2.0), 00 (1.75), 000 (1.5)
HiyaHiya stainless sets of 5
00 (1.75), 000 (1.5), 0000 (1.2), 5-0 (1), 6-0 (0.7)
HiyaHiya in same sizes as the double points
Knitpicks US 0 (2.0)
Addi Lace US 1 (2.5)
So who would ever use 6-0 circs, you ask? I have no clue. I just wanted to see what they looked like! The join might catch, so I will put a tiny bit of clear nail polish at the join and try some thread the next time I feel the need for micro-knitting. The "larger" sizes all have reasonable joins. I regularly knit on US 0s, so it is only a matter of time before I use those 6-0s! If you would enjoy an assortment of really small gauge needles, take a look at http://knittingzone.com/ under needles and then "small and pointy." Everyone needs them. Meow.
Wednesday, November 7, 2007
Don't forget that all the pages of this pattern are in landscape view, so print them as such. Please read every post in the series and print all the pattern pages before you begin to knit. This is pattern page 2. If you click on the Saigon label at the end of this post, you will get the entire series of posts, to date. Use this first chart as a "swatch," to see if you like your gauge. Fool around with different needle sizes until you get the look you like before moving ahead.
I decide to spend my free time posting and knitting (and not blocking,) so these are the pictures you are getting for right now! The second chart will be up within a week. Knit on!
Monday, November 5, 2007
And so, here is the first section (and some of the second.) It is pinned out and not wet-blocked, so the picture is just a general idea of what the final piece will look like. Excuse my pinning, but the front edge will actually be rounded (without the scallops.) The side edges have scallops created by the placement of the yarn-overs in relation to the compensatory decreases. There are small "flowers" running up the center, highlighted with beads. I don't think this pictures is that worthwhile, but it was the best I could do tonight, and I wanted to get things going. I will try to wet-block my progress and photograph it for the next post.
The following is page one of the Saigon Scarf pattern. All the pages in this pattern will print best in landscape mode. As usual, if you notice any errors or have a question, feel free to leave me a comment. Anyone wishing to knit along is welcome to join my low chat Yahoo group. The link is along the left edge of the blog.
Look for the first chart and more pictures by next weekend. Meow...
Thursday, November 1, 2007
In the spirit of holiday gift-giving, I ask that everyone with the resources, who knits this pattern, considers making a small donation to an organization I work with. The organization is World Wide Orphans (WWO) and a link to their website is here:
This link also gives you information about the organization:
If you let me know how much you donated in an email to BadCatDesigns@verizon.net
I will keep a running total of our giving on the blog. If you don’t have the resources to donate money right now, join us anyway and give how and when you can.
I have been to Viet Nam several times with WWO, and the flavor of the country is amazing. This new design tries to share the mood of Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon.) The city is traditional and modern at the same time. I suggest golds, oranges, reds and purples. The yardage required will vary by the size you want and the gauge you get, but about 800 yards should do it in any gauge. If you need a very specific yardage and bead tally, wait until the full pattern is posted at the end of the month.
I will be using these materials:
The finished width will be dictated by the weight of yarn you choose, so check your gauge with the yarn you like to estimate the width of your final piece. At the widest point the piece is 53 stitches across. The first chart I post (which will actually be the third post in the series) will be a gauge swatch and also the first section of the scarf/stole. The finished length is up to the knitter. The beads are optional, but add to the design.
Here’s to a joyous upcoming holiday season for all of us!
Wednesday, October 31, 2007
Saturday, October 27, 2007
Thursday, October 25, 2007
This a wonderful merino/silk top from Chasing Rainbows. It spins as nicely as it looks.
Merino/silk roving from Foxhill Farms, with about 60 yards I did on one of the new spindles.
More delicious merino/silk top from Chasing Rainbows, with about 60 yards I did on another of my new spindles. I have a plan for this yarn already, and it involves some of those gold beads in the first picture...
Yarn. 50% merino/50% angora in a lace-weight. It looks like it will take dye very well to me.
And last but not least, some very fine lace-weight 2-ply Shetland for good measure. It isn't very soft, but it is crisp and should make excellent lace.