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July 2010
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September 2010

Jo's Jacket

A few months ago I posted a gigantic iPhone picture of a little embroidery I was working on. The entire project was revealed to the world when my workplace's annual faculty/staff/board exhibition opened on June 25: a jacket made as the staff's gift to our retiring CEO. My friend and colleague Betsy designed and led the project, completing all of the sewing by hand, but I was pleased to be asked to help with the embellishment. Here's the recipient admiring the finished product when we presented it to her in the gallery:

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The labyrinth medallion pictured previously is stitched in the center of the upper back. Here's a better view of the front; I also stitched one of the sides but I don't know which!

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Another cool development from this effort ~ her third such jacket ~ is that Betsy will be an artist in Quirk Gallery's Craft + Design Show booth in November, taking custom orders for jackets like this and offering some smaller items as well. She is our business manager, but has found her medium in fiber!


Hedera at last

I started these socks last summer, and didn't take my usual route of knitting the first sock of a second pair before knitting the second sock of this pair. I know I knit (undocumented) scarves for each of my girls since finishing the first one, not to mention the two sweaters. For me, socks are just a carry-along project for the playground, the carpool line, the knit-lenient meeting. 

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I'm pleased with how they turned out, and I'll look forward to wearing them soon, since they are the lightest weight of hand-knit socks I have, what with the lacy pattern and the wool/soysilk/cotton/chitin blend from Ellen's Half-Pint Farm. 

Now I'm working on another pair for the family member who so graciously received the Nutkin socks last year. When we visited over Memorial Day she requested a second pair and I am happy to oblige, trying some of the self-patterning Opal for the first time and using Ann Budd's Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns as my guide. How about a 5 x 2 rib?


Volted Upstairs

Well, I'm still knitting a shawl. (Two, actually. And a skirt. But that's another post.) As you'll see below, in May I searched and settled and started to make a rectangular lace shawl that was knit the "short" way. I worked a couple of repeats through Memorial Day, to the tune of about 8,509 stitches. And then I checked some blogs.  

I love Kay Gardiner. Of course I do. I met her in Manhattan in 2004, supped with her in Alexandria after the first Mason-Dixon Knitting book came out, and knit with her again in Central Park last summer. I made a mitered-square blanket thanks to her, and have another cotton concoction on the needles now. Along with my local pal Heilbron, she reignited my quilting flame, and I'm glad for it. 

And she made me stop knitting Upstairs and cast on for Volt. I'd already started Upstairs when I read her post extolling the virtues of Volt. She was practically begging me to make the switch. "Dang, now that I just started my second 32-row repeat of the Upstairs shawl, I'm thinking I could've made a Volt!" I commented on that post, and then ordered the book with the pattern. Just in case. 

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And it was a good thing, because I couldn't stop thinking about Volt, event as I made it through two full repeats of Upstairs. I came home from our Memorial Day holiday and cast off, so I could begin again. So now we have this delicate neck wrap to share en famille, because I was not going to rip out all that lace. Having seen how the pattern blocks out, I'm betting I will still knit the pattern, but with one color rather than four. 

I'm using the four pinks in Volt (instead of the spec'd five) with a contrast of gray ~ from a project that I did frog, the Swan Lake Mystery Stole 3 of  2007. (I just never made it past the second chart in three years, so completion seemed unlikely. The rest of the Malabrigo laceweight will more happily become a Citron in future.) 

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 To compensate for the missing fifth color, I'm adding a pair of rows to every section, and I may take Kay's suggestion that the i-cord on the sides match the stripes. With its 395-stitch rows, this isn't a quick knit, but it's good TV knitting, and the color changes and little garter stripes motivate me to keep stitching. All in all, I say, Thanks, Kay!