16 January 2015

my glamorous granddaughter in a sweater I knitted for her when I lived in Prague
Since I've moved back to Florida, three things have happened that have a big effect on my knitting:

1. I live in Central FL, near Orlando. You don't need many hats or scarves here, except on a day like today when it was wet and chilly, about 50 degrees. These days are rare. Most days are like this:

2. I am teaching again as at Seminole State College, where I also tutor in the Writing Center. I teach Writing, which is a great pleasure, but it takes many hours to prepare for classes, teach the classes and grade the essays my students write. So I have less free time than in Prague.

Sandhill Crane at Seminole State College
3. I just completed my first novel (my previous books were on career development) and am in the process of publishing it as an ebook on amazon.com. The limited free time that I have is going into the book, Prague for Beginners, and into the new novel I am writing about my days as a back-to-the-lander in upstate New York.

So I have decided to take a break with this blog. It will still be available but I don't expect to update it often. Please visit one of my other blogs (see the list to the right) and my business homepage, www.ili.cc. Thanks for reading!

01 December 2014

Some pretty knitted things

Basic Felted Bag by Sara Tusek, using the Prairie Earth and Sky motif from Fearless Fair Isle Knitting by Kathleen Taylor 
I bought a nice assortment of Valley Yarn's Northampton. The skeins of yarn have been transformed into hats and a bag, with more stuff on the needles.

Scandinavian Hat by Kate Gagnon Osborn from Knit Local
Keep it Simple Hat by April Klich
Georgian Lace Cap by Kerin Dimeler-Laurence
Starving Artist by by Laura Linneman

12 October 2014

Vintage Goods

I ordered an assortment of Vintage yarns in mellow colors a few months ago. I've used all but a few meters of it on a variety of projects. here are a few of them.

a small bag I knitted using a graphed pattern from this amazing book, Fearless Fair Isle Knits

I made myself two Fair Isle vests, though how many times I can wear them in Central Florida is another question. I wore them in Syracuse last weekend when I visited my daughter and her family.

So many vintage knits!

28 August 2014

Vest for Fall

It seems quite strange to knit a wool-blend vest in August in Florida, but I was hot and restless, and wanted to live in a dreamworld of autumn forests and crisp air.

I bought some Vintage yarn, intending to make a cardi, but couldn't come up with a design that inspired me, so I knitted two vests instead.

Here is the first one: a golden color, in homage to Autumn.

I made up the Fair Isle as I went along, throwing in an occasional garter row for texture. I like it, and now am impatiently waiting for some cooler weather!

11 August 2014

Back in Prague, in August: Top Ten Hit Parade of knitted items, 2010-2013

Lake Ice and stripes hat, Basic Hats Go-To hat pattern (my own design), free on Ravelry.
My granddaughter and one of her American Girl dolls, modeling their matching knits. Her sweater is a Classic Elite pattern, and the cape was free on Ravelry.
Dude hat, a free design from Ravelry. A Christmas gift.
Basic Bag zipped clutch, my own design, free on Ravelry. My favorite blues and creams. I love this bag.
Basic Knits large felted bag with grab handles, my own design, free on Ravelry. I use this to store yarn and carry bigger projects with me. It has a zipper for security.
Germanic Fair Isle pullover (back view), a Basic Knit design, my own original. I knit it for myself.
Basic Go-To hat pattern, free on Ravelry, my own "recipe" for a hat with infinite variations. This one was for my husband.
Basic Go-To hat knit as a slouchy hat, in Alpaca yarn. The pattern is my own design, free on Ravelry.
A dress and sweater combo I knit for my granddaughter's American Girl doll, Pattern is my own design, modified from a free pattern on Ravelry.
Basic Knits (my own design, free on Ravelry) felted bag with grab handles, in blues and creams (some yarns are hand-spun). I use this bag to carry small knitting projects with me.

27 June 2014

not abandoned!

I haven't abandoned this blog, but my knitting has slowed down considerably since moving back to Florida. I have some small items I knitted, so I'll try to put up some photos in the next few days. I'll also put up what's on my needles.

in the meantime, here are some great knitted things:

from petitecurie.com
from onecraftyplace.com

from stylist.co.uk

from waldorfplaystand.com

22 March 2014

Gifts and a use-up-the-leftovers tote

March has not been a month for exciting new knitting projects, but I have managed to make a few items.

We took a trip to Delray Beach last weekend, and I wanted to bring gifts to my hostess and another friend we were meeting there. I had bought this yarn intending to make myself a trans-seasonal vest, but when it arrived in the mail, I liked neither the color not the texture of the yarn for a vest. Yarn is Cascade Sierra, 80% cotton and 20% wool, color Mallard.

So I made two versions of my trusty Chinook scarf, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/chinook-scarf, one on size 7 needles (the correct size, in my opinion) and one n size 9, just to see what would happen.  
Here's the one knitted on size 7 needles:

My giftees seemed happy, so that's a win.

The tote is designed to use up all the scraps of wool/acrylic I had gathered in a few months. I think it's pretty. I always love to make up a Fair Isle project. This is my own pattern, http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-bags-felted-tote-with-built-in-handles-big-and-medium-sizes. 

10 February 2014

Winter strikes the USA!

This winter has been quite the surprise for most people living in the US. It's been cold and snowy in the NE, the mid-Atlantic states, and Midwest, the Plains States and the Pacific Northwest. We've had 5 or 6 cold spells in Central Florida, so I've been knitting for myself as well as my family.

here's a nice, simple scarf I made for me. The pattern is my own, Noah's Colorful Striped Scarf.

It's made from Lion Brand Wool-Ease that my daughter and her family in Central New York sent me for Christmas. For them, from that gift, I made some cold-weather hats and scarves. I used my pattern http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-go-to-hat-pattern for the purple/natural hat, and

http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/sluggy-bonnet for the pink and white chula. The pink scarf is the same pattern as mine.

I made another scarf (I love the nubbly texture of the garter stitch) for my daughter in blue with a couple of green stripes--Vintage yarn.

now we are all warm and cozy . . . but still ready for Spring.

01 January 2014

who knits in Florida?

I do, that's who. We've returned to the US and are living again in the Orlando area. Here a cool winter day has a high of 72 Fahrenheit (22 Celsius). As you can imagine, I hardly need wooly items here, nor does anyone else. But still, I knit. I gave away many of my stockpiled finished items before we left Prague, and came here with just a few precious favorites. But I order some yarn from yarn.com when we arrived here and got busy making mittens and a scarf for my daughter and her family. They, lovely people, sent me more yarn for Christmas!

Here are some favorite things I brought to steamy Florida:

My favorite Big Zipped Bag

Blue and white zipped clutch bag, my own BK design

Blue scandi bag, my own BK design

Irish tote, another BK design

Who? hat

26 October 2013

Steady as we go

My favorite knitter, Elizabeth Zimmermann, was quite certain that knitting is therapeutic:

“Knit On, with confidence and hope, through all crises.”

The past three weeks, we have been packing for our move back to the US. Sorting, throwing out, giving away, taping boxes--this has been our home life (not to mention dragging the unfolded boxes we buy at the posta down the street, around the corner and up to our flat). We've also been completing a career development course which ends with a private consultation for each participant, and these consultations, while enjoyable, are energy-consuming. Then there are the innumerable trips to the bank, the posta, and various other business-type appointments. Our friends want to say goodbye to us, and we to them, but when?

Daniela, at the S-n-B street fair area at next to Vypálené koťátko cafe (our meeting place), wearing a blue sweater I knit
Knitting has become, more than ever, my safe place. I knit like there is no tomorrow, trying to use up the last bits of stashed yarn before we leave on Saturday. I will take some wool with me, most likely, for the 3-stage trip back to Florida. I have carefully packed my needles, tiny metal knitting box (cable needle, sharp scissors, tapestry needles, stitch markers)), gauge measurement and two special patterns.

Without my knitting, I would find it hard to relax at all. Even with my knitting, I am jumpy and cranky. Well...this, too, shall pass, and my knitting helps it pass more pleasantly. As EZ said,

"Properly practiced, KNITTING sooths the TROUBLED SPIRIT,
and it doesn’t hurt the untroubled one either."

29 September 2013

The German wool becomes a bag

In August, my friend Iris brought me some German wool as a gift. She bought it near her home in England. It was so pretty, I just looked at it for a month.

Then the weather turned Fall-like, so decided to make it into a little felted bag!!!


I looked up other people's projects with this yarn on RAVELRY and it was a huge help to see how it looked felted. The yarn is here, on RAVELRY. You can look up projects on this page: http://www.ravelry.com/yarns/library/four-seasons-grundl-filzwolle-color.

There were two authentic Norwegian metal buttons from my husband's oldest recycled sweater, so I used one, as I needed a button with a shank. I really like this little bag!

The truest colors

Bags galore

I am getting ready to move back to the USA, which means that I am knitting all the loose yarn around my flat into bags.

Marmot sits in Vermont bag (http://www.yarn.com/product/webs-knitting-patterns-valley-yarns-154-vermont-felted-bag/)
 This will accomplish three goals:

1. Provide handy small gifts for people in the USA
2. Use up the yarn so I don't have to pack it or store it here in Prague
3. Give me a green light to buy new yarn in the USA

It's also fun, of course, and mildly creative. The basic yarn is Mocha Knit Picks Full Circle, with a bit of Robin Full Circle for accents. Here's how it's turning out:

Porcupine in small felted tweed bag (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mini-felted-bag-with-peerie-patterns)

Small felted tweed bag without porcupine. I knitted it in 1-row stripes, and the effect when felted is tweed (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/mini-felted-bag-with-peerie-patterns)

I had the chance to experiment with needle size and pattern, since I had quite a bit of yarn and could use my basic pattern with variations:

Bear in small handled bag with peerie patterns. Note the felting hides the pattern, as the two colors had little contrast. But I like the subtlety (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-bags-felted-tote-with-built-in-handles-big-and-medium-sizes)

Handled bag, sans bear (http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/basic-bags-felted-tote-with-built-in-handles-big-and-medium-sizes)