Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Mystery Stole 3

Have you ever seen any of Melanie Leesburg's designs? She has some fabulous patterns at her site Pink Lemon Twist. I particularly love Leda's Dream and Moon Dance Shawls. She is so talented that I just had to join her Mystery Stole 3 KAL. It is my first that I have ever done and it was a wonderful learning experience. I grabbed my needles and yarn, and followed along, blindly, each week as a new clue was revealed.
Clue 1 thru 4....
I loved this. It had a wonderful point, a delightful pattern and it was the first time that I had ever worked with beads.

Then, Clue 5...
The stole began an abrupt turn and a totally different pattern was emerging. I didn't think that I was going to like a shawl that was asymmetrical, but to keep with the "spirit" of the mystery, I plodded along. Heck, what did I have to lose? A little time? And, I just might like it.

Clue 5 thru 7....
I really like the pattern that she put together for the "wing". Unusual, and stunning.

The finished shawl (unblocked).....
Here it is, draped across my bed. Disappointment sets in. I paraded around, trying desperately, to imagine the beauty of it. It is gawd awful! What was the girl thinking? It looks like the Sesame Street song, "Which of the two is unlike the other? Which of the two doesn't belong?" They are both truly beautiful patterns, by themselves. But, they just do not belong together. Please, do not get the impression that this is a feeble attempt at bashing Melanie. This is my humble opinion, and only my humble opinion. I think she is a very talented designer. And as a designer, you will come up with a design that some will love, and some will hate. I believe that this is that one.
I will be frogging the "wing" and making another half consisting of clue 1 - 4 and graft the two together. Heck, I might even do yet another shawl using just the wing pattern.

Thank you Melanie. I might not have liked the finished product, but I did learn so much and really did appreciate all the time and effort that you have given, freely, to this KAL.
An aside:
Yarn: Elsebeth Lavold's Hempathy (hemp/cotton blend)
Color: White Beach
Yardage: 1,071 (7 skeins)
Needles: Size 6 Denise

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

WOW!I am touched that someone took the time to nominate me! This exchange has been so much more than just knitting a scarf. I have been given the opportunity to "meet" some wonderful people that have truly touched my heart.

I remember my first exchange, ISE2, when I was a new knitter. I was terrified that I wouldn't be able to knit anything worthy to give to another knitter, someone who you can't fool, and someone that would be able to find all my mistakes. These exchanges have given me the opportunity to spread my wings, stretch my limits and try new techniques. It forced me to try somethings that would have never had the nerve to attempt.

For these reasons, and so many more, I am extremely grateful for this exchange.

Thank you and all the organizers for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this exchange. Kudos for a job well done.

Thank you!

Sunday, August 05, 2007

Secret Pal 11 Questionnaire
I didn't participate in the last SP exchange. I was waaaay too busy, living between my homes, work, traveling, etc. But, when I returned home from Europe, I noticed that the sign-ups were open, so I figured, what the heck. I'll give it another whirl. I really do like these. I have a tendency to go a wee bit overboard. I just love getting to "know" someone, and then figuring the best way to surprise them. Isn't that what exchanges are all about?

So, without further ado. (drum roll, please) Here is the SP 11 questionnaire and my answers.

1. What is/are your favorite yarn/s to knit with?
My goodness, this is a hard one. I love just about all yarns. Having recently relocating to the desert, with its 100+ temperatures, I have been using a bit of cotton, silk and linen. Sea Silk and Euroflax are fabulous! What fibers do you absolutely *not* like? I found that I can not tolerate to knit with mohair or angora. They make me itch.

2. What do you use to store your needles/hooks in?
I store them in my Lantern Moon needle case and another case that a dear friend handmade especially for me.

3. How long have you been knitting & how did you learn? Would you consider your skill level to be beginner, intermediate or advanced?
I have been knitting for just over 2 years. I am self-taught, having learned via the internet and wonderful forums. I consider myself to be an adventurous intermediate. I just don't know enough to have any pattern, or technique intimidate me.

4. Do you have an Amazon or other online wish list?
No, I don't, but I really should work on one.

5. What's your favorite scent?
Perfume? I love Mariella Bruani. But, I also love the smell when I open my stash and the whiff of lavender catches my nose. A dear friend had gifted me with a sachet that she had made from the lavender in her garden and I love it. Nothing smells better.

6. Do you have a sweet tooth? Favorite candy?
I adore white chocolate. I love malted milk balls and caramel. But, to be truthful, I have never turned my nose from any candy.

7. What other crafts or Do-It-Yourself things do you like to do? Do you spin?
I try to make just about everything. I dabble with painting, stained glass, basketry, quilting and embroidery. I know that I am missing a few. I did try my hand at spinning last winter, thinking that it would be a wonderful way to escape cabin fever in my new home. But, winter never came. So, I didn't spin as much as I wanted to. I do have plans to devote more time to it.

8. What kind of music do you like? Can your computer/stereo play MP3s? (if your buddy wants to make you a CD)
My favorite artists are Jimmy Buffett, Eric Clapton, Grateful Dead, Eagles, Billy Joel, the Travelling Willbury's, etc. Yes. I am hopelessly stuck in the 70's and 80's. I recently found a new life for my iPod. I download books that I listen to while I knit.

9. What's your favorite color(s)? Any colors you just can't stand?
I love all colors, especially deep, rich, fully saturated colors - reds, blues, purples, greens. I abhor brown and shy away from pastels.

10. What is your family situation? Do you have any pets?
I'm married to my best friend of 29 years. Children are grown and gone. No pets.

11. Do you wear scarves, hats, mittens or ponchos?
Scarves? Yes, but only light and airy ones, more as a fashion statement than functional. Hats /Mittens? Did I say its HOT here? And Ponchos? Not since the 70's.

12. What is/are your favorite item/s to knit?
Lace, lace and more lace. Socks run a close 4th.

13. What are you knitting right now?
Currently, I'm working on the Estonian Garden Shawl using Euroflax, and another in Hempathy. I am also working on the Mystery Stole 3. I also have pair of socks in the works.

14. Do you like to receive handmade gifts?
Oh, yes... please and thank you!

15. Do you prefer straight or circular needles? Bamboo, aluminum, plastic?
When I first started knitting, I just loved my CPY bamboo straights. They still are my most favorite straights, but since taking up lace, I find myself using circulars more and more. My newest favorite has to be my Addi Lace, followed by my Denises.

16. Do you own a yarn winder and/or swift?

17. How old is your oldest UFO?
I don't have any. I am a tad obsessive-compulsive and I must complete a project before moving onto the next. The only reason why I have more than one item OTN now, is because of the MS3 and it's down time and my need for portable projects for travelling.

18. What is your favorite holiday?
Christmas! I adore Christmas.

19. Is there anything that you collect?
I collect German Nutcrackers. Also, handmade baskets.

20. Any books, yarns, needles or patterns out there you are dying to get your hands on? What knitting magazine subscriptions do you have?
Books? Sharon Miller's "Heirloom Lace". It is awfully pricey. I think it just might be my Christmas present to myself! Yarns? HandMaiden, Louet, Claudia Handpaint. Needles? More Addi Lace. Patterns? Any lace shawl from Heirloom Lace, especially the Princess Shawl, the Spring Shawl and the Nesting Shawl. They are fabulous! Magazine subscriptions? I currently subscribe to Interweave Knits and Rowan. I have been coveting a set of those wooden sock blockers.

21. Are there any new techniques you'd like to learn?
On my list of things that I would love to learn is Fair Isle and color work. I don't see these in the very near futures, as I'm still perfecting working with one strand/color.

22. Are you a sock knitter? What are your foot measurements?
Yes. Size 10 US or 41.

23. When is your birthday?
April 25th

24. Are you on Ravelry? If so, what's your ID?
Uh? I am so out of the loop!