Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Habu...bath puffy

I like Habu textiles.The yarns they produce are full of glorious texture and interesting,unusual fibers.I never thought I would or could knit a sweater with a yarn that looks and feels much like paper,but I am about to embark on this journey... I purchased this textured wrapped silk last Saturday. I was intrigued by the color and fiber...I had planned on making something very different than I did...but along the way this came alive; As I was knitting,the piece felt like a washcloth...so I decided to design a simple bath puffy and I would be honored to share my pattern with you.
Habu Textured Bath Puff
Supplies:1) 2oz skein Habu 1/2.5 tsumugi silk combination
color HA1 item A-111
156 yds/141 meters...enough for two projects
size 10 /6mm knitting needles...straight
Pattern:
Row1 Knit
Row2 *K1,Sl 1,repeat from * to last 2 stitches,K 2
Row 3 Knit
Row 4 K2,*Sl 1,K1; repeat from* to end.
These 4 rows are repeated for the loop pattern
Cast on 26 stitches.Follow pattern until piece measures 13 inches.Knit 1 row then bind off;leaving a tail approx 45 inches.
Weave the yarn along bottom edge of knitted piece,in and out with a gathering stitch.Draw up the yarn tightly,then weave the edges to form a tube.With this same yarn again,gather,by weaving in and out along the top edge of the piece;pull yarn snug.Piece will look like a ball.Now insert the needle still threaded with the yarn into the center opening (it will be a slight opening)and go the whole way to the bottom,catching this opening and close it with a stitch or two.Next draw the needle back to the top thru the same opening.Fold the yarn in half,and starting at edge closest to puff,begin weaving the 2 yarn threads together with a figure 8.I know this may sound confusing,but it is quite simple,draw needles up center and over one thread,back up and over the other,like a figure 8.Continue this up the folded yarn for approx6 inches (I didn't want my hanging loop too long)When you reach the desired length,slip the needle through the edge,draw this woven hanging loop back down into the center and attach at bottom with a couple of stitches.Push remaining yarn inside.
Completed
I toyed around the idea of stuffing this with some tulle. I may make another and try it. The finished piece looks almost like a flattish pumpkin...but it makes the nicest bath puffy..I've used mine and am very pleased...I think it would make a great quick gift...you could use any textured yarn...Rowan Cotton Rope would be a good choice,I think...maybe you have something stashed...
I need a manicure...now that I am giving up my stethoscope for a computer I may treat myself...this one may last longer than 3 days...and my yarns won't snag...
Enjoy the pattern...if you have questions let me know...

Friday, May 23, 2008

games and more games

I have been tagged...like "you're it" by Claudia for a fun MeMe...Here are the rules: "The rules of the game get posted at the beginning. Each player answers the questions about themselves.At the end of the post,the player then tags 5 people and posts their names,then goes to their blog and leaves them a comment,letting them know they've been tagged and asking them to read your blog.Let the person who tagged you know when you've posted your answer." 1)What was I doing 10 years ago? At the risk of sounding boring,I was doing much of the same.Well, actually I was not working at that time.I had taken some time off from my nursing career.I was recuperating from a major surgery.It was a nice time really. I got to explore with my friends...travelling to the Midwest in search of folk art primitives...I was making a lot of quilts and working on primitive type hooked rugs. I had an opportunity at that time to meet and learn from some famous designers in their field Barbara Carroll and Emma Lou Lais.
2)What are 5 things on my to-do list for today?
It is 8pm here...the only thing I have left to do today is call my brother John and wish him a Happy Birthday,tomorrow however,I have to pick up my daughter and the girls(because her vehicle is on the fritz)...transport all to dance class...return a skein of yarn,rather exchange it for another to make this... and the weeds in my garden are in terrible need of attention-so they will be gone tomorrow...I really should be working on my niece's shrug May...
3)Snacks I enjoy:
There is probably a long list of not so good for you things that I will snack on once in awhile,but what I really could live on are NUTS,almonds,pecans and walnuts being my favorites.You can add soy nuts to that,too. I like fresh fruit and cheese as a snack...white Vermont sharp cheddar,and fresh berries...any berry will do,but blackberries take first place ...now I am hungry!
4)Things I would do if I were a Billionaire:
I'm sure my family would come first...especially making sure all the girls had college funding set aside...I know I would travel,probably to England,Japan and any coastline with a beautiful beach...I would probably open my own shop...knitting ,woollens and primitives...all in a pleasing array...
5)Places I have lived:
I am a Pennsylvania girl born and raised. I haven't strayed very far from home,in fact I still live in the city where I was born and raised. I lived about an hour away here while studying nursing...boring,huh?
6)Jobs I have had:
It's funny I am asked this question...I was thinking today that the only jobs I have had are in nursing...I was never a waitress,I never worked retail,I never worked while I was in school...you're thinking what I sheltered life I've led,right? I am a wife and mother to a wonderful daughter and son...and I do consider this as a job...unpaid,but a job none the less...
My sister and I did take over my brother's paper route for a while,when my parents found out he was spending the collection money...we actually did a good job!
7) Bloggers I am tagging who you will enjoy getting to know better:
Nicole , (happy mama of 3) a young mama with some fresh ideas;Kimberly-( the giving flower ),a new friend..
Janet (twisted knitter)a flickr friend with a lot to share; Alison( 6.5 stitches )who does the most incredible knitting..and her photos are outstanding...
andKate (knitter gal) another flickr friend with a great sense of humor...
Thanks to Claudia,again...for tagging me..it's been fun!!
Another fun game I recently played was Survivor..not actually on television,but on Ravelry,and if you are not a member,you must join this wonderful online knitting community...the winner of Survivor,in this case the member of the group who was playing as the survivor would win prizes/gifts from the other members.Guess who won-yep-ME (from group1)...I could not believe it,and hey,who wouldn't like receiving some pretty neat gifts from some new friends...
This is some of my booty so far..thanks to all my survivor friends...
and a wonderful weekend to all...

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

1::2::3

The act of eating,feeding oneself...a basic need for all God's creatures.I tried to capture the essence of this red house finch dining on thistle at one of my backyard feeders. Yesterday was a wet,dreary day,and I was standing at the back window.The girls were here and were in awe of this little bird,eating for survival... I then decided that we too should have a treat...as the thistle seed is for the finch.I decided to make Apple Crostata...a quick ,but delicious apple dessert... It's actually as easy as 1::2::3...as you can see from above.This is a recipe from The Contessa...you know her...Ina Garten...The Barefoot Contessa...and you can find the recipe here. I have made this recipe countless times... and I have never heard a complaint. My family laughs at me about The Contessa...I wish she would invite me to her wonderful home...out in the Hampton's...oh,I don't care,I'd go for breakfast,lunch or dinner.I'd even go for a weekend deal if she'd have me...maybe she'd throw a party beachfront for me! Wouldn't that be wonderful...me and The Contessa,why I'd knit her a pair of socks...I know she always wears Loro Piana cashmere slippers,but I'm sure she'd like my socks...don't you think? I probably will never get closer to her than the two recipe books that I own and a piece of this, with a glass of ice cold milk...but I can dream,can't I? TRY THIS RECIPE...Please...for your own sake and if The Contessa ever invites you,please think of me! For anyone who doesn't know this is a trillium, one of my favorite spring blooms.Three petals of beauty,I just wanted to share...Now,I think I should go and finish the last sleeve on May,the Rowan designs shrug I'm making for Hailey...maybe I'll have a little crostata,too...

Monday, May 19, 2008

a really great Monday

The puzzle has truly come together for me this Monday...in more ways than one.Last night I did the soak (after my 12 hour weekend rotation)...this time I tried Eucalan,I purchased it recently at my LYS..previously I had been using Soak,it (Soak) is very good,but I really liked the Eucalan,I bought the natural,unscented,and it is no rinse!Then came the blocking, this was more of a giant stretch.The pattern sizes it approx 14" x 75"...my finished measurements are 14"x 72"...so pretty close,this does work up on the bias...so measurements are tip to tip...I wasn't sure if I liked it,before I did the finishing,that is..the silk rumple is a boucle,and it was tricky to work with...I did quite a bit of tinking...but it all worked out in the end.I wasn't sue if I would even wear it,thinking I may use it as a gift,but As you can see by the smile on my face...I LOVE it...and I am sure I will wear it after all... All in all,even though I really didn't care for the silk rumple,that won't deter me in the future from purchasing another Handmaiden kit.The color is really beautiful...as all the Handmaiden yarns...that in itself is a great attraction. We call these snowballs,I guess I never really thought about this tree/bush/hedge 's family name before,but whatever the name is (what's in a name anyway...hydrangea?) the white blooms are so beautiful... and this made me very happy this morning. I also was offered a management position in the nurse assessment office today...really, a dream come true...no more weekends,no more holidays...wish me well,please...I am a really good clinical nurse..but this will be an office job..so I leave it with mixed emotions...I'll miss my patients,but I am awaiting my next adventure...I hope you will await my next blog...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

puzzle pieces

The puzzle is nearly completed...as you can see...soak,block and aim the camera...see you next week! Happy weekend,where ever you are...

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Noticing

I am a nurse.Noticing things is part of my job,but when it comes to my personal life,there are things I overlook,in a hurry,just living my life...I would like to slow down,look around,and savor the moment...life is sometimes to hectic.What got me thinking on this line was actually another nurse,not a co-worker,but a hospice nurse,she was on our unit yesterday,dressed in her finest whites...now this is hardly,if ever seen around anymore,polished white nurse mates (not Dansko's)white support hose,white dress,a white jacket,and I could have sworn she had on her cap,too,but I think that was just a mirage...anyway the sight of her got me to thinking how in my profession the only thing that is constant is change...she was like out of the 1970's..she looked very nice,mind you,but out of place,somehow,amidst the colors,of uniform wear today.This I noticed...Now me,if I wore all white I'd be sure to spill a cup of tea on myself... It was a beautiful sunny day yesterday,and I knew I should try to get some outdoor shots,because it was not going to stay that way for long...so I began to walkabout and started noticing...I saw this robin,he saw me and tried to hide,but I found him anyway... I noticed this zipper pull on a cosmetic bag,one I've had for quite a while,but I never knew how pretty this pull was... I noticed that the knit bath puffy I made holds too much water,the pattern called for HimalayaYarn Aloo,my LYS did not have it at that time,they suggested using a yarn from Hemp...not the same type of fiber and doesn't work as well ...something I should have noticed before...I bought some aloo and will do the puffy over... I looked in an old jar and found these antique diaper pins that belonged to my grandmother...I don't know how many of her children or grandchildren used these,but I did notice the workmanship in something as simple as this... Then I noticed my neighbor had such a beautiful hanging basket...it must have been a Mother's Day gift,I will ask her when I see her,but they are lovely,I did notice that... Now,you are wondering about Handmaiden,and YOU have noticed that I haven't quite finished...so close...but not yet...

Monday, May 12, 2008

Monday,the day after

Sometimes it's hard to pick out the right picture to blog about...Yesterday was Mother's Day,and we had our family brunch in the city...I chose this particular photo,not because girl-girl is trying to steal the scene,but rather because it shows MY mother and dad...It is a joy to be able to have them near and be able to spend family time with them... Now girl-girl and lullabye did steal the scene here...there is a majestic stairway in the restaurant and the girls were practicing their debutante walks...such fun... Hubby and I spent the rest of the afternoon with raspberry Bellini's...I'm wearing the felted bracelet my daughter made me...I believe a kit from Pick-up Sticks and I did get a chance to make some progress on this: I'll keep you posted on the Handmaiden shawl...Have a Bellini on me while you wait...

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mother's Day

We used to have a massive azalea in our backyard.It was removed about 5 years ago when we added a room onto our home.It was always in full bloom at this time of year,a glorious mass of color.This is an azalea from my front yard,not as large,a newer plant,but beautiful just the same.This glorious rite of spring,with the welcome flowers of May,all are fitting for a day to remember ALL mother's. We'll be off soon for our annual brunch..The Grand Concourse,and the family awaits it each Mother's Day,it is as much a treat for them, as it is for me... I just wanted to say that when you look a a sleeping face like this,and hold a child in your arms,it makes you feel blessed to be a momma,I know I am..and you are ,too... Happy Mother's Day...

Friday, May 9, 2008

What a week

I knew this week off was going to be a great week when I opened the Knit/Purl package on Monday...Habu is very intriguing...all the texture,fibers...and this came as well, My first purchase with Handmaiden kits and of course,I was anxious to get going on it... The green is to die for..I mean it,it's that pretty,but the silk yarn is a bit tricky to work with,so it's not going as fast as I like... I should be working on May,but Hailey won't be here for Mother's Day,so I have a little more time to finish this...only 1/2 a sleeve and the collar to go..now this Rowan yarn ,on the other hand,is a joy to work with... I probably would have gotten a lot more accomplished,but my hubby took off the last two days to be with me...isn't that sweet...I think he really just wanted to go out for lunch..it was very,very good,I must admit...and it's always nice to have some time to ourselves...I opted for a spring mix salad,gorgonzola and a balsamic dressing,that called at you to lick the plate (I didn't...) and the mezzo ravioli,he opted for a house salad and the biggest plate of spaghetti they could find...and of course ate it all... I'm secretly hoping he'll just trim these hedges.. that would make me very happy this Friday...

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

carpe diem

A lovely greeting...don't you think?...Now imagine yourself on a warm May morning,eating the most wonderful frittata...and don't forget about the italian bread-toasted of course.. Imagine yourself in a place that is filled with all things good..cheese-any type you desire,pasta,fresh fruit and nuts... and outdoor temptations from around the globe...gorgeous flowers,herbs,breads... Imagine walking for hours,stopping for candy,popcorn and breathing fresh air... Heaven you might think,well... now...you've been to the strip...once you go...you won't want to leave... if you are ever near here-carpe diem!!!

Monday, May 5, 2008

Macro Monday

Water: clean,pure,necessity of life, lady of leisure you might think;hardly...I just needed a long soak after a 12 hour shift... I've been having fun with Macro May and I thought you might like these bleeding hearts. Aren't they breathtaking... I think I like this dogwood best! You are trying out your macro setting,too...right... have fun if you do...