Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Noni Bobble bag finished! (?)

Noni bag: Bobbles Bobbles Everywhere
designed by Nora J. Bellows
Knit using 3 skeins of Cascade 220 in black, and assorted yarn "remnants" for the bobbles. One skein of green yarn (Cascade 220) purchased for bobbles as well, because, well, I didn't have any greens in my felting bag.
  • I didn't use as many bobbles as called for in the pattern. If you check the errata on the pattern web site, you'll see that might be expected.
  • Stabilized with plastic canvas.
  • Lined with cotton fabric from Kaffe Fassett for Westminster, Paperweights design, gypsy colorway.
  • Green plastic handles (I forgot to write down the brand name -- I bought them here.) Later: the handles are Creative Naturals Handbag Handles by Blumenthal Craft. "Glitter arched acrylic handles - Lime, 5-1/2" handle opening"
  • I used the instructions on the Noni bag web site for attaching the handles and making the lining. My lining has two pockets, one of which is divided for my sunglasses & phone. (So maybe that's really 3?)
  • My bag turned out to have a more open (bell) shape, rather than the straight up and down boxy shape in the picture. I ascribe this to the idiosyncratic nature of felted wool. I am not so sure about these green handles, and I am not quite happy with the stiffener. If I had it to do over again (which I may), I would stiffen a larger area, especially higher up near the handles. And, I'd attach to handle tabs to the stiffener, as well as the felted fabric.
I plan on using my bag for a few days, and then I'll decide if I want to take out the lining and re-do the stiffening and maybe change the handles.

Here's the inside -- empty, and full.

And here's my bag hanging on the snowball bush - bobbles, bobbles EVERYWHERE!

Sunday, April 22, 2007

It's (not) finished (yet)

Here it is, after felting (or fulling if one is precise, which I may not be). Heavens, you can glimpse my untidy kitchen and KNOW precision is limited.
And here it is, with the fun things I found yesterday. The fabric for the lining is Paperweights by Kaffe Fassett. I found it at Village Quiltworks. The handles are glittery and lime green -- the consequence of shopping with my thirteen-year old and her friend. I had gone in the store for a black set. But, I daresay they're right. I found them at Sheep's Clothing, my truly local yarn store. It was a fun visit. I learned that Judie (one of the Sheep's Clothing ladies) has her own web site with her own patterns. She's blogless, but if she drops by here, I hope she sees she got a shout-out. Hi Judie!

This afternoon I was busy as a bee, but didn't make nearly as much progress as I'd expected or hoped. I'm getting excited to be able to use this bag, so it'll be done soonish. If you are making one of these Noni bags, don't forget to check their web site for some reasonably good instructions on the nitty gritty of bag construction and finishing.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Noni bag ready to felt!

Here's my Noni bag ready to felt.
Here it is after 10 minutes in the wash. I spent last night sewing the bobbles back on. I THOUGHT I'd followed the directions, but maybe I didn't understand them so well.

My next post will show the bag after felting, and the lining & handles I found today!

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Noni Progress

Here's my progress on my Noni bag, Bobbles, Bobbles, Everywhere. I've used Cascade 220 for the body, but I'm making my bobbles out of selected, feltable left-overs. I checked out the Noni Knitalong, hoping to learn if I really needed to make ALL those bobbles the pattern calls for (I think that's 12 each of 16 colors). I still don't know. I did read that several people wished they hadn't put their bobbles quite so close together, so I'm sort of "relaxing" my spacing. I also realized I like the "flow" of the bobbles on the pattern leaflet, so I'm trying to vary the depth of the bobbles around the edge of the bag. I'm guessing I'm half-way there. Anyone out there who has experience with this bag want to offer some advice?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Knit sighting

One of the wonderful things I saw at church on Easter was this beautiful shawl. I just love its fluffy whiteness. I think it's especially lovely against the clear blue of this lady's dress. I regret I didn't ask her if it was an Orenburg lace shawl. It sure looks like it. The yarn was so beautiful, with a slight sheen and a fair amount of "fluff". She did buy it on a trip to Russia. And though she didn't make it, she seemed to appreciate it for the treasure it is.

Saturday, April 07, 2007

College Tour wish list

Not a complete list, but I do wish that when we visited the UW, we had had time to visit two nearby stores I like very much. So here's a shout-out to Weaving Works, and Acorn Street Shop. These are both shops from before all this "knitting's cool," "the new yoga," "not your grandma's knitting," thing started. My grandma TAUGHT me to knit, and I've never really felt being cool was worth the effort. But I do love knitting, and these are a couple of fine stores. (They may in fact be cool and un-grandmotherly as well -- there's nothing WRONG with that.) And I wish we'd had time for a visit.

Tiennie, over at Tiennie knits (but we know she also reads) had this on her blog the other day. Feel free to play along.

In the list of books below, bold the ones you’ve read, italicize the ones you want to read, cross out the ones you won’t touch with a ten-foot pole, put a cross (+) in front of the ones on your book shelf, and asterisk (*) the ones you’ve never heard of.

(Being the lazy person I am, I've only done the bolding bit about the books I've read.)

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)

8. Anne of Green Gables (L. M. Montgomery)
9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)

14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)

17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)
21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J. D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)

26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)

31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible

46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)

48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)

52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveler’s Wife (Audrey Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview with the Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On the Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMaurier)

84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down (Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)
94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)

95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S. E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I have read over half of them, but not as many as Tiennie. I don't know where the list came from -- it's an interesting mix of classics and current serious & not so serious fiction. What's a little disturbing is that there are a few there that I MAY have read, but maybe have just read too much about. (Did I read Atlas Shrugged in college, or just think about it?) The one book I really intend to read is Anna Karenina. And of course, it's not my list -- if I would have made it, I would have put The Brothers Karamozov on it, rather than Crime & Punishment, because then I'd have another "classic" to bold. Ah well. . .

I actually took a picture of a beautiful knitted shawl worn to church on Easter Sunday, but my sister & I accidentally ended up with each other's cameras at the end of the day, so you'll just have to wait, as will I.

Since I'm late to wish you all a happy Easter, I will say that I hope for those of you who celebrate Easter, that you're still enjoying the memory of a joyful day.

Friday, April 06, 2007

Spring Break Yarn Crawl . . . oops! I mean College Tour

Officially, we spent the beginning of this week looking at colleges for my son. Unofficially, I checked out yarn stores I'd been wanting to see for some time.

The official agenda, Whitworth College. The un-official agenda, Holy Threads.
Holy Threads is really a beautiful shop -- it's in the shadow of Sacred Heart Medical Center, in a wonderful older house. There are rooms of beautiful yarns. I liked this shop a lot, but at the same time, it isn't really "my" kind of yarn shop. The items on display are primarily fiber art rather than amazing examples of the craft of knitting; felted purses (though amazing and beautiful ones) rather than lace shawls.

Of course, I did find something to take home. I bought a felted flower kit (a daffodil) as a hostess gift for the friend we'd stay with in Seattle. And there were Brittany birch needles -- double points in size 0. I also bought a set in size 2, since these are the sizes I'll want for my next pair of Anemoi mittens. The bamboo ones I've been using have become a bit splintery.

My daughter liked this shop even more than I did. She and her dad did a little photo shoot while I browsed the yummy yarns.

Driving across the state, we stopped in Ritzville for lunch. Across the street from our restaurant (which was a blast from about 1957) was this great sign. Talk about something for almost everyone! I regret that I didn't go in to search for the bottles -- all I could see in the display windows were some lovely quilts (and perfectly straight stitches!)

In Seattle, the official agenda item was SPU. But there was some time to kill while my son attended a class, and Hilltop Yarns was just waiting there at the top of Queen Anne Hill.

This is a truly wonderful yarn store. The kind of store that you enter to browse, and leave with, well, this:

I've admired this pattern since I first saw it in the ads in the spring magazines. It's the Surplice Lace top, designed by Gayle Bunn. Hilltop didn't have the yarn it was designed for, but this Tahki cotton classic, in a lovely very pale pink, should work to the same gauge. I also picked up some Soak mini-soak packets to try out.

Too bad we're a year and a half from "parents' weekend" -- I'm looking forward to it already!