Distracted

These beauties came in the mail yesterday. I can’t wait to get them around my needles. Got some sample color cards, too. So instead of knitting on the Salt and Pepper Jacket, I sat down with the sample cards and dreamed up possible projects.

I really like the Fancy Fur “Jungle Print,” which has pumpkin and dark coral bumps spun into a black fur yarn. The Fun Fur sample card has Peacock, Copper, Champagne, and Chocolate colors all next to each other. They would look great together in a project.

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What a Fabulous Young Crocheter!

This is my daugher, Eva, swirling around in the poncho that she crocheted all by herself! She’s nine years old.

She learned to finger crochet several years ago, and made miles of chain stitch. In 2003, I finally convinced her to crochet with a hook. Her technique got a big boost last year, when her wonderful third grade teacher set up a crochet learning station for the kids in her class. All the kids learned to crochet.

Eva has crocheted lots of scarves and other bits and pieces. This is the first big project she has finished. Hurray! I am very proud of her.

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Variegated Yarn is So Much Fun

I have loved variegated yarn since my Mom, Anna Thompson, gave me the rainbow-variegated variety. I was seven years old, learning to knit, and I wanted to knit lots of colors like she did. She knitted stranded two-color patterns, of course, but the variegated colors must have distracted me from this difference.

I’m making a girl’s jacket with Lion Cotton, “Salt and Pepper,” which is black and white with very short gray transitions between the two. Here’s a sleeve. When the first white section came along, I just knitted it. But when the second and third white sections appeared, I knitted a lambstail. It’s just a short cast-on and bound-off section. My idea was to use up the white section in the lambstail, which would concentrate the black in the background.

Instructions for lambstails are in Barbara Walker’s Second Treasury. In her pattern, the tails are regularly spaced. Mine just show up based on the color that comes up in the knitting. Here’s a detail of de tails (I’m so easily amused!).

Look for the jacket pattern in INKnitters magazine (see link, right). It will most likely be published in the summer issue, along with an article about having fun with variegated yarns.

UPDATE: It’s 2016 and INKnitters magazine has been out of print for several years. Look for copies on Ebay.

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Piecing Iced Water

Alright. I spun the yarn, knitted it, and stabilized the knitting with iron-on interfacing. Then I cut the knitting into irregular patches and pieced them together onto a foundation of light cotton fabric. The yellow paper blocks out the space where I will put the vase.

Once the pieces were arranged to my satisfaction, I machine sewed them to the foundation with a zig-zag stitch. Finally, I quilted the piece, embellished with embroidery, applique (netting or tulle, and crochet), and buttons, and bound the edges.

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Erste Post in WortDrueck

Hurray! I can finally post to WordPress.

A note to Macintosh users who want to blog with WordPress: use Safari or some other browser to upload WP files onto your server. I used Explorer at first, and it messed up the code in the files. I spent at least six hours trying to figure out what was wrong.

This added on 3/7/06: because I keep getting spam on this post, I’m changing its original title “First WordPress Post” to something else, as an experiment to see if the spammers latch onto the new title.

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Knitting Iced Water

Once the spinning was done, I got out my trusty Ultimate Sweater Machine (formerly the Incredible Sweater Machine, as seen on TV! And before that, it was known as the Bond Knitting Frame). I knitted a long piece of fabric, which shaded gradually from light to dark. This is it, in progress. For shaded knitting, I knit one to three rows of one color, then change. The USM carriage is designed to make changing colors easy.

I washed the finished knitting, pinned it out to dry, and then ironed fusible interface to it.

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Those Buttons

I made the buttons that appear on my blog header. They are made out of polymer clay. Poly clay is so much fun! I can play with it for hours and not notice the time passing. It lured me away from knitting and crochet for a while, but not too far. I always come back.

UPDATE: Yes, it’s 2016 and my header has changed, but I did make the buttons in the center of the flowers in my blog header. Make buttons! It’s fun!

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Spinning Iced Water

A member of The Hallamshire Guild of Weavers, Spinners, and Dyers, issued a challenge to the rest of us. She would give us ramie fiber, and we had to spin it and make it into something. This was the beginning of “Iced Water at the Cafe Rouge,” though I didn’t know it at the time.

I spun the white ramie by itself first. I carded it with varying amounts of gray or black and spun different shades of gray. I plied plain ramie with gray, too. Here’s the range of colors I got.

UPDATE: The Hallamshire Guild is in Sheffield, England. I was a member when we lived there, and I still keep up with Guild friends on Facebook.

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Iced Water on Display

The Guilford Handcraft Center in Guilford, Connecticut, will be exhibiting the Mixed Media Quilts Show starting March 13, and my knitted quilt Iced Water at the Cafe Rouge will be in it! It is one of my best pieces ever and I’m very proud of it.

If you live up that way, I hope you’ll go and see the show.

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Welcome, Yarn and Fabric Lovers!

When I was a kid, my dad, Alan Thompson, would shake his head and say, “There’s a right way, a wrong way, and a Suzie way.”

I sure didn’t want to do anything the wrong way, and usually we already knew how to something the (so-called) right way. I wanted to try something new. That ended up being the Suzie way.

The Suzie way costs me a lot of time, as I often have to go back and do things the right way after all. But the Suzie way has led me to some good and interesting places. The knitted quilts I make, like the one to the left, are a result of doing things the Suzie way.

I know there are a lot of people out there like me, only you’re doing things ‘the Jane way,’ or the ‘Nancy way,’ or the ‘Eva way.’ I hope our ways will converge at this blog.

UPDATE: The original blog header featured the words “A right way, a wrong way, and a Suzie way.”

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