Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Playing with Color

Variegated and multicolored crochet thread has been around for decades. Remember grandma's hand towels with crocheted edgings in every color of the rainbow and a few more? Many of today's knitters think that using variegated or multicolored thread for doilies is a no-no. I think that with the right pattern, variegated and multicolored threads can work just fine. So began the experiment.

I started with some variegated green from my stash of vintage thread ("vintage" is code for "old stuff that's been kept around for no apparent reason"). This is about three-quarters of design #38 from Lavori Artistici 11, until I ran out of thread. I like the way the colors swirl.

Then I tried something a little bolder but still variegated for design #12, also from Lavori Artistici 11. Amazingly, this one won a first-place ribbon at the Western Washington Fair this year. Go figure.

Then I threw timidity to the wind and went for the "clown colors," one with a star-style pattern and one with a leaf-style with stacked double decreases. Both are from "Danish Lace Treasures" by Gloria Penning; one is Judith and one is Patricia. Not too bad. They might make fun sun-catchers.

As a result of these experiments, I think that variegated and multicolored thread can work for doilies with simple patterns. Would I do a Niebling with variegated or multicolored thread? No. But those who have supplies of vintage/old stuff thread can use it for doilies — and maybe even some crocheted edgings for hand towels.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Watching Lino

Master glass artist Lino Tagliapietra was in town last week, working at the Museum of Glass. Wow! Wow! Wow! Both his work and working style are contemporary and elegant. His show next February at the museum should be a stunner.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Surrounded by Talent

For the past several years, I have had the great opportunity to attend Myrna Stahman's lace knitting retreat in Boise, Idaho. I always come home with my brain overflowing with ideas. One of the many highlights of the retreat is seeing and learning from other people's beautiful, stunning work.

Doilies, for example:

And a quilt made with doilies:

And shawls:

And scarves from luxurious Buffalo Gold yarn:

Being in the same room with all of the talented people is amazing.

Saturday, October 13, 2007


My invitation to sign up for Ravelry finally arrived. Now I just have to learn how to use it. It's not entirely clear to me what I do with all of it, but I'll take it a step at a time. I created a profile (SueV), so I'm not completely helpless; mostly helpless but not completely. Maybe I'll go find some friends next.

Monday, October 08, 2007

I Met Scott Simon!

I met NPR's Scott Simon! He received the Krista Foundation Global Citizen Award on Sunday. He is just as intelligent and gracious in person as he is on the radio. He even agreed to a photo with me, but I cropped myself out because I looked like an idiot.

We have supported the Krista Foundation because we knew the late Krista Hunt Ausland and her husband Aaron. You can read more about Krista and the foundation at the link above.

I met Scott Simon!

Friday, October 05, 2007

Russian Lace

This is the Russian lace scarf from the July/August "PieceWork" magazine. Details:
  • Yarn: Alpaca with a Twist Fino, most of one skein, approximately 800 yards of the 875-yard skein. Wonderful yarn!
  • Color: Number 2000, Plum Wine. The color is darker and plummier than the photo shows.
  • Needles: US3
  • Finished size: 12 inches wide by 84 inches long.
This was the scarf where I learned Russian grafting to attach the ending border. Learning this technique required faith in the directions, like the first time I turned a heel on a sock. The written instructions didn't make sense unless and until I had the garment in front of me and did it, step by step. Harrowing, until it works; then the directions are perfectly obvious.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Pretty in Pink

Debbie and I have been friends for — yikes! — 20+ years. She is a talented quilter crocheter and is quickly becoming a talented knitter. She inherits these skills, among others, from her mother, Jackie, a master of many crafts. Debbie, Jackie and I recently spent some time yarn shopping. Add shopping to their skill list.

Jackie kindly gave me a shawl kit with yarn and a matching pin. The yarn was five strands of pink, white and gold. I made a simple, garter stitch shawl to let the yarn shine. The increases are made with a yarn over at the start of each row. On US17 needles, it was a quick knit — instant gratification!