Friday, December 6, 2013

Pantone's Color Of The Year

According to Pantone, it is Radiant Orchid for 2014.
What do you think? I happen to love it!

The nail polish companies can react the quickest. Orly already had their polishes on their Facebook page today. 

This is a color swatch of my Pro WF Deep Orchid 826 from Pro Chemical and Dye. I think it is a pretty good match. 

 I will have to try it out on my merino/alpaca fiber that I I had processed from Shepherd's Mill.

Saturday, October 19, 2013

My Paris Sweater From Ralvery

It's getting to be cold again. I decided to republish my blog post on the Paris sweater. 

I finally finished the Paris Sweater. This is a free pattern on Ralvery and is designed by Sarah Keller. If you can knit and purl, you can knit this pattern. 

The sweater is created from a 22" x 66" rectangle. I would pick a yarn no heavier than a DK. I used a silk sport weight cone yarn that I purchased on DNBY a few years ago. I am pretty sure it's name was Olive Grove, but don't remember the maker. Did anyone else get this yarn? It really bugs me that I can't remember who made it. 

This pattern has a draped asymmetrical tunic look, so make sure you are confortable wearing this type of style. I did add some black corded elastic around the neck area. The neckline tends to do the "Flashdance" thing and I didn't want to wear a tank under it. That was just me, you may want that look. 

I like this sweater and it does get complements. I am not a beginner knitter, but enjoy the pleasure of just knitting with beautiful yarn and not worrying about what I have to do for each row. If you are a Ralvery member, click here to view the pattern

A Close Up View Of The Elastic

The Yarn

Thursday, September 5, 2013

"Take The Pain Out Of Counterpane" Shawl

Here is the shawl laid flat. Thee counterpane squares 
are sewn together. The lace is knitted separately 
(a great small take
it with you project) and then crocheted 

or sewn to the shawl.

I finally finished my “Take The Pain Out Of Counterpane” shawl using lace weight 2 ply yarn that I handspun. This is a project that evolved from my class, which I developed and teach mentioned above. 

Unfortunately, I didn't keep records on the yarn. I think it is Merino, Mohair, and silk. I'm glad I had enough because it would have been a problem to reproduce it. This is why is is always smart to keep records, even if you think you will never need any more of what you are making. This has to be one of the few times that I didn't take down very specific notes on a yarn. And hopefully, it will be the last time. I think I learned my lesson. I was getting very worried at the end of this knitting project because it looked like I was not going to have enough yarn to finish with. 

For anyone not familiar with this class, here is my class description”.

“Explore a historical (Counterpane can be found as far back as the 15th century) technique with new twists. I have created a system that combines classic Counterpane patterns to make very modern designs.  After this class, students will be able to combine patterns learned to create hats, scarfs, shawls and more. Students will also learn or review knitting simple lace patterns.  The Counterpane squares will be knitted on double-point needles and lace on straight needles. Participants will leave with a booklet of the patterns covered in the class to further their experimentation to create their own original designs. “

The front as it naturally lies. I don't know why, 
but the edges just naturally overlap 
(tad good thing).
I can also see a cool pin down there

The back of a counterpane garment is always
 the more dramatic, I think

The side sits short right at the arm. 
This is great. It helps the shawl to 
stay in place and does not 
interfere with activities. 

A close up of the single crochet that I used to
connect the square panels.

A close up of the lace edging. this is
a 9 stitch-6 row pattern and very
easy to memorize.

Just for the fun of it, I added some Angora around the neckline for some
extra softness.

And of course, there are always more then one
way to wear this

I did consider color.
However, after dying
 these three
 steps of blue violet,
 I decided that I just wanted white.
 But, I now have some beautiful
Periwinkle yarn!

This is my second larger project. The first was “The Beast”, a jacket, which can be found here.

As usual, if will be a while before I have anything else for this blog. I am working on a pair of socks, a “Change Of Row”(another technique that I developed) lap blanket and want to finish another counterpane project that I started about four years ago.

Monday, July 15, 2013

Simply Color

Hello, it has been a bit since I have blogged on the Journal. But I wanted to put up some photos of Fiber U that just happened this past weekend. This event, in Lebanon, Missouri is becoming one of the premier summer fiber happenings in this area.  Last year Michael and I attended as visitors and I did a blog about our experience

In the back of my mind I knew I wanted to come back as a teacher. I submitted my "Simply Color" class and it was accepted. I had a great time this weekend teaching one of my favorite subjects, color theory. The class is geared towards the fiber arts because, well, that's what I do.  So here is a few shots of my class.

After my lecture, students traveled to different mini-stations to experiment with color.

Using hand combs to blend dyed fibers to experiment with color combinations

Looking at color swatches through a kaleidoscope, one of my favorite things to do. 

Color drafting patterns to test combinations. This is really good for color-way knits such as Intarsia and Fair Isle

Another view of color blending

What can I say, I'm a teacher, I usually have something to say-and hopefully it is
halfway helpful.

My sample table with items I've done to show different color relationships. It has the simplest such as
monochromatic to one of the more complicated, the Square Tetrad. I also have out a few books that

I use. Color Works by Deb Menz is one of
my favorite. 

Using watercolors to practice how to mix colors to achieve desired results-good practice for future hand dying projects.

 Anyone who knows me knows that I love nail polish and nail design. This was my design for my color theory class.
It's not exactly analogous, probably closer to monochromatic.

To top it off, my daughter Michelle took a day off from her very busy life and attended the event with me. This made it all the more special. She took a rug hooking class and enjoyed it very much. 

It will be awhile again until I post on the Journal. I am still working on my Counterpane scarf/shawl and need to work on a dye combination before I can call it done. 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

My Counterpane Sweater or "The Beast"

My Beast-The final knitted on band balances the counterpane squares with a nice vertical look

I have just finished a new jacket that I have christened “The Beast”. I designed it using ideas that I teach in my knitting class, “Take The Pain Out Of Counterpane.”
If you are not familiar with counterpane, here is a small history of the counterpane knitting technique.


The Counterpane can be found as far back as the 15th century. The Oxford English Dictionary describes the Counterpane  “The outer covering of a bed generally more or less ornamental, being woven in a raised pattern, quilted, made of patchwork, etc.; a coverlet, a quilt”.

During the middle 19th century “Counterpane” became more specialized. Museum samples show it to be a hand-knitted or crocheted bedspread composed of squares knitted on four double pointed needles, and then sewn together to create a completed bedspread. These knitted covers were generally white, textural (still keeping with the 15th century “raised pattern”) and geometrical masterpieces.

The back shows off one counterpane square beautifully

My Take

I use this traditional technique and create modern items. Up to this point, I have only knitted hats, mitts, and scarfs. It was time for a sweater, especially, as I am teaching the course this summer at the Mid-West Weaving Conference (Emporia, KS) in June. 

A view of the three squares before sewn together. 

The Beast Itself

The sweater is knitted in all garter stitch. This makes for a lot of texture, which I like in a sweater. Yarn is changed every two rows. This sweater is a great “stash buster”. Every yarn came from my very abundant yarn collection. I even had the button.

The yarn that gives the jacket its name is “Hippy” by Katia. Half way through the sweater I just knew I was going to trim some of “Hippy” down when I finished. But I tried it on and absolutely loved the way it worked.  This iss a true statement sweater.


The body of the sweater is three 21 3/8” counterpane squares sewed together. Each square was bound of on three sides with one side left with live stitches. These stitches were put on a piece of waste yarn.

After sewing the three squares together, the live stitches were picked up on a circular needle. Staying with pattern, I knitted a band of about 3.5”. The band is the bottom edge of the sweater.  When finished, I had a large rectangle of 64” x 25”. 

Leaving 9” for the back neck, the sides are brought up to the top and sewn into place.

I finished the piece off with a knitted I-cord button loop and a knitted I-cord edging for the back neck.

This piece fits in nicely with my  “Great American Apparel Diet”. Even though I have given myself leeway to purchase anything to finish a garment, I had everything I needed for this piece. 

Close up view of the stitches and yarn. The squares creates a triangular effect on the arms which contrasts nicely with the vertical look of the band and the square on the back

This photo shows a close up of the knitted I-Cord edging on the back of the neck. It gives stability and a nice finished look.

My next project is to finish a knitted square counterpane scarf that I started three years ago. So this will be the last article from me on this blog for a while. 

I am trying to talk Michael into donating some of his gardening insight for The Journal. After all, it's that time of the year again isn't it.

So until next time, Terri