Thursday, September 30, 2010

My First Needlepoint

A little over a year ago needlepoint arrived at The Tangled Web and began to pique my interest. Then in the fall, the Barbara Russell trunk show arrived and made my head spin. There were a few canvasses that interested me but I just could not commit. Then one Saturday I arrived and the canvasses had been rearranged and the most spectacular “spider” had made its way to the top of the pile and grabbed my attention – I was hooked. It turns out that my “spider” is an Andes Orchid. The flower is done in Pearl Cotton and the background is in Paternayan wool. A year later, the flower is done but I am still working on the background and it is going slowly.

I have to give thanks to Cameron, our needlepoint guru, for her help and encouragement. I am not sure that I would be as far along as I am without her. She taught me the basics, explained the differences between continental and basket weave and helped me pick out a stitch for the background. Cameron is such an inspiration that I try to show up at the store when she is there to work on my canvasses. Typically you can find her there Tuesday and Thursday.

Cameron’s mother taught her when she was in the sixth grade and she completed her first project in the eighth grade. Though she did not stitch much during high school and college she never forgot it. She finds that needlepoint is a good medium for her while visiting with her and her husband’s extended families. She is able to stitch and visit at the same time. For her, she can pick up and put down her needlepoint without losing her place.

So, now I have three canvasses that I need to finish before I start something new. The Andes orchid is going to take some time. The other two are quite small. The first one is a small Christmas stocking ornament and should take maybe a couple of evenings – it is only about 2” high. The second one is a small flower that will eventually be a coaster that measures about 4” square and should not take very long to do. In the mean time a new trunk show is arriving and will start this Saturday. What am I to do?

The trunk show that is opening this Saturday is from “dede Designs” and I am looking forward to seeing all the new canvasses. I hope to see you at the trunk show or one of the many others that are scheduled for this year. Happy Stitching!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We Got Gauge - Sensational Shirttail

WE GOT GAUGE!!! Carole and I met at the Web this past Friday evening to start our Sensational Shirttail sweater. Carole is using her Lantern Moon ebony needles and I am using bamboo needles. The instructions call for gauge to be done in stockinette which we did but we also tried the different stitches in our chosen yarns. It is amazing how the stitches pop in Carole’s chosen yarn, Kathmandu. The stitches are showing quite nicely in the Gatsby.

Carole got gauge, ripped it out and casted on the back. She was so excited to start that she ripped her gauge swatch out before I could take a picture. Once she got through the foundation rows she started to knit easily through the pattern. She is using stitch markers to mark the beginning and end of the moss stitch, the cable, a slip stitch and the stockinette.

I started the cuffs of the sleeves in the Lamb’s Pride Bulky and they are stunning. I’ve already started changing the pattern. Once the cuffs are knitted you are supposed to pick up stitches on the right side and knit the sleeve. I am picking up the stitches on the wrong side because I want the cuffs to be seen. If you look at Mary’s sweater and the picture the cuffs are rolled up and you are seeing the wrong side. The right side is just too beautiful not to seen.

I must say that this is the first time that I’ve knitted with wool in a few months – it was just too hot this summer. My hands were singing.

Again, you are welcome to join us in our Sensational Shirttail adventure, but you're welcome to bring whatever you're knitting and join us for an evening of knitting and conversation. Hope to see you on Friday, October 15 at 5pm!! Please call the store at 215-242-1271 if you have any questions!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Start Time for Sensational Shirttail

So are you ready to join us on our adventure or just be our cheerleaders?

We will be at the Web on Friday evening September 24th to knit our gauge swatches. There will be copies of the pattern available for those of you joining our adventure. We will meet at the shop the third Friday of each month until we have completed our sweaters. If I were a betting woman my money would be on Carole because she is much more focused that I am. I hope her incentive keeps me on track, but if she gets too far ahead I’ll just distract her with something shiny-you know she loves jewelry. We will keep you posted on our progress and we hope you find this interesting and fun. We look forward to seeing you at the shop on the evening of the 24th if for no other reason than to cheer us on and hang out and knit with us.

Happy Knitting,
Cheryl and Carole

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Suggested Yarn for Sensational Shirttail Sweater

In our last entry, Carole and I talked about our idea to knit the Sensational Shirttail cardigan sweater together to provide that ever loving incentive to complete this project. We hope some of you will join us in our knitting adventure. We will have the pattern for you at the shop and here are some suggestions of yarn that is suitable:

· For those of you who want a more luxurious sweater the Kathmandu Chunky with its merino, silk and cashmere blend would be fabulous. It is a dream to knit with and the fabric it produces is quite hearty. The stitches will really pop in this yarn and it is the one Carole has chosen for her sweater.

· Debbie Bliss Donegal Luxury Tweed Chunky is merino wool with a bit of angora and has a tweedy texture. It has a lovely hand and will show off the cables and moss stitch nicely.

· The Sublime Chunky Merino Tweed is primarily a merino with just a touch of acrylic and rayon and will give a smooth silky look. The swatch is very soft and has a lofty feel to it. It comes in solid colors with multi-colored flecks throughout.

· Debbie Bliss Glen will also fit the bill nicely and is a blend of acrylic, merino and alpaca. It has a heathered or marled look, depending on the color you choose. When knitted up it is smooth and very soft.

You will need between 880 and 1,100 yards of a chunky weight yarn. The gauge is 13 stitches to 4 inches in stockinette stitch

Drop by the shop and take a look at Mary’s sweater that is on display, we are sure many of you will recognize it. Think about which yarn you want to use and stay tuned more information about our adventure.

Cheryl and Carole

Monday, September 20, 2010

Sensational Shirttail Sweater

There is a sweater that has been around for quite awhile now and is still turning our heads. For Carole it began when her Fall 1999 copy of Knitter’s arrived. For me it started when Mary, our beloved leader at The Tangled Web, walked in wearing it. You may ask what sweater are we talking about? Well, it’s the Sensational Shirttail, a cardigan knitted in cables, moss stitch and some calming stockinette stitch – what more for could a girl ask for. It is one of those classic “keeper” sweaters to wear again and again.

The pattern calls for a chunky yarn and 10 ½ needles so it will knit up quickly. Mary used Donegal Tweed in brown. She looks fabulous in it and we covet it. So after much discussion over a couple of years Carole and I have decided to give each other some incentive by knitting it together and blogging about it. Nothing like a little pressure. I know both of us would like to wear it this winter and we can use all the help we can get.

Carole considered using Cascade 128 Tweed from her stash but fell in love with the Kathmandu in a cilantro green. It is one of her all time favorite colors and makes her green eyes pop. I will be using a dark blue in Gatsby (that reminds me of Vincent van Gogh’s Starry, Starry Night and Beethoven’s Fur Elise) and Lamb’s Pride Bulky.

Because I don’t have enough of the Gatsby, which has been discontinued, I will be doing the cuffs, the crocheted edging and the button band in the Lamb’s Pride Bulky in Flannel. Much to my delight the two yarns match perfectly and will work nicely together. I will do my sleeves first because I can live with a shorter version of the body but cannot live with sleeves that are to short.

So here we go!! Stop back soon for more info.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Most Fun You Can Have (Knitting A Sock)

Our Twisty Toe-Up Tube Sock class is coming up on Sunday, September 19 from 10am-12pm, which gives me an opportunity to write a little ode to these awesomely fun socks. Okay, I'm biased. I designed these socks earlier this spring, and I am in love. It's not like I thought making heels in socks was that onerous, but not making heels in socks is surprisingly great!

Look how fun:

And these:

Here's beautiful Cortez who took my class this summer with her nearly-finished pair:

Another great thing about these socks is that, because they're toe-up, once you're past the toe it's just round and round and round. The twisty rib pattern keeps your interest and makes for a nice snug fit as well.

Here are Ann's, who also took my summer class (I love how she didn't fuss with trying to make them exactly identical):

Here are Lisa's, in a little more masculine colorway:

Though we'll be making socks in fingering weight in the class, the pattern is written for sport and worsted weight yarns as well, in sizes ranging from baby to adult.

Interested? I hope so! Call the store at 215-242-1271 to sign up.