Archive for the ‘Knitting’ Category

Tiny Pouch of Peace

A dear friend of mine, who chooses to spend winters in sunny Florida instead of slogging it out here in dark and dreary Cleveland like the rest of us tougher sorts, sent me some pictures of beautiful raw crystals she had dug up at one of those you-mine-it places.  The pictures reminded me of the collection of stones I had stashed somewhere, a relic of a time in my life when I meditated regularly, carried certain stones in my pockets for certain powers, and used stones in meditative healing sessions.  Back in my New Mexico days, when I wasn’t in the psychic slump I’m in now.  I sure could use those now, I thought.

I dug them up, and chose an amythyst for clarity, some rose quartz for the heart chakra, and my watermelon tourmaline for healing.  After a few days of carrying them around in my left pocket, I did feel calmer and more optimistic.  I even got the idea of making a small pouch in which I could carry them.

After much Googling around, I settled on this pattern from maggiknits.blogspot.com. Instead of using sock yarn, I used some ivory crochet thread from my stash, thinking that it would wear better in the pocket of my jeans.  Working with my size 1 bamboo double-pointed needles was a bit daunting — one needle actually split, and my 7″ set was too long, but I persevered after I adjusted my position on the couch so as not to keep poking Tomaso, my big tabby cat, in the butt with the needles.  At one point I apparently started knitting backwards (?) and after I realized I had 3 rows of purl instead of knit, I did some quick un-knitting and got it back together.  At any rate, as the work progressed I really liked the way the yarn looked.  I made the main body of the bag about an inch shorter than the pattern called for, and I just threaded some thin green ribbon through the YO holes as a drawstring instead of the cord called for in the pattern.  When I tied off the end, I added a jade-green bead.

This was such a quick and pretty project that I may just make a couple more someday.  I’d like to incorporate beads into the body — I have some pearl seed beads that would be lovely, but I’d have to use much thinner fiber.  The pattern could easily be tweaked to any size, and could hold jewelry or any other treasures. If the ribbon closure doesn’t seem secure enough, I might try making some cord instead.  All in all, a nice afternoon project.  And a nice way to carry around a little peace.


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Two years ago I spent the summer spinning a lovely soft 2-ply alpaca yarn.  One singles is from hand-painted roving I purchased at the Great Lakes Fiber Show, the other some luscious high-quality white I had left over from a previous spinning contract gig.  This past winter, as my mother’s 85th birthday approached, I came across this Victorian Fingerless Gloves pattern from Knit Picks and decided I’d see how my yarn knitted up.

One thing to always remember about handspun yarns is that they rarely conform to standard yarn classifications. The only way to know how it will knit up is to make swatches.  For those of us who are normally too impatient for swatching, it’s an absolute must when using handspun.  Just adjust your needle size until you get a swatch that matches the pattern requirements. And because there was so much color-change in the yarn, the lace detail wasn’t as apparent as it would have been with a single color, but the yarn knit up beautifully. Those of use who knit with handspun expect a bit of unexpected variance in the results.

I don’t know about you, but it seems that I generally start and rip out a new pattern three times before I manage to get it right.  After those initial trials, the pattern knit up surprisingly quickly, and I loved the picot edging stich — I’m sure to use it again in another project!  I finished both gloves over a long weekend, and was quite pleased with the results!

And so was my mother.

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