shawls

Icarus

Do you remember a time when you discovered something new that you can’t imagine having ever lived without?  For starters there’s  indoor plumbing, refrigerators, cell phones, massages… you know the Must Haves.  In knitting it first showed itself in the form of cabling without a cable needle then learning how to knit continental.  I thought I knew it all, until now. I have just recently discovered the magic, the convenience, the necessity of Blocking Wires! 

How on earth did I block out lace before them? I haven’t the slightest clue.

pre-icarus

These wires made the act of blocking like alchemy.  Turning a pretty organized mess into a divine piece of beauty.

Icarus

Pattern: Icarus Shawl by Miram Felton in the Summer 06 IK
Yarn: Lornas Laces Helen’s Lace in Cranberry
Needles: Addi Lace Turbos US3
Raveled Here

This shawl began in March and was destined to be a present for my Principal who’s birthday was yesterday.  March to June, PLENTY of time to finish a shawl, right?

Well, I started it strong and then got side tracked by things like cardigans, bucket hats, and a clapotis.  But Icarus just kept quietly growing and growing and to my surprise I was at the start of the charts!  And what charts! There were four of them! With each chart done I kept salivating at the thought of finishing it and on time!   Well, it seems my former boyfriend had to do something so life changing to make me one day late of presenting the shawl to the birthday girl.

He proposed.

A week of whirlwind excitement, dinners with parents and friends and planning, I had to put the near completed shawl down.  It waited while I drank numerous bottles of champagne and toured reception halls only to be picked up here and there and finally finished a day late.  The birthday girl waiting patiently not knowing what I was up to. And did she care about the lateness?

Icarus

If wearing the shawl all day at work in the 90 degree weather in a non-air conditioned school is a sign then I would say she positively Loved It.   

I truly loved making it too and having it be a part of a turning point in my life.  I was in the middle of a row when my fiance(!) called me into to the kitchen needing me to help him "open something."  It’s amazing how something can change so much in one moment.

Like the shawl, my life went from being a beautiful tangle of stitches to a stunning masterpiece transformed by something I cannot imagine my life without – him.

meme

me me me!

My meme!

Here are the directions!
– Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
– Using only the first page, pick an image.
– Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fdā€™s mosaic maker.

The Questions:
1. What is your first name? Margaux
2. What is your favorite food? chicken fingers
3. What high school did you go to? Holy Angels
4. What is your favorite color? blue
5. Who is your celebrity crush? Shia LeBeouf (for his acting skills!)
6. Favorite drink? gin and tonic
7. Dream vacation? deserted beach
8. Favorite dessert? vanilla ice cream cone
9. What you want to be when you grow up? full
10. What do you love most in life? relationships
11. One Word to describe you? energetic
12. Your flickr name? tentenknits

CREDITS:
1. Chateau Margaux, 2. Chicken Fingers Bento, 3. Tattershall, Holy Trinity, I, 1a, Two tracery light angels, 4. When I’m sleeping, I slow down my breathing…Living in dreams, dreams that come true…thinking of the color blue… ZZZzzzzzz…, 5. Optimus Prime, 6. Gin & Tonic, 7. wreck on deserted beach, 8. Ice Cream Cone Cupcakes, 9. Streetlights, Fireworks and the Full Moon, 10. A True Relationship, 11. energetic brights, 12. ten things :: goldenrod

Coming soon and FO and a Big Announcement… šŸ™‚ You love the suspense, I know!

meme taken from Nonnahs

fair isle

Flora

flora

Presenting Flora

Pattern: My own!
Yarn: Manos Silk Wool, Green and Beige, 1 ball each
Needles: Size US7 and US6 circs
Size: 20 inch circ. hat

As I mentioned before I got bit really hard by the fair isle bug.  It started with the Orla hat and is now showing itself with this viney creation.  It all started with a few strokes of my pencil on knitters graph paper and turned into this beautiful hat.

flora

The color of the leaves has a slight variegation which surprisingly gives it depth! I started this hat while out on the lawn celebrating WWKIP day.  After a few rows in I thought it was going to be to big. So I changed my game plan and thought, well cowls are in too! I just needed a reason, any reason, to keep going!  I continued on even when I realized I had casted on 4 too many stitches. (oops!) I was simply too impatient to see how the leaf pattern would come out.

flora

I finished the main design yesterday and wouldn’t you know it fits perfectly (not too snug and not too loose!) on my 22 inch head… yea!!

I’m still trying to decide whether to change the edging to ribbing, maybe change the way I decreased for the head, maybe add a lil something at the top??  Decisions decisions!  I’m just excited to have what I thought in my head actually BE on my needles… such a weird feeling! and so fun!

Life

ten

Baby you find
There’s only one love, yours and mine
I’ve got so much love
And needing you so
My love for you, I’ll never let go
I’ve got so much love

All I want is to hold you
Let me show you how much I love you baby
I don’t mind and I don’t mind
I love you
There’s no one above you

You are the sun
You are the rain
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I’d do it all again and again

Tell me it’s true
I can’t believe you do what you do
I’ve got so much love
And my love you’ll see
We’ll stay together, just you and me
I’ve got so much love

Only you
Move me
Tell me how to love you baby
Show me
I don’t mind and I don’t mind
I love you
Always thinking of you

You are the sun
You are the rain
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I’d do it all again and again

I know you know
The way I feel
I need your love for always
When I’m with you
I fall in love
Again and again and again

You are the sun
You are the rain
That makes my life this foolish game
You need to know
I love you so
And I’d do it all again and again

– L Richie

J, ten years just went way to fast.  Thank you for always being there.

L,
M

fair isle

it makes perfect sense

While at TNNA I had the opportunity to take some really wonderful classes from some really ridiculously superb teachers.   I learned the magic of knitting socks and a wonderful way to make buttonholes all the while being in the presence of two of the greatest knitters ever.  So why after all that great tutelage all I want to do is draw fair isle patterns!?

orlawip

I blame the yarn!  Mission Falls 1824 is one of the softest superwash wool I’ve had the chance to touch.  My mind raced with different hat patterns all waiting impatiently to get their way to the tip of my pencil.  This first rough sketch above is inspired by one of my favorite designers Orla Kiely.  I love her leafy motif that’s become her signature.  I modified mine a bit and although I designed this to look like leaves – they also look like giant knit stitches!

My stranded knitting is a bit rusty so it was a little rough at first but I got into the flow of it.  I’m thinking on version 2.0 of the hat I’ll go up a needle size for the stranding part. 

The makings of an idea...

This is another idea that’s making it’s way out of my head and into a pattern.  I picked up some luscious Manos Silk Wool for this next hat.  I’m trying to be patient and gauge properly so that I don’t go too far before ripping (but you know that will happen anyway! ;-)).

I remember talking to Rhichard from Koigu and asking him if he gets overwhelmed after TNNA with all the orders and yarn he has to dye.   He surprised me by saying that he is at his most creative when he gets back after seeing all the patterns and other yarns that surrounded him.  At the time I was pretty tired, thinking of getting  Jeni’s, but mostly thinking of home really doubting if that actually happens.  Now that I’m here I see what he meant.  All those creative people in the same room, sharing ideas and inspiration, how could it not rub off?

I’m just excited to see where this goes šŸ˜‰

inspiration

Is this heaven? No, it’s Ohio.

I could have sworn it was heaven.  (LAP* – or Long Ass Post, ahead)

TNNA 08 - OH

So much has happened this past weekend that my mind is a blur!  TNNA was so much fun and now I’m extremely impatient for the fall and it’s promise of beautiful yarns and designs.

It’s such a funny feeling to be in a place where all of your Favorite Designers, the people you want to be when you grow up, are All in the Same Room.  Everywhere I looked… I would see someone and try my best to hold back the "OMG. I love you and your patterns and OMG OMG OMG everything about you!" teenager inside of me.   Of course, I let a few gushes fly when I saw Norah Gaughan. (How can you not??) And had the great fortune of bumping into Kate Gilbert at least a half dozen times…. I was like a kid in a Wonderful Knitty Wonderland.

The Harlot and the Dry Ice

I was a bystander to the Yarn Harlot’s magical mystical Dry Ice Spectacle in the hotel lobby. (If you scroll down to see her pictures I’m actually IN one trying to get a good shot of the Dry Ice homage myself!)  It’s like where’s Waldo! šŸ˜‰

I heart Ravelry

Patricia and I also had the grand pleasure of meeting the Ravelry Trio – Jess, Casey and Mary Heather. (Yes they are that Tall and I am not standing in a ditch. Or maybe I’m that Short?) You’ve heard it before and I’ll say it again: They are all wonderful and warm people! I am so excited for them and so grateful for all that they do to inspire and help the fiber arts community!! You guys Rock!  The fact that I’m sure there were well over 300 people who wanted to say HI! and take their picture with them and all the while they were gracious with each and everyone of us is truly a testament to how awesome they are!!  Speaking of wonderful… Beth and Peter from Lorna’s Laces, and Taiu and Rhichard from Koigu are the NICEST people ever.  To know that these two wonderful yarn companies are being lead by such caring and just down to earth people is amazing.  I will never hesitate to increase my stash with those two beautiful yarns (as if I did That before!! ;-)).

TNNA 014

I also cannot forget to shout out the Philly People!!  Craig, Mark and Laura, the creative minds behind Loop and Spool…  hi hi hi hi!

TNNA

You can see here that Laura thinks I’m Crazy.  Why yes I am. šŸ˜‰ Above us is Mark and Craig! Thanks for the fabulous weekend!  It was so nice to really talk to another LYS and see how they do things vs. how we do things and share ideas and inspiration.  Craig seemed to know Everyone! I think he should be awarded Class Best Friend at TNNA!

One other MAJOR highlight and I’m so pisssssed I don’t have a picture is meeting Cathi from In the PINK!!! Cathi, I was so so happy to meet you!!  Getting to meet the people behind the blogs is so fun.  We didn’t have to go through the whole intro-conversation, we went straight to the, "how’s your family and life!"  She was totally holding it down at the TNNA in the Alchemy booth. 

Needle Arts is such a wonderful industry.  It’s a BUSINESS and not just people getting together to SnB.  To think you can make money (dare I say a Living) doing what you love is so in tune to my morals of doing work.  And realizing that a lot of these beautiful yarns and designers are small businesses and that feedback whether positive or negative can be very influential.  It reminds me to mind what I say – to give good and beneficial criticism and to absolutely neutralize any Negativity that’s thrown anyone’s way.  These people aren’t Wal-Marts or Targets who can bounce back if people make a stink about this or that.  They depend on Us.  (ok enough of that soap box talk)

TNNA

Lastly, but most importantly, I need to thank Patricia (seen above with Rhichard from Koigu) for being so wonderful and giving me this opportunity to help her business and to just be a part of a weekend I will remember for the rest of my life! I would not have been able to go or get back to NJ without her! (Literally… yours truly, dropped her wallet in the taxi on the way over. I’m brilliant! Trish was In control, getting me through security in one piece – although frisked!)  I kept calling her my superhero and I her sidekick.  Watch out knitty world here we come!

That whole knitting mojo lost?? HAH! It’s Back baby!

scarves

just part of the crowd

I present my clapotis, number 45,035,435,035…. and counting šŸ˜‰

Silk Clapotis

Project: Clapotis from Knitty.com
Yarn: Handmaiden Sea Silk, 1 ball
Needles: Size 3 circulars

Silk Clapotis

Modifications: I decided to go with a scarf size instead of the full on shawl mostly due to the fact that I only had one skein of this gorgeous seasilk yarn.  I did the set-up rows as written and did about 6 repeats of the increase rows.

Then I played the game of how many rows should I do before I start decreasing without measuring!  I scientifically kept juggling the ball of yarn in one hand and the scarf in the other trying to determine how much was left.  In the end I had a little ball left over which could have been used for a couple of more repeats… but I am not upset, this scarf is GORGEOUS!  It’s got the most beautiful sheen and drape.  A perfect accessory to dress up any outfit!

Silk Clapotis

I am almost as excited about this little scarf as I am about going to the TNNA in Ohio this weekend!! I am working alongside of Patricia of Patricia’s Yarns taking classes and adding my .0002 cents on what she should consider picking up for the fall.  I am very much looking forward to meeting some other bloggers and designers I admire!  I hope to be chock full of great knitty knowledge come Monday šŸ˜‰

Otherwise, things in Chez Tentenknits are good! I went to my college reunion last weekend and enjoyed seeing some old familiar faces while pretending to be in college one more time. I have a feeling that this weekend in OH will rival the "college" weekend… Knit Keg Stands anyone?? I kid. I kid!