Monday, July 29, 2013

To Block or Not to Block?

The Entrelac Shawl with Tassels by Eva Martinnson is off the needles!  Now, I'm trying to decide whether to block it or not.  I really like the deep basket weave texture of the entrelac unblocked.

However, the Rowan Purelife Revive yarn I used for the I-cord, which is silk, cotton and viscose, is a very stiff, non-stretchy business.  In hindsight, probably not the best choice for an I-cord trim, but I wanted the color.  Lesson learned.

So, I'm going to give it a day or two to consider the blocking issue.  The shawl is luxuriously long, emphasized because I used Noro Silk Garden Sock yarn and a size 5 needle instead of the lighter Noro Kureyon Sock and a size 4 needle called for in the pattern.  I am quite sure it would have even satisfied my love for bigger with the pattern suggested yarn.

I kind of like it as a couch scarf.  ;)

Thank you all again for the well wishes and prayers for my hands.  They are sloughing in a very unattractive (and hopefully very effective) manner, but absolutely pain free! 

"Don't be afraid your life will end, be afraid it will never begin."  ~ Grace Hansen

blessings ~ tanna

Wednesday, July 24, 2013


There has been slow progress on ANYTHING around The Brick Street Bungalow.  So, I'm sharing a shawl I finished earlier this year. 

The name of the pattern is Arroyo by Sarah H. Wolf.  I chose it for two reasons.  First, it allowed me to use the German Short Row method I had learned while doing the Dreambird (LOVE that way of doing short rows! One of the best things I've ever learned regarding knitting).  Second, it was supposed to use two skeins of Madelinetosh Vintage yarn (which I had). 

The shawl turned out very nice; except for the fact, that even though I took a short cut to the end, I had to purchase another skein of the Vintage to finish (which thankfully was available).

It is a lovely pattern.  I would recommend casting on with a larger needle than you plan to use and doing it very loosely (the cast on edge restricted my blocking of the lace slightly).   Also, I don't think you can have any expectation of using only two skeins of the Vintage.

This was the remainder of the third skein.  I'm sure I will find another use for it; still, it kind of bums me out. 

Hope each of you are having a wonderful week.  I literally sat with ice packs on the backs of my hands most of yesterday.  Monday, they hurt but not the burning fire they were the second day!!  I had used Picato, a medication prescribed by my dermatologist to treat pre-cancerous areas.  Needless to say, you don't get much done with your hands iced down!  They are better today and I'm moving on.  Whew!

"With an eye made quiet by the power of harmony, and the deep power of joy, we see into the life of things."  ~  William Wordsworth

blessings ~ tanna

Monday, July 15, 2013

Our Eagle

My Beloved, a.k.a. Pop Pop, was one of five nominees in his company for the Eagle Award.   It was a great honor to be nominated out of 1500 others; and, while Pop Pop was not named Eagle out of those last five, he is and always will be our Eagle. 

At a point in life where many of his peers are growing complacent and resisting change, he embraces it and continues to stretch himself.   I am always amazed and impressed by his willingness and optimism in the face of difficult situations.  Times are hard.   Change is tough.  He continues to soar.  I love that.

I love that our family honors the qualities of hard work, integrity and perseverance.  I love that my Little Men are learning about that from their parents... and are learning the value of encouragement and affirmation and love.   I think the look on his face when this poster arrived in the mail was way better than any look he could have had had they announced him winner.

I hope he will always know, deep in his heart, that he is The Eagle:  The Winner to us. 

The Entrelac shawl is coming along in spite of almost two whole tiers having to be taken out after an unfortunate and faulty turn.  Seems I lost myself between boarding and resuming knitting on the plane.  Bummer.  But, the entrelac is kind of like eating potato chips; it's hard to do just one, so starting back wasn't hard.

Travel to Evan's meeting last week was wicked:  getting up at 1:30 A.M. for one flight and then two days later getting up at 3:15 A.M. for the return flight.  I had myself some serious issues with TIRED.  Glad to be starting on a more normal week and glad to have The Unloved sitting in time out.  ;)  Thanks for all the wonderful advice.  I think just considering that I can freely rip it all out has been liberating!   We'll see what happens down the line. 

"Anyone who has gumption knows what it is, and anyone who hasn't can never know what it is."
~ L. M. Montgomery

Hope you are all off to a wonderful week.

blessings ~ tanna

Monday, July 8, 2013

Class or Cop Out: Analysis of The Unloved

Ugh.  I'd still been forcing myself along on The Unloved.  Why is it The Unloved?  I've tried really hard to figure that one out (so as to avoid this situation in the future!).  I'm all for learning from your mistakes so you don't have to keep repeating them.

The yarn?  Nope, it is a beautiful silk.  Slips through my fingers like butter.  Now, the color... not the one I really wanted.  But, let's face it, pale yellow does NOT look all that great on fair folk.

The lace (even on the purl side)?  Nope, I love knitting lace.  Keeps my focus WAY better than simple knits, which I continually have to "fix" because I've strayed off path.

So, what gives?  I've had advice from putting it aside to just plain frogging (for you non-knitters, that's just unraveling the whole thing).  But, I HATE starting things and not finishing them.  And, really, it's looking pretty good.  Still, it is like W.O.R.K. for me to get anything done on this one.

Enter:  Entrelac Class at our LYS. 

Perfect excuse for putting The Unloved aside for awhile.  After all, the class started on Friday; I had to START mine then, too.  Right?  It is a class, not a cop out.  Right?

Well,  you might fall for that if you didn't know:

1)  I've done entrelac before.
2)  I'm not using the class pattern.
3)  How STUCK I've been on The Unloved.

All I'll say is that the frustrations and disappointments of my busy past two weeks began to f.a.l.l. a.w.a.y. Friday afternoon as the little squares of Noro emerged from my knitting needles.  Each stitch soothed my soul and the world righted itself in the simple repetitive motion.

I think I understand why I have had issues with The Unloved.   You see the pattern for the entrelac?  It is a shawl.  Next, you'll see the beautiful silk is trying to become a bolero

Apparently, it is not just the knitting process that I love; it is the object I am creating.  The deal seems to be:  I JUST LIKE DOING SHAWLS.  I have hardly ever worn a sweater I've made.  I just don't.  But, my shawls... they are part of my everyday life.  They wrap me in beautiful color and texture and make me smile...

And, they soothe that part of my heart that misses... The Little Man.

He turns four today.  It hardly seems anytime since I drove 16 hours... just to welcome him into our lives... and hold him in my arms.  Oh, I love this child.   Happy Birthday, Little Man.  Your Noni loves you and your Little Brother to the moon and back... bigger than the sky and all the stars...

"Between grief and nothing I will take grief."  William Faulkner, 1949

Hoping you solve a little mystery in your own life today... blessings ~ tanna

Monday, July 1, 2013

The Learning Continues: One More Round of Painting

I've been practicing some more on Soon Y. Warren's method of painting crystal in watercolors.  The composition is Soon's and I am using her video instruction to help continue to guide me along.  I've taken three of her classes over the past couple of years; I LOVE her work and the way she brings her paintings to life.  Oh, I still have so much to learn and it continues to be exciting!  This one was still on the board after I had finished it... and something just didn't look right about the right lower quadrant to me... I don't know enough to recognize exactly what the problem was, but it wasn't right

While staring at it trying to figure out what didn't look right, I decided that if I cropped it, I was pretty happy...  Much like photos can sometimes be better when cropped.

I think I robbed too much light from the area that is purplish on the right lower part of the crystal... but, I'm still too inexperienced to know exactly where or how or what I was doing when I ran it in the ditch!  But, I do know I DID!  Guess I will just have to keep on keeping on trying to learn. 

Here is the partial painting framed.  It was kind of sad to have to cut away all that work... good or bad... but, I did manage to make a hand painted card from the part I removed.  So, it wasn't a total waste.

Waves from our Little Lady!  She's growing like a weed!  Her Noni sure loves. loves. loves. getting those sweet, slobbery little sugars!   She enjoys balls like her cousin, Little Roo.  Makes me smile. 

"We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love."  ~ Mother Teresa

Amen to that.  May your week find you doing whatever you do with great love. 

blessings ~ tanna
PS The Unloved is still d.r.a.g.g.i.n.g. out... I have to force myself to do two rows... about every other day.  At this rate, I may never finish or get to a fun knit again!   Wish me knitting speed!!  ;)
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Numbers 6:24-26

The Lord bless you and keep you;
the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you;
the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace.