Phoenix Rising

I’m loving my ever-growing collection of knitwear that has now grown into a large enough collection that it requires its own plastic bin. (My Boy Toy mentioned to me lately that I have so many bins under the bed that if the bed rails ever gave out we wouldn’t notice for months.) Despite the ever decreasing space under the bed, the work that I’m producing lately has been uplifting and continues to drive me forward.

I’m taking a cue from my brother-in-law to not be afraid to reinvent myself. He went from working in a lonely cubical in some really bad remake of “Office Space”, to being a chef at Disney. I’ve learned from him that it’s okay, in fact its downright healthy to be a Phoenix and be born again from the ashes of your previous life.

So, with that thought in mind I present to you my ode to the Phoenix in this cowl called the Phoenix Tail.

Phoenix Tail Cowl

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Where Cotton Is King

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I was so happy to find this National Geographic at the thrift store the other day. I have been on the hunt for it for some time now. It ia Vol 185, No. 6, published June 1994.

So, what is so special about this issue? Well, there is the main article on Native American powwows, which, being part Native American, I think is absolutely beautiful. But that is not the real reason I was after this particular issue.

On page 60 starts an article by Jon Thompson with photographs by Cary Wolinsky. The article is entitled, “Cotton, King of Fibers”. This article- which spans from Mississippi to Ghana-  explores the need and importance of cotton in our lives. It is a great look at how cotton has grown to be one of the world’s most sought after fibers. The pictures display all walks of life from migrant field workers and stock traders to fabric dyers and women selling their wears at  an outdoor market.

I think this issue should be of interest to anyone who enjoys working with cotton. Knitting, crochet, spinning, needlepoint- if you do any sort of crafting, you can not avoid cotton. And once you learn about this fiber’s rich- and sometimes dark and bloody-  history, that simple little ball of cotton yarn takes on a whole new meaning.

Knitting and Crochet Blog Week 2011: When I Retire From Knitting

Everyone has those projects that they plan on doing as soon as they retire.

“When  I retire, I’ll rebuild that classic car.”

“I can’t wait to retire so I can  finally have the time to quilt.”

“I so want to redecorate the whole house, but it will have to wait until I retire.”

“Let me retire and then I’ll have time to do everything that I want!”

Well, I’ve got a project on my retirement list as well. When the kids are grown and I retire from knitting, I plan to take on the challenge of knitting a bedspread. That may sound odd, but it seems to me that in order to make a bedspread, one must no longer have plans of knitting anything else for the remainder of their life. (They must also be without any form of stash as not to distract them from the task at hand).

I look at lacy knitted  and crochet bedspreads and my jaw just drops at the time and skill it took to create them. Have you ever even tried to knit with bedspread weight cotton? Working with it should be an Olympic sport!

So, until that day when I retire, I’ll just enjoy the work of others and stand in awe of those with the time- and sanity- to create these beautiful pieces.

Crochet Bedspread

 

Knitted Bedspread

Wash Your Face Washcloth

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This was a simple washcloth that I made as punishment to the yarn for not acting right in another garment I was trying to use it for. (Yes, I punish my yarn when it acts bad. Let this be a lesson to all other yarns in my stash. Don’t make me angry!)

Well, despite the initial reason for using the yarn, I must admit that the washcloth came out looking really nice. So if you are looking for a quick knit gift item or just something to do with an odd ball of cotton yarn, well, here you go:

Materials-

1 ball  patons Grace, 1.75 oz / 50 g, 6136 yd / 125 m 100% ultra-soft mercerized cotton, color 62901 Tangelo

US size 2 knitting needles

Cast on 48 stitches.

Garter stitch the first 3 rows.

Row1-4: Knit

Row 5-8: Purl

Continue rows 1 through 8 until you reach your desired length or the washcloth measures 7 inches without being pulled.

Gater stitch the next 3 rows. Bind off. Weave in ends.

The washcloth should have a nice ridged look to it that will soften a bit with use.

Now, go fourth and clean thy self!