Class Outside

Today I’m working outside on our back deck, enjoying the sort-of thriving plants, the non-growing grass seed, the lovely shade and a book on CD (Maisie Dobbs, Messenger of Truth – excellent for knitting… and yes, that’s Myrna Stahman’s high school pic stuck onto my namaste needle case – I loved the photo and she let me have it last weekend after she came back from her reunion.)

Boxes arrived for 4 projects last week, so I’m FINALLY opening them up and getting started on them. I’m filled with apprehension that I won’t be able to slow down enough to take good notes on these projects, and I have to rein myself in to keep from jumping ahead.

I’m solving this by creating charts and spreadsheets for each project as I begin, which helps me take the notes in a place and manner where I’ll find them most useful. We’ll see if this really helps, or if I’m in a fools paradise.

James Skirt
This wonderful painting of James I of England (James VI of Scotland) as a boy caught my eye. I love his breeches – very skirt like – so I’m using them as a jumping off place for a gathered dirndle with a ribbed hem.

It calls out for velvet, but it’s really important to me that this be WEARABLE. I wanted to use a fiber that would take the punishment of being sat on well, and would wash up well, so after a bit of swatching I settled on Bombay by Trendsetter, which knits up very nicely and creates a wonderful velvet-looking fabric.

This is how much I got done during Hannah’s end-of-summer skit presentation, Celebration, at the Breakthrough Program (see, I told you I knitted ribbing in the dark!)

Sutton Hoo
Moving on to a delicious project, I was finally able to connect with Artyarns and secure some beautiful yarn for the Sutton Hoo helmet. The mask part will be in the beaded silk, the sides and crown will be in Ultramerino.

I’ve simplified the mask so that it’s easier to knit and MUCH easier to chart. It’s a project that takes FULL concentration, so I only work on it when I’m home alone and can throw myself into the charting (or late in the evening when everyone’s gone upstairs)

Anne Boleyn
This is a project I’ve been anticipating for months! I’m using Tilli Tomas Milan and Beaded Milan in Black and several accent colors. I’m also going to toss in some Marie’s Crystals, but only in strategic places.

The Milan is thinner than the Beaded Milan, not quite half as heavy. This presents problems as I don’t want the fabric of the body and sleeves to be overwhelmed by the weight of the edging. I’m toying with the idea of doubling it, but I’m not sure that would be the solution – I’ll have to work on this and swatch more carefully… Obviously I’m in the early stages with this one.

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