Wednesday, November 6, 2013

As the days grow shorter....

my thoughts turn to knitting!  Needlework is my first love, but I do enjoy to mix things up a bit with some knitting and crocheting.  As with my needlework stash, my yarn stash has grown to monumental proportions with all the wonderful yarns that are out there.  I love the hand-dyed yarns with my favorite being those from Lorna's Laces .  The yarns are wonderfully soft and interestingly enough, many of the colors are named for neighborhoods in Chicago.  My eldest daughter lives in downtownish Chicago and seeing those color names makes me think of her.  :-)

My current on-the-needle project is a scarf I'm knitting for myself using Lorna's Laces shepherd sport (100% superwash merino) yarn in color Baltic Sea (not named for an area of Chicago!). 

The scarf pattern is from a pattern book of my mom's, copyrighted in the 1940's, I think.  It's a very basic scarf knit on size 3 needles using a sport weight yarn.  It does not knit up quickly, IMO!  I like my scarves long so I can wrap them around my face once and tie the ends together (it can get cold in Iowa in the winter and when the wind blows I like to totally cover up my face except for my eyes...), so I'm planning on making this scarf 6 ft long.  Mom was very flattering when she told me I needed to make the scarf that long since I'm so "big" and she doesn't mean tall.....  Thanks, Mom!!

I'm about 14" into the scarf at this point but haven't worked on it for awhile.  When I fly to Las Vegas this weekend I'll be knitting the scarf while in the air and during the 2 hour layover in Houston.  The colors are a bit washed out in this picture - it's more true to life in the top picture.

In addition to the standard line of colors for the Lorna's Laces yarn, they do custom colors for shops if requested.  Jimmy Bean's Wool in Reno has a color of the month which I often find hard to resist!

Yesterday's soggy mail brought me 3 skeins of yarn from Simply Socks in Indiana. It's Tanis Fiber Arts, a hand-dyed yarn from Canada - 70% superwash merino, 20% cashmere, 10% nylon.  

I've been waiting for it since summer.  The plan is to make yet another scarf, but more on the lines of a shawlette.  I rediscovered the pattern today so now I only need to find the right size needles.

Thank you for taking the time to read my knitting post!  Knitting does use needles and you count stitches, so it's not too far away from needlework.  :-)

My next post should be from Las Vegas and will be all about my fun shopping experience at Stitcher's Paradise!  Until then....

Happy stitching!

Monday, November 4, 2013


I was encouraged to set up a blog by two wonderful stitching friends, Pam and Teresa, whom I met at the Pals Cross Stitch Convention last October in Myrtle Beach, SC.  As they told me, the hardest part was picking out a name for the blog, so after some thought and a bit of plagiarizing and combining of ideas, I came up with "Random Ramblings of a Mad Stitcher".  And it's mad as in crazy, not mad as in angry.  :-)

I'm a long time stitcher having started out in the world of needlepoint in the 1970's.  I picked up cross stitch in the 1980's and gradually added a few more techniques like hardanger, drawn thread, and pulled thread over the years.  Recently I've added knitting and crocheting to my repertoire but my first love is still needlework.  I'm kind of self taught; Mom started me out with embroidery and I then I picked up needlepoint by myself.

I'm a pretty slow stitcher and have few finishes, if any, in a year.  I'm proud to say that I did complete a project at Pals:

This is Weatherwise by Prairie Schooler.  32 ct. lambswool linen, DMC floss.  Of course I started up new project - there's nothing like the rush I get from mounting a new project on a frame.  I stitch on a brand of frames called "Rolaframe".  I fell in love with these frames about 20 years ago when I actually had an LNS.  The only place I can find them now is at Down Sunshine Lane, an internet shop. 

This Saturday I'm looking forward to spending time browsing in a bricks and mortar shop in Las Vegas - Stitcher's Paradise.  I was there last year and that shop was amazing!  I'll be sure to post some pics from there.

Happy stitching!