Wednesday, February 04, 2009

First Prototype!

I've been swatching quite a bit for History on Two Needles, usually just working up a Stockinette Stitch swatch so I can 'get to know' the yarn and decide how I'd like to use it.

But the moment I saw Cha Cha from Trendsetter at TNNA, I knew exactly what piece I wanted to use it for.

It's a ruffling yarn, rather like Online Linie Solo, but a bit easier to control because the ruffle depth is pre determined by the spacing on the yarn ribbon.

Also, the ribbon portion of the yarn is not woven per se, it's simply a ladder of strands, which I feel gives a better approximation of the basis of a 16th C Ruff.

So instead of swatching the Cha Cha, I put it together with Batik and created a prototype for this collar right out of the ball.

It's not an early, Elizabethan ruff, it's a later, soft ruff. The inspiration is the collar in this lovely portrait (National Portrait Gallery image #1931) of an unknown man by an unknown artist dated around 1625.

We're entering early 17th C England territory, where the ruffs and collars were softening. I so love the transition periods between clothing extremes - these are the point where the people take control of fashion (that is, until the next extreme fashion movement barrels through.)

There are other paintings with soft ruffs, but I love this one for many reasons, not least of which is what appears to be a patterned knit cap with earflaps on the fellow's head.

I've enlarged that portion of the painting and have approximated the stitch chart.

This will probably change, it's just a rough (like the prototype) but it's a starting place - and it feels wonderful to have such a promising start! And two nice projects from one painting - bonus!

Home News
We have a Wii! I bought it used on ebay - it seems fine (and we also have a warrantee) so we're pretty psyched.

I got it for Gerry's 50th birthday, which is tomorrow. I get a little emotional when I think of that, and how at one point we'd figured that he might not see it. But he's here, he's great - and if he could get a bit more movement going he might be able to decrease his pain.

I knew that the kids would dig it, but I was really hoping that Gerry would want to get involved.

He's made his Mii (avatar), and he "plays" along with the kids. He told me he wants to start getting up early so he can get at it first thing in the morning. The whole point of this was to get him moving, get him out of bed on those days when he wants to stay in all day, I'm hoping this will do the trick. Maybe fun will trump pain?

Last Saturday was Max's birthday, but it was also the Minnesota Music Teachers Assoc. Piano Competition. Both kids competed at 8:30, both did extremely well (Hannah scored 94, Max 97) Max's score, since it was above 96, allows him to continue on to the finals in March. We're SO proud of him, and can't believe that they're both doing so well after 9 months of lessons.

Unfortunately, their amazing teacher's husband has lost his job as an accountant and they will probably be moving away from this area. This is becoming so common, and is always painful.

If you happen to live in the Twin Cities area and your business is looking to hire a full time accountant, I'd be more than happy to send along his resume. Yes, it's purely selfish - I love our kids' music teacher and I don't want them to move.

But I also know the readership of my blog is not just amazing, but is pretty esoteric. You never know when someone may be reading who's company happens to be looking to hire someone!

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Blogger athena said...

i love the ruff! i want the ruff! yay for gerry! :-)

February 04, 2009 12:13 PM  
Blogger Clumsy Knitter said...

Sorry to hear that you might lose your music teacher. :( I wish I could help with the accounting issue, but if you end up needing a new teacher, my mother lives in your area and is a member of MMTA (and is also a knitter!). (Don't mean to shamelessly plug her...just trying to help in the one area in which I'm able.)

P.S. Your Miis are super cute!

February 04, 2009 12:51 PM  
Blogger Ann said...

What a good idea with the Wii! The avatars are great! I have my fingers crossed for no reenactment of the Southwest Airlines commercial with the baseball :)

I've never enjoyed history, except for the Arundel books by Kenneth Roberts about the revolutionary war when my husband read them to our kids. Your book, though, might also do the trick. Hmmm.....

February 04, 2009 1:00 PM  
Blogger Amy O'Neill Houck said...

Oh, Annie--the Ruff is amazing--I love that you're sharing the process, and you're design thoughts. It's great that you found a Wii--did you get the Wii fit too? It's great for being more active.

February 04, 2009 1:30 PM  
Blogger jennifer.auroradesign said...

Hi Annie! We got a Wii last Christmas but...this Christmas my son received Mario Karts from Santa. It is the single best game. My husband even went out and bought a third controller and wheel so three of us can play at a time. I would guess we play four or five times a week--as a family. Love. Love. Love.

February 04, 2009 2:03 PM  
Blogger Annika said...

Happy Birthday to Max and Gerry!

February 04, 2009 2:27 PM  
Blogger shoeboots said...

Careful, that Wii gets sassy with you if you miss days or don't follow through on your goals! It's been quite forward with me at times (but it's also usually right!) I can't do the soccer, I get hit in the face with too many shoes. Also, who is throwing SHOES, anyhow? Where's that Ref?

February 05, 2009 5:06 AM  
Blogger LizzieK8 said...

I bought a Wii Fit this week. It's way too much fun...and it can give a couch potato a really good work out.

February 05, 2009 10:30 AM  
Blogger Kathleen C. said...

Oh, I love it!... I'm getting more and more excited for this book! But I better get a grip on myself... I've got a while to wait still.

Annie, I seem to be having some bizarre problem with Blogger... if this is a third repeat please delete my duplicates. So sorry.

February 05, 2009 12:06 PM  
Blogger Gayle said...

Love the ruff -- looks great.

We got a Wii and Wii Fit. I need to keep moving but all the exercise programs were either too energetic or too boring (repeat forever...). With the fit you have a wide range of choices and each exercise is 1, 2, 3, 4 or 5 minutes. So you can mix/match to your hearts content and not get bored and quit.

February 05, 2009 8:30 PM  
Blogger Sue said...

Yayy from snowy England! Love the ruffly ruff - and I'm another fan of your Miis, too. x

February 06, 2009 6:23 AM  

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