Luscious Gracious! Look What We Made Today!

A blog devoted to the art of the Luscious Gracious clan.

Thursday, June 14, 2007


What is it? Could it be?

Yes, Illanna, there is a FoxBot.
This one was made by LilyPants for Ms. Illanna for our "Holiday Celebration" that didn't happen over the holiday. But that's ok, we're fine with a two-term FoxBot Queen/King. If it's not broke, don't fix it.
We have used and reused and even abused those Jess Hutchison books. Good thing that we have two. We need 'em. Lily decided to leave off the arms of the robot (so cute), and to add a foxy tail. Of course we had all of the right yarns on hand. We don't remember what some are (including the tail, which is some odd novelty yarn), but the body is felted Malabrigo, mostly.
Speaking of yarn, here's some.

Apparently Illanna likes yellow. Because we say so, and a good girl always listens to her parents. I spun merino into gold. Nine skeins, approx. 175 yards per skein, three colors handblended while spinning. I really, really wanted to get aboard the yellow train, and am soooooo glad that several people that I know look good in it (my own yellow period? Jr. High. I wore yellow socks ONLY for at least 3 years. I even had yellow shoes- they were leather Keds and the color of butter...I miss those, but I wouldn't dream of wearing yellow now). And the day after I bought this fiber for her, Illanna confessed to me that she "HAD" to have a yellow sweater. A golden vest. A blouse of buttercups. A shawl of sunshine. Or something. I just remember being happy I'd just bought it, and cackled to myself about how surprised she'd be. You know, back in November. That's ok, yarn doesn't spoil. And no matter what she makes, Illanna will be gorgeous.

Stephen went all out and knit a lace shawl. The main yarn is Lang's "Thalja", which is rayon, superkid mohair, and nylon. This yarn just glows. Really. It has other colors inside of it that try to come out, like lime green and citrus orange. Honestly, it has a iridescent effect and changes with the light. After MONTHS of decision making, Steve went with a plain black border (Garnstudio's "Cotton Viscose"). And the stitch is indeed the Seafoam Lace (thanks, Barbara). Illanna tried it on, she looks lovely, and we all applauded. Even the waiter.

Lucy was (surprise, surprise) the only Luscious Gracious member to finish her exchange during the winter. She finally got tired of waiting on the rest of us and gave Illanna this gorgeous bag several weeks ago. She held two VERY thick wools together (we forget the name....) and made the bag up in her little knitting head, with just a few hints from Mom and Dad. Lucy is pretty self-sufficient, but when it comes to felting and color choice, you better at least pretend to ask Dad's opinion! One yarn is a dusky pink and the other a bright green. Somehow they melted together into this beautiful creation. And those happen to be the Illanna Official Colors.

Thanks so much to Illanna (and our other two girls) for such a fun time, and for all of the great presents (more here in the weeks to come, I am sure....such yarn, such fiber, such Japanese sewing books).

Speaking of holidays, and yarn, we celebrated Father's Day early. Dad took a day off work, thinking it was to take Lily to the orthodontist. Surprise Early Father's Day!! And he actually was, well, surprised. The girls made computer cards AND Power Point presentations (nerds) and they humored him by going to see "Surf's Up" with him. Steve didn't even know that The Dude was in that movie, which made it even better. Pretty high praise from the guy who knew this was the "Best Penguin Movie" yet before it came out.

Because he is the "Best Dad" yet, he totally and truly deserved the "Best Yarn" ever. Do you know that this is??????

No fair guessing if you already know. It's not like he's been shy about toting it around everywhere, and he even had me go ahead and wind it into cakes today. He can't wait to get started. And maybe, just maybe, it will be something for me. Unless, of course, Illanna usurps me again.

Lace, a sweater, AND a shawl?!?!?!

Come On!!


Sunday, June 10, 2007

Lucy is Sew Awesome!

Lucy learned to sew this past week. Thanks to J-Dub for the lesson and loaner machine. Dad, in a fit of inspiration, removed Mom from the house during the duration of Lucy's instructions. Lucy is Sew Awesome. Kiki is Sew Nervous.

Her first projects were these corduroy bags.

They are made from leftovers from the hemming of one of her pairs of pants.

Lucy made this apron & dress for part of her 4-H project this summer. Letoya gave us a denim skirt a couple of years ago. Steve wasn't wearing it, so Lucy cut it up into a dress. The pattern was from a Japanese pattern book, "Camisoles and One Piece", a gift from Illanna. No English instructions, but great pictures. The apron fabric came from Ikea. Pattern from Mom's head.

Mom showed Lucy how to make a little sundress like the ones she used to make for Lucy & Lily. 1 part Target shirt, 1 part cool fabric (Ikea sheet set used here), and 1 part sewing. Lucy made this dress for her little cousin.

She also made this awesome bag to go with it. It's amazing what you can get from one pillow case. We still have the double-sided duvet cover (two reversible all-cotton fabrics) left over. Check out the sales, and buy some sheets, even if they don't fit a bed in your house. Five dollars, people.

She also made a pillow from some other pants leftovers (ahh, the benefits of being short). Hey, now that we think of it, these pants were also a Letoya find.

Lucy's last project of the week (yes, these were all made within a week - the same week that included the last 2.5 days of the school year and packing for nine weeks in Indiana) is this super-cute shirt. It is also from that great Japanese book from Illanna.

We are so proud of Lucy. She did a fantastic job learning to sew. Good luck at The Fair.

Kiki made a couple of early birthday presents for Lulu to take with her to Indiana. This shawl is the "Ogee Lace Skirt" by Gryphon Perkins from the Spring 2007 Interweave Knits. It was such a fun, fast, easy knit (everything else Kiki makes lately is on size 2US or smaller needles....this one was on 10's....ahhhhh, big needles). Can't wait to do another one.

Here is a detail shot of the lace pattern. Kiki used SWTC Bamboo yarn. Don't know if this rainbow colorway was ever sold. Living in the neighborhood of South West Trading Company means coming across samples, prototypes, and other oddities from various sources, and we can't keep unlabeled yarns straight. You should see our house. Good thing we keep good notes on everything else....

Here is Lucy modeling it the way the magazine shows it. This picture also gives a better view of the lovely dress that Lucy made. How many adults can turn a blind hem?

Kiki also made these socks for Lucy. The lace pattern is an adaptation of the "Lacy Summer Socks" (perfect for summer, ehhh?) from the Knitting Lingerie Style book by Joan McGowan-Michael. The yarn is Crystal Palace's "Panda Wool", 46% bamboo, 43 % wool, and 11% nylon. We recommend the yarn (and this blue-green colorway, number 9573 "Ultramarine", is especially nice). The bamboo makes the yarn a little less stretchy than the usual sock wool. That's just a little tip and in no way a condemnation of the yarn. Only two days ago, Kiki was happy to see that it was "only" 100 degrees outside. We almost had to wear sweaters.

The girls have arrived safely in Indiana, and already forgot to call us once. But they called again tonight, happy, tired, ready for bed, and a little chilly with the 70 degree nights. We miss them so much already. Nine weeks seems like an eternity, but they are in the best hands possible, and farm living agrees with them, at least for two months out of the year.

Our love to them, and to you all.

kiki and steve

Coming soon - Hanillannakwanzamas Knitting, other recent (or ancient) creations, and Episode 3 - Revenge of the Stitched

Sunday, June 03, 2007

Night of the Arts

Last Thursday we celebrated Night of the Arts at ANLC. There was music, artwork, poetry in the garden, and even a science fair.

Lily played the viola

Lucy played the clarinet.

Artwork from both Art Masterpiece and Art Class were on display. Lucy made this awesome collage while studying Henri Matisse.

She also made this cool pig mask.

Lily displayed this Palo Verde drawing. Lily has spent most of our recent knit nights drawing. Everyone in the group has one of Lily's masterpieces for their fridge. Her favorite subjects are Dragons.

This dragon now lives in her room. She drew it in sections on 7 sheets of paper and then connected them together.

We are so proud of our young artists! We will miss our little snowbirds while they are summering in Indiana.

Coming soon - Hanillannakwanzamas Knitting, other recent (or ancient) creations, and Episode 3 - Revenge of the Stitched