Monday, November 26, 2007

Busy, and finishing – but also Falling Down the Ravelry Rabbit Hole

I hadn’t realized how long it had been since I last posted – partially because I fell down the Ravelry rabbit hole. For those that don’t know about Ravelry it’s like a Myspace/Facebook on the web specifically for knitters and crocheters. It’s fun – one can post all your projects, all your books, connect with friends, be in several groups to check on stuff . . . . a rabbit hole.

Meanwhile I fell in love with the Pearl Buck Swing Jacket, (from Interweave Knits Winter ’05? And in the new book Interweave Favorites of the first ten years) found the perfect yarn for it (Sublime Cashmere,-Merino-Silk, DK weight), bought it, started it – thinking it would be a great “mindless” project to work on in knit groups and at work – WRONG. I got obsessed! I got tunnel vision! –ME! The knitter who usually has more WIP then she’s willing to admit -- . Anyway, the result was that I knit the sweater in TWO WEEKS! AND it’s stunning – if I do say so myself!The photo doesn't show the neat back feature, I'll try and get a better photo of that for my next post.

Then, between dealing with loosing our dog, and having been bit by the finishing bug, I finished the Adamas shawl that I’d been working on since May. AND it’s turned out wonderfully!

First photo is still being knit, with my usual knitting background, our smallest cat, Snowball.

I also tried my hand at crocheting, having been dared to crochet something by Amy, at the "Party Like it's 1998" at A Tangled Skein,(there was a Friday the 13th in November 1998, and Tangled Skein has a party and three hour sale on Fridays the 13th. [Next one's not until June 2008, so they made one up!]) So I met her dare, and crocheted a hat!

And my husband and I celebrated our 25th wedding anniversary last week. We gave ourselves a WONDERFUL party – inviting everyone we know – from all segments of our lives – church, music, family and knitting – and everyone blended wonderfully, and had a great time! On the actual day (which we share with Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip of the UK – only they’ve made 60 years) we took ourselves to a wonderful, very fancy for us, restaurant in our hood – and shared a full bottle of wine! Because it was in the neighborhood, we WALKED there and back again, so we wouldn’t have to worry about driving. A lovely dinner, a lovely evening, and my favorite companion (human or otherwise).

Have several projects going right now – I’m struggling with the Field of Daisy shawl from Fiddlesticks right now – the struggle is I dropped stitches, and saving it involves A LOT of tinking! UGH. Hopefully I’ll get back to knitting later tonight, but it’s been two days of tinking instead of knitting. I HATE TINKING – I LOVE knitting! Sigh.

And I’ve already reached the it’s time for another dog stage. We’ve got a specific breed in mind, much smaller than a Golden, because much as we love the personality of Goldens, they are large dogs, and during sweet Kait’s last couple of years it became very difficult to take her to vet’s – and I don’t want to be in that position with another dog – I need to be able to pick up and put the dog in the car by myself. So once the new pup joins the family I’ll post pictures etc., but until then, folks’ll just have to deal with the mystery. I think the new dog will be my Christmas present this year. And then I’ll have a busy year, since I’ll be taking obedience classes with it for the next year. Kaitlin earned her Canine Good Citizen certificate from the AKA when she was two, and I want the new dog to earn one too.

Back to tinking.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Tribute to a Special Dog and Finished Objects!

We lost our dog this week. She was twelve and a half, quite arthritic, and I knew we’d be lucky if she made it to 13. Still it was hard. She was in pain, and all her organs were shutting down.

She lived with, loved, and played with all our cats. They slept with her in winter. They miss her greatly, as do we.

It was nice to be her alpha – you knew where I was in the house by where she was. A good ole dog. She loved the ocean, kongs, tennis balls, her people, food, and her cats. She played with them wonderfully, and slept with them in the winter. One of our cats, Phoenix, was the same color as she, and seemed to think she was his mother. He slept with her year-round – in summer away from her heat, but with a paw out to touch her. She missed him when we lost him two years ago, now his successors miss her.

I finished my Hempathy sweater two weeks ago, and took photos of it finished. Kaitlin is in the lower right corner, and Barnum in the upper left.

I also finally blocked my Seraphim shawl. Actually got photos WITHOUT cats in them!

I got to Stitches East for about 2 hours on the Friday. Had fun, didn’t get a lot – saw new Karida of (Neighborhood Fiber Co. )

and old friends (Ann & Eugene of
Philosopher’s Wool), and snapped a photo of Kaffe Fassett.

And attended Amy, ’s book signing at A Tangled Skein, for Crochet Me, a book she contributed a really cute dress to. She is absolutely brilliant in what she can do with crochet! It often LOOKS KNIT! (My prejudices are showing!)

Currently focused on one thing in particular, with two others screaming for “their” turns next:
1. the Pearl Buck Swing Jacket from Interweave Knits – in the new “Best of” book, and I believe, Winter ’05 issue. I’m using Sublime Cashmere Merino Silk. Glorious, glorious yarn – I just adore working with it. Started it on October 16 (b-day present to myself to buy the yarn), and only have a sleeve and a half to go before starting the finishing! Hope to finish it by this Tuesday. Photos when finished.
2. The next Tofutsies Sock Club sock. It’s for display at A Tangled Skein,
3. Artamus shawl from Knitpicks, out of the yarn called for. Really want it done too.

More sooner than before. Back to the Pearl Buck Jacket.

Monday, September 24, 2007

What kind of book am I?

You're Catch-22!

by Joseph Heller

Incredibly witty and funny, you have a taste for irony in all that you
see. It seems that life has put you in perpetually untenable situations, and your sense
of humor is all that gets you through them. These experiences have also made you an
ardent pacifist, though you present your message with tongue sewn into cheek. You
could coin a phrase that replaces the word "paradox" for millions of

Take the Book Quiz
at the Blue Pyramid.

My friend Lee posted this quiz on her blog. She’s Siddarta, and I’m Catch-22!

Am busy ignoring seductive yarns (not only the alpaca sock yarn, but Savoy from Tahki which is 52% silk and 48 % merino wool– more about that soon.) I’m trying to work on ONLY ONE thing at the moment and finish a sweater in hempathy, which will be wonderful to wear during October, but probably not warm enough after that. So there’s my focus.

Meanwhile, here's the older two cats of my menagerie , Snowball and Agatha, ages 6 and 14 years.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Seduced by Yarn –

I’m sure, most folks, if you’re reading this, you’ve been there – a yarn appears in front of you, a beautiful colorway in a luscious yarn, and forget it, forget NOT starting anything new – forget ALL the other projects you SHOULD be knitting – you’ve GOT to buy the yarn, AND you’ve got to start working with it NOW!

Well, the new Alpaca Sox yarn from Classic Elite is just such a yarn. It arrived this week at A Tangled Skein,, and when my female boss arrived Saturday at the store (the proprietors are one of each sex), she told me about it, and we dug around, found it – and I was in love. I don’t even care that the socks’ll have to be HANDWASHED – the yarn is SOOO yummy to hand – and the colorway I got, very dark autumn colors, is delightful to behold! As soon as we had put the store labels on the skeins, one was quickly whisked off to the swift and ball winder, and I dug in my knitting bag and found a set of double points, just the right size (0 US [2 mm]) for my basic socks. I immediately cast-on, and started the ribbing on a pair of socks for my husband.

Now you may ask, WHY, when this yarn is so luscious and wonderful, am I knitting the socks FOR MY HUSBAND???? One main reason – everything I’ve knit out of Alpaca has been too hot for me to wear for very long, no matter how wonderful the yarn was to knit with – I get hot easily, (I am so glad the weather has finally cooled down from our hot summer ), and even in winter, my socks come off quickly when home – and I end up in just my slippers, which go on and off as my feet go hot, then cold, etc. Whereas my wonderful husband has perpetually COLD feet, even in summer, and especially in winter – so toasty warm Alpaca socks will be perfect for him!

This is ONLY the fourth sock yarn in a month that has seduced me – and so far, only one of the four is going to be MINE!

The first was the Claudia Handpainted 100% Superwash wool in a Chocolate color – it’s becoming socks for my husband, specifically for his Civil War music gigs – I’m knitting the first full pattern in Nancy Bush’s Vintage Socks book, not quite 1860s, but 1880s.

And then, in a similar yarn, but a much different color, I just knit a pair of socks for a fellow choir members BIG birthday today – out of Karida’s Neighborhood Fiber Co.. sock yarn in the Dupont Circle colorway – deep pink with purple overtones – very right for my friend.

The third is the one I dyed myself in a workshop at Tangled Skein with Karida—and because those will be for me, they’ll end up being the last ones finished of these four. I'll post a photo next post.

And yes, I’m FINISHING things. I finished my Jade Sapphire cashmere/silk “Ruby Slippers” Seraphim shawl. Just needs blocking. (There’s beginning to be a queue of things to block [note to self: BLOCK SHAWLS next WEEKEND!]) And besides the birthday socks my husband has gotten a new cotton/wool pair. And I finished the second sock club Tofutsies socks.

My assistant Bailey, just answered the phone, and she says it’s for me – the person on the other end doesn’t speak cat.

And now I’m off to knit more, finish some socks, maybe a sweater . . . .But FINISH something!

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


I went off to Folk Music Camp, fully planning to blog right when we got home. Wellllll…. I did finish two pairs of socks at camp, and get a good start on a third. But I also came back with a serious sinus infection, that made me unable to focus for a good two weeks – I only managed to get done the things that HAD to get done.

Now I’m trying to overcome startitis – where it’s so tempting to start yet another project – sweater, shawl or socks. I’ve managed NOT to start more shawls (beyond the Mystery Stole 3 – more on that shortly), or sweaters (I got the wonderful Kani that Susan Rainey has been working on) but socks. . . .

I took a dying class with Karida,, of Neighborhood Fiber Co. at A Tangled Skein, last week – and I had a wonderful time – and came out with two skeins of sock yarn that I’m quite pleased with! I HAD to start one of them immediately it was dry!

And then at Tangled Skein they got in Claudia’s Handpainted in Sock Weight, and we needed to know how it knit – so I started a sock in that. It maybe a bit hard to see, since I chose the Chocolate colorway, as that lends itself to socks for my husband when he’s doing his Civil War reenactment music gigs – the pattern is the first one in Nancy Bush’s wonderful sock book Vintage Socks.

And I’m also making the Tofutsies Sock Club Sock for August. And finishing the second sock of the third pair from camp (just did that!) And there’s a pair for my BF, and another for my next closest friend, and the SECOND Sock’s that Rocks Rockin’ Sock Club –

and three’s waiting to be started, and the fourth should show up in the mail any day now!

And, and, and . . .

I’ve also been a knitter for my friend Amy, book she’s doing – I’ve knit two sweater’s from her patterns, and then a cute little fair isle sweater for it too. (Photos next week when I get the models back to finish writing up the patterns). All the yarn used in this book a eco-friendly! I made the Fair Isle Sweater from Shetland 2000© from Yarns International – the yarn is un-dyed – all the colors are as the sheep are colored!

Yesterday, as I finished up the Fair Isle Sweater (I’d done all but the second sleeve), I decided that I really couldn’t start ANYTHING more until I finish at least half of the projects that are on the FRONT burners (there are too many on the back burners to fuss about at this point.)

So today, I’ve finished the pair left from Camp, and I’m working on the Seraphim Shawl – I think I can finish the 3rd chart today, and start the edging – maybe I’ll finish it this week!

Meanwhile, the Mystery Stole3 has posted the final clue – and I’ve only just started Clue 3. That’s going to be my focus once I finish the Seraphim (unless Seraphim, which is knit out of the incredible Jade Sapphire Silk/Cashmere, is too hot in my lap as we go back to 90+ weather later in the week. I put it aside originally because of that.) Plus a Elspeth Loavold sweater out of her nice hempathy, that I’m doing in wonderful fallish colors, so I really would like to be able to wear no later than the first of October.

And then there's the sweaters -- the one out of hempathy and the other out of Koigu. And below is my constant assistant -- our smallest cat Snowball -- giving the "eye" to me -- as in, "WHAT! You want ME to move?"

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Seduced by the Mystery and Socks–

Stole that is – my knitting buddy and friend Hannah, showed me her start of the Mystery Shawl Project 3 that Melanie is doing on the web. There was still time to join, and Hannah’s start was intriguing, and we have learned we tend to like the same lace patterns – so I joined Tuesday night. I found yarn in my stash, wound it (well, my sweet husband wound it for me), and started swatching.

I found the size needles that would do for the yarn (Lorna’s Laces Helen’s Lace, color Black Purl), and then found I had enough beads of a WONDERFUL color to go with the yarn (in my stash too!).

So off I went with Clue #1. The Mystery Stole 3 will be done with seven weekly instalments with charts and clues, but you have no idea what the finish article will look like – the only clues being how MUCH yarn was needed (1250 yardage on Helen’s Lace is perfect), and the lace. What’s really fun is the week the new Harry Potter book is released, the clue will be posted on Thursday instead of Friday, and then there will be a two week break before the next clue, so folks can read the HP book! Works for me for two reasons – reading the HP book AND I’m off to music camp from the 21st to the 29th, and I’m not about to take ANY complicated lace pattern to work on. Here’s where I am at the end of Clue #1.

I’ve printed out Clues #2 & #3, and four comes out this Friday. I’ve had less time to knit on it then I expected – we went to Tennessee to see our son this past weekend (he’s doing great), and we’re off to Camp on Friday, so it’s been socks, socks, socks. Here's Andrew with his birthday present soda -- he's a big Simpsons fan!

I just finished a shawl in the lovely Pure from South West Trading Co. – 100% Soysilk – which is just glorious to knit with (bought at A Tangled Skein,), in a nice faded blue-jean blue, and the pattern is from the Lace Styles book, Tuscany shawl. It’s worked up quickly, and lovely. It’s my contribution to the Auction at the music camp I’m going to.

I finished two pairs of socks last week – one for my friend Lorraine – which were finished in time for her to take them to Nantucket with her last week (and I didn’t get any photos), and on the drive DOWN to TN I finished a pair for my husband, which he immediately wore the next day, so now they’re in the laundry so he can take them to camp.

I also was at A Tangled Skein, for the Friday the 13th Knit-In and Sale – what fun we all had! Nearly 60 folks came over the course of the evening, and many of us stayed for the whole evening. Pictured are my knitting buddies from my Tuesday night group, as well as the additions of Lolly of blog page and Eunny Jang, the new editor of Interweave Knits (she lives in the greater DC metro area!)

My sock passion took over and I finally succumbed to buying the ToFutsies Exclusive Sock Club Yarn . This is a Sock Club (every other month) being done through yarn stores. You buy a skein of the Exclusive color, and get a free pattern. The first pattern is called Wild Kat, and it’s a fun knit! Doesn’t look like much when you just see it hanging from the needles, but when it’s on a foot – the lovely lace pattern shows beautifully.

There’s no AC at camp, so it’ll be a week of socks – unless it gets a little bit cool (camp’s in Plymouth, MA), then I might, if I take it, work on the Koigu sweater.

To end, here's a photo of my sweet Barnum, in one of his crazy sleeping positions. My knitting buddie Tanya complained I didn't run enough photos of my babies, so this one's for her!

Back to the mystery stole AND socks . . . . .

Monday, June 25, 2007

Progress, progress

I’ve become obsessed with my Seraphim shawl. I just love the yarn, Jade Sapphire’s Cashmere-Silk. It’s a rich rich red called Ruby Slippers, sheer heaven to touch, knit with, and I’m loving the way the shawl is looking. It’s stockinette for the first half or two thirds, and then goes to these lovely lacy patterns. Shown here with my cat Snowball as the nice white background. (photo taken by my sweet husband). I’m over half-way through the third chart, with only the edge chart, and the edging, bind-off to go. The only problem is were having a mini-heatwave, and even with AC it's getting hot knitting this -- it's going to be a VERY warm shawl!

I’m also working on the Koigu Jazz Cardigan – I’m loving it too – but I knew when I bought the yarn for it how much I love Koigu – I always said it was my favorite yarn that Yarns International sold – and I liked most of the yarns they sold! The Jazz pattern has turned out to be quite easy – so it’s currently my carry around project. Socks are languishing right now – but never fear, I’ll be back to them soon. I’ve got to finish the Panda cotton socks for my friend Lorraine before July 13th – she’s off to Nantucket for two weeks, and will need socks some of those cooler nights there.

Back to the shawl.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Traveling and Knitting and Teaching

To start here’s June 6th socks on needles;

And then the finished socks, and the next ones on needles!

A long car tip gives LOTS of knitting time – and socks, for me, are the best thing to knit on the road. My Seraphim shawl is moving slowly on, but on our five day trip to Tennessee and Kentucky, I didn’t knit one stitch on it.

My husband and I have figured out two rules for the trip(s) to TN and KY (which we will have several of over the next year or so). For me – SOCKS only for knitting projects – I don’t really want to work on anything else. And for him, a MAXIMUM of TWO instruments. This last trip he took three instruments (2 banjos and one guitar), and I took three pairs of socks, two having one sock done, and my shawl.

Our son is in a special school in TN, and we went for an orientation and therapy session face-to-face. Here a photo of “my” menfolk:

We did one on Friday, and one on Monday – so between we drove up to Shelbyville, KY which is where my grandfather was born – and he was fourth or fifth generation in Shelby County KY. Unfortunately we didn’t get there early enough to do any research – everything closes early on Saturdays, and isn’t open on Sundays. BUT . . . . just across the street from the Library was a lovely Victorian building – in fact, the old Shelbyville train station, moved there from it’s original location three blocks away on the train tracks, and it had this HUGE sign (see below) that said YARN. And then, below that – MUSIC.

A lovely little store, Knit-Pickers, designed to fit perfectly with my husband and me! A very nice husband and wife run it as their retirement. He’s a former music teacher, and she was a teacher too. There’s nice room filed with a decent selection of yarns (bought enough yarn for four pairs of socks), and then three or four rooms with all sorts of musical instruments and connected paraphernalia -- we hung out there for an hour or two, and ended up with my husband buying a guitar! If you’re keeping count, that meant we drove home with FOUR instruments.

Besides Knit-Pickers in Shelbyville, I got to go to another yarn store in Knoxville, called Loopville. She’s only been open a year, but although small, she has a wonderful selection of yarns and patterns, and knitting tchotchkies. Again I got sock yarn (three pairs worth, one of the Regia silk, which I haven’t knit with yet), and some fancy stitch markers.

Meanwhile, I have taught the first of what I hope will be several, classes at A Tangled Skein in Hyattsville, MD – it was a basic cuff-down sock class. It was three evenings, each a week apart. I had them knit a worsted weight sock. I had four students the first week, one who ended up not coming back after the first night, but the other three did, and two of the three got their socks done! And the third, is a friend from church, and she had the week from h*** and no knitting time. But she knows where I live . . . . and she also comes to my Tuesday evenings knit group. They were a great bunch, and I really enjoyed doing the class.

And last Saturday, Yarns International the now web-based yarn store had one of their local sales in a hall, and I was there to help all day – they had a WONDERFUL new shipment of Koigu (if you don’t know Koigu – it’s one of my all-time favorite yarns). I really, really (I mean REALLY wasn’t going to buy any more – I’ve got lots ---) buuuuuut the yarns are all “hand-dyed spaced-dyed,” and the colors are incredible, and different from batch to batch – and from shipment to shipment. Yarns International has stocked Koigu since it first came on the market, and I worked in the physical store for eight years, and saw the shipments as they arrived. So Saturday, by the end of the day, I had fallen in love with one colorway, and found a pattern I really like, and ended up with enough yarn to make said sweater. I’m trying to be good and not cast-on until I finish some of the other projects started . . . .but, I’ve already done gauge swatches, and I’ve started the cast-on . . . . . .

But back to Seraphim. (And yesterday was Paul McCartney’s 65th birthday. Guess which Beatle was my favorite . . . well, he IS left-handed.)

Late breaking – I’ve cast-on and knit three rows so far on the Koigu sweater – pictures of that start next post.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Socks and shawls, and luscious yarn

I seem to be stuck on socks, and shawls. I finished the Claudia Handpainted silk Diamond Fantasy Shawl, and it’s lovely. Still haven’t blocked it, as time to do so hasn’t materialized yet. Hopefully soon. Photos to follow on that.

I’ve given myself a summer sock project, which I may have mentioned awhile ago – knitting enough pairs of socks for my two closest friends to be able to have comfortable socks for next winter. For my bestest friend, Nela, I’ve already finished two pairs, and am well on the way with two more – the first three pairs are toe up, but the most recent is cuff-down – and then she went with me to A Tangled Skein last week, and I had her choose sock yarn for me to make socks, so she’ll be getting that pair too. That brings her socks up to five pairs, so I feel I need to divert to my other closest friend, Lorraine –
to getting her more socks. I’d, truth be told, rather knit socks for Nela, simply because I can knit her WOOL socks, and Lorraine can’t wear wool. The new Panda Cotton from Crystal Palace Yarns is heavenly. It’s 55% Bamboo, 24% Cotton and 21% elastic nylon. I’ve got one sock knit, which unfortunately didn’t fit right, so I’ve got to rip back to the heel, and redo (it’s a toe up). THE REASON both of them need handknit socks is they have thick ankles, and commercial made socks are very tight, if not too tight on the ankles. They also are VERY appreciative of getting handknit socks – and they both been there for me most of my life!

Meanwhile, while I was at A Tangled Skein two week s ago, Cheryl (one of the owners), showed me some heavenly yarn – Jade Sapphire Cashmere/Silk. It’s expensive, and to make a shawl you need at least two skeins. I drooled a lot, but restrained myself. BUT I couldn’t stop thinking about the yarn. I really couldn’t. That was on Wednesday. Sunday afternoon I looked through my shawl patterns. I found one that would only require two skeins. So before I went somewhere else, I made a detour to A Tangled Skein and purchased two skeins. I wound one that evening when I got home, and cast-on for the new shawl. The color I got is called Ruby Slippers, and it’s a very subtle variegated reds and close to deep red violets. It’s GORGEOUS, and even more heavenly to knit with. I’m very pleased with the splurge – and the shawl is going to be wonderful. It’s a pattern my friend Hannah just finished recently. It’s going to be a shawl that goes with anything and everything! And nice and warm!

And no more new yarn of any kind for quite sometime – and no more new project s (except socks) until I finish several (like three to five). Except for the Teddy Bear sweater for a friend’s project. (And I don’t need to buy yarn for that, there’s lots in my stash!)

Update from having written up to here last week. I’m still going on the socks, but the Jade Sapphire Cashmere/Silk is soooooo seductive – I’m half-way on the Seraphim Shawl – just finishing the first chart (which comes after many, many rows of stockenette stitch.). Just love knitting on it. Not many photos this post – so I’ll close with a photo of my “kitten” Barnum (he’s only 15 months old, and won’t be FULL grown until he’s about 4 years old) sleeping among all my boxes of yarn – my stash!

One reason for so few photos is my camera is giving me grief – new one coming soon! And then a photo of our old lady dog, Kaitlin. It’s a really true photo of her now!

And a wonderful comment from my husband last night. As he was getting undressed, he said that the “commercial” socks he had been wearing were tight on his ankles, and he didn’t see any reason to wear them anymore – so he threw them in the trash, and said he knew he had much better socks in his drawer! Guess he’ll get the next pair after I finish the two pairs for Nela (both at the heel one up, one down).

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I was “tagged” by The Rainey Sister s (Susan & Sally)
Here are the rules and my random facts!

1. Each player starts with 8 random facts about themselves.

2. People who are tagged write a blog post about their 8 random things and post the rules.

3. At the end of your post you need to tag 8 people and post their names.

4. Don’t forget to leave them a comment and tell them they’re tagged, and to read your blog.

Okay, here goes my random facts:

1. I’m an only child, but am blessed with two close friends that I have known respectively 52 and 40 years. (and we’re only 55)

2. I’ve still got some of my mother’s ashes – can’t figure out where to put them.

3. I like cats more than dogs. Learned that over the past 12 years with both. I do like dogs too, but cats . . . .

4. I’m a TV junkie. My favorite way to relax is to “vegge out and knit to watchable TV (broad category).

5. I’m third generation to live in the Washington DC area.

6. My favorite TV show currently is NCIS. Or History Detectives.

7. I’d like to be ON History Detectives.

8. The first place I drove myself at age 18 when I got my driver’s license was to Inez Stitchery – A YARN STORE! (my mother didn’t like to drive outside the beltway in DC – it was too foreign territory in those days (we’re talking 1970). Amazingly Inez’s is STILL in business (and has some of the same yarn and stuff she had in 1970!) And driving back Wednesday from Baltimore with my goddaughter’s dorm room in my car, I detoured to check out a yarn store in Ellicot t City, MD that I hadn’t been to before.

And now, I tag Hannah, Amy, Martha, Rebecca, Genia, Allan, gee I’m having problems tagging more than six with blogs – I don’t want to tag folks I don’t know, sort of, at least . . . .
More another day.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Busy, Busy, Busy
I haven’t had time to blog because of a HUGE project I’ve been working on. It’s a fabric memorial quilt/banner for a folk festival I go to over Mother’s Day weekend. Finished size is around six feet wide by four feet high. I have been doing little else but it when home for the last two weeks. Pictured below is it finished. It was a IMMENSE HIT! I had tones of folks thanking me for doing it, and one widow cried as she talked to me about it, she was so pleased there will always be a memorial of her husband at the festival.

But, that doesn’t mean I haven’t been knitting. My best friend has a second pair of socks, and a third has been started for her!

I also finished the first pair of Rocking Sock Club socks, and have started the second pair which came last week. The new socks are in a new yarn, that has SILK in it. Sheer bliss to knit with – I haven’t quite decided about the pattern – I’ve reached the heel, and it’s different from any I’ve done before, and is going to require more brainpower doing it then I have for knitting at the moment, so they are waiting. They can be regular socks, or knee highs. I’ve decided on knee highs, as I don’t have any handknit ones, and I’ve often wished I did. (There’s a lovely pair in the Summer ’07 Interweave Knits calling to me. . . .)

Meanwhile the Diamond Fantasy Shawl in the Claudia Handpainted silk is knitting along nicely. I think I’m finishing repeat number 8 of the 10 suggested for a shawl. The yarn continues to be sheer heaven to knit with, and I love my colorway more and more as the shawl grows!

I did make it to Maryland Sheep and Wool. It’s the first time I’ve been on a Saturday in over five years – and in the morning (we were there at 9 a.m.!) and it’s much more crowded than Sunday. We had somewhere to be in the afternoon/evening, so we didn’t stay all that long (four hours?). But being seduced by Socks that Rock I stood in line for twenty minutes to LOOK at and choose the various colors this only vendor had (found out she once worked with Blue Moon Fibers, and has exclusive access to selling them east of the Mississippi), and then back into a second line for fifteen minutes to pay for them. Looking over what I bought, I’m quite pleased, and it was rather fun in line with all the other lunatic knitters!

I’d hoped to find some more lace weight yarns, but didn’t find any that said they needed to come home with me. I did buy a skein of Fleece Artist Sea Wool for socks – merino wool and Seacell. It’s lovely to the touch, and that may be the next pair for me. Oh, and for sheer silliness, I bought a pair of GLASS circular needles! I’m a sucker for the odd in knitting accoutrements.

I lost valuable time on the banner on Sunday because our male Maine Coon, Barnum was not up to snuff, and after watching him for several hours, I decided I’d sleep better if we took him to the emergency vets just to make sure it wasn’t anything serious. WELL, it turned out to be something that if NOT treat in a timely manner COULD be serious. He had a urinary tract blockage, not uncommon in male cats. So the poor baby was in the hospital for three days. We also discovered in the x-rays that he had EATEN a STRAIGHT PIN off of the banner! I’d caught him pulling them OUT of the banner – he’ll eat anything! I talked with the vet today and he’s recovered completely from the blockage, and the pin has moved into the lower colon, and they believe he will get it out of his body in a “normal” manner. And he can come home this evening! Rather glad this happen after MD S$W, as I wouldn’t have spent as much as I did – in fact I might not have gone at all!

After our wonderful weekend at the Festival, my sweet husband agreed to take a short detour on the way home to stop at Sheep’s Clothing the Morehouse Farm Merino’s own shop in the little town of Red Hook, NY. We were only 45 minutes away when we headed home – so it didn’t take long to get there. I was after the Swan Shawl kit that is in their ad in the Summer Interweave Knits – unfortunately they had found an error in the pattern, and were correcting it – but I was able to order it, and they are sending it to me with free shipping as soon as it’s all ready. Meanwhile I bought a little scarf kit, and enough of a lovely lace weight variegated to make a shawl (what shawl? Who knows? The yarn will tell me when I get to it – perhaps during the summer.).

At the festival, besides the banner, I gave a friend a shawl I had knit her at the end of last summer and never sent her. Again a huge hit, and pictured below is the back view of the shawl.

More soon when I have finished some other work (non-knitting). Photos of socks – knit a number over the past few weeks.

Friday, April 20, 2007

I’m in love . . . .with yarn, and gadgets

And oh yeah, my husband. But on the knitting end. I really love the Claudia Hand Painted Yarns Silk Lace 20/2 100% silk. I bought it at A Tangled Skein two weeks ago in the Blue Terra Cotta colorway, and started the Diamond Fantasy shawl in it (Thank you Hannah for the suggestion).

I enjoyed knitting on it so much, that when a Tangled Skein had a fun 20% off everything sale with a Friday the 13th late-night sale from 9 pm to Midnight (as well as sit and knit during those hours with munchies and beverages!), I had to buy ANOTHER skein of this yarn in the Walk in the Woods colorway.

And then my last Christmas present arrived last week. My husband ordered the heavy-duty wooden ball-winder from Nancy’s Knit Knacks, and it CAME! I’ve never used a ball winder I’ve liked better, it just flows so easily, and quickly. I’m even willing to wind my own yarn more often! (I’ve had two plastic ones break on me, and the first wooden one I got elsewhere doesn’t have a comfortable winding design. My sweet husband has been winding a lot of my yarn for me – he actually enjoys doing it – and he also is quite pleased with it.) I'll post a photo of it in use next week. We're off to Massachusetts to attend and perfrom the New England Folk Festival (NEFFA).

Meanwhile, a silly story on myself. I was reading recently my friend Hannah’s blog about the shawl she’d made her mother-in-law, with photos and I thought, oh what a lovely pattern, and followed the links to where it was shown that it was in the Fall issue ’06 of Interweave Knits. I went and looked it up in my copy – and reminded myself that I had STARTED this shawlette in some nice silk I bought at the Montpelier Wool Festival in October. Embarrassed at myself, I found the project – AND finished it within five days!

So here it is just before I unpinned it from blocking, with accent cat (Bailey). Mine is definitely a “shawlette”, but very nice, and I can see getting a fair amount of use from it, especially over the summer, as it may be just the right “extra” for some air conditioned places!

I’m having great fun with socks and lace, they seem to balance each other quite nicely, and since my two friends LOVE their hand-knit socks with wider cuffs then feet, I’ve got lots of opportunities to knit socks – and not add so many to my over flowing sock drawer – and if my husband gets every fifth pair I knit, he’s in good shape!

And 25 years ago on this very day, April 19th, my husband and I had just gotten engaged, and my godson was born! Happy birthday Allan in the Philippines, can’t believe you’re a quarter of a century – your parents and I are only 39!