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!

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

An update on things . . . .

A quick post about recipients of things I’ve knit. Here’s Lucy the greyhound with her sweater on her back.

And then Laz, the other greyhound with his.

And their human, Kathryn, with her vest!

And then miss Bea with her Elephants baby blanket.

And a blurry picture of me with my Romantic shawl and Barnum the cat on my lap.

And just for fun, and because I think it’s one of the best photos I’ve taken of our babies, our babies Barnum and Bailey, our 13 month old Maine Coon Cats (siblings).

Next post I’ll show the Diamond Fantasy Shawl in progress, that my knitting buddy Hannah put me on to. And last night at SSK group (Silver Spring Knitters) she and another bud, Martha, put me on to Minknits patterns and I ordered FIVE patterns – four shawls and one sock pattern. Working on being strict with myself, and not starting ANOTHER shawl until I finish at least one of the several (I’m not telling how many, it’s getting embarrassing how many – it’s almost as bad as the socks on needles).

And I’ll try and get a photo of N with her socks on. She LOVES them, wore them right away, and was super pleased how they fit around her ankles. Now to finish L.’s – which I’ve misplaced tonight . . . . . .

To end, here’s a photo of Seneca Rocks in West Virginia – a beautiful rock formation we drove by a couple weeks ago.

Sunday, April 8, 2007

Yes, I’m still here – more socks, and can you guess…..

I’ve had a hectic month – my son has some serious emotional problems dealing with school, and we’ve had to send him to a special boarding school. It took several weeks to set this up, and though I didn’t blog, I did knit. He has gone to the school, and two weeks in, things are looking really good! And once he was gone, I came down with bronchitis. Sleeping, drinking LOTs of liquids, knitting, reading, tv watching and Sudoko was about it for a week. And then, this last week has been Holy Week, and I sing in my church choir. . . . .(we sang at five different services over the week.)

I finished the first of the Rocking Sock Club socks, and I like it, but I didn’t particularly like knitting the cable pattern on the leg – I enjoy wearing it (I have it on as I type right now) and I think I will like the pair when they’re finished. I hope to finish the second one (which is started) before the next kit arrives from Blue Moon Fibers (somewhere around the end of April).

Meanwhile, I’ve become obsessed with knitting TOE-UP socks. I really like knitting the short-row toe, I’ve even mastered the crochet chain provisional cast-on – last two socks the crochet chain pulled out PERFECTLY! I finished the Apple Pie socks, and the yarn is soooo yummy to knit AND so yummy to wear!

So then I started toe-up socks for my two closest friends, both of whom have “odd” shaped feet and ankles. The blue-orange-red-green-turquoise stripped socks are for N. who’ve I’ve known since we were 3 or 4. I did the foot on 72 stitches, and then went to 80 stitches for the leg. She says the first one fits perfectly. She’ll get the pair tomorrow, and the weather here is being COLD!!!!!!! (It was 34° when we drove to church at 8:45 this morning!) So she’ll have a chance to wear them.

And the other sock pictured is in Fixation for my friend L. (who I’ve known since we 14 in high school!) She has a wool allergy, so that’s why Fixation. I worked 54 stitches on size 2 needles for the foot, (actually we were at a music weekend in West Virginia and she and her husband were there, so it was the perfect time to keep checking HOW the sock was fitting. Initially I’d cast on 60 but they were waaaaasay too loose, so I went down to 54 stitches.) After I did the heel, I added 16 sts – but when L. tried it on, it was much too tight around her ankle. I ended up adding another 8 stitches, bringing the leg to 80 stitches. I finished the first sock just before we headed home at the end of the weekend, and it fit perfectly. So once N’s socks are finished, I’ll cast-on for L.’s second sock.

Meanwhile, I’ve been reading blogs, and one of my favorites mentioned a wonderful silly, thing to knit for Easter. I called the shop that carried the pattern, and they sent it to me, and I took off! It only took, at most, an hour to knit one, and it was such fun, that I went nuts. I ended up knitting 30 so far! I gave them to everyone in my choir, plus the rector and choir director, and for several good friends, and my goddaughter. So here’s what “they” look like BEFORE felting.

And after felting.

And then, some after embellishing ‘em.

And I hope all figured out that they are Easter EGGS! I got the pattern from The Yarnery in Minneapolis, MN.

So now I’m finishing socks (and have already started a SECOND pair for N.), and trying to find a lace shawl pattern to work in this most glorious hand painted yarn from Claudia ( that I was enticed into buying at my LYS.

But I really should get back to my SIL’s birthday present . . . .