Thursday, December 21, 2006

Wow! Two posts in one day. I had to post a photo of the yarn that arrived today from The Sweet Sheep. Two lovely skeins of Cherry Tree Hill and nice note from Michelle. On the left is Jewels and on the right is Watercolors. Yummy!

Sometimes you have to break a few eggs...

Last night we made eggnog using the "ancient family recipe".

Doug and I got everything ready.

We waited for our guest chef to arrive...

We broke and separated many eggs...

We had to beat the whites half at a time because they fluff up so much the mixer could only hold half...

Two turns of whipped egg whites looked like this...

Next I whipped the yolks...

We added the sugar and whipped the yolks some more and then poured them into a 12 quart pot. After pouring in a gallon of milk and a quart of heavy cream we added the liquour...

Then we very slowly folded in the whipped egg whites...

It has a tendancy to foam up at this point so we folded and stirred until it look like this...

Then it was time to test the batch to see how it turned out...

It was good!

Merry Christmas Everyone!

Monday, December 18, 2006

Preparations, plans and socks

Is that kid happy or what?! That's Hayden, the winner of the 2006 Tri State Farm Toy Collectors Club Pedal Tractor Raffle. I've seldom seen a more appreciative winner in my life. His mom and dad brought him to our house to pick it up so I snapped a few photos. What a lucky boy!

Every year we pick a different pedal tractor and sell raffle tickets all year at various shows and festivals in the area. The money goes to the Leon Thomas Memorial Scholarship Fund. Leon was the club founder and former president and when we lost him about 3 years ago we renamed the scholarship in his honor. We give a $1,000 scholarship to an area student majoring in an ag-related field such as veternary medicine or horticulture. It's a lot of work but with the help of some very generous individuals and organizations we manage.

I finished all the Christmas knitting I'm going to do and I have the sniffles so it's time for a little self-indulgent sock knitting. Sunday morning I reached into the bag of goodies I bought at Stitches East and pulled out the first yarn that my fingers touched. I've been carrying the sock yarns around in a purple Lisa Souza bag for weeks, showing them to people whom I thought would appreciate them, petting them, imagining all the wonderful things they could become.

Out came a skein of Fleece Artist Hand Dyed Merino 2/6 (what does the 2/6 mean?) in a stunning peacock feathery colorway. There is no name or dye lot on the label so I don't have a clue what to call it. I wound it off using this homemade contraption that I found at my parent's home. I'm not even sure that's what it's meant for but it's the only possible use for it I can imagine. I don't have a swift or a ball winder. I'm working with stone knives and bear skins here.

Then I sat down with some of the patterns I've gathered over the last 3 years to decide which socks to make. I was far too impatient to look too long. I quickly settled on Jaywalkers because they will show the yarn to it's best advantage and because I've never made a pair of these.

Aren't they pretty?! It's not a great photo because it's cloudy and I'm at work (flouresent lighting). I think they're going to be gorgeous! The yarn has great stitch definition and consistancy, and the most lovely luster. I hope it doesn't lose that sheen but I guess it probably will with wear.

I'm using size #1US or 2.25mm Brittany needles in the 5" length. They seem a little short so I may have to stop at Y2Knit to get a 7" set. Picking up and knitting the gusset could get a little hairy on 5" needles.

We're almost ready for Christmas. I still have some housecleaning to do (who doesn't, right?) and some garlands to hang. Most of the presents are purchased and some are wrapped. We're having a few friends over on the 23rd and I have to bake a spiral ham. On Wednesday we're making the Artz Family Traditional Eggnog. This is an "ancient family recipe" that consists of a lot of rum, whiskey, and brandy - and some cream and eggs. It is potent stuff. Keep it away from the kids and the candles and for godsakes don't spill any on my hardwood floors. So we'll be breaking, separating and beating 42 eggs on Wednesday night. Whipping cream and opening bottles of booze. Thank goodness for my KitchenAid Mixer. I may not use it very often but when I do it's great to have.

I hope your holiday festivities are wonderful.

Monday, December 04, 2006

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Farm Toy Show, Pedal Pull and Santa

Here is photo of my nephew, Joshua, sitting on Santa's lap at the Western Maryland Farm Toy Show. That beard is real, folks! My hubby and I are part of the Tri State Farm Toy Collectors Club and we put on a farm toy show twice a year, spring and fall.

It's a lot of work and a lot of fun and I'm always glad when it's over but it's great to see that way the kids interact with Santa.

The club president, Linda, and I sit at the door and collect the admission and hand out door prize tickets. I saw a father, mother and five-year-old son come up to the door. The little boy peeked through the glass on the door and saw Santa just as his dad was opening the other door. He vanished, poof! with a scream of "I'm not going in there!". Several minutes later, they reappeared, the dad was carrying the boy and telling him not to look at Santa. The boy had his hood up and his dad was telling him which way to look so that he wouldn't make eye contact with Santa.

Here is a very enthusiastic little girl participating in the kiddie pedal pull. We have this every year as part of our show and it is a huge hit with kids and parents. If you've never been to a real tractor pull this is a kid size version of the real thing. A sled with weights is hooked to the back of the pedal tractor and the farther the kids pedal the heavier the sled becomes. The object is to pull the sled the fartherest down the track. It is divided into age groups, 5-6, 7-8, and 9-10 year olds. All the kids get little tractor toys for participating and the first, second, and third place finishers in each age group win a trophy.

Here are some photos of the toys.

Welsh Family Toy Collection

Our youngest member, Jared with some of his collection.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006 Update

Wow, it's been a while since I posted. Let's start with a report on Stitches East. This was my first yarn show. I was totally overwhelmed. I was invited by Susan from Y2Knit to help out in her booth while she and her sister/partner taught a class. I took Doug along with me because I wanted to share the experience with him. He seemed genuinely interested in the yarns. We got there before it officially opened and the first booth I came to was Blue Moon Fibers. Socks That Rock were at the top of my wish list so I bought 4 skeins of lightweigh sock yarn.

Left to right they are: Jail House Rock (my fav), Sherbet, Watermelon Tourmaline, and Fairgrounds.

This is my first STR and I can't stop admiring it. I don't know what I'm going to make out them yet. They seem too pretty for socks. Any suggestions?

I wanted one of each color plus some of the other yarns at the booth but I was on a limited budget so I stopped at four. Then Doug found the Saratogoa Llamas booth. Linda was very nice and showed us a photo album of the llamas. She takes them to schools and puts on a funny show.

Doug bought a skein spun from the fleece of ATM for a hat. I haven't closed the top because I had a good bit of yarn left and thought I might rip the whole thing out and make it a little bigger. Doug has a large head and the hat fits but it could be a little looser.

Here's the rest of my plunder. Left to right: two skeins of Lorna's Laces Shepherd Sock Superwash in Sand Ridge, Lisa Souza Sock! Superwash in South Pacific, two skeins of Koigu Painter's Pallete P823162, and finally Fleece Artist Merino 2/6 (what does that mean?).

The Fleece Artist doesn't have a color name, number, or dyelot. Is that normal?

Here's a closeup of the Koigu. I wasn't expecting to find any Koigu there because I'm always reading about how hard it is to come by. I didn't have it on my list but as I was wandering around looking for sock yarn there it was. Dozens of skeins.

I didn't find any Cherry Tree Hill or All Things Heather. It may have been there but I missed it. I suppose I will have to order it from the Loopy Ewe.

Meanwhile the sock for my coworker, Harold is progressing but I fear it may be too long in the foot.
I am using The Boyfriend Socks pattern from the Slipped Stitich with Wendy's Generic Toe-Up Sock Pattern.

I'll have to get him to try them on soon. I'm using size 0(US) needles (for the first time) and I'll have to say they really work well with the Trekking XXL.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Caps to the Capitol

Here is part of my contribution to Caps to the Capitol, sponsored by Save the Children. These caps will eventually go to newborns around the world to help fight infant mortality.

I found the link to the pattern on the Fall Cable KAL. It's by Ellen Lynch (thanks, Ellen) and is called Ellen's Ruffled Hat. I really enjoyed knitting this pattern because it worked up quickly and looks adorable. I've made 5 hats so far but have enough yarn for a few more.

I don't have the ball bands in front of me right now so I can't give you all the poop on the yarn. The primary colors and the purply are the same brand but the white one is Patons that I bought a bag of about 20 years ago.

I'm back to work on another "We Call Them Pirates" hat for Christmas. This one will be black with red skulls.

Friday, October 20, 2006

Radioactive Pirate Hat Done

Pattern: We Call Them Pirates by Hello Yarn
Yarn: Green - Kokon 35% cotton, 35% silk, 30% microfiber
Black - ggh superwash merino wool
Needles: size 3, 16" circular; size 3, 7" dnp; size 1, 12" circular

My freind Doug (sorry, Ladies, he's married) agreed to model the green pirate hat. I finished it last night and steam blocked it. This hat is so much fun to make. It turned out smaller than the black and white one because the green yarn was a slightly smaller gauge. I really need to make a least 2 more of these for nephews. This one will have to go to one of the younger ones because it should fit loosely. I will have to experiment with other yarns and/or needles on the others.

Here is a detail of the lining. I decided to do it with the green since I had a lot left over.

I think the next one will be turquoise and black but the center row of skulls will be green. I'm pretty sure that I have enough of the green for that.

I can also picture this with a bright handpainted yarn for the skulls. Whadda ya think?

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

I get trampled by a buffalo and knit another Pirate hat

This is my second "We Call Them Pirates" hat by Hello Yarn. I plan to do the next one with bright turqoise and black. This one is a very bright lime-green but it looks washed out in the photo. This pattern is so much fun and works up very quickly.

I love that the folks at Hello Yarn included a blank chart as well. I have a book of charted celtic designs and have already worked one up. I won't be able to start it until I finish with the glut of Christmas presents though.

Check out the Fall Cable KAL 2006 blog. The design is lovely. Seeing all the projects and talking about mine has got me itchin' to finish my Soft Shoulders sweater that I started 3 years ago. I posted photos of it on the blog here.

On a side note, I found out that I am allergic to buffalo - the hard way. A friend at Social Knitting Night at my lys, Y2Knit, had some buffalo yarn that she was using to knit hats. She passed it around and everyone felt how soft and yummy it was. Right away I felt like I had an eyelash in my eye and I rubbed it. BIG MISTAKE. My eyes felt like someone had thrown dirt in them. I rinsed them out at the shop and then went home and rinsed them some more and finally had to put drops in them before I could get the pain to stop. No buffalo for me. Unrefined wool does the same thing. Does that mean I can never spin?

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

"We Call Them Pirates" Finished and Gifted

The camera isn't working right now. The rechargables won't hold a charge so I'm waiting on new batteries to arrive. I finished the "We Call Them Pirates" hat and gifted it on Sunday. It went to a very deserving college freshman who loves hats. He works at our favorite pizza place, Asaro's, and always take the very best care of us.

I started another one with bright lime green skulls on a black background. The green is a different yarn and I am getting a smaller gauge on this hat. I am going to put it on some waste yarn and try it on this evening to make sure it will fit. I may have to start over on the next size needle.

I'll post pics as soon as possible.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

We Call Them Pirates!

I swear, I had no choice. When I saw the link on Stitch-n-Sue's blog I had to click it. When I saw the pattern I had to print it. I knew that I had just found the perfect Christmas gift for one of my teenage nephews. I left work and went straight to my LYS, Y2Knit and bought some wool. Susan doesn't have Dale of Norway so I have Zara and and GGH Maxima, both fine merino, both machine washable.
There are even matching mittens. What teenage boy doesn't like skulls? Trouble is, I have two teenage nephews (brothers) and both are skiers. I am thinking about doing another one with a white background and black skulls or maybe I'll abandon the black and white scheme altogether and go wild! Flourecent green and orange! Thanks so much to Hello Yarn for the pattern.

I've stopped temporarily on Mountain Peaks by Miriam Felton to work on this hat. But I was making amazing progress when I stopped. I'm over halfway through Chart 2 despite having to rip back past my last lifeline to fix a mistake at the end of Chart 1. I love this pattern so much. The yarn is Jaggerspun Zephyr in Sage. I picked up a ball of Zephyr in Peacock on sale a Susan's. It's 875yds. I need to find a pattern for it.

Categories: knitting, hats, pirates

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Fir Cone Wrapette and Other News

Here is a very bad photo of the wrapette I am working on at lunchtime. It is destined to be a Christmas present for my 8-year old niece.

The pattern is a cutdown version of the Fir Cone Wrap from Wendy of Wendy Knits. I made it about half as wide, casting on 57 stitches as opposed to 117. I didn't cut down the border (k8) because I felt that it would need a stable border to stand up to the wear and tear of a third-grader. When blocked I think it will be fine for an 8-year-old.

The yarn is Fortissima Colori Socka Color (Disco). It's hard to tell from the photo but it has silver sparkles in it.

This is an easy lunchtime project, with an easily memorized 16 row chart. Thanks, Wendy, for sharing this with us.

I'm also making great progress on the Mountain Peaks Shawl by Miriam Felton. I just started Chart 2, which is such a relief after 3 repeats of Chart 1 with the wrong-side rows of lace. I found those p2togtbl to be a pain. Thank goodness the rows were short for most of Chart 1. I love this shawl though and am really looking forward to finishing it.

I read many blogs everyday, one being Smatterings. I lust after Judy's yarn. I want some of it so bad that it hurts. I emailed her and asked whether she was going to be at Stitches East since that is the only yarn event I'm going to this year, but she said no. I guess I'll just have to save up some money and order some online. I have a deep aching need to make a shawl out of Blueberry. Ahhh, maybe someday.

Friday, August 25, 2006

Have You Seen Me? and a Famous Person Sighting

Name: Pluto
Age: Billions of years (when you get that old you stop counting)
Size: 2,320 kilometers in diameter
Last seen by the NASA Hubble Space Telescope .

Yes, my friends, we have lost a planet. Hail to thee, brave Pluto. Planet thou never wer't.

Farewell, Pluto. We hardly knew thee.

I have lived to see the number of planets in our solar system drop from 9 to 8. What's next? My favorite geology professor, Dr. Murphy, told us that when he started teaching the Earth was believed to be 2.6 billion years old. Then he said, "Now it's 4.2. I guess it's time to retire."

Now for the Rich and Famous sighting.

I followed author Nora Roberts into town this morning. When I pulled out of my driveway this morning I was behind a blue Mercedes Kompressor with the licence "BOOKSRI". I could see a woman wearing sun glasses reflected in her rearview mirror as we sat at a light. I've never actually seen her but I have seen her photos so I knew it was her. She lives down the road and has a bookstore in Boonsboro. A little later I pulled past her in a turning lane and took a glance. Sure enough, it was her. I have never read any of her books but I admire anyone who can make a good living as an author. She did a book signing at a Suns Game a few weeks ago but that was one of the few nights that we missed.
Her son, Dan, has a restaurant named Asaro's Pizza (name of former owner and founder) in Boonsboro that we go to at least once a week. FANTASTIC PIZZA!!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

A nearly finished object and "The Phone Call"

First the nearly finished object. It is the Moss Stitch Scarf by Cathy Payson, a simple, lovely little scarf. The pattern was in the little booklet that was included in the lastest IK.

See the label? Divine by Skacel. Have you touched this yarn? Have you knit with it? It was not idlely named "Divine". Take a look at the other side of the label.

Yes, that's 70% baby alpaca, 20% silk, and 10% cashmere. It is like knitting with a warm, gentle breeze. This is a Christmas present for someone who, I hope, doesn't read my blog. I picked up the yarn at my lys, Y2Knit.

Now for the unpleasant part of this post. It's really a rant and I'm sorry but this has really bothered me and I need to talk about it.

"The Phone Call"

I work for a county IT Dept. We're a small operation of 11 talented people who handle all the technical aspects of county government. I am the web master (mistress, goddess). Since I am in the office almost all the time while my coworkers are often not, I usually answer the phone. We are so streamlined that we don't have a secretary or office associate. If the phone rings 3 times someone will pick it up.

My boss is a very busy man and I don't like to disturb him with annoying phone calls. Most of the calls for him are salesmen trying to pitch this, that or the other thing. I weed them out by asking a few questions.

Salesman: May I speak to (the boss)?
Me: I'll see if he is in. May I ask who is calling?
Salesman: My name is Joe Blow.
Me: ...and you are with...?
Salesman: Any Company
Me: ...and are you returning a call of his?
Salesman: Yes. (pause) Well, no I'm following up on an email I sent him.
Me: Is this a sales call?
Salesman: Well...I want to aquant him with our latest produ...
Me: I'm sorry. We don't take sales call. Please remove us from your calling list. Click

Blunt, I know. But I don't want to waste their time by letting them go into a long sales pitch. Better to cut them off at the pass so they can move on to some other unfortunate potential customer.

A couple weeks ago I answered the phone and started into this routine but things took a a strange turn.

Salesman (who will henceforth be referred to as A-hole): Let me speak to (the boss).
Me: I'll see if he is in. May I ask who is calling?
A-hole: Danny Something-mumbled
Me: ...and you are with...?
A-hole: Just put him on the phone.
Me: Not until you answer my question.
A-hole: Just transfer my call!
Me: Click

I told everyone about this strange call at lunch and we had a good laugh. I didn't think about it again until yesterday when he called again. I was getting ready to eat lunch so I put him on speakerphone.

A-hole: Let me speak to (the boss).
Me: I'll see if he is in. May I ask who is calling?
A-hole: Danny Something-mumbled
Me (with a feeling of deja vu): ...and you are with...?
A-hole: Just put him on the phone.
Me (sure now): That's not how it works.
A-hole: Go f**k yourself, C**t! Click

Unfornutately, his number was blocked. It is my fondest desire that he will call again. This time he will be transferred straight to the boss or any handy male posing as the boss, who will find out who he is, where he works, and what he wants. Then his ass is mine! Bwaahaha!

I feel better just thinking about it. The "go f**k yourself" part of his statement was disturbing. I don't usually talk like that and I don't expect anyone to talk to me like that. But when he called me a c**t, that crossed a line that can never be uncrossed. In my opinion, that word is the ultimate bad word, it is unforgivable. No one has ever aimed that word at me (at least to my face). I was stunned, speachless. I turned to a coworker and asked if he heard what that "man" (term used loosely) just said to me. He couldn't believe it either.

The A-hole may never call back. Goodness knows he certainly burned that bridge, rickety as it was. But I sure hope he does. Man, do I hope he does!

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Tractor Pulling and Socks

I know, I know, I should be working on the Baudelaire Socks like a good girl but I promised these socks to a friend and he's been waiting and waiting. I must have tried 6 different sock patterns for this project but either they didn't suit the yarn or they didn't fit. I took his measurements and decided to use Melanie's Generic Sock Instructions to just wing it without a real pattern. Thanks, Melanie, for the great instructions.

But when the new IK came out and I saw the Father and Son Socks by Mona Schmidt I knew I had my pattern. The yarn is Trekking XXL #90. It is working good but a solid yarn would have shown the details much better. I think the size will be good as well.

My husband is away this weekend at the National Tractor Pull in Bowling Green, Ohio so I should be able to do lots of knitting. Not that I don't do lots of knitting when he's here, but we do tend to run around a lot on the weekends. I know he'll be having a good time and he deserves it. I'll miss him but I'll console myself with knitting.

Categories: knitting socks

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

A Finished Object

I finished the Shell Beach Shawl on Sunday. My friend and co-worker Karen modeled it so that I could take some pics.

Here is a closeup of the corner with the tassel:

Here is a closeup of the body of the shawl:

This was a delightful project. The yarn was yummy and fun to work with. God, the colors are so beautiful. The pattern was quick and easy and really shows off the yarn. Here are the stats:

Pattern: Shell Beach Shawl by Dawn Leeseman
Pattern available at: Y2Knit
Yarn: Blue Heron Yarns, 89% silk/12% rayon twist in Tulip
Started: August 5, 2006
Finished: August 13, 2006

I will probably make more of these, perhaps from Schaefer Yarn. Susan at Y2Knit has some lovely Laurel cottons in right now. I especially like the Shari Lewis and Empress Wu Zhao. I see that all the colors are available in a 100% cultivated silk lace weight called Andrea. Hummm, (sound of gears and wheels spinning)...

Thursday, August 10, 2006

A New Project

I started the Shell Beach Shawl by Dawn Leeseman in a Blue Heron Yarns silk/rayon twist from Y2Knit. God, how I love this yarn! The colorway is Tulip and it is stunning. Susan, who owns Y2Knit, had the same shawl hanging in the store and I just had to make it for myself. It's going very fast on #15 US needles and I should have it finished in a couple hours.

If you asked me to review the yarn I would have to say that it wants to stick to itself a little. This pattern calls for 3 rows of k1, yo2 all the way across. When it's time to turn the work and go back it's a real struggle to get those stitches and wraps off the cable and onto the needle. I'm not a really tight knitter so that isn't the issue. The yarn is just "grippy". This is just a slight annoyance however, and definitely wouldn't stop me from using this beautiful yarn again in the future.

Work continues on the Baudelaire socks.

It is a little loose but I can live with it. As I said in an earlier post, this is my first toe-up sock and I'm working on the gusset.

I think it's looking pretty good. I just hope I didn't start the gusset too late. Only time and more knitting will tell.

As for the Baby Kimono from Interweave Knits, I've had to stop because we can't locate anymore of the yarn in that dye lot (Claudia Hand Paints, Fingering Wt., Dye Lot 004 - Freesia). I thought I might take it along with me to Stitches East and see if I can find some. Meanwhile I will start it again in a different colorway. And THIS TIME I will buy 3 skeins.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

Sockie Goodness

I started the Baudelaire sock from Knitty last night. This is my first toe-up sock and my first attempt at using two circular needles. I used the Magic cast-on following the directions from Knitty and it worked great. I measured my foot before starting and decided to make the largest size since my foot, at the ball, measured 8.5". Now I'm tinkking out the last few rows because it's fit for a hobbit WAY TOO BIG. So that was 68 stitches; I'll drop back to 60 (the smallest size) and see how it goes.

As far as the circulars go, I like the technique. I chose one Inox 24" #2 and one bamboo 24" #2 (not sure what brand) so that it would be easy to tell them apart. The bamboo needle is VERY catchy at the joins so I may have to get another Inox and mark it somehow (nail polish?). Both sets are very pointy. I wish I had points like that when I was working on Icarus.

I don't have the ball band but I think it's Fortissima Socka.

Monday, July 31, 2006

Purl 2 tog tbl

Okay, I said there must be an easier way to do this so I Googled it and found this. This looks like a knit 2 tog tbl to me. Then Imbrium sent me a link to this, which is how I've been doing it but is a royal pain in the ass. They are, of course, completely different.

Further searching lead me to The Irish Ewe who said to twist each stitch and then purl through the front. This sounds good. You would go into each stitch from the back and turn it, then put them back on the left needle and purl.

A little further on I came to this from wiseneedle:

"The conventional way is to take your right hand needle and stick it through the back loop of the next two stitches on your left hand needle. But stick it through such that the points of both needles are headed in the same direction. Then wrestle the yarn into place and make a pseudo-purl motion to work the two stitches together, ending up with a decrease that when viewed from the back, is analagous to a SSK (slip-slip-knit decrease).

There's a cheater's way to do it, too. You need a DPN or cable needle. Slip the next two stitches together and purlwise onto the DPN or cable needle. Now pretend the DPN is a giant helicopter rotor. Rotate it 180 degrees clockwise. Now slide the two stitches from the DPN back onto your left hand needle. Purl them like you normally would, ignoring the weird twist you've just made in them."

This is the same thing that The Irish Knitter said except you use a cable needle. I will try both this method and The Irish Ewe's and see which works best for me. I have a lot of experience at cabling but I'm not sure I want to fool with another needle.

Thanks, Imbrium, for the help.

Progress on Mountain Peaks

Mountain Peaks Shawl by Miriam Felton
Jaggerspun Zephyr in Sage
Inox #5 24" circular needle

I started on Friday, July 28, and did some work on it over the weekend. I think it's going much faster than Icarus because the needles are two sizes larger. I also am much more confident about knitting it (thank you, Miriam, for getting me over the lace hump). I'm almost finished with my first trip through chart 1. The only problem I'm having is the "P 2 tog tbl" or "purl two together thru the back loop". Those things are a killer. I'm going to do some research today to find an easier way to do them. If anyone has any tips or techniques for this stitch they'd like to share I would be muy grateful.

On a sad note, the baby kimono may have to be scapped. Claudia sent Susan some skeins of Freesia but it was much lighter than the one I'm using. Susan said she would call Claudia again and ask her if she had any of the darker dye lot left. OK, lesson learned; never start a project unless you have all the necessary yarn in your hands.

I went to my first social knitting night at Susan's on Friday. Wow, what a great group of women! I hope to go back again on the 11th. She has it on second and fourth Fridays of the month. Next time I hope to take pictures. I can't get over what an amazing group of women and they made me feel so welcome. I am a reserved person when you put me in a group of strangers; very self-conscious and jittery. But I relaxed and knitted on Mountain Peaks and the two hours just flew by. I can't wait for the next time!

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Lace Madness

I just purchased Miriam Felton's Mountain Peaks Shawl and Seraphim Shawl patterns. Now I have to decide whether to use the Sage JaggarSpun Zephyr for The Mystery Stole 2006 or one of these shawls. This fasination with lace reminds me of an old song by Jimmy Webb called Watermark.

How delicate the tracery of her fine lines,
Like the moonlight lace-tops of the evening pines.
Like a song half-heard through a closed door.
Like an old book when you cannot read the writing anymore.

I think it will be Mountain Peaks. It looks interesting. The stole is a lot of stockingette and Seraphim looks a lot like Icarus, which I just finished. I may start tonight.

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Latest Projects

Baby Kimono by Kristin Spurkland
Interweave Knits Summer 2005
Claudia Hand Paints Fingering Wt. - Freesia

God, I love this yarn! It's the next thing to cashmere and the colorway is perfect for a little girl. I wouldn't ordinarily make a baby gift out of hand wash only yarn (I know it says machine wash delicate but I don't trust it) but since it's outerwear (and so incredibly beautiful) I made an exception. I'll include a bottle of Eucalan with it when I give it to Heidi. With proper care, her daughter should be able to use it for her own daughter someday. Isn't that a nice thought?

Feather and Fan Scarf (I don't have the pattern with me so I'm not sure who to credit)
Claudia Hand Paints Fingering Wt. - Blue Terra Cotta

I love the way the colors are working out. Isn't it interesting? Even boring garter stitch is made a little interesting by some exciting color changes.

I'm still trying to decide on my nest lace project. I'm considering Kiri by All Tangled Up, Mountain Peaks and Seraphim Shawl by Miriam Felton, or Leda's Dream by Melanie (Pink Lemon Twist). What do you think?

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Overwhelmed by your kindness!

Thanks to all the readers who offerred such nice compliments on the shawl. I really appreciate them. But the real compliments should go to Miriam Felton who created this work of art. Thanks again, Miriam, for making it possible for an inexperience lace-knitter to make something so lovely.

So now what? I signed up for the Mystery Stole 2 KAL but I don't feel like making it right now. I will collect the clues and make it some other time.

I think it's sock and glove time, my friends. I have started a pair of gloves out of cashmere for my husband so I should work on them some. I also promised a pair of socks to one of my co-workers out of Trekking XXL. I also hve two skiens of Claudia Hand Paints Blue Terra Cotta waiting for me to decide what to make with them. I bought them for socks but I have decided that the yarn is simply too yummy to put into shoes. I want to make a lacey scarf. I'm thinking of Branching Out on the Knitty site but I'm not sure how that lace will look made from a variegated yarn. It's by Susan Pierce Lawrence, and I just now realize that I read her blog everyday. Small world.

You know what, I just went to the Claudia Hand Painted Yarns site and the picture of Blue Terra Cotta doesn't even faintly resemble the two skiens I have. What I have doesn't look like any of those samples. Here's the colorway of mine:

  • Deep, almost Black, Brown

  • Brown

  • Sienna

  • Bright Orange

  • Dark Red

  • Deep Merlot

  • Salmon

What's going on here? You know, I wondered why it was called "blue" terra cotta when there isn't a hint of blue in it! Oh, well. It doesn't matter because it is beautiful.

Monday, July 17, 2006


(cross-posted on the Icarus KAL)

I finished Sunday afternoon.

As I've said before, this was my first lace project. This was also the first time I've used blocking wires. I got a set at my LYS Y2Knit. I had heard people talking about how expensive blocking wires can be so I was a little apprehensive but they were only $25 for a complete set.

Susan, the owner, and I looked at my remaining yarn while I was there and she estimated that I wouldn't have enough to finish. She gave me another ball and told me to bring back what I didn't use. I ran out a little over half-way through the bind-off. I did a combination of the a spit and a russian join. It held during the blocking without any trouble so I think it will be fine.

I didn't have to stretch it to get to 72" wide and 36" down the center. It was plenty big. There are a few mistakes and twisted stitches but all-in-all I am very, very happy. Thank you, Miriam for creating this beautiful pattern and thanks to all the knitters in this KAL for all their advice and encouragement.

Icarus Shawl
Pattern by Miriam Felton
Published in Interweave Knits - Summer 2006
Yarn: JaggerSpun Zephyr 50% merino/50% silk, approx. 880 yds.
Started: May 21, 2006
Finished: July 16, 2006