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Showing posts from January, 2008

Yes, this is the last leg!

As of yesterday afternoon, in the waning light of the afternoon, I took a handful of decent photos of my EZ Baby Suprise Jacket. Here it is in all its amoeba glory!

As I hadn't gotten to the front corner increases yet, I still wasn't exactly sure how it was going to wrap up.

I took a bunch of photos hoping to capture the lustrous quality of this Lorna's Laces yarn, the Shepherd Worsted. It is the best in woolly goodness, I almost feel compelled to make an afghan out of it. Almost. My bank account isn't that big :-).

Just in time for bed, about 9:00 pm, I bound off the last stitch very happy, as well as very annoyed. I was oh!so!happy because I will definitely be ready to gift this on Saturday and annoyed because, well, I'll have to leave that for another day.

But let's leave this post on a bright note, that of fibery perfection:


Catching Up, Still

I realized, I'm still not done with my Yarn and Me weekend.

As soon as Project Stole was complete, it was time to put in some quality time knitting my LMKG chevron scarf, The Queen's Forest. This little beauty has been in hibernation not only because it was a second tier project, but because even though I LOVE the colors of this yarn, the texture leaves me dead cold. There was no I.HAVE.TO.KNIT.THIS.NOW. going on with this project.

So why did I purchase the yarn? In a word, Rhinebeck. The yarn is called Marshmellow and is made by the indie outfit, Decadent Fibers. Its 80% alpaca, 20% wool.

For many knitters that fiber content would be a magnet, rather than a repellent. Tactile-wise, the yarn is soft and inviting, but as an aspy, the visual messiness is physically grating. That is probably completely unfathomable to most people, but nonetheless true. Unruly fibers such as alpaca, mohair, and angora, vex my senses. However, at the stall at the NY Sheep and Wool festiv…

I don't even know what to name this post...

The stress built up considerably last week. The posts I wrote over the course of it seem to be emanating an overwhelming shrillness that is discomforting. To be honest, I can't quite make out if the shrillness is coming from the written words or just the memories of my emotional state as I wrote the posts. Either way I want to rip them out and hide them away. Facing them is facing me in a raw and exposed state. I know I need to do it, so I'll do it by moseying along and getting back to the discussion of sweet yarn and knitting goodness. Here goes:

I did finish up the Dalegarn top down raglan baby sweater last week, and it is an acceptable finished garment. It just may be a wee bit (or even two sizes :-/) small.

I can't even bring myself to do a wrap up, other than to say I used size US4 needles and Dalegarn's Baby Ull. I assuaged my feelings of considerable inadequacy by delving into a new pattern, which can be, for me, pouring salt on an open wound. But, I did it any…

My Yarn and Me Weekend - Part Deux Two

Sunday morning I awoke with the fresh vigor that comes with knowing that even though it's a Sunday, it is a Saturday Sunday because there's no work the next day. I love that feeling.

Knowing I could procrastinate one more day on changing the sheets and duvet and taking care of the rest of the laundry, I dove right into La Digitessa. I think hubby wanted to ignore some impending duty because he suggested a road trip up to Center Harbor, New Hampshire, home of the fabulous Patternworks. Who was I to resist? I packed up three projects and we were off.

The shopping portion of the trip was a bust. I was really hoping to find something to inspire me to replace Yellow Toot. They sell Dalegarn, but they had not a single inspiring Dalegarn pattern pamphlet. I was also hoping to find some of that Lime and Blue Malabrigo which I used for Ripley's sweater for another project. Again, nada. But I didn't walk away empty handed. I picked up this little doodad:

In case it…

My Yarn and Me Weekend - Part Un One

Most normal people spend their weekends with their people. Me, not so much. I prefer being alone and somehow I managed to find a hubby (or maybe he was lucky to find me!!!) who likes being alone near me. We are an odd pair. But as the romance movie goes, "together we make sense." (Anyone remember that 1993 gem?)

On Saturday I was in definite need of alone time, as well as in full avoidance mode of both La Digitessa AND Yellow Toot. I barely knew what to do with myself. I picked up my two new books, Cat Bordhi's New Pathways for Sock Knitting and Clara Parke's Knitter's Book of Yarn and got comfy on my loveseat. I whipped through New Pathways, as it's a pattern based book and I'm not ready to take on a new sock project. I took my time with the Knitter's Book of Yarn, reading about 85% of the yarn section and then a quick perusal of all the patterns.

I hate to say it but I was a teensy weensy bit disappointed. It's definitely a fabulous resource on t…

Another day in paradise? Maybe, maybe not.

I checked my email this morning and saw that I had received a comment from fellow Raveller, Knitsabella, in which she told me she nominated me for a "You Make My Day" award on her blog, Knitsabella Knits. I don't which way to turn, I'm flabbergasted, and of course honored, that a few words of help & encouragement about her Firestarter socks translated into a "more than I deserve" award.

I'm an aspie so random human recognition friggin' weirds me out. It was an extremely nice thing for her to do. I don't know yet if I'm going to pay forward the compliment to bloggers I admire. I'll have to think on it. I'm already overwhelmed by life, as all my nerves are busy freaking out about waiting to hear back about a job. I'm supposedly one of two finalists and the job would be a significant change for me. I was really expecting to hear Friday and when I called that afternoon I was told I'd learn about their decision by today, speci…

Sliding my way into the weekend...

It was my plan to get a blog post in about my recently cast on baby sweater this week. Doesn't look like that's gonna happen since all I've been knitting (and thinking about) are my La Digitessas.

Once I began to knit sock #2 on US1/2.25 mm needles I actually began to enjoy the knit. So much so I didn't stop knitting until I got a few rows into the gusset and realized I needed to catch up on the first sock. (My plan is to work on these in tandem, so as to better master each phase, as well as reduce knitastrophes).

While knitting sock #2 I made the decision not to frog sock #1, which is knit on US0/2.0 mm needles, but to just pick up where I left off with the larger needles. This is my first go around at the pattern, I don't expect, or need, perfection. Next time around I'll be unforgiving.

So far the discrepency isn't that overwhelming. What was overwhelming was going back to knit on the first sock. OMG, I didn't realize how miserable a knit it w…

Score! AKA Thank You Hubster!

My Knitpicks package came Tuesday. Our mailman left it on a heap of snow next to our mailbox. I was a little pissed off to see that some snow had adhered to the box and in melting had saturated the cardboard. I was ready to get real pissy, as I all I could think about were the precious books inside being ruined by the moisture.

I stuck it in the sink and pried it open and was relieved that everything inside was in perfect condition. Whew!

So, what do we have here?! Clara Parkes' Book of Yarn. I had seen this book and consigned it to the novelty category, as far as level of wanting it. However, as soon as found out it was written by Mrs. Knitter's Review, it was immediately converted to must-have status. I'm not a regular over at KR, by any stretch of the imagination, but whenever I wanted some info on a yarn or needles or something, I have found it a fabulous and more importantly, reliable, resource. I expect nothing less from this book.

Then there's Cat Bordhi's New …

Project Stole C'est Finis!

As noted earlier in the week, Project Stole c'est finis! Oui! Oui!

I rushed home yesterday hoping to take some photos of me modelling the stole before the sun set. I took many photos, most sucked. If I liked the pose, the stole wasn't sharply detailed; if the picture was crisp, I hated the pose. C'est la vie, non? You'd think that would stop me from posting far too many pics but it wont. (I do think, though, I've gotten this French thing out of my system!)

Ahhh! Project Stole, how I love thee, let me count the ways. I am a little ashamed at how proud I am of this project. It's not that it was difficult, because it wasn't. It's just that it is really one of the first things I've designed and implemented and completed sucessfully, with the stress on implemented.

I'm one of those people who always bites off more than they chew, as my recent foray into sewing can testify to. My eyes are bigger than not only my talent, but my fortitude. Someho…

A Contemplation on Knitting While Commuting

My commute this morning had a lot of this:

Such a panorama makes me feel the world still has magic. When you live in a metropolitan region like I have for most of my life, snow doesn't always remain picaresque once 24 hours have passed. This got me thinking on how people who live with this monochromatic palate cope with it. I love how it looks now, but could I face this day in and day out for months on end like some parts of the world do. No way, Jose.

Of course that made me think of fair isle knitting, which hasn't been too far out of my mind as I hope to incorporate some into a baby project. Now, as a knitter, when I think of fair isle knitting I think of Lopi and Dalegarn yarns. Now I'm not a yarn or knitting history buff, but it seems understandable that the northern countries associated with each of these yarns, Iceland and Norway respectively, probably have more than their share of bleak, wintry vistas. That makes the development and/or tendency to this type of knitt…

And then there was snow

I've been in a bubble. It wasn't until the storm alert at the end of the new Sarah Connor Chronicles last night that I had any clue snow was in our near future. Just yesterday I took this photo of the snow left on our lawn from December.

The conservation area, in the background, is almost all free of snow. This patchy stuff left in the far right corner of our yarn receives little sunlight. And not that you asked, but the lack of light, coupled with the really high water table, is why sometimes call this area of our property Lake Beaver (our property is bordered on two sides by the Beaver Dam Brook).

It seems we are slated to get about six inches of snow and I've decided to take a snow day. After the traffic fiasco from the December storm, most communities were eager to close schools. I heard from the hubby that Boston called school off last night. But enough about snow, already. It is winter in New England so it's par for the course. More exciting is that I have two F…

One Complaint and a Woodpecker

My husband ordered me a few belated Christmas gifts from Knit Picks last Saturday and being the impatient louche that I am I immediately started stalking the order. Every day the order status remained "pending." So by Tuesday I'm pissy and I call and they tell me that there is no problem with the order it's just that their warehouse is backed up because they were closed for 12 days.

I hold my tongue on the phone, but in my head I'm saying WTF?!? What could they be thinking closing their warehouse for twelve whole days during the busiest retail season of the year? Geesh! What kinda company gives their employees the holiday season off!?! Truly. What kinda company?

Who's the scrooge now, huh? Well, at least I'm kind to birds. (Now that's a weird segue, eh?)

Last May was the first spring in our current home and I took a week off to do some organizing and relaxing and I got a chance to do the first birding in my life. Where I grew up the only birds I recall…

Crazy Brain Malfunction

Has your brain ever made you believe things that aren't true? Mine does. It's a cross I bear with longstanding resistance. I was getting in a couple of rows on La Digitessa last week when I was overwhelmed with the idea that my sock tension WAS.ALL.WRONG.

I looked down at the sock and all I could see were smooshed cables with no stitch defniition. I convinced myself that the US0/1.5mm needles were too small for the yarn. I was so convincing I decided to knit up some rows on the second sock using US1/2.0mm needles.

By the time I had a chance, and some sun, to properly photograph the damning evidence my hysteria had dissipated and I could plainly see that my fear was as phony as a two dollar bill.

My brain was trying to tell me I wasn't enjoying knitting these on the US0/1.5mm needles. But because I'm so foolish I may kinda, sorta think I'm less of a knitter because I don't have the fortitude. What a crock. It's true, I want to be that knitter who can …

And then there were four...

Once upon a time there were 15 balls of Jo Sharp Silkroad Aran in my stash.

Abracadabra (aka four months later) now there are four!

I had been using classic Clover circulars to knit this up, with a dpn for cabling. That is up until this Sunday when the unrepentant nature of the joins finally made me switch to straights. I haven't used straights in a long, long while. My recent conversion to toe up socks has resulted in an unexpected conversion to using Addi Turbo's which in turn has spoiled me for my Clover circulars. I'm still not fond of the metal but I looooove the placid joins, so much so I've lost all patience with the obstinacy of my Clovers'.

This project has definitely become a slogalong, but not a bad one. No. The yarn's texture is akin to Malabrigo so it remains a distinct pleasure to knit. It's just the unending length and absence of visible progress that saps my interest. I thrive on visible progress. Who doesn't? I'm convinced that's…

What to do, what to do?

As I mentioned earlier, I picked up a few skeins of a fabulous-looking yarn a week or so ago, Araucania Ranco. The yarn was purchased to make gift socks. I received an alarming comment from blogger pickayarn that the yarn doesn't hold up very well to even normal care and a silent but resonant alarm went off in my head. What do I do?

Well, first, I hit Ravelry and sent messages to several members who have made socks with this Araucania Ranco yarn. I noticed at once that the earliest completed projects I found were from December. Does that mean this is a new yarn or that older projects have yet to make it on to member profiles? My impression was that the yarn itself is new to the market.

Yesterday morning I checked Ravelry and I received responses to three of the messages I sent. One member lives in Australia and has yet to wear her finished socks, since it's now summertime down under. The other two confirm that despite what the label says, the end product does need to b…

This post is about socks, eventually

I finished my Seal Rock Socks last Thursday and they are gorgeous. I haven't really worn them other than to model them in the frozen sun Saturday morning, but I'm looking forward to it. Atreyu, my Australian Shepherd, was kind enough to inspect the bridge before I crossed it to stage my socks. Isn't he handsome?

Ripley gets all the photos here b/c he's the one who needs my woolen expertise, but Atreyu is the beauty of our canine family. Between our two remaining felines it's a toss up. Grissom is the king of the castle and Hunter is our scaredy cat.

My socks? Not so cute, but there is something about them...

I finished the first sock using a tubular cast off. I went back to Montse Stanley's Knitter's Handbook and using her advice I put the stitches on two needles and kitchenered them together. It worked like a charm.

A week later, and about 10 stitches in on the second sock, the technique lost it's appeal. I decided to frog back on both socks and just us…