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August 2004
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October 2004

Self Indulgence

Remember last Friday when I decided "Retail Therapy" was the only way to get through my self pity for the lost trip to the mountains? Well, strike me down I’ve gone overboard now. Self control step aside I'm going for self indulgence.

Silkalpacalara_1Ever since Wendy and Kristine announced the Lara Along, the Bad Ass knitter and Good Grrl have been fighting it out in my head. Wendy knit Lara quickly and it was so elegant and beautiful. Then when Deanna brought her Debbie Bliss Alpaca Silk project to Stitch and Bitch and I was able to touched the yarn…OMG! How could anyone resist it after that!? The Bad Ass voice grew in volume. And as if the planets were conspiring against my better judgment, Knitters Review had an article on the yarn and they liked it very much.

When I saw the colors at the shop and held a ball in my hands, it was all over. Would it be the elegant dark claret, soft baby blue, or the deep denim blue (YES)? The glorious Lara is now my ‘easy’ knitting. I am a Bad Ass Knitter…no apologies! Lara grows daily as she knits up quickly with only a few minutes invested here and there. Again today you should wish this was a ‘feel-a-blog’ as you would be in heaven once more.

In the book Lara is fastened with an elegant pin. Vintage pins were a passion of mine at one time so here are a few possibilities. I’m sure others will be found from the collection before Lara is complete.

Goldvictorian2_1 Weise2_1 Coro2_1


The class for Lotus was a success on Tuesday night. Lisa is a fabulous guide as you can see.

Me: I’m not sure if the pattern will fit the number of stitches so I’m going to cut and paste a full chart of the back.

Lisa: How many stitches is the repeat?

Me: Uh, oh…I didn’t check that…looks like 32.

Lisa: How many stitches do you cast on?

Me: 320…DUH! It fits perfectly 10 times. Sigh…

So with a half repeat to start and 9 full repeats around and the other half of the repeat at the end, I’m knitting along. See why I'm taking a class? With a couple days of good knitting I should have something to show soon.

Stacey sent one of the cutest knitting cards I've seen. There was a sheep on the envelope, too. She wrote to tell me she enjoyed my blog and also said how much she like my Kersti Sally's Raglan. There is something very nice about receiving a hand written note. Thanks so much Stacey!!

Something came from my SP2 last night, too! You'll have to come back tomorrow to see what wonderful goodies she sent. Thank you Secret Pal!

Sharon’s had some bad knitting karma so send some good vibes her way.

And that great Laurie RAOKs the world! Check out free patterns!!



Blog Misdemeanor

MakemewavesI’m changing tactics because of the lost post. You’ll have to come back tomorrow for the most excellent post about my Lara. Today I’m committing a blog Paw Foo* and showing the sock that everyone else has been knitting, Making Waves. They are finished! They turned out pretty well even though the pattern had to be finagled to get it to fit my foot. I cast on 72 stitches and increased to 80 after the rib, then decreased to 72 again in the gusset. Whitewater is one of the prettiest Lorna’s Laces colors and was entertaining to knit.

OpalbanisterOn Friday we will be able to start the next Six Sock the Fluted Banister (adult size). I have a pink colorway of Opal that is bright and different so should also be fun to knit. The pattern is quick to learn and looks great. We have had the toddler and child size patterns for the last two weeks so we could knit for CIC. One sock a day was very easy to do and I have 4 darling socks ready to go.

Sweettoes2

This is the time of year we think of those who have so little. Norma has started a campaign to knit Thrum Mittens for the homeless. Wendy has a Kitty Bed Along and Susan is always advocating socks for CIC. Pick a charity for your knitted items and do as much as you can. Sally Melville says to have four projects going…one that is portable (socks and gloves), something complicated for you (Lotus), something easy (Lara), and something for charity. Great advice!
If you have a favorite charity you might leave a comment here so others can find out more.

*My dear friend, the late, great Bonnie K. had a way with words. She was always getting things upside down and backwards. We would laugh along with her when she committed such errors as “like a boat out of hell” or Paw Foo instead of Faux Pas.


Lotus Tonight

LotusstartTonight is my class for Lotus. As you can see I did get the ribbing done and I do love the color. It’s the darker colorway with Woodberry as the main color, Black as the second, plus Magenta (most of the design area) and a bit of blue that really gives it a sharp look.

This is my first Norwegian sweater and it is very different from Fair Isle knitting (which is very easy and elegant...elgant in the pure and simple way). The yarn is the first difference and I’m having trouble getting a good gauge with it. I’m on size 5 at this point (it calls for 3). Then there is the overall patterning. It isn’t a repeat pattern over and over as Fair Isle is SO, it is a bit more complicated and mind boggling. For the back you count “out” from the center point to make sure the pattern is centered correctly. Then there is an arrow to show where to start the pattern on the front in the size your knitting, but then it isn’t going to match up under the arm so what difference does that make!? I think starting the design in a place that is pleasing would be smarter if you have to ‘adjust’ anyway. Copying, cutting and pasting may be the only way to get to the point that I'll know where to start all the pieces...at least I hope so.

I’m not complaining about the amount of work. But, this is rather a cryptic way to write a pattern and what needs to be done do isn’t fully explained. Therefore, you see the reason I’m taking a class! The ribbing is an openwork lace that gives a nice feminine edge but I’m not sure it really works on a heavy sweater like this. I will go forward but I’m not certain that the look will be right. I'm feeling like a rank beginner!

And delusions of grandeur have hit me again. Yes, I’m signed up for the Lara Along, Blaze Along and the Glove Along plus I’ll knit Lotus. It’s doable...right?!?

Norma sent the most lovely note cards to me. They are from the book "In Her Hands" which features women all over the world who create needlework and crafts that sustain them body and soul. We are so fortunate to have an art, a craft, a passion that sustains us and that we must do for enjoyment and not for our very lives. The cards remind me how all the women of the world are bound by threads of time and passion for the needle. Thank you, Norma for your kindness and for your daily laughs!

Run over to Yarnpath and see the fabulous mitten that Robbyn created. You too can make the same thing as she has posted instructions!

And take a minute to give my HomeGrrl, Laurie a big hug.


Not So Random Kindnesses

Many kindnesses arrived in my life this weekend but they were not the random type. The lecture given on needlework last Wednesday was the reason a lovely thank you note was dropped into my mailbox by an appreciative neighbor. Hand written notes are so delightful to receive and hopefully they will not disappear in the age of email. Another neighbor arrived at my door with a bag full of beautiful fruits and vegetables purchased at the local farmers market. It was a very much enjoyed thank you gift!

AnneyarnAnother 'not random' kindness was from Anne! She is moving to Utah as soon as the end of the year! We have had frequent back and forth emails about the places to live that would be similar to the little farm she has in Vermont. She evidently has wonderful animals and especially bunnies! Because of that little bit of help she gifted me with a yarn that she handspun with alpaca and her wonderful bunny angora. It is the softest yarn I have ever felt! Maybe she will be the impetus to get me to spin (I know I want to but don’t have time for another hobby!). I do wish this was a ‘feel-a-blog” because you’d be in heaven, too!

BurnishedpatchHere is a bit of info you may need about Utah, Anne. Right now you might be at 800’ in Vermont but, you’ll be moving ‘up’…mostly likely 8000’! You will have to hydrate and nap to keep the altitude sickness at bay until you acclimate. I hope that bunnies don’t get headaches from the change. It is very dry here. You’ll need lots of lotions and to stay hydrated (that’s the key in this high desert climate) because humidity is so low. In the summer the humidity can be single digits and in the winter, too. The temperatures aren't as extreme in cold or heat but they can be record breaking from time to time. Your new mountain home should be a very comfortable place to be. The beauty is all around every season of the year. The snowy mountains in winter, the beautiful green in spring and in the fall our leaves are more of a burnished patchwork than the vibrant color you experience in New England.

And just to whet your appetite here is a picture of the clouds of last Friday. The sky was so blue and the clouds were moving from the east which is rather rare. The sky looked like it was making waves. What a picture perfect day!

Beautifulsky

We are very excited to have you join our fiber community, Anne, and looking forward to meeting you face to face!

You must see Nicole's beautiful finished Kersti!

Greta please know that you are missed and prayer are being said in your behalf that all will be well. Prayers also for everyone in Jeanne's path.


Big Fat Zero!

Here’s the start of Lotus. Yes, I know there is nothing there, no picture, not even a cast on edge, nothing!

It has been busy around here and it just hasn’t happened. I had to finish Chamomile (she sang to me and looked pretty and worked up beautifully so why stop!?), and Making Waves were also very attractive and I like people (things) with a mind of their own so it was fun to work on them (pictures Monday). I had to give a lecture on needlework Wednesday night and Monday I was so sick I didn’t care about anything (I did knit but I didn’t care). And, I’m enjoying knitting CIC socks…cute, fun and for a good cause.

So, class is on Tuesday and I have nothing to show. Even if I get to knit all weekend I won’t be at the point where Lisa said we should be. And to top it all off I don’t have a single thing to blog about today…ok, so I’ll bitch a little.

We were going to go to the mountains today. Take the day off, have lunch at Sundance and go to Cascade Springs on the Alpine Loop (you gotta see this place Anne!). BUT, horrors at the work place keep Smith from taking the time and I’m stuck at my desk today instead of being in the beautiful mountains. The weather is perfect today! The sky is as clear blue as it can be. I’m back in sandals and toe rings. You could call it Indian Summer but it really hasn’t frozen yet so it might not count…it’s beautiful anyway.

Breathe…I’m Zen I can handle this. How? I’m going after work and buy more yarn! LYS here I come! Shopping therapy, anyone?


Just Being...In 'Glove'

This post looks a little like "Knitting the Blues" with all the blue projects.

SixsockmwThis is just to bug some of you ‘particular' people. It is the second Making Waves sock and after behaving well through the ribbing, the leg and even into the heel, it has decided to have its own way. I’m Zen…it can do as it wishes and I’ll accept it as it is. It is water…you can’t hold water to your own standard. You have to let it be…just be.
On the other sock the blue pooled on top of the foot and the aqua on the soul. This one has split the pooling down the center. I have a bit more done than the picture shows and it really is pretty. My pools of Whitewater are making their own waves once again.

Sandy is in ‘Glove’ and has invited us to join Johanna in a Glove Along. Perfect! It will be doable and it will enable me to finish the second of my Indigo gloves. The pattern is from A Gathering of Lace by Meg Swanson (designed by Nancy Bush) and made from a 50% silk/50% wool that I bought at BOW several years ago. Some time later I took a dyeing class at Black Sheep and created this pretty color with indigo.

Indigoglove

Now where did I put that little UFO? Maybe I'll do two pair! Let's spread a little Glove around!

A shout out goes to Norma who is an oracle. She just has it right when it comes to RAOK's, Secret Pals and knows how to make a grrl laugh. Thanks, Norma for making every day RAOK!!


Socks for Others

Susan knits very often for charity and gifts. The money for her sock patterns goes to one cause or another. She is a very generous knitter. I'm the opposite. I knit for myself. It’s more about loving the process but I also love having a finished product to wear. I have given hand knits to family members (remember Charlotte?) but usually I keep it all! Smith has a couple of sweaters that I made years ago but he doesn’t wear them often as they are too warm and inappropriate to wear for work. When I ask if he wants another sweater he always says I should knit for myself (what a guy!)...so I do.

Life lessons are usually learned from others...by watching what they do. Susan has the Six Sockers knitting for CIC. It’s a children’s charity and they need socks for youngsters. The socks should be wool or a wool blend so their little toes will stay warm. Here’s to you Susan and because of your example I’m knitting toddler socks until my yarn is gone! The two partial balls of Araucana Nature Wool should make about half a dozen pair. This wool is so lovely, as you can see by Annie’s Rogue and this little sock…isn’t it cute?

Cicsock1


Head over to the Kersti blog as there are changes afoot.



Snow!!

Snowtop2

Yes, that is snow on our mountain tops but it didn't make it down to the valley floor...yet. We had to break down and turn on the heat!

With all the rain over the weekend I finished this just in time! Chamomile is so comfortable that it’s almost like wearing a t-shirt. The color is so warm and rich…just perfect for our first cold day. (We are hoping for warmer weather to return for a while longer!) It is too bad the pictue doesn't show the flecks of color and the texture of this lovely yarn.

Chamomile919

Because the pattern would not have fit well (if at all), several changes were made. The short body of the original pattern would not do for someone ‘statuesque’. Chamomile has some waste shaping so that made it a bit challenging. By trying it up to my body while knitting I figured out the best places for shaping and it worked out perfectly. I like the way it feels and will do more fitted sweaters. The trick was making sure the shaping matched both front and back and by ‘reading’ my knitting that was a success, too. (I’m not much into notes when in the passion of knitting.)

Cham919
Sleeves were also lengthened and the seed stitch around the front band was increased to 5 stitches (my whim) from 4. Instead of the leather tie on the front I made a 3 stitch I-cord. The biggest change was the front as I made it bigger than the back. This is probably why it fits so well. I had to change the shoulder shaping on the body and the sleeves but that was fairly easy with great info like Jenna’s article in Knitty, a class last March from Sally Melville and a dose of common sense. I am the boss of my knitting and this sweater proved that to me!
This sweater will go with anything and I’ll be wearing her a bunch this fall.

Chamomile
Yarn: 11 skeins Summer Berries, Summer Tweed by Rowan (pattern called for 8)
Pattern: Summer Tweed Collection
Time to knit: August 20-September 19, 2004


Rain!!

Yellows
Silverfall
It was an unusual weekend because we had rain…lots of rain! Hurricane Javier from the Pacific came to visit and it was very welcome in the dry west. Saturday the hot, dry, south wind filled the valley with dust, obscuring the mountains and making the air so thick you could cut it. During the night thunder and rain came in waves of nearly every hour. The down side of this is our dog Moxie is terrified (the poor thing!) and has to jump on the bed in the exact area of Smith’s head. It’s a very unpleasant awakening. The fact that it was raining made it bearable. The rain continued in bands throughout the morning and despite that, we decided to head up to our favorite place for breakfast, Silver Fork Lodge. This little haven is 20 minutes from our front door and a world away from the city. The power had been knocked out by a fallen tree farther up the canyon and they were just getting around to seating people when we arrived. We had a long wait but it’s just too beautiful to leave.

CloudmountLakesilverAfter breakfast we headed up the canyon another 10 minutes to Brighton Resort to walk around Silver Lake. It was chilly but we were well dressed in sweaters, warm socks and rain gear. It was beautiful and smelling the wet earth, pine trees and clean mountain air was invigorating. The clouds shrouded the mountain and threatened rain but we stayed dry during our walk. As we left the mountain it rained off and on as bands of moisture came through from the remnants of Javier. Moisture from Pacific hurricanes are very welcome and have been rare the last few years.
My heart goes out to all those in the south who have been so adversely affected by Ivan, Frances and Charley. Prayers for you all!

Chamtie How about a little knitting? Here is a sneak preview of Chamomile. Iinstead of the leather tie suggested in the pattern I made I-cord. It looks pretty cool! Yes, just need some pictures and another FO will be added to my list. Stay tuned.

Stacey and Missa have decided they just couldn’t stand it and have started a Hallowigalongbtnthumb Go join the fun!