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October 2005
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December 2005

Knit Unto Others

Today is the official end of Knit Unto Others.  The main reason for this short charity knitting project was to remind us to be thankful for all the good things in our lives and to give what we can to others in need.  The efforts of knitters who gave a few days to knit items will be appreciated by many who will now be warmer throughout the winter months. Thank you to all who joined us and knit a few items.

Hatsformississipiwarmth

You can certainly continue to knit and give and the KUO blog will stay up all year with info on places to send knit goods. Carole and I thank you for your participation and for caring. We hope to make this an annual event of giving thanks and knitting for others during the Thanksgiving season.

I did get seven hats completed during KUO.  Knitting with the same needle size, same size yarn and in the round over and over caused pain in my arm and shoulder, however.  It is clear to me that a variety of projects, vigilance in stretching, along with frequent rests, are important to healthy knitting (and life over all).

It was last year at this time when my back seized up.  Bending, walking and just sitting were enormously painful.  Looking back it is evident that stress played a role in exacerbating a problem area.

Twinges of the same pain have cropped up in the past week and if not careful the problem could resurface.  The plan is for due diligence; trips to the gym, stretching and, most important, destressing through this hectic season.  We all must find ways to slow down, keep the demands on life to a minimum, and learn to say no (or enough).  Take time to relax and rejuvenate, so that you have something to give without creating a deficit, and don't stretch yourself to the max.

Takecareofyourself_1We often say knitting as a way to relax and find solace.  Remember to keep it that way...keep your knitting time fun and stress free. Is the last minute gift worth the stress?  Maybe a trip to a local boutique could produce a nice gift with less stress.  Use knitting time as a way of reconnecting with yourself and to find quiet, contemplative time during this season of mania. 

Be good to you!


In the Sky with Diamonds

There are no diamonds on my feet or diamonds in the sky for that matter. The only diamonds around here are in this shawl.  The cool beautiful colors of the gorgeous silk from  Fybrespates, sent by my Better Pal Emma, enticed me into knitting this shawl. And then, there is the unique quality of the 100% silk.  It was rather stiff in the skein, but as it was wound into a ball and then, again, as it slid through my fingers, a soft halo formed around the yarn.  Cara's finished shawl (which was so elegant!) and the rave she gave the pattern, also drew me in.

Dfsatsilverlakewithsnow_1

Dfswithbluestblueskiesatsl_1The diamond pattern took some getting used to, as this pattern had many repeats, and a row or two in which you could really mess up, if you didn't keep the faith or lost attention for a bit.  After a couple of set backs, well maybe more than a couple,  I did get the hang of it and sailed through to the end.  It was well worth the effort for the beauty of the lace, the color of the yarn and the finished elegant shawl.

Thank you Cara for the encouragement to keep going, to Emma for the gift of gorgeous yarn and to Pumpkinmama for advice on blocking.  Even ironing the silk wasn't too scary and it sure brought out the sheen.

Gorgeouscolorsoffyberpates_1

Diamond Fantasy Shawl by Sivia Harding
Yarn from Fybrespates 100% silk lace weight
Time to Knit: 9-18-05 - 11-24-05

SeaweedawaitingattentionThe finish of DFS means that my needles are nearly naked. One lone project resides in my 'In Process Album'...the long suffering Seaweed Wrap.  I picked her up briefly this weekend and have fallen in love with the rich wool, warm color and lovely pattern all over again.  It's time to give her her due and put this beautiful project in play.  Lace is the ultimate process which makes this undulating pattern and warm wool a nice companion for the winter months, which have come to Utah right on schedule.

Speaking of Utah...we now have a EWE-TAH Knitters ring! If you live in Utah, you have a blog and like to show your stuff, then come on a join the group.


A Trip to the Lake

Silver Lake was frozen, but that didn't deter us in the least. It was so clear...the sky, near cobalt blue, contrasted beautifully with the white snow (little that there was). Thank goddess, since we were there on Friday it has snowed several more feet.  Winter has finally arrived in the Wastach Mountains! With so much new snow we did not return on Sunday, but the photo shoot for the hats and DFS had gone so well we had no need.  Friday was the last day of blue skies, too.  No complaints, as we need snow more than anything right now.

Silverforklakewithlittlesnowatbrigh

HomelesshatsmithatsilvrfkMost of the weekend was spent knitting hats.  It became apparent to me that gloves and wristies would take more time than the hats, so all my knitting time was spent creating as many as I could.  The more warm heads this winter the better.  Fleece gloves can be purchased very inexpensively, but a warm hand knit hat can't be beat.  Smith posed at Silver Fork in his favorite hat (which will go to someone in need). He and the hat look good, no? I have used Ann Budd's book, with variations on a theme, to create the hats.  Everyone is a bit different and has been fun to do. This hat was knit in Elann's Peruvian Highland Wool.

Susans4parthatSusanshatsideview_1Susan’s hat was also fun to do and I knit each step as it was published to her blog. The hat is a creative way to use up yarn when you might run short, as it is worked from the top down.  The I-cord hem is comfortable and a nice change from ribbing.  Nice work, Susan!  Wearing the hat makes me think of blue skies and Smith said it enhances the color of my eyes (which are usually gray, but change with what I wear). This yarn is an unknown worsted wool from the leftovers stash.  Another head will be warmed by this fun creation.

The mountains finally received a blanket of white on Saturday in the first wave of the storm.  By Sunday the valley floor also had a covering of snow.  That's more like it!

Thatsmorelikeitsnow

Knit Unto Others will go on until the 30th, so you have time to knit a hat or two for someone in need.  Check the blog for several places to send needed items or find a local charity that is in need of your handknits. It's a nice time of year to think of others.


Not Black. but Blue!

Smith and I don't believe in Black Friday.  We're going with Buy Nothing Day and heading up into the blue. (Does buying breakfast count?) The inversion is still filling the valley with haze and we long for unfiltered sun on our faces and crystal clear, cobalt blue skies.  That means a trip up to our favorite spot and a walk around Silver Lake.  There is a change in the air,  however because SNOW is expected tomorrow!  Yes, an inversion busting storm is coming this way, with SNOW! Hallelujah!  Winter will finally arrive.

Chantelwithbeautifulbracelet_1We had a lovely Thanksgiving dinner with Neena Wednesday night and another delicious event with Camille and family on Thursday. I was finally able to give Chantel, Camille's darling daughter-in-law, her birthday gift. The party, scheduled earlier in the month, had to be canceled and I had been dying to give Chan her gift.   Kim made, actually knitted, this exquisitely beautiful beaded bracelet. Chantel loved it as much as I knew she would. Thank you, Kim for a very special bracelet. Now we all want one!

Braclettfromkimforchan_1

SusananshatforcharityThere was a bunch of knitting going on when I could manage it, too.  More hats are coming off the needles and a new one cast on as fast I can go.  Hopefully there will be time to sit quietly and figure out how to knit the I-cord gloves.  There is a wrist warmer in the works and I'm ready for the last installment on Susan’s 'seriatim' hat. Oh, and just so you have something to look forward to next week...Diamond Fantasy Shawl is finished!  I got the hang of all that lace just as the finish line was in sight.  Thank you to Pumpkinmama, who left very good instructions on the best way to handle the 100% silk blocking.  I did as she suggested in Wednesday's comments and it turned out beautifully.  DFS is on her photo shoot today!

Have a great weekend!  Relax the next few days by knitting and enjoying the process.


Thanksgiving and Giving Thanks

Neena is coming up tonight from Cedar City and will cook a fabulous Thanksgiving dinner for Smith and I.  It's a good thing I have a sister who can cook and loves it, to boot, or we'd be eating Swanson's TV Dinners. Well not quite, because our dear friend Camille and her family have invited us over for turkey dinner tomorrow. Neena will flying away to visit Carolyn (without me....sob) for the week.

Charityhatsforkuto It will be wonderful to have a long weekend to relax, ready for the coming season (bleah) and knit!  These little hats are addicting and very quick to knit.  Three were finished in as many days.  I'm using up bits of this and that from the stash and finding the knitting to be enjoyable.  The orange hat on the bottom  is Chicknit's free pattern the Shaker Rib Hat and the other two were knit using Ann Budd's book as a guide. You can also check Susan's blog for a fun way to knit a hat...bit by bit. Stay tuned so you don't miss the next step.

You can still join us in the Knit Unto Others project. Check the blog for links, ideas and places that need your knits items.  This short Knit Along is for those who want to give something to others this time of year. We can be swallowed up by the craziness of the season and forget to be thankful for all we have. Even if you only have time for one hat or scarf, anything you do will be bring warmth and a little joy to someone who has less than you. While you can (and many of you do) knit for others throughout the year, Knit Unto Others serves as a remind that so many people have lost all they have and we can help in small, yet important, ways. It is only a week until the 30th and the end of KUTO, so over the long weekend I'll knit a few more items as I enjoy the Holiday.

This doesn't preclude knitting of others items, however. DFS will be finished this weekend.  I must get her off to my sister-in-law, as her birthday is long past. The yarn for this lovely project  came from my Better Pal Emma. It is Fyberspates 100% silk lace weight. It has been such a joy to knit (when I don't make too many errors).  As per usual, I have figured out the pattern now that the end is very near.

Here is a question for you as I am unsure the best way to block the silk.  Will silk hold its shape once 'severely blocked' (as the pattern states to do)?  Is the reason you iron silk, after its blocked, so that it will hold the shape longer? Any tips you can give me on blocking 100% hand dyed silk would be helpful.

Be grateful for all you have and enjoy your weekend. Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!


Beautiful Brier

Brier is one of the nicest fitting sweaters I have ever knit and will be a main part of my wardrobe for years to come.  At first the Black Water Abbey yarn was stiff and hard to knit.  Because of my tendency to knit rather tight, a rustic yarn can be difficult to work.  After the first piece was finished and blocked it was evident the yarn softened and relaxed enough to make a beautiful, yet sturdy fabric.  Knowing that made continuing on a easier.

There are several interesting details on Brier. The seam down the back was worrisome in the beginning but, it looks fab and there is no discomfort from the welt.  The sleeve seams and button cuffs give the jacket a classic, tailored look that compliments the front lapels. The cuff on the sleeves and bottom hem on the sweater are knit in garter stitch, with the body continuing in stockinette.

Buttoncuffsonbrierinthesun

Brierbackatbrickwall

As each piece was finished I washed and blocked to insure that everything would fit together nicely. When it come time to sew it all up, it was like fitting puzzles pieces together. Two parts to the back and each sleeve took more time to sew, but added the details that set Brier off. The collar again was knit separately and had to be fit in place.  Then came the buttons on the cuff and down the front. It was a thrill to slip her on and see that everything did work, did fit, and fit me as well.

Brier's color makes her hard to photograph. Sun washes out the detail and shadows darken her too much.  Hopefully you can get the idea with the two pictures below.

Bestbrierintehsunonthesteps

Brierstandingintehsunpc

Bwaforribbycardi Brier is one fine lady, a joy to wear, and the finished product has sold me on Black Water Abbey yarns.  This proves, once again, that the small grower/producers of yarn really have something special, something better than the norm.  The color Bluestack just might make it to my stash someday soon.  In the mean time, because my first thought for the BWA KAL was a different sweater in three colors, there is enough left over to knit a second sweater.  I think another Ribby Cardi will be my future (would these colors look fab?).

Brier by Rowan Book #36
Yarn: Black Water Abbey- Chestnut - 5 skeins
Time to knit: 10-01-05 - 11-19-05
For: Black Water Abbey Knit Along hosted by Snow and Lizzy.


Blue Skies and Knitting

Sadpictureofparkcitywithnosnow
The skies were very blue in Park City this weekend.  An inversion has begun to put a lid on the valley below and the mountains are seen only through a haze. While it is sunny, the haze defuses and filters the sun.  There will be no snow in the Utah mountains until after Thanksgiving. The sun is nice to see (even through haze), but the mountains are bare and brown  without the white, wonderful snow to cover them.

Many things have come off my needles lately and Park City seemed like a nice place to show them off.  We stopped once more at the No Worries Cafe for breakfast and enjoyed their homey atmosphere and yummy food.

First up are the Grrlfriend Gloves knit for Nona’s Peaceful Palms KAL. Norma sent me the most beautiful yarn, an alpaca/rambouillet, spun with beads, by our friend Anne. The cuff is knit with this very special yarn and the was hand continued in Shetland Wool (color 290 Oyster).  They are fabulous with Brier (you'll see her tomorrow) and delightfully warm, too. 

Grrlfriendglovesinpcgldwl

Last year I knit a scarf out of a luxurious alpaca yarn purchased at a BOW Fiber Festival. The grower had lost her premium alpaca and was selling the last of the gorgeous fiber from this animal. If the budget had allowed I would have bought it all, but at $30.00 a skein, I strained the budget enough to bring home 3 lovely hanks. It was softly spun and felt as exquisite as any premium fiber can.  I made a scarf right away and enjoyed it all winter.  When I finished Brier and saw how great the Grrlfriend Gloves looked with her, and also the scarf...well, I had to knit a matching hat.

Amyshatandweekendknitsscarf

Amy Boogie’s Lady Hat from her Hat Trifecta had been on the proverbial 'to do' list. After finding the extra alpaca and the pattern, I cast on and a mere four hours later the hat adorned my head.  What a fun pattern to knit Amy!
Amysladyhatfromtrifecta

Scarf is from Weekend Knitting and the pattern for the gloves is Anu's Christmas Glove from Folk Knitting in Estonia, without the colorwork. The gloves were knit for Nona’s Peaceful Palms KAL.

The hat is soft and warm and looks fantastic with my Brier sweater, the lacy scarf and the ever fabulous Grrlfriend Gloves.  You'll see more tomorrow!


Look Up!

Skiesoverslconfriday

Sandy! How's that for sky?

Frapprbuttonzeneedle

Frappr, drappr, DO!
Tell me, tell me true!!
Where in the WORLD are you?

Thank you to everyone who has already signed in! It's fun to read all your notes.

My Better Pal Emma's darling little chick, Oliver, needs some HOT WHEELS!  Please help by going to the auctions, here and here, where you can bid on two fabulous Clapotis'.  Don't you need something wonderful for yourself or a special someone for Christmas?

Happy Weekend!


You Know the Mantra

To reiterate...It's the process.

But just what is the process?  Remember when you knit your first project and the way you felt when it was finished? Was it a hat, a scarf, or a baby blanket? Would you have finished it at all if you hadn't enjoyed the process of knitting? When it was done, didn't you feel rewarded for the time you put in and love the end product, too? 

If the process was JUST knitting we would all be happy knitting miles and miles of garter stitch. But the process IS about every step of the journey...knitting towards an end.  You pick a pattern because you love it and the yarn because it speaks to you.  Would you start it if you didn't want to see the project finished?  The end product is the drive, one of the many reason you knit.  The process is the enjoyment of each step along the way. 

While Marcia was here for SOAR, she introduced me to her husband as the person who always says, 'It's the process'.  He had wondered how she could spin for hours and hours with little to show, and her answer was that it isn't about how much you produce, it was about the 'doing', the enjoyment of the process. As an aside, Susan said that my mantra may be 'It's the process', but there was quite a bit of 'product' when I knit.

This isn't process versus product. It is all of a piece.  The choice of what to knit, the yarn and pattern, the knitting of each stitch, each step along the way, is the process. There may be several things on the needles around here, but the reason is beyond just starting something new.  I usually have a sweater on the needles, a lace project when something more complicated is desired, and a small project like a sock or glove.  The needle sizes and yarns are different, mostly to save my hands and, to offer a variety.  It is difficult for me to knit lace when visiting with others, or if I'm  too tired.  A small project is nice for travel or when only  a few minutes to knit are available.  The point is that I'm always knitting (and I'm good at rationalization).  Because of the process, there is little jumping from sweater to sweater, or sock to sock. Dfsisgoingwellnowthankgoddess

(DFS is back on track and she loves me, as I do her, again.)

The process matters most, in the end, but the product is the bonus.  Even when a problem crops up, a new project isn't started, as frogging is part of the process. Forward and backward is sometimes the way we make it through life. It's the way we make it though our knitting, too.

Brier is now in the seaming process. It is like putting a puzzle together, as the sleeves and back were each knit in two pieces, and the collar is separate, too. But, as I sit with her in my lap and carefully work, I know she will be a beautiful end product and the process if her creation enhanced my daily life.

Brierintheseamlesslyseamingstage_1

The end of the journey will be the joy of showing her off during a photo shoot this weekend (and wearing her for a long, long time). 

Thank you to Carole for the beautiful banner and button for the Knit Unto Others project. We have many willing participants.  Thank you all for your generous gift of time.

Enjoy knitting this weekend and I'll see you on Monday!


Fingering With I-cords

Carole wrote the most beautiful post about our joint project, Knit Unto Others. Thank you to all who have join in to help.  Even if you knit only one item, you will be helping someone stay warm this winter.  So many are in need after the many disasters around the world and right here in our own country.  Your local area may also need your help and you might have a favorite charity.  We only ask that you do what you can.   

I have started a hat and a pair of gloves and hope to knit several more items over the next week or so.  There are several easy, quick, and free patterns around the web and we'll try to link to several. Ann Budd's book Knitter’s Handy Book of Patterns  is very helpful for basic patterns, too. I worked on a hat at Stitch 'n Bitch on Tuesday night. Easy-peasy knitting!

Startofhatforkuto

Several years ago I took a class from Anne Carrol at the LYS on how to make I-cord fingers for gloves.  We knit from the cuff up and worked the fingers with the I-cored technique. It was very cool and quick to knit with two needles instead of 4 DP as per usual.  The gloves I made were very funky and fun (my first gloves!).

Myfirstglovesicordstoo

The cuff was knit in a fishtail technique that Nancy Bush brought back from Estonia. 

Nona is making I-cord gloves from the finger tips down to the cuff...just the opposite of what I learned.  I have started a pair of gloves for charity in this technique. Nona's pattern is very cool and I think it will make a great glove.  You can get her directions in installments (this is the 3rd one and it has links to the other two).  It is rather interesting to watch the fingers grow.  The colorful yarn pictured will hopefully become the cuff and bring a little joy along with warmth.
Fingeringtheglovesforkuto

Our weather has been cloudy and dreary for more than 2 weeks.  We had nothing to show for it, no rain or snow, until Monday.  The mountains received 12" and the valley some rain. It blew the inversion and clouds away and we have had blessed sun. The inversion is set to return as we are in a cold, dry spell. In fact it is damn cold!  This isn't the winter we had hoped for, at least so far. The massive amounts of snow that we had last year have not returned, as yet, this year.  For awhile, anyway, we can see the beautiful mountains.

Moutainsbeautiufl_withnotenoughsnow

Don't forget to Frappr me!