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June 2006

Weekend Was Fabulous

Cloudydaywithnewsnowonpeaksformemwe_1
After several weeks of very warm, beautiful days, the weekend ended up cold and rainy.  New snow fell on the peaks, and while it was short lived, the temperatures were still quite chilly.  It was so cold in the house we broke down and turned the heat back on Sunday morning.

Yummybloodorangeyarnformydyeoramapalpam Myspoilsfromthecaldron_2 However, you don't need sun to have a great Holiday weekend. Teri, Susan and I worked in Teri's garage out of the hurlyburly rain.  Susan and Teri have both have had good results, and more experience with dyeing yarn, and they were so kind to share their expertise.  The main objective was to create a yarn for my Dye-O-Rama pal.

It is quite a production to dye yarn even if you only use Kool Aid. We dyed 4 skeins in crock pots, two on top if the stove (self striping) and four skeins in the oven and it took about six hours. The oven skeins were dyed with Gaywool and the rest with Kool Aid. The best part of the whole process was working with grrlfriends.  Teri's signature colorway, Blood Orange (on each end), was created for my pal (the second one is for my stash). Carnival, the self stripping yarn is next, and the 'Margene', a colorway Susan concocted, is in the center.  Merlot was cooked up by moi and it's a lace weight yarn. The beatufiul Blood Orange (did you think I'd ever say orange was beautiful?) yarn was mailed to my Dye-o-rama pal yesterday.  Her new obsession is orange and I hope she likes it.

Monday was a blast and you'll get full details tomorrow in my 'K is for...' post.

Tomorrow kicks off the Trek Along. Sign ups will close at 5:00 MDT today.  There are over 200 Trekkers registered, so make sure to please follow the 'roolz' soon to be posted on the blog.

Cara had the fabulous idea to have a SPIN OUT in Central Park on June 24th.  There has been an out pouring of support from the spinning community at large, by way of donations, to the event.  But, did you know you don't need to be there, in NYC, to win!?!  Read about it here and donate to Heifer International and your name will be added to the proverbial hat. (Heifer is the perfect organization for knitters and spinners to donate to, as they provide people around the world with much needed animals both for the production fiber and/or food.)  With so many prizes you have a good chance to win. Donate what you can as it's all for a great cause. Oh and don't forget to buy a fabulous, colorful T-Shirt, too!  I've ordered mine.


When The Hurlyburlys Done

Fair is foul,
and foul is fair.

It was a dark and dreary night day upon the heath in Teri's garage where the weird sisters three of us, Teri, Susan and I, met to dye up a storm.

Twoweirdsisterdyeingtogether

Double, double, toil and trouble;
Fire burn, and cauldron bubble.

Doubledoubletoilandtroublegoesintothepot

Eye of newt, toe of frog,
Wool of bat, and tongue of dog;

Eyeofnewtisaddedtothemix

Adder's fork, and blind-worm's sting,
Lizard's leg, and howlet's wing;
For a charm of pow'rful trouble,
Like a hell-broth boil and bubble.

Coolwithbaboonsbloodandthecharmisgood

Cool it with baboon's blood;
Then the charm is firm and good.

Teriwindingtheyarnontoknottyneddy Yarnsettodryinallitslovelydyedwickedness

O, well done! I commend your pains,
And every one shall share i' th' gains.

Myspoilsfromthecaldron

And now about the cauldron sing;
Like elves and fairies in a ring,
Enchanting all that you put in.


Beautiful Roses

May your Holiday weekend be full of sun (it rained here Saturday and Sunday), fun, and joy (both are abundant here).  In the alley where Smith walks the boyz there is an old abandon house surrounded by yellow and pink rose bushes. At this time of year they are over grown, wild, and heavy with blossoms. Smith brings them back home in handfuls for me to enjoy.

Wildroseshandpickedbysmith

Remember the fallen and those who have gone before, on this sacred day. 


Loooong Weekend (HOO and RAY*!)

Snowinmountainendofmay

Isn't it wonderful to have a Holiday weekend?  The weather may not cooperate but, we'll make the most of it anyway.  After seeing the pictures of Snowbird on Monday, Ann asked how much snow there still was, and how long it would stay around.  As you can see from this photo, there is still quite a bit of snow on our peaks.  Snowbird has 90 inches of snow and the resort is still open (for a few more days).  The snow could still be around in spots by the time snow flies again and in the higher elevations at least until mid-July.

MarciaspinerllademinlaceyarnNext weekend we're going to So. Utah, so this weekend we'll stay home.  There is still plenty of fun planned.  Saturday I'll be dyeing and will hopefully have something suitable to send to my Dye-O-Rama  pal. Rest assured, I will not be opening an Etsy Shop.  Speaking of dyeing, Marcia stopped by our Stitch 'n Bitch on Tuesday night and came bearing gifts. This beautiful lace weight was dyed with Indigo and it's mine! It's so beautiful with the shaded blue tones. Marcia named it Faded Denim and that is a perfect description.  Susan was gifted with a bag of Indigo so she can try dyeing her own yarn.  I'd love to be around for that experiment, Susan!  Marcia gave me a hug from Laurie and I have one to give Stephanie in return.  Hugs across the miles are so sweet.

It's a good thing Marcia left when she did, as the conversation at SnB deteriorated rather quickly.  Let's just say we did a load of laughing and story telling.  We have a new member, Ash, who was brave enough to enter our overly estrogened zone. He wanted to learn to knit and has designed a scarf as his first project. After only two quick lessons he is progressing well. Ash held up his end of the story telling and was not deterred by our grrl talk.  He's WAY cool. (Next week I'll get pictures.)  Our Laurie has an account of a typical SnB night (or BnS as she describes it).

Scoutslovleyzenyarnforme_1The yarn from Scout arrived on Wednesday.  It is so difficult not to cast on all the beautifully hand dyed yarns that have come my way lately.  Zen is such a gorgeous colorway and it will be so interesting to watch the colors as it's knit. This will be perfect knitting for July's PS color.

Monday we'll be doing something completely different (I'm not telling!), which should result in a "K" for the ABC-Along.  With such a busy weekend I don't expect to be around Blogland much and may not post Monday or even Tuesday. If I do, the post will be short and sweet.  Have an enjoyable, fun filled weekend and don't forget to relax and knit, too.  See you on the other side!

*Thanks Carole. I saw your comment on La's post and thought it was too funny.

Oh and ONE MORE THING!  I'll be at Rhinebeck! Hoo AND RAY!!


Holes In My Head?

Mountainstreamtwowithelizasbag Mountain Stream, the second, is going smoothly.  Everything knit the second time goes along more smoothly, eh?  At the beginning of MS #1 the bottom lace panel went well until I tried to turn the corner and pick up stitch across the edge.  That took at least four tries.   A lace project rarely starts out well or results in no frogging, but the beginning is especailly difficult.  In fact, I can't remember a time it has ever gone smoothly from the get go.

Case in point:

Beautifulbranchingoutontrack Branching Out is a scarf Susan designed for a first time lace knitter.  It has always been on my list of projects to do as it is great looking and would make a nice gift.  Some time ago I bought a skein of Silky Wool and finally sat down to begin a couple of mornings ago. (Yes, I'm trying to get a few things finished up before Memorial Weekend but, procrastination is my strong suit.)  It is only 25 stitches but, it took THREE tries to get it right, THREE!  Morning is my best time of day and I had had enough sleep and started the day with enough coffee.  But still, it took three tries and after 2"...I was off track again. Frogging back a couple of rows was easy, however as the purl back row made it easy to pick up the stitches and more on.  In an effort to get some of my WIPs under control, MS will be put on hold until the PS neutral color month of August and BO will be knit later in June for PS month of blue.

Johobeginningrow11ish Several attempts were also needed to get Jóhö going the right direction.  It was only after seeing Susan's progress, and having her help with the chart, that I was able to go forward without error (finally). Jóhö still sits at row 13 with the worst yet to come.  The ends are the easy part of this shawl because they have the usual purl back resting row.  The center panel looms and for the first time in my lace knitting life, I'll be using a lifeline. Susan said this section was not intuitive and that can only spell trouble ahead.  It will take considerable effort to knit without error and stay on track.  In the end, it will be worthwhile because the yarn and pattern are so heavenly. Jóhö will be my main weekend knitting so I can get a good start on The Amazing Lace and she'll be my main knitting for June. Finally I'll be knitting in the color of the month!   

Ceceaboutsixinchesfrombeginning My saving grace has been CeCe (and she is mostly blue, too). While I may frog a stitch, or a row, here and there, forward progress is made and the process is enjoyable.   The yarn is so interesting, too.  It's Noro's Sakura, which is colorful and unusual.  Speaking of CeCe, you must see Peg's and her beautiful Eleanora socks, too!

The timeless words of Paul Simon keep running around in my head.

"You got to learn how to fall
Before you learn to fly"

I've fallen plenty...now if I could only spread my wings.


Trying to Cut Back on Socks (To No Avail)

Sleepingdragonslipstitchsock Knitting a pair of socks has become a way of escaping.  Socks are the best procrastination knitting, a good diversion, a way to feel productive while avoiding every other knit (and responsibility), as well as a way to have a damn good time.  There are so many socks on my 'to knit list' so, it is easy to have a sock on the needles at all times.  The only sock on my needles right now, however, is the Slip Stitch Sock in Sleeping Dragon yarn.  The pattern and yarn make a very nice, easy knit.   

CassiesprettysockThe first sock for Cassie's soon to be published pattern is finished but, the second has yet to be cast on. There are so many other things to be done before the end of May and going forward will divert me from the process of production.  Cassie's sock did turn out beautifully and she should have it ready for you this week. I'll cast on the second sock in a day or two.

This is part of the DailyOm Horoscope that showed up in my email yesterday.  It is timely as usual!

... Approaching everything you do today with an attitude of moderation could empower you take pleasure in life’s multifaceted extravagances without needing to overindulge your appetites.

When you enjoy all that you love in moderation, you can lead a varied and stimulating life that is both satisfying and conducive to your well-being. Feelings of deprivation can make us lose control and overindulge our appetites until what was once fulfilling to us becomes detrimental for us. Moderation represents a means of achieving balance in all aspects of our lives. In living moderately, you shun extremes. This allows you to derive the maximum pleasure from what you choose to engage in because you are doing so in healthy and enjoyable ways rather than from compulsion. You’ll get the most out of the choices you make and instinctively know when you’ve had enough. Enjoying everything in moderation today will help you mindfully satisfy your desire for indulgences.

Susansyarnandkatherineslinocut_1 There is so much by way of distraction, desire and rampant enabling going on.  Susan created a color way that was just so breathtaking and she said it was her best dye job to date.  It was very nice of her to give me first right of refusal, because her discription just did not do it justice. It is even more beautiful person that can be shown in any photo (unless you're Cara).  Truly I'm not sure when I fell so hard for pinky colored yarns...sigh.   The linocut of knitting was carved by Katherine and she gave Susan and I each one last night.  She is also going to print it on T-shirts for the Ewe-tah grrls to wear at Estes.

Treksockbagwithstrandbeautifullombardmel Marie had another group of her beautifully dyed yarns up for sale and I fell for Lombard Melon. You'll have to wait to hear the story about this color way. On top of that, the STR Club yarn arrived and the colorway is fabulous.  The pattern is interesting, but not something I would knit, and since I didn't expect to like all the patterns, that's just fine.  Someday (soon) the other May Colors would like to reside in my stash. 

Trek makes small bags that are perfect for 'Trekking' with your Trekking XXL and I traded her for one last week. Now, how can you miss that trifecta opportunity?  This little bag is going to be very handy.  (Speaking of Trekking, I really must get ready for the upcoming debut on June 1st.  We will also close the KAL on that day as there are already nearly 200 signed up.)

Wait!  There is even more, as Scout, generously created the colorway Zen, to match my blog and she is sending me a skein.  It is one of the most beautiful colorways I have ever seen and I can't wait for it to arrive. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, Scout! 

It may be that I can't afford to blog any longer. So many bloggers are dyeing yarn for sale and it is all wonderful!  Everyone has a unique way of playing with color and this creates a big desire in me.  I will no longer click on any Etsy shops. Must save for Estes and knit the yarn already astashed. However, just a thought...can there be moderation with socks and/or sock yarn and just what IS moderation?

~~~~~~~~~

Several of you asked about the toes on Eleanora.  Even though I needed to follow the chart carefully, the toes were fun to do and I DID finished with the Kitchener stitch (only a few stitches). But, next time I might decrease down to 6 stitches and run the yarn through.  Don't let grafting the toe cause you to pause, as either way would work fine. 

Jane recieved the PS postcard I sent her last week!

Moxieandshaggymurphy Moxie is feeling much better and thanks you for all the good wishes. He has taken walks in the T-shirt and almost likes it. He was also very happy to hear Smith say that he would find a baby 'Harley' T so Moxie can be tough again.  Don't you wish you had the healing powers of a dog? After 4 days he has running around, nearly normal (not quite as happy as usual) and feeling no pain.
Murphy and Moxie say 'hey!'


Presenting...

The Most Honorable Eleanora, Duchess of Socks.

Beautifulelenoratheduchessofthebird

EleanoradancesonthetalbeatthebirdEleanoraenjoystheviewatthebirdThe beautiful, elegant Eleanora spent the morning dining at Snowbird, Utah.  She was awed by the amount of snow and the mountains so much larger than her own in Italy.  Eleanora is quite the Royal Lady and is known for her sense of style and luxurious dress.   A fancy cuff is her crowning glory, her garment is rich with texture, and the line of the design shows off her figure well.  She is a well put together sock lady and would be quite the prize for any knitter who cares to court a lady of her stature and character.

Redelenorabeautifulwithtrees  

In the nearly finished photos of the past week, she was a little pinked, but truly she is a rich red blue blooded lady.  The Scheepjes Invicta yarn was a good choice to show off her regal bearing.  A big thank you goes out to Ande who gifted the yarn for the royal effort.

Pattern:  Eleanora by Miriam Felton
Yarn: Scheepjes Invicta Sock Yarn (red)
Needles: DPN #0 and #1
Time to Knit:  4-19-06 - 5-20-06


It Couldn't Have Been More Beautiful

Beautifulgreensforpsmay_1

Snowbirdgreensgalore May is such a perfect month for pictures of things that are green. The greens are everywhere you look and in such a variety of shades. This is Little Cottonwood Canyon just below Snowbird.  This canyon is lower than our usual drive, Big Cottonwood, so the trees are green all the way to the top. You can point the camera in any direction and find a  breathtaking view as spring takes over the upper elevations.  Judy! We  heard (but didn't see) a hummer!

Abeautifuldayatthebirdinmay_1 The temperature was perfect for al fresco dining and we enjoyed the patio at the Fork Lift. They have a delicous breakfast called Dave's Power Spuds, which you must order with eggs.  If the view alone isn't worth the drive, (yeah right) then Dave's will make it so. The resort is still open for skiing in the Gad Valley but, there were few people on the Plaza where only two other couples enjoyed the atmosphere.  It was so difficult to leave as we could have happily enjoyed the clear, pure mountain air all day.

Poorpatheticpuppyaftersurgery Theveryworstthingisthisbabytshirt The hard part of the weekend began Friday when Moxie came home from the vet after having surgery. He had to have two small cysts removed, plus a largish fatty tumor in his armpit. The tumor turned into four tumors and he came home with a vertical incision of about 6" on his side, plus several smaller incisions.  The vet (we LOVE our vet) suggested a baby t-shirt so the wound could drain and be protected (mostly from poor Moxie). Friday and Saturday it was hard to imagine a more pathetic creature than our poor puppy, but as the weekend went on Moxie snapped out of his stupor, while his humiliation grew.  This dog has never like anything on his body and he is a little vain.  While he may forgive us the pain and suffering, he will never forgive the embarrasment of being seen in a baby T. 


Socks March On

Eleanorasecondsockcomingalong Eleanora did some major wooing for my attention this past week and won over any other sock on the needles.  She is flowing along beautifully and we are very happy together. Wednesday night I finished the heel and started down the foot of the second sock, which is progressing much faster than the first. It helps to have the pattern stitches sheared into your brain.  Mim's pattern has been so entertaining and I can see another pair in my future...maybe in the plain blue Opal purchased last weekend.

Cassiessockalmostfinished Last night Cassie’s (much awaited) sock accompanied me to a meeting, which meant it had extra time to grow and should be finished soon.  Cassie, in her obsessive nature, wants to make sure the pattern is perfect, but she'll have it up sooner rather than later.  The lace pattern is easy to remember and the sock moves along quickly, which makes it a great sock for something like, well you know, a Trekking Along.

We may just get a little early trekking in this weekend. The weather has been perfect.  It's 20 degrees above normal, clear and dry (yes, we like it that way). The trend is a little cooler for the weekend and mostly sunny skies. Utah Grrls! Susan had a great idea to KIP at the Living Traditions Festival on Sunday.  See you there!


(Gulp)

"A desire to learn could make you feel studious today. Your mind may be hungry for new information, and you may have a new found desire to exercise your intellect. Each piece of information you digest will likely stimulate and energize you while reinforcing your dedication to learning. This can be a good time to commit to becoming a lifelong student. You can make the most of your craving for mental stimulation by learning a new skill, taking a class, or studying a subject that has intrigued you.
You’ll seldom feel bored or underwhelmed with your life, because the world will always hold some mystery for you to unearth. Committing to a life of learning today will ensure that you remain sharp and open-minded for the rest of your days."

The above is part of the Daily Om horoscope, which arrived last Thursday just after I posted about the lace projects in consideration.  It felt as if the universe (and all of you) said 'go for it'!  Pick that big ass Langsjal Jóhönnu and learn from your success and/or failure.

Theresa and Rachel have issue the first challenge of The Amazing Lace. So, it's time for the up close and personal look at Team Zeneedle.

It has only been the last couple of years that any lace and I have teamed up.  After a few stumbles, the challenges of that first lace were overcome and the desire for more lace grew with each little success.  One of the most difficult journeys was Oriel.  We had several falling outs, which resulted in time apart. But as with any true love, absence makes the heart grow fonder and steps were taken towards reconciliation.  In the end we did work out our differences but, it was only after we were about half way into the journey that our relationship became strong enough to endure.  The struggles helped us both grow, and also, readied me for bigger challenges to come.

Johoandtherestoftheamazingteam It is with this background that I introduce Jóhö (newly nicknamed). She and I will face the biggest knitting challenge of our lives.   Jóhö and I have spent the last few days bonding, trying to discover the strengths, and weaknesses that need to be overcome.  Our main strength may be the fabulous lace yarn from Plain and Fancy Wool.  The shades of blue and violet are so subtle, refreshingly quiet and compelling.  There is an extra skein waiting in the wings just in case the lace turns out to be longer than we thought. Susan, in an effort to start us out on the right foot, has helped by deciphering the chart and she is knitting ahead to warn us of any pitfalls. With extra aid from a magnet board and a quiet room, the race should be off to a good start.

Firstfewpracticerowsofjoho There is a chance we will not reach the end, a chance we could come to despise each other, and grow so far apart that we'll never meet again.  But, even with the sink holes, pot holes and big bumps in the road, plus the knowledge that one or both of us could spend time on exile island, or in the frog pond, we feel certain it is worth the effort. Together Team Zeneedle is ready to meet the challenges ahead and to give each one 110% effort   Our mantra will be, "It's the process" and by keeping this in mind, we will perservere and endure to the end.

A big cheering section will certainly help us through the ups and downs, the decreases and YOs. Will you be there for us, to cheer our small successes, and encourage us over the rough road we have chosen for this journey?