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September 2007
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November 2007

Women of Wisdom Unite!

Onewitchtoldmestory

Many people are afraid of Witches. The poor Witch has been demonized, misunderstood, and persecuted.  I am not alone (anyone recognize the author of that book?) in my belief that Witches were originally women of wisdom and intuition.  Would you agree that women of wisdom are scary?  I thought not.  My annual trip to the Land of Green Witches affords time to commune with, and listen to, the stories of truth and wisdom told by a coven of wonderful crones. It's an annual rite, one I enjoy completely.  Now don't you just wish you knew what story my wonderful friend is sharing with me?  (That's a look 'of knowing' on my face, not a grimace.)

As I was conversing with one of the best dressed of the coven, I truly jumped from fright.  But, it was her pet spider that caught me unaware, however tame and sweet he is. (He later apologized.)

Asiwastalkingtoonewitchaspidercameu

Could it be that witches flew on distaffs and not brooms? Something for every spinner to contemplate, eh?  However, this Pioneer Witch is rather fond of her wagon and team of bats (who don't come out during the day) that pull her across the night sky. Watch  for her tonight and you might see her as she flies across the moon!
Awagonwitchatabatcrossing

Every Green Witch I visited was very impressed with the beautiful, useful sweater I had knit and the cleverness of my hands. (I credit their good wishes with the speed in which I finished Smith's socks. They loved the name of the yarn, Tigers Eye, which they use often in their brews.) 

After my visit I was refreshed, renewed, and inspired.  Make sure you hug a Witch today...it's her special day, you know?

Ribbycross

Pattern: Ribby Pulli by Bonne Marie Burns
Yarn: Hand-dyed Superwash Merino Worsted by Scout's Swag, dyed to my color specifications (Scout's a genius)
Needles: Addi Turbo US size #5 and #7 (pattern calls for #6)
Modifications: Body and arms lengthened about 2" (6' tall has its disadvantages)
Time to Knit: October 4-October 26, 2007-Long trips in the car afford much knitting time.
Bottom Line: I love this sweater!!


Socktober or Bust

I did it!  Socks for Socktober are finished! Smith is one happy man. It was touch and go, right down to the last minute, so to speak, but the socks are ready to wear.   They look great, feel great, but were not great to knit.  The main reason was the metal DPNs and my  habit of keeping a tight grip on the needles.  My arms ached for hours after the finish line, but a good stretch put them back in the pink. (I love that website!)  I'll also be destashing my set of metal DPNs and buying another set or two of bamboo...bamboo, I love you.

Smithsfancysocks_2

Smith is now a fan of medium weight STR and he thinks the Tigers Eye colorway made very cool lookin' socks, too. (Too bad he wasn't around for the photo shoot.)

In a delusional state I had hoped to finish the Pretty in Pink Portrait Scarf by November 1st. From the way things are going, it's unlikely it will be finished by the end of the year.  Slippery yarn on metal needles (circular) makes a fiddly process.  Originally, I thought the smaller sections of the scarf needed to be knit on DPNs, but Jocelyn, in a comment, thought the whole project would work on circs...she was right. The lace has enough give to fit around the circular, however, the only 16" circulars I have are Addis...and it's working, just slow.slow.slow. 

Prettyinpinkisgrowingsoslowlybutsop

Shockwaveneedsfinisihing Speaking of the end of the year...after NaKniSweMo and the finish of Scoop du Jour, there are a few items in my queue I'd like to work on in December. Mostly lace shawls (yes plural) and a sock.  But, to start next year off fresh I'd like to finish up anything hanging around.  Now, I'm of the mind that if I stop knitting, and don't get back to it, the project should be frogged or finished and not languish for longer than a few months. That means the second Strawberry Fields handspun sock must be finished...off the needles, right away.  It is the only thing left hanging, its time has come!


Good Friends and Green Witches

The view I saw most often this weekend was my hands busily knitting in the foreground, with my propped-up, slipper clad feet in the background.  Sadly I missed the SLC SnB Grrls Retreat at Silver Fork Lodge, but was happy to sit relax and get rid of tummy trouble. In a very sweet act of friendship, Cheryl took the time and went out of her way, to stop by and leave a nicely wrapped gift of ginger tea on my doorstep.  It was about all I ate or drank the whole week and it was very welcome.

Agreenwitchheadedtosalem Sunday afternoon Smith thought I needed to get out of the house, so we took our annual trip to the Land of Green Witches.  Right away we found a witch who cast a spell of good health.  It really did the trick and enjoyed visiting with old friends more Green Witches.  (I did finish Ribby but to insure the spell would work, the Witches all told me I shouldn't show her off until their special day on Wednesday.)

Castingspellsofgoodhealth

We found two Green Witches playing baseball...I do think they must be Sox fans as they put a bad hex on the Rockies.

Witchesplayingbaseball Iwonthebatbutshewouldntgiveittome

I'm fairly sure this Green Witch was on her way to write "Surrender Dorothy" in the sky.
Wealsosawthewickedwitchofthewest

It was so much fun to visit this magical land again and I came home feeling much better.  All your good wishes helped, too!


TGIF!

Colorsremindmeofribbypulli_2 I know...such an original title, but I am happy to see the weekend.  Tummy matters have improved slightly...tea will be my friend again today. At least there is no more pain and I will survive.  Yesterday while trying to work through the morning, (I bailed on the afternoon) this calendar picture above my desk, kept drawing my eye.  It reminded me of Ribby's colors and all I really wanted to do was sit in bed an knit. As I said, I bailed on the afternoon (tea only helps so much) and spent the afternoon and evening knitting on Ribby. At the moment I'm several rows into the color change of the yoke and very excited about nearing the end.
Colorsinribbyarelikegeorgiaokeeffe

Blueberryborschtyarnforscoop_2 Because the end of Ribby is nye, I'm considering joining NaKniSweMo, which is being reprised this November. Thank you Lolly for the heads up. I've been planning to knit Scoop du Jour, in this yummy Blueberry Borscht Peace Fleece, for some time now. While I'm not very competitive, and don't like to knit under pressure, this might be fun. After all, Phyllo and Ribby Pulli each took just less than a month.

That's it from here. Enjoy your weekend!   


I'll Be Back

Blech....too sick for words...can't get it together for a post so I'm taking a break. TeresaC gave me a lovely tea sampler when she was here  last month and I think the Belgian Peppermint saved my life.  On top of that she has finally posted! Thanks so much, Terry, you made it worth dragging myself out of bed to pull today's post.

This is all I had ready for today. A picture of Marie's Holiday Sock Yarn Club October edition.  It's called Spook and I love it, Marie!

Brooklynfiberclubspookz

See you all Monday.


ARRGGGHHH!!

The knitter sits quietly working on a delicate, cloud-like piece of pink lace.  She nears what she thinks is the half way point and picks up the instructions to check.  The look on her face changes from serene to confused...she reads through the instructions again...again and then again, even yet again.  A light bulb, which could clearly be seen, goes off over her head...her face changes again, this time from confusion to disbelief....from disbelief to down right disappointment. GASP...wha? Oh no!  Big sigh....dammitalltohell.

She jumps from her chair, runs to the next room and grabs the pattern book from the shelf. Can it be, she thinks to herself, can I really be that blind, am I really that inept?  The picture confirms her fear and she utters another large sigh....dammitalltohell.

The biggest sigh yet, escapes her lips...ah well, it happens to the best of knitters.  It's either rip it into tiny pieces or start anew.  It IS the process and mistakes are part of it all, dammitalltohell.

Portraitscarfisabouthalffinished_2

Ah yes, that was the scene...the way things unfolded Sunday night.  If you look closely at this photo of the Portrait Scarf you'll see the right leaning sections are twice as long as the same sections of my scarf.  My scarf is a clumsy, undulating pattern of lace with no style, elegance or grace.  Its only asset is the soft, delicate, pink mohair/silk and, that alone, was its salvation. So great is my desire to have this cloud-like, pink bit of goodness on my shoulders this winter, I carefully, gently, and slowly pulled it back to the where the offense began and started anew....dammitalltohell.

Prettyinpinkportraitscarfgoingwel_2

For whatever reason, knitting has become easier, less fiddly and forward progress is being made...again.


Spinning State of Mind

It may have been the weather, it may have been a feeling of solidarity with my 'spinning sisters' at Rhinebeck, or it may have been the draw of the beautiful merino roving...wherever, however the feeling came about, this weekend was spent with Emmylou (my spinning wheel). As the Festival season ends, spinning season begins and the next few months will be spent at the wheel.

Onefullbobbinofpainteddesert_2 Adrian's beautiful Cosmos merino roving was already on the wheel and only about 2 of the 8 oz. were already spun. I continued on Saturday to fill the bobbin and the spinning took me back to the colors of the Painted Desert.  It is amazing to see the colors are to the Arizona desert run through my fingers as I spin.  The goal is to spin a two ply and knit a triangle feather and fan shawl. It will be a lovely way to show off the colors and the one I like best is in Cheryl Oberle's Folk Shawls.  By Sunday morning I had finished the first bobbin and wanted to start a second, but alas and alack, there were NO more empty bobbins

The summer's spinning had had no focus and only bits of this and that were spun as practice (when any spinning was done at all).  A couple of half baked ideas were also about half finished...something had to go, had to give.  Sunday afternoon was spent plying, and while the roving wasn't great, the colors were odd, my spinning was just okay...the skein turned out to be very beautiful!  It's been christened Marigolds and Asters in honor of fall.

Prettyskeinofpracticeyarn_3

The second bobbin of Cosmos is now on the wheel and it feels good to be spinning  again. It's time to tackle the rest of the fiber stash as I need to be ready for Rhinebeck 2008 and the fiber season that actually starts in May!


Entertaining Myself (or Not Rhinebeck)

Fridaytheskylookedlikethis

Longshadowsonourwalk Friday the sky looked like this and temperature was around 70...a perfect day to go for a walk. Moxie and I enjoyed a nice long stroll through the neighborhood and my thoughts drifted off to Rhinebeck.  Rhinebeck...where many of my on-line pals were meeting for a fiber weekend and I resolved to have a lovely weekend of my own.

Saturdayitlookedlikethis

Saturday the sky looked like this, and it rained in the valley and snowed in the mountains. It didn't stop me from heading out to Three Wishes and Unraveled Sheep, two lovely LYSs.  As it turned out, I ran into my 'real' pals Cheryl and Lark, who were already shopping when I arrived at Three Wishes. We had a nice chat while enabling encouraging each other to do some good shopping.  VoguewithmynewlypurchasedgoodiesI picked up a lovely silk/merino roving by Snake River Fiberworks, with the resolve that IF I make it to Rhinebeck next year, at least 50% of my stash must already be spun by then.  I'll let you know how that goes.  At Unraveled I was enabled encouraged to buy a lovely Colinette Jitterbug sock yarn, in a deep semi-solid red, with the name of Vatican Pie (love it) and I picked up the new Vogue Holiday issue that has a new sweater by Alice Starmore! It's an updated version of her famous Oregon Cardigan...new colors, new shape.

Squashapplesandpumpkins Last week when I talked about what I love about October, I forgot to mention apples!  Many of you reminded me how important apples are to fall cuisine. I had intended to add them to the list, so to make up for that oversight, I decided to make an apple crisp.  After looking through recipes (on-line) for a considerable time, I made up my mind to create my own version.  It turned out very well and had just the right amount of crisp to appley taste.  Now don't kill over, but this very undomestic goddess will share the recipe with you.  Smith agreed it was the best ever!

Trulyyummyapplecrisp

Apple Brown Zen

5 cups apples sliced about 1/2" thick (cooking apples are good if you want very soft apples-hardier apples would be good, too) If there is a lag time in the time you make 'til the time you bake, add a bit of lemon will keep the apples from turning brown.
Butter an 8x8 baking dish and toss in the apples
Mix together:
1 cup flour
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup quick cooking oats
1 stick butter (softened)
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp nutmeg
1/3 cup sliced almonds (optional - for more crunch)

Cover apples with crisp mixture and bake in a 375 oven for 30 minutes.  Serve with cream, or ice cream, if desired. 

Enjoy!!


Sweat(ob)er!

Ribbygrowethinsize

I won't bore you with the details, but it took over an hour, while traveling south on our trip, before the first sleeve of my Ribby Pulli was on the right course. Once everything was copacetic it grew very quickly and, before we were back home, both sleeves were finished!   There had even been bits of sock and lace knitting during the trip, so I was very pleased.  The body of the Ribby has been growing very quickly, since our return home, thanks to the baseball playoffs. (Go Rockies!)

The beautiful gray merino wool was hand dyed by Scout and she was able to put my words (from my description) into a perfect colorway.  The color moves beautifully and the flecks of dark and light give interest to the fabric.  Just as with  Bonne Marie's pattern the yoke will be a lighter color, and I'm a bit excited about getting to that point.  Hopefully, that's how far along I'll be come Monday.

Kellycardisleevesaregrowing_2 The other sweater that been getting a little time is the Kelly Cardigan by Erika Knight.  The right yarn is so important to a knits success and the yarn for my Kelly is heavenly.  It's Plain & Fancy's Sport in the Magenta colorway.  It's a nicely spun, soft wool and it should make a cardigan that will be perfect with almost anything. As with Scout's hand dyed, I'm knitting with two balls (2 rows each) to keep the colors from pooling and to blend the dye lot changes that happen with hand dyed yarn. The back and one sleeve are finished and my only goal is to have it done by years end.

Mynewshoesandelenoraredsocks For no reason, other than I think this is a cute picture...here is another pair of new shoes with my Elenora's (one of my very favorite pair of socks ever).  The last couple of days have been perfect hand knit socks/sweater weather. MyolywithsnowontopandgoldgreenleaveAfter Wednesday's post about fall the weather fooled us and offered up a preview of winter by way of mountain snow  The weekend is predicted to be very wet and chilly, perfect for loads of indoor knitting time, and the local spinning shop, Three Wishes, is having an anniversary sale.  It's my intention to enjoy the weekend despite missing Rhinebeck.  Enjoy your weekend, too!