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May 2009
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July 2009

Project Spectrum Cardinal Directions East (May and June Wrap Up)

PROJECT SPECTRUM

Flowers are easy to find in yellow and yellow flowers and the color of spring. Flowers are one of the only things I love in the color yellow. The wood in the photo is of an antique Japanese box (which houses a few treasures) sitting atop my one exquisite piece of furniture, an antique Japanese table (this might be the only household article I'd save in a fire).  The top skein of handspun is Hello Yarn Club Fiber Air (tencel/wool) and the bottom skein is Funky Carolina Club Fiber Twisted Hummingbird.  The mountain picture is the view to the East.

EAST (May/June)
Color: Yellow
Material: Wood
Season: Spring
Element: Air

Helloyarnfreshair
This is "Air", a 2 ply handspun and it was fun to spin. There may be just enough yarndage to make a small shoulder shawl.  It's a sport weight(ish) and was very fun to spin as the colors are so unique. 



Random Eye Candy

Last week I went to a local sushi restaurant and had a very pleasant surprise. Usually I end up eating sushi without soy sauce, but Tsunami made, in house, several sauces, such as teriyaki and ponzu, gluten free.  Everything was fabulous, especially so because the sushi chef added his personal touches just for me.  The meal ended with this little treat of orange sections dipped in plum wine.  Yum!!

Lunchofdelicioussushi
The garden pots were soggy for weeks, but they grew well because of it. My patio is now graced with colorful flowers and I'm tempted to add more.

Soggybutgrowingflowers
The night sky filled my windscreen Tuesday while driving home from SnB.  With the clouds and rain (finally) lifting we can now enjoy beautiful sunsets.  It's all the more wonderful because they happen after 9:00pm. 

Theskywasamazingandihadtotakeapicture
Have a wonderful weekend no matter what you do!

Love That Lace

Thank you for your wonderful comments about Tempest.  It's one of my favorite sweaters, too and I'm dreaming of starting a second...soon.

Blanketsquaresforkarena

In June I knit a sweater, a shawl, and 3 blanket squares (a community project). (Why does that feel like an inadequate total? And, why do I always think I can finish a sweater faster than I do?) Everything was finished this past week…all at once…just like that, nothing graced my needles! It was scary and somehow freeing, but it lasted only a few seconds as I had a project, two projects in fact, at the ready.

(Oh wait! Transverse is on the needles. However, at the moment she is a fill in project, the only project that has no deadline. Transverse was started while awaiting yarn for my next big lace project, Cleite.)

"Clete (or Cleite) was an Amazon Queen, sailing to join Penthesilea at Troy, when she was blown off course. She landed in Italy and founded the city of Clete. Her name means, "The Invoked"."

The story of this mythical figure has captured my imagination. She was a woman capable of great things in spite of adversity.

Cleiteisgorgeousandgreenz

Cleite is being knit for a friend who is striving to live her life in a positive and strong way after a cancer diagnosis. Names have great meaning for her and Miriam's Cleite felt like the right fit as my friend is also tall, strong and very commanding by nature. This springy color, a color that signifies new life, is her favorite.

Opulence knits like buttah. So smoothly, so effortlessly, so beautifully it slips across the fingers and around the needle. Every stitch fills me with happy, positive energy and I know the shawl will do the same for her. My prayer is that this shawl will give her wings to soar above her troubles and to become strong and healthy once again.

Help Team Claudia Stay #1!

Sunday is the last day you can donate to support Team Claudia as they endeavor to raise money for the MS Ride. Check out the fabulous prizes and give all you can to support her and the fight against  MS! Knitters Rock!


Calming the Tempest

In all honesty, I really couldn't be more pleased with Tempest.  After all the problems and angst, her troubled spirit has calmed and she is lovely and enjoyable to wear.  No complaints here. It really doesn't matter if anyone else thinks the sleeves are too short...the fit is flattering and fine.  There is joy and relief in Zeneedleland.

Tempestintheflowerbed

The yarn was wonderful to knit, should wear well (even at the loose gauge) and the sweater is comfortable. With nothing underneath it will be wearable in the warmer months and with the addition of a t-shirt it should be comfortable in cooler months, too.

Tempestisfabulous Backoftempest 

Not only is Tempest one of my favorite knits, there are plans for a second.  Now that I know the pitfalls, I expect the relationship will be smooth sailing.

Tempestthebeautiful

Pattern: Tempest by Ann Weaver in Knitty Spring 08
Yarn: Araucania Ranco Solid 120 (Black) 107 (Gray) 
Needle: Size 6 and 3 Addi Turbo
Time to Knit: May 23 to June 20, 2009
Modifications: Started with garter hem of 5 rows. Sleeves are shorter (an error). For more details see the two blog posts that outline the process here and here
Sweater #7 for MoDoRav_linkredyarnball
Raveled HereRav_linkredyarnball


Trouble Brewing

Tempest lived up to her name. It might be very near impossible to recount all the errors made with this project, but I will do my best to give you a sense of what happened. Every error was 100% mine, not Tempest's. As usually happens, when one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong from there on out. The lessons were many and I grew as a person and a knitter, but the lesson you could/should take away from my experience is that if I can be intrepid with a project, one that trips me up at every step, you, my friends, can be intrepid, too.

Sleeveseamoftempest

To make this very long project short here is a list of the errors:

  • Sleeve cap decreased worked by flipping the SSK and K2tog. This isn't a big deal but I would have liked it as written instead of what I did. Decision was made to move forward and not rip (I was already knitting the second sleeve) but this may have set the tone for the tempest to come.
  • Sleeves had purposely been lengthened by two stripes. I only realized this was an error when they were laid out to block. This error would be easy to fix so I wasn't too upset or worried.
  • While sewing the nicely blocked pieces together I picked up the two front pieces, instead of the back, and seamed them together. It was late and I decided it was better to wait and fix in the light of day.

The next day we learned that Charlotte was ill and I knew it was best to leave Tempest alone. After knitting the shawl, and working on a few blanket squares (mindless knitting), I felt ready to tackle Tempest's troubles anew, but the troubles just kept coming.

Picking up along the front and neck bands wasn't too much trouble, but when it came to binding off I had to decide whether I was in the right frame of mind to learn something new. In truth, learning a new knitting techniques isn't my favorite thing.  I'll often do what I've always done and go on, but this time I felt learning the sewn bind off was going to make or break the finished look of Tempest.

Knitty is very good at explaining how to do a technique and so, I followed the link and printed off the article. The sewn bind off is at the bottom of the page and it was well worth the effort to learn. However, I was a bit daunted when it said the length needed to execute was three times longer than the edge to be bound off and I just had this feeling I was in for a bumpy ride.

I pulled off way more than I thought I'd need (to go up one side, around the neck and down the other side of the sweater), but also hexed myself by saying I'd be 10 stitches short and that is exactly what happened!

Sewnbindoffandneckshaping

It didn't take long to get into a rhythm when working the sewn bind off and I was very pleased with myself for learning this very beautiful and useful technique. (I'll be using it again.)  I was not in the least surprised to find the yarn was too short to work the last ten stitches, but to my delight, Ranco spit/splices perfectly. Whew! Disaster alleviated.

Buttonfrontoftempest

Now it was time to face the music on the sleeves. I cut off the four offending stripes picked up the live stitches and knit a few rows of garter stitch down. The sleeves looked great and the seaming, while carefully matching the stripes, went smoothly and beautifully. In short order the sweater was completed and looked fabulous. To my amazement it fit perfectly, too! But, as I crawled into bed that night I realized I had cut off FOUR stripes…not the offending TWO stripes. Now I'm worried the sleeves will look to short. Come back tomorrow and tell me what you think.


Monday Sunshine

This month it has rained nearly everyday (and it rained all weekend, too!) Everyone is feeling soggy and mossy.  You wouldn't know that June is usually the third driest month of year, but with so much precipitation (300%+ of normal), high humidity levels (it's the first time I've seen 80%) and cold temperatures (burrrr), SLC no longer feels like desert.   Many of us are ready for some sun.

Last week ended on a high note when a little sunshine arrived on my doorstep.  It was quite exciting to open the package from the Hot Pad Potholder Swap and find colorful and fun delights inside.

Hotpadfunfunfun 

The blue and red stripe is from Nova, the colorful circular potholder is from BridgetRav_linkredyarnball, the fun blue and white flower is from Aimee (quite a work of art), the variegated orange is from Nann (I think), and the brown edge with coral center is from JennyRav_linkredyarnball. I love them all! This swap may have been the most fun of any swap yet.  Thank you to Adrian, Maryse, and Maritza for a great experience and for the bright spot in a down week. 

Gorgeousyarnfromkim

Another package arrived the same day and it contained the cheerist yarn I've ever seen. Surprised you with that color, no?  I haven't flipped my lid and gone all green on you, but I do love this color. Yes, LOVE.  The yarn is Kim's exceptional Opulence in the Pistachio colorway and it will become a lovely shawl for a friend because this happens to be her favorite color.  I'll share more about it when the project begins. 

Prettybeadorohook

Another lovely treat arrived from Marcia.  She's quite accomplished as a silversmith (I know she'll say otherwise) and this is one of her first orifice hooks.  I do believe, with a little encouragement, she'd be willing to make more. It looks very nice hanging from my spinning wheel and it fits the wheel orifice perfectly.

Thank you to everyone for your love and support over the last couple of weeks.  It has meant the world to me and my family. 


Faith in Action

This post has been written and rewritten so many times.  My family has been on a roller coaster ride, mostly going downhill, for the last week.  The only thing I could do, the only action left to me was to pray and knit.  This shawl for a grieving mother is faith and prayer in action.  I'm not particularly religious, but I do believe in faith as action and prayer into the universe at large.  Doing something, anything positive, brings solace and comfort and, hopefully, that is infused in the shawl.  Nothing can take away the pain of loosing a child, but love of family, belief in faith can take us all forward one step at a time. 

Prayersformollyandcharlotte

Thank you for your comments, prayers and emails.  You mean so much to me and your words of comfort are appreciated by everyone of us.