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June 2009
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August 2009

Happy Colors

Startofsomethinggood

Couldn't help myself and cast on for the Feather Duster Scarf a day or two early. I am enjoying this happy color and completed the first chart within an hours time. The pattern is just as easy as Susan promised and the yarn is lovely, but as usual, the easiest row is the one that throws me. I forget the center YOs and have had to mark both sides of the center stitch to alert my brain that it needs to stop, remember something is to happen here, DO it, and then move on. I also went ahead and marked that row in highlighter and hope that will help me pay close attention. This method may not be fool proof, but I am doing all I can to engage the brain when it tries to hit autopilot. I am also trying to be kind to myself and do not allow self name calling. ..so far, so good.

Anothercorrugaterforoaf

I started another red scarf for OAF. It's another Corrugater as this pattern is so easy, requires no purling, and it works up quickly. For now it only gets a few minutes of attention after I eat lunch and since I only have 30 minutes for lunch there isn't much more than a row or three accomplished.  The yarn is the soft, squishy and comfortable, Mission Falls 1824.

Amazingly it is the last day of July. Time flies and, while July usually isn't one of my favorite months, this year it hasn't been too hot for too long and it's been full of many good days.  I do love August as the crickets start to chirp, a nod to the approach of fall, and I love the way the sound lulls me to sleep each night. 


Nearing the End of Number Nine

Without anything else on my needles Tempest Two has been growing in leaps and bounds. It's a fast growing sweater anyway, but I didn't think it would be finished so quickly. The first sleeve and the body is pieces are off the needles. (The sleeves for this incarnation are above the elbow.) One sleeve to GO!

Piecesofkoigutempest

You can see the little pins I use to mark the increases, decreases, and the number of rows. The only way to knit Tempest without stripes, and keep track of what's coming, is to count the rows as if there were stripes. Each piece was carefully marked and checked against the others as I went. Seaming go smoothly because of this due diligence. (fingers crossed)

Apinsinplaceasmarkersblog

To keep the yarn from pooling, or the color from doing strange things, I worked with two separate balls and worked two by two rows. Each ball had its own little quirks; bright blues spots, more white areas or stronger color sections, and in the end, mixing the balls paid off. The pieces look very much the same and the fabric is a lovely color and texture.

Colorandtextureofkougu

I have to confess to being quite happy about being ahead on knitting twelve sweaters.  It takes some of the pressure off, but I still have that sense, that niggling voice, constantly telling me there are more sweaters to do.  Maybe I'll feel some relief after number ten is finished, but I have a feeling my mind isn't going to let me rest until all twelve are in the bag.


In the Planning

Over the weekend ShelleyRav_linkredyarnball and I were sitting and knitting on the patio. It was getting a little too warm and we talked about taking a break.  I was also running out of coil-less pins, which I use as markers, and that made the timing just right for a quick run to a near by LYS. Off we set, telling each other there was no way we were buying anything other than our present needs and that certainly meant no yarn.

After finding what I needed, and also deciding to buy the newest thing in knitting needles (square needles!), I took a look around the shop to ogle all the lovely yarns. The last place I stopped was in front of the large collection of sock yarn. Nothing called out to me as what I have at home encompasses most the major brands and a multitude of color choices.

And then, then...I turned to make my way to the check out counter and what should accost me? Something new and unique, something I'd never seen before, something so funky and bright I had to pick it up.

Schoppelzauberball  
Zauberballandsquareneedles As you know if you pick up a skein of yarn it is very difficult to put it down and this wasn't JUST a skein of yarn, it was a very fun BALL of yarn. The colors looked like a carnival, looked like a party in my hand, and I swear, that yarn laughed right out loud. How could I not take it home with me? It's Schoppel-Wolle Zauberball and I've been watching it party for three days. Z-ball also excited to try out the square needles. A call has been put out for Sock Mojo and from what I hear he is working hard to make his way back to Utah(and since he's half way across the world that might take some time).

In the time being, my ninth sweater, aka Tempest Two, should be off the needles by weeks end. Sweater ten is in the wings awaiting her turn. Nine sweaters finished helps to abate sweater angst and gives me room to take a breather. At the end of August ten sweaters should be finished with four months to go.  YAY!

The lace projects are starting to collect in my queue and each one in turn has been calling to me. To feed that need, and in honor of Susan's upcoming August birthday, I thought it appropriate to start a little KAL.

Featherdusterforkal

While I want, and hope, to knit Beach GlassRav_linkredyarnball and Feather Duster, I've decided on Feather Duster first. Two skeins of KSH, in the lively and exciting color Marmalade, have long marinated in my stash and now it's their turn to breath. Starting August 1st, and going through the month of August, you can join the Knitting as Fast as I Can Fan (Club)Rav_linkredyarnball on Ravelry and knit with the group. Susan's birthday is the 21st which should make a perfect finish date, but you can take the whole month if you wish.


Cleite Takes Flight

Cleiteatsilverlake

Like the wings of an angel, Cleite wraps around engulfing the wearer in comfort and warmth. She willing shares her attributes, a soft caress, her legendary beauty, her gentleness, and yet she is commanding, full of strength and fortitude.

Cleitespointsingarden

The truth is Cleite gave me trouble, trouble of my own making, brought on by my own hubris. There is one row that sets up the tip of each feather like section and for some reason it was not possible for me to remember my way through that row without error. Once that row, that one little row was in place, knitting went smoothly, easily, effortlessly, at least until the repeat came around again. The pattern is easily accomplished and elegant in its simplicity. The finished shawl is exquisite and made all the more so by the yarn.

Cleitecloseupontherocks

Fullcleitepicture

Opulence is well named as it's one of the most luscious yarns I've ever knit. Not only is it luxurious, it is strong, wears well, and hold its shape. It was the perfect yarn to create a large and incredibly soft shawl…a shawl that would create a soft cocoon of strength, hope and love. The color is one of new life; the color of joy, of spring and renewal. Every stitch holds a prayer for the recipient…prayers for comfort and strength no matter the course. May the shawl and the wearer live long and happily together.

Zcleiteswingspanatthelake  

Pattern: Cleite by Miriam Felton
Yarn: Opulence, Pistachio - 2 skeins- by The Woolen Rabbit
Needle: Addi Lace #7
Finished Size: 84" by 38"
Time to Knit: June 20 – July 20, 2009
Raveled HereRav_linkredyarnball


Long Weekend Wrap

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To celebrate Blazing Needles first anniversary Cynthia (first photo) threw a roaring good party Thursday night.  She knows how to throw a good one and the food, friends, and band (last photo) were fabulous!  We had a fine time despite the temperature being 102 that day.  Thank goodness the rest of the weekend was cooler.

Morningsilverlakestillness

We spent the whole three days being as lazy as possible (and I spent a ton of time knitting as much as possible), but Sunday we made a trek around Silver Lake. It was so beautiful and peaceful.

Aoafredscarf
Part of my knitting frenzy included my first red scarf project. Handspun yarn by Jessa Lu, CorrugaterZzzzzzzzzzforblog by Paula. It's yummy soft and wonderfully fluffy. More knitting details will unfold over the week.

How was your weekend?


Eight is Not Enough

As you know my course is set for twelve sweaters this year. Number eight is finished with 4 more to go and that means I must stay in sweater mode for a few more months. It's a good thing all my sweaters haven't been problem children like Gisela or I'd be out in a flash. 

Yummyyummykoiguyarn

As soon as I'd woven in the last end of Gisela's Gima yarn I headed for the next sweater.  The bag of beautiful blue Koigu has been taunting me by dangling itself in provocative ways for a month now. I couldn't wait to get my hands on it. I cast on immediately for Number Nine and the process of knitting a soft, scrupulously delicious yarn has been pure heaven. The flow of this lovely, elegant yarn slipping through the fingers and gliding over the needles is as knitting should be.

Tempesttwoinkoigu

The plan is to reprise Tempest, one of my favorites sweaters, as it is so enjoyable to wear. The open weave of fingering yarn knit at a large gauge makes Tempest a comfortable sweater even in the heat of summer. This incarnation will have no stripes and the sleeves will be shorter (above the elbow)...a classic summer top. If all goes well and Tempest flies off the needles (I may remain monogamous to it all weekend) I should have a chance to knit Number Ten before August is over. This plan just might work if I don't get too carried away by a Hawt Parrot.


To the Sublime

Many of you came up with some great name ideas for our new favorite summer drink. Just a note, but you really MUST use Parrot Bay Rum as it has a distinct flavor (coconut and mango-ish). We're going with Hawt Parrot (thanks Manise!) as the name. If I sip very slowly (and I usually do), I can make it through an evening with only one drink. More would put me under and knitting would become wonky (at best). Keeping it to one is essential (if I want to knit). I may let loose this weekend and have two drinks if we get an early start to our Pioneer Day celebration. The traditional non-Mormon cuisine for Pioneer Day is beer and pie, but that combo gives me a headache just thinking about it! A Hawt Parrot and guacamole sounds much better, no?

Thank you for your kind comments on Gisela, too. The day I wore it to the office many comments and compliments came my way. Workmates rarely notice a new sweater, but they did notice Gisela. I agree she would work beautifully over a black top or sundress and be great for dress up to dress down. As KathleenZzzzzzzzzzforblog reminded me, Gisela is more a summer accessory than a comfy sweater.

Cleitesgorgeouscolorandyarn

If knitting with Gima was a harsh process, then Kim's Opulence is the antithesis of that. Opulence is as soft and delightful as a yarn can be and the fabric produced is the epitome of rich and luxurious. I will never get enough of this yarn or with the experience of having it slide through my fingers. It is oh so opulent and oh so exquisite. I may be over using the adjectives, but this yarn has swept me away with its soft as a cloud touch.
 Opulentfabricofcleite

Cleite, while she did give me trouble, was a nice respite from knitting with Gisela's string.  Opulence was the reason I was able to overcome my silly errors and keep knitting through the problems, problems that were 100% my own.  In the last couple of repeats I kept my head and knit sans mistakes.  It felt good on every level to have a fine finish, a happy ending.  

Cleiteforblog
Two rows to go!


The Quiet Knit

Looking back, I realize this sweater has been on my needles and I haven't mentioned it once on the blog. It was only a swatch the last (and first) time you saw or heard about this project.  The problem is I update on RavelryRav_linkredyarnball as I go along and forget to share the pictures and problems here. Friday I had intended to share my complaints on this sweater, not realizing it could actually be finished this weekend. Gisela was one of the most unique and interesting projects I've ever knit and it was 100% because of the Habu yarn.

Frontneckofgisela

Knitting a wiry, hard to handle string was not exactly enjoyable and patience was required with every stitch. Errors were easy to make if I wasn't carefully and each stitch had to be deliberately formed, which made the project drag.  Knitting with this yarn wasn't an fun process and every little anomaly in my knitting shows in the fabric.  Blocking helps but only to a degree.

Giselasleeve
To keep the project simple, and finishing to a minimum, I opted to knit the body in one piece, with no shaping. Once the body was completed the rest of the knitting went quite quickly and the yarn became easier to handle as my experience with it grew. Sewing together was a challenge as the fabric (and yarn) has no give. It was difficult to manipulate the sleeve into the armscye, but the rest of the finishing went smoothly.
Giselawartsandall
In the end, I am more relieved this knit is finished than I am happy with the end product. I am decidedly a wool grrl and I plan on sticking to wooly yarns from now on. Gisela does, however look good with almost anything. I've worn her with jeans as well as slacks and my work mates thought she was uniquely interesting. They made more comments than usual and noticed Gisela as something new without my prompting.
 Giselallgrownupandnoplacetogo

Pattern: Gisela
Yarn: Habu Gima A-174 
Needle: Addi Lace Size 8
Time to Knit: June 20 to July 18, 2009
Sweater Number Eight for NaKniSweMoDoRav_linkredyarnball


Too Hot Bullets

  • Thursday was (only) 99, Friday reach 100 and Saturday was the new HDoY at 102.
  •  The weekend was (mostly) spent in hibernation. The basement may be dungeon-like but it's the place to be on a very hot day. 
  • Sweater number eight was finished...sweater number nine cast on and growing.
  • Knitting can only happen with a/c on high.
  • My new favorite snack (an addiction caused by Susan).
Mynewaddictionthankstosusan
  • Toss in sunflower seeds and some agave nectar and it's lunch!
  • My new favorite summer drink (ala Smith)
Newsummerdrink
1oz Parrot Bay rum
1 oz vodka
1 large squeeze of lime (or one ice cube of fresh lime juice*)
8 oz. orange juice
  • YUM!
  • Please leave a comment and tell me what we should name the drink.
  • Happy Monday! It's a short week in Utah!
  • YAY!

*Cool trick of Cheryl's


Best Laid Plans

The sight before my eyes when walking in the door after work last night was, well...not very, um, nice or pleasant.  One (or both) of the dogs had been sick and we'll we did what we HAD to do and not what we wanted to do.  I leave you with a pretty picture of Silver Lake and will see you Monday.

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PS The dogs appear to be fine....now.