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July 2009
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September 2009

Breaking Up

Dear Rosamund,

This is not a difficult letter to write. It's not like we were ever in a real relationship.  You have been a problem from the very beginning.  I take that back, it isn't you, so much, as it is your relationship with the BWA yarn that has us on the rocks.   I must also take responsibility for things not working out for the long run. I'm the one who brought you to together.  I really am not sure what I was thinking, why I thought this was a good idea. 

Bwaismorethanicanhandle

Your cables, your gauge and the BWA just do not play well together. I'm in the middle of this fight and every stitch is a struggle.  I feel beat up and exhausted after just short time of referring you two.  The process, something I believe in with all my heart, isn't joyful, it isn't even remotely pleasant, in fact, its such a blankity, blak nightmare, I just can't go on! 

My decision has been made and I won't change my mind. You need to go.  You need to get out and never come back.  You are more than I can handle, more trouble than you're worth.  I have even cast on for another project so there is no more room for you.

Sinceriously,
Margene


Taking Care of Business

Rachel asked if I'd seen her friend Jocelyn's post on a knitting survey she's conducting. I hadn't, but went right to the survey and took a look. As a knitter you may find it very interesting and it will be even more interesting when Jocelyn shares her findings. I hope you'll take the time to add your input, as it only takes a couple of minutes. 

Susansapronmatcheshershoes

Tuesday we had a celebration at SnB for Susan's birthday. She looks rather charming in her new apron, don't you think? How serendipitous that it matches her shoes!

Speaking of birthdays (and serendipity), today is Dianne's birthday. May you have a wonderful day of celebration and fun, Dianne!

Wonderfulgoodiesfromknitnana

Lucky me! I won a Knitnana's blog contest and the prize package arrived Wednesday. Look at the goodies inside! The yarn is a special colorway designed to honor the Blue Moon Fiber Arts Team, ST-2.  I've been looking for the perfect yarn for a Lacy BaktusRav_linkredyarnball and this colorway will be perfect.  One of her zippered Nana Sadie Rose bags housed several little treasures (stitch makers, a tiny sock, a knit llama pin and buttons from Sock Summit), the soap is pink(!) and it smells so delicate and sweet.  The gluten free cookies are very good and while I did sample one, I'll save the rest to have with the lovely tea also included.  Thank you Sallee for a very special contest prize!

PS I don't know who designed the pretty buttons I shared with you yesterday. If I run across them again I'll make a note and let you know. 

Enjoy your weekend!!


Magical Realism

Rosamundneckcablesblog

There may have been some foot dragging when it came to finishing Tempest, but that did not stop me from starting sweater #10. I've been knitting Rosamund as much as possible and her growth has been going quiet well, albeit slowly. Stiff, rope-like yarn is hard on the hands, and while it can be a detraction, stiff yarn makes a durable fabric. The hard, tweedy finish is very classic and practical, plus the cables show up well, with good definition and character.

Bwayarnforrosamund This jacket feels like a gift because the BWA yarn was leftover and had been in the stash for an overly long period of time (it wasn't known if the yarn would ever be used again). There is also a little magic involved with this jacket, which makes me hopeful that it will turn out as I envision.

The best part of having blog pals is the many strong and meaningful connections we make over the years (and miles), often with people we never meet. When a package arrived from Dianne, it wasn't a surprise as she has been a long time generous friend and I had a feeling she'd share her Sock Summit experience. What was inside the package, however, was a wonderful serendipitous surprise. Let me digress for just a moment and then I'll come back to the package.

Itsaveryprettyhouseonabutton Several years ago, so long ago I really don't remember much about the details, I bought a beautiful ceramic button, a special, handmade button. It was safely wrapped and taped into a piece of tissue paper, a hidden treasure always nearby, sitting on a self in my junque room. I never let the little wad of tissue disappear from sight and always hoped to find a use for the button inside. After a time I couldn't remembered its features, but I knew it was special.

Giftbagfromdianne Inside Dianne's gift package was a skein of beautiful yarn and a small bag which housed a Sock Summit button.  As I pulled the button out of the bag another smaller button fell into my hand.  Surprised, I looked at the small porcelain button and gasped!  I knew it was the same designer and very similar in character to my secret button. I ran for the wad of tissue and opened it as fast as I could. Sure enough, it was almost the same size and very similar to the button Dianne had sent.

Buttonsareperfectforrosamund  

The two buttons were perfect companion pieces and I knew instantly they would be beautiful on Rosamund. The pattern calls for two large buttons to close the collar and here in my hand sat two perfect buttons, a match made in heaven.  I'm a firm believer that friends with like minds find each other and the magical happens too often for it to be only a fluke.


Finally Tempest2

Backmeuptempest Near the finish line of Tempest2 several concerns came to the fore. They were niggling concerns, but they halted the process and forward progress. Unsure I could face the truth of another unwearable sweater it was decided that ignorance was bliss. Shelley suggested that trying a sweater on in its unfinished state right before bedtime may not have been the best idea, but the concerns were (or so it seemed) legitimate.

Tempestinthemountains As the blocked pieces were unpinned, the first concern to present was the limp, almost slippery and lifeless fabric. Maybe Koigu wasn't the best yarn for this sweater.  The yarn used for Tempest1Rav_linkredyarnball had been very different as its finished fabric had body and shape. Worry over this new Tempest flooded my mind.

The second concern presented as I tried T2 on for the first time. There was no way to hold the front pieces together without buttons, so I tried to pull the sweater into place and use my imagination. The body seemed too long and unflattering.  Even more unflattering was the short sleeves…what had I been thinking by having them hit just above the elbow?

The final concern was the color. Was too light, too washed out and not as beautifully blue as I'd hoped? The white wasn't white and the blue wasn't strong. Bleh…this was not going to be a sweater to love, to wear, to live in…or so it seemed.

Tempestlooksbetterthanithought

Nearly a month later, this past Sunday morning, I realized it was time to face the music.  This was the day to fit in a photo shoot, confess my mess and move on. I sewed each button (all 14) into place and then slipped Tempest2 over my head. What a pleasant surprise met my eyes! She looked fine, maybe not great, but fine, and wearable. I tried her with blue jeans and that was great. Then I pulled on a pair of white jeans and that was great, too. What a relief to have Tempest2 wearable, lovely and finished!

Tempestandthetree

Pattern: Tempest from Knitty
Yarn: Koigu KPPPM - 6 skeins, P418
Needle: Size 6 & size 3
Time to Knit: July 19 – July 31, 2009 (Stalled adding buttons until Aug. 23)
Modifications: No stripes, body 2" added before waist decreases, double start cast on and 5 rows of garter instead of hem - sleeves shorten to above elbow
Sweater #9 for MoDoRav_linkredyarnball
Raveled HereRav_linkredyarnball


Easy to Love

The best thing about the dry heat of Utah is how quickly a piece of lace will dry.  Feather Duster was dry and ready to wear in a very short period of time and we spent the whole weekend together.  She's a lovely companion of a happy color, she's soft and cozy and she offers a perfect way to ward of overly ambitious air conditioning. 

Verysoftlightandairyfeatherduster
While blocking FDs beautiful edging I carefully pinned out each point of the feather design. It was a slow process, but so worth the effort, as the feathered scallops are a beautiful signature of this design. 
Lovethefeatherededge
By knitting two balls of KSH lovely FD grew to a shawl sized proportion. She is soft and delicious against the skin which means I can wrap her up around my neck for warmth or open up her beauty and show her exquisite wingspan. She can be everything I need and want by way of a scarf or shawl, a versatile friend.
Beautifulandbigfeatherduster
Feather Duster is feather weight, soft as angels breath against the skin and exquisite in her beauty.  You can tell just how fond of her I am and she hasn't left my side for days.  Thank you, Susan for another wonderful, versatile design that was fun, easy and delightful to knit.
Beautyinthezengarden

Pattern: Feather Duster by Susan Pierce Lawrence
Yarn: Rowan Kidsilk Haze – 2 balls 596 Marmalade
Needle: Addi Lace #8
Time to Knit: July 29 – August 20, 2009
KAL: Feather Duster on RavelryRav_linkredyarnball
Raveled HereRav_linkredyarnball

Whatshidingbehindfd

Now, what could be hiding behind the lovely Feather Duster?


Recovering

Debraevelynmustangart
 Evelyn, Debra and I didn't realize Ogden had turned into Mustang Alley
Ogdenmustangart Ogdenmustangartjohnadams Moremustangartinogden
It was a wonderful weekend and we had a fun time reconnecting.
Acutemaxinfeaterduster
Max was a very sweet boy and loved showing off my finished Feather Duster.  Good dog.

The weekend was a blur of fun...how did Monday come so quickly?  


Just In Time

All the other knitting had been set aside this week in order to finish Feather Duster.  The finish line goal for the KALZzzzzzzzzzforblog was today as it's Susan's birthday and I've made the goal just in time! Before leaving to spend the day with friends, I'll taking a few minutes to block this happy, beautiful project. I love this color and the yarn didn't give me many problems (as I thought it might). The repeat is easy to keep in mind, which made it a nice companion in social situations. Lace isn't usually something I usually take out in public, but FD was well behaved.

3838691632_4b0235d78a_o

Susan will be very happy with me as I used up almost every bit of yarn. She loves a project that doesn't leave a bit behind.  It felt good come so close. Feather Duster is a beautiful end of summer project…one I'm going to love wearing. Photo shoot this weekend (and Tempest2 might finally get her due, too).

Happy Birthday, Susan! Here's to you, grrlfriend!!


MoDo-ing Along

I promise to show off Tempest2Rav_linkredyarnball as soon as possible (which may be awhile). I know I'm dragging my feet, but I'm not sure I'll love it. Something just isn't right and it's worrisome. While I should finish and face the music (maybe it isn't all that bad?)...I have more hope for the next sweater.

Rosamund's Cardigan was my favorite from the new Fall IK, but my vision is a little different than the designers. Her fabric is soft, voluptuous and fluffy, the short sleeve has casual, sporty feel, but I could see it as a jacket, with a stiffer finish and longer sleeves, a more tailored approach.  A suitable yarn has been in my stash for an inordinately long time. Could I pull off a version of my vision?

Brierandnewjacket

In 2005 I knit Brier with Black Water Abbey yarn and had quite a bit left over (it was purchased for something altogether different). Four skeins have been marinating in the stash since that time. BWA is a very rustic, scratchy, stiff, and almost primitive yarn in finish. However, it's a good yarn for tailored designs or sweaters with cables or textures. The yarn softens with a wash, but doesn't change in gauge or have much "bloom".  It was worth trying and I decided to go for it. Because the yarn is stiff it's hard to make quick progress, but after a few rows I'm feeling good about this choice and how the vision is working so far. 

At the beginning of MoDoRav_linkredyarnball I had a long list of sweater to knit. I also had a list of suitable stash yarns…enough for 8 sweaters. New patterns and new yarns come along reguallarly and, either one or both, can cause upheval in the overall plan. Things are still evolving and with every sweater I knit 20 more designs come to light.  I want them all! (Be still my desire.)  MoDo still has the potential to drive me crazy even though only 2 sweaters are undecided.  Maybe it's time to give up the queue.


Fall (I know, I know) is in the Air!

The weekend was rainy, unseasonably cold and fall was thick in the air. It won't be too long before the leaves start changing color in the higher elevations as SNOW fell Saturday morning at 10,000'. Crazy!

Teampestbuttonsnotsewnon

Newpatternsnowinqueue There was a whole lotta living going on this weekend. Not much in the "must do" column was accomplished, including sewing buttons on Tempest2 (or getting around to the photo shoot). In fact, there wasn't much knitting accomplished at all. On Saturday I found a few minutes to start a new MoDoRav_linkredyarnball sweater (#10). As another sign of impending fall, said sweater wasn't even on the radar a couple of days ago.  I was sure everything was lined up for the home stretch, but with the Fall IK and Twist Collective, well, that did in the queue and I'm off on a different tack. There is no way to set a queue in stone even though only 3 of twelve sweaters remain.

 Beautifulfeatherduster

Instead of finishing Feather Duster, as expected, I knit one repeat….that's it, only one. I was very busy with friends, laughter, chat and good times…no knitting necessary. It was a great weekend…there just isn't much to show for it. (Think of it as "you had to be there".)  The fun continues this week as a friend I haven't seen in years is coming to spend a long weekend. There may not be time to blog (much) as we have plans for nearly every minute of everyday. Summers is ending with a big finish. As Cookie says…"You have a life!", and I'm enjoying it, too.