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December 2007
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February 2008

Sweet Sangria Lace

Lace is an excellent companion all year round.  During the cold days of winter one can knit warm, woolly, wrap to keep the chill away. In summer, lightweight lace is a nice way to keep the weight of wool from sitting in your lap while you knit, and yet, when worn, it has just enough weight to keep the chill of air conditioning, or cool summer breezes, off bare shoulders. Lace is perfect all weather knitting.

Lace has been an enjoyable diversion this past month, made all the more intriguing because of Kim's beautiful Woolen Rabbit Yarn. The rich depth of color has been entertaining to watch as the colors move, mix, blend, and swirl. Kim calls this color Sangria and it does have the deep red tones, and warm shades of purple, like a good wine. The yarn has a lovely drape and yet, a crisp enough hand for the lace to shine through.  It's a perfect lace weight yarn.


With the aid of Evelyn Clark's book Knitting Lace Triangles, a plan was formulated, but that plan was thrown over very shortly after execution began.  Intuition became my guide. In the end, the actual shawl became a mix of the Ripple and Medallion laces from the book. The bulk of the shawl was knit in Ripple Lace, with two sections of Medallions, thrice repeated, to keep it interesting. Everything fell into place as I knit, and after the second Medallion section, I knew one more repeat of Ripple, and then the edging, would make perfect finish.


At the last minute I decided each peak of the edging should be embellished with beads, and fortunately,  just the right size and color were in my small bead stash.  It's amazing what you can accomplish when curtailing all extracurricular activities in lieu of rest and recuperation (avec knitting).


Pattern: My own with the help of Knitting Lace Triangles by Evelyn Clark.
Yarn: Kim's lovely lace weight yarn from The Woolen Rabbit
Needles: Addi Lace size 6 (love them for their tips, but they do make your hands smell of brass)
Time to Knit: 12-18-07 – 1-20-08

I will try for "action shots" in the near future.

Boy, Oh Boy, Are You Going to Like This "B"

The Food Network has become a favorite of mine.  KimG turned me on to it last July and it was fun to watch while recuperating. It's been on frequently as there is so much info on good food, easy recipes and, the evening viewing is full of very entertaining shows. There are no dumb plots to keep track of, no silly characters and you can jump in anytime and enjoy a show.  I won't say watching has increased time in the kitchen, but a few times I have been enticed to try a new recipe. 

So, B is for Batter, Butter, Baking, and Blueberry Crumb Cake from the Barefoot Contessa.


From the minute Ina started this cake I was enchanted. It looked so easy, so pretty, and so delightfully yummy.  Rarely does something sweet capture my attention and become an obsession, but I could not get this cake out of my mind. As soon as I felt able I whipped it up and was not disappointed.


Monday afternoon, while the snow swirl outside my kitchen window, I decided to warm up the house and fill it with the aroma of a baking cake. It WAS easy, it smelled divine and it tasted even better.  Oh yes, I had a piece as soon as it was cool enough to cut. Smith enjoyed a piece later and declared it fabulous! The rest of it went to work with me and it was declared a winner by every person in the office.

It was fun to bake and fun to eat. You'll love it, too.

Wearing the Crest

As soon as I left work Friday afternoon I headed to the bead shop to search for the perfect finish for Crest of the Wave. The selection of beads was huge, but it still was difficult to find the something that would enhance the scarf.  Rather than drive the distance to another shop, or give up altogether, I sorta settled.  Don't get me wrong, the beads I ended up with are beautiful, but they are a bit too heavy.  Since the fringe is sparse and spread across the edge, I just made it work as best I could.  The little circles of bone that dance off the ends of the fringe were a bit of bead shop inspiration, which I think turned out rather cool.


While wearing the scarf the beads feel fine, not heavy, and they sometimes clink together, which makes a wonderful sound.  The yarn drapes beautifully, but also holds the shape of the lace well.  It's the perfect yarn for the pattern and, while the color isn't a usual choice for me, I do think it's going to become a favorite.  It's time I branched out from pinks, blues and purples and added in more warm, rich oranges and reds.  No, no…not green, that color is only for my feet, friends.


This scarf is going to be fun to wear for the remainder of the winter and, while I'm not much of a scarf knitter, per se, there maybe another scarf or two in my near future.  My feet are warm because of all the socks I've knit over the last few's time to warm the neck.

Pattern: Crest of the Wave Scarf designed by Judy
Yarn: Ball and Skein Tashi dyed by Judy.
Needle: Bamboo Straights size 8
Comments:  Loved the rhythm of knitting this lace. The pattern was easy to memorize, but interesting and fun to do.  I used every last bit of the yarn as it was so wonderful.  This is going to be one fun scarf to wear.

Thestormhitallatoncewithavengence Yesterday the bigass storm arrived later than expected. It hit with a vengeance of wind and swirling snow which created a near whiteout.  In only 3 hours nearly 7" covered the ground at our place. It was crazy!  Thank goodness my commute is less than 3 miles. Much more snow is expected this week. Winter is far from over.

If It's Not One Thing...

If the sun hadn't come out in all its glory, if they day hadn't been deliciously warm, if my first full day out of the house hadn't been so fun, so nice, (including a new haircut), it may have been a pretty disastrous Saturday. 


click (see the snow blowing off the peaks?)
A snow covered park, with a fabulous view and lots of lovely sun seemed like a good spot for a photo shoot, but as it turns out, all the pictures were less than good.  It was nice to stand in the sun, feel it on my face, see the snow blowing off the mountain peaks, and enjoy the warmth of a beautiful day. For that alone, I will not complain about poor pictures. I also taught my first needlepoint class (something I've been doing for the last 13-14 years) since mid-December.  It was wonderful to see the students who were very happy to see me, too.

ChevronscarfwasnotemeanttobeHowever, more disasters commenced once I returned home and sat to rest, relax and knit.   The Chevron scarf I thought would be crazy fun and perfect for PSIII,  just doesn't float my boat. It shall be frogged forthwith.  The Hot Flash STR will likely become a pair of Monkey Socks (or maybe Pomatomas) instead.

Pieceoflaceneededfroggingbecauseofe The beautiful new lace project I started became such a mess it had to be frogged (twice) and reknit.  Thankfully it is now back on track (because it was restarted on Sunday?).  I'm very excited about this project because the pattern and yarn were created by Susan.  She spun the yarn last year, but wasn't fond of the pinkish color (much to my delight).  Details to come.

Foundaholeinmybelovedseaweed As I was folding up my beloved Seaweed I found a hole caused by broken yarn. (I may remember catching it in the car door.)  Surely it can be fixed, but it does break my heart, as it's my favorite warm wrap and it was just 'one more thing' to furrow my brow.

SleeveofepsisadudtimetoredoAfter spending much of Saturday afternoon choosing patterns, coloring a few ideas, and starting the sleeve of EPS, it became apparent that my choices were less than good, in fact, they stunk.  Frogging ensued, planning will continue.

There are two flights of stairs in my house and, let me tell you, in my current state it is very difficult to navigate both at one time.  The best way to handle the problem is to stop off in the kitchen for a nice treat (green tea and dark chocolate anyone?) and then head up the second flight of stairs.  It's rather a nice way to go.

Sunday started out cloudy, became rainy in the late morning, and then turned into a beautiful day! The predicted bigass storm may produce less than thought or may fall apart!  Things just might be looking up.


Ready for the End of January - Aren't You?

Winterisjustboringshadesofgray January is my least favorite month of the year and, I realize, that may be true for many of you.   January is cold, as in bitter cold, dark, gray and long.  This year it has been especially hard on me for several reasons.  Much of the month I've been under the weather (a good term) and struggling to get back on my feet for several weeks.  Keeping spirits up has been a challenge, as January can beat you down physically and mentally. I'm bruised, tired, worn down and sore...sick of January.  The world around me is a frigidly real black and white photograph in shades of gray.  There seems to be little relief in the forecast over the next 10 days....more haze, more snow, more cold. Yes, I know I'm whining...but, I'm so over January.

Grayandhazydaysofjanuary_2 The dreaded inversion has not come to stay and make matters worse. However, there is one good  thing about an inversion; the mountain resorts are sunny and warm.  They offer the bluest of blue skies and warmer temps, a delightful respite, while the valley is covered in a thick layer of gray.  This January the resorts are also cloudy, cold(er), and snowy (snow is good), and so they offer no escape.  I long for February, its longer days, warming trends, and I see in the future that one February day when it is warm, sunny and different than anything we've seen in January. I know it will come.

Projectspectrumprospects Also, another reason to want February, Lolly is bringing back Project Spectrum for a third year, and this time she had the inspired idea of dividing the colors by Elements; Fire, Earth, Air and Water, two months for each one.  February and March will be Fire...Fire, warmth, sun, heat, hot colors, the ideas overfloweth.  For each Element my plan is to knit something (a pair of appropriate socks or a bit of lace?), spin an appropriate fiber and take loads of appropriate pictures.  There is so much one can do in a broad spectrum of media and it will be a fun, creative pursuit.   I'm feeling better already.

Enjoy your weekend and stay warm!

EPS - Not Forgotten

EPS* is only several inches of boring stone colored stockinette, not too attractive or interesting, but still growing, perhaps a little too slowly. There have been other knitting distractions, but even so EPS has had almost daily attention, just not been the main attraction.   Renewed interest came about when Susan helped me find a fourth color for the yoke and sleeve patterns; a gold that will add a bit of spark to the other colors.  Silky Wool colors have so much depth and this group should work nicely together. 


To test the colors, add a little more interest and get this project into full gear, I cast on for a sleeve (instead of a sock).  The body of the sweater is 236 st. and 20% of that is 47.  Rounding up to an even number gave me 48 st. to cast on, which is also perfect for a picot edging (being divisible by 4). The picot edge was knit in red and the rest of the hem with the main color. Patterning should could ensue immediately, however....a confession is in order.  The patterns for the sleeves and yoke have yet to be found, decided upon, or thought through (in more than just a passing way).  I need to get a plan in place, because the sleeve is stuck here, in limbo, until I'm ready.  Poor sleeve.


Bookofpeerypatternsthatshouldhelpwi At the moment the vision for the sleeve is about 6" of colorwork just after the cuff, with some of the same patterns mimicked in the yoke. Figuring out where to start is a bit daunting. I must keep the faith that this will all work out in the end (and get busy). Fortunately, I have Alice Starmore's rare book, Charts for Colour Knitting, which should help with ideas and pattern inspiration. Time to get busy and just do it, make a plan.

*Elizabeth's Percentage Sweater from The Opinionated Knitter

Catching a Wave

While I can be distracted from my current knitting by a new project, it isn't often I'll throw one thing over for the next.  The lack of desire to collect WIPs or UFOs is what keeps me on track, as well as love of what's on the needles.  It's that process thing…the joy of knitting.  However, there is always something lurking on the horizon, (isn't that what a queue is for?), and the desire to move on to the next big thing is good motivation.   

Purplefinchtashi Judy's Crest of the Wave Scarf capture my attention and while I waited for some of her Tashi yarn to arrive, I knit on the Leaf Lace socks to insure they'd be complete, and completely out of my hair (as in, on my feet).  My knitting attention has been focused, for some reason, and sticking to one or two projects just hasn't been that hard.  It was nice, however, that the minute the yarn arrived I was able to cast on, wherein, I immediately fell head over heels for the yarn, the colorway and the pattern.

The Tashi (merino/bamboo/silk) has such a soft and lovely hand and drape. This colorway is Purple Finch and the colors work up beautifully in the fun to knit pattern…a pattern that practically knits itself.  Every time I check to see how much its grown I'm surprised and pleased (and having a ball).


Other projects have been growing and are being finished, too.  EPS is just a big tube of gray stockinette...not much to see, but with Susan's help I found a fourth color for the yoke and sleeve pattern.  My hope is to cast on a sleeve this week (instead of another sock) and have some fun with color.    Edgingofwavymedallionshawl The shawl in Kim's Beautiful  Woolen Rabbit lace weight has been finished, not yet blocked, and I can't wait to show it off.   Not one of the pictures I've taken lately has been good enough to show color or pattern.  It's the dreary winter days, lack of natural light and the usual places for photo shoots covered in with a pile of new snow. Yesterday, with just a hint of sun peeking through the clouds, I was able to capture a good image of the edging (before blocking). It's going to be such a beautiful shawl! (Click it, you won't be sorry.)

Hang in there with me…more on each project soon!

MLK Day Project

Zengardencoveredinsnow Usually my commute is under 3 miles, but on the snowiest day of the year (12" at my house) it was a 10 mile drive into downtown SLC.  My office donated our day of work to the VOA of Utah. Our goal was to get their new digs ready to open within the week.  We did some demolition, building, cleaning, painting and organizing. 

Paintingcleaningorganizing Guysbuildingshelvesforstorage

Organizingthelibraryofbooksforkids Workworkwork

It was an awesome day of service, a perfect way to celebrate the life of a great man, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.   

Warming up the Toes

Blueskydaywasverycold This has been a very cold January with frequent days of snow, a constant front of arctic air and a few days of blue skies.  Thankfully there has been little sign of the usual inversions, the day after day of gloom we hate.  The few blue sky days we had have been very welcome, even if they are colder than cloudy days. Today it should be snowing to beat the band. 

At this time of year I'm very grateful to have a drawer full of hand knit socks, wool socks, warm socks, (and fleece lined Merrell clogs don't hurt either).  It's a rare day I don't wear both socks and clogs.


Closeupoflaceonfoot Even with a drawer full of socks, it's always thrill to finish a new pair.  Especially a pair that was as much fun to knit, and is made of such fabulous yarn as this pair.  This might be the most unique of all colorways I've knit with to date and I love it.  The pattern and color share organic qualities and that's pretty cool, too. You can read in Friday's post just how much I love the pattern and the yarn…nothing has happened over the weekend to change that.  In fact, I love them more simply because they are on my feet! (Happy feet!)

Pattern: Leaf Lace Sock, designed by Susan in Vogue Knitting Ultimate Sock Book
Yarn: Kim's Woolen Rabbit Sock Yarn, Rosemary and Thyme
Needles: DPN Bamboo 1.5
Time to Knit: 1-11-08 - 1-18-08
Modifications: Leg and foot made longer.

I'll be away from the computer all day which means I may not have a post ready for tomorrow.  See you Wednesday. 

ETA 7:00am:  Seven inches of snow have fallen since 3:00am and it's still coming down hard.