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April 2009
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June 2009

TGIF (Original, eh?)

With all the knitting excitement of a finished sweater (one with attitude) and one that is nearly 25% finished (one with a winning personality) I've decided to laze into the weekend.  There hasn't been much else of note happening around here.  The weather has been perfect this week, which means dinner and cocktails every night on the patio...pure heaven. Hopefully, this nightly event will continue on through the weekend. (Yes, we splurged on calories last night and even had GF brownies and ice cream for dessert.)


Knitting has been hit and miss the last couple of days and still Ulmus is growing. This weekend could see the end of her. I've enjoyed the ride, but Susan has a new shawlRav_linkredyarnball, Mim has a new shawl (plus anotherRav_linkredyarnball coming soon) and Kirsten has TWO more shawls. So much lace, so much desire! Once all my sweater projects are finished I may knit nothing but lace for a year.


I've been watching as the comments inch upwards toward the 50,000 mark. Can you believe that!?  It will likely take a week or two before the magic 50,000 is reached. I'll keep watching as you leave your mark and work towards the goal. *Idea*  In fact, I'm going to give prizes at each 100 mark and a big prize at 50,000. (Little hint: There will be 4 or 5 prizes before the big number.) Thank you, thank you for taking the time to share your thoughts and comments with me each day.

Happy weekend!

Moving On

Thank you for the accolades on finishing Harmony. She was worth the slog, but it will be some time before I want to knit another garter stitch sweater or any sweater with Summer Tweed. The minute Harmony was finished, the same minute the last button was sewn into place, the very same minute Harmony was set aside, I cast on for sweater #7, Tempest. I could not wait to have another sweater on the needles, a sweater that would replace the slog with a happy process, a sweet process, an easy going, easy to handle, charming sweater.


Tempest has been a dear and has not (as yet) lived up to her name. While her colors may evoke a dark and stormy night, she has stayed calm and easy going and, for that, I am relieved. Araucania RancoRav_linkredyarnball has proven to be a very nice yarn. The knit fabric is soft, looks great whether knit in socks or lace, and comes in a wide variety of colors, both semi-solid and multi-color.  Some time ago, with Tempest in mind, I purchased black (with hints of deep blue) as the main color and the contrasting skeins of gray tones.


They play very well together and, because they do, I am able to escaped into knitting time that is calming and joyful.  I followed Susan's leadRavelryredyarnball and started with a double start cast on and five rows of garter.   Thanks, Susan, for the idea, the edge looks great.
Tempest has already exceeded expectations as she has flown off the needles. The ease of stockinette stitch, even with the addition of striping, has been lightning quick compared to the garter slog of Harmony and the knitting atmosphere has radically improved.  With Tempest in the knitting basket and I foresee smooth sailing ahead.  This process is knitting heaven!

She's So Haute

Every knit has its own personality, its own attitude. Some knits are easy to understand, easy to get along with and a joy to be around. Other knits have a sense of entitlement, can be difficult from the get go, and have an attitude of being better than others. Their arrogance can be hard to handle, but sometimes they get their comeuppance. (One can hope.)

Harmony was arrogant from the beginning and she felt she was too good to be seen at the park sitting on a mere picnic table. She deserved to be seen in the conservatory, deserved to be waited on hand and foot while sipping tea and nibbling crumpets. The event of an elegant High Tea was much more her style (or so she thought.)
Once she understood that what she deserved and wanted would not be in her future she tried to get cute, coquettish and sexy.  This attitude really didn't suit her looks or style.
Youlookinatme Imtoosexyforyou
After all was said and done she settled into her own and came down to earth, enjoyed her day in the park and time with the boyz.  She's learned to be herself, a comfortable, happy grrl with frills and pearls, a grrl who fits in anywhere.
Pattern: Harmony from the Nectar Collection by Kim Hargreaves size 38
Yarn: Summer Tweed – Blossom 541, 9 skeins
Needle: Addi Turbo Size 8
Time to Knit: April 20 to May 23 2009
Sweater #6 for NaKniSweMoDo
Raveled HereRav_linkredyarnball

Never Before

The weekend offered new opportunities and one must always be open to the new, must embrace the new, and be willing to learn something new.


Saturday night we went to a Klezmer concert.  The Klez-Bros play a mix of Klezmer, Yiddish, and Gypsy music. It was a great show with good, interesting and enjoyable music.  (Beautiful Kateri sings, dances and plays percussion.)

On Sunday, in a surprise turn of events (rain), we ended up at the movie Star Trek and everyone found it very entertaining.  I knew of Kirk and Spock, and even Bones and Scotty, but the rest of the characters were new to me, as was the story. (No, I did not live in a cave, and I have no real excuse as to why I've never seen the series).  It was fun and exciting and I'll see any sequels even though I go to movies once in a blue moon.


And on Monday, while spending the last hours of the Holiday at home relaxing and catching up with myself, I made a batch of gluten-free Sour Cream Muffins and found them very tasty. Even better, Smith found them tasty, too.  We now have a new breakfast treat we can share.

Did your weekend hold any new opportunies?

Ding Dong...

...the witch (of a sweater) is dead done (at least the knitting part).  Hopefully, with a little luck, the finishing will work wonders and her attitude will change (hopefully mine will improve, too).


The weekend will be full of family, food, and fun (hopefully).  The plans should include time for swatching and for starting the next great sweater project, which will be knit with either the Araucania Ranco Solid (likely) or the Habu yarns (planning ahead). This should put me in good stead to move quickly on to sweater #8. (Yes, it does feel a bit like counting chickens before the eggs hatch.)

Spring is slowing slipping away with summer in on its tail.  The last of the lilacs have shriveled and dried, but just before they disappeared I stopped to smell the last of their aroma and this pigment anomoly caught my eye. 
Beautifullilacsendofseason Pigmentanomoly

Enjoy your long weekend and make the most of summers kickoff!

A Mystery Unfolds


The story begins when an attractive braid of hand-painted top arrives. The blend of colors captures the imagination and the desire to see its beauty unfold takes over. The spinner heads for her wheel as she fondles and pets the soft fluff.


Over time the bobbins fill one by one with colorful singles, the colors sequences mixed but similar. The spinner thinks a three ply sock yarn is the right way to go and spins to a fine and even grist. The colors twist and slip through her fingers leaving her to wonder how the colors will blend with the plying. Each step unfolds another layer of the mystery.


At last three bobbins are filled with singles of equal length and weight…the time has come to entwine the strands together in their final incarnation…a durable and, hopefully, beautiful yarn.


Slowly, carefully the spinner watches as the strands wrap around an invisible core, creating a round and strong yarn, a vibrant blend of the many colors. After hours of work, hours of watching the blur of singles slide through her hands, she has one bobbin full of yarn. Winding onto the niddy noddy confirms her guesstimate of 400 yds...a perfect amount for a pair of socks. The yarn is soft, yet strong, a beautiful blend of warm colors, the colors of early spring and Project Spectrum East. The mystery is revealed, the spinner is pleased.


This yarn was spun as a prize for Claudia's MS Ride. You know you want it...go give and then give a little more. Every dollar counts.

Flogged by a Slog

Knitting is (usually) an enjoyable process, a process of wrapping yarn around needles, forming simple loops, creating beautiful fabric. The yarn used in this process is (often) a favorite color, made of lovely wool or a blend of luscious fiber and, to cap it off, a delight to handle. When the yarn is ropey, hard and course instead, the process turns into a slog, the rewarding process gone, having been usurped by project mode.  Thus, I have become a whiner, a crybaby of the highest order. 


This project has wounded me (the yarn is so harsh it's torn away some skin causing recurring bleeding).  The yarn is a meany.  If I didn't know the fabric would be long wearing, beautiful and well worth the trial and tribulation I wouldn't be able to forge on, but I do know it will be worth it in the end.  I will, however, continue to whine about it.  This project is full of heavy sighs.

In addition, the garter stitch is kicking me arse.  Garter stitch means shorter fabric, more knitting, much more knitting per inch. However, its simply, elegant look is worth the effort, the push of slogging on towards the end.  Still, heavy sighs, rolling eyes, and whiny moans accompany the lack of process/progress.  Damn this thing is taking FOREVER!

The one thing, the one good thing, that could happen to make this project easier, more reward and doable happened this weekend, and the end maybe in sight...THE incentive has arrived.  Project, meet the perfect button. The Wool Cabin had the one, the only, perfect button.


Can I get a YAY!!?!!


Roasted salted pepitas are one of my favorite snacks and my favorite way to eat them is mixed in yogurt (besides just popping a handful in my mouth). They add extra flavor and a delightful crunch, however, they are almost always seasoned with wheat and brands without wheat are quite expensive. My new BFF, Google, led me to an easy, tasty recipe and this weekend I whipped up a batch of my own. This new lifestyle is challenging my lack of kitchen prowess, but so far I've been able come up to the plate (no pun intended).


After carefully measuring out a double dose of ingredients, the largish batch came together quickly, filling the whole house with the nutty aroma.  This is mighty tasty treat, but next time I'll know to add a bit more cayenne and a touch more temari (my addition was a sprinkle of kosher salt).


For nine years I have had constant pain on the left side of my body.  Some days it was mild, other days it would hurt so much I could hardly breath, but it was always there.  Over the years I have been sent to physical therapy, told to eat right, told to exercise, told it was fibromyalgia, told to relax...  Overall I just dealt with it by ignoring it as much as possible and I stopped seeking a solution.  It would not be allowed to rule my life, stop me from living as I wished, or change my daily routine and overall it didn't.  After a few days of being wheat/gluten free the pain was gone, it's still gone after 10 days and I expect it will stay away.  The discomfort and nausea from eating is also gone.  After each meal I wait for the waves of pain, nausea and bloating to come, but they never do.  I feel renewed, amazed and thankful.


Meh...the knitting is neither frogged nor finished, just bogged down with the doldrums. Heretofore, my knitting journey has never landed on Sleeve Island. But, at the moment, I'm treading water, unable to leave the island, and the first garter stitch sleeve is about to drag me into the undertow.


My focus has disappeared, my knitting focus that is. I am knitting, but it isn't, as it usually is, front and center in my focus field. Spinning has usurped some of my time, but learning about a new way to eat live is the main distraction. Making the change has been easier, at least mentally, because so many friends are concerned for my well being. Recipes, packages and messages of support have come my way (I thank you for that!) and the daunting has become less challenging. In any case, I am knitting, albeit with less focus.


After buying what I thought would be good buttons for Harmony, I now find they are merely "meh" buttons. Trying to find the right button, the one that says, "Yes, I'm the one!" is on the agenda this weekend.


Sadly the lilacs are already on the wan.  This bush brightens the view from my "fiber studio" (the room I also call the junque room).  From another room I can see a white lilac bush (so pretty!).  They disappear too quickly as summer moves in pushing spring aside.

While my life sits in the doldrums, Miss Teyani has some excitement going on. If you'd like a chance to win some fabulous, gorgeous and exquisite yarns please help her raise some of the needed funds by tomorrow!! She has several posts showing off goodies you can win...check them out.  Every little bit you can spare will help Teyani's dream come true, a trip to CARNEGIE HALL!! 

Maybe the weekend will chase the "meh's" away.  Have a good one!!