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August 2010
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October 2010

Things Are Not as They Appear

Knitting is full of ups and downs and, as knitters, we learn to accept not every project will be as we envision. Not every project is meant to be (in the long run), and if knitting is our number one hobby, we must accept this recurring lesson.  The number one lession of knitting is acceptance and I am learning to accept a slower pace may be my new normal.  Knitting production has been far below previous years.

5005600004_879e9a6684_b (sigh deeply)

There is always a next sweater on the needles, and I have fallen head over heals for the most fabulous combination of yarn/color combination ever.  I batt my lashes and sigh heavily over Opulence's color Forever in Blue Jeans. Gazing into its depths is like looking into an stormy ocean, the deepest blue eyes of a god, or a favorite pair of worn blue jeans.  The cast on ,and first 20 rows went smoothly, which can only mean we were destined to be together. This sweater is full of good juju. Of course you want to know the pattern, right?  It's Henley with a Twist. This is going to be a fun project. 

5004987291_870e81d522_z (the color in this photo is wrong!)

Hamamelis has been neglected for so long, but even with bits and bops of my attention she has been growing.  It only takes a row or two a day and before you know it (or before you can say Hamamelis) progress is visible.  Until the time comes push on through to the finish, I am accepting of a slow pace. (big sigh)

Monkeymonkeymini  (not another Monkey?!)
In July I started my sixth Monkey Sock, a mini-Monkey, with a picot cuff (my usual). After the first sock was finished I tried it on and decided it didn't look good, therefore there would be no second sock.  But, when looking through my multiple supply of Wee Bunny Bags (can you really have just one?), I found the Monkey and tried it on again.  It's not bad, and since there isn't enough yarn for a longer cuff (the yarn is an old Blue Moon skein of 325 yds), I'll live with it.  Time to finish the second sock.

The beginning of this year I promised there would always be one blue project on the needles, and while you may think everything on my needles is blue, that is not true.  Don't forget I'm knitting (green) mitts for Suzy, and secret project is in the works, which also is not blue (so there), plus I'm planning on knitting Through the Loops Mystery SockRav_linkredyarnball again this year. The intended yarn is Shibui Sock with the lovely name of Peony. (Start date tomorrow!)

So, rest assured, this is not Knitting the Blues. TeresaC is a much better knitter, a more prolific knitter, than I'll ever be and I am not trying to take over her position as the Queen of Blue in Blogland.



As you can see from yesterday's photo, and this picture of Alta's aspens, we had a weekend of glorious views.  Little time was spent behind the camera lens, which is sad for the blog, but good for me. The weekend was full of friends, knitting, eating and drinking (not necessarily in that order). It was a blast.


The Rocky Mountain Knitters Retreat is in it's 8th year, and while I've longed to attend, this is my first year of retreating with the knitters.  Lisa, standing and wearing a beautiful Fair Isle sweater, is the person with the vision of bringing together knitters at the spectacular Alta Lodge.  Our view from the patio was Mt. Baldy, golden aspens, other knitters and umbrellas that offered shade.  We spent the day knitting, looking with awe at the glorious view, and dodging the sun (or taking walk/hike if so inclined).

Asuzytakingpicturewhilecherylconcentrates Cherylismakingknittingoragami

Cheryl was intent on her origami knitting, while Suzy snapped a photo and I snapped one of her.  My main project was another (my third) pair of Ruth's Leafy Mitts, this one for Suzy, because I not only wanted to be a thoughtful roomy, I wanted easy weekend knitting.  One mitt was finished by the time we left. 


The weekend was fabulous, so much so, Suzy and I have already signed up for next year. 

Super Duper Weekend


The picture does not show the grandeur of Mt. Superior, with its watercolor-like face of burnish color.  The Retreat was just that, a retreat from the world, a delightful weekend with knitters, nestled in a canyon of golden aspens, majestic peaks and a rustic ski lodge.  It was 36 hours heaven.

This is Typepad's Quick Compose and it says to share "what's interesting to you now". What's interesting? Well, last night I saw the full moon just before retiring for the night, and this morning I walked under the same moon, as it shared the sky with Jupiter and Orion. The weather is perfect, a lovely fall, and we're enjoying it to the fullest.
While I think of much I'd like to share, I don't have time, or inclination, to take pictures. Blogging is changing and the only reason to continue is to stay in touch with friends, people I love and don't want to loose. It's why I started this blog in the first place and it doesn't seem right to stop. The plan is to do a better job of keeping up with you, as I miss you all so much. TGIF! Happy weekend, friends.


You would think I didn't know any better. I heard the voice in my head over and over, and still I forged on even though I was (fairly) sure there was a problem. Yes, problems are best solved before they become actual problems and but, apparently, there is difficulty in facing the music.  It appears I am in good company.  


There is no way, on this green earth, my Que Sera is going to fit, as this fabric cannot be stretched into a larger size, at least not as large as I need. It's been knit too tightly, the needle  size at least one, if not two sizes, too small. Added to that, out of eight skeins I've only used three, another sign the gauge was way off.   BTW, the gauge swatch was spot on…the sweater? Not even close. I had a feeling, and I ignored it. Swatches lie. I should have measured as I knit.  I often do, but denial, my age old nemesis, is alive and well.

It's not very often I find a cotton summer sweater I like as much as Que Sera and there may be a search for a more suitable yarn.  Cotton Fleece is too light in weight. I'm not heartbroken, but I do feel foolish. If the temperatures were heading up, instead of down, I'd be frogging and reknitting on the spot, but this project will take a break until next spring.

C'est la vie.

Flash Back

It was 1974 and I wanted to learn to knit in the worst way. Someone in the knitting shop tried to teach me, but I struggled and struggled. The act of knitting loops with two needles did not make sense.  A second try, with one of my BFFs as teacher, helped well enough, but took awhile before I could handle the needles and see which direction the yarn was going.  Progress was slow.


This well worn book helped bring about a better understanding, with its well drawn diagrams and simple step by step instructions. The creation of knitting finally clicked, and by working my way through many of the projects inside, I became a knitter.


The list at the back of the book brings back a flood of memories. The projects here are my "firsts" but, of all the projects listed, only one is in my possession.  A "little pink sweater" knit, according to the list, in 1975.


This sweater is "the" one, the very sweater that brought on the desire to knit. It was in a handwork magazine of the day, a long gone magazine. At the same time, and for multiple reasons, a gorgeous yarn took my fancy. Not only was it pink, it was elegant, dotted with little nubs of color, and it was French. (oo lala) Luckily the yarn and pattern worked together beautifully. The memory of this accomplishment is still with me.  The sweater is now too small (mostly in the bust), the fit and style of the 1970s no longer attractive, but I am too fond of this sweater to ever let it go. I will, also, hang onto the knitting book as it is a big part of my knitting past.

More About Twist and Knit

For multiple reasons, summer is not a good time for spinning and, my poor wheels, Emmylou and Corrina, spend months neglected and alone. Over the weekend the weather cooled and the desire to spin returned. Before I could spin, Corrina needed a little TLC, so with the new cloth, I polished her beautiful cherry wood finish, all the while dreaming of the soft, luxurious, and unique fibers we would spin into yarn. 

Fiber is often spun for the experience of working with the content and the resulting yarn can set aside unused. Spinning is about the process of creation, not necessarily using what results, thus handspun can marinate in the stash. Twist and Knit, Miriam’s first book comes to the rescue, with multiple patterns for the small and large skeins of handspun (or commercial yarns).

Twistandknitwithhandspun When the book arrived I went right to the handspun bin and started plotting and planning which yarn would work with which pattern. The white yarn is a soft as can be 3-ply Cormo from Wooly Wonka Fibers and should make up nicely into the cowl on the coverRav_linkredyarnball, perfect for winter’s cold. The white may have a dye job after knitting is complete.

The plan for the purple yarn is to knit the rustic and cozy Comfy ShawlRav_linkredyarnball in a 2-ply spun from Spinderella's thrums.  The shawl should be toatsy and warm, just right to throw over a jacket this winter.

As I told you yesterday, last year, while recovering from surgery, Miriam asked if I would like test knit one of the patterns for the book. You may remember it was quite awhile before my brain worked as it should, and I admit to struggling with even the most simple of tasks, but after several false starts, and multiple errors of my own making, the lace became easier to read and the pattern repeat stuck in my head. I was off and running!


Knitting Motte Rav_linkredyarnball was just what I needed and, as she grew, I knew I would recover my sanity and my memory. The big plus was working with my own handspun and realizing my own yarn wasn’t half bad! In fact, it was beautiful and it helped create a unique, and rewarding, shawl.  If I can spin, and I can knit it into something so clever, I can do anything. Knit on!


A sense of relief, a feeling I didn't expect, came over me this weekend as I reached the milestone of one year. The whole weekend was beautiful from the weather, to the friends, and every little task accomplished during a "normal" weekend.  The relief and the awe I felt at being alive, infused all. 


It felt right to take a day off and do something new. It's been a couple of years since I felt like hiking and it was decided this would be the weekend to start. I will admit here and now, the hike was difficult, even though it's rated as easy.  Small children were climbing the trail with ease, which made it very evident, I was truly out of shape. Smith lead the way, easily hiking the trail, as Cheryl and I lagged behind. In all honesty, I believe Cheryl could have kept pace with Smith, but she stayed near as I huff and puffed my way up the rocky, steep trail.  With encouragement from both of them I made it all the way up (3/4 mile, but hey, it was steep!)


Cecret Lake, is breathtaking and the view well worth the struggle.  I'm looking forward to next time when I plan to hike the trail with ease.  This year I have been gentle with myself, allowing time for healing, but now, it's time to get tough.  My heart may be strong, but my legs and lungs need some work to keep up.


Almost a year ago I knit a secret project for Miriam's book.  Cecret Lake is the perfect spot to show off this charming shawl.  Motte ShawlRav_linkredyarnball was a challenge, as I struggled with the effects of surgery, but in truth, it's an easy to execute pattern and a lovely one, too. The smile shows just a little of the happiness I feel at being alive and well.