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October 2011
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December 2011

Flying By

If it's the end of November, which means Vicki was here two months ago! How can that be true!?  Two months? Alta Retreat seems so long ago, but also like it was yesterday. Memories of autumn colors, the relaxing weekend, and the visit of a friend, are beginning to fade into the hubbub of life. It's hard to believe we're in the midst of the Holiday season and approaching a new year, a New Year, Christmas. Wow, just WOW!

Vicki was very focused on her Different Lines shawl whilst knitting during the Knitters Retreat. Because of dedication and focus she finished the shawl and we were able to fit in a photo shoot before she left.  This is old news, I know and you've seen the picture of her beautiful shawl before, but this is a day I love to relive.

It can't be that long ago, can it? In any case, Vicki gave me one of her beautifully dyed skiens of "Virginia", a lovely soft pink she named for her grandmother.  Inspired by Vicki's Different Lines, a shawl I had been unsure I would like or wear until I saw how lovely hers was, I started one of my own with her beautiful yarn.

The pattern was just as much fun to knit as Stripe Study, but different enough not to be redundant. It was pure entertainment.  The short rows are quite amazing as they create a wide end and a short end to the stripes. Veera, the designer, has an eye for the elegance of asymmetry.



Simple techniques and stitches can create quite an impact when used in creative, unique ways.  The shawl is light and airy, the fabric created with light fingering and a slightly larger needle.  Ravelry details here.


This shawl is very dear to me, as it's made with the gift of hand-dyed yarn. It's a treasured hug from a dear friend.  Thank you, Vicki!

Hello (Quickly)

This week is going to be so busy and I really have no right to be playing around on the blogs (or Ravelry, or FB or anywhere else).  Thanksgiving weekend was wonderfully full of relaxing times, lots of reading, some knitting, and hanging out with friends.


The weather cooperated fully with a tiny storm on T-day, a lovely cloud display on Friday, and clear blue skies both Saturday and Sunday. 

As soon as is possible, I'll share some knitting. Photos were taken of several FO and even an eFfed O(MG).  The sweater I swore never to finish turned out "OK" and it may even see some wear.  The problems weren't caused by the sweater pattern, they were mostlycause by "moi" and my "adjustments" to the pattern.  ohwell  More later, promise.


One of my favorite patterns ever is Susan's Ragtop Mitt (available through Blazing Needles).  When life is a bit on the crazy side it helps to have an easy knit (with great yarn like MadelineTosh). 

There's so much more to say, so much more to share, but I've gotta run. Please share with me your very favorite part of the Thanksgiving weekend. My favorite thing was having free time to use just as I wanted. Now it's back to the mad dash of life!

My Heart is Bursting

...with gratitude on this beautiful morning. A quickly moving storm is blowing through, but the "shepherd's take warning" sunrise made the cloudiness of the day worthwhile.

Smith is brining the turkey and I have a pot of cranberry sauce on the stove.  Dinner will be later today, so stop on by if you're not too full from your own thankfulness dinner.


If I don't blog today, there won't be any post until next week.  Thankfully I have a four day weekend and only need to slog through two more days of work.  Busy, crazy work.

Roasting the sunflower seeds turned out to be quite easy. We followed the recipe on The National Sunflower Association's website and the seeds turned out to be very crunchy and tasty, plus the whole process was very easy.


Knitting has been sporadic and often only accomplished whilst chatting. I am thankful I have any time at all to knit, thankful for friends who love to knit and chant, and thankful I can knit warm coverings for my hands.  The gloves, the blue handspun gloves, grow slowly but they are growing.  My main distraction is the mitt.  One down, one about half way done.  There can never be too many mitts in the cupboard.

The weather had been gray for days. First it snowed, then it rained, but over the last several days it has just been gray and more gray.  The view comes as goes, as the mountains play hide and seek behind the clouds. 

However, my friends, things could be so much worse.  Instead of bemoaning the weather, the ever changing weather, I should be giving thanks for every day I have, for every breath I take. And I am!!!!!

Happy Thanksgiving to all of you, my dear friends.

Overcast with 60%


The sky has been quite amazing this past week and showed off in its various forms and colors. One day it's clear, the next there is a mix of clouds. The sunsets and sunrises have been laced with shades of pink, salmon and gold, very awe-inspiring and stunning. Sorry no pictures, I just gape at the beauty of nature.

Today the rainy snowy days of autumn-into-winter return. Leaves still hang on the branches and the earth has not given up its warm, but they know, we know, the shift is happening. It is a knitters time of year, as hands, needles and yarn work together to create warmth.

Plans for Thanksgiving begin in earnest this weekend and, for the first time in years, we're alone. Smith is planning to grill half a turkey and we'll have squash, potatoes, onions, and perhaps, beets from our garden. Since there is little green left from our summer venture, we'll shop for Brussels sprouts or asparagus. That's it, we're keeping it simple, if such a term can be used for all that food.


The last couple of weeks we've been winnowing the chaff from our two sunflower caps. Research says they need to be soaked overnight and roasted the next day. Plans are to start tonight, or Saturday night and, how nice for me, they're a perfect color for this months Project Spectrum.

In the Mood

The area around my knitting chair was a mess of magazines, books, yarn, patterns, stitch markers (strewn on and under every surface), and all sorts of other necessary tools of the trade. The pile of aspirational clutter* had grown to the point I could not stack one more thing on top and could not function well with the physical, and mental, clutter.

The books, patterns and magazines were sandwiched in layers like a napoleon, an unappetizing napoleon, at that. The various yarns were entwined betwixt and between the layers, tangled with needles, swatches, and false starts. I do not even want to mention the dust. It was almost like powdered sugar sifted throughout the year old concoction. But, the worst part was the big black eye of a sweater, a sweater abandon near completion because I got into a ‘mood’.

I know you expect a picture here, but I never thought about taking a picture of that mess.

The abandonment of said sweater wasn't my finest moment, as far as knitting is concerned. The first problem was knitting the ribbed hem with a needle size too large, which was very apparent when I tried it on. This was not the only problem. Suddenly, "that mood" struck; the anger, the self loathing, the mad at the knitting, tantrum type mood, the black mood…to wit, the sweater was thrown, in disdain, on the top of THE pile. However, every day the sweater haunted me.


A month or so later, the pile of crap got to me. I walked into the room and knew it was time to buck up and deal with it all. The magazines were filed or tossed, the books put on the knitting book shelf, and the yarns untangled, sorted and stored in the proper place. The sweater stared, maybe even glared at me, and I at it. The impasse would only end if I tried it on again and figured out what to do. Sometime you just need to pull up your boots and walk into the muck, and I did.

Hey! The sweater didn't look as bad as I thought! It only needed the ribbed hem reknit and the neckline finished. How hard could it be? I'm still not thrilled with some of my modifications (re: errors) and the weight of the sweater is still a factor. Overall, it may be the main reason I'm not thrilled, but I'm still going to finish the bugger and move on. 

*I did not coin this term, but I read it a long time ago I do not remember where.

Can't Riff

It's crazy busy.  I could say more about that, but it would end up being a riff complaining about not enough time to do everything I want to do...or enough energy.  Life is full of "to do"s and so full of great's hard to get to everything. Everything, whether good or bad, takes time, time, time.  Holy shi-te. 


Anyway, Sunday was our last totally beautiful day and it was only half a day of warmth and sun. But, who's complaining. We're not covered in 20 feet of snow and we've not had a totally socked in inversion. I'm counting my blessings when it comes to the weather.

As of today, the Ennea Collective and the Twist Collective have published new editions.  My desire to knit faster has ramped up into warp speed.  Oh grrl, if only!  I'm still planning to knit Beacon Hill from the BHK Cooperative next.  I love the yarn, love the pattern.  But, the good news is I have a long queue of sweaters I love, love, love and want to knit, knit, knit!  Not enough time, doncha know? 


Instead, because I'm still slogging along on, but very close to finishing, the edge of my Different Lines, I'm knitting mitts.  It's cold around here, and imo, a grrl can't have too many mitts. Yes, I'm making another pair of Ragtops in MadTosh DK.  I love this yarn, I yearn for the yarn.  They're a nice diversion, as if I needed one.  Knit on!

Neutral by Nature

As the landscape shows, November is a very good moth for PS Neutral Black/White/Gray. Storm Mountain is appropriately named, as the clouds gather around its craggy surface where snow snuggles in for the winter.

Clouds of varying shades of gray tone down the landscape, as the pure white snow does its best to heightens the contrast of dark and light. As Kim responded in an email exchange about the neutrals of her landscape, this lack of contrast gets old quite quickly.

It takes every ounce of zen I can muster to get myself through the darkest days of winter, especially if the sky stays gray for long periods of time. But, let's not thing about that for now.  Let's hope there are blue skies ahead, even if the landscape is mostly white.

On My Needles

Trying to fit in time for a post is proving difficult this week, but I didn't want too much time to go by without checking in.  Knitting time has been as hit and miss, as is posting to blog time, but if my friends can post daily, I can at least try to post several times a week.  I'm very happy not to have another daily obligation.

Different Lines is moving toward the end, but the border is plain and wide, with long rows of garter.  It's great knitting when I'm distracted by chat, or a movie, but otherwise it gets quite tedious. Despite's the process, it is growing. I have no pictures, but to distract you from lack of progress pictures, how about one of Kim's Woolen Rabbit yarn club?

The yarn is a lovely MCN yarn called Kashmir Sock and it has the very fabulous, and appropriate, name of Pumpkin Head!  The yarn content, its color and its name all give me a thrill.  Ideas for a project are marinating and, in the meantime, I'm naming this autumn red-orange color as THE color of 2011!  The "treat" was a mini-bottle of New Hampshire maple syrup, which was very yummy on the pancakes Smith made over the weekend.


Merike's Glove also is growing slowly (my knitting life), as I go forward a row or two and back three. The joy is knit with Joan's fabulous handspun.  While the pattern keeps me on my toes, the yarn makes my heart sing, with gorgeous sky blue color flecked with bits of pink.  I could not love the soft and cushy texture more. 



The weather was ever changable throughout the weekend.  The sky had a great time showing off its different colors and all the types clouds, it could produce. The clouds played peek-a-boo with the mountains, but Friday into Saturday they were productive and dropped various amounts of snow around the valley.  The few wet inches in our area melted away quite quickly.  It was cold, that much stayed the same all weekend long.


The change in time doesn't bother me, but this weekend I pretty much kicked back, relaxed, and didn't spend much time looking at the clock.  In fact, I took Monday off and we took a trip to Silver Fork to breakfast with Cheryl and her hubby. The sky changed constantly while we were there and the forest looked beautiful with its new dusting of white.